Trump Cuts Oil & Gas Drillers’ Royalties On Public Lands; States Suffer

“Bureau of Land Management accused of giving a handout to rich corporations at the expense of states who depend on oil revenues”

“The oil and gas industry has been allowed to pay far less than usual to the government for the right to drill on public lands under a controversial Trump administration coronavirus relief policy, an analysis by a watchdog group and the Guardian reveals.

The Bureau of Land Management has granted economic relief for drilling on land leased by the energy giants BP and ExxonMobil, according to records from the bureau.

Drillers applied for and received significant reductions in the royalties they pay, or they got permission to suspend their leases, in what one industry group called a “rubber-stamp” process that didn’t consider whether companies needed the help. Records do not show whether the leaseholders or different companies operating on the leases applied for relief.”

Emily Holden reports for the Guardian September 4, 2020.