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US: Impact of BP's slick spreads to the authorities

The Minerals Management Service (MMS), the body blamed for ineffectual oversight of deep-water drilling in the Gulf, is to break up

PRESIDENT Barack Obama suggests too "cosy" a relationship between the oil industry and the authorities that regulate it may have contributed to lax rules in the Gulf of Mexico, where BP's oil slick continues to spread. Now Ken Salazar, the interior minister, has announced the break-up of the Minerals Management Service (MMS), the body blamed for ineffectual oversight of deep-water drilling in the Gulf. The restructuring creates three new bodies: Ocean Energy Management, which will oversee licensing of drilling permits; Safety and Environmental Enforcement; and Natural Resources Revenue, responsible for collection of royalties. Salazar said the dismantling of the MMS would allow the new aut

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