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New Report Shows Economic Inefficiency of Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program, Resulting in Decades of Stockpiled Drilling Opportunities

The Conservation Economics Institute (CEI) finds that pausing oil and gas leasing on federal lands has a minimal effect on oil and gas production and employment but can help initiate an energy and economic transition.  

August 4th, 2021

One of the first Executive Orders issued by the Biden Administration in January of 2021 was a pause in federal leasing for oil and gas.  The temporary leasing pause was a component of policy changes aimed at helping solve our climate crisis and was issued to allow time for a comprehensive review of leasing and permitting policies.  Given the Department of Interior's jurisdiction over federal oil and gas leasing and permitting terms, public lands provide an opportunity for the federal government to implement a strategy for addressing the market failures that brought us climate change.  A pause in federal oil and gas leasing on public lands is a positive first step in addressing the economic and environmental issues associated with oil and gas production.  A federal leasing pause not only provides the federal government time to better plan our energy production on public lands, but importantly, also allows oil and gas dependent communities time to understand and plan for their economic development futures. 

Media Contacts:  

  • Jesse Prentice-Dunn, Center for Western Priorities,                  (303) 974-7761, jesse@westernpriorities.org

  • Anne Hawke, Natural Resources Defense Council,                   (646) 823-4518, ahawke@nrdc.org