Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Groups seek investigation over oil industry hire

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Several environmental groups are crying foul over the recent hire of a former Bureau of Land Management official as the president of New Mexico's leading oil and natural gas industry group.

The groups sent a letter Wednesday to BLM Director Bob Abbey and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, asking for an investigation into whether the industry improperly influenced Steve Henke during his time as head of the BLM's Farmington field office in northwestern New Mexico. The area is home to the San Juan Basin, one of the nation's largest natural gas fields.

The groups also want an independent ethics review of Henke's hiring by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, and they are requesting that he be restricted in his new position from interacting with BLM offices in New Mexico for two years.

"We cannot help but view Mr. Henke's sudden hiring by NMOGA as an example of the cozy relationship between industry and government officials that Interior Secretary Salazar has committed to confronting," said the letter, which also was sent to members of New Mexico's congressional delegation."...

..."Other groups signing on to the letter include the San Juan Citizens Alliance, Earthworks' Oil and Gas Accountability Project, Dine Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and Drilling Santa Fe." Full article>>>>

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