April 16, 2024 |

Photo – A Wyoming wind farm – Bigfoot99 file photo

Governor Mark Gordon is criticizing an announcement from the Department of Interior last week that will increase the costs to oil and gas companies seeking to drill on federal lands.

The Interior Department raised the cost for oil and gas companies to drill on public lands, raising leasing fees and royalty rates for the first time in decades, a move justified as generating more money for taxpayers and ensuring adequate cleanup costs.

Interior officials said the final rule is the first update to the oil and gas leasing program, and the first update to the so-called “bonding requirement” since 1960.

The White House increase on the cost of drilling on public lands comes when core inflation stands at 3.5 percent not including the price of groceries and gasoline.

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon used the following statement: “If there was any doubt, it could not be clearer now that the Department of Interior has lost its way.”

The governor noted that new rule from the Biden White House will increase costs to Wyoming’s industry by 1400%.

One day prior to announcing the hike on oil production costs, the White House announced a rule reducing fees for wind and solar development.

In a statement Monday, Governor Gordon said the White House is hurting American consumers and hurting Western landscapes.

America surely needs more energy, including from renewable sources, the governor said in a lengthy statement. “What our country does not need are policies that greatly reduce the return to our nation’s taxpayers while simultaneously increasing the impacts and burdens on states and communities. We don’t need policies that increase the costs to consumers while also reducing reliability, or rules that sharpen the threat of industrializing our open spaces and crucial wildlife habitat without recognizing the importance of balance in our energy portfolio. These policies should seem misguided to most Americans of every stripe who love our country. Instead of experience and practicality, DOI has doubled down on bias, dogma, and politics. America is suffering as a result.”

The governor called for a return to realistic, common-sense energy policies.

Katherine Sgamma, the president of the Western Energy Alliance, said in a statement, ““This is another rule by the Biden Administration meant to deliver on the president’s promise of no federal oil and natural gas.”

Interior officials estimate the new rules will increase costs for oil and gas drillers by roughly $1.5 billion between now and 2031, when rates could increase again.

American consumers will be stuck with paying the increase.

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