U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources

01/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/21/2021 16:30

Westerman Opposes Moratorium on Federal Leasing Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 21, 2021
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Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) issued the following statement on the Department of Interior's (DOI) 60-day ban on oil and gas leases on all federal lands and waters:

'The U.S. federal government owns and controls roughly 640 million acres of land across the country, much of which is rich with natural resources. Locking it up and throwing away the key would be a huge mistake. President Biden has openly supported banning all mineral leasing on federal land, and this temporary moratorium only creates more uncertainty. We can sustainably use these resources in a way that guarantees a strong economy and American energy independence. Prohibiting all federal land leasing would eliminate countless jobs and public services supported by federal energy development in rural communities.'

Background

The DOI disbursed roughly $8.08 billion in revenues from energy production on the Outer Continental Shelf and on federal and American Indian lands in FY2020, $1.81 billion of which was distributed to 34 energy-producing states. States and local communities utilize these revenues to fund public services, including local schools, public universities, environmental and coastal restoration and infrastructure projects.

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