Legislators and government are asking for tax increases, while blaming taxpayers for frivolous spending habits. This discussion demonstrates why “Not” to raise taxes, and the fault being irresponsible conduct from our government agencies, and a cover-up of fees that either should have been charged to corporations and special interest groups; or was charged, collected, and then distributed illegally. Either way questionable and even illegal situations remain abundant within the Bureau of Land management..
The estimated worth of the materials taken from Public Lands, what the actual fees charged should be, is explained in a current GAO Report to Legislators:
“In summary, there were nearly 70 different types of leasable minerals extracted from federal lands and waters in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. . . For example, the volumes of the four most valuable of these minerals—oil, gas, natural gas liquids, and coal—are measured in barrels, million cubic feet (mcf), gallons, and tons, respectively. According to ONRR data, the total value of all leasable minerals extracted from federal and Indian land and sold in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 was $92.3 billion and $98.6 billion, respectively.”1
Keep these “total-value” figures in mind, explained further, and also keep in mind this is only one segment of many the Bureau of Land Management’s recklessly managed affairs, basically yet another form of Corporate Welfare, where the taxpayers receive nothing in returns. A scam that needs to cease immediately. In this case a $168.2 billion dollar scam, and this being the tip of the iceberg.
Taxpayers and the general public, who use Public Lands for recreation, for example, pay many fees to do so, and at no discount. Yet large corporations and sheep and cattle ranchers pay next to nothing what so ever and recklessly damage our Public Lands while doing so.
Theft cover-up or just incompetence?
The Problem in this instance, the GAO Report goes further in actual fees received, the reality of Public Lands use fees not collected:
“The resulting revenue to the federal government from mineral leasing activity on federal and Indian land in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 was $11.3 billion and $11.4 billion, respectively. Of this amount, oil, gas, and natural gas liquids accounted for the majority of the revenue—$10.1 billion in each fiscal year. The bulk of this revenue comes from royalties, which accounted for 92.8 percent of total revenue in 2011.” 1
The fact is the subject brought up by Senator Tom Udall in a September 7, 2011 letter to Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office. . . : 2
“It is vitally important that the American taxpayer receives a fair return for the mineral resources extracted from federal land. Therefore, we are requesting that GAO undertake an examination of the value of minerals extracted and the amount of revenues collected in fiscal year 2010 for minerals obtained from federally managed lands and waters under the General Mining Act of 1872, and the other various mineral leasing acts. The examination should include the following:
• What was the amount of minerals extracted from federal land and the Outer Continental
Shelf and what was the estimated dollar value of these minerals?
• How much did the federal government collect for these minerals, including royalties,
rents, and bonuses, and how was this amount determined?”
The unbeatable reality
We can take the GAO Report math as accurate, and generating the difference in the reality of what was charged in Fees, we then find missing the amounts of $81.0 Billion dollars in 2010 and $87.2 Billion in 2011 (i.e. $168.2 Billion). This amount being legitimate fees that should have been charged to corporations but was not done — this is how some venues of corporate welfare works.
We can also legitimately debate the fact of how much destruction and ruin was done by these corporations (i.e. BP for example or mining), and allowed by DOI and BLM agencies, who are responsible for oversight and proper management of our Public Lands.
This type of conduct by government agency personnel has always been, and remains so today, questionable and often illegal. DOI and BLM remains a conduit for lobby groups and special interest groups only. Both of these agencies state they operate at a profit, but that remains simply misinformation, as usual.
So the Public is currently being blamed for irresponsible fiscal spending and being asked to sacrifice more and more and daily. Yet we find this situation, as well as many more within our government.
It becomes quite obvious where the budget cuts should be made. It is also quite obvious that the DOI and the BLM are too large, and have indeed become a monopoly not for the American Public, but for lobby groups and special interest groups, and at taxpayer expense, wildlife expense, and the ruination of our Public Land environments and ecosystems!
This is a problem not just for Legislators, but for Americans. This problem must be resolved in order for America to continue as a Democracy, and the overall Public interest to not be ignored any longer. The reality is American’s Rights have been replaced by short term profits received by corporations and conducted by criminals within our government agencies. We as Americans are being led to believe, by these same government entities, that everything is okay — But it is NOT OKAY!
1 Letter from Government Accountability Office on November 15, 2012 The Honorable Raúl M. Grijalva Ranking Member Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Committee on Natural Resources House of Representatives – GAO Report enclosed — Internet — http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/GAO%20Report%20on%20Mineral%20Extraction%20on%20Federal%20Lands.pdf
2 Letter from Senator Tom Udall to The Honorable Gene Dodaro Comptroller General, Government Accountability Office, 441 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20548 – Internet http://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/Grijalva%20Udall%20GAO%20Letter%20on%20Extraction%20Sept%207.pdf