For Immediate Release:
September 10, 2008
Contact: David Willett, 202-675-6698
Interior Report Reveals Corruption with Big Oil
America Needs Clean Energy Not Dirty Politics
Washington, DC: Statement of Melinda Pierce, Sierra Club Deputy Director of National Campaigns on the Interior Department Inspector General Report detailing a "Culture of Ethical Failure" between officials in Mineral Management Service and the oil industry:
"America needs clean energy, not dirty politics. Today's report from the Interior Department's Inspector General about the culture of corruption fostered by some officials within the Mineral Management Service underscores the dirty policy and dirty politics that result from Big Oil's chokehold on our government."
"As we learn how the oil companies are literally in bed with government officials-- lavishing gifts, trips and other rewards, it is impossible to have any confidence in those who are promoting a "drill-only" energy agenda. Instead we need a comprehensive package of clean energy proposals that will remove Big Oil's influence."
"As Congress debates the future of American energy policy, now is certainly not the time to open the door for Big Oil to work with MMS and throw more money and favors around as they push for more drilling. The oil industry clearly has too much sway and is too close to this administration to trust that they are doing the right thing. Clearly the agency that has already been plagued by scandals involving Jack Abramhoff, Gale Norton, Steven Griles, and Julie MacDonald, among others has much further to go to clean up its act. "
"These latest revelations are just further evidence that America desperately needs true energy independence, which means moving away from oil and towards the clean energy solutions that will create jobs and economic prosperity."
"For months, Republicans in Congress have held up clean energy legislation, instead calling for a "drill only" policy that helps the oil industry but does nothing to lower gas prices, protect consumers, or solve our energy crisis. They held Congress hostage and blocked measure after measure while gas prices soared. Now they want to stop yet another comprehensive energy bill that would deal with our energy crisis. This week, the Speaker will call their bluff to see if they really do want to vote on drilling as part of an energy package or whether they simply want to try to use this as an election issue."