May 18th, 2010
01:37 PM ET
11 years ago

Top U.S. official pledges to reform ties to Big Oil

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Ken Salazar outlined the steps he has taken to overhaul the Minerals Management Service."]NEW YORK ( - A top U.S. official pledged Tuesday to reform how the government does business with the oil industry, and to hold BP accountable for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Speaking before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar outlined the steps he has taken to overhaul the Minerals Management Service, which has been criticized for having a "cozy" relationship with the oil and gas companies it's tasked with overseeing.

The MMS has been in the spotlight since the Deepwater Horizon, an oil rig operated by BP, exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico last month, killing 11 people. The disaster resulted in a huge oil spill that has yet to be contained.

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Filed under: Energy • Ken Salazar • Obama administration
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Oil companies should not be regulating themselves when they're business affects the lives of all Americans. I think the Obama Administration needs to take a serious look at everything that was deregulated prior to him coming into office. These accidents keep popping up left and right due to no regulation. I don't know how republicans can defend an unregulated free market .

    May 18, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Liz in DC

    There also needs to be reform in other agencies, as well as in campaign financing, so that the USA is no longer "owned" by Big Oil, Big Pharma, and Wall Street.

    May 18, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. arch

    Isn't this guy leaving office soon! He will do exactly what that liar who is living in the white house now tells him to do. We all know how much honesty there is in the present admin! The 3 stooges are going to run this country into the ground if we the people let them! It seems nobody wants to believe they are capable of doing it. We have become a country that is lazy in dealing with people in high places the correct way. Just look at our so-called A.G. holder! What a joke. How is there ever going to be any justice to these people if the guy who should do the investigating is a bum himself!

    May 18, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Steve, New York City

    That's a step in the right direction . . while they're at it, why doesn't Washington also reform ties with the NRA, the AIPAC and a host of other organizations (that warp our policy)?

    May 18, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Eric

    Oooooooooooh, it's "Big Oilllllllllll"... Are you scared yet?

    I'm not afraid of an oil spill. Some Dawn detergent and we're good to go.

    The spill that does alarm me is the red-ink spill, perpetrated by Big Government.

    I'm convinced the administration and it's PR team in the MSM are beating this "eeeeeevil big oil" propaganda drum to distract you from the red ink spill that will require the indentured servitude of the next four generations to clean up... and there simply isn't enough Dawn detergent to help with this one.

    Get your priorities straight, people.

    May 18, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    The important thing for all of you libertards is whether he blamed Bush. Right? The incompetence of this administration has got to be blamed on Bush.

    May 18, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Dano

    This is exactly why a strong regulatory process is needed for the oil industry and manyother large businesses. Contrary to the GOP way of thinking, business cannot be trusted to police themselves. Their main concern is generating profits, as is to be expected with capitalism. Governmental regulation is the only way to protect the public and the environment from their unbridaled pursuit of wealth.

    May 18, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Greg Pottstown PA

    Obama could have ended this spill with in days. All he had to do is order the coastguard to plant explosives and collapse the mine. This is not a new idea. The Russians have used this method many times without failure since the 60s. The only thing stopping him is that BP would loose their investment. If bush was in office liberals would be crying that bush is in bed with big oil.

    May 18, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. Hugo

    I pledge I will no longer accept gifts, gratuities, campaign fund donations, kick backs, high paying positions for my family and friends, and or all of the above..... RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRight, with all the technology we have developed for our military to penetrate bunkers, shoot molten metal into tanks and kill people long distance with robot drones, are you gonna tell America that we can't insert an explosive device into the hole and blow it shut? Ted Turner is right for the second time in his life, the first was ditching Hanoi Jane. God is punishing us but it isn't with the oil spill.....

    May 18, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Dennis

    Yeah right. Just means oil companies will have to donate more to Obama's campaign fund.

    May 18, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Dave

    This is a joke on the American People. Democrats AND GOP favor Big Oil, Big Pharma, Wall St. etc over the American People. Just look where the Dem and GOP interests overlap. Now that Corporate America has bought up all the politicians from DC to the local level, America can look forward to decades of decline. Our country has lost its way...

    May 18, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    In the Bush years, MMS was in bed with big oil. (really) It will take years to erase the corruption.

    May 18, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    I think he needs to be fired and replaced with Al Gore. But that's just me. He was a bad pick to begin with, according to posts I've read from people in CO saying he was in with energy industriers. I don't know what Obama is thinking. Geithner and Summers running treasury. Salazar with Interior. Maybe he should replace Gates with Ollie North, Clinton with Bush, and Napalitano with Brownie (everyone, including horse trainers, should have a second chance, no?).

    May 18, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Obama the liar

    Ken Salazar-another incompetent obama selection much like the community organizer hisself.

    May 18, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. concerned coloradan

    Ethical lapses during the Bush administration? Ya think!?
    Go Salazar!!

    May 18, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Mike

    This administration has so many things it has done wrong and now says it wants to reform. They spend so much time reforming their own ineptness that they cannot work on jobs for this country. They critize the Arizona law as unconstitutional but come to find out not one person in this administration has read the Arizona law. This administration spends way to much time race baiting and no time working on jobs.

    May 18, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    What the Interior department will not be continuing the acceptance of drugs and prostitutes from the Oil Companies?

    May 18, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Mike McKenzie

    Secretary Salazar will "personally" pledge to reform ties to oil...hmm, what about the rest of Congress? Let's see how many hands go up for this one.

    Sounds like the "ignore it and it'll all go away" stance Congress had on the bailouts for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, despite payoffs.

    May 18, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |