Report says short review didn't compromise Alaska lease sale

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2015 4:44 PM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal Inspector General's report concludes that a federal agency rushed an environmental review of a petroleum lease sale off Alaska's coast but didn't compromise its integrity.

The Inspector General investigated after an employee of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement alleged scientific findings were manipulated for political purposes for a second environmental review of a petroleum lease sale in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE') Sea.

The unnamed complainant also said upper level management set a timeline for the review to benefit the oil and gas industry.

The report concludes that upper level managers did not change scientific findings.

Interior Department chief of staff Tommy Beaudreau (boo-DROH') says he established the short timeline to protect the department from blame in case Shell Oil had not been able to drill in 2015.