House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently blamed Bush appointees who “burrowed in” at the Minerals Management Service for the regulatory failures that led to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. But as it turns out, not one of the officials responsible for overseeing the exploded rig was a Bush political appointee.
The Washington Examiner has obtained biographic information on the MMS officials responsible for overseeing BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig at the time it exploded, from the Gulf Region Director to the last inspector to set foot on the rig. Most of these federal employees started with the agency decades ago. Not one was a presidential appointment of George W. Bush, although one longtime MMS employee in question was promoted to his current position during the Bush Administration.
Drew Hammill, Speaker Pelosi’s press secretary, told the Examiner that Pelosi had been referring more generally to a “whole culture” at MMS of lax oversight.”The Speaker had in mind that there was a culture at the Bush Administration of regulators having a cozy relationship with the Big Oil they were regulating,” said Hammill.