U.S. doles out energy lease cash

Nov. 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said funds generated from energy leases in fiscal year 2013 help support conservation and recreation across the country.

The federal government disbursed more than $14.2 billion in revenue generated for energy leases in fiscal year 2013.

"[The Interior Department] offered 59 million offshore acres for energy exploration and production in fiscal year 2013 and is holding 30 onshore lease sales this year, offering nearly 5.5 million acres for energy production," she said in a statement Tuesday.

Jewell said the $14.2 billion in revenue disbursed for leases for public lands and offshore waters is a 17 percent increase from fiscal year 2012.

The Interior Department said the funds for federal, state, local and tribal accounts go to support conservation, recreation and historic preservation projects.

"The funding reflects significant energy production from public resources in the United States and serves as a critical revenue stream for federal and state governments and tribal communities," she said.

In August, the government said it sold acreage in the Gulf of Mexico that may contain as much as 200 million barrels of oil and 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

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