Oil and Gas Leasing Reforms Will Benefit Wildlife, Public Lands, American Taxpayers

DENVER — The House Natural Resources Committee’s proposed Build Back Better Act provisions will modernize the nation’s outdated oil and gas leasing system for the benefit of wildlife, our public lands and waters, outdoor recreationists, and American taxpayers. The National Wildlife Federation heralded Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and the committee’s reforms as an essential facet of President Joe Biden and Congress’ historic infrastructure plan.

“This legislation begins to make the long-overdue reforms that our nation’s outdated oil and gas leasing system desperately needs,” said Mary Greene, public lands attorney for the National Wildlife Federation. “For too long, the American public has been short-changed because oil and gas companies have not been charged their fair share for the privilege of using our public lands for energy development. In addition, this legislation increases bonding rates so that oil and gas companies – not taxpayers – have to pay for the cleanup of abandoned oil and gas wells.”

The reforms put forth by the House Natural Resources Committee include increasing royalty rates, bonding rates, minimum bids, rental rates, and leasing fees. It would also eliminate noncompetitive leasing, which had allowed speculators to pay as little as $1.50 an acre for land that had little or no potential for energy development. 


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