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California attorney general takes on Big Oil in lawsuit against Trump administration

April 28, 2017 by Ronjoy Bezbarua

(Source: Sacramento Bee) California and New Mexico are suing the Trump administration to get the federal government to enforce rules requiring companies to pay royalties on oil, gas and coal extracted from taxpayer-owned public lands. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Department of the Interior, which is responsible for management and conservation on federal lands. It alleges the department and a division within it, the Office of Natural Resources, illegally postponed a rule that requires energy companies to pay states royalties on oil, gas and coal extracted from federal and Native American lands. The federal lawsuit, filed in San Francisco, names Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Gregory Gould, director of the Office of Natural Resources Revenue. The rule went into effect on Jan. 1, which the lawsuit says was driven in part by U.S. coal industry practices of artificially depressing coal prices then selling to their own subsidiaries, requiring lower royalty payments. Read full article….

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