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Project on Government Oversight




Salazar Should Finish the Job, Separate All Oversight Functions from Oil and Gas Leasing

May 11, 2010 


The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) applauds Interior Secretary Salazar's decision to split the Minerals Management Service (MMS) into two agencies to separate oil rig inspecting, oil company investigations and enforcing safety regulations from the leasing function, but urges Salazar to go further to ensure that royalty collection oversight is also separated from the leasing function.

"This is an important step in the right direction, but let's get this right and not fix MMS piecemeal," said POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. "Leasing must be separated from all oversight functions to ensure that taxpayers interests are also protected in royalty collections."

POGO called for separation of auditing and leasing functions in their 2008 report, Drilling the Taxpayer, and in Brian's testimony before the House Natural Resources Committee in September 2009. POGO has called for regulatory and enforcement independence: "The Committee should consider the importance of severing oversight functions from the Office of Federal Energy and Minerals Leasing," Brian testified last year.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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