Energy development on public lands generated $12 billion in 2012

Offshore rigs such as these in the Gulf of Mexico pay federal royalties.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Energy development on public lands and waters pumped more than $12 billion into federal coffers in 2012, $1 billion more than the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“These revenues reflect significant domestic energy production under President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy and provide a vital revenue stream for federal and state governments and American Indian communities,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement.

Money from the extraction of oil, gas and coal from federal land is divvied up several ways, including substantial deposits into the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which purchases land to set aside for conservation.


More than $2.1 billion was sent to 36 states from royalties and other revenues collected on federal lands within their borders. Native American tribes received $718 million, up from $538 million in 2011

Another $24 million was collected earlier than in the past because of the government’s program to monitor reporting errors in real time rather than through later audits.