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Policy Impacts

Improving the Government’s Valuation of Natural Resources

Policy Integrity’s multi-year effort to improve federal natural resource leasing programs has made a significant impact. We have successfully pushed for multiple federal agencies to consider climate impacts in leasing and permitting decisions and use more rational royalty rates. For example, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) made extensive changes to its consideration of climate change in its five-year leasing plan in response to our comments, report, and policy brief; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit adopted and cited the arguments in our amicus brief in a decision that calls for considering climate impacts in drilling permit decisions. Our staff have also testified in front of congressional committees to explain how to better account for climate effects in leasing decisions. 

Additionally, we have successfully advocated for government leasing policies to account for “option value,” a common financial concept that places value on delaying irreversible decisions in order to gain more information. We have suggested policy changes through an academic article, a lawsuit, and numerous public comments, and the Department of the Interior has paid attention.