Energy & Environment: Markey Wants Answers on Rare Earths
• Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., "is pressing the Obama administration for information about alleged Chinese restrictions on the export of rare earth minerals used in defense and energy technologies, warning of threats to U.S. interests," The Hill reports.
• "Three months after BP capped its runaway well in the Gulf of Mexico, the state of Louisiana is still building a chain of sand berms off its coast to block and capture oil even as federal officials and many scientists argue that the effort will prove pointless," the New York Times reports.
• An Idaho couple has "sued the state to stop the shipments by Imperial Oil and ConocoPhillips" to an oil sands site in Canada, "arguing that the" truck loads delivered there "would threaten the integrity of Idaho's historic portion of U.S. 12, as well as the safety of communities that depend on it as the main road in and out of the area," the Times also reports. "National environmental groups and climate change activists are supporting their efforts, seeing a broader opportunity to stall development of Canada's oil sands, which they denounce as a dirty source of energy. "
• "Combating climate change has long taken a back seat to coal production in West Virginia, but in the hard-fought House race in this state's 1st district, global warming hasn't even made it onto the bus," The Hill reports. "In interviews on Thursday, both the Democratic and Republican nominees for Congress voiced skepticism of the science behind global warming, and the Republican, David McKinley, flatly called concerns about climate change 'an attack on coal.'"
Biography provided by participant
Michael R. Bromwich is the Founder and Managing Principal of The Bromwich Group, which was launched on April 2, 2012. The firm offers crisis management and strategic advisory services, as well as more specialized services relating to offshore energy and law enforcement. Over the course of a career that has spanned more than 30 years, Mr. Bromwich has tackled a variety of challenging assignments. He has been a federal prosecutor, a special prosecutor, an inspector general, a lawyer in private practice, and most recently, the country's top offshore drilling regulator.
Mr. Bromwich was selected in June 2010 by President Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to reform the regulation and oversight of offshore drilling in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill. Over the course of 17 months, Mr. Bromwich led the development and implementation of a series of far-reaching regulatory and organizational reforms that revamped the nation's regulation of offshore energy exploration, development, and production. He first served as the Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management Regulation and Enforcement June 2010-September 2011), an agency with more than 1,700 employees, and then as Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (October-November 2011). After leading the agency through the crisis of Deepwater Horizon, he directed the reorganization of the agency, strengthened agency ethics requirements, created an internal investigations and oversight capability, and recruited and selected key personnel for the new agencies.
Throughout his tenure, Mr. Bromwich served as the chief public spokesman for the Obama Administration's reform of offshore drilling. He testified before Congress on 15 occasions, and gave approximately 20 major speeches before industry trade associations, at major universities, and before various other groups. He worked with representatives of industry, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders to address the full range of safety and environmental issues associated with offshore energy exploration and development. Mr. Bromwich was the subject of profiles in the National Law Journal, The Hill, and the Houston Chronicle.
From 1999-2010, Mr. Bromwich was a litigation partner in the Washington, DC and New York offices of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where he headed the firm's Internal Investigations, Compliance and Monitoring practice group. Mr. Bromwich's practice centered on conducting internal investigations for private companies and other organizations, providing monitoring and oversight services, and representing institutions and individuals in white-collar criminal and regulatory matters. He also provided crisis management assistance and counseling.
After joining the firm in 1999, Mr. Bromwich conducted many major internal investigations for companies, both publicly traded and privately held, in the energy, pharmaceuticals, public accounting, and private security industries, among others; reviewed the compliance programs of major companies in a variety of industries; and made recommendations for their improvement; and represented companies and individuals in state and federal criminal investigations.
In 2002, Mr. Bromwich was selected by the Department of Justice and the District of Columbia to serve as the Independent Monitor for the District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), focusing on use of force, civil rights integrity, internal misconduct, and training issues. He served in that position until 2008, when MPD was determined to have achieved substantial compliance. In 2007, Mr. Bromwich was selected by the City of Houston to undertake a comprehensive investigation of the Houston Police Department Crime Lab; the investigation was widely praised for identifying serious problems in some of the Crime Lab's operations and providing recommendations for the Lab's improvement.
From 1994 to 1999, Mr. Bromwich served as Inspector General for the Department of Justice. As Inspector General, he headed the law enforcement agency principally responsible for conducting criminal and administrative investigations into allegations of corruption and misconduct involving the 120,000 employees of the Department of Justice. He was also responsible for conducting independent audits of the Department's programs and operations.
As Inspector General, Mr. Bromwich was best known for conducting special investigations into allegations of misconduct, defective procedures and incompetence in the FBI Laboratory; the FBI's conduct and activities regarding the Aldrich Ames matter; the handling of classified information by the FBI and the Department of Justice in the campaign finance investigation; the alleged deception of a Congressional delegation by high-ranking officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; and the Justice Department's role in the CIA crack cocaine controversy. During his tenure as Inspector General, Mr. Bromwich testified before Congressional committees on about 20 occasions.
Before his appointment as Inspector General, Mr. Bromwich served as a federal prosecutor in the 1980s. From 1987 through 1989, he served as Associate Counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra. In January-May 1989, he was one of three courtroom lawyers for the government in the case of United States v. Oliver L. North. Mr. Bromwich's other responsibilities in that office included supervising a team of prosecutors and law enforcement agents that investigated allegations of criminal misconduct against government officials and private citizens in connection with provision of aid to the Contras in Nicaragua and serving as overall coordinator of the Iran-Contra grand jury.
From 1983 to 1987, Mr. Bromwich served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. During his tenure, he tried a number of lengthy and complex cases and argued many appellate matters before the Second Circuit. Mr. Bromwich served as Deputy Chief and Chief of the Office's Narcotics Unit.
Mr. Bromwich was also a partner in the Washington, DC office of Mayer, Brown & Platt (1989-1993), where he specialized in white-collar criminal defense. Mr. Bromwich represented individual and corporate clients in state and federal administrative and judicial proceedings, conducted and supervised complex investigations on behalf of individual and corporate clients and tried two cases to verdict. Earlier, from 1980 to 1983, he was an associate in the Washington, DC office of Foley & Lardner.
Mr. Bromwich has published articles in law reviews and other publications on conducting and managing complex investigations. In addition to his recent speeches and public appearances on energy and regulatory issues, he has spoken over the years on law enforcement, oversight and criminal law issues. He has also participated in nationally televised symposia on the Independent Counsel Act, the operation of the jury system in high-profile cases and the changing role of federal prosecutors. He has also been the subject of profiles published by The American Lawyer, and the Associated Press and has made appearances on a wide variety of nationally televised news and public affairs programs.
He has published articles on energy-related issues in Newsweek, CNN International, the Houston Chronicle, and the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He has published articles on law enforcement, criminal justice and oversight issues in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and Legal Times.
Mr. Bromwich serves as a non-resident Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Mr. Bromwich received his law degree from the Harvard Law School in 1980 and a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government the same year. He received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College in 1976. Mr. Bromwich is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar and New York Bar.