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Wondering about who heads Minerals Management Service (MMS) under Obama?

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 09:32 AM
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Wondering about who heads Minerals Management Service (MMS) under Obama?
After reading this little blood boiling tidbit from MJ yesterday:

"The Deepwater rig lacked a remote-control shut-off switch, a back-up system that would close the well even if the rig above was destroyed.-snip The oil companies complained that the $500,000 devices were too expensive. Keep in mind the Deepwater was a $560 million rig. Countries like Norway and Brazil require these precautions to avert catastrophe, but in the US the technology is voluntary. This is thanks to a 2003 decision by the Bush administration's Minerals Management Service (MMS)"

http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/05/bp-getting-h...



I was wondering if President Obama followed suit with another industry hack to head the MMS. This is what I found:



MMS Director S. Elizabeth Birnbaum Biography

S. Elizabeth (Liz) Birnbaum assumed duties as Director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) on July 15, 2009.

As MMS Director, Birnbaum administers programs that ensure the effective management of renewable energy, such as wind, wave, and ocean current energy; and traditional energy and mineral resources on the nations Outer Continental Shelf, including the environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas, as well as the collection and distribution of revenues for minerals developed on federal and American Indian lands.

Before her appointment, she was staff director for the Committee on House Administration, where she oversaw strategy development, budget management and staff activities for the committee that manages legislative branch agencies. From 2001-2007, she was Vice President for Government Affairs and General Counsel for American Rivers, where she directed advocacy programs for the nations leading river conservation organization.

At the Department of the Interior, Birnbaum was Associate Solicitor for Mineral Resources from 2000 to 2001, supervising and managing a staff of attorneys that provided legal advice, developed regulations and conducted litigation on minerals issues for the Minerals Management Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation.

In addition, she was a special assistant to the Interior Solicitor, from 1999 to 2000, overseeing legal policy on a range of natural resource issues, including mining law, public land management and hydropower licensing. From 1991 to 1999 she was counsel to the House Committee on Natural Resources, where she handled legislative and oversight activities for the Department of the Interior, U.S. Forest Service, and electric power marketing administrations. From 1987 to 1991 she was counsel for the Water Resources Program of the National Wildlife Federation.

Birnbaum has been an officer and member of numerous boards and commissions, including the National Capital Section of the American Water Resources Association; Arlington County Environment and Energy Conservation Commission; and the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section of the District of Columbia Bar.

Birnbaum received her Juris Doctor from Harvard University in 1984 and her A.B. degree, magna cum laude, from Brown University in 1979. She was Editor in Chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, Vol. 8.

http://www.mms.gov/ooc/newweb/directorspage/director.ht...



Seems to be a good source. She needs to get some rules changed and not allow industry to police themselves. Perhaps she should use Norway & Brazil as an example.
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bottomofthehill Donating Member (578 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 10:13 AM
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1. Looks like a pretty good background to me.
Lets hope she is up to the task. She should have the background knowledge to make good decisions.

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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-10 12:09 PM
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2. This is troublesome:
"The recent accident of the Deepwater Horizon off the coast of Louisiana reminds us that even a highly regulated industry is not, unfortunately, immune to accidents," wrote S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of MMS, in her letter to Menendez. "We will be working with other Federal Agencies, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, to fully investigate this accident and look for ways to improve our regulations."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/06/seadrill-other...

WTF-HIGHLY REGULATED INDUSTRY? Then why weren't we up to par with Norway & Brazil?
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