May 18, 2000
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-14) released the following statement regarding the hearing held today by the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources:

"Had I been allowed to testify today, I would have said that today's hearings are nothing more than payback for POGO's successful efforts to expose the scam which allowed big oil companies to rip off American taxpayers of over $66 million each year. This subcommittee - to date - has refused to hold a single hearing to investigate the shady practices of the oil industry, even though billions of government dollars have been at stake. But the subcommittee is happy to waste taxpayer dollars to pursue a variety of groundless and unsubstantiated allegations surrounding the activities of a small non-profit organization.

"However, I am pleased to announce that the subcommittee has an opportunity to clear it's blemished record. I have learned that another scam of the government is going on, and this one is ripping off the government at four times the pace of the oil companies' rip-off. Natural gas royalties are being underpaid by businesses that have discovered a way to dodge the rules, and this practice is costing taxpayers billions every year."

Recent allegations have emerged which claim that the natural gas industry is also underpaying royalties. Maloney has sent a request to the General Accounting Office and the Department of Interior to investigate these allegations which could cost taxpayers billions each year.