Times-Picayune: Former drilling regulator Michael Bromwich launches consulting businessApril 3, 2012
Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune
WASHINGTON — Michael Bromwich, who led the reorganization of the regulatory regime for offshore drilling in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, has launched a consulting firm, The Bromwich Group LLC. Drawing on the breadth of Bromwich’s background, which also included long experience investigating and reorganizing troubled law enforcement agencies, the firm will offer services ranging from consulting on offshore energy matters to helping federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in crisis.
“In 18 years in the private sector and 14 years in the government, one of my greatest satisfactions has been in assembling interdisciplinary teams to diagnose and solve critical problems faced by organizations of all kinds, to do so promptly, and to provide those organizations with the tools they need to succeed,” Bromwich said Tuesday. “The Bromwich Group will take on complex and difficult problems faced by private companies and governmental organizations and will work to solve them in a constructive, balanced and thoughtful way.”
In a year-and-a-half on the job reorganizing and strengthening the agencies trusted with overseeing and permitting offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, Bromwich, who had no background in energy issues, proved a formidable figure. He was in the eye of the storm after the spill, as the Obama administration sought to impose heightened standards to avoid a repeat of the disaster, dramatically slowing the pace of permitting, first through a five-month outright moratorium on drilling, and then because of the tighter regulatory requirements that were imposed as permitting resumed.
For his efforts, Bromwich was widely praised, but also a source of frustration to many in the oil and gas business and Louisiana’s congressional delegation, to whom he became the embodiment of a regulator who went above and beyond the call of duty, or what they considered a reasonable response to the BP debacle.
It was Bromwich who oversaw the reorganization of the former Minerals Management Service, heading the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which was ultimately broken into two agencies, one of which – the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement – Bromwich led in its early months.
The Bromwich Group will not offer lobbying services for energy clients. He promised before leaving the Interior Department that he would go beyond existing federal restrictions, and impose on himself a “lifetime ban,” on ever lobbying the agencies he once led.
But, as described in its press release, “The Bromwich Group will focus on facilitating responsible offshore development that promotes the values of safety and environmental protection, while at the same time allowing for the continued development of offshore energy resources in the United States and around the world. As offshore development spreads globally, the firm will assist governments that are at early stages of developing regulatory systems and structures, as well as companies addressing domestic and international regulatory challenges.”
Prior to his work at Interior, Bromwich served as the Independent Monitor for the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department with a focus on use of force, civil rights integrity, internal misconduct, and training issues; led a comprehensive investigation of the Houston Police Department Crime Lab, and helped the State of Delaware in addressing issues involving the provision of medical and mental health services to inmates incarcerated in facilities throughout the state.