LCV and Conservation Colorado Statement on Introduction of COMPETES Act 

Courtnee Connon, 727-744-4163, courtnee_connon@lcv.org

Congress has an opportunity to save taxpayers money and address this major flaw in the federal oil and gas program by including Hickenlooper’s legislation in the Build Back Better Act.

Washington, D.C. — Today, following the introduction of Senator Hickenlooper’s Competitive Onshore Mineral Policy via Eliminating Taxpayer-Enabled Speculation (COMPETES) Act in the Senate, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) and Conservation Colorado released the following statement:

“For too long oil and gas industry CEOs have reaped the benefits of a broken leasing system that is rigged in favor of oil industry executives and leaves our public lands, waters, and communities to pay the price.  While they have turned huge profits locking away public lands from recreational use through noncompetitive and market undercutting lease practices, taxpayers have missed out on millions of dollars every year in lost revenue on our shared natural resources,” said LCV Senior Government Affairs Advocate Ben Alexandro. “Fossil fuel companies already have far more land than they plan to use with 10,000 approved idle land leases stockpiled mostly to pad company valuation assessments. These lands could be opened for conservation, recreation, as well as other uses, and provide invaluable benefits to communities across the country including protecting public health, clean water, and air. We applaud Senator Hickenlooper for his leadership in proposing the COMPETES Act and urge Congress to include common sense reforms like this in the final Build Back Better Act to make oil and gas companies pay their fair share for exploiting taxpayer-owned resources.”

“Public lands are critical to our fight against climate change and will be a solution to solving the crisis. The practice of leasing public lands for drilling at bargain basement prices in a noncompetitive process directly conflicts with our national climate and conservation goals,” said Conservation Colorado Deputy Director Jessica Goad. “We’re thrilled that Senator Hickenlooper is leading this effort. The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management must advance reforms to the oil and gas program to align our dual climate and conservation goals and the U.S. Senate should pass this good bill right away.”

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