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Teapot Dome Scandal The Teapot Dome was the name for the scandal during the presidency of Warren G Harding The scandal involved the secret leasing of naval oil reserve lands to private companies A committee of the US Senate first revealed it to the people in 1924 after its discovery One cabinet member went to prison for his part in the affair and a number of Washington officials were accused of threatening to destroy confidence in Republican leaders of the period But Calvin Coolidge who became president when Harding died in 1924 handled the problem without damaging his administration The Teapot Dome Scandal became a symbol for government corruption The start of the scandal went back to the growth of the federal conservation policy in the presidencies of Theodore Roosevelt William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson especially to the creation of naval petroleum reserves in Wyoming and California These reserves were pieces of public land in which it was supposed to be kept in its natural reservoirs or domes for the future use of the Navy The Teapot Dome near Casper Wyoming got its name from a rock that looked like a teapot that came from the oil-bearing ground The leaders of both parties supported the petroleum reserve policy Actually private oil interests and many politicians had always been against each other saying that the reserves were unnecessary That American oil companies could provide for the needs of US naval vessels One of these politicians a longtime enemy of federal conservation programs was Senator Albert B Fall of New Mexico In 1921 Fall became Hardings secretary of the interior and quickly moved to open the reserves to private exploitation
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