An investigation by The New York Times’ Eric Lipton released March 10th, 2018, describes how the industry-tied Director of the U.S. offshore safety enforcement bureau has cut safety and environmental regulations on the oil industry.
New details of that story, released by Documented, reveal that the Director of the Bureau for Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has overwhelmingly prioritized meeting with offshore oil executives and lobbyists that have directly contributed to his past political campaigns over other stakeholders.
According to an analysis of his calendar, Director Scott Angelle spent over 98 hours with oil and gas industry lobbyists and executives from May 2017 to February 2018. During that same time frame he spent just 105 minutes with NGOs.
While director of BSEE, Angelle frequently met with companies that contributed to his failed bids for elected office. His schedule included many hours of visits with Targa Resources, LLOG, Louisiana Mid Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA), Chevron, Hilcorp, Arena Energy, Fieldwood Energy, and Taylor Energy. Together those companies contributed $88,750 to Angelle's campaigns from 2012 to 2016.
Taylor Energy has all but shut down as a company, but still owns the most polluting oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico, which have been leaking for 13 years. The current CEO of Taylor, Phyllis Taylor, contributed $13,100 to Angelle, mostly in 2016. Taylor is currently the wealthiest woman in Louisiana and is petitioning BSEE to absolve the company of responsibility for the leaking wells, and return a $432 million trust fund set aside for the leak. (Taylor Energy employs Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt's lobbying firm, Bernstein Hyatt Farber and Shreck)
Angelle's scheduling preference for the oil industry over other stakeholders coincides with actions beneficial to the companies he’s met with:
- Under Angelle, BSEE inspections have dropped 15% below what the Obama administration conducted over a similar timeframe. Facility shut-ins, a serious enforcement measure, have dropped 39% below the previous administration.
- On Nov. 28, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement approved energy exploration in the Arctic.
- In December, 2017, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) had directed it to “stop work” on a study into offshore oil and gas drilling safety. (The stop work was lifted in February of 2018)
Angelle was a board member for Sunoco 2012-2017 and currently has $250-500k in Sunoco Logistics Partners stock.
Scott Angelle’s Ethics Form 278:
Scott Angelle’s Ethics pledge