One week ago, I shared the text of a message Interior Secretary Ken Salazar sent to all employees of his department two weeks after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster began in the Gulf of Mexico. It was provided to me by a friend who works for DOI.
Today, I share the text of his most-recent “Secretary’s Priority Message” about the ongoing disaster which includes some decidedly anti-Big Oil rhetoric. See if you can spot it below:
( NOTE TO SUPERVISORS: Please ensure that all employees without e-mail access receive a paper copy of this distribution.)
I write to thank you for your hard work and service to our Country. Over the last 21 days, many of you have put in long hours, with little sleep, as you help our Nation respond to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and spill. I extend my heartfelt appreciation.
As we continue to work hard to address and resolve the oil spill in the Gulf, we must not hesitate from making changes and reforms we know are needed. This incident has made it clear that the public servants of the Minerals Management Service deserve more tools at their disposal, more resources, and an organizational structure that fits the missions that you are being asked to carry out. I am proud of the reforms we have already made together – from broadening MMS’s portfolio to include offshore renewable energy production to simplifying royalty collections – but the time has come to make even more fundamental reforms.
Earlier today, I announced to our colleagues in the MMS a set of changes that we as a Department must undertake to strengthen our oversight of the companies that develop energy in our Nation’s waters.
We will begin to evaluate options for restructuring the Department and the MMS to enhance our ability to fulfill our missions. Specifically, I believe that the inspection, oversight, and investigation mission within MMS should be separate from MMS’s missions of collecting energy revenues on behalf of the American people and of authorizing responsible and balanced energy production. Establishing a new entity within the Department, focused primarily on enforcing energy laws and regulations, will provide greater authority and autonomy in overseeing the safety and compliance of energy operations. We will explore a variety of different organizational configurations as we move through this process. I want to hear your ideas and input as we move forward.
Undertaking major organizational changes – particularly in times of crisis or challenge – is never easy, but in this instance it is the right thing to do. We cannot, and will not, forget that BP is responsible for its oil spill. They will be held accountable.
As public servants, our duty is to learn lessons from this incident so that we can adjust, adapt, and strive to better protect the American people.
I look forward to continuing our service together as we work to build a smarter, stronger, and more effective government for our Nation.
For more information about our response efforts, visit the DOI Intranet at http://oneinterior.doi.net.
Ken Salazar /s/
SEE ALSO: Ken Salazar Photo Caption Contest
Cross-posted at BigGovernment.com.