The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement was established in the aftermath of the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill which killed 11 people, injured 17, and dumped nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. In response, the Obama Administration called for a commission to investigate the causes of this environmental cataclysm and determined that “the root causes are systemic and, absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur.”
The result was the creation of BSEE. As then-President Barack Obama stated, the goal was to “Build an organization that acts as the oil industry’s watchdog - not its partner.”
Enter Scott Angelle.
Angelle was hand-picked by the Trump Administration to lead BSEE - a post that does not require Senate confirmation. Besides delivering a projected $1.3 billion windfall to oil and gas companies due to regulatory rule changes, Angelle frequently travels to meet with executives from the industries he is supposed to be overseeing. He even went so far as to give out his personal cell phone number at a conference with the specific goal of shirking public records laws. Typically, egregious behavior such as admitting your intent to violate federal law goes largely missed by the public and elected officials, however, this was all captured on video and uploaded to YouTube where it was picked up by Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:
This caught the attention of TechDirt’s Mike Masnick, who last November filed a FOIA with the BSEE for Angelle’s phone records. Back in February, those records were partially released. There are plenty of pages to go through and thousands of phone numbers included and we have only just begun to parse through the listings. Lend us a hand via the crowdsource below and tell us what you find!
Another MuckRock user, Jesse Coleman, was able to get a copy of Angelle’s calendar from May 2017 to February 2018. The first of part of that release is embedded below.
Image via BSEE Flickr