Oil Spill Disaster – July 26- Hearings reveal a litany of problems

Once again, we are getting the message that a series of Risky Decisions Led to Oil Spill. July 25, Wash. Post.

The calamity, the evidence now suggests, was not an accident in the sense of a single unlucky or freak event, but rather an engineered catastrophe — one that followed naturally from decisions of BP managers and other oil company workers on the now-sunken rig.

The Deepwater Horizon disaster can be attributed to “an organizational culture and incentives that encourage cost-cutting and cutting of corners — that reward workers for doing it faster and cheaper, but not better,” an academic advisory panel of scientists, chaired by Univ. of CA/Berkeley professor Robert Bea,…. “We know that in a very large number of cases, the seeds for failure are sown very early in the life of a particular system — during the concept development and design phases (e.g. the design of the Macondo well). These seeds are then allowed to flourish during the operation and maintenance phases, and, with the system in a weakened or severely challenged condition, it fails,” the panel’s report states.

And there may be lessons here for anyone involved in a complex and difficult venture. People tempted fate, hoping for the best while failing to insure against the worst. They did not take care of the little things. And then the big thing — the Macondo well — didn’t take care of itself.

1 thought on “Oil Spill Disaster – July 26- Hearings reveal a litany of problems

  1. Do large corporations ever factor in the public interest? We do know that the extractive industries which are taking resources from the commons get many direct and indirect subsidies from the government, through the tax code and other means! Are there alternatives to this approach or is it just a way to keep the lobbyists employed and incumbents re-elected through campaign donations by these corporate “persons”?

Leave a Reply to William R. Cumming Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.