Energy Development on Federal Lands Sends Billions to States
Posted December 8, 2020
Efficient, safe and responsible natural gas and oil development doesn’t just create jobs and produce the energy that powers our lives – it also funds the conservation programs and public services Americans across the country rely on.
Despite this year’s demand downturn, more than $8 billion from energy development on federal lands and waters in fiscal year 2020 will be disbursed to states and Native American mineral owners, providing funding for conservation programs, schools, infrastructure projects and other public services across the country, according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).
For decades, the natural gas and oil industry has directly contributed to outdoor recreation and environmental conservation, and critical public programs, not only in high-producing states but in communities across the country. From API’s Vice President of Upstream Policy Lem Smith:
“Onshore and offshore energy development has contributed incredible amounts of funding for public programs through the ONRR, including more than $320 billion in mineral leasing revenues over the past four decades. Policymakers should continue to support oil and natural gas development on federal lands and waters to meet our shared goals of investing in American jobs, benefiting the public through conservation programs and strengthening American energy security for generations to come.”
These findings are the latest in a string of reasons why a federal leasing and development ban wouldn’t just threaten America’s energy security and economic growth, it would undermine environmental progress and harm our communities.
Recent analysis prepared for API by OnLocation, found that local economies in the Gulf Coast region rely heavily on natural gas and oil development in federal waters. If Gulf of Mexico leasing and development stopped, more than 200,000 jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the states would be at risk.
Offshore energy development is also the primary revenue driver for America’s most extensive federal conservation program. Revenues from offshore natural gas and oil development fund most of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, supporting and protecting national parks and wildlife habitat.
Policies that support natural gas and oil production on federal lands and waters are imperative for maintaining these vital economic benefits and conservation programs.
About The Author
Jessica Lutz is a writer for the American Petroleum Institute. Jessica joined API after 10+ years leading the in-house marketing and communications for non-profits and trade associations. A Michigan native, Jessica graduated from The University of Michigan with degrees in Communications and Political Science. She resides in London, and spends most of her free time trying to keep up with her energetic Giant Schnauzer, Jackson.