About POGO

Mia Steinle, Investigator

Mia Steinle


msteinle@pogo.org |

Year Started At POGO: 2011

Areas of expertise: Natural Resources, U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

Mia Steinle investigates government oversight of the oil, gas, and mining industries. She is also the civil society coordinator for the U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), where she works with civil society, industry, and government to establish greater revenue transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. Mia previously contributed to POGO's investigations of U.S. defense spending. Her reports and blog posts on the state of the nuclear weapons complex highlighted issues such as safety rollbacks, cost overruns, and congressional funding battles.  Before joining POGO, Mia was a researcher at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, where she contributed to several major investigations of the telecommunications industry. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from American University. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, POLITICO, and other media outlets.

POGO highlights:

Contributes to POGO's program on U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Contributed to POGO's report, Energy Department Plans to Waste Billions of Dollars on Unneeded Los Alamos Lab Facility, which was part of a campaign that ultimately halted construction of a mismanaged nuclear weapons facility.

Contributed to POGO's report, Spending Even Less, Spending Even Smarter, which identified nearly $700 billion in potential taxpayer savings.

Data on Oil, Gas, Mining Projects Often Incomplete, Missing or Inaccessible

November 20, 2014

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) undertook a survey of members of various communities across the country where extractive industry activities take place to help determine what level of granularity of government data on natural resources revenue would be useful to the public.

POGO and Allies Warn Secretary of Energy of Dangerous Plutonium Plan

November 1, 2012

The Department of Energy's proposal to transport plutonium bomb cores from New Mexico to California is unnecessarily dangerous and potentially unlawful. Forty-six groups, including the Project On Government Oversight, believe safer alternatives exist and must be examined.

Groups Urge Congress to Cut MOX Plutonium Fuel Program

March 19, 2012

Costs for the Department of Energy’s MOX program are increasing at an alarming rate. The estimated cost of MOX plant construction at the Savannah River Site has increased from $1.6 billion in FY2004 to the current $4.9 billion. The DOE’s FY2013 overall request for MOX and associated plutonium disposition programs is $887 million and the budget indicates a funding request of $3.6 billion from FY2014 to FY2017.

Are Taxpayers Being Shortchanged from Natural Resources Revenue?

January 28, 2016

At a roundtable public discussion sponsored by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and Taxpayers for Common Sense, Ali Zaidi, Associate Director for Natural Resources, Energy, and Science Programs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said, “If you care are about the federal taxpayer, there is strong evidence we’re undercharging [for natural resources extracted from federal land].”

Victory for Taxpayers on Coal

January 15, 2016

POGO has long been urging the Interior Department to update its outdated coal rules for mining on federal land. Today, the Department announced it would be halting coal leases while it undertakes a review of the federal coal program.

EITI Report Shows Impact of Resource Extraction on Taxpayers

December 15, 2015

The U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) released a report on oil, gas, minerals, and renewable resources, and made data about those resources available to the public.

Draining Us Dry: How Diverting a New Mexico River Will Hurt Taxpayers

September 14, 2015

The Project on Government Oversight is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that investigates waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government. POGO’s mandate led us to investigate a federally-funded project in New Mexico, where the numbers just don’t add up.

It's Time to Update Coal Rules That Are Costing Taxpayers Millions

August 3, 2015

The rules governing what coal companies pay to extract natural resources from public lands haven't been changed in over 25 years.

Mine Games: How Federal Coal Program Loopholes Can Cheat Taxpayers

April 16, 2015

A 25-year-old loophole can allow coal companies to cheat the federal government and taxpayers out of revenues, but a proposed rule from the Interior Department may change that.

Interior Secretary Highlights Need for Coal Royalty Reform

March 18, 2015

The federal government needs to improve the way it manages coal on public lands, according to Sally Jewell, the Secretary of the Interior.

Data on Oil, Gas, Mining Projects Often Incomplete, Missing or Inaccessible

November 21, 2014

There is a glaring lack of data available to the public about the impacts of the drilling and mining of oil, gas and minerals on public lands, according to a Project On Government Oversight (POGO) survey of people who live and work in areas where extractive activities take place.

U.S. Joins International Effort to Bring Transparency to Drilling, Mining Industries

March 19, 2014

An international organization working to bring greater transparency and accountability to industries that extract natural resources accepted the U.S. as a candidate for membership at a meeting of its board today in Oslo, Norway.

Once Plagued by Scandal, Interior Dept. Promotes Good Ethics

January 9, 2014

The Interior Department's plain English guide to ethics is an encouraging improvement from a government agency once plagued by scandals.

U.S. Submits Transparency Plan for International Approval

December 19, 2013

The U.S. candidacy application to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has been submitted, which means the public is one step closer to understanding how the extractive industries impact their communities, the environment, and the economy.

POGO and Allies Urge Senate Not to Undercut Transparency Measures

September 30, 2013

The Project On Government Oversight has joined a coalition of transparency advocates urging the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to pass legislation that doesn’t undermine national and global transparency standard.

Natural Resource Transparency Must Include Local Governments

June 21, 2013

Groups that represent the interests of citizens, investors, unions, and others are championing greater openness from local governments as the United States implements the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

Nuke Agency Wasted Millions on Inappropriate Reimbursements

May 29, 2013

A contractor for the National Nuclear Security Administration overbilled the agency by about $3.7 million in order to reimburse its subcontractors for living expenses they were not eligible to receive, according to the Inspector General at the Department of Energy.

