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Interior to give away $7B in oil and gas royalties

The Interior Department plans to give up $7 billion in oil and gas royalties between now and 2011, according to new projections contained in the fiscal year 2007 budget.

The New York Times said Interior will allow energy companies to drill about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas on federal lands without paying any royalties at all. But members of Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, are questioning the "royalty relief" program, as it is known, due to record high prices of oil that made for record energy industry profits.

"I don't think there is a single member of Congress who thinks you should get royalty relief at $70 a barrel" Rep. Richard Pombo (R-California), the chairman of the House Resources Committee, told The New York Times.

The story doesn't say whether royalty incentives are being provided for drilling on Indian land.

Get the Story:
U.S. Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies (The New York Times 2/14)

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