• When auctioning offshore drilling rights to oil and gas companies, the Interior Department is supposed to reject bids that are lower than its own estimates of what the drilling rights are worth.

    Instead, when bids come in lower than Interior’s valuations, Interior often lowers its valuations and then accepts the bids on the basis of the altered valuations, a new study by a federal watchdog found.

    The Interior Department “could be forgoing hundreds of millions of dollars” in auction revenue “by accepting bids that are too low,” the study found.

    The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an investigative arm of Congress, paints a picture of the Interior Department bending over backwards to award drilling rights to energy companies.

    The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) spotlighted some of that conduct...

    #POGO #GAO #InteriorDepartment #NaturalResources #Lobbying #RevolvingDoor #CampaignFinance #PoliticalBribery #FossilFuel #Oil
    When auctioning offshore drilling rights to oil and gas companies, the Interior Department is supposed to reject bids that are lower than its own estimates of what the drilling rights are worth. Instead, when bids come in lower than Interior’s valuations, Interior often lowers its valuations and then accepts the bids on the basis of the altered valuations, a new study by a federal watchdog found. The Interior Department “could be forgoing hundreds of millions of dollars” in auction revenue “by accepting bids that are too low,” the study found. The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), an investigative arm of Congress, paints a picture of the Interior Department bending over backwards to award drilling rights to energy companies. The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) spotlighted some of that conduct... #POGO #GAO #InteriorDepartment #NaturalResources #Lobbying #RevolvingDoor #CampaignFinance #PoliticalBribery #FossilFuel #Oil
    Report: Interior Gives Oil Companies Discounts on Drilling Rights
    The Interior Department has been awarding offshore drilling rights to oil and gas companies for less money than it initially estimates they are worth, a GAO study found.
    WWW.POGO.ORG
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  • 383,000. That’s how many gallons of crude oil just spilled out of the Keystone Pipeline & into the wetlands of North Dakota. When we protested at Standing Rock, Big Oil minimized the threat of spills. Enough. We cannot gamble with our precious water resources.

    #StandingRock #NoDAPL #KeystoneXL #pipeline #MniWiconi #WaterIsLife #FossilFuel #Pollution #WaterContamination #Water

    #Tulsi2020 #TulsiGabbard
    383,000. That’s how many gallons of crude oil just spilled out of the Keystone Pipeline & into the wetlands of North Dakota. When we protested at Standing Rock, Big Oil minimized the threat of spills. Enough. We cannot gamble with our precious water resources. #StandingRock #NoDAPL #KeystoneXL #pipeline #MniWiconi #WaterIsLife #FossilFuel #Pollution #WaterContamination #Water #Tulsi2020 #TulsiGabbard
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  • #ChangemakerMemes #FreqPower #Art #SaveHumanity #TerenceMcKenna #WhileTheWorldBurns #FossilFuel #TV
    #ChangemakerMemes #FreqPower #Art #SaveHumanity #TerenceMcKenna #WhileTheWorldBurns #FossilFuel #TV
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  • The rule included provisions that FOIA advocates fear could give political appointees more control of responses to open records requests and new authority to withhold information—problems that could have been raised and corrected in a public comment process.

    The contradictory statements in the EPA’s response have implications for environmental groups’ suit against the EPA, likely strengthening their claim that the agency’s rulemaking process violated the law.

    #EPA #FOIA #Pollution #FossilFuel #Lobbying #RevolvingDoor

    The rule included provisions that FOIA advocates fear could give political appointees more control of responses to open records requests and new authority to withhold information—problems that could have been raised and corrected in a public comment process. The contradictory statements in the EPA’s response have implications for environmental groups’ suit against the EPA, likely strengthening their claim that the agency’s rulemaking process violated the law. #EPA #FOIA #Pollution #FossilFuel #Lobbying #RevolvingDoor
    EPA Contradicts Its Own Statements on FOIA Rule
    The EPA has tried to rush a Freedom of Information rule into place with no opportunity for public notice and comment, but its latest letter to Congress undercuts its previous arguments and proves the rule should receive public review.
    WWW.POGO.ORG
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  • An investigation by The Texas Tribune and Grist shows that regulators in the Lone Star State have given a hand up to struggling coal companies as they face millions of dollars in mandated land restoration costs....

    Five current and former division staffers who worked under Kingsley and/or his second-in-command, Travis Wootton, also told The Texas Tribune and Grist that both men helped mining companies throughout Texas avoid penalties and minimize their reclamation responsibilities, perpetuating what the employees said was a pattern of pro-industry behavior among division leadership going back years.

    A yearlong investigation by the Tribune and Grist also found that:

    * Kingsley and Wootton on several occasions overruled staff when they identified problems with mining companies' proposed reclamation plans or flagged violations. (Public records show both men were later fired after a human resources investigation found they retaliated against staffers who “voiced professional opinions that appear to be adverse to industry.”)

    * The Railroad Commission has increasingly allowed companies to do the bare minimum when cleaning up their mining sites, approving a growing number of requests to apply the least stringent restoration standards for their shuttered mines — regardless of whether companies can justify the lower standard.

