The explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig last April killed 11 workers, and caused 4.9m barrels of oil to be spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. It was one of the worst spills in history, combining natural destruction, economic damage and even diplomatic tension between London and Washington, as they rowed about BP‘s punishment. And, according to the National Oil Spill Commission set up by Barack Obama, it was entirely “avoidable”. After reviewing thousands of pages of documents from government and industry (including company internal documents), and interviewing hundreds of officials, oil-industry employees and other witnesses, the commission has found that “most of the mistakes and oversights at Macondo [BP's well] can be traced back to a single overarching failure – a failure of management. Better management by BP, [and its key contractors] Halliburton and Transocean would almost certainly have prevented the blowout.” There will be much argument in coming months and years over what that phrase means, and whether it is true. But the clearest implication is this: the lethal Deepwater blast need never have happened – if only BP and its key contractors, three of the biggest and richest firms in the industry, had done their jobs better.
Filed under: Action Alert!, activism, Corporations, Ecology, economy, energy, Environment, Global Warming, News, US Politics Tagged: | Barack Obama, BP, Deepwater Horizon, Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico, Halliburton, Macondo, Transocean