Update 4: Talk About..
Dr. Bob Brulle(Drexel) knows what he is talking about, CP advizes. With twenty years in the US Coast Guard uniform under his belt..
To the point on this disaster, yet with very fair backstory, take a read..
Prevention is the best policy. But that involves regulations to prevent corporations from taking calculated risks by shaving safety margins to decrease production costs. Rather than striving to achieve the highest levels of safety and pollution prevention, BP continued to resist regulations designed to prevent an accident of this sort. Specifically, on September 14, 2009, BP wrote:
“While BP is supportive of companies having a system in place to reduce risk, accidents, injuries and spills, we are not supportive of the extensive prescriptive regulations as proposed in this rule. We believe industry’s current safety and environmental statistics demonstrate that the voluntary programs implemented since the adoption of API RP 75 [a voluntary industry standard] have been and continue to be very successful.”
Very successful? NOT! History has obviously proved wrong their belief in the adequacy of the voluntary standard.
Where was the Minerals Management Service (the regulatory agency governing offshore drilling)? Remember, this is an agency of the Department of the Interior. This department was managed in the Bush Administration by Gale Norton, the protégé of James Watt, the notorious anti-environmental Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan. During the Republican administration, the only distinguishing accomplishment of this agency was to get caught in a bribery, sex, and drugs scandal involving collection of oil and gas royalty payments. We are now tasting the bitter fruit of the past eight years of lax enforcement and allowing industry to set its own “voluntary” standards. We need a solid investigation of the Minerals Management Service to find out what the agency did and did not do to prevent this spill from happening, and the imposition of strictly enforced regulations to prevent this sort of incident in the future.