Oil Companies Escape Billions in Royalty Payments

by Project Censored
Published: Last Updated on

Researched by Kerry Headley and Rob Hunter

Twenty-four oil companies stand to avoid paying $60 billion in royalty revenue due to an oversight by the Department of the Interior, which issued leases that exempted the companies from paying royalties, regardless of the prevailing market price of oil. With oil now trading nearly 600 percent higher than it was when the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995 was signed, these companies will continue to extract very valuable energy from public land without paying any royalties to American taxpayers. In addition, an analysis by Friends of the Earth revealed that the gas and oil industry will receive at least $33 billion from tax loopholes, royalty rollbacks, direct subsidies for research and development and through accounting gimmicks. The analysis found that tax giveaways have increased dramatically since the passage of a Republican-drafted energy bill in 2005.

“New Analysis Finds $33 Billion in Taxpayer-Funded Giveaways to Oil Companies over Next Five Years” Nick Berning, Friends of the Earth, 7/31/2008http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0731-02.htm

“Oil Companies Escape Billions in Royalty Payments to Americans; Drilling Expansion Will Enrich US and Foreign Corporate Freeloaders” Tyson Slocum, Public Citizen, 7/30/2008 http://www.citizen.org/pressroom/release.cfm?ID=2711
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