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AP Source: White House To Name New Oil Agency Head

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By ERICA WERNER Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) A Democratic official is telling The Associated Press that the White House is about to announce a new head of the agency that regulates the oil industry.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the White House has yet to disclose the news.

It was not immediately clear whether the announcement would come during President Barack Obama's prime-time, Oval Office address about the devastating Gulf Coast oil spill.

Last month, Elizabeth Birnbaum stepped down as director of the Minerals Management Service, a job she had held since July. Her agency has been accused of lax oversight of drilling and cozy ties with industry.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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