Watching Government
Royalty rancor

The oil industry won a razor-thin but significant victory on oil royalties the other day in the US Senate.But the debate was debased with misinformation and anti-oil bashing not seen here for a decade.For the past 2 years, the US oil industry has been trying to persuade the Minerals Management Service to modify a pending rule that changes the way royalties are calculated on oil production from federal lands.MMS has been intransigent on some of the key issues, so last year oil-state senators amended the Department of the Interior spending bill, blocking MMS from issuing the rule until a compromise was reached. That moratorium was due to expire Sept. 30.When Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex...

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