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Gale Norton in corruption probe

 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:01 pm    Post subject: Gale Norton in corruption probe Reply with quote

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-norton17-2009sep17,0,6215749.story

Quote:
The Justice Department is investigating whether former Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton illegally used her position to benefit Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the company that later hired her, according to officials in federal law enforcement and the Interior Department.

The criminal investigation centers on the Interior Department's 2006 decision to award three lucrative oil shale leases on federal land in Colorado to a Shell subsidiary. Over the years it would take to extract the oil, according to calculations from Shell and a Rand Corp. expert, the deal could net the company hundreds of billions of dollars.

The investigation's main focus is whether Norton violated a law that prohibits federal employees from discussing employment with a company if they are involved in dealings with the government that could benefit the firm, law enforcement and Interior officials said.

...

On average, each of those 5,000-acre lease tracts holds an estimated $700-billion worth of recoverable oil (at today's $70-per-barrel price), said James T. Bartis, a shale expert at Rand. Shell has estimated the costs of recovering the oil at $30 per barrel, leaving a potential profit of about $1 trillion after royalties if all the oil is extracted.

Shell was the only company to receive more than one tract.

"Shell got some of the best lands" that the government made available, Bartis said.
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