Top Interior Dept. official resigns in wake of oil spill

By Phaedra Friend Troy

According to a report from The Washington Post, Chris Oynes is retiring from the MMS. Oynes oversaw offshore oil and gas drilling for the MMS.

Oynes has been criticized for being too close to the petroleum companies he regulated, said The Washington Post.

Named in 2007 as the Associate Director of the Offshore Energy and Minerals Management Program, Oynes managed the OCS oil and gas program, as well as the implementation of offshore alternative energy projects. He also has 12 years of experience as the Deputy Regional Director of the MMS and a total of 30 years working for the federal government on energy matters.

Last week, US Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar proposed a massive organizational overhaul of the MMS, including a bifurcation of the safety and leasing duties.

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