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The federal agency charged with enforcing safety on deepwater oil rigs has also played a major role in promoting the industry's claim that it is safe, and in 2009 handed out one of its top prizes for safety to Transocean's Deepwater Horizon.
Transocean's safety effort included two dance videos, one of them a hip-hop video promoting safety that was filmed on the Deepwater Horizon. The Deepwater Horizon exploded last week, killing 11 and unleashing what could become one of the worst oil spill disasters in the nation's history.
The Minerals Management Service, which falls under the U.S. Department of Interior, touts the recipients in government press releases and hosts an awards luncheon at a lavish industry association conference in Houston. This year's luncheon was scheduled for Monday before it was abruptly canceled.