The former bankruptcy law professor, famous for securing free COVID-19 testing for every American and educating Cabinet secretaries and other high-ranking government officials about basic elements of their jobs, will bring her talents — and her whiteboard — to the House Natural Resources Oversight Committee. California Rep. Katie Porter, Reuters reports, plans to use her new committee assignment to focus on oil and gas leasing on federal lands, the royalty rates for which haven’t changed in more than 100 years.
Porter has introduced legislation to increase onshore royalty rates from 12% to 18.75% and minimum bids in lease auctions from $2 to $5. “I confess when I first heard the term ‘oil and gas royalty rates’ I didn’t immediately feel a deep emotional sort of reaction to fighting the issue,” Porter told Reuters. “But as I began to understand what’s really at stake, which is oil and gas companies taking our public resources at pennies on the dollar, I began to feel outraged.”
“How can things not have gone up as I see the cost of my everyday expenses — healthcare, childcare, college, housing — all go up?” Porter said. “This is not a coincidence. This takes intense lobbying work by the fossil fuel industry to prevent these changes.” (Reuters)