BOEMRE Splitting into Two Entities

After the Deepwater Horizon spill last year, the Minerals Management Service became the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. Now the federal agency that oversees offshore drilling in the U.S. is undergoing another transition. On October first, it will become two separate bureaus – one to oversee resource development and one to focus on safety and enforcement.

BOEMRE director Michael Bromwich was in Alaska recently to talk about the agency he has been overseeing for the past year. Lori Townsend sat down with him and the Alaska office director, Dr. James Kendall. I asked first about the agencies’ recent conditional approval of  Shell’s plan to drill up to four wells in the Beaufort Sea next summer.  If the company gets final approval, it will be the first offshore drilling project in the Arctic Ocean since the gulf disaster. But Bromwich says it’s far from a done deal.

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Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-350-2058.

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