AXPC Participation in DOI Forum on Federal Oil & Gas Program

WASHINGTON – American Exploration and Production Council CEO Anne Bradbury released the following statement about AXPC’s participation in the US Department of the Interior’s forum today on the federal oil and gas program:

We very much appreciate the ability to participate from the perspective of onshore operators who take on considerable risk and investment to cultivate energy from federal oil and gas resources; we do not take lightly our responsibility to steward those lands.  Nor do we underestimate the importance of a fair return to the American people.

Development on federal lands requires substantial environmental analysis and multiple opportunities for public comment, all before development occurs. It is a lengthy and complicated process that includes everything from public comment to site visits to archeological and wildlife surveys.

Revenues from federal onshore oil and natural gas development provide billions of dollars in benefits to the American people, and our operations support hundreds of thousands of American jobs, and millions to local municipalities and state tax rolls. Additionally, our companies often voluntarily contribute millions of dollars to conservation efforts as part of their federal development projects.

The Interior Department has long recognized these realities in its management of the federal oil and gas program, which has proven essential to the US economy and provided a reliable revenue stream that underpins so many federal programs working to solve America’s challenges.

Oil and gas operators are highly conscientious of our relationships with the communities in which we operate. We are always seeking to learn more about how we can better serve and effectively engage these local stakeholders. We are sympathetic to concerns we hear from these communities that a move away from federal minerals has no demonstrable climate deliverable.  Rather it will devastate local jobs and businesses, as production just moves elsewhere.  Policy proposals that disproportionately impact local communities should be reconsidered.

The development of federal minerals has also contributed positively to the US response to climate change, through the progression of emissions reduction on federal lands and by supporting the increased use of natural gas.

We hope this is the first of many discussions amongst our industry and the Biden Administration about how we can work together to meet the dual challenge of addressing climate change and meeting global energy needs.

Americans receive substantial economic benefits from onshore oil and gas leases.

    • In 2019 alone, revenue from oil and gas production on federal lands totaled over $4.2 billion.[1] Not only in royalties, but nearly a third is comprised of bonuses, interest payments, fees, and rentals, …paid regardless of whether there is production.
    • Disbursements go not only to the federal treasury, but roughly half goes to state and local governments, a third to DOI’s Reclamation Fund, and millions to other federal accounts.[2]

Cutting off oil and gas development on federal lands does not reduce emissions. The US can continue to lead climate solutions through technology, innovation, and the promotion of the global use of US-produced natural gas. 

    • AXPC represents 8 of the 10 biggest natural gas producers in the United States.
    • Research points to the role that responsible development of federal lands can play as part of the broader solution, whereas stopping this development merely shifts production elsewhere and does nothing to reduce global emissions.
    • According to a 2018 USGS study, the extraction of oil and natural gas from federal lands accounts for just 0.6 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions,[3] an intensity that is proportionally much less than the sizable production and economic value these activities provide.
    • A recent study by OnLocation found that stopping leasing and development on federal lands and offshore would result in an increase in coal use by 15 percent and a 5 percent rise in carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector by 2030.[4]

About the American Exploration and Production Council:
AXPC is a national trade association representing the largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the United States. We lead the world in the cleanest and safest onshore production of oil and gas, while supporting millions of Americans in high-paying jobs and investing a wealth of resources in our communities. Learn more at


[1] Congressional Research Service R46537, Revenues and Disbursements from Oil and Natural Gas Production on Federal Lands
[2] Id.
[3] Federal Lands Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sequestration in the United States: Estimates for 2005- 2014, USGS, 2018.


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