Just as the desire for offshore drilling is finally starting to catch on, a major scandal breaks involving kickbacks, sex and other favors to government agents in exchange for offshore licenses and royalties. So what does this mean? Well, it means that we have a major league you-know-what kind of storm on our hands, just when American energy security is most needed. I don't wish to sweep this under the carpet, mind you. If this is true, then all the guilty parties need to be jailed. There's no excuse for this sort of misbehavior, and the last thing the energy industry needed was another major scandal on its hands. But we *need* offshore drilling. If the country is lucky, at most this is only going to effect oversight for offshore acquisitions. But at worst, opponents of offshore drilling iniatives will use this to suggest a culture of corruption affecting the entire industry. This won't be hard, given that a recent report is touting how speculators are responsible oil price manipulation. Hopefully this scandal is just seen as an anamoly, and we can move forward with our energy plans. –Stephen Payne, Editor, Oil and Gas Investor This Week; www.OilandGasInvestor.com; spayne@hartenergy.com