Companies extracting oil, gas and coal from U.S. federal lands will see royalties due to the government increase if Hillary Clinton becomes the country’s next president, the candidate’s campaign said.
The current 12.5-percent rate would be raised to be in line with the 16 percent to almost 19 percent that some states already impose, in a promised move the Clinton campaign described as only “fair”.
Beyond that, Clinton would also determine new oil leasing on federal lands based on how fast renewable energy is developing—presumably to ensure that renewables outpace oil and gas. In other words, renewables would be given preference on federal lands.
It goes far beyond what President Barack Obama has done. Related: The U.S. Might Soon Lose Its No.1 Position In Petroleum Production
Clinton has discussed similar policy changes in the past, but this is the first time she has provided specific details of the proposal.
Environmental groups had been lobbying the likely Democratic nominee to ban all fossil fuel production on federal land in order to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump had made increasing oil and natural gas production on federal lands a centerpiece of his energy platform. He claims the move would release $50 trillion worth of “untapped” energy supplies into global markets and create sizable revenues for the federal government.
Trump’s plans also including removing regulatory obstructions in leasing lands for drilling purposes and revoking renewable energy subsidies.
Clinton’s plan would increase renewable energy production on government lands tenfold over the next decade, which she plans to implement by expediting the permit process for up and coming renewable energy projects. Military bases would also begin using more green energy. Related: BP Oil Cargoes in Limbo at Terminal as Venezuela Can’t Pay its Bills
The Natural Resources Defense Council endorsed Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, marking its first political endorsement in a presidential election, according to The Washington Post.
“Hillary Clinton is an environmental champion with the passion, experience and savvy to build on President Obama’s environmental legacy,” the group said in a statement. “More than any other candidate running, Hillary Clinton understands the environmental challenges America faces, and her approach to solving them is grounded in the possibility and promise our democracy affords us.”
Earlier this year, the Obama administration started a three-year moratorium on new leases for coal production on federal lands. In the meantime, the Department of the Interior will determine whether or not royalty rates will increase in order to make up for the environmental disadvantages of coal production.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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