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Trust
DOI accused of hindering probe into oil and gas royalties


Two Republican leaders on the House Government Reform Committee are accusing the Interior Department of concealing information about the giveaway of billions of dollars in oil and gas royalties.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Virginia), the chairman of the committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California), the chairman of the investigations subcommittee, wrote a letter to Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Thursday. They said Interior has been withholding e-mails and documents critical to understanding the billion-dollar windfall seen by energy companies for drilling in the Gulf Coast.

Davis and Issa said someone at Interior may have intentionally altered contracts with oil companies to ensure they won't have to share all their royalties with taxpayers. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, $2 billion has already been lost and $8 billion will be lost by the time the leases have expired.

Get the Story:
Congressmen Question Oil Windfall (AP 8/3)
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