Interior Department Announces FY 2021 Disbursements, Providing Funds for States, Tribes and Conservation Initiatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior recently announced that the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) disbursed $8.78 billion in Fiscal Year 2021 from energy production on federal and tribal lands, and offshore areas. These disbursements provide funds for states and tribes to pursue a variety of conservation goals, including irrigation and hydropower projects, historic preservation initiatives, and efforts to protect public lands and waters.

Since the start of Fiscal Year 2018, renewable energy from geothermal and wind leases has generated over half a billion dollars in disbursements. As additional leasing for offshore wind takes place and projects become operational, these disbursements will increase, which underscores the promise that investing in clean energy projects has for communities across the country.

This year, $975 million was distributed to tribes and individual Indian mineral owners; $1.49 billion to the Reclamation Fund; $976 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF); $150 million to the Historic Preservation Fund; $302 million to federal agencies; and $2.71 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

ONRR also disbursed $2.18 billion in Fiscal Year 2021 to 33 states. This revenue was collected from oil, gas, geothermal and mineral production on federal lands within the states’ borders and from offshore oil and gas tracts in federal waters adjacent to their shores. The Gulf producing states and coastal political subdivisions will receive disbursements of Fiscal Year 2021 qualified revenues in Fiscal Year 2022, as required by the legislation.

New Mexico, for the fourth straight year, received the highest disbursement of all states. The top states receiving Fiscal Year 2021 disbursements were:

  • New Mexico – $1.1 billion
  • Wyoming – $479.89 million
  • Louisiana – $113.48 million
  • Colorado – $90.88 million
  • North Dakota – $83.39 million
  • Texas – $73.12 million
  • Utah – $55.14 million
  • Mississippi – $37.74 million
  • California – $37.05 million
  • Alabama – $35.21 million
  • Alaska – $30.30 million
  • Montana – $19.23 million

The revenues disbursed to the 33 federally recognized tribes and approximately 31,000 individual Indian mineral owners represent 100% of the revenues received for energy and mineral production activities on Indian lands. Most revenues for Indian tribes and allottees are disbursed through the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration. Some Indian tribes have direct payment authorization from the Department of the Interior and receive their energy and mineral revenues directly through an established lockbox deposit account. Tribes use these revenues to develop infrastructure, provide health care and education, and support other critical community development programs, such as senior centers, public safety projects, and youth initiatives.

Energy and mineral revenues are collected, accounted for, analyzed, audited and disbursed by ONRR. These revenues are generated from energy and mineral leases and other monies owed for the use of public resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf and onshore federal and American Indian lands.

Since 1982, ONRR has disbursed more than $331.56 billion in mineral leasing revenues. ONRR makes most disbursements monthly from the royalties, rents and bonuses it collects from energy and mineral companies operating on federal lands and waters.