Interior’s offshore drilling branch to broaden ethics policy, recruit more scientists

The policy is one of several implemented in the wake of last year’s BP oil spill. The disaster revived scrutiny of Interior’s long-troubled Minerals Management Service, which the Obama administration restructured and re-branded as BOEMRE.

Interior’s inspector general issued a report last May about abuses in the middle of the last decade. It described federal offshore drilling regulators in Louisiana receiving gifts from oil-and-gas companies before 2007 and other ties, and included allegations that companies were allowed to fill out their own inspection forms.

Bromwich said he’s embarking on a tour of university campuses, looking for new recruits to help implement the agency’s increased focus on science in offshore development decisions.

“Beginning the week of April 4 and continuing through May, we are conducting a recruitment tour focusing on some of the nation’s finest environmental programs located in universities across the country. I will personally be visiting schools along the West Coast, in the Midwest, Northeast and Gulf of Mexico regions, including Louisiana State University,” Bromwich said, noting that he plans to return to Louisiana State University to talk to students studying environmental sciences.

“We will discuss not only the current opportunities for scientists in the bureau, but also the exciting new positions within the office of the Chief Environmental Officer and positions in our new Environmental Compliance unit,” he said.