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Department of Interior distributes $18.24 billion in clean energy revenue

November 13, 2023

Revenue generated from energy production on federal lands and waters for fiscal year 2023 brought in the third-highest amount in two decades.
The Department of the Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) reported over $18.12 billion in revenue collected from energy and mineral companies, including royalties, rents and bonuses for operating on federal lands and waters. The office’s purpose is to distribute this revenue to states and federally recognized Tribes.
The revenue for FY 2023 is about an 18% drop from FY 2022, which saw over $22 billion in revenue generated mostly from offshore production. In the last 20 years, the highest amount of revenue brought in was over $24 billion in FY 2008.
Since 1982, the ONRR has allocated more than $371.3 billion in energy revenue. For FY 2023, the ONRR distributed more than $18.24 billion. States and tribes can use the funds to meet conservation and natural resource goals. Possible projects include irrigation, hydropower, preservation, public land and water conservation, and maintenance of critical facilities and infrastructure. Tribes can also use funds for infrastructure, health care, education and community-development programs.
About $4.72 billion of the revenue distribution is going to 33 states. The top five states receiving the highest payments are:

  • New Mexico: $2.93 billion
  • Wyoming: $832.86 million
  • Louisiana: $177.25 million
  • Colorado: $153.24 million
  • North Dakota: $132.66 million

New Mexico has previously used its oil and gas royalties to invest in its Land Grant Permanent Fund that goes to the state’s public schools, colleges and hospitals. The state saw an increase from FY 2022 when it received $2.74 billion in energy revenue disbursements. The state first exceeded $1 billion in energy revenue in FY 2019, and those revenues doubled from FY 2021 to FY 2022.
About $1.43 billion of the remaining revenue went to Tribes and Indian mineral owners, $3.46 billion went into the Reclamation Fund for irrigation and hydropower projects, $1 billion for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, $150 million to the Historic Preservation Fund, $379 million to federal agencies and $7.09 billion went into the U.S. Treasury.
All revenue generated from energy and mineral production on Indian lands went to 33 federally recognized Tribes and about 31,000 Indian mineral owners. For FY 2023, these activities generated $1.39 billion in revenue, according to ONRR data.
Revenue generated from similar programs have helped advance federal clean energy goals. The DOI and other agencies aim to increase the country’s production of renewable energy. In 2021, the DOI set a goal to create 30 gigawatts of new offshore wind energy. Recent efforts to achieve that goal include an Oct. 31 approval of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project for 2,600 megawatts of wind energy. That was the fifth project the DOI announced that collectively would create 5 gigawatts – enough to power 1.75 million homes – of renewable energy when all are operational.

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