Tester Statement on Oil and Gas Leasing Executive Order

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Administration signed an executive order placing a one-year moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land and ordering a comprehensive review of federal leasing practices:

“These lands belong to taxpayers, and with less than half of currently leased acres producing, we need to ensure Montanans are getting a fair return for the natural resources on their property. The federal government should not be wasting taxpayer dollars on bureaucratic red tape or thousands of unused leases, but that effort cannot come at the expense of Montana jobs. That’s why I’ll hold the Biden Administration accountable to completing a review in a timely manner.”

In Fiscal Year 2019, Montana had 1.91 million leased acres of land with 671,464 acres producing, which is just over a third. In Montana, there are 1,385 producing leases of 2,759 total.