The royalty compromise

If it were true that the US oil industry had profited for many years from underpayment of federal royalties, the industry would surely resist change to the royalty system. But that is not the case.Indeed, the industry wants a new method for valuing oil for royalty calculations at least as much as the government does and readily supports change. This isn't the behavior of an industry engaged in long-term fleecing of taxpayers.Contrary to isolated bleatings from Congress, the issue of royalty oil valuation involves no scandal. It involves controversy. It involves litigation. It involves cases in which royalty payers, in fact, did cheat. It also involves cases in which royalty payers accu...

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