UK Leasing

Biden administration RESUMES oil and gas leases on federal lands

The Biden administration announced on Friday it would resume selling new oil and gas leases on federal lands — while increasing the royalties that go to the public when selling leases for extraction fossil fuel reserves in nine states.

The Home Office broke the news on Friday afternoon – Good Friday and the start of Passover while Biden is away at Camp David, a sign of the political sensitivity of the issue.

It comes amid back-to-back reports of soaring inflation, although the administration has repeatedly stressed that leasing decisions primarily impact long-term rather than short-term supply, and called on companies to seek oil and gas on existing leases.

The announcement comes as Republicans pressure President Joe Biden to increase U.S. crude production and rein in rising gasoline prices, contributing to record inflation. Biden also faces calls from his own party to do more to reduce emissions from the fossil fuels that are driving climate change.

The Biden administration announced on Friday it would resume selling new oil and gas leases on federal lands, while increasing fees charged to producers

High gas prices and inflation could generally have a political impact in November, with 47% of the public calling the economy “bad” in a recent NBC poll this week. Biden has repeatedly sought to lay at least some blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The royalty rate for new leases will increase to 18.75% from 12.5% ​​currently. It’s a 50% jump and marks the first increase in royalties for the government in decades.

Leases for 225 square miles (580 square kilometers) of federal land mostly in the West will be offered for sale in a notice to be released Monday, officials said. This is around 30% less land than authorities offered for sale in November and less than originally offered by industry.

The sale notices will cover rental decisions in nine states – Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Alabama, Nevada, North Dakota and Oklahoma.

Interior Department officials declined to specify which states would have land for sale or give a breakdown of the amount of land by state, saying that information would be included in Monday’s sale notice.

President Joe Biden froze new leases when he took office but came under pressure amid rising gas prices

President Joe Biden froze new leases when he took office but came under pressure amid rising gas prices

“For too long, federal oil and gas leasing programs have prioritized the needs of the extractive industries above local communities, the natural environment, the impact on our air and water, the needs tribal nations and additionally other uses of our shared public lands,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said.

The royalty rate for new leases will increase to 18.75%, from 12.5% ​​currently

Biden is under pressure to deal with rising gas prices

Biden is under pressure to deal with rising gas prices

“For too long, federal oil and gas leasing programs have prioritized the needs of the extractive industries above local communities, the natural environment, the impact on our air and water, the needs tribal nations and additionally other uses of our shared public lands,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said.

“Today we begin to reset how and what we consider the highest and best use of American resources for the benefit of all present and future generations.”

The burning of fossil fuels extracted from public lands accounts for about 20% of US energy-related emissions, making it a prime target for climate activists who want to end leasing.

Republicans want more drilling, saying it would increase US energy independence and help lower the cost of crude. But oil companies have been reluctant to expand drilling due to uncertainty over how long high prices will continue.

The land lease sales will be the first for the US Office of Land Management since Biden suspended them just a week after taking office in January 2021, as part of his climate change plan.

The administration was ordered to resume sales last year by a federal judge in Louisiana, who said interior officials had provided no “rational explanation” for canceling them.

Hundreds of plots of public land that companies have designated for leasing had already been withdrawn from the upcoming lease sale due to fears that wildlife could be harmed by drilling rigs.