Saturday :: Jul 10, 2010

Open Thread


by Mary

Obama has been cleaning up a giant mess. One example:

Almost nothing had been written about the MMS at all of late, save for its now infamous four-year sex scandal. According to MMS spokesman Nicholas Pardi, there's not a single reporter in the country who covers its activities full time. And yet in the wake of this endless disaster, thanks to the energetic reporting of those institutions that are now on the job, we've learned, for instance, that the Minerals Management Service did not require oil companies to have backup systems to trigger blowout preventers in case of an emergency. No enforcement mechanisms existed at all. In recent years, regulators allowed the oil executives to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil, which were then traced over and submitted. Free hunting and fishing trips, tickets to games, expensive meals were the norm at the Lake Charles office, all provided by the oil companies. Taking such gifts "appears to have been a generally accepted practice," according to the department's acting inspector general, Mary L. Kendall. Two years ago, one MMS employee undertook four inspections of platforms while in the process of negotiating the terms of his employment with that same company. Another was suspected of using crystal meth during his inspections. It's no wonder that that the MMS collected only sixteen fines from the more than four hundred investigations of Gulf of Mexico drilling incidents over the past five years. The agency found roughly 200 violations of its regulations, but showed virtually no interest in pursuing any of them.

And tonight on MarketPlace, I heard how BP is considered a good company in Britain and a good protector of the environmental standards of the land. It's only in America where regulations were so lax as to be non-existent that the corporate officers felt no obligation to deliver more than asked for by the country in which it was operating. BP never had to care when operating in the US because the landlords didn't care if the place was trashed as long as they got their cut. That's a clear example of the kleptocracy that ruled too over America and which hasn't released it's strangle hold even now.

Mary :: 12:00 AM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!