Free Gold? Report Notes Billions in Lost Revenue from Oil, Gas Extraction on Federal Lands

Country: United States
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The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has just released a report on oil, gas and mineral sales administered by the U.S. federal government on 700 million acres of federal lands and 1.8 billion acres below offshore waters – a report prepared in response to a congressional request filed last year by Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

According to a statement jointly issued by Rep. Grijalva and Sen. Udall, the GAO report highlights major gaps in federal government reporting, “billions of dollars in lost public royalty revenue from oil and gas extraction on federal lands,” and the urgent need for hardrock mining reform. (Currently, hardrock mining activities are governed by an 1872 statute that levies no royalty whatsoever on gold, silver, copper and uranium mined from federal lands. Is there any other country in the world that gives away gold?)

Rep. Grijalva and Sen. Udall also called for congressional action and U.S. Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative implementation to improve the disclosure of information on federal oil, gas and mineral assets, and the rate of return to U.S. taxpayers from their sale. “It’s only fair that companies benefiting from access to public lands pay their fair share,” Rep. Grijalva noted.

Rebecca Morse is RWI Advocacy Officer.

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