Crisis puts focus on MMS Chief

Wednesday - 5/26/2010, 3:18pm EDT

When the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded last month, S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the federal agency charged with ensuring the safety and environmental security of offshore oil rigs, stayed in Washington while others in the Interior Department rushed to the Gulf of Mexico to assess the situation. The New York Times reports that when Ms. Birnbaum testified in Congressional hearings last week, her boss, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, lavished praise on others who testified while largely ignoring her. And a day later, when he announced a plan to revamp the agency, it was one that would eliminate her job. Read more here.

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