DOI Publishes Review of the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program

On November 26, 2021, the Department of Interior published its Report on the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which was mandated by President Biden’s Executive Order 14008 (“Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad”). The report outlines deficiencies in the current program and identifies recommendations to modernize it. Per the report, DOI’s recommended reforms serve three primary goals:

“• Providing a fair return to the American public and States from Federal management of public lands and waters, including for development of energy resources;

• Designing more responsible leasing and development processes that prioritize areas that are most suitable for development and ensure lessees and operators have the financial and technical capacity to comply with all applicable laws and regulations; and

• Creating a more transparent, inclusive, and just approach to leasing and permitting that provides meaningful opportunity for public engagement and Tribal consultation.”