Energy and mineral production on federal and tribal land generated $7.1 billion in disbursements in fiscal-year 2017, $1 billion more than the previous year, the U.S. Interior Department said on Nov. 30.
Interior attributed the increase in disbursements to a larger number of lease sales totaling higher acreage, efforts to streamline permitting and reduce regulatory burdens, and higher oil and gas prices experienced during the year.
The Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue disbursed $1.44 billion to five western states, $676 million to tribal governments and individual mineral rights owners and $950 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports state and local parks.
"As the administration continues to cut red tape and end the overregulation of responsible energy development, we will be able to direct more funds to local communities and create more good-paying American jobs,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said.
Let’s hope policy aligns ambitious energy and climate goals with science and the realities of the energy complex.
Following a major wave of activist shareholder actions to push oil and gas companies—including Exxon Mobil and Chevron—to address climate change issues, Cornerstone’s Jack Belcher explores whether more permanent changes will emerge in any energy or climate legislation.
Major changes to public policies enshrined in legislation must make their way through a labyrinth of checks and balances, which might work in the oil and gas industry’s favor.