Laying Pipe

Jerome and I have been blogging about ongoing corruption at the Dept. of Interior's Minerals Management Service for almost a year now.

Its been pretty hard to get many people to focus on this scandal of "a lack of oversight, deficient procedures, and cozy industry ties between MMS officials and oil and gas companies have created a system that allows the companies to systematically underpay the federal government" -- despite multiple ongoing congressional investigations and evidence that oil companies have underpaid more than $750 million in royalties.

But something tells me this story is about to get a lot more coverage:

Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.

The alleged transgressions involve 13 Interior Department employees in Denver and Washington. Their alleged improprieties include rigging contracts, working part-time as private oil consultants, and having sexual relationships with _ and accepting golf and ski trips and dinners from _ oil company employees, according to three reports released Wednesday by the Interior Department's inspector general.

...

Between 2002 and 2006, nearly a third of the 55-person staff in the Denver office received gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies, the investigators found.

Tags: Oil Accountability Project (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Gifts and gratuities?

"Government officials ... engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with..."

And all we get is a lousy box of chocolate.

by KTinOhio 2008-09-10 12:05PM | 0 recs
Say wha?

Do they hire call girls and call them "corporate liasons" or something?

Actually that's pretty good.  Almost as good as "Laying pipe."

by Dracomicron 2008-09-10 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Pipe

Looks like MMS needs a top-to-bottom audit and tougher reforms.

The oil and gas companies have cheated taxpayers out of $10 billion in royalties. Perhaps now some Democratic leaders will pay attention.

This is a great issue for Obama, allows him to be a real reformer, and will counter the "drill-baby-drill" advocates.

by JoeBagadonuts 2008-09-10 12:24PM | 0 recs
What would the Thugs do?

If we were the party in control of the Executive - you can bet they'd be trying to tie our candidates to this or rather they'd have the thugmachine working overtime to manufacture something.

So I ask us, could we leave no stone unturned, no closet unopened in making sure that neither John McCain nor Sarah Palin is within six degrees of separation to this scandal??

by wasanyonehurt 2008-09-10 12:38PM | 0 recs
Kind of sounds like the mob?

by SocialDem 2008-09-10 12:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Laying Pipe
NPR just covered this story on All Things Considered this afternon, so I expect we'll here more.
One part they mentioned was that the oil companies(Chevron was a big supplier of "free goods")would have big parties and get everyone drunk, then supply free hotel rooms for people too drunk to drive home.
One of the things the story mentioned was these are the government employees responsible for seeing that royalty payments are made by the mineral companies to the government.
Things that make you go hmmmm....
by skohayes 2008-09-10 03:19PM | 0 recs

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