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Hastings Continues to Seek Answers from Secretary Salazar on Decision to Eliminate Profitable Government Program
President tells cabinet to save $100 million, but Salazar ends RIK program that makes $100 million

Washington, 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.”

Background

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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