The federal agency charged with overseeing the offshore oil and gas drilling industry will have a new director next month.

Abigail Hopper, currently director of the Maryland Energy Administration, will take over at the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management (BOEM) Jan. 5, said the Interior Department, BOEM’s parent.

{mosads}“Abigail Hopper’s knowledge of the energy sector, experience working with a wide variety of stakeholders and her legal expertise will be valuable assets to the bureau and the department as we continue to ensure the safe and responsible development of our domestic energy and mineral resources and stand up an offshore wind program,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who appointed Hopper, said in a statement.

“She is an accomplished professional who brings strategic leadership and long-term vision to the job, and I look forward to having her as a member of our senior leadership team.”

Hopper has worked with BOEM in recent years toward developing offshore wind in the federal waters off the coast of Maryland.

BOEM oversees both fossil fuel and wind development on the outer continental shelf, though the separate Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement is responsible for compliance with safety and environmental rules. Both agencies were created in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf Of Mexico.

Hopper will be the second director of BOEM, replacing Tommy Beaudreau, who became Jewell’s chief of staff in May. The BOEM leader’s position is not subject to Senate confirmation.

Tags Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Sally Jewell

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