Wyoming Public Lands Drillers Go Rent-Free

by | May 20, 2020

The Bureau of Land Management has suspended rent payments by oil and gas drillers across tens of thousands of acres of public lands, the Associated Press reported on May 21, 2020. “The suspensions to date have all been in Wyoming and were linked by agency officials to the pandemic.” President Trump’s recent executive order urging agencies to rescind any rules that could “inhibit economic recovery” has activist groups worried that these rent suspensions, as well as many other climate and environmental rollbacks, could become permanent.

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Amy Westervelt is the editor-in-chief of Drilled News, creator and host of the Drilled podcast, and founder of the Critical Frequency podcast network, named AdWeek's Podcast Network of the Year in 2019. An award-winning print and audio journalist, Amy has contributed to The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, as well as KQED, The California Report, Capital Public Radio, and many other outlets. She is the 2015 winner of the Rachel Carson award for "women greening journalism," and a 2016 winner of an Edward R. Murrow award for her series on the impacts of the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. In 2019, the Drilled podcast won the Online News Association's "Excellence in Audio Storytelling" award.

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Emily J. Gertz is senior editor of Drilled News. A longtime environmental reporter and editor, her work has appeared in HuffPost, Reveal, Arctic Today, The Guardian, Popular Science, Scientific American, Sierra, and more.