Salazar dividing energy agency into 3 parts, instead of 2

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is proposing to split up an Interior Department agency that oversees offshore drilling into three parts.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the change Wednesday, a week after he proposed splitting the Minerals Management Service in two.

The original plan would have created one entity charged with inspecting oil rigs, investigating oil companies and enforcing safety regulations, and another to oversee leases for drilling and collection of billions of dollars in royalties.

The new plan would keep those two bureaus and add a third to oversee development of offshore drilling.

The minerals agency has long been accused of being too cozy with the oil and natural gas industry.