Government temerity

From this CNN article

The bill would bar companies from future lease sales unless they agree to renegotiate flawed leases issued in 1998-99 for deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Because of a government error, the current leases do not contain a trigger for royalties if prices soared, as they have in recent years. As a result, the companies have avoided paying $1 billion in royalties so far and stand to avoid an additional $9 billion over the life of the leases, the Interior Department says.

Isn’t that why one signs a lease, to lock in a price? All government contracting is shady, but to pretend that anyone is owed anything is ridiculous. All the more reason to auction off the drilling rights and be done with it.