Salazar to propose changes to royalty program Wednesday

09/14/2009 | Wall Street Journal, The

Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to introduce plans to revise oil and natural gas royalties when he testifies before the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday. Salazar is likely to recommend tougher policies for variable lease rates and the royalty-in-kind system, which permits companies to settle fees in crude instead of cash. Salazar will also give the Obama administration's stand on an offshore drilling bill from Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., that seeks to end payments of gas in lieu of cash as well as combine leasing schemes under a single bureau.

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