    * Receiving permission from the state to apply that lower standard, which is for land intended for industrial or commercial use, can save companies millions of dollars and years of reclamation and monitoring responsibilities — and allow them to avoid testing soil for the harmful pollution common at mine sites.

    * The result of these practices is that there are potentially thousands of acres across Texas contaminated with toxic chemicals, which can leach into the groundwater and soil and endanger people’s health.

    #Pollution #FossilFuel #ContaminatedWater #News
    An investigation by The Texas Tribune and Grist shows that regulators in the Lone Star State have given a hand up to struggling coal companies as they face millions of dollars in mandated land restoration costs.... Five current and former division staffers who worked under Kingsley and/or his second-in-command, Travis Wootton, also told The Texas Tribune and Grist that both men helped mining companies throughout Texas avoid penalties and minimize their reclamation responsibilities, perpetuating what the employees said was a pattern of pro-industry behavior among division leadership going back years. A yearlong investigation by the Tribune and Grist also found that: * Kingsley and Wootton on several occasions overruled staff when they identified problems with mining companies' proposed reclamation plans or flagged violations. (Public records show both men were later fired after a human resources investigation found they retaliated against staffers who “voiced professional opinions that appear to be adverse to industry.”) * The Railroad Commission has increasingly allowed companies to do the bare minimum when cleaning up their mining sites, approving a growing number of requests to apply the least stringent restoration standards for their shuttered mines — regardless of whether companies can justify the lower standard. * Receiving permission from the state to apply that lower standard, which is for land intended for industrial or commercial use, can save companies millions of dollars and years of reclamation and monitoring responsibilities — and allow them to avoid testing soil for the harmful pollution common at mine sites. * The result of these practices is that there are potentially thousands of acres across Texas contaminated with toxic chemicals, which can leach into the groundwater and soil and endanger people’s health. #Pollution #FossilFuel #ContaminatedWater #News
    Texas coal companies are leaving behind contaminated land. The state is letting them.
    An investigation by The Texas Tribune and Grist shows that regulators in the Lone Star State have given a hand up to struggling coal companies as they face millions of dollars in mandated land restoration costs.
    WWW.TEXASTRIBUNE.ORG
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  • the organization that runs our nation’s largest wholesale electricity market may keep secret how it spends millions of Americans’ utility-bill dollars on lobbying and political contributions.

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, ostensibly independent, slapped down a complaint by a watchdog group known as Public Citizen. The watchdog wanted PJM Interconnection to disclose spending.

    “We will not require PJM to itemize and disclose all political-related spending and deny the complaint on this issue,” commissioners wrote.

    PJM gave at least $456,500 to the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association from October 2007 to August 2017, according to Public Citizen’s complaint.

    Such donations, said Public Citizen, are “the wild, wild West of campaign finance” because they aren’t limited by state or federal rules and can be used to funnel large amounts of money to candidates for office.

    #Energy #RevolvingDoor #FossilFuel #News #CampaignFinance #Lobbying

    the organization that runs our nation’s largest wholesale electricity market may keep secret how it spends millions of Americans’ utility-bill dollars on lobbying and political contributions. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, ostensibly independent, slapped down a complaint by a watchdog group known as Public Citizen. The watchdog wanted PJM Interconnection to disclose spending. “We will not require PJM to itemize and disclose all political-related spending and deny the complaint on this issue,” commissioners wrote. PJM gave at least $456,500 to the Democratic Governors Association and the Republican Governors Association from October 2007 to August 2017, according to Public Citizen’s complaint. Such donations, said Public Citizen, are “the wild, wild West of campaign finance” because they aren’t limited by state or federal rules and can be used to funnel large amounts of money to candidates for office. #Energy #RevolvingDoor #FossilFuel #News #CampaignFinance #Lobbying
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  • #TulsiGabbard Vs #QueenOfTheWarMongers... & #FossilFuels #Methane #Pollution #ClimateChange #RenewableEnergy #GreenEnergy...
    #TulsiGabbard Vs #QueenOfTheWarMongers... & #FossilFuels #Methane #Pollution #ClimateChange #RenewableEnergy #GreenEnergy...
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  • "The state’s quick retreat should serve as a lesson for other legislatures: if you criminalize protest, we will sue.

    South Dakota’s governor and attorney general backed down from their unconstitutional attempts to silence pipeline protestors. In response to a lawsuit we filed alongside the ACLU of South Dakota and the Robins Kaplan law firm, the state has agreed to never enforce the unconstitutional provisions of several state laws that threatened activists who encourage or organize protests, particularly protests of the Keystone XL pipeline, with fines and gives criminal penalties of up to 25 years in prison."

    #KeystoneXL #Oil #FossilFuel #EnvironmentalJustice
    "The state’s quick retreat should serve as a lesson for other legislatures: if you criminalize protest, we will sue. South Dakota’s governor and attorney general backed down from their unconstitutional attempts to silence pipeline protestors. In response to a lawsuit we filed alongside the ACLU of South Dakota and the Robins Kaplan law firm, the state has agreed to never enforce the unconstitutional provisions of several state laws that threatened activists who encourage or organize protests, particularly protests of the Keystone XL pipeline, with fines and gives criminal penalties of up to 25 years in prison." #KeystoneXL #Oil #FossilFuel #EnvironmentalJustice
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