SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced April 27 that he has joined New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas in suing the U.S. Department of the Interior for delaying the implementation of a rule designed to help taxpayers receive fair royalties from companies that extract oil, gas, and coal from federal lands.
The department’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) finalized the Valuation Rule on July 1, 2016, and the rule went into effect Jan. 1, 2017. The rule ensured that taxpayers received proper compensation when companies extract resources from federally owned lands. On Feb. 27, however, the ONRR postponed the rule under directions from the Trump administration.
“The Trump administration has once again displayed its disdain for playing by the rules," Becerra said. "The winners here are the private mining interests that profit from paying less for our natural resources. The losers are -- surprise, surprise -- the American taxpayers. Attorney General Balderas and I won't let this blatant violation of the law by the Trump administration go unchallenged."