September 10, 2008
Sex, Drugs, Oil, and Toby Keith
Poster by Finnigan Productions
Today's ethics scandal is all about the corrupt government agency that oversees our nation's oil and gas reserves. Great timing, right?
As Sarah Palin said in her acceptance speech, "We Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas. We've got lots of both!" And, as it turns out, we've also gotten lots of bribes, sex, and drugs in return for for selling it to oil companies.
A Times covers a report from the Department of the Interior that busts the officials responsible for selling our country's gas and oil. Turns out our government is literally in bed with big oil. The report characterizes the department as "a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch."
A few of the best findings:
- Bribery: oil companies gave government employees drinks, tickets to a Toby Keith concert, football and baseball games, and highly illicit paintball outings
- Sex: two employees had "brief sexual relationships" with their oil industry reps
- Defrauding taxpayers: the department let oil companies pay less than their contracted price for the oil they bought
- And while this doesn't strictly count as government corruption, one guy who directed sales of our oil regularly bought cocaine from his secretary, who he also had sex with! Even though he was buying coke from her boyfriend, too. Nice.
Here's the official Royalty-in-Kind website, which is the department where most of the shenanigans went down. It's part of the larger Minerals Management Service, which brings in $10 billion in revenue a year (not counting all the weed they smoked with oil reps on their free ski trips.)
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