President Biden and Secretary Haaland:

Reform the Broken and Antiquated Federal Oil and Gas Program Now

For too long, the federal oil and gas program has put the oil and gas industry first, threatening wildlife, clean air and water, and frontline communities, while short-changing taxpayers and all who use and cherish the nation’s public lands.

Our leaders in Washington cannot let business move forward as usual. President Biden and Secretary Haaland both have an opportunity - and obligation - right now to change the way we manage public lands for oil and gas development. In late November 2021, the Department of the Interior (DOI) released a report making clear recommendations for how to reform the program governing oil and gas drilling on public lands, so the nation’s public lands can better serve everyone.

There is no time to wait - the Biden administration continues to move forward leasing on our public lands. The longer the status quo remains, the greater the risk is to our communities and our public lands.

The Interior Department should reform the oil and gas program by:

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Ensuring that public lands are managed to benefit all uses, including fish and wildlife conservation, outdoor recreation, and renewable energy development, not just oil and gas development;

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Modernizing the century-old royalty rates that oil and gas companies pay for resources they extract from public lands to ensure communities, whose taxes fund public lands, get their fair share;

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Requiring oil and gas companies to clean up after themselves, instead of sticking taxpayers with the bill;

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Stopping speculative leasing where there is little or no potential for oil and gas development; and

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Ensuring that Tribal Nations and the public are given equitable opportunities to weigh in regarding if and where oil and gas development happens on public lands.

These proposed reforms, which were recommended in DOI's report, reflect input from a diverse range of people, including frontline communities, environmental justice advocates, business owners, local community members, hunters and anglers, and industry executives. Many of these reforms enjoy broad support among westerners.

By updating the oil and gas leasing program, the administration can help to ensure that all communities and our public lands thrive for generations to come.

Join our efforts to reform the federal oil and gas program today!

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