Institute for Policy Integrity logo


Public Lands and Option Value: Information and Strategy Webinar

  • September 29, 2020
  • 12:00pm–1:00pm
  • Webinar

A video recording of the webinar is available here. You can also view the presentation slides.



This webinar provided an overview of public lands commenting strategy that includes legal and economic arguments centering on option value, or the informational value of delay. For decades, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has offered too many parcels for fossil fuel leasing, at too low of a cost, and without considering the valuable tradeoffs inherent in its leasing decisions. One tool in the advocate’s toolbox to push back against this practice is to highlight the legal and economic need to account for option value (the informational value of delay in situations involving irreversible decisions, like leasing fossil fuels) in the public land planning process, as well as during the lease sale stage. This webinar discussed the key opportunities to advance these arguments; how to craft comments incorporating these arguments; and related issues, including how these arguments could shift if there is a new presidential administration.

Background Materials

  • Comments by the Institute for Policy Integrity at NYU Law to BLM Utah Re: Draft Environmental Assessment for Proposed September 2020 Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale (July 9, 2020) (download here)
  • Jayni Hein, Joy Kim, & Sam Smith, Look Before You Lease: Reducing Fossil Fuel Dominance on Public Lands by Accounting for Option Value (Jan. 2020) (download here)