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The Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Waste and Prevention Rule is the epitome of common sense. It requires oil and gas companies that maintain operations on tribal and federal public lands – land that is technically owned by the nation’s taxpayers – to use modern and cost-effective technologies to cut waste. This includes stopping leaks and ending the practice of burning off – commonly referred to as “flaring” – the natural gas.

The Bureau of Land Management is scheduled to lease mineral rights for oil and gas exploration on 11 land parcels totaling 18,358 acres in Huerfano County come this fall. Four of the parcels border the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area and all 11 are within eight miles of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Every one of those 18,358 acres makes up drainage for the upper Huerfano River Basin and are connected to the Arkansas River system.