Elizabeth Birnbaum Quits As Director Of Minerals Management Service


The head of the agency that oversees offshore drilling has resigned in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill, which is now being called the worst oil spill in U.S. history.Elizabeth Birnbaum, the director of the Minerals Management Service, offered her resignation to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today. In the letter, Birnbaum cited Salazar’s coming reorganization of the MMS into three distinct entities.

In a statement regarding Birnbaum’s resignation, Salazar called her a “strong and effective person and leader.” While initial reports suggested Birnbaum had been fired, Salazar said that she “resigned today on her own terms and on her own volition.”


Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com