December 9, 2009
House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04) sent a follow-up letter
to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar seeking answers as to why the Department decided to terminate the profitable royalty in-kind (RIK) program for collecting oil and gas royalties. A recent Department of Interior report
showed that the program generated over $106 million in benefits for the American taxpayer in 2008, raising the five-year total benefits from the program to more than $256 million.
“Earlier this year, President Obama directed members of his cabinet to identify $100 million in savings. Instead, Secretary Salazar went in the opposite direction and eliminated a program that generates over $100 million in benefits to the American taxpayer,” said Ranking Member Hastings. “As the President said, ‘$100 million there, $100 million here, pretty soon, even in Washington, it adds up to real money.’ I couldn’t agree more. That’s why, with our nation facing a $1.4 trillion deficit, it is absurd that the Interior Department would proactively choose to end a program that actually makes the federal government money. Americans deserve answers.”
On October 2, 2009, Ranking Member Hastings sent a letter to Secretary Salazar requesting information on the economic impacts of eliminating the program. No response has been received.
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