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oil and gas

News Brief

The U.S. Energy and Employment Jobs report came out Tuesday, showing an overall decline in energy jobs around the nation.

Before the pandemic, job numbers in the energy sector were growing twice as fast as the economy, according to the report. But by the end of 2020, about 840,000 jobs were lost (about 10%).

A photo of the exterior of the Washoe County School District administration building.
Paul Boger / KUNR Public Radio

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

News Brief

Oil production is ramping up on federal public lands despite President Biden’s promise to end new drilling. The Bureau of Land Management has signed off on roughly 2,200 applications for new projects so far and approvals are on pace to hit their highest levels since the last year of the Bush administration.

The Interior Department is asking Congress for $17.6 billion next year, about $2.5 billion more than this year.

An image of a sign outside Elko High School that reads "Elko High School Indians"
Wiki Commons

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Monday, June 14, 2021.

A Democratic firebrand in Congress has a new role overseeing the oil and gas industry.

California Rep. Katie Porter is known for her hard-hitting style. In her first two years in Congress, she grilled bank executives as a member of the powerful House Financial Services Committee. Now, as chair of the Natural Resources Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, she's doing the same to oil executives. 

There’s high drama in the oil world right now. Last year, we saw prices go negative as a glut took over the world. Annual production fell by record amounts. Last week, though, prices shot up after oil-producing countries decided they would keep production low.


 
Deb Haaland's road to lead the Department of the Interior has been rocky, with some members of Congress using her confirmation process to air grievances with President Joe Biden's climate change agenda.
 

On Tuesday, Montana Sen. Steve Daines and Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis, both Republicans, placed a procedural hold on her nomination, citing concerns about her positions on oil and gas development.

 

The Senate confirmation hearing for Deb Haaland, nominated to lead the Interior Department, began Tuesday. If confirmed, she'll be the nation's first Indigenous cabinet secretary and oversee federal public lands management and tribal affairs.

The Biden administration is considering an increase in royalty rates on oil, gas and coal development on public lands for the first time in more than a century.

 


 

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden ordered a temporary suspension of new leasing and permitting for oil and gas development on public lands. But the order will not apply to tribal lands.

Colorado regulators are now requiring oil and gas operators to monitor fracking emissions earlier and more often, and provide that data to local governments. Both industry officials and regulators supported the move. But concerns persist, like the fact that the rules allow oil and gas operators to choose how to monitor their own emissions. Regardless, environmental groups see Colorado as a leader in emission monitoring in the region and hope other states follow suit.

Last week, the Bureau of Land Management held its first oil and gas lease sales in months, netting more than $8 million from drillers eyeing public lands primarily in New Mexico.


As the coronavirus pandemic hammers oil prices, the number of "orphaned" or abandoned oil wells could grow. A group wants to enlist newly unemployed oilfield workers in addressing the problem.

 


An image of a single oil derrick situated in the open spaces and mountains of Utah.
Bureau of Land Management

A federal report out this week shows that the Bureau of Land Management has more than halved the time spent reviewing oil and gas drilling permits, a reflection of how the agency's priorities have shifted under the Trump administration.

On Monday, domestic oil prices dropped more than 200 percent, settling at -$14.05 by day's end; the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil price benchmark momentarily hit -$40.32. This marks the first time oil prices have ever dropped into the negatives.

A close-up image of a sage grouse, a wide, chicken-like bird.
Bureau of Land Management

A federal judge in Idaho has ruled against the Trump administration’s decision to limit public input when leasing the West’s public lands to oil and gas drillers. The decision voids five oil and gas leases in three states.

An image of oil drills on public lands.
Bureau of Land Management

On the 100th anniversary of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, the nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense published a report Tuesday calling for an increase in the royalty rate on publicly owned oil and gas.

President Donald Trump somewhat misrepresented his administration’s role in the expansion of domestic oil and gas production during his State of the Union address Tuesday. 

Recent data shows that the U.S. had more minable oil and natural gas reserves than ever before.

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