Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu were sworn in Wednesday at the White House as secretaries of the departments of Interior and Energy, respectively.
Salazar and Chu were among seven Cabinet nominees of President Obama who were approved by voice vote by the Senate Tuesday, just hours after Obama was sworn in as the 44th president. They were sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden.
Walter Cruickshank, deputy director of Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS), has been tapped as acting MMS director until Salazar and the White House make a selection. The MMS manages oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf and collects more than $8 billion annually in revenues from production on offshore leases.
Henri R. Bisson, deputy director of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), has been named acting director of BLM in the interim. The agency reviews and approves permits and licenses for producers to explore and develop oil and gas resources on both onshore federal and Indian lands, as well as collects billions of dollars each year in royalties, rentals and bonus payments.
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