Top drilling regulator to temporarily head new bureau at Interior

Michael Bromwich, who has served as the Interior Department's head drilling authority for the last year, will temporarily head up the agency's new Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement until a permanent director is found, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced on Friday.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which Bromwich has led since June 2010, will split into two smaller agencies on Oct. 1. The reorganization grew out of lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, and splits BOEMRE into a bureau to handle inspections, enforcement, and the safety of offshore oil and gas operations, which Bromwich will oversee and a second office to handle energy leasing and planning on the Outer Continental Shelf.

"Director Bromwich is a top-flight manager with a track record of solving problems and implementing reform, in the private sector, in the public sector, and his time at BOEMRE," Salazar said in a statement.

"I am honored to lead BSEE and to carry on its important work until a permanent director can be found," Bromwich said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Tommy Beaudreau, who has been a senior adviser to Bromwich for the last year, will permanently head up the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which will oversee energy leasing and planning on the Outer Continental Shelf.

"The new BOEM will be focused on ensuring that our offshore resources are developed sensibly and responsibly. I am proud to be BOEM's first director and look forward to helping fulfill Secretary Salazar's and Director Bromwich's vision for this new agency," Beaudreau said in a statement.

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