Natural ResourcesNatural Resources

Public lands and waters are taxpayer assets that Congress should manage to preserve their value, ensure a fair return from private interests using them for profit, and avoid future taxpayer liabilities. Yet much federal policy governing the use of these valuable public assets is based on grossly outdated laws. ...More

The General Mining Law of 1872 was partly intended to promote settlement of the West, but modern mining companies use it to extract valuable gold and copper from public lands without paying taxpayers a royalty. Taxpayers subsidize construction of forest roads intended primarily for profitable timber companies. Outdated federal policies for managing and pricing scarce water supplies in the West result in unintended taxpayer costs.

Congress and the Administration should establish rents, royalties, and fees for private development of public land so taxpayers receive a fair return.

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All the latest content from TCS in Natural Resources
Our Take

Upcoming Administrative Actions on Methane

February 26, 2015

Upcoming Administrative Actions on Methane In January, the White House announced a series of actions aimed at reducing emissions from methane, a potent greenhouse gas, including a goal... Read More

Comments on Competitive Process for Offering Lands for Solar and Wind Energy Development

December 15, 2014

Dear Director: Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) is a national, non-partisan budget watchdog organization. Our mission is to achieve a... Read More

Letters & Testimony

TCS Testimony on Flood Insurance for House Committee on Financial Services Hearing

November 19, 2014

Testimony of Steve Ellis Vice President, Taxpayers for Common Sense Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance Committee on Financial... Read More

Press Releases

Green Scissors Coalition Releases New Subsidy Database

November 17, 2014

Green Scissors Coalition Releases New Subsidy Database New, interactive database identifies environmentally-harmful government waste... Read More

Letters & Testimony

Cut Back Needless Fossil Subsidies in Energy and Water Bill

July 10, 2014

Cut Back Needless Fossil Subsidies in Energy and Water Bill The Green Scissors coalition urges support for the amendment offered by Rep. Jackie Speier to reduce the Fossil R&D account to FY 2014 levels.... Read More

Letters & Testimony

TCS Comments on the Fishery Conservation and Management Act Reauthorization

June 04, 2014

TCS Comments on the Fishery Conservation and Management Act Reauthorization On June 3, TCS wrote the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee to comment on the discussion draft of the Magnusson-Stevens... Read More

More in-depth material from TCS in Natural Resources
Reports & Data

Taxpayers are losing millions on natural gas extracted from federal land

November 19, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) within the Department of the Interior (DOI) manages both leasing on federal lands and leasing of federal... Read More


A Century of Subsidies for the Oil & Gas Industry

April 18, 2014

The oil and gas industry has been getting subsidies for almost a century. We can't afford special treatment for profitable companies. The time has come to end taxpayer subsidies for the industry.... Read More

Fact Sheets

Political Footprint of the Oil and Gas Industry Lobby

April 10, 2014

The federal government has been subsidizing the oil and gas industry through the tax code for nearly 100 years, wasting billions of taxpayer... Read More

Reports & Data

TCS Report: Real Savings, Real Deficit Reduction

December 12, 2013

Relieving Budget Caps with Common Sense Savings in Fiscal Year 2014... Read More

TCS appearances in the media in Natural Resources

Gulf States Battle for Drilling Proceeds

March 03, 2015 | The Hill

Gulf Coast lawmakers are up in arms over an Obama administration proposal to reduce the money that their states receive for offshore oil and... Read More

Gulf Coast Lawmakers Fighting Plan to Redirect Offshore Oil Revenue

February 23, 2015 | USA Today

WASHINGTON – Gulf Coast lawmakers are vowing to fight President Barack Obama’s proposal to “redirect” millions of dollars in oil and gas... Read More

NM at Center of Obama’s Climate-Change Proposal

January 22, 2015 | Public News Service

FARMINGTON, N.M. – New Mexico may be among the states most impacted by President Barack Obama's effort to regulate and reduce methane gas... Read More

Millions of North Dakota Tax Dollars Used Up & Burned Off

December 08, 2014 | Public News Service

BISMARCK, N.D. - The state's natural gas and oil boom is bringing in the dollars, but a new report says North Dakota and the nation are... Read More

Fueling Corporate Welfare

December 08, 2014 | Truth Out

Getting something for nothing is a pretty sweet deal — at least if you're the one getting something. Not so much if you're the one receiving... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

February 20, 2015

High Risk for Waste

Alert! The Government Accountability Office – the nonpartisan watchdog arm of Congress – has released its “High... Read More