American oil, gas trade groups urge BLM to revise federal leasing regulations

September 22, 2023

The American Petroleum Institute (API) joined with 13 energy trade associations in calling on the Biden administration to prioritize the energy needs of the American people by developing fair and consistent federal leasing regulations. In comments submitted to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the associations reiterated the oil and natural gas industry’s longstanding record of responsible development of the United States’ vast natural resources but expressed concern over the damaging impact this rule could have on American energy security.

“Our nation and the world will continue to need reliable, affordable oil and natural gas to grow our economy, power our communities and serve as the foundation for broader opportunities for decades to come. Oil and natural gas production on public lands is a crucial part of the nation’s program for energy security and economic strength,” said API Vice President of Upstream Policy Holly Hopkins. “Because of the vital importance of energy production on public lands, overreaching land management regulations place our domestic energy supply at risk.”

In the comments, the associations raised concerns that the proposed rule overreaches BLM’s statutory authority, disregards Congress’s intent to preserve federal leasing programs and rejects existing robust planning and environmental review processes, allowing BLM to constrain onshore energy development on a case-by-case basis. The Associations urged BLM to revise the proposed rulemaking to ensure the American people can continue to reap the economic, energy security and environmental benefits of continued domestic energy production.

In addition to submitting comments on the proposed rule, API also provided a new economic analysis of the current onshore leasing program that quantifies the program’s extraordinary returns to the American public. Highlights from the analysis include:

  • In FY 2022, onshore federal oil and natural gas development supported nearly 250 thousand jobs, generated $19.4 billion in labor income, and contributed $36.7 billion to GDP.
  • In FY 2022, oil production on federal lands averaged 1.2 million barrels per day and marketed natural gas production averaged over 9 billion cubic feet per day.
  • Between FY 2013 and FY 2022, oil and natural gas production on federal lands generated a total of $35 billion in disbursement revenue from bonuses, rents, and royalties, averaging approximately $3.6 billion per year.
  • 53% of this disbursement revenue, totaling more than $19 billion, went to the federal government or programs, while state and local governments received the remaining 47%, totaling $16 billion.
  • In FY 2022, federal oil and gas development in the five highest producing states supported more than 170,000 jobs and more than 75,500 jobs in other U.S. states mainly through the supply chain and other purchasing.
    • New Mexico: 105,300 jobs
    • Wyoming: 24,400 jobs
    • Colorado: 21,000 jobs
    • Utah: 11,200 jobs
    • North Dakota: 10,000 jobs

Signatories on the comments include:

  • American Petroleum Institute
  • Alaska Oil and Gas Association
  • American Exploration and Production Council
  • Colorado Oil & Gas Association
  • West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association
  • Independent Petroleum Association of America
  • Montana Petroleum Association
  • New Mexico Oil and Gas Association
  • North Dakota Petroleum Council
  • Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma,
  • Permian Basin Petroleum Association
  • Utah Petroleum Association
  • Western States Petroleum Alliance
  • Petroleum Alliance of Wyoming
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