Interior Faces Fresh Pressure to Hike Royalty Rates

MOORPARK, CA - SEPTEMBER 23: Smoke blows past oil wells at sunset on the eastern flank of the 16,000-plus-acre Guiberson fire, burning out of control for a second day as Red Flag warnings continue in southern California on September 23, 2009 near Moorpark, California. A Red Flag warning means critical wildfire weather, based on a combination of high temperatures, low humidity and Santa Ana winds, is occurring. Several large wildfires broke out in triple-digit temperatures on the first of Red Flag warnings.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
Ben Geman
Dec. 19, 2013, 11:29 a.m.

Cap­it­ol Hill Demo­crats are press­ing the In­teri­or De­part­ment to force en­ergy com­pan­ies to send more money to the gov­ern­ment when they pro­duce coal, oil, and nat­ur­al gas on fed­er­al lands.

The Bicam­er­al Task Force on Cli­mate Change, a group of lib­er­al law­makers, said in a re­port that In­teri­or’s cur­rent policies “ef­fect­ively sub­sid­ize fossil-fuel de­vel­op­ment on pub­lic land” with roy­alty rates that are too low and coal lease terms that are too gen­er­ous.

“These policies are coun­ter­pro­duct­ive to the goals of the Pres­id­ent’s Cli­mate Ac­tion Plan be­cause they sub­sid­ize a high-car­bon en­ergy source at the very time the U.S. needs to re­duce its car­bon pol­lu­tion and be­cause they fail to provide tax­pay­ers with a prop­er re­turn on these pub­licly owned min­er­al re­sources,” states the re­port is­sued Thursday.

The call for high­er roy­al­ties is part of the group’s wider set of re­com­mend­a­tions to In­teri­or for ad­dress­ing cli­mate change, such as fo­cus­ing more of the U.S. Geo­lo­gic­al Sur­vey’s re­search on cli­mate sci­ence.

Rep. Henry Wax­man, D-Cal­if., and Sen. Shel­don White­house, D-R.I., lead the bicam­er­al group.

The re­port marks the second time this week that In­teri­or has come un­der fire for roy­alty policies that crit­ics call too friendly to­ward oil and gas pro­du­cers.

A Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­ab­il­ity Of­fice re­port re­leased Tues­day said reg­u­lat­ors have been slug­gish in up­dat­ing policies that have al­lowed on­shore oil and gas roy­alty rates to re­main stat­ic. Tax­pay­ers may not be get­ting a fair re­turn on the sale of en­ergy pro­duced on fed­er­al lands, GAO warned.

In­teri­or told GAO in a let­ter that it’s craft­ing a reg­u­la­tion that will give the de­part­ment “broad flex­ib­il­ity” to set the rates.

What We're Following See More »
PRESIDENT CALLS MEDICAID FUNDS A “BAILOUT”
Puerto Rico Another Sticking Point in Budget Talks
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump’s portrayal of an effort to funnel more Medicaid dollars to Puerto Rico as a "bailout" is complicating negotiations over a continuing resolution on the budget. "House Democrats are now requiring such assistance as a condition for supporting the continuing resolution," a position that the GOP leadership is amenable to. "But Mr. Trump’s apparent skepticism aligns him with conservative House Republicans inclined to view its request as a bailout, leaving the deal a narrow path to passage in Congress."

Source:
SHUT DOWN MISLEADING FALSEHOODS
Facebook To Cut Down On Govt-Sponsored Info Campaigns
5 hours ago
BREAKING

Facebook "outlined new measures it is taking to combat what it calls 'information operations' that go well beyond the phenomenon known as fake news" on Thursday. Facebook acknowledged that there are governments using its platform as a tool to launch propaganda information campaigns and "manipulate public opinion in other countries. ... Facebook suspended 30,000 accounts in France ahead of last Sunday’s first-round presidential election."

Source:
POTENTIAL GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
Democrats Threaten Spending Bill Over Obamacare
9 hours ago
BREAKING

Democrats in the House are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans expedite a vote on a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, said Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer Thursday. Lawmakers have introduced a one-week spending bill to give themselves an extra week to reach a long-term funding deal, which seemed poised to pass easily. However, the White House is pressuring House Republicans to take a vote on their Obamacare replacement Friday to give Trump a legislative victory, though it is still not clear that they have the necessary votes to pass the health care bill. This could go down to the wire.

Source:
IN 2014
Pentagon Warned Flynn Not To Accept Foreign Payments
11 hours ago
BREAKING
WOULD PUSH DEADLINE TO MAY 5
One-Week Spending Bill On The Table
11 hours ago
BREAKING

Members of Congress are eyeing a one-week spending bill which would keep the government open past the Friday night deadline, giving lawmakers an extra week to iron out a long-term deal to fund the government. Without any action, the government would run out of funding starting at midnight Saturday. “I am optimistic that a final funding package will be completed soon," said Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login