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Rep. Edward J. Markey, Chairman - Stay Connected with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and RSS Feeds
The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming addressed our nation's energy, economic and national security challenges during the 110th and 111th Congresses.

This is an archived version of the committee's website, where the public, students and the media can continue to access and learn from our work.

Markey: Big Oil's Role in Interior Department Scandal Must Be Scrutinized -Chevron Responds

Chevron Responds to Markey Investigation, Raises New Questions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a hearing held this morning to examine recent revelations about ethical failings within the Bush administration’s Department of the Interior, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) closely questioned both Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Earl Devaney, Inspector General of the department and author of the governmental report on the scandal, over the Bush administration’s lax oversight.

“This is a blistering scalding indictment of the Bush administration’s oversight of the Department of Interior,” Rep. Markey lamented during the House Natural Resources committee hearing. “This is something that is a stain on the Department of Interior and its operations.”

In response to Rep. Markey’s questioning, Mr. Devaney recommended that the Department of the Interior’s Ethics Committee initiate an internal investigation into the conduct of the big oil companies involved in this scandal. “I’m charged with oversight over our employees and am satisfied that we are on track. I wish I had the same oversight and authority with outside entities, but I don’t,” Mr. Devaney said.

Late last week, Rep. Markey launched an investigation into Chevron, Shell Oil and Gary Williams, the three companies involved in the scandal from his position as chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Chevron responded today, admitting that employees provided “meals, drinks, and other entertainment” to Minerals Management Service employees. Chevron also concedes that several employers “were unable to arrange interviews” with the investigators on this matter, instead sending “non company counsel” in their stead.

In his testimony today before the Natural Resources Committee, Mr. Devaney agreed with Rep. Markey that “[this investigation] is incomplete because [employees of Shell and Chevron] didn’t make themselves available.” Mr. Devaney went on to say that, “I’ve been doing this for a long time and this isn’t the first time that I’ve been disappointed by decisions made over there… I would have liked a more aggressive approach and I would have liked to see some other people prosecuted here.”

Letters to Shell Oil and Gary Williams remain unanswered, but these discrepancies already raise new questions on the interference from the oil companies and the investigation.

“It takes two to tango, and it appears that employees of Big Oil may have danced over just as many ethical lines as their government counterparts. It is vital that we protect the American taxpayers by rooting out not only the ethical misconduct within the Interior Department, but also ensure that if any employees or executives at oil companies were involved in illegal activities, they also must be held accountable,” concluded Rep. Markey.

The letter to Chevron can be found HERE and the response to Rep. Markey HERE.

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PLEASE NOTE: The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming was created to explore American clean energy solutions that end our reliance on foreign oil and reduce carbon pollution.

The Select Committee was active during the 110th and 111th Congresses. This is an archived version of the website, to ensure that the public has ongoing access to the Select Committee record. This website, including external links, will not be updated after Jan. 3rd, 2010.

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