Hopper named new BOEM director

Abigail Ross Hopper has been appointed Director of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), effective 5 January, the US Department of the Interior announced on 18 December 2014.

Hopper, who will be the second director in the agency’s history, is currently serving as Director of the Maryland Energy. She will take over the agency from Acting Director Walter Cruickshank, who held the role since May 2014. Cruickshank will continue to serve as BOEM’s deputy director.

“Abigail Hopper’s knowledge of the energy sector, experience working with a wide variety of stakeholders and her legal expertise will be valuable assets to the Bureau and the Department as we continue to ensure the safe and responsible development of our domestic energy and mineral resources and stand up an offshore wind program,” said Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, who announced Hopper’s appointment. “She is an accomplished professional who brings strategic leadership and long-term vision to the job, and I look forward to having her as a member of our senior leadership team.”

Hopper has led the Maryland Energy Administration since 2012, first as Acting Director and then as Director in June 2013. She also served concurrently as Energy Advisor to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley since 2010. Hopper graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law and earned a BA from Dartmouth College.

Industry organization API said of Hopper's selection: "Opening new areas offshore could create 840,000 jobs and strengthen our energy security while generating $200 billion in revenue for the government. With 87% of federal waters off-limits, we look forward to working with Director Hopper and learning her plans for continuing America’s oil and natural gas renaissance."

On Hopper’s appointment, Maryland Gov. O’Malley said: “Abby Hopper will be outstanding as the Director of BOEM. She has been a key member of the team as we’ve aggressively pursued a more sustainable energy future for Marylanders — including expanding our use of wind energy and other renewable sources. Her hard work has been crucial to helping Marylanders reduce their energy usage, save money on their energy bills, and obtain more of their energy from renewable resources. Her experience and expertise in working with a diverse group of stakeholders will serve BOEM well.”

National Ocean Industries Association President Randall Luthi cautiously welcomed Hopper to BOEM, saying: “While her background in renewable energy, particularly offshore wind, will certainly be an asset as BOEM’s offshore renewable energy program continues to show steady progress, we are hopeful that Ms. Hopper will recognize the importance of our nation’s offshore energy resources to America’s energy, economic and national security, especially as BOEM is in the midst of developing the 2017-2022 OCS Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which has far reaching implications for America’s energy future.”

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