Taxpayers are being shortchanged by a federal Oil and Gas leasing program that repeatedly undercharges fossil fuel companies, according to a Department of Interior assessment released on Friday. The department investigated the federal programme that sells leases to drill for gas and oil on federal land and in federal waterways after Biden signed an executive order shortly after entering office.
The study’s most devastating finding is that decades-old bureaucratic systems yield less cash for the federal government than they should and fail to account for the environmental costs of fossil fuel extraction.While some environmentalists applauded the news as a long-overdue first step toward revamping the programme,
Oil and Gas firms have active leases on 26 million acres of federal land and 12 million acres of federally managed ocean, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Federal lands and seas produced 23.6 percent of oil and 11.2 percent of gas in the United States in 2019. Half of the federal land under lease and the vast majority of offshore lease areas have yet to be drilled, implying that Oil and Gas corporations might continue to operate on federal leases for years even if new leasing ceased entirely.
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