Every year, the U.S. provides billions of dollars to energy companies to find and develop renewable energy sources through loan guarantees and research grants. Many energy companies enter into lease agreements with the federal government to explore and extract energy resources from federal lands and waters in exchange for royalty payments. Federal agencies also pay private companies billions of dollars every year to develop, manage, transport, and dispose of energy materials, such as nuclear materials.
Due to the limited number of energy resources in the country and their potential environmental hazards, the energy industry is among the most regulated industries in the nation. Federal contractors are required to abide by environmental regulations and contractual provisions, such as the proper disposal of hazardous waste, to ensure the protection of the environment and human safety. Energy companies that explore and extract resources from federally-leased lands are required to pay royalties to the federal government based on the amount and type of materials they extract.
Types of fraud in the energy industry include:
Underpayment of oil and gas royalties - energy companies commit this type of fraud by underreporting the amount or type of resources they extract from federal lands in order to avoid paying royalties to the U.S.
Environmental Non-Compliance – energy companies and other federal contractors commit this fraud by misrepresenting compliance with environmental regulatory requirements despite knowingly being in violation of them.
The False Claims Act has successfully been used to combat energy and environmental fraud, with millions of dollars recovered by whistleblowers. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys about a potential whistleblower matter, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (610) 667-7706. All case evaluations are confidential and free.