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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release August 13, 1996


I have today signed into law H.R. 1975, the "Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act of 1996." This legislation will provide new tools to further improve and streamline the Federal royalty program.

My Administration has worked cooperatively with the Congress, governors, and industry to develop legislation that would achieve certainty, equity, and simplicity in the royalty management program. These are the same goals we are striving for in our efforts to reinvent Government.

This legislation establishes certainty with a 7-year statute of limitations for all royalty collections. It establishes equity by requiring payment of interest to companies on overpayments to the Government and by allowing the refund of overpayments to all Federal leaseholders. Finally, it encourages simplicity in the royalty management program.

My Administration fully supports finding new ways for the States to work cooperatively and creatively with the Federal Government to provide superior service to the citizens of the United States. I believe we can help achieve that goal with this legislation, which expands the list of royalty-program activities that may be delegated to States, and provides certainty with respect to expeditious Federal action when States seek additional authority to help administer the program.

In signing H.R. 1975, I do so with the understanding that the congressional leadership has pledged to pass subsequent legislation making necessary technical corrections.

I am grateful for the bipartisan effort of the Congress in working with my Administration to develop this legislation. I believe this is an example of what we can do working together for the benefit of the American public, the States, and the energy industry.



August 13, 1996.

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