The State & Environmental Impact Center

California AG and New Mexico AG Sued Interior Department for Delaying Valuation Rule for Energy Resource Royalties

April 27, 2017
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit against the Interior Department “for delaying the implementation of one of its own rules promulgated to ensure that taxpayers receive their fair share of royalties from companies that extract oil, gas, and coal from federal lands. The rule, known as the Valuation Rule, was finalized by the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) in the Department of the Interior on July 1, 2016, and went into effect on January 1, 2017. The product of five years of public engagement, the Valuation Rule replaced outdated regulations that no longer ensured that taxpayers received adequate compensation from the extraction of federally-owned natural resources. It also addressed a loophole that allowed the coal industry to sell coal at artificially low prices.”