Biden Administration Takes Steps to Reform Oil and Gas Leasing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Interior (DOI) today released its long-awaited report on reforming the federal oil and gas leasing program, as directed in President Biden’s January 27 Executive Order that placed a pause on future leasing. 

DOI acknowledged that the antiquated federal onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing program needs reform. This report is narrowly focused on proposals for fiscal and process changes to leasing programs, including proposals to increase (or study ways to increase) royalty rates, increase minimum bids, rental rates and minimum bond amounts.

The following is a statement by Alexandra Adams, senior director of federal affairs for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“The agency is formally taking responsibility for and seeking to address something that has long been widely acknowledged: we have a broken and outdated leasing system.

“The administration and Congress must seize this opportunity to fix these problems. Beyond that, it is time to embrace critical climate and environmental reforms that will sustain our local communities and safeguard our incomparable oceans and public lands.”

For more, here is a blog by NRDC experts Josh AxelrodValerie Cleland and Lauren Kubiak.

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.

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