Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today signed a Secretarial Order that will lead to the fundamental restructuring of the Minerals Management Service and the division of its three conflicting missions into separate entities with independent missions.
“The Minerals Management Service has three distinct and conflicting missions that – for the benefit of effective enforcement, energy development, and revenue collection – must be divided,” said Secretary Salazar. “The reorganization I am ordering today is the next step in our reform agenda and will enable us to carry out these three separate and equally-important missions with greater effectiveness and transparency. These reforms will strengthen oversight of offshore energy operations, improve the structure for revenue and royalty collections on behalf of the American people, and help our country build the clean energy future we need.”
This is a major step forward for the Department. POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian had this to say in response:
"It's awful that it took the catastrophe in the Gulf to force this change, but we're glad that Salazar appears to be following through with the reforms he promised. MMS has been serving two masters — we're glad that they are finally taking steps to serve the taxpayers.
This is great news. Finally, MMS is kicking industry out of bed, and giving the oversight functions the independence they deserve. Congress now must work with Sec. Salazar and act to ensure real reform."
For more background on the Minerals Management Service and how it relates to the Gulf oil spill, visit our resource page.
-- Bryan Rahija