Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey will serve as acting director of the embattled Minerals Management Service (MMS). Abbey will begin the process of managing the reorganization of MMS into three separate agencies. He will remain BLM director during this period but will turn over his daily management duties to deputy director Mike Pool.
With more than 33 years of experience in resource management in federal and state government, Abbey was confirmed as BLM director in August 2009. A native of Clarksdale, Mississippi, and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Abbey is returning to Washington from the Incident Command Center in Louisiana where he has been helping to lead the Department of the Interior’s response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
As a result of the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, DOI Secretary Salazar ordered the fundamental restructuring of the MMS to be carried out in consultation with Congress. This action is the latest in a series of agency reforms Salazar has taken since January 2009, and will establish the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue. These three bureaus will replace the Minerals Management Service.
Too bad these moves are TOO late to save the Gulf of Mexico. BP’s oil spill is of Biblical proportions and it will take DECADES before the ocean and ecosystem recovery. God help the United States of America and may God bless Barack Obama with wisdom and strength to lead us through this disaster.