The Department of Interior announced plans, by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to revisit royalty rates charged to energy producers—through a long-needed rule making effort. The BLM’s efforts could help ensure that public lands are receiving their full and fair value in the oil and gas leasing process.
The following statement is from Chase Huntley, Government Relations Director for The Wilderness Society’s energy program:
“Our public lands stand to benefit the most from this much-needed review of the rates being charged for development. The rates in place for leasing of our public land date back decades and were meant to be a floor, not a ceiling. When these rules were last revised in the early 1980’s the cost of a gallon of gasoline was only a $1.08, milk was $2.30 and postage stamps were 22 cents. While royalty rates have remained steady for decades, the cost of doing business in our country has continued to climb. We need to ensure that all federal agencies are guaranteeing taxpayers a fair return, especially when it comes to taxpayer owned resources.
American’s expectations of what we do on our public lands have evolved. People are increasingly looking to our public lands for recreational opportunities, which mean economic stimulation across the west. Recreational usage has more than doubled, to more than 59 million, on BLM lands since our oil and gas royalty system was last updated.
Today’s announcement starts a long overdue conversation about modernizing the way we develop our publicly owned oil and gas resources and the many values of our public lands. The Wilderness Society welcomes this news.”
The Wilderness Society is the leading public lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, TWS has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org