Ring of Fire friend Rick Outzen has helped uncover some oily ties in the BP case, which could have devastating effects on the impending legal actions against the company. Here’s a snippet of Rick’s latest article that appeared on The Daily Beast:

Officials in the MMS royalty collection office in Denver accepted gifts from energy companies including golf, ski and paintball outings; meals and drinks; and tickets to a Toby Keith concert, a Houston Texans football game, and a Colorado Rockies baseball game. All the abuses found by investigators occurred before Randall Luthi took office, but he spent the last four months of his tenure fighting off calls for his resignation.

Randall Luthi once worked for Dick Cheney and, according to his MMS bio, served on Cheney’s Energy Council, an organization composed of legislative representatives from energy-producing states and private energy-related industries that set the energy policies of the Bush administration.

BP; Halliburton, the company responsible for cementing the deepwater drill hole at the site; and Cameron International, the company that built the safety valves for the rig, have seats on board of NOIA, the trade organization led by Randall Luthi.

Jeffery Luthi handles the docket of the JPML, which has the authority to determine whether civil actions pending in two or more federal judicial districts should be transferred to a single federal district court for pretrial proceeding.

He is dealing with the BP motion to combine all the civil lawsuits involving Deepwater Horizon and the oil spill into a federal court in Houston, Texas. The decision will be made by the JPML at its July session in Boise, Idaho.

For Rick’s full coverage of the oil spill, follow him on The Daily Beast.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced