Biden administration raises cost for oil and gas drilling on public lands for first time in decades

The Interior Department raised the cost for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands, raising leasing fees and royalty rates for the first time in decades, a move justified as generating more money for taxpayers and ensuring adequate cleanup costs.

Interior officials said the final rule is the first update to the oil and gas leasing program in decades, and the first update to the so-called “bonding requirement” since 1960.

President Joe Biden campaigned in 2020 on the promise of ending all new drilling on public lands, a pledge he has since backed away from as he has sought to balance his goals on climate with issues of energy security. Still, Interior’s new rule will spark pushback from oil and gas producers, who have argued Biden has whipsawed between urging
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