Would-be Royalties on Spilled Oil


A Maine congresswoman has posted a “counter tool” on her official website to record how much BP would owe in royalties on all that oil that’s gushing into the Gulf.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree has introduced the Spilled Oil Royalty Collection Act that would force oil companies to pay royalties on spilled oil, just like they would on oil they pump and process. Now, those payments are made only if the company is found negligent, she notes, and this would make that automatic.

“If you spill fuel at any gas station, you have to pay for it,” argues Rep. Pingree. “My legislation would make oil companies adhere to the same policy they hold their patrons to.”

The counter takes a current official estimate of the amount of oil being spilled into the Gulf. and figures in a royalty of $13 per barrel. Check out  www.pingree.house.gov<http://www.pingree.house.gov>

Looking a bit like a gas pump, the counter was headed toward the $70 million mark when we checked it Thursday afternoon.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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