WASHINGTON, June 15, 2010 – Today, President Barack Obama announced his selection of Michael R. Bromwich to lead the Administration’s efforts to accelerate reforms in the regulation and oversight of offshore oil drilling.

Bromwich will lead the effort to reform the Minerals Management Service (MMS), restoring integrity and rigor to the relationship between federal regulatory officials and oil companies. Bromwich will develop the plans for a new oversight structure, replacing long-standing, inadequate practices with a gold-standard approach for environmental and safety regulation. He has a mandate to implement far-reaching change and will have the resources to accomplish that change.

“For a decade or more, the cozy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency was allowed to go unchecked. That allowed drilling permits to be issued in exchange not for safety plans, but assurances of safety from oil companies. That cannot and will not happen anymore,” President Obama said.

Specifically, Bromwich will oversee the reorganization of the MMS to eliminate conflicts among the different missions of the agency which include establishing safety standards, regulating industry compliance, and collecting royalties. These actions will ensure that there is no conflict of interest, real or perceived, in oil industry oversight. Secretary Salazar has announced plans to split MMS into three new divisions – the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue – the most significant in a series of Interior Department reforms launched since January 2009.

Bromwich’s work will be based in part on the Interior Department’s 30-day report on the safety and environmental precautions for offshore drilling rigs and the forthcoming recommendations of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

Bromwich is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and Justice Department Inspector General. He is a national leader in taking broken agencies, applying rigorous reforms and oversight, and seeing positive results. His work has led to significant improvements in a variety of organizations ranging from Federal agencies to local police departments in Houston and Washington.

Source: White House

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