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Tipsheet

Did You Catch Biden's Latest Move on Energy?

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

Heading into the weekend Friday the Biden administration announced the reopening and approval of oil and gas leases on federal lands, citing an assessment from November 2021. The move comes as energy prices continue to skyrocket for Americans. 

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"Today the Department announced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will post notices for significantly reformed onshore lease sales that prioritize the American people’s interests in public lands and moves forward with addressing deficiencies in the federal oil and gas leasing program," the Interior Department released. "On Monday, the BLM will issue final environmental assessments and sale notices for upcoming oil and gas lease sales." 

"The BLM assessed potentially available and eligible acreage in Alabama, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. It began analyzing 646 parcels on roughly 733,000 acres that had been previously nominated for leasing by energy companies," the statement continues. "As a result of robust environmental review, engagement with Tribes and communities, and prioritizing the American people’s broad interests in public lands, the final sale notices will offer approximately 173 parcels on roughly 144,000 acres, an 80 percent reduction from the acreage originally nominated."

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Given the process only applies to 20 percent of land available, it is largely symbolic as the Department continues to pursue a far-left alternative energy agenda and transition. 

Just last month the White House insisted a change was not necessary.

Update: The Biden administration is also hiking taxes on new leases according to Americans for Tax Reform.

With gas prices averaging $4.08 across the U.S., the Biden administration announced late Friday that it would increase taxes on oil and gas drilling on federal lands as part of its plan to resume lease sales.

The Interior Department announced in a press release that it will hike royalty rates charged to oil and gas companies operating on federal land to 18.75 percent, a near 50 percent tax increase from the current rate of 12.5 percent. This royalty rate hike will increase the cost of energy production on federal lands, cost increases that will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher gas prices and energy bills.

Biden’s tax hikes are accompanied by a significant reduction in the amount of federal land available for oil and gas development. The Interior Department’s plan will only allow 144,000 acres to be available for oil and gas production, a near 80 percent reduction in the amount of land originally analyzed by DOI for inclusion.

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