Washington, D.C. — The fox is guarding the henhouse at the U.S. Interior Department as a new committee led by energy corporations and trade associations is set to advise the government on its royalty collection policies, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.
The Royalty Advisory Committee, which meets for the first time on Wednesday, is stacked with companies that have actively avoided paying royalties owed to U.S. taxpayers, the column says. In fact, over the past 10 years, oil and gas companies represented on the committee as members or alternates, or that serve on the trade association boards, were responsible for more than half of all fines collected by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke created the committee to advise the federal government on its multibillion-dollar program to collect revenues from energy development on tribal lands. But it simply serves to empower an industry-led board with a self-dealing mission, says the column from Mary Ellen Kustin, CAP’s director of policy for public lands.
Read the column: “The Fox Guards the Henhouse: Zinke’s New Advisory Committee Adds Up for industry, Not Taxpayers,” by Mary Ellen Kustin.
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