Thursday, October 28, 2010

Criminal negligence

This from the LA Times:
Weeks before the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, oil company BP and subcontractor Halliburton learned that tests had shown the cement mixture designed to seal the well was unstable, but they continued to use it anyway, President Obama's special commission investigating the environmental disaster reported Thursday.

You hear a lot about “accountability” during elections. There are 11 people dead, thousdands of livelihoods disrupted and ongoing environmental damage.

Are we going to see those responsible held accountable? I won’t hold my breath.

Jim Cornelius, Editor


  1. The criminality of this whole affair stems primarily from the irresponsibility and lack of oversight that would allow a deep-water well like that to operate at all, without having proven, known, available means of repairing a worst-case failure. It was obvious in the weeks and months that followed the disaster that there would be no quick fix to the millions of gallons of crude gushing into the Gulf, because no one had anticipated how this would be handled, and then planned accordingly. The Federal Government quickly admitted that they lacked the resources to begin to address the problem, and would need to rely on the private sector - namely the firms actually responsible for the disaster itself - to provide any repair solutions.

    So, BP and associates had continuously cut corners, willfully violated innumerable codes, inspections, and precautions for the sake of expediency (greed). When the oil hit the fan, so to speak, the world then had to entrust them with the fix, as well.

    I am all for tapping as much of our natural resources as possible, especially those that reduce foreign dependency, but with proven technologies, backed by proven safeguards, supported by vigilant oversight. "Worst-case" is usually avoidable with those conditions in place, and almost inevitable in their absence.

    The whole affair was fraught with criminal negligence, on the part of many parties. I am sure that there will be substantial fines, but none directed at individuals, nor will any individuals be sentenced to any prison time. There are billions of dollars at stake, and special interests at risk. That, and the bureaucratic layering that will allow massive deflection of direct responsibility ensures that justice will not be served as is warranted by the negligence.

    I can only hope that the disaster will spur oversight reform that will allow utilization of oil and other resource without the risk of such tremendous environmental and human losses.

  2. No USGOV administration has shown the political "ballsack" to criminally indict and prosecute (successfully) and major oil corporation for now generations. You don't bite the hand that greases you, individually or otherwise.

    BP isn't hurting financially due to the rig blowing up with all the follow on damage. Their land pipelines in Columbia are pushing oil right along and their rigs in Angola are doing the same.

    All well guarded by private firms making big money, to include those brought in on our coast and back during Katrina (then it was Blackwater).

    Point is, it's business as usual and as usual we American are only "outraged" when the oil we crave daily is puked out on our shores, beaches, and hinterlands...otherwise we could care and do less about the same being done daily elsewhere and to the detriment of others.

    "A quart of 10-30W please, and keep the change."