Trout Unlimited Statement on End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2023


ARLINGTON, Va. – Trout Unlimited supports legislation introduced today in both Houses of Congress by Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Representative Susie Lee (D-NV3) that would improve the federal oil and gas leasing program on public lands. The End Speculative Oil and Gas Leasing Act of 2023 would require Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to regularly assess oil and gas development potential on public lands managed by the BLM and Forest Service, and it would prohibit BLM from offering leases on lands determined to have little to no development or production potential.

“Trout Unlimited has long advocated for responsible energy development that is balanced with other multiple uses, such as recreation and fish and wildlife conservation,” said Pam Harrington, Nevada field manager for Trout Unlimited. “However, in places like Nevada’s Ruby Mountains, the potential for energy development is low and the risk is extremely high for degrading fish and wildlife and world class hunting and angling opportunities.”

Fifty-five percent of federal oil and gas leases sold since 2012 are on lands with little to no potential for oil and gas development and production. This includes more than 105,000 acres of leases along the southern portion of the Ruby Mountains on lands with low or no potential for oil and gas development.

“The current system does not benefit American taxpayers and creates unnecessary land management conflicts with fish, wildlife, outdoor recreation and other multiple-use activities,” continued Harrington. “State and federal agencies are also burdened with having to review dubious leasing proposals, diverting limited resources that otherwise would be devoted to other priorities such as managing fish and wildlife habitat. It’s a wasteful, outdated process and we thank Senator Cortez Masto and Representative Lee for helping to end oil and gas speculation on our public lands.”

Learn more about TU’s work on responsible energy development at


Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to caring for and recovering America’s rivers and streams so our children can experience the joy of wild and native trout and salmon. Across the country, TU brings to bear local, regional and national grassroots organizing, durable partnerships, science-backed policy muscle, and legal firepower on behalf of trout and salmon fisheries, healthy waters and vibrant communities.