Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last June appointed Sylvia V. Baca
to the post, which did not require Senate confirmation.
The appointment follows eight years at BP
Baca had been general manager for Social Investment Programs and Strategic Partnerships at BP America Inc. in Houston, and had held several senior management positions with the company since 2001, focusing on environmental initiatives, overseeing cooperative projects with private and public organizations, developing health, safety, and emergency response programs and working on climate change, biodiversity and sustainability objectives.
As Director of Global Health, Safety, Environment & Emergency Response for BP Shipping Ltd. in London, Baca led a worldwide team to develop innovative and proactive energy and the environment initiatives.
Among her accomplishments, she oversaw health, safety and environmental outcomes for an $8 billion ship building program, resulting in the youngest, greenest and most technically advanced fleet in the world.
The project has received numerous awards for its safety and environmental advancements.
is also an excellent example of the revolving door between government and industry that MMS has been accused of facilitating.
From 1995 to 2001, she was an assistant secretary for land and minerals management at the Department of Interior before leaving to work for the oil giant.
Last week, Salazar
unveiled plans to split MMS into three agencies-one that will focus on energy development, another on enforcement and the third on revenue collection.
But that doesn't necessarily stop the spinning door between the beleaguered agency and the oil industry.
UPDATE: Salazar spokesperson Kendra Barkoff issued a statement noting that Baca, under federal government ethics standards, "has been and is recused from participating personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which BP is or represents a party, for a period of two years following her appointment.
also noted that Baca
is not working on offshore drilling at the agency (her post deals with on-shore drilling).
"At least one reporter at MOJO
believes that Sylvia V. Baca's
appointment to MME doesn't do much to help its industry-friendly reputation."