Government gets 'record' revenues from energy companies

Fuel Fix:
The federal government collected a near-record haul in fees and royalty payments from oil and gas drilling on public lands and U.S. waters during the last fiscal year, the Interior Department announced Tuesday.

All told, the Interior Department collected and disbursed more than $14.2 billion in revenue tied to energy development on public lands and waters during the fiscal year that ended on Oct. 1 — marking the second-highest level ever and a $2 billion boost over the previous year.

The surge in revenues partially reflects a surge of interest in drilling in both the Gulf of Mexico and onshore, as energy companies use hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to access previously inaccessible oil and gas reserves.

But the increase also is connected to the way the federal government recorded bonus bids from three auctions of Gulf of Mexico oil and gas leases over the past two years, including two that took place during fiscal 2013. The government’s $2.8 billion take in the bonus bids includes those from a third auction that took place in fiscal 2012 but effectively did not hit the books until later, in fiscal 2013.

The government also hiked offshore royalty rates six years ago — a decision that might begin to pay off in coming years as energy companies begin producing oil and gas from leases sold under the new fee structure.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell stressed that the drilling dollars helped support conservation programs and local governments.
These revenues are a pittance compared to available resources if the Democrats would get out of the way in developing them.  The government is blocking drilling in a huge shale deposit in Nevada.  It si blocking drilling in ANWR as well as east and west coast offshore drilling.  This is part of the Democrats' artificial scarcity strategy trying to make alternative energy look more competitive.   In the process they are exporting energy jobs to countries that do not have our interest at heart.


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