A statement released June 1 by the US Government Accountability Office (the “investigative” arm of Congress), finds that “the US federal government receives one of the lowest government takes [from oil and gas development] in the world.”

The testimony, delivered to Congress on May 1 but only publicly released last Friday, indicates that while there are trade-offs between increasing the royalty rates paid by oil companies and attracting investment, raising rates on future federal oil and gas leases would likely increase the government’s revenue from these projects.

The GAO statement feeds into ongoing Congressional debate around increasing the rate of return for the government on oil and gas projects and is another reminder of the give-aways that continuing to be provided oil giants like BP and ConocoPhillips, at the expense of the American tax-payers.