‘Tis the Season: Development of U.S. Energy Resources Nets Taxpayers $23.4 Billion in Royalties

Interior Announces Largest Disbursement of Funds in Department’s History – Almost Double the Amount Distributed Last Year

Washington, DC – Institute for Energy Research president Thomas J. Pyle issued the following statement today in response to news from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) that the agency distributed a record $23.4 billion to states, tribes and the federal treasury in fiscal year 2008 – every penny of which came from the responsible and diligent development of America’s abundant, homegrown energy resources:

“ As lawmakers look to increase government revenue this year by thinking up creative new ways to separate taxpayers from their money, they and the people they represent would be well-served to take note of the $23.4 billion in royalties, rents, and bonus payments made available thanks to the responsible development of America’s abundant energy resources. In fact, almost $10 billion of that sum was directed to taxpayers in the form of bonus bids alone – which means that even when no new energy was produced, taxpayers still got paid.

“Keep in mind this is money that flows to state, local and federal coffers completely separate from the hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes and fees tied to domestic energy exploration. All told, we’re talking about an awful lot of money – as much as $4 trillion in potential revenue waiting to be collected and disbursed, according to one recent study. As it is, energy production accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars in government revenue each year – none of which would available to taxpayers today if opponents of responsible energy development had their way.

“At a time of unprecedented economic insecurity, the new Congress and incoming administration have pledged to leave no stone unturned in looking for ways to get our economy back on track. Fair enough. But if they’re interested in finding a plan that creates millions of new jobs, billions in new revenue, and doesn’t cost taxpayers a penny, they’ll need to dig just a little bit deeper – preferably below the surface.”

For more information: http://www.mms.gov/ooc/press/2008/pressDOI1120.htm

The Institute for Energy Research (IER) is a not-for-profit public foundation that conducts intensive research and analysis on the functions, operations, and government regulation of global energy markets. Founded in 1989, IER is funded entirely by tax deductible contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. No financial support is sought or accepted from government (taxpayers).



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