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Tribes, states object to Interior's lack of audits

An association of tribal and state auditors wrote a letter to House lawmakers last week, saying they are losing their share of oil and gas revenues because the Interior Department has cut back on audits of energy companies.

The tribes and the states depend on royalties collected by Interior. But they say the department is letting energy companies submit "compliance reviews" instead of auditing the companies.

"Compliance reviews do not involve getting underneath the reported information to look at company books," the letter stated, according to The New York Times. The tribes and the states say there is no way to know whether the information reported by the company is accurate.

The New York Times has written a series of stories about the Bush administration's lax oversight of the oil and gas industry. Hundreds of millions of dollars, and potentially billions, have been lost as a result, the paper said.

Get the Story:
Fewer Audits Being Done of Oil Leases on U.S. Land (The New York Times 3/1)

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