Lead: Trusted by his friend President Harding, Secretary of Interior Albert B. Fall brought disgrace to the administration and served time for his trouble.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1921 Interior Secretary Fall convinced Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby to transfer control of naval oil reserves to his Department. It was government policy to hold oil-rich land for national defense purposes. Since Navy ships were propelled by oil-fired engines it was in the national interest to hold this land in reserve. During war the oil could be pumped out for emergency purposes. Some Navy experts believed that reserves in places such as Elk Hills, California and Salt Creek, Wyoming were being drained by private oil wells on the edge of government land, and they insisted that this endangered reserve should be immediately pumped and stored above ground.

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