Biden administration reopens public lands for oil and gas drilling

On Friday, April 15, 2022, the Biden administration announced its plans to reopen public lands for oil and gas drilling for the first time since Biden took office in January 2021. The announcement is a result of pressure to expand US oil production as recovery from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have created a surge in oil prices. On Monday, April 18, leases for 225 square miles of land in the western United States will be offered for sale.

The royalty rates will increase to 18.75% from 12.5%, and the parcels for sale will cover 30% less land than originally proposed by officials in November, and 80% less land than originally nominated by the oil industry. The increased royalties and decreased land amounts stem from efforts to compromise between the need for more oil production to drive prices down and the need to protect the planet and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

To read more about the Biden administration’s decision, visit