Thursday, September 11, 2008

MMS Chicks Drilling to Drill

How many of us remember the 70’s? It was a party time in every office through out America. Plenty of cocaine, pot, alcohol and sex o’ plenty. Yes it was a time when the rich frat boys of Americas elite upper 10% ruled the offices from coast to coast. It at times is surprising that 30 plus years wont change too much of business usual practices for the rich frat boy elitist life that many of our upper crust enjoy.

As our American way of life suffers due to economic hardships brought mostly to bear on the middle and working class folks of our country, some of our governing rich kid’s party on like it was still the 70’s. Congress is preparing to debate the expansion of drilling into taxpayer-owned coastal waters. During this time the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal. A scandal which includes allegations of shady financial dealings. Which itself is bad enough but to add to it that agents were accepting gifts from oil and energy companies, rampant cocaine use and sexual misconduct makes this more of a frat than a department.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Department of MMS.

Agency employees, some of whom apparently were referred to as the MMS chicks, are accused of accepting bribes from and having sex with oil company executives. For those of you who don’t know, the MMS stands for Interior Department’s Minerals Management Service. I don’t know what minerals the oil company executives were drilling for with the MMS chicks but it sounds like they had to run a few test drillings.

“For the record, the MMS, (not the chicks but the department) collects about $10 billion annually and are one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes, but (the MMS) has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch,” as noted by the New York Times. This mismanagement and misappropriation of contract awards and funds has apparently been going on for years costing us, the American tax payer Billions of dollars.

I can’t wait for the movie to come out on this one. I can already see the rating “R” and the jokes that undoubtedly will come along with it! There is a potential upside to this. It may actually slow down the process of the Republican rush to drill. Though they deem it the only chance that we as Americans have towards economic and energy dependency on foreign nations. I agree in some regard however it is not the quick fix they seem to present it as. If any of you know someone or are personally involved in the oil business you know there is a lag period between the first exploratory drilling and the time at which you actually start to see pumped (sorry but you knew I was going to use that term) production from any rig is measured not in days and weeks but in years. The fastest this would actually start to have a direct effect on our budget and energy costs would be 5 to 7 years down the road. Though I am not saying this should not be looked at and should not be brought on line to raise us up in the global economic landscape, I am saying this is not the answer to our immediate economic woes.

Anybody have any additional input? I would love to hear it. Post your thoughts below.

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