Utah - Permitting Challenges in a Rocky Mountain Petroleum Frontier
Utah has a myriad of opportunities for exploration and development of petroleum. The Bureau of Land Management in Utah has experienced dramatic increases in expressions of interest for leasing, applications for permit to drill, energy related rights-of way, and interest in unconventional energy resources such as oil shale and tar sands. Numerous efforts are underway to provide access to those resources including preparation of new land use plans, environmental impact statements, and proposals for research and development leasing of oil shale. However, significant challenges exist with respect to compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and Endangered Species Act. This presentation will provide a synopsis and statistics pertaining to the status of leasing, seismic and drilling permits, protests and legal challenges.