Energy generated on federal, tribal lands
BY SCOTT WEISER email@example.com
The Gazette, Colorado Springs
LOCAL & STATE
Colorado is getting $153 million of more than $18 billion in revenues generated by energy production on federal and tribal lands in fiscal year 2023, which ended on Sept. 30. Colorado ranked fourth in the amount of revenues doled out to the states, trailing New Mexico, Wyoming and Louisiana. The Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue said that the funds for states and tribes will help them pursue a variety of conservation and natural resource goals, including irrigation and hydropower projects, historic preservation initiatives, conservation of public lands and waters, and investments in maintenance for critical facilities and infrastructure on public lands. “Responsible natural gas and oil development continues to bring incredible economic and conservation benefits to communities across the nation,” said Stephanie Meadows, spokesperson for the American Petroleum Institute. “We are proud that the development of natural gas and oil, both onshore and offshore, allows the United States to reinvest back into important areas such as education, infrastructure and conservation.” The revenue represents about 12.5% of the value of the minerals extracted, according to the ONRR. The department said renewable energy programs on federal lands yielded nearly $600 million in revenues. This year, according to a news release from the department, $1.43 billion was distributed to Native American tribes and individual Native American mineral owners; $3.46 billion to the Reclamation Fund; $1 billion to the Land and Water Conservation Fund; $150 million to the Historic Preservation Fund; $379 million to federal agencies; and $7.09 billion to the U.S. Treasury. The office disbursed $4.72 billion in fiscal 2023 funds to 33 states. This revenue was collected from oil, gas, renewable energy and mineral production on federal lands within the states’ borders and offshore oil and gas tracts in waters adjacent to four Gulf of Mexico states’ shores. The revenues disbursed to 33 federally recognized tribes and approximately 31,000 individual Native American mineral owners represent 100% of the revenues received for energy and mineral production activities on tribal lands. As sovereign domestic dependent nations, tribes negotiate leases with private companies to extract their wholly owned natural resources, and the lease terms and amount can vary. The private companies remit the royalty, rent and other revenues to the ONRR, which does the accounting and makes sure payments are properly collected and disbursed, according to a spokesperson. Tribes use these revenues to develop infrastructure, provide health care and education, and support other critical community development programs, such as senior centers, public safety and youth initiatives. Since 1982, the department has disbursed more than $371.3 billion in mineral leasing revenues. ONRR makes most of these disbursements monthly from the royalties, rents, and bonuses it collects from energy and mineral companies operating on federal lands and waters.