Watching Government
Royalty standoff

US Minerals Management Service Director Walt Rosenbusch faces an oil royalty rule controversy that, in many ways, is beyond his control.Last week, reporters questioned Rosenbusch, who took office 6 months ago, about the rule at a press conference, but restrictions in the Administrative Procedures Act limited him to very general replies.The oil industry and MMS have been at odds for more than 3 years over the frequently revised rule. Industry wants a simple rule that values oil production at the lease. MMS says lease prices don't reflect the true value of the crude, which is determined downstream.The issue is stalemated, and oil-state congressional representatives have attached moratori...

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