HELENA, MT – The Bureau of Land Management has once again provided a bailout to a Big Oil corporation in deep financial trouble. Reporting in the Buffalo Bulletin, based in part on Western Values Project’s research, found that the bureau awarded US Realm Powder River a staggering 96% discount on 23 federal leases in Wyoming despite owing some $4 million in unpaid federal royalties and failing to pay local taxes for the last three years.
“Bailing out oil and gas corporations with massive unpaid tax liabilities is a misuse and abuse of taxpayer dollars, period. The state’s entire congressional delegation agreed that there should have been safeguards in place to prevent this type of abuse, but that is clearly not the case under Sec. Bernhardt’s culture of corruption,” said Western Values Project Director Jayson O’Neill. “Once again, the Trump administration has opted to put polluters over people without a second thought while taxpayers foot the bill.”
According to the reporting, while the Wyoming congressional delegation supported the royalty rate cut and lease suspension program, lawmakers believed that safeguards should have been put in place and that oil corporation that have unpaid liabilities should not have been awarded a bailout.
Senator Barrasso issued a statement that said, “federal funding should not go to any producer delinquent in their taxes.” Most of the same fossil fuel corporations that have been awarded billions in taxpayer-funded bailouts were in dire straits well before the downturn and have billions in outstanding liabilities and debt — including, in this case, delinquent taxes.
US Realm Powder River’s bailout and checkered past includes:
Read Western Values Project’s full research report here.