Michael Bromwich

US Offshore Drilling Safety Chief holds on to current post… for now

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September 16, 2011

Michael BromwichWASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–Michael Bromwich, the former federal prosecutor who has led the U.S. agency that oversees offshore drilling through its response to last year’s massive oil spill, will stay on the job until a permanent replacement is chosen, the agency announced Friday.

Bromwich’s future had been in doubt as the agency prepares to reorganize itself effective Oct. 1. The current Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement, which Bromwich heads, will split into two separate agencies.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Friday said he was tapping Bromwich to lead the new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which will be responsible for inspecting rigs and developing safety regulations, among other things. “I am honored to lead BSEE and to carry on its important work until a permanent director can be found,” Bromwich said.

The agency said the search for a replacement already has begun.

Salazar also said he was naming Tommy P. Beaudreau, an attorney and senior advisor at the current offshore drilling bureau, to lead the other half of the newly split agency. The new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will handle offshore leasing and environmental analysis of drilling plans.

-By Ryan Tracy, Dow Jones Newswires, image courtesy Times-Picayune

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