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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Government-centered revolving door kleptocracy: Want to get rich in oil? Start out in government "public service"

Three of every four oil and gas lobbyists worked for federal government
(Washington Post) -- by Dan Eggen and Kimberly Kindy --

Three out of every four lobbyists who represent oil and gas companies previously worked in the federal government, a proportion that far exceeds the usual revolving-door standards on Capitol Hill, a Washington Post analysis shows.

Key lobbying hires include 18 former members of Congress and dozens of former presidential appointees. For other senior management positions, the industry employs two former directors of the Minerals Management Service, the since-renamed agency that regulates the industry, and several top officials from the Bush White House. Federal inspectors once assigned to monitor oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico have landed jobs with the companies they regulated...

Even considering the generally friendly relationship between

K Street and Capitol Hill, the number of well-connected oil lobbyists is remarkable. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics calculates that fewer than one in three registered lobbyists in 2009 had revolving-door connections -- less than half the oil industry rate found by The Post.

Officials with the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit group that tracks Interior Department officials who cross over to the oil sector, said they were surprised by the findings. "With these numbers, you can see how the revolving door between the Hill and industry allowed problems in the agency to happen and not be addressed," said Mandy Smithberger, an investigator for the group...MORE...LINK

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