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For Immediate Release, May 25, 2010

Contact: Kierán Suckling, Executive Director, (520) 275-5960

Center for Biological Diversity Response to Inspector General's Investigative Report on
Minerals Management Service Corruption

TUCSON, Ariz.— In response to the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General report released today, Center for Biological Diversity Executive Director Kierán Suckling said:

“The Inspector General report released today highlights the ongoing failures of the Minerals Management Service, which is riddled with illegal drug use, bribery, and, worst of all, falsification of inspection reports crucial to ensuring the safe operation of drill rigs in our waters.

“MMS safety inspectors taking drugs on oil platforms is bad enough, but falsifying reports and allowing the industry to ghostwrite their inspections is completely outrageous.

“The report further exposes the revolving door with the oil and gas industry, through which MMS employees seek high-paying jobs with industry. Most recently, Randall Luthi, the former director of the MMS, took over as president of the National Ocean Industries Association to, in the association’s words, ‘impact policies favorable to the offshore energy industry.’

“The extent of the culture of corruption in the MMS is mind boggling. Steps proposed to date by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to fix this dysfunctional organization do not come close to what is needed to root out the systematic corruption of the agency.”

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