Transparency on Oil, Gas, Coal Revenues Moving Forward

May 7, 2013

The U.S. Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative decided that it will include oil, gas, and coal royalties on federal lands in it scope. Other revenues, resources, and lands are still up for discussion among members of industry, government, and civil society.

VA Medical Construction Over Budget, Behind Schedule

May 7, 2013

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ largest construction projects are, on average, $366 million over budget and almost three years behind schedule, the Government Accountability Office told Congress.

Risk of IRS Audit Declines for Many Businesses

April 16, 2013

The likelihood of companies that fall into the highest tax bracket being audited by the Internal Revenue Service is on the decline, according to a new report by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

SEC Stands Firm as Industry Tries to Un-Do Transparency Law

March 28, 2013

As natural resources companies wage a legal battle against a new regulation that calls for more revenue reporting, the Securities and Exchange Commission has stood its ground, firmly rejecting industry’s anti-transparency arguments.

VA Healthcare System Failing Veterans, Study Says

March 28, 2013

Military veterans experience “excessive wait time” for medical care, leading to higher incidences of preventable hospitalizations and death, according to the Institute of Medicine.

House Report Highlights Need for Inspector General Nominations

March 1, 2013

The watchdog office overseeing the department that manages the nation’s public lands and natural resources has been rendered toothless for over 1,400 days.

Extractives Revenue Openness Initiative Holds First Meeting

February 22, 2013

Representatives from civil society, industry, and government came together last week to plan how to make the government’s collection of royalty payments from natural resources companies more transparent.

Former Oil Exec Says Industry Should Embrace Transparency

February 11, 2013

A former oil executive wrote in The Guardian that the EU should not back down in the face of industry attempts to water down proposed transparency laws.

POGO Joins Natural Resources Extraction Transparency Initiative

February 6, 2013

POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian will join a federal advisory committee that aims to ensure that the government and taxpayers are getting their fair share of revenues from natural resources that come from public lands.

Tell Congress: Oppose Proposal to Weaken Nuclear Oversight

December 17, 2012

Tell your members of Congress that cutting corners on nuclear safety and security is simply unacceptable.

President Opposes Nuke Facility, Threatens to Veto Defense Bill

December 3, 2012

The President said he will veto the National Defense Authorization Act as it is currently written because it includes, among other things, funding for a costly nuclear weapons facility.

Energy Dept. IG Finds Conflicts of Interest in Nuke Clean-Up

November 9, 2012

Government investigators have uncovered conflicts of interest among the contractors working on a multi-billion dollar effort to decontaminate and decommission two of the nation’s nuclear weapons sites.

Oil and Gas Industry Loses Latest Round in Battle with SEC

November 9, 2012

In an attempt to combat corruption in resource-rich developing countries, two years ago Congress ordered U.S. corporations to disclose payments they make to foreign governments for the extraction of oil, gas and minerals. This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission stood its ground and refused to put the rule on hold while industry groups challenge the agency in court.

Senate Investigation Found DHS Intelligence Centers Wasted Money and Violated Civil Liberties

October 3, 2012

A Department of Homeland Security effort to improve the sharing of terrorism-related intelligence among state and local governments and with officials in Washington has yielded “shoddy” information and civil liberties violations, according to a Senate investigation.

Inspector General Report Warns of Budget Overruns in Nuke Refurbishment

October 3, 2012

The NNSA's effort to extend the shelf-life of nuclear warheads designed for submarine launch is on track for "large cost overruns" of about $221 million if things don't change, according to an inspector general audit.

'Extensive' Oversight of Nuclear Weapons Facilities Not Such a Bad Idea, After All, Official Says

September 12, 2012

A top Department of Energy official has changed his tune on the oversight of security contractors at nuclear weapons facilities after an 82-year-old nun broke into the "Fort Knox of uranium."

Break-In Reveals "Ineptitude" at Nuke Facility, Probe Finds

August 31, 2012

A government investigation into the recent break-in at the Y-12 nuclear weapons facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn., blamed longstanding security weaknesses and “troubling displays of ineptitude” by facility personnel.

Some Senators Want to Waste Big Bucks on Unnecessary Nuke Facility

August 31, 2012

Some senators want to waste billions of dollars on a nuclear facility that experts, including those in the nuclear industry, say is unneeded.

Mission Impossible? Not for 82-year-old Anti-Nuclear Weapons Activist

July 30, 2012

When a nuclear weapons facility can't stop infiltration by an octogenarian nun, it's time to reassess its security standards. The 82-year-old nun, accompanied by two other anti-nuclear activists, broke into Tennessee's Y-12 National Security Complex early Saturday morning.

Key NDAA Reforms: Nuclear Weapons Complex Edition

May 18, 2012

This week, the House rejected key amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have prevented rollbacks of oversight at our nation's nuclear weapons labs and would have maintained zero funding for an unnecessary $6 billion plutonium facility.

March 24, 2014

U.S. Joins Global Transparency Tide in Extractives Sector

IPS Inter Press Service News Agency | By Carey L. Biron