Montana's federal energy payments rebound

Montana’s share of revenue from federal lands is on the rebound.

Payments to states for oil, coal and natural gas related activity on federal land was released Friday by the Department of Interior’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue. Indications are that payments to states as a whole set a record in the 2022 federal fiscal year when ended it in September. States unevenly spit $21.53 billion.

Montana’s share was $35 million for the federal fiscal year.

Monthly payment data shows that payments to Montana made January through September of 2022 were $27.7 million, enough to assure that energy revenue will not only return to pre-pandemic levels by year’s end but likely surpass 2019, which had been the best performer of the last eight years, although the long-term trend is downward.

Coal production royalties, rents, and bonuses, which account for two thirds of Montana’s revenue from federal lands, hit $18.4 million January through September of 2022, which with three months to go was the still larger than payments from any complete year since 2014.

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