House Republicans vow to fight BLM’s public lands rule

By Scott Streater | 04/18/2024 04:20 PM EDT

Conservation groups, meanwhile, urged the Biden administration to quickly implement the regulation to put conservation on equal footing with other public land uses.

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.).

House Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) during a markup. Francis Chung/POLITICO

House Republicans vowed Thursday to double-down on efforts to force the Bureau of Land Management to rescind its newly finalized rule to elevate conservation on public lands, giving it the same priority as grazing, energy development and recreation.

Even as Biden administration officials emphasized that their public lands rule would only give conservation efforts the same standing as other uses, industry groups lined up with objections.

The oil and gas industry has already signaled that it is likely to challenge the new rule in federal court.


“The conservation rule violates basic public lands laws” and “is a classic example of overreach by the Biden administration, which has no problem ignoring basic law,” said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Denver-based Western Energy Alliance, in an emailed statement. “We have no choice but to litigate.”