An in-depth article about the peculiar culture in LA regarding oil drilling and the man who dominated the Gulf Office of the Mineral Management Service. In addition to showing the failings of the MMS, the article also notes a huge failure by Congress — badly written legislation that resulted in a loss of federal income amounting to $60B. Plenty of candidates to blame for the recent disaster!
Minerals Service Had a Mandate to Produce Results, NY Times, August 8.
In some states, drilling has been seen as a threat to native cultures. In Cajun country, it opened a door to the middle class — even as a typical offshore schedule (two weeks on, two weeks off) let workers still fish, hunt and farm.
“The industry didn’t destroy the old culture — it saved it,” said Diane Austin, an anthropologist at the University of Arizona. What it did largely destroy, through cash and cunning, was significant political opposition. Local groups have typically been weak and small — no match for an industry that Mr. Oynes calls the “900-pound gorilla.”