New Reports Detailing Scandalous Ties Between Oil Companies And Bush Administration Is Another Reason To Be Wart Of Coastline Drilling Plan, Says Menendez

New Reports Detailing Scandalous Ties Between Oil Companies And Bush Administration Is Another Reason To Be Wart Of Coastline Drilling Plan, Says Menendez

Inspector General reports released today detail gifts, sweetheart contracts, sex and drugs in relationship between government, oil companies and oil services firms

Washington - Today, the Department of the Interior's internal watchdog released three reports detailing highly-inappropriate ties between oil companies and the Minerals Management Service - the federal agency that manages the federal leases by which oil companies obtain much of their oil and gas. Though members of the MMS are subject to strict government ethics rules, its officials steered sweetheart contracts to retiring co-workers, took numerous expensive gifts from oil companies, and engaged in sexual relations and drug use within the agency and with oil company representatives. One of the programs most under scrutiny is the Royalty-in-Kind program, by which the government takes oil and gas from oil companies in exchange for their use of public lands, then sells that oil and gas on the market to generate revenue for taxpayers.

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee who is the author of the COAST Act to permanently ban drilling along the Outer Continental Shelf and has been leading the fight against coastline drilling, today released the following statement:

"The two oil men in the White House have allowed our government to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Oil. As administration officials were being wined and dined and engaged in wholly inappropriate relationships with the oil companies, I doubt they were thinking about American families who can barely afford to drive their kids to school.

"I hope when people learn more about this intimate relationship between the Bush administration and the oil companies, they will think twice about supporting a coastline drilling plan that is more about the price of oil company stock than the price at the pump. George Bush, John McCain and the Republican Party have endorsed an energy policy that would continue to make record profits for oil companies but would do nothing to lower energy prices for middle-class and working Americans. We need a change of direction, and that will come when we kick the oil company influence out of the White House."

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