Louisiana And Alabama Sue US Agency Over Drilling Royalties
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Two Gulf Coast states are suing the federal government over offshore drilling royalties.
Alabama officials say about $7.5 million is at stake for that state.
The Birmingham News reports that Alabama’s legal challenge recently was combined with a similar complaint from Louisiana, and the cases are pending in federal court in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Department of the Interior notified Alabama last year that it was correcting old errors that caused the state to be overpaid royalties of $7.52 million since 1986, and the state has to pay it back.
Alabama officials are disputing the debt. They say it is tied to recent changes in how drilling royalties are divided, and that those changes were made outside of the normal government procedures.