The US government will offer oil and gas companies exploration rights to federal lands in at least eight states in June, according to sale announcements published on Monday.
These announcements come days after the Interior Ministry announced that it would resume bids to extract oil and gas from public lands, in a move that contradicts a promise made by President Joe Biden during the White House campaign.
Biden paused drilling auctions shortly after taking office last year, citing the need to study the program’s value to taxpayers and its impact on climate change.
But a federal judge ordered a resumption of the process last June after an appeal from Republican-led states. The tenders announced on Monday will take place online throughout the month of June, a full year after this court order.
In its announcement last week, the Home Office said it would go ahead with the auctions, but with a significant reduction in space and an increase in royalties for oil and gas companies.
The Bureau of Land Management, an arm of the Department of the Interior, said Monday it will tender 53,326 hectares to oil and gas companies in Wyoming, the largest scheduled tender. Initially, it was valued for auction over 220,000 hectares in the state.
The Wyoming auction, which will take place June 21 and 22, represents more than 90% of the more than 58,000 hectares the agency will bid during the month.
The agency also lowered the acreage it will offer in Colorado, Utah, Montana and Nevada from levels it said it was considering last year.
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