Royalties Collection: Ongoing Problems with Interior's Efforts to Ensure A Fair Return for Taxpayers Require Attention

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) is charged with collecting and administering royalties paid by companies developing fossil and renewable energy resources on federal lands and within federal waters. To promote development of oil and natural gas, fossil resources vital to meeting the nation's energy needs, the federal government at times has provided "royalty relief" waiving or reducing the royalties that companies must pay. In these cases, relief is typically applicable only if prices remain below certain threshold levels. Oil and gas royalties can be ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 28, 2007.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) is charged with collecting and administering royalties paid by companies developing fossil and renewable energy resources on federal lands and within federal waters. To promote development of oil and natural gas, fossil resources vital to meeting the nation's energy needs, the federal government at times has provided "royalty relief" waiving or reducing the royalties that companies must pay. In these cases, relief is typically applicable only if prices remain below certain threshold levels. Oil and gas royalties can be taken at MMS's discretion either "in value" as cash or "in kind" as a share of the product itself. Additionally, MMS also collects royalties on the development of geothermal energy resources--a renewable source of heat and electricity--on federal lands. This statement provides (1) an update of our work regarding the fiscal impacts of royalty relief for leases issued under the Deep Water Royalty Relief Act of 1995; (2) a description of our recent work on the administration of the royalties in kind program, as well as ongoing work on related issues; and (3) information on the challenges to collecting geothermal royalties identified in our recent work. To address these issues we relied on recent GAO reports on oil, gas, and geothermal royalty collection systems. We are also reviewing key MMS estimates and data."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 28, 2007

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Royalties Collection: Ongoing Problems with Interior's Efforts to Ensure A Fair Return for Taxpayers Require Attention, text, March 28, 2007; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc291944/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.