Trust

Senate panel to hold oversight hearing on DOI royalties


The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold an oversight hearing this Thursday on oil and gas royalty management at the Interior Department.

DOI has come under scrutiny for leases signed during the Clinton administration that give energy companies incentives to drill on federal lands. The deals could cost taxpayers $10 billion or more, according to independent reports.

Earl Devaney, DOI's Inspector General, will be one of the witnesses. He previously told a House committee of an atmosphere of corruption at the department.

"Simply stated, short of a crime, anything goes at the highest levels of the Department of the Interior," he said in September.

Johnnie M. Burton, the director of the Minerals Management Service, which handles royalties, won't be testifying. She has been kept out of public sight amid Congressional outrage over the leases.

The hearing takes place at 9:30am and will be broadcast online at http://energy.senate.gov

Get the Story:
Out of Sight, Under Fire Over Leases (The New York Times 1/16)
pwnyt

Inspector General Report:
Minerals Management Service's Compliance Review Process (December 2006)

GAO Letter:
Suggested Areas for Oversight for the 110th Congress (November 17, 2006)

Inspector General Testimony:
Devaney Interior Department: A Culture of Managerial Irresponsibility and Lack of Accountability? (September 2006)

Inspector General Report:
Allegations Concerning Senior Officials of the Office of Special Trustee for American Indians (May 2005)

Relevant Links:
Government Accountability Office:
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov

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