"The Interior Department is wasting money and man-hours sifting through paperwork on massive amounts of public lands acreage proposed for potential oil drilling that will never be sold at auction, a new Government Accountability Office report found.
The watchdog said the Bureau of Land Management — an agency of the Interior Department that oversees the federal oil and gas program — should consider charging oil and gas speculators to nominate public lands for oil sales.
That practice may help depress speculation and cut the time and cost burden on BLM staff to weigh offering proposed lands for lease, according to the report released yesterday.
The GAO report also found that BLM is behind in updating its guidance and fees, despite going through overhauls in how it holds oil lease sales, like the switch to online auctions in 2016. It recommends that BLM perform regular reviews of its fee structure."