Patterico's Pontifications


What Happened to the MMS? (Updated)

Filed under: Environment,Obama — DRJ @ 2:19 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Byron York looks at what went wrong at the scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service. York says that instead of continuing a clean-up begun late in the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration focused on renewable or green energy:

“It started early in the new administration. Salazar’s first department-wide order, issued March 11, 2009, was to declare “facilitating the production, development, and delivery of renewable energy top priorities for the Department.”

Salazar chose Elizabeth Birnbaum to head the MMS in large part because of her record of environmental and green-energy advocacy. “We have changed the direction of MMS,” Salazar told the Senate last month, “by balancing its ocean energy portfolio to include offshore wind and renewable energy production.” Given the considerable size of the existing offshore oil industry, “balancing” the MMS portfolio meant putting a heavy emphasis on new offshore wind projects. “They were more into renewables offshore than they were into oil and gas,” says a GOP Senate aide who works in the area.

Birnbaum, who is so far the only Obama administration official to lose a job over the Gulf oil spill, spent an enormous amount of time working on the controversial Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts. After years of regulatory wrangling, it was approved April 29 — nine days after the oil-rig explosion that set off the Gulf spill.”

Every Administration wants to sweep aside what happened before and concentrate on its agenda, but neither life nor politics works that way. Presidents and their appointees must deal with everything, not just what interests them.

President Obama has long advocated renewable energy and the BP spill has given him a second chance to convince Americans to forgo traditional energy sources like oil and gas. If so, this spill will cost our economy far more than the clean-up costs.


UPDATE — How do you fix a broken Minerals Management Service? Bring in another attorney:

“The White House announced Tuesday that Michael R. Bromwich, a former assistant U.S. attorney and Justice Department inspector general, will lead a reorganization of the Minerals Management Service. The administration plans to break the MMS into three separate entities to eliminate conflicts of interest.”

11 Responses to “What Happened to the MMS? (Updated)”

  1. Democratic agenda leads to sub-prime mortgage meltdown leads to economic near-collapse…
    Democrats escape rightful blame, make political hay out of giving it to those evil people on Wall street.

    Democratic agenda leads to ignoring problems within MMS, leading to environmental disaster, which is virtually allowed to fester to further democratic environmental agenda…

    Hopefully the black and white of oil and sand in front of people’s faces will help them not get confused this time.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  2. Plenty of blame to go around with MMS. I’m conviced the Obama messed up by not fixing it quickly. Everyone knew that Bush had let it become a terrible and corrupt mess. A pox on both their houses!

    Time123 (46cc0f)

  3. BP applied for a permit to drill that well a couple months after Obama was sworn in, was given the permit after some sort of a review, and then began drilling.

    When the left says there is blame for Obama as well as Bush (as I have seen on some sites), they seem to want to call it a draw. It reminds me of that scene in Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, when the man looses both arms and legs and then decides that he is willing to call it a draw.

    jim2 (fc7836)

  4. Renewable energy? Add physics to the long list of subjects Obama did not study while he was not attending classes at Princeton and Harvard.

    While you can never create or destroy energy, it appears all intelligent thought gets lost once is enters what passes for Obama’s brain.

    DavidL (2a854d)

  5. I updated the post.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  6. Comment by Time123 — 6/15/2010 @ 2:44 pm

    The problems at MMS pre-dated the Bush Administration – which is no excuse for them not correcting the situation, except whatever they tried to do would be described by the Dems/Media as kowtowing to Big Oil.

    AD - RtR/OS! (728434)

  7. I actually know Mike Bromwich. He’s a “Mr. Fixit” kind of guy. He’s going to come in and clean house, reorganize the structure and procedures, and then move on. Its what he does, and he’s very good at it.

    shipwreckedcrew (436eab)

  8. we must shift into the use of Green Energy to prevent further pollution of this planet,;*

    Justin Campbell (488309)

  9. i think government funding should be diverted on the research of Green Energy and renewable power sources*”-

    Shower Caddy ` (b6605e)

  10. green energy is of course very important that is why we have to concentrate on using hydrogen and alternative energy sources~~:

    NPN Transistor : (9430db)

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