MMS Chief Resigns

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones Newswires), May 27, 2010

Minerals Management Service Director Liz Birnbaum has resigned as a vast Gulf of Mexico oil spill puts growing scrutiny on the agency's oversight of offshore drilling.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday that she had resigned. He made the disclosure at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. He said she resigned "of her own volition."

Birnbaum had headed the Interior Department's MMS since July. Her role at the agency has been uncertain since the Interior Secretary announced that he would break up the MMS into three parts, an arrangement that would eliminate her position.

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