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America Protects Oil Companies That Don't Pay Their Bills

In "competition" for which industry is greedier -- the multi-national drug cartel or big oil -- you may think the latter has the leg up after watching this PBS video about one oil company that refused to pay $10 million in royalties owed to taxpayers and the American government.

A veteran auditor with the Minerals Management Service (part of the U.S. Department of the Interior), Bobby Maxwell prepared an order in 2002 to have Kerr McGee pay those royalties but his agency killed it. To add insult to injury, Maxwell lost his job with the agency after filing a lawsuit under the False Claims Act that was intended to protect government whistleblowers in the first place.

The problem: Kerr McGee was selling oil at a reduced price in exchange for marketing services, but should've been paying royalties on the full price of the oil, Maxwell says, thus the $10 million shortfall.

This is just one more example of how this government protects the interests of its "real" constituents -- big business -- at the expense of America's fiscal and physical health.