The dozens of onshore oil and gas lease sales planned in the United States for 2012 highlight a commitment to energy security, an official said.
The U.S. Department of Interior announced plans for 32 onshore oil and gas lease sales in the United States, starting with an auction planned next week in New Mexico.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said while President Barack Obama has ambitious plans for renewable energy, oil and gas will continue to play an important role in the U.S. energy portfolio.
"The Obama administration is moving ahead with a comprehensive energy plan for the country that is enhancing our energy security, creating jobs, and improving protections for our land, water and wildlife," Salazar said in a statement.
Last year, the federal government held 32 onshore oil and gas lease sales, generating around $256 million in revenue. A single lease for 111 parcels in North and South Dakota last year brought in more than $66 million alone.
North Dakota officials this week said oil production from the state passed the 550,000-barrel-per-day mark for the first time.
Energy hawks in the United States complain the government is too slow in granting access to domestic oil and gas fields.
Most of the lease sales planned for 2012 are in western and northwestern U.S. states.