November 30, 2017 / 8:13 PM / a year ago

U.S. Interior Dept. says federal energy, mineral revenues rose by $1 billion

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke speaks at the Interior Department in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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

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