“We appreciate Interior’s efforts to adjust the federal oil and gas leasing program, as reflected in their recent announcement of resumed lease sales. The agency, in light of the recent rapid rise in oil prices, is finally beginning to modernize policies of great importance to our economic and social future. It’s high time to halt the underpriced giveaway of federal lands and mineral resources and reframe leasing to better serve American taxpayers, state treasuries, public land users, and the millions of citizens suffering accelerating harm from climate change. For years we have advocated that federal royalty rates should be raised to more closely match those charged by private landowners, and are glad Interior has finally done so after a century of stagnation. The energy world is changing, and time is running out to support states and communities that have nurtured the oil and gas industry for decades. Increased royalty rates will help ensure they get their due before the inevitable decline.”

– Bob LeResche, Powder River Board member from Clearmont, Wyoming