Fossil fuel officials take key spots on new Interior royalties committee

Fossil fuel officials take key spots on new Interior royalties committee
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Fossil fuel industry officials, academics, and state and tribal representatives will hold seats on a new Interior Department committee designed to assess federal royalty policies for energy development on public land.

The Interior Department announced Friday that officials for ConocoPhillips Co., Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Cloud Peak Energy will serve as primary members of the panel.

Executives for a renewable energy firm, three academics, and representatives from four tribes and six states are also set to serve on the committee.

The new royalties committee, which will hold its first meeting on Oct. 4, is set to advise the Interior Department on the industry impact of policy and regulatory changes related to energy production royalty rates on federal and tribal land.

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"Working closely with the committee, we will come up with solutions for modernizing the management of public and American Indian assets, while building greater trust and transparency in how we value our nation's public mineral resources,” Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeInterior's border surge puts more officers in unfamiliar role Not 'if' but 'when' is the next Deepwater Horizon spill? Former Wyoming GOP lawmaker mulling Senate bid to replace Enzi MORE said in a statement.

“It's important that the taxpayers and tribes get the full and fair value of traditional and renewable energy produced on public lands and offshore areas."

The Interior Department established the committee in March, when it suspended an Obama-initiated review of federal coal leasing rates.

On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled the Trump administration broke the law when it delayed updating a rule governing how drilling and mining royalties are calculated for federal energy production.