WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Energy and mineral production on federal and tribal land generated $7.1 billion in disbursements in fiscal year 2017, $1 billion more than the previous year, the U.S. Interior Department said on Thursday.
*Interior attributed the increase in disbursements to a larger number of lease sales totaling higher acreage, efforts to streamline permitting and reduce regulatory burdens, and higher oil and gas prices experienced during the year.
*Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue disbursed $1.44 billion to five western states, $676 million to tribal governments and individual mineral rights owners and $950 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports state and local parks.
*”As the administration continues to cut red tape and end the overregulation of responsible energy development, we will be able to direct more funds to local communities and create more good-paying American jobs,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said.
Reporting By Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Andrea Ricci