This is gross. Providing yet another example of how important it is to close the revolving door between the Interior Department and industry, an industry advocacy group has just named a former Bureau of Land Management (BLM) field manager to be their president.
As the Farmington Daily Times reports, Steve Henke, the new president of New Mexico Oil and Gas Association (NMOGA), was selected as an "ideal choice" because of how well he worked with industry while he was at BLM.
The Times article also suggests that Henke just doesn't get it when it comes to the revolving door, quoting him as saying that, as president of the industry trade group, he hopes he will be "afforded the opportunity to sit at the table with policy makers and legislators to describe the impact and the role" his organization can play in "issue resolution." Presumably these policymakers are the same people he got to sit at the table with as a BLM regional manager.
All this of course raises questions about whether the former regional office manager was serving taxpayer interests when he was on the General Schedule.
Henke retired from BLM in May (here he is being quoted in an April BLM settlement press release), and since this group works with local and state governments, I doubt that his new job violates the President's ethic's pledge.
Expanded language about what constitutes improper behavior in the House’s Consolidated Land and Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2010 passed out of committee yesterday, and the Senate's Outer Continental Shelf Reform Act of 2010 should curb this kind of behavior.
-- Mandy Smithberger
Image: Flickr user radville.