Interior Dept. Appoints New Leader for Offshore Energy

The federal agency that regulates offshore oil drilling is about to get a new leader.

Abigail Hopper has been named director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, according to a report from FuelFix.

Hopper has spent several years running the Maryland Energy Administration. She recently worked on a project to set up wind energy farms off Maryland’s shore — leading to a federal lease sale in August.

Now, BOEM is turning its attention to building a new five-year plan for selling oil and gas leases offshore. The agency’s been under pressure to include the Atlantic Ocean. But they say new seismic research is needed before they can make a decision.

Hopper will be the second director at BOEM since it was established by the Interior Department in 2010. Former director Tommy Beaudreau left in May to become chief of staff to the Interior Secretary.