LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Five pieces of land in Nye County are part of the first lease sale for drilling on federal lands since President Joe Biden took office.
A news release from the Bureau of Land Management’s Nevada office on Monday indicates the parcels total 2,650 acres to be offered at the online oil and gas lease sale scheduled for June 14.
And the federal government is increasing its royalty rate by 50%.
The BLM has been charging 12.5% royalties on oil and gas leases before Monday’s announcement. The new rate is 18.75%.
Biden suspended new leasing immediately after taking office in 2021. The sale is moving forward after U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty ended the pause on new leases, saying Department of Interior officials had offered no “rational explanation” for canceling them.
The Biden Administration has been under pressure to increase energy production as the war in Ukraine continues.
The Nye County parcels — on land managed by the BLM’s Battle Mountain District Office — are part of 225 square miles of federal lands primarily in the West that were offered for sale on Monday. The available lands are about 80% less than originally anticipated by the oil and gas industry.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.