The plan calls on the government to lease smaller areas for drilling than originally proposed, to charge higher royalties to oil and gas companies and to assess the climate impact of surface development.
The proposal was quickly denounced by several environmental groups, one calling it “a reckless failure of climate management.”
Oil industry groups praised the proposal, but said it did not go far enough.
The Department of the Interior’s announcement is the latest move to reform the federal oil and gas leasing program since Biden took office in January 2021.
The administration has been under constant pressure to address high energy prices caused by the economic recovery from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Biden has repeatedly pledged to halt federal drilling tenders during his presidential campaign, but this effort has been hampered by a Republican-led state appeal.
During a campaign event in Hudson, New Hampshire, in February 2020, Biden told the audience: Point, point, point. ”
The Biden administration has taken several steps to control rising gasoline prices and accelerating inflation, exacerbated by crude oil prices, the rise of the war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russia by the United States and its allies.
Friday’s announcement will provide approximately 144,000 acres for oil and gas drilling through a series of leasing sales, an 80% reduction in the footprint of the land that was being valued for rent, the Interior Department said in a statement. press release. It would also require companies to pay royalties of 18.75% of the value of oil and gas extracted products, up from 12.5%.
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