"It's a cake -- there's a lot more things that people can get upset about," said Jason Brune with the Resource Development Council.
The New York Times reports that Goll served the cake at a staff meeting shortly after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar proposed reorganizing MMS in response to the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Part of the mission of the MMS is drilling, and they have a track record of responsible drilling over the last several decades, so drilling is a core component of what they're doing," Brune said.
After the Times article was published, Goll sent an apology to MMS employees that read in part, "This was simply wrong to have."
"Once again, this shows the quality of person that John Goll is," Brune said. "He didn't need to send that letter, but he chose to do so. And I respect him for doing that, but I don't think he needed to send that letter -- his integrity, his record speaks for itself."
But the apology didn't smooth out the situation with several environmental groups. A few even want Goll to resign.
"The apology that should be given is to the American people," Williams said. "The apology seemed to be about the cake rather than about the huge lack of integrity, scientific integrity."
"I think he owes Alaska Native communities who live in Alaska and would be impacted by spills and oil and gas development a public apology, and he owes Alaskans an apology," said Karla Dutton of Defenders of Wildlife. "That cake makes me really seriously question his ability to lead that office properly."
"It is insensitive beyond anything conceivable to me that anybody could be that insensitive," said Alaska Wildlife Alliance Executive Director John Toppenberg.
Members of industry say environmentalists are taking this the wrong way, and need to lighten up.
"And I think that if people are making a scene out of -- making an issue out of this, they have too much time on their hands," Brune said.
The cake is long gone but with the tragedy in the Gulf still unfolding the slogan, even written in icing, inflames the debate over offshore drilling.
Calls to Goll at the Alaska regional MMS office were not returned.
Contact Jackie Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org