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Trump’s Interior Raised $1 Billion More Revenue Leasing Fed Lands For Energy Development

Offshore oil platform is seen in Huntington BeachAn offshore oil platform is seen in Huntington Beach, California September 28, 2014. Brent oil prices fell more than $2 a barrel to less than $88 on Monday, its lowest since 2010, after key Middle East producers signalled they would keep output high even if that meant lower prices. Brent oil prices have tanked by nearly 25 percent since June as ample supply coincided with weak demand, raising the possibility that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries could cut output. Picture taken September 28, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Revenue generated from energy and mineral leases has increased by nearly $1 billion over 2016 levels, according to a Thursday Department of the Interior press release.

“Under President Trump’s American Energy Dominance agenda, we’ve increased energy funds by a billion dollars in our first year alone,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said. “That money goes right back to communities for things like public works projects, educational improvements, conservation and parks, and infrastructure upgrades.”

The Office of Natural Resource’s Revenue (ONRR) total disbursements for 2017 came to $7.11 billion, according to the DOI.

Roughly $1.44 billion went to states, $676 million went to private mineral rights owners and tribal governments, and $950 million went to the Land and Water Conservation Fund that uses offshore oil and gas leasing revenues to support state and local parks and conservation through grants.

The Trump administration has focused on opening more federal and offshore area to development as a part of its plan for “energy dominance.” Trump signed an executive order in April that opened 94 percent of offshore areas that former President Barack Obama had closed from development.

The Interior Department announced in October that the largest federal oil and gas lease sale ever held is scheduled for March 2018.

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