Thursday, May 27, 2010

Harvard Law grad Birnbaum axed from DOI Minerals Management Service

According to her bio at, S. Elizabeth Birnbaum is a Harvard Law grad:

Birnbaum received her Juris Doctor from Harvard University in 1984 and her A.B. degree, magna cum laude, from Brown University in 1979. She was Editor in Chief of the Harvard Environmental Law Review, Vol. 8.

As to job description:

As MMS Director, Birnbaum administers programs that ensure the effective management of renewable energy, such as wind, wave, and ocean current energy; and traditional energy and mineral resources on the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf, including the environmentally safe exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas, as well as the collection and distribution of revenues for minerals developed on federal and American Indian lands.

See separately:

How valuable is a Harvard administrator credential?

In passing, LBE notes that during an interview at a major Chicago law firm, the "head" of the environmental law department was shocked when LBE informed her that there was benzene in gasoline.


A comment to the post Was Elizabeth Birnbaum Fired? Don't Ask Obama

Just what would a former Harvard Law Review Editor know about minerals management? From 2001 until 2007 she worked for American Rivers telling the Senate how hydroelectric dams are killing things. When she was appointed last year in the buddy job at the MMS her resume was a list of consulting jobs.

Will anyone in the media make the Harvard Law Review connection to Obama and Ms. Elizabeth Birnbaum and ask some hard questions?

From the CBS story:

"Did she resign," asked CBS White House Correspondent Chip Reid. "Was she fired? Was she forced out? And if so, why?"

"I found out about her resignation today," the president answered, "so I don't know the circumstances in which this occurred."

An incredulous press corps followed up.

"How is it that you didn't know about Ms. Birnbaum's resignation/firing before?" asked another reporter.

Mr. Obama: "Well, you're assuming it was a firing. If it was a resignation, then she would have submitted a letter to Mr. Salazar this morning at a time when I had a whole bunch of other stuff going on... Come on, I don't know. I'm telling you I found out about it this morning. So I don't yet know the circumstances, and Ken Salazar has been in testimony on the Hill."

Birnbaum resigned before she could deliver her prepared remarks [to the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment ]


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