"WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of the Interior said on Monday it has rescinded an Obama-era rule that reformed how energy companies value sales of oil, gas and coal extracted from federal and tribal land to protect taxpayers because it caused 'confusion and uncertainty' for energy companies.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the department's newly formed royalty policy committee would propose alternatives to the rule and 'remain committed to collecting every dollar due.'
'Repealing the valuation rule provides a clean slate to create workable valuation regulations,' Zinke said in a statement.
The valuation rule was proposed by former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell last year to close a loophole that enabled companies to dodge royalty payments when mining on taxpayer-owned public land. It required energy companies to pay royalties on sales to the first unaffiliated customer, known as an arm's-length sale, as the fuel moves to market."