Greenwire had an important story a few weeks ago that I'm pointing out for anyone who missed it: State oil and gas agencies across the country that are supposed to be regulating the drilling industry, and ensuring risks to the environment and human health are minimized, are also tasked with promoting the same industry.
And sometimes the law makes that their top priority. Wyoming regulators are expected to "serve" the industry. Pennsylvania's Bureau of Oil and Gas says its goal is to "facilitate" development. And nearly every other oil and gas agency has a mandate or mission statement establishing increased development as a goal.
It's a conflict of interest, but it's not seen that way by some: "We have a dual mission," Dave Neslin, director of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, told Greenwire. "They're both important, and I think we can do both very well."
In West Virginia, "the revolving door isn't a problem, it's a job requirement."
The story is lengthy and worth reading in full for state-by-state examples of how the arrangement affects the way drilling companies are able to develop.