Earlier this week, nearly 300,000 acres of federally controlled land went up for auction for potential oil and gas exploration.
The Nevada Independent reports that there have been no bids yet by any oil or gas developers.
The Bureau of Land Management opened up the land near Elko and Ely as part of its quarterly bid process, but no developers purchased leases for the parcels starting at $2 an acre.
On Wednesday, after the sale, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto wrote a letter to the BLM’s Nevada office saying that she is “deeply concerned” about the “trend of offering Nevada’s public lands that have little to no potential for drilling while generating little interest from industry.”
The senator’s letter also criticizes oil and gas leasing more broadly as the administration places an emphasis on streamlining the environmental review process and opening up more acreage to make it easier to conduct oil and gas exploration — and potentially drilling — on public land.
Earlier this week, the BLM in Utah offered 109 parcels across 134,000 acres near Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Canyonlands National Park. And in December, the BLM in Nevada is planning to auction off 426,531 acres of federally-managed land near the Ely District.