12 May 2010

Not Me did it.

'Don't Blame Me' Is Refrain At Gulf Oil Spill Hearing

As if you hadn't been able to guess what would happen at this hearing.

Newman (CEO of Transocean) countered that there is "no reason to believe" the blowout preventer didn't work and that it might have been clogged by debris shooting up the well. Instead, he put the focus on subcontractor Halliburton, which was encasing the well pipe in cement before plugging it just hours before the deadly blast that killed 11 workers.

When I heard that Halliburton was the subcontractor used at the Deepwater Horizon, I cringed. But I've read enough about how this drilling site was unusual in a number of ways to not automatically blame this particular bad guy this time. Just because they sucked at drilling in Iraq doesn't mean they are the only ones that fracked up this time.

Salazar wants to divide the embattled Minerals Management Service into two agencies: one 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.

This sounds like a very obvious idea, one which other countries have already done. It seems pretty obvious to me that the part of the agency that collects money if the oil is flowing shouldn't be the same as the part that decides if it's safe to keep the oil flowing. I'm pretty sure MSHA doesn't collect coal revenue, but I'll be rather upset if I'm wrong.

And lest we forget part of the reason MMS needs to be put back in order...

Besides Shell, the energy company employees mentioned in the report worked for Chevron, Hess and Gary-Williams Energy. The social outings detailed in the report included alcohol-, cocaine- and marijuana-filled parties where certain employees of the Minerals Management Service were nicknamed the "MMS Chicks" by the energy employees. The companies paid for federal workers to attend football and baseball games, PGA Tour events, Colorado ski trips, paintball outings and "treasure hunts," investigators found. Washington Post

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