December 15, 2006

Rules of the Game Report: Oil Royalties

Filed under: Business Moves,Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:39 am

If this is true (free registration may be required), the Uncle Sam’s enforcers need to let it rip:

Report Says Oil Royalties Go Unpaid

An eight-month investigation by the Interior Department’s chief watchdog has found pervasive problems in the government’s program for ensuring that companies pay the royalties they owe on billions of dollars of oil and gas pumped on federal land and in coastal waters.

In a scathing report to Congress, the Interior Department’s inspector general says the agency’s data are often inaccurate, that its officials rely too heavily on statements by oil companies rather than actual records and that only about 9 percent of all oil and gas leases are being reviewed.

The report undermines claims by top Interior officials that the department is aggressively pursuing underpayments and outright cheating by companies that drill on property owned by the American public.

The Times’ distortions during the aftermath of the Sago Mine deaths in January and the Times’ total misread, and refusal to let go, of the personnel reductions in the death-tax auditing area at the IRS are enough to make one skeptical that things are as bad as portrayed in this instance.
But if true, aggressively pursuing collection of what the government is legally owed would be a totally proper way to “extract” money from oil companies. Maybe then Congress could lay off the punitive and economy-hurting “windfall profits” baloney.

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2 Comments

  1. Of course you have to “assume” the reason this has occurred is because of weak executive management by the White House and poor oversight by the Republican controlled Congress. Nancy will sweep it clean and rite the ship.

    Comment by Brian — December 15, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

  2. #1 glad you cleared that up. :–>

    Comment by TBlumer — December 15, 2006 @ 11:20 pm

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