Energy & Environment

Trump opposes widespread royalty cuts for oil and gas companies: report

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President Trump opposes giving widespread royalty cuts to companies that drill for oil and gas on public lands and waters, Bloomberg reported Wednesday

Two people told the news outlet that he expressed opposition to such a policy during a Tuesday meeting. 

The report follows recent letters by mostly Republican lawmakers urging him to lessen royalties paid by companies using these lands and waters as the industry faces sinking demand and international production standoffs. 

The White House declined to comment on Bloomberg’s report. 

Interior Department spokesperson Nicholas Goodwin told The Hill in an email that the department already “has established processes by which companies can apply for discretionary royalty relief.”

“Such requests may be granted in cases where an operator is prevented from operating or producing on a lease for reasons beyond or outside their control,” he said. 

Last week, a group of more than 40 House Republicans wrote to President Trump asking him to provide royalty relief, among other measures, for the industry which has been hit by sinking demand and international production standoffs. 

Prior to that, a group of 13 Republicans and one Democrat sent a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt asking him to reduce or waive royalties for oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

This week, a group of 16 House Democrats wrote to Bernhardt to remind him of “tight legal restrictions that exist on unilateral action” for reducing royalties.

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