Wash. lawmaker opposes Interior's plan to drop oil royalty system

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., raised concerns with the Interior Department's plan to end the royalty-in-kind program, which allows companies to give oil and gas to the government instead of paying royalties in cash for production activities on federal land. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said last month that he would phase out the system, citing accusations that officials from the Minerals Management Service had improper ties with executives from the oil sector. The move "will likely have a number of negative impacts on both our revenue collection and domestic security," Hastings wrote in a letter.

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