AP - Grilled by skeptical lawmakers, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday acknowledged his agency had been lax in overseeing offshore drilling activities and that contributed to the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil executives connected to the Gulf of Mexico blowout sat in the hot seat before congressional committees last week. Now top government officials get a turn before the panels. Much of that task fell on Tuesday to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department oversees oil drilling.» E-Mail This » Add to Del.icio.us
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who helped lead the government’s response to the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, said on Wednesday he will leave his post by the end of March to return to his Colorado ranch.
The former U.S. senator came to office pledging to clean up the “mess” at the Interior Department, but it was the massive 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that ultimately spurred the dramatic overhaul of the nation’s offshore drilling regulator.
Officials in the government office that oversees oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico accepted gifts from the oil industry, including tickets to sport events, downloaded pornography on their work computers and engaged in illegal drug use. One inspector even conducted offshore oil platform inspections while negotiating for a job with the platform's owner. The activities outlined in a report released today by the Interior Department's inspector General occurred between 2000 and 2008, and were not directly related to the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:APC) faces a billion dollar environmental fine as a trial is set to begin today in New Orleans. The US energy firm faces a potential penalty of up to $3.5 billion due to its 25% stake in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which met an unfortunate accident nearly five years ago. On April 20, 2010, there was an explosion in the rig which was drilling at the Macondo Prospect, resulting in the deaths of 11 crew members.