WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Accountable.US released a new report revealing the oil industry only purchased 18% of the oil leases that they petitioned the Bureau of Land Management to sell. On the heels of one of the most significant gas price increases in history, Big Oil justified its price gouging by falsely claiming that Biden’s environmental and energy policies were to blame.
The industry initially nominated a whopping 700,000 acres of public land for expanded oil drilling, and the federal government held lease sales for 144,000 acres. Yet, when it came time for big oil to purchase the land to leases, it bought less than half of what was available. In Colorado, the industry purchased less than 300 of the nearly 2,500 acres available for lease despite nominating more than 140,000 acres for oil and gas leasing in the state.
Big oil spent months flooding the airways spreading false claims and scapegoating a supposed lack of ability to exploit public lands to justify their obscene price gouging of consumers struggling to fill their gas tanks. Big Oil was never sincere about ramping up domestic energy production to bring down costs for consumers."
Jordan Schreiber, Director of Energy and Environment at Accountable.US
Under the current federal oil and gas leasing system, the oil industry can flood the BLM with thousands of lease nominations – which can be made anonymously at no cost. When those lands are offered for lease, the industry can then take what it wants and leave the rest, making unsold leases available to be purchased noncompetitively for just $1.50 per acre.