Lawmaker attacks oil companies’ ‘free’ drilling in gulf

Once upon a time, the price of oil was so low — dropping under $11 a barrel in late 1998 — that Congress agreed that big oil companies needed incentives to drill for oil in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. So in 1995 it ordered the Interior Department to waive royalties on virtually all of the oil and natural gas that would come out of wells drilled between 1996 and 2000. Read more