Biden administration continues to lease oil and gas drilling on federal land

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he visits North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S., April 14, 2022.

Leah Millis | Reuters

The Biden Administration said it will continue to sell leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands starting next week, but with a significant reduction in the number of acres offered and an increase in royalties that companies pay to drill.

The Interior Department announced that on Monday it will issue a notice of sale for drilling leases on 144,000 acres of government land – 80% less than what was initially assessed as a potential lease. power.

President Joe Bidencampaigners calling for an end to oil drilling on federal lands, are looking for a way to temporarily increase U.S. energy production to help lower gas prices.

The move comes amid growing pressure on the Biden administration to do more to lower gas prices, particularly as Republicans say they should allow more drilling.

Industry experts say it will be at least six months to a year before new drilling on federal land will create additional supply and ultimately reduce the cost of gas, which has emerged as a major issue. of the midterm elections.

However, Friday’s announcement is likely to prompt environmentalists to rank. During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden urged a complete end to oil and gas drilling on federal lands, but the courts disagreed with the original ban he signed upon taking office. .

In late February, the administration said it was delaying decisions about new oil and gas drilling on federal land after a federal court blocked federal agencies from using an estimate known as “cost society of carbon” to assess the damage caused by carbon emissions from energy production.

The Home Office on Friday said the new rental would have a royalties tax of 18.75%, up from the previous 12.5, which critics complained was much lower than the rates charged by companies. Energy paid to drill on most of the state’s land.

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