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Gulf oil spill: Interim chief named for troubled oversight agency

Abbey-Small The Interior Department on Friday named a new interim director to head its shattered Minerals Management Service. The announcement comes a day after the director resigned amid scandal and criticism over the worst oil spill in the nation's history.

Bob Abbey, currently director of the Bureau of Land Management, will take over an agency that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has split into three parts in an effort to cordon off the conflicting missions of promoting leasing of federal mineral rights, collecting royalties and overseeing safety and environmental issues.

The service has been rocked by a series of reports that highlighted its coziness with the oil industry, including employees accepting gifts, using drugs and having sexual liaisons with oil company officials.

The latest report investigated alleged impropriety at the service's Lake Charles, La., district office from 2000 to 2008, and was released as thousands of gallons of oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico from BP's damaged undersea well. Among its highlights were a memo from a supervisor explaining the prevailing culture of the office:

"Obviously, we're all oil industry. We're all from the same part of the country. Almost all of our inspectors have worked for oil companies out on these same platforms. They grew up in the same towns. Some of these people they've been friends with all their life. They've been with these people since they were kids. They've hunted together. They fish together. They skeet shoot together. ... They do this all the time."

It followed up on a 2008 report that detailed "a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" over a five-year period at the Denver-based office of the Minerals Management Service that dealt with "royalty in kind" payments. Salazar ended the program, which had allowed lease holders to pay their royalties in oil and gas delivered to the federal government.

Abbey will retain his title as head of the BLM, the agency that governs millions of acres of public land, including leases for oil and gas development. He will turn over daily duties to Mike Pool, former director of BLM's California office, according to a statement from the Interior Department. Abbey was confirmed as head of the BLM last August.

When he took office, Abbey promised a "balanced approach" and more public input into the leases for oil and gas development.

Abbey had already been dispatched to the Louisiana incident command center to help coordinate the Interior Department's response to the oil leak in the gulf.

-- Geoff Mohan

Photo: Bob Abbey. Credit: U.S. Department of the Interior

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This is a proposal to address the Mexican gulf oil spill problem.
a. I am very concern about the on going Mexican gulf oil spill magnitude and the damage that is doing at this time and the forecast of a far more serious damage magnitude on our economy and our environment. 1,050,000 gallons of oil per day is coming out from the damage well and up to this time after almost two months, no one has come up with an effective way of addressing the problems that it is causing us a very expensive inadequacy to our economy and environment.
b. I have a practical idea and simple plan that will address the problem in containing the oil spill and the retrieval of up to 95% of the spilled oil captured in my device for the oil company to conveniently retrieve and transport to the desired locations for processing.
c. This method makes use of easily and abundantly available materials to manufacture my device.
d. The product is easy to produce and manufacture and will save time and billions of dollars to prevent damages of ocean oil spills.
e. The manufacture product can be easily transported by air or by sea as needed for retrieval and deployment application.
f. The device is also reusable after the oil from each unit is retrieved and also after the total completion of each operation for other companies to use the same device.
g. It is made from durable product and can be stored and reused for rental for future application for fast and immediate emergency response to ocean oil spills.

Based on my three year of Engineering college background and my natural problem solving creativity I am sure that my idea will directly address the huge oil spill damage concerns we have that is not yet adequately addressed in the Mexican gulf. I am willing to work with the government if it is interested to help me produce my device and use my idea. My email address is I am also open to work with any company who is equipped to produce my product or to partner with me in producing this device as soon as possible in order to address our concerns in controlling the Mexican gulf oil spill.

The arrogance displayed by BP, in what now is termed the greatest ecological disaster in history' is a phenomenal response in terms of lack there of. What is even worse is lack of courage by the Obama administration to take charge and declare BP inept in stopping the flow of 200'000 gallons of the oil into the gulf of Mexico ,daily. This is no longer a BP problem,this has become a global problem. There are many oil companies,many engineers,many sources that could have been tapped for a 'TEAM' effort to stop the broken well from it's continual flow into the Gulf of Mexico. This was not done. BP has acted alone in trying to find an answer to fix the problem but their continued arrogance and ineptness in solving the problem has been a total failure. What is even worse is BP was allowed to continue and not fired. Today we enter day 37 of continued flow of crude oil into the Gulf. Today BP will try another technique to try to stop the flow There is a theory that this oil slick will eventually get into the Gulf Stream and eventually on our shores in Massachusetts. The heartache of watching oil slicked marshes,oil covered pelicans attempting to fly continues on a daily basis. We were planning a winter escape to Key West in 2011 but because of the strong possibility that the oil will end up on the beaches there,we will not. I was a strong supporter of Obama in the last election,today I am not!


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