Biden administration seeks to raise the price to drill for oil and gas on public lands

The Biden administration called Friday for oil and gas companies to pay more to drill for oil and gas on public lands, arguing taxpayers are being short-changed by low rates that have stayed stagnant for more than a century.

In a long-awaited report, the Interior Department said the federal leasing program must be overhauled to deliver better returns for the public and avoid damage to the environment and wildlife. Still, the administration stopped short of urging a permanent end to leasing government land to drill for fossil fuels, despite pleas from climate change advocates.

“Our nation faces a profound climate crisis that is impacting every American,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a statement. “The Interior Department has an obligation to responsibly manage our public lands and waters, providing a fair return to the taxpayer and mitigating worsening climate impacts while staying steadfast in the pursuit of environmental justice.”

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