Biden Administration to Resume Oil, Gas Leasing on Federal Land

Biden Administration to Resume Oil, Gas Leasing on Federal Land Biden Administration to Resume Oil, Gas Leasing on Federal Land Active pump jacks increase pressure to draw oil toward the surface at the South Belridge Oil Field on February 26, 2022, in unincorporated Kern County, California. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty)

By Jay Clemons | Friday, 15 April 2022 05:18 PM

The Biden administration announced Friday it would resume leasing sales for oil and gas drilling on federal land, while also sharply reducing the acreage available for leases, and charging higher royalties on the oil and gas produced.

The Interior Department said roughly 144,000 acres would soon be available through oil/gas lease sales, an apparent 80% reduction from the land that had been under previous evaluation for leasing.

In a series of Friday tweets, department Secretary Deb Haaland wrote:

"How we manage our public lands and waters says everything about what we value as a nation.

"For too long, the federal oil and gas leasing programs have prioritized the wants of extractive industries above local communities, the natural environment, the impact on our air and water, the needs of Tribal Nations, and, moreover, other uses of our shared public lands. Today, we begin to reset how and what we consider to be the highest and best use of Americans’ resources for the benefit of all current and future generations," she added.

The American Exploration and Production Council, which represents independent producers, in a statement said the Biden administration should do more.

"While today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, to really unleash American energy the Biden administration should continue to hold ongoing lease sales pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act, issue permits more expeditiously and provide consistent regulatory certainty," said Anne Bradbury, the group’s chief executive.

Original Article