Thursday, May 27, 2010

Director of Minerals Management Service Birnbaum Fired

Minerals Management Service (MMS) Director Elizabeth Birnbaum has been fired just hours before President Obama's planned press conference today on the oil spill. The MMS has been troubled for years with all kinds of improper conduct allegations about some staff members, criticism over lax oversight of drilling and cozy ties with industry.

As MMS Director, Birnbaum administered 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 nation’s Outer Continental Shelf, including the 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 nation’s leading river conservation organization.

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