Top Interior Official Who Pushed to Expand Drilling in Alaska to Join Oil Company There
Joe Balash — who oversaw oil and gas drilling on federal lands before resigning from Interior on Friday — is joining a foreign oil company that is expanding operations on Alaska’s North Slope. Balash, who had served as the Interior Department’s assistant secretary for land and minerals management for nearly two years, confirmed that he will begin working for the Papua New Guinea-based Oil Search, which is developing one of Alaska’s largest oil prospects in years. “At the point, Balash began discussing employment opportunities with Oil Search, he was prohibited from personally and substantially participating in any particular matter that would affect Oil Search’s financial interests,” said Brendan Fischer, federal reform program director at the Campaign Legal Center.
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