Top MMS Official Chris Oynes Steps Down

Juliet Eilperin writes for 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.

The news came as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar unveiled a series of reforms to change the way the department conducts onshore oil and gas drilling.

He said they would “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.”

read more at the Washington Post

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