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US oil agency chief quits under pressure

 Oil sheen is seen of the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, Wednesday, May 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
 FILE - In this May 18, 2010 file photo, Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the Minerals Management Service is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP sou...

Gulf Oil Spill

Oil sheen is seen of the surface of the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana, Wednesday, May 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Gulf Oil Spill Firing

FILE - In this May 18, 2010 file photo, Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the Minerals Management Service is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP sou...

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the head of the troubled U.S. agency that oversees offshore drilling has resigned.
Salazar announced the news Thursday at a congressional hearing where Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum was scheduled to testify. She did not appear.
Birnbaum and her agency have endured scathing criticism in the weeks since the Gulf oil spill over alleged lax oversight of drilling and what President Barack Obama has called an overly cozy relationship with industry.
Salazar said that Birnbaum resigned on her own terms and of her own volition.
Her departure came just hours before a news conference where Obama plans to address the spill and announce new safety protocols and an extension of a deepwater drilling moratorium.


Updated : 2020-12-02 05:06 GMT+08:00