The WSJ reports that the Xiden administration will resume oil and gas leasing on federal land. The administration’s moratorium on leasing was shot down by a federal judge, and pressure to resume leasing has been increasing since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the administration is trying to minimize the new leases.
The Interior Department said it would make roughly 144,000 acres available for oil and gas drilling through a series of lease sales, an 80% reduction from the footprint of land that had been under evaluation for leasing.
Companies will also be required to pay royalties of 18.75% of the value of what they extract, up from 12.5%.
On the morning of 20 January, 2021, the United States was a net exporter of energy products. That changed within a few day. These leases will help turn things around, but they’re only a start in the right direction.