BLM to pay $70 million for oil and gas lease to by June

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) – A federal agency says it will give New Mexico its payment for an oil and gas lease sale now that it has responded to environmental concerns.

The Roswell Daily News reports a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesperson said Thursday that the state can expects its nearly $70 million payment by June 1, as scheduled, or earlier.

BLM spokesperson Donna Hummel says the agency has finishing reviewing two extensive written protests by environmental groups based in Santa Fe and Arizona. She says that the agency reviews all materials that come to them during a protest and takes them seriously.

The auction was made in Roswell last September. Hummel had previously said there was no guarantee New Mexico would receive full payment by the set date while the agency finished reviewing the protests.