Oil regulator apologizes for pro-drilling cake

May 21, 2010 

The director of the U.S. Minerals Management Service in Alaska is apologizing to colleagues for having a cake at a recent meeting with the words "Drill, Baby, Drill" on it.

In an e-mail Thursday to agency employees nationwide, regional director John Goll says it was wrong and expressed regret that he let that happen in his office. His e-mail reads:

"As the manager in charge of the Alaska Region, I apologize to everyone in the Minerals Management Service with regard to the cake at a recent Alaska Region All Hands meeting, as reported in a New York Times article today. The cake had the words 'Drill, Baby, Drill', plus other words which were meant to take light of the words. This was simply wrong to have. I failed in preventing this from happening in my office."

The New York Times reported the cake was served at a staff meeting soon after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar proposed reorganizing the Minerals Management Service in response to an oil rig explosion April 20 off the coast of Louisiana that triggered a massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The issue of offshore drilling has been in the public eye since the spill. The MMS oversees oil and gas development in federal waters.

Calls to Goll's office and the national agency office were not immediately returned.

The Anchorage Daily News contributed to this report.

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