The Department of Interior announced Tuesday it would resume oil and gas lease sales on federal lands. The Biden Administration has had a moratorium on new lease sales since January 2021, instructing Department of Interior to conduct an internal review of the leasing program. A Louisiana judge ordered the agency to resume lease sales in June 2021, but the agency has been slow to begin the extensive process.
Parcels in New Mexico, Mississippi, Montana and North Dakota were part of this announcement. However, these areas are subject to the environmental analysis and scoping period with a 30-day window for public comments. Following this month-long public comment period, Interior will announce a Notice of Competitive Sale for available lands, which will take place 90 days after the notice is posted.
Although the announcement is a positive signal Interior plans to resume lease sales, the agency could use bureaucratic maneuvers to slow the process. The Council will continue to advocate for a complete reinstatement of the federal oil and gas leasing program until lease sales fully resume as legally required.
If you are interested in the Council’s advocacy efforts or would like to join the Government Affairs Committee, contact SVP Government Affairs & Counsel Tim Tarpley.
Deidre Kohlrus, Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, Council activities and more.