Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Chance favors the prepared mind - Louis Pasteur

Diddling While BP Burned

As the foul mess that is BP’s oil spill continues to spread, more information is coming out.  For example, BP ignored warning signs that something was badly wrong. But we expect to find such things. After all, oil rigs don’t just explode and gush foulness on their own.  Accidents like this can usually be traced to someone being stupid.

What is surprising, however is this:

Staff members at an agency that oversees offshore drilling accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography, according to an Interior Department report alleging a culture of cronyism between regulators and the industry.

In at least one case, an inspector for the Minerals Management Service admitted using crystal methamphetamine and said he might have been under the influence of the drug the next day at work, according to the report by the acting inspector general of the Interior Department.

The report cites a variety of violations of federal regulations and ethics rules at the agency’s Louisiana office. Previous inspector general investigations have focused on inappropriate behavior by the royalty-collection staff in the agency’s Denver office.

The report adds to the climate of frustration and criticism facing the Obama administration in the monthlong oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, although it covers actions before the spill. Millions of gallons of oil are gushing into the Gulf, endangering wildlife and the livelihoods of fishermen, as scrutiny intensifies on a lax regulatory climate.

There’s something to emphasize here.  This wasn’t a problem with a lack of regulation.  This was a problem with an agency not doing its damned job. Now every company has its worthless employees.  I’ve certainly known a few who showed up to work stoned or hungover.  But this is way beyond your normal bad employees. This is cesspool as foul as the gulf it failed to protect.

The blame for this has to be placed squarely on the last administration.  The report goes up until 2008, when Bush was still in office.  And the fall guy was a leftover Bush appointee.  We are, once again, reaping the fruits of Bush’s worthless Presidency.  Ken Salazar has asked the investigation to be expanded into 2009 and has called for MMS to be abolished and replaced. The latter I think is absolutely called for.  When an agency becomes this corrupt, this diseased, it has to be taken out behind the barn. There’s no fixing it.

It remains to be seen whether MMS cleaned up its act at all when Obama took power. However, I am extremely skeptical. Partially because he left a lot of Bush people in place.  But also because I don’t think MMS can be fixed by anyone, least of all an administration that appears so clueless on energy.

Update: Correction: S8 points out that Oynes was a Bush Clinton (!) appointee.  I swear I’ll type that right one day.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/26/10 at 06:08 PM (Discuss this in the forums)


Posted by HARLEY on 05/26/10 at 09:09 PM from United States

For example, BP ignored warning signs that something was badly wrong.

Not to nitpick, but that sounds like the crew and supervisor on the rig ignored the warnings, and fucked up. Im beginning to wonder if they were in some kind of hurry and made shortcuts.

The latter I think is absolutely called for.  When an agency becomes this corrupt, this diseased, it has to be taken out behind the barn. There‚Äôs no fixing it.

OHOH! Congress?. .. oh wait, The Federal Government!
Posted by on 05/26/10 at 09:19 PM from United States

Are we being led to believe that John Kerry’s appointees wouldn’t have accepted gifts, done drugs ect,ect, ect?

At some point your gonna have to let go of all that Bush hatred or it will ruin you at every level.

Posted by on 05/26/10 at 09:36 PM from United States

We can blame Bush all we want. Fact is the Supreme Being’s superior is in charge now, and I’m still miffed he hasn’t changed this oil into magic fairy dust to clean the world’s oceans.

Anyhow, this Bush appointee also received the Presidential Rank Award under and approved by CLINTON for his great civil service. Maybe that’s why he was appointed by that dumbass Bush administration.

Fact is this thing blew up a year and a quarter after Bush, and believe me if this had happened under Bush and went on for over a month it would be non stop news about what an incompetent asshole he is (which he was). But for the greatest man ever to live on Earth.... Nothing. I’m a true believer that the only thing that makes someone great especially in politics is not what is accomplished, but simply a lack of scrutiny.

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