This morning, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed an amendment that would expand and strengthen existing restrictions so that all employees of the Department of the Interior with responsibilities under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act—not just the highest-ranking employees—would be banned from lobbying for industry for two years after leaving Interior, and also from making lobbying contact with Interior for at least one year.
POGO sent a letter endorsing the amendment originally introduced by Senator Wyden (D-OR) to slow the revolving door, yesterday, along with Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Fund for Constitutional Government, Government Accountability Project (GAP), Greenpeace, OMB Watch, Public Citizen, Revenue Watch Institute, Sunlight Foundation, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Union of Concerned Scientists, and U.S. PIRG.
But today, an amendment to both slow the revolving door and clarify conflicts of interest, offered by Senator Wyden and Committee Chair Jeff Bingaman, was passed.
As POGO blog readers know, there's a long history of a revolving door between the Department of the Interior and the oil and gas industry. Kudos to Senators Wyden and Bingamen for their leadership in this critical issue.
Find more details on the amendment, which echoes a request from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, below the jump—and don't forget to check out POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian's statement.