The Washington Post reports that the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the agency responsible for overseeing the offshore drilling industry, has a new director:
President Obama has selected Michael Bromwich, a partner in the law firm Fried Frank's Washington D.C. and New York offices, to head the Minerals Management Service, the troubled agency that oversees offshore oil drilling, according to senior administration officials.
Bromwich also served as inspector general for the Department of Justice under the Clinton Administration, and considering the challenges MMS faces in collecting oil and gas royalty payments, it's encouraging to see the Obama Administration select someone with an investigative background to head up the agency.
In fact, it's almost as if the Administration read POGO's mind. In testimony we just submitted to the House Committee on Natural Resources for a hearing on June 17, POGO is calling for Interior to look outside the oil industry for expertise:
"...Interior can get the qualified officials it needs if they look beyond industry, the solicitor’s office, and MMS. For example, Secretary Salazar could appoint one of the state or tribe auditors who have been frustrated with MMS’s lax royalty auditing to head up the new auditing bureau. Someone from the Government Accountability Office or the IG office could be an effective head of the bureau charged with inspections. These critics care about MMS’s mission and want it to succeed, and are exactly the kind of people MMS employees and industry need to see in the lead."
The previous MMS director, Liz Birnbaum, resigned in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.
-- Bryan Rahija