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House committee to consider DOI 'irresponsibility'

The House Committee on Government Reform has scheduled two days of hearings with a provoking title: "Interior Department: A Culture of Managerial Irresponsibility and Lack of Accountability?"

The panel's Subcommittee on Energy and Resources has been investigating oil and gas leases that will cost the taxpayers up to $10 billion in lost royalties. The deals, signed during the Clinton administration, give the energy industry a major break for drilling on federal land.

On Wednesday, Interior Inspector General Earl Devaney will be the sole witness. According to The New York Times, he has uncovered evidence that the Bush administration signed a new batch of leases that could cost billions more in lost royalties.

The hearing concludes on Thursday with testimony from P. Lynn Scarlett, the deputy Interior secretary, and Johnnie Burton, the director of the Minerals Management Service, which is responsible for collecting oil and gas royalties from federal and Indian lands.

Get the Story:
Chevron Could Avoid Huge Royalties on New Field (The New York Times 9/12)
Press Release: Issa to Conclude Royalty Investigation with Interior IG Testimony on Missing Price Thresholds (House Committee on Government Reform 9/11)

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