WASHINGTON - Newly empowered House Democrats sought to recoup billions of dollars in lost royalties from offshore drilling as they anticipated approval Thursday of a $15 billion package of fees, taxes and royalties on oil and gas companies. The money would be used to promote renewable fuels.The story neglects to mention who was President during that time. An inconvenient truth.
The House took up the energy bill as the final one of a string of high-priority issues that Speaker Nancy Pelosi vowed to address in the first 100 hours of Democratic control of Congress. She has characterized the energy measures as key to reducing government subsidies for the oil industry.
The bill is largely aimed at recovering an estimated $10 billion that stands to be lost to the government because of an error in deep-water drilling leases for the Gulf of Mexico issued in the late 1990s. Congressional auditors and the Interior Department's inspector general have said the mistake was ignored for six years by the Minerals Management Service, which oversees the leasing program.
UPDATE: They have impeccable timing: Oil breaks below $50 on rising U.S. stockpiles.