The Department of Interior delayed the effective date of a Trump-era rule that lowers the royalty burden on corporations extracting fossil fuels on public lands. Interior’s Office of Natural Resource Revenue finalized its Valuation Reform and Civil Penalty Rule on January 15, 2021, but has now delayed its effective date until November 1. We provided significant input on the review of the rule, helping guide ONRR’s decision to delay the rule and further examine its legality and impact.
Our March 2021 comments, which we submitted jointly with the Montana Environmental Information Center, Sierra Club, and Union of Concerned Scientists, identified flaws in the Trump-era rule, including the rule’s inconsistencies about whether it would increase fossil fuel production and other flaws in the cost-benefit analysis. ONRR cited these specific issues as part of its rationale for delaying the rule. During the coming months, ONRR will consider whether to revise or withdraw the rule.