Federal government leases the least amount of federal oil and gas land since World War II


BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) — The federal government has leased fewer acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling since Joe Biden was president than it has in the first year and a half of any other administration since World War II.

Nationwide, President Biden’s Department of the Interior has leased less than 130,000 acres for drilling. That’s a 97% drop from the same point under the Trump administration.

In North Dakota, about a tenth of mining ownership is federal and, according to the Department of Mineral Resources, the moratorium could cost the state about $76 million in federal royalties by the end of Biden’s first term. .

“Much of this land is private land with a private surface, with just a small portion of federal minerals underneath. And if you don’t lease the federal minerals, you can’t drill the well, or you have to drill around the federal minerals,” said Ron Ness, chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.

North Dakota and other oil-producing states sued the Biden administration over the moratorium on land leases, and a federal judge ordered the leases resumed in June.

A lease auction was then held, but the administration increased the royalty rate by 50%, making the land less attractive to potential bidders.


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