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US fires head of agency that oversees oil drilling

Salazar tells NBC Birnbaum resigned MSNBC reports, The head of the troubled agency that oversees offshore drilling resigned under pressure Thursday, Democratic sources said, as President Barack Obama moved more aggressively to take charge of the Gulf oil spill. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar confirmed to NBC News that the head…

Top BP official on oil rig takes the fifth; another says too sick to testify

After reports that a BP “company man” overruled workers for the oil rig company Transocean on a key safety procedure prior to an explosion which set the rig aflame and sinking into the Gulf of Mexico, a senior BP official that was on the rig when it exploded has told…

Oil inspectors let companies fill in own audits, while one admitted getting high on meth, report says

The agency in charge of overseeing the United States’ oil reserves was plagued with gross mismanagement that in at least one case allowed the companies being inspected to fill in their own audit reports, an Inspector General’s report will reportedly reveal this week. Regulators overseeing oil drilling in the Gulf…

US overhauls agency in charge of offshore drilling

The US agency that regulates offshore drilling was broken up into three separate agencies Wednesday as part of a move to end cozy industry relationships exposed by the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, officials said. The shake-up came a day after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told lawmakers the Minerals Management…

AP: Feds severely neglected inspections of offshore drilling rigs

Government agency gave safety award to Deepwater Horizon rig in 2009 The federal agency responsible for ensuring that the Deepwater Horizon was operating safely before it exploded last month fell well short of its own policy that the rig be inspected at least once per month, an Associated Press investigation…

US agency admits lax enforcement of oil drilling

A US official acknowledged Wednesday that the oil and gas industry largely polices its own drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico with little government supervision. At a hearing into the deadly rig explosion that led to a massive, growing oil spill, the Minerals Management Service official said the regulatory…

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