Juliet Eilperin at The Washington Post reports that Chris Oynes, the Minerals Management Service's (MMS) Associate Director for Offshore Energy and Minerals Management (OEMM), announced he would retire at the end of the month. He was promoted to the position after overseeing the '98-'99 leases in the Gulf of Mexico that omitted key price threshold language and cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
As far as determining whether this action should be considered an example of accountability, the article notes that he has been criticized for being overly close to industry. But it's not yet clear what role, if any, he played in the Deepwater Horizon spill. The Inspector General was never able to decide who was ultimately responsible for the mistakes in '98-99 leases, but the investigation did find that many people at MMS had dropped the ball.
-- Mandy Smithberger
Photo: Oynes (left) awards the MMS's SAFE award to Keelan Adamson, Transocean's North America division manager.