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    Rutledge: State Should Maintain its Authority over Drilling Permits

    October 15, 2015

    LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced that she sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze raising concerns about the scope of the BLM’s proposed rules for onshore oil and gas operations.

    Rutledge opposes the rule in its current form since the BLM impermissibly expanded its authority over non-federal lands contrary to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920. Additionally, the BLM failed to engage any State entities, and Rutledge believes the rule would lead to severe economic harm in Arkansas.

    “Federal law allows Arkansas to issue drilling permits on non-federal lands,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The BLM is attempting to go beyond the intent of this law and overtake the State’s authority to control its own land without any appropriate consultation. I urge the BLM to revise this rule and work with the States to do so. If the BLM does not narrow the scope of the rule, I am prepared to take appropriate legal action.”

    In the letter, Rutledge writes, “the State of Arkansas has and continues to successfully administer surface and downhole activities associated with the development of oil and gas in a safe and prudent manner, protecting all parties from waste.”

    A copy of the letter is available here.

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