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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Regulatory Capture Realized: The Oil Industry and the MMS Regulatory Agency

On May 11, 2010,  U.S. Dept. of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced that he would separate the public safety and environmental enforcement side of the Minerals Management Services (M.M.S.) agency from its leasing and revenue collection function. While this move eliminateed the structural conflict of interest in the agency, it might not do enough to protect the regulatory function of the agency’s public safety and environmental enforcement roles.  The regulator can all too easily be coopted, or captured, by the firms it is regulating.

The full essay is at Institutional Conflicts of Interest, available in print and as an ebook at Amazon.