Interior Secretary Splits Embattled Offshore Drilling Regulator Into Three Parts

By Matt Loffman

May 19, 2010 4:16pm

Five days after President Obama referred to the Minerals Management Services as too "cozy" with the oil industry it's supposed to be regulating, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who supervises MMS, split the organization into three separate entities.

The Secretarial Order divides MMS into:

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to supervise energy development in the Outer Continental Shelf;

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to regulate and conduct comprehensive oversight, safety, and environmental protection of offshore rigs; and

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue, to collect royalty and revenue, and supervise auditing, compliance, and asset management.  

“We will continue to work tirelessly to change how the Department of the Interior does business,” Salazar said. “We will make sure that we are holding energy companies accountable for their responsibilities. We will make sure the American people are getting a fair return from their resources. And we will work tirelessly to protect the safety of workers and the American environment.”

The organizational chart of the MMS reorganization can be seen HERE

We’ve covered some of the controversies about MMS in the blog previously, including its continued granting of exemptions from environmental impact studies even after the April 20 BP disaster, and its frequent failures to inspect the Deepwater Horizon site — including in one out of every four months since President Obama's inauguration –  though it was required to do so every 30 days.

-Jake Tapper and Tom Giusto

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