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Project on Government Oversight

Public Interest Groups Oppose Oil & Gas Royalties In Kind Amendment

Related Content: Oil & Gas Royalty Revenue
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September 20, 2000

We are writing to express our opposition to the Oil and Gas Royalties in Kind (RIK) amendment to the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Oil companies are finally paying their fair share of royalties - payments for drilling on Indian and taxpayer-owned federal and lands - under a new rule implemented by the Interior Department starting in June 2000. The new regulations collect $72 million more owed annually for public education, the purchase of park lands, Native American tribes and the general treasury.

We are concerned that the RIK amendment would codify a vague definition of "fair market value," ignoring the progress made in the last royalty valuation fight and the evidence that strict guidance is necessary to avoid future fraud.

We are also concerned that this amendment was developed without the input or feedback of states, Indians, public interest groups and leaders in Congress who have championed full collection of oil royalties. The General Accounting Office and the Interior Department will complete assessments of the Royalty in Kind (RIK) program in 2001. Until those assessments are complete and key stakeholders are consulted through hearings and other information-gathering processes, Congress should refrain from making such substantial changes.


Ross Coen, Executive Director
Alaska Forum for Environmental Responsibility


John Richard, Executive Director
Center for the Study of Responsive Law
Clifford T. Honicker, Director
American Environmental Health
Studies Project Knoxville, Tennessee
Dr. Alyce Hill, Chair of the Board
Barbara Bode. Board Member
Kay Hollestelle, Executive Director & President
The Children's Foundation
Beth Moten, Legislative Director
American Federation of Government Employees

Gwen Lachelt, Executive Director
Citizens Oil & Gas Support Center
Durango, Colorado

Charles M. Loveless
Director of Legislation Department
American Federation of State, County
& Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Scott Harshbarger, President
Common Cause
Steve Holmer, Campaign Coordinator
American Lands Alliance

Sarah Gorin, Chair
Equality State Policy Center
Laramie, Wyoming
Ann Mills, Vice President for Conservation
American Rivers

Courtney Cuff, Legislative Director &
Gawain Kripke, Director of Economic Campaigns
Friends of the Earth - USA

J. Terrence Brunner, Executive Director
Better Government Association
Chicago, Illinois
Robert Dewey, Vice President of
Government Relations and External Affairs
Defenders of Wildlife

Danielle Brian, Executive Director
Project On Government Oversight
Louis Clark, Executive Director
Government Accountability Project
Joan Claybrook, President
Public Citizen

Bill Hedden, Utah Conservation Director
Grand Canyon Trust
Moab, Utah

Wenonah Hauter, Director
Public Citizen Critical Mass
Energy and Environment Program
Gary Cook, Climate Coordinator

Carla Din, Project Director
Rose Foundation for Communities
& the Environment
Oakland, California
James Turner, Executive Director
HALT: Americans for Legal Reform

Skip Roberts, Legislative Director
Service Employees International Union
Alan Septoff, Reform Campaign Director
Mineral Policy Center
Ralph DeGennaro, President and CEO
Taxpayers for Common Sense

Perry Shirley, Assistant Director
Navajo Nation Minerals Department
Window Rock, Arizona

Ann Hoffman, Legislative Director
Union of Needletrades, Industrial
and Textile Employees (UNITE)

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