Editorial: DOI corruption a 'a slap in the face'
"The sex and drugs and possible bribery within the Interior Department's oil and gas royalties program was bad enough — a slap in the face to those of us struggling with higher gas and fuel costs.

Now we learn that, even worse, federal regulators may have short-changed Americans by billions of dollars worth of the fossil fuels.

New audits from the Government Accountability Office found that the Minerals Management Service and the Bureau of Land Management have failed to keep pace with inspecting the very meters on oil and gas rigs that determine how much of the fuels are to go to the government.

We applaud the congressional scrutiny now focused on the MMS and its Royalty in Kind division. Hopefully, the extra scrutiny will eventually produce a better process, and that could mean pulling MMS into a separate agency that would be more transparent and easily monitored.

Measurements are vital to the royalty program, which allows energy companies to pay federal royalties with oil and gas instead of cash. The RIK program then markets the fuels to increase federal funds and to shore up reserves. Last year, MMS collected more than $11 billion in the royalties program. With so much at stake, we would expect that the need for accurate measurements is a no-brainer."

Get the Story:
Editorial: A full measure of incompetence (The Denver Post 9/22)

Another Story:
Sex-crime claim raised (The Denver Post 9/21)

OIG Reports:
Gregory W. Smith | MMS Oil Marketing Group - Lakewood | Federal Business Solutions Contracts

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