Onshore Drilling Regulator Becomes President of Industry Group

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Keith Rutter
Phone: 202-347-1122
Email: pogo@pogo.org

Onshore Drilling Regulator Becomes President of Industry Group

WASHINGTON - Providing yet another
example of how important it is to close the revolving door between the
Interior Department and industry, an industry advocacy group has just
named a former Bureau of Land Management (BLM) field manager to be their
president.

 

As the Farmington
Daily Times
reports
, Steve Henke, the new president of New
Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA), was selected as an "ideal
choice" because of how well he worked with industry while he was at BLM.

 

"This is just gross,"
said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project On Government
Oversight. "In the wake of the Gulf disaster, it is unbelievable that
Interior is not getting the message to stop the revolving door between
itself and industry."

 

The Farmington
Daily Times
article also suggests that Henke just doesn't get it
when it comes to the revolving door, quoting him as saying that, as
president of the industry trade group, he hopes he will be "afforded the
opportunity to sit at the table with policy makers and legislators to
describe the impact and the role" his organization can play in "issue
resolution." Presumably these policymakers are the same people he got to
sit at the table with as a BLM regional manager.

 

All this, of course,
raises questions about whether the former regional office manager was
serving taxpayer interests when he was on the General Schedule.

 

Henke retired from BLM
in May.

 

Expanded language
about what constitutes improper behavior in the House's Consolidated
Land and Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act of
2010 H.R. 3534 – S. 3516 passed out of committee yesterday, and the
Senate's Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act of 2010 should curb this
kind of behavior.

 

"If there was ever an
example of the need for an ethical overhaul, this is it," said Brian.

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The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption and other misconduct in order to achieve a more effective, accountable, open and honest federal government.

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