The Interior Department said it’s moving forward with the first onshore sales of public oil and natural gas drilling leases under President Joe Biden, but will sharply increase royalty rates for companies, reports the Associated Press.
The royalty rate for new leases will increase to 18.75% from 12.5%. That’s a 50% jump and marks the first increase to royalties for the federal government since they were imposed in the 1920s.
Biden suspended new leasing just a week after taking office in January 2021. A federal judge in Louisiana ordered the sales to resume, saying Interior officials had offered no “rational explanation” for canceling them. Read the entire story.