BOEMRE Give Birth to Twins

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The U.S. Dept of the Interior is creating two new agencies as of October 1st to deal with management of energy resources. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) will become the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The two new agencies split off from the BOEMRE will be the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) an the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

Why have one agency if you can have three? Government begets more government. Clearly the BOEMRE was in need of another reorganization since it has only been a little more than a year since the last one.

The BOEM will continue to focus on "more through environmental assessments" of proposed offshore projects as it moved forward with renewable energy resource development. Note the new twist there. The agency went from "Ocean energy" to oceans and renewable energy, which could mean anything. An example of a new bureaucracy being born. The BOEM will have more than 500 employees.

The BSSE will have 750 employees and it is seeking to add 120 in 2012 and another 200 in 2013. The BSSE will be responsible for the safety and environmental oversight of offshore energy operations. They will pursue a "mixture of performance-based and prescriptive requirements." Their first set of new rules will have a compliance deadline of Nov-1st. The head of the Department of the Interior, Kenneth Salazar, said the new head of the BSSE will have to be somebody who can withstand strong congressional criticism, play politics and stand up to intense questioning. Sounds like a hot seat job for someone! Also, "career employees will generally need to continue to be insulated from reckless political criticism. Criticism affects these proud professionals and we need to protect them so they can do their jobs."

Jim Brown

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