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Oil industry executives and their allies in Congress said that the Obama administration, in its zeal to overhaul the agency, has lost sight of what they believe the agency’s fundamental mission should be - promoting the development of the nation’s offshore oil and gas resources. Environmentalists said the agency, now known as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, has made only cosmetic changes and remains too close to the people it is supposed to regulate.
Oil deregulation leaves U.S. helpless in gulf
Weeks after what is now the largest oil spill in U.S. history began to cause damage all along the Gulf Coast, officials and engineers are optimistic that a risky underwater well-plugging measure is working. But what if it's not working? Will the federal government be able to step in and do something else?
So far, the answer has been "Not really."
… The government's startling helplessness in the face of unprecedented disaster is the direct result of our decades of deregulation. …
President Obama knows he can't present the issue to the public in quite this way. As much as they like the idea of deregulation, Americans don't want their government to be powerless in the face of a disaster.
The U.S. government is not alone in ceding responsibility to the oil industry for the design of key safety features on offshore rigs, a trend coming under scrutiny worldwide following the deadly blowout in the Gulf of Mexico.
Across the globe, industry-driven regulation is the norm, not the exception – and critics are calling for a re-examination of a system that puts crucial safety decisions into the hands of corporations motivated by profit.
The March 11 magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station, causing radiation leaks. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on April 12 raised the severity level of the accident to 7, the highest level on the global scale, matching the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Deregulation is the real (underlying) reason / cause behind the US oil spill by British Petroleum (BP) in 2010 off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Deregulation coupled with lax government oversight (lackies appointed by Dick Cheney at the helm) lead to the omission of key safety features and protocols, a free pass for drilling licenses, emphasis on profit over safety, and absolutely NO PLAN for containment of blowouts.
For example, George W Bush and Dick Cheney helped block a 2002/03 Bill that would have required the use of acoustic switches to activate the blowout preventer (BOP). When the rig blew up, they had to MANUALLY activate the switch by sending robotic submersibles....Eventually the rig collapsed and sank to the ocean floor. Because the rig was STILL ATTACHED to the well head / BOP, it bent or damaged the BOP making it unusable. Again, this is something that could have been foreseen; i.e. the need to activate the BOP immediately in the case of catastrophic rig failure, to avoid potential damage to the BOP....An acoustic switch would have allowed them to IMMEDIATELY stop the well head (activate the BOP) as soon as the explosion happened. The BOP would not have been at risk for failure (due to rig collapsing); but, the lack of a remote switch and need to save the well (for profit and avoidance of loss) meant that they delayed trying to activate it. By that time the damage to the BOP had been done.
If BP had regulated themselves better, the oil industry wouldn't be in this mess of facing increased regulation. So BP has nobody to blame but themselves. The other oil companies that may have been doing a better job can blame BP. Some of the things BP did on that job were highly irregular. One guy said he'd been in the industry 25 years and never seen anyone skip the cement test like BP did, that was reckless by itself.
Originally posted by soficrow
"Regulation" is a dirty word in American English.
Is having a law making "theft" or "arson" a crime, "evil, bad, dirty, regulation"? Is having a law immigrants to have "green cards" or "work visas" in order to get a job here "evil, bad, dirty, regulation"? Is having a law saying we should all drive on the right side of the road, and stop for red lights "evil, bad, dirty, regulation"? Why is it okay to enforce all sorts of things on individuals (many unfair laws), but anytime we try to enforce something with a corporation it becomes "anti-freedom, big government liberal commie interference". Should people just be allowed to do whatever they want? Why does it seem that corporations have more of these "freedoms" to do whatever they want than actual people.