Key passage from this week's Oil Spill Commission report regarding the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the U.S. offshore oil regulator now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management,Regulation, and Enforcement:
As one MMS official put it in 1996, conceding that the best the agency could do with available resources was to encourage voluntary compliance with SEMP, “We want to approach our relationship with the offshore industry more as a partner than a policeman. We need to create an atmosphere where the primary concern is to fix the problem, not the blame.”
One thing that the Oil Spill Commission doesn't get quite right was MMS's appetite for royalty revenue. POGO found for many years that auditors who found royalty underpayments or fraud were retaliated against.
-- Mandy Smithberger