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MMS Offshore Regulator Plans To Retire

From the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Oynes (L) recognizes Mike Wright, Operations Manager for Transocean, as a finalist for the MMS Safety Award for Excellence in May 2008.

Senior Oil Regulator at MMS to Retire


May 17, 2010

WASHINGTON—The top federal official who led regulation of offshore oil drilling at the Minerals Management Service will retire at the end of the month, according to people familiar with the situation

The departure of Chris Oynes, associate director for offshore energy and minerals management at the MMS, comes as the agency faces growing criticism from Congress and the White House following last month’s deadly explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Mr. Salazar, whose department oversees the MMS, announced plans last week to reorganize the MMS. His announcement followed a Wall Street Journal article that quoted industry officials and longtime MMS officials as saying the MMS has shifted much of the job of crafting safety regulations to the oil industry itself.

The article described several instances of the agency identifying potential safety problems and then either not requiring follow-up or relying on the industry to draft a solution

And this differs from the way government regulators usually work exactly how? For that matter, how is it any different from the way Congress writes legislation?

Mr. Oynes, whose duties include administering the agency’s outer continental shelf oil and gas program, announced in an email to colleagues Monday that he would leave the agency at the end of the month, according to an email that was distributed by one of the agency’s top officials and viewed by the Journal.

An administration official said Monday "This was Chris Oynes’ decision to retire after almost 35 years of public service. Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, he approached leadership at MMS and announced he would be retiring on June 30th and today he told his colleagues that he would be accelerating his retirement. "

Mr. Oynes undoubtedly wants to spend more time with his family.

"While I appreciate his many years of public service, I hope Chris Oynes’s decision to retire signals an understanding that a changing of the guard is necessary to cure MMS of the many ills it endured during the previous administration," Rep. Nick Rahall (D., W.. Va.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Monday. "Today’s announcement is one of several steps that will be necessary to fundamentally reform MMS and it represents an opportunity to begin anew with a clean slate." …

How hilarious. Here is a Democrat, whose committee has oversight powers over the MMS, blaming George Bush. Don’t Congressional oversight have any responsibilities?

Are they merely potted plants? If so, why do special interests give them so much money?

Why shouldn’t Mr. Rahall be forced to resign?

According to the MMS’s website, Mr. Oynes has been "actively involved in how MMS conducts its resource projections and its environmental reviews, and the operational safeguards it imposes. During his tenure in the GOM, he conducted 30 lease sales and oversaw a 50 percent rise in oil production."

Mr. Oynes “oversaw a 50 percent rise in oil production”? Then by all means he is the perfect fall guy.

He must be evil incarnate.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “MMS Offshore Regulator Plans To Retire”

  1. confucius says:

    From MMS:

    Chris Oynes
    Associate Director, Offshore Energy and Minerals Management

    Mr. Chris Oynes was named in 2007 as the Associate Director of the Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Program. His responsibilities include administering the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas program as well as developing and implementing the new alternative energy program in the Federal OCS. Mr. Oynes had served as the Regional Director of the Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) Gulf of Mexico OCS Region in New Orleans for 12 years and previously as the Deputy Regional Director. His involvement with the MMS has covered a wide range of issues. He has been actively involved in how MMS conducts its resource projections and its environmental reviews, and the operational safeguards it imposes.

    He previously received a 1998 Presidential Rank Award as a Meritorious Executive for his work in the SES. He has received the two highest honor awards that the U.S. Department of the Interior bestows–the Distinguished Service Award and the Meritorious Service Award.

    Mr. Oynes holds a Juris Doctor Degree from George Washington University and a BA in Political Science from California State University at Fullerton.


    In other words, MMS’ “ills” started before Bush. They likely started when MMS began hiring lawyers to run it.

  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    One more important aspect of our lives ignored by Obama while he apologizes to foreigners, socializes medicine, strangles Wall Street and fixes it so his illegal Auntie can stay here on the taxpayer’s dime.
    He didn’t fix mine safety. he didn’t fix oil safety.
    What else did he not fix?

  3. Astravogel says:

    What did the current President fix? He fixed the INS Court, a lot
    of elections in Illinois, a Senatorial selection, and probably a bunch
    of things we’ll never hear about from the lamestream media.

    Democratica Delinda Est!

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