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Climate Politics

Oil Drilling on Federal Land Gets a Rare Shake-Up in Climate Bill

  • Climate-and-tax bill would overhaul leasing, royalty rates
  • Lease sales would be required but now come at a higher cost

The climate-and-tax bill passed by the Senate would force oil companies to pay more for drilling on federal land and block them from stockpiling leases at rock-bottom prices, changes that conservationists and good-government groups have sought for years.

Supporters of the changes argue the current approach cheats taxpayers, with annual rental fees for some leased land sometimes amounting to less than the cost of a cup of coffee.