Submitted by Anne Landman on
Federal regulators have warned offshore drilling rig operators numerous times over the past decade that they needed to install backup systems for their undersea blowout preventers, the devices that are used to stop the flow of oil from a well during an emergency. After the most recent warnings, in 2004 and 2009, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Interior Department (the agency charged with regulating the offshore oil drilling industry and collecting royalties from it) never took steps to address the issue. Instead, the industry assured MMS that it was in control of the problem, and MMS relied on those assurances. Despite this, Transocean, the company that owned and operated the ill-fated Deepwater Horizon rig for BP, was cited by British authorities twice in recent years for failing to maintain a blowout preventer and related testing equipment on an offshore drill site, and for exposing employees to safety risk. Even with all these ongoing safety concerns, last year BP and other offshore drilling operators joined together to oppose proposed rules to require stricter safety and environmental standards and more frequent inspections of undersea wells. BP claimed that additional regulations weren't needed for offshore drilling and pressed the MMS to let the companies take steps to ensure safety on their own.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Unbelievable that there were no regulations
Considering the amount of regulations that occur within all sectors of society, it is absolutely shocking that something like regulating oil drilling is passed by. BP are responsible without any doubt for this awful tradegy which could affect not just the immediate areas - as we are clearly seeing - but in fact - it could affect the water supplies for the whole planet. The authorities which allowed this to happen also should be answerable. If this hazardous type of activity was stopped or thoroughly regulated then this might never have happened.