February 15, 2007 - MARKEY ON CHEVRON, OTHERS UNDERPAYMENTS & NAT. RESOURCES HEARING ON ROYALITES TOMORROW AT 10AM

Tomorrow morning, the House Natural Resources Committee will hold the first full House committee hearing on the oil and gas royalties’ fiasco at the Department of Interior. 

 

Following a report in the New York Times last year that the Interior Department was dropping a claim against the Chevron Corporation indicating that it had underpaid royalties to the federal government by $6 million, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources Committees, sent a letter to the Secretary of Interior asking for clarification of Interior’s decision not to pursue the Chevron claim and how many other cases had been similarly dropped by Interior.  Rep. Markey received a response from the Minerals Management Service Director Johnnie Burton a few days ago.

 

In MMS’ response, Director Burton states that in addition to the Chevron case, Interior had decided not to pursue cases against Oryx and Apache to pay additional royalties totaling almost $900,000. 

Rep. Markey said, “The Department of Interior Inspector General has repeatedly exposed how badly the Minerals Management Service has overseen oil and gas activities on public land.  Interior and MMS should be sending a clear signal that all cheating on any royalty payments rightfully owed to taxpayers will be prosecuted to the fullest.  Instead the Department of Interior has chosen to roll over and let Chevron, and others off the hook.  MMS officials should not decide to forgo claims of millions of taxpayer dollars against before these claims can even be heard by an appeals board.  It is imperative that each and every one of these cases be carefully examined to determine whether big oil is paying its fair share to drill on public land.”

MMS Response of Chevron Underpaying Royalties.txt