Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) president Steve Ellis had the following statement on today’s announcement on a process for review of conventional energy programs:
TCS applauds the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for announcing plans to hold a public forum to hear from diverse stakeholders on the state of our oil and gas leasing system.
This forum must be used as an important step towards managing our nation’s resources in a more transparent and strategic manner. Taxpayers cannot afford to be saddled with additional long-term liabilities from reckless development. All Americans own these resources extracted from federal lands and waters and must be ensured a fair return for them.
TCS has frequently documented the need for better management and fairer, more updated policies to govern the leasing of federally owned resources. This forum will be a welcome review in light of federal onshore oil and gas royalty rates that have not been updated since the 1920s, and a broken leasing system that gives industry an unfair advantage and shortchanges the taxpayer. Leaving money on the table or wasting federal resources – as is the case with lost gas that is flared, vented, or leaked – is nothing short of irresponsible at a time when states are hurting, and our budget deficit requires us to manage and leverage our resources better.
TCS looks forward to a process that will not only protect taxpayers but improve the overall stewardship of public lands and waters, and build a more sustainable energy future that works for all Americans. We look forward to participating.
ABOUT: Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) is a nonpartisan budget watchdog that has served as an independent voice for the American taxpayer since 1995. TCS works to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly and that government operates within its means.