For Immediate Release


Keith Rutter
Phone: 202-347-1122

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

WASHINGTON - 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

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.


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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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