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Obama names official to head oil oversight

/ Source: The Associated Press

President Barack Obama has selected a new leader for the troubled federal agency that oversees oil and gas development and has been accused of lax oversight and conflicts of interest.

The White House announced Tuesday that a former assistant U.S. attorney and Justice Department inspector general, Michael Bromwich, will lead a planned reorganization of the Minerals Management Service. The administration wants to break the MMS into three separate entities to eliminate conflicts of interest.

The White House said Bromwich would have a mandate to implement far-reaching changes and the resources to do it.

Last month, Elizabeth Birnbaum stepped down as director of the Minerals Management Service, a job she had held since July.

Obama returned Tuesday afternoon from a two-day tour of the Gulf and planned to address the nation Tuesday evening. On Wednesday he holds his first meeting with BP executives.