Stop Petroleum Industry From Paying Federal Regulators

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Target: Federal Bureau of Land Management Director Robert Abbey

Goal: Prohibit petroleum companies from paying for additional federal workers involved in the drilling permit process

The Petroleum Association of Wyoming recently disclosed that they will pay for salaries and overtime for extra workers from the Federal Bureau of Land Management.  They claim that this is to speed up the lengthy process of issuing permits for oil and natural gas drilling.  Having Petroleum companies pay the salaries of the people that are supposed to regulate them is a massive conflict of interest with grave implications.  Tell the Federal Bureau of Land Management that this practice is unacceptable.

The Wyoming Tribune published a report where they revealed that the Petroleum Association of Wyoming will be paying around $100,000 for federal and contracted workers who regulate oil and natural gas drilling in the state.  Requests for drilling permits have doubled in the last year and the branch of the Bureau in Wyoming is understaffed.  But by paying for extra workers, the Petroleum companies are more or less bribing the very regulators who are responsible for checking things like safety, health and environmental issues that are inherent with these kinds of projects.

The situation is eerily similar to the questionable relationships between individuals from the Minerals Management Services and the people who managed BP’s Deepwater Horizon plant.  We are still only beginning to understand the lack of oversight involved in that disaster and how negligent regulation may have played a part in it.  How is the situation in Wyoming any different?  Tell the Federal Bureau of Land Management that it is their responsibility to the tax-paying citizens of the United States to run a thorough permitting process that respects all the parties involved, however long that may take.  Having their paychecks given to them by Petroleum executives is a clear breach of public trust and a severe conflict of interest.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Robert Abbey,

The recent revelation that the Petroleum Association of Wyoming will be paying for the salaries and overtime pay of several federal and contracted workers from the Bureau of Land Management is disturbing on many levels.  Having the companies that are asking for permits pay the workers who are responsible for those same permits is a massive conflict of interest.  The taxes of the American people support your agency in conducting the most responsible permitting process that takes into account all the health, safety and environmental issues involved with natural gas and oil drilling.  Anything less is a breach of public trust.

With the questions of the nature of the relationship between regulators and management at BP’s Deepwater Horizon plant still fresh in many people’s minds, we ask that you reconsider your decision to allow members of the petroleum industry to pay for their own regulators.  However long the process might take, the people of Wyoming deserve a thorough investigation and a standard of diligent work.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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