As Former MMS Head Testifies, a Review of the Agency’s Demise
On the same day that former Minerals Management Service chief Elizabeth Birnbaum is slated to testify before the national oil spill commission, The Washington Post published a lengthy story on the history of the often cozy relationship between the agency and the oil industry.
Birnbaum resigned in May amid criticism of MMS and as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was dismantling the agency and restructuring the way the department permits and oversee offshore drilling.
According to the Post:
The story of how a little-known federal agency became an extension of the industry it oversaw spans three decades and four presidents. It began in 1982 with a major change in the way the nation managed its natural resources, picked up pace with initiatives to streamline bureaucracy in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, and ended after the April 20 BP blowout with the Obama administration’s abrupt decision to undo the partnership.