Biden increases crude oil royalty rate, scales back leases

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration is sharply raising rates for royalties companies must pay for oil and natural gas extracted from federal lands as it moves forward under court order with sales of public fossil fuel reserves in nine states.

The royalty rate for new leases will increase to 18.75%, from the current 12.5%. That’s a 50% percent jump and marks the first increase in decades.

Friday’s Interior Department announcement comes as Republicans pressure President Joe Biden to expand U.S. crude production and rein in higher gasoline prices contributing to record inflation. Biden also faces calls from within his own party to do more to curb fossil fuel emissions that are heating the planet.

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