The G.A.O. report recommends that Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees offshore leases, enlist a third-party expert to assess whether government valuations of oil and gas resources is sound. The Interior Department has pushed back against some of the report’s findings and recommendations, including the need for a third-party examination.
Billy Tauzin, a former Louisiana congressman who sponsored the 1995 bill as a Republican, stood by its original intentions. “It was a deepwater incentive. It’s enormously risky and expensive, and drilling correctly and well requires much more than the initial investment,” he said in an interview.
Still, “the idea was to say we want to incentivize companies when oil prices are low,” he added. “But if the prices go up to a certain level, you don’t need the relief.”
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