Daily Archives: December 12, 2006

Trusting Oil Companies Is Expensive

Having a corporatocracy running the govt for 6 years means the loss of $$$Billions of $$$ of taxpayer money doled out in corporate welfare, we all know that, but the oil companies have been specially blessed, not just by regulatory changes in their favor and tax breaks meant for hard times raking in $$$hundreds of millions$$$ at a time when oil company profits are the highest they’ve ever been but by inaction in collecting the taxes everybody, even them, admits they owe.

The cozy relationship between the Bush Admin and energy corporations (among others) turns out to mean, among other goodies, that ex-Interior Secretary Gale Norton was uninterested in collecting all the royalities oil companies owed the Treasury for their Gulf harvesting operations, royalties worth $$$Billions$$$. In the Bush spirit of “co-operation and trust” with Big Business, Interior Sec Norton decided to take the oil companies’ word for what they owed and it turns out [shock! awe!] they lied!

Whistleblowers have testified to the service’s shortcomings, and last week, the Interior Department’s inspector general said that the service relied too heavily on statements by oil companies, instead of independent audits that would give a more accurate account of production and royalties owed.

Oops.It’s bad enough that the sloppy Clinton-era negotiation of the Gulf leases left a loophole that’s already cost us $$$1.5Billion$$$ in lost revenues but for Bush&Norton’s Interior Dept to allow the oil companies to decide what they owed adds insult to injury.