BP knew this could happen all along. In the meantime, who was watching them?

Posted by Henry Taksier, June 16, 2010

Photo from Huffington Post

It’s almost as if BP planned for poisoned water, dying wildlife, and devastated communities, then factored it into their risk assessment.

“BP took measures to cut costs in the weeks before the catastrophic blowout in the Gulf of Mexico as it dealt with one problem after another, prompting a BP engineer to describe the doomed rig as a “nightmare well,” according to internal documents released Monday.”

[…]

“In a letter to BP CEO Tony Hayward, Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Bart Stupak, D-Mich., noted at least five questionable decisions BP made in the days leading up to the explosion.

“The common feature of these five decisions is that they posed a trade-off between cost and well safety,” said Waxman and Stupak. Waxman chairs the energy panel while Stupak heads a subcommittee on oversight and investigations.”

Via BP Engineer Called Deepwater Horizon ‘Nightmare Well’ Days Before Blast, Oil Spill  – Huffington Post

If a private company decides that profit is more important than safety, well, that’s perfectly understandable. Self interest makes the world go round. That’s why we need government regulation to ensure that companies like BP don’t abuse their power. So why couldn’t the U.S. government protect its own coast? Is it because the Minerals Management Service is a corrupt, useless agency?

Maybe, but not completely, according to the The Los Angeles Times:

“Under International law, offshore oil rigs like the Deepwater Horizon are treated as ships, and companies are allowed to “register” them in unlikely places such as the Marshall Islands, Panama and Liberia — reducing the U.S. government’s role in inspecting and enforcing safety and other standards.”

[…]

“Some members of Congress are expressing concern about the Marshall Islands and other countries that outsource their inspection responsibilities to private companies. Coast Guard officials confirm that more rigorous inspection procedures apply to the relatively small number of rigs registered in the U.S.”

Via Foreign flagging of offshore rigs skirts U.S. safety rules – Los Angeles Times

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