Biden Administration Proposes Reforms to Oil and Gas Leasing on Public Lands

WASHINGTON  – The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a proposal today to reform several aspects of onshore oil and gas leasing. The changes include increases to royalty and bonding rates, ending non-competitive leasing and several other measures intended to boost taxpayer returns, hold industry more accountable for cleaning up drilling sites and implement parts of the Inflation Reduction Act.

The following is a statement by Josh Axelrod, senior policy advocate for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council): 

“The Biden administration is recognizing that over a century of business as usual by the oil and gas industry is incompatible with a world being ravaged by climate change, a crisis induced primarily by the industry itself.

“These changes were badly needed—to put it mildly—and will help make onshore leasing more fair to taxpayers and hold industry accountable for its harms. The agency is aiming to limit leasing to areas with existing development and the most viable resources, and is clarifying how it will implement fiscal reforms in the Biden administration’s historic climate law. But we can’t continue to lease our public lands for fossil fuels while facing climate and biodiversity emergencies—and what is truly key moving forward is for the agency to forge an approach for measuring and mitigating the program’s impact on climate.”

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Established in 1970, NRDC uses science, policy, law, and people power to confront the climate crisis, protect public health, and safeguard nature. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, Beijing and Delhi (an office of NRDC India Pvt. Ltd). Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC. 

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