Minerals Management Official Out Over Oil Spill Disaster
May 17, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-The Minerals Management Service, (MMS) the agency responsible for handing out oil drilling permits, was perhaps the most corrupt federal agency ever, during the Bush/Cheney years. With the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill disaster, it’s clear the Obama administration still has some major Interior Department housecleaning to do. And the purge began today, with the resignation of a top MMS official, effective at the end of the month.
Chris Oynes, a long-term veteran of the agency regulating gas and oil drilling, announced on Monday via email that he was resigning, according to the Washington Post:
“Chris Oynes, who oversaw oil and gas leasing in the Gulf of Mexico for 12 years before being promoted in 2007 to associate director for offshore energy and minerals management, informed colleagues in an e-mail that he will step down. He has come under fire from former MMS officials for being too close to the industry he regulated.”
Oynes’ resignation comes on the same day that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced an acceleration of the review and reform of MMS procedures.
Salazar promised to “establish a more orderly, open, and environmentally sound process for developing oil and gas resources on public lands.The BP oil spill is a stark reminder of how we must continue to push ahead with the reforms we have been working on and which we know are needed.”
Oynes’ resignation is a good start, but the White House can’t stop there.