In an article by AP, which spoke with oil industry experts and took a look at the Mineral Management Service, the Bureau of Ocean Management Service, not much has changed and with the drilling moratorium set to expire on November 30th, one might be inclined to question – what was the point of the moratorium in the first place, beyond a press story to give the American public the idea the government was actually doing something about all this?
Cited in the article:
A big problem within the MMS was that this government agency, responsible for policing the wells and handing out oil leases, also collected revenue from these same oil leases which created a conflict of interest. Whereas the Obama administration stated they were removing this conflict by dividing these two responsibilities, this is only half right. The new Bureau of Ocean Management Services is still managing leases along the Outer Continental Shelf and the new bureau responsible for environmental safety will still answer to the same official.
Big Oil is building a new system to contain a blow-out, one which won’t be tested and ready until February of 2012, if all goes according to schedule and if, the pressure from government and media doesn’t dissipate enough for them to put it on the back burner.
A new commitment from Big Oil to a complete culture of safety from top to bottom, pervading the entire industry.
And from Thad Allen, he recommends that in the case of another full blowout, a third-party from the oil and gas industry who does not have a stake in the profits from said industry be responsible for containment and cleanup of the blown out well. This would require a change in the law, but congress has not acted.
Cynicism aside, like with many tragedies the clamor is loud, deafening in its demands for change but as the noise begins to quiet events have a way of drifting slowly back to a pre-tragedy state of affairs. We’ve watched this happen time and time again. Take the levee system around New Orleans as an example, Hurricane Betsy hits in 65 and everyone knows they need to get the levees fixed but little happens and so we get their failure after Katrina. Even now, the levee system in California is falling apart, but there is little push to do anything about it beyond the occasional warning in the newspapers.
In the article, Elgie Holstein, a former Energy Department official comments: “I won’t be satisfied until the government demonstrates a continued willingness, not just a brief willingness, to be a tough cop on the beat, and the industry delivers on its promises that something like the BP blowout will never happen again.”
Read the article:
Have a nice day.