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Office of the Secretary
May 7, 2007
Chris Paolino (202) 208-6416

Secretary Kempthorne Announces MMS Director Johnnie Burton's Retirement

Kempthorne thanks and praises her for her years of service

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced the retirement of Minerals Management Service Director Johnnie Burton effective at the end of May and offered his gratitude for her years of service.

In his formal letter accepting her resignation, Secretary Kempthorne praised Ms. Burton, saying, “Over the past five years, you have led a vital part of the Department of the Interior. You confronted challenges head on with great purpose to do what was right. You always conducted yourself with the utmost grace and style. I respect your decision to return to your family and to the West we both love. You will be missed.”

“I have served this President and the Secretary of the Interior for over five years,” Burton said in submitting her resignation. “This has been the most rewarding, and often challenging, position of my career. It has been an honor to serve this country and contribute to the orderly production of hydrocarbon energy for the Outer Continental Shelf.”

Burton, appointed Director in March 2002, led the Minerals Management Service (MMS) through 16 offshore sales, which greatly expanded national domestic energy production and generated more than $3 billion in bonus bids alone; increased the effectiveness and eliminated delays of the royalty compliance program, resulting in improved accounting and oversight of royalty payments; and recently completed a new Five – Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, which will result in further energy independence and economic stimulation for the country.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Burton served as the Director of Wyoming's Department of Revenue from 1995 through February 2002. She has a varied background in education, digital information systems, oil and gas exploration, legislative service, and government management.

From 1982 through 1988, Ms. Burton was a member of the Wyoming State House of Representatives. She served as a director of the First Wyoming Bank in Casper from 1981 through 1984. From 1989 through 1994, she and her husband, a petroleum geologist, ran a small exploration company focusing on gas production in the Wind River Basin of Wyoming. Other career highlights include positions as a lecturer and teacher of French at the university and high school levels.

A replacement for Ms. Burton has not yet been named.

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