Comment

Another Investigation Exonerates the 'Climategate' Scientists

548
Obdicut (Now with 2% less brain)7/07/2010 7:57:30 pm PDT

re: #547 reine.de.tout

I’m not saying exceptions were never granted; what I am saying is that it is in a company’s best interest to make a well with NO INCIDENTS whatsoever; the price otherwise, in terms of lives lost or ruined and in terms of money, is just too high, as we’ve seen with what BP is having to pay now.

But that’s just it, Reine: Even if the other companies have historically been well-run, BP and this accident has shown that we can’t depend upon those best interests to keep this sort of accident from happening. Another company could be bought by the same sort of people running BP, or a particular rig could be run by people with that mentality. After all, Massey mine shouldn’t have happened, too— it’s not in their best interests. Nor should have Centralia. Nor should have many other industrial disasters.

How many disasters of this scale could we handle in a century? Right now, we can handle zero.

And even if the other companies really do their best, all the time, there is still the chance of a perfect storm of human and equipment error that would produce another catastrophe. The industry’s testimony about the physical response to this was that, basically, BP really was doing the best that could be done in response— that means we wouldn’t even be prepared for a much lesser catastrophe.

The main thing I am arguing here is that placing blame on the MMS makes it seem as though even though the regulators were on the case and zealous, the regulation failed. It’s not true; the regulators were overburdened with an obvious history of waving through BPs plans with exceptions. To me, that indicates that the regulations need tightening, and the agency needs reformation— and that all agencies dealing with stuff of such catastrophic import likewise need to be examined to see if they can actually do their job, because their jobs are important. Incredibly important.