Nagging and Lagging Problems with Off Shore Drilling Safety

Platform supply vessels battle the blazing rem...

Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. ( Wikipedia)

This seems to be a week with all kinds of deficiencies in emergency management getting media coverage. Too bad none of the news is good.

Today, the Huffpost writes Oil Spill Commission Action Group Gives Congress Low Grades For Regulatory Reform On Drilling. Some quotes follow:

Two years after BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig foundered and sank in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 crew members and unleashing an 87-day torrent of oil that soiled surrounding beaches and poisoned delicate coral reefs, a pair of assessments paint a somewhat bleak picture of the subsequent regulatory reform.

Following the BP spill, which was set in motion on April 20, 2010, President Barack Obama established an investigatory body — the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling — that was charged with determining the cause of the accident and recommending steps to make offshore energy development more safe.

In January 2011, that commission issued a final report outlining a variety of “critical” safety recommendations. The panel disbanded two months later. On Tuesday, a group of former members of that commission, now calling itself Oil Spill Commission Action, issued an assessment of the government’s implementation of those suggestions.

The group — which includes former Democratic Senator from Florida Bob Graham, Natural Resources Defense council president Frances G. Beinecke and Cherry A. Murray, the dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, among others — said that while some progress has been made, Congress in particular has failed to pass much-needed legislation.

See also this editorial in the NYTimes on April 17th, which provides a recap of outcomes in the two years since the spill. It too excoriates Congress for lack of action.   [Thanks to Bill Cumming for calling this article to my attention.]

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