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Oil from US government leases tops 1 billion barrels in 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. – U.S. officials say 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 shorter permitting times and technological advances drive development in new areas.

The Associated Press obtained the figures in advance of a planned Tuesday announcement by the Department of Interior.

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 increased to $7.5 billion in 2019.

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