Federal Oil and Gas Revenue: Actions Needed to Improve BLM's Royalty Relief Policy, Statement of Frank Rusco, Director, Natural Resources and Environment, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, Committee on Natural Resources, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 312KB]

From the GAO (Government Accountability Office) Highlights: "BLM [Bureau of Land Management] manages the federal government's onshore oil and gas program with the goals of facilitating safe and responsible energy development while providing a fair return for the American taxpayer. In April 2020, oil and gas producers faced financial challenges from a drop in demand for oil during the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic. If oil and gas prices decline, it places financial stress on oil and gas companies, thereby increasing bankruptcies and the risk of wells being shut down. BLM developed a temporary policy to provide oil and gas companies relief from royalties that they owe to the federal government when they sell oil and gas produced on federal lands. This testimony discusses (1) BLM's development of the temporary policy for royalty relief and what is known about the policy's effects, and (2) BLM's implementation of this policy across relevant states. To do this work, GAO reviewed BLM documents; analyzed royalty data; and interviewed BLM officials from headquarters and the five BLM state offices with jurisdiction over states that account for 94 percent of royalties from oil and gas production on federal lands."

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