WASHINGTON: Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) applauds Senators Rosen (D-NV) and Grassley (R-IA) on the introduction of the Fair Return for Public Lands Act of 2021. Autumn Hanna, vice president of the nonpartisan budget watchdog had the following statement on the introduction of the bipartisan bill:
It has been decades since the federal oil and gas leasing system has been overhauled. From the 100-year-old royalty rate to rental and minimum bid rates last raised under President Reagan, the fiscal policies that govern oil and gas leasing and production on federal lands have not kept pace with the times.
In our report Royally Losing, we found that in the last decade taxpayers lost up to $12.4 billion from the century old royalty rate. The Fair Return for Public Lands Act of 2021 bill would increase the federal onshore oil and gas royalty rate from 12.5 percent to 18.75 percent – in line with the federal rate for offshore drilling.
In the last two years more than half a million acres of federal land were leased for the minimum bid amount of $2 per acre. If the rate had been only $10 per acre, the rate set by Senators Rosen and Grassley’s bill, taxpayers could have received an additional $5 million in revenue.
We hope other Senators will support these important reforms and help ensure taxpayers receive a fair return on the resources we all own.