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CURRENT ISSUE

DEEPWATER HORIZON SPILL
How long will the political fall out from the spill delay plans to expand U.S. offshore drilling

Hardly at all
For 1-2 years
For longer than 2 years

May 19, 2010

Salazar splits MMS into three

Referring to the Minerals Management Service at a hearing yesterday on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said: "We must put that House in order."

Today he took a step in that direction. He signed a Secretarial Order that will lead to the fundamental restructuring of the MMS.

And while earlier reports had foreseen that MMS would be split in two, the new organization will see "the division of its three conflicting missions into separate entities with independent missions to strengthen oversight of offshore energy operations, improve the structure for revenue and royalty collections on behalf of the American people, and help the country build a clean energy future."

Here's an outline of the reorganization created by the Secretarial order

MMS REORGANIZATION

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Mission - Responsibly manage the sustainable development of the ocean's energy resources through renewable energy and offshore conventional energy

Office will perform the following functions:

Conduct five year planning processes

Process and approve leasing activities

Develop new structure of expanding renewable energy opportunities

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Mission -Assure highest level of safety and environmental standards and performance in the production of all offshore energy activities

Office would incorporate the following functions:

Creation of standards

Inspections

Enforcement

Natural Resources Revenue Service

Mission: Assure full realization of value of public energy resources for the benefit of the American people

Existing revenue management function to be placed under the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget (PMB)

Eliminates conflicts associated with revenue collection being commonly managed with resource management and safety and environmental enforcement

Greater operational alignment within PMB will support improved performance

Approach to Reform

Objective is to remove potential conflicts and enhance Interior's ability to pursue each element of the MMS mission:

Operational safety ;

Environmental protection;

Full and efficient collection of all payments due; and

Responsible and sustainable management of offshore energy development

Goal is to enhance Interior's performance and accountability through greater functional independence and oversight while maintaining an effective process.


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