The Congressional Budget Office said falling oil prices were the cause of the projected decline in revenue from leases for energy exploration on Outer Continental Shelf. The government agency did not say the drop in revenue was due to any decline in actual energy production.
Oil prices settled around $42 a barrel Wednesday, down significantly from the record levels above $147 a barrel reached in July.
The Interior Department, which is responsible for collecting and distributing royalties, rent and bonuses for the use of federal lands for energy production, dispensed a record $23.4 billion during fiscal year 2008.
High energy prices and more than $10 billion in bonus bids paid for leases to explore the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska contributed to the record disbursement.