Oil from federal lands tops 1B barrels as Trump eases rules

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FILE – This Jan. 16, 2015, file photo shows pumpjacks operating at the Kern River Oil Field in Bakersfield, Calif., which is overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Oil production from federally-managed lands and waters topped a record 1 billion barrels in 2019, according to the Department of Interior on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Oil production from federally-managed lands and waters topped a record 1 billion barrels last year.

That’s up more than 13 percent from 2018 as the Trump administration eases rules on the industry and technological advances push development into new areas.

Critics charge that the gains being made by energy companies come at the expense of the environment, with fewer safeguards to protect the land and wildlife from harm.

Oil production royalties collected by the government totaled $7.5 billion in 2019. That’s beneath record revenues in 2013, when crude prices topped $90 a barrel.

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