550 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 13 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/11/11

National Oil Spill Commission Full Report: Offshore Drilling Needs MAJOR Improved Safety and Oversight

By Press Release  Posted by Mac McKinney (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments

Mac McKinney
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mac McKinney
To begin with, here is the link to the National Oil Spill Commission Full Final Report: CLICK HERE (Takes time to load)

Now, from OnEarth, the NRDC's online journal, here is an excerpt of commentary on the report by one of the Commission members:

NRDC President Frances Beinecke was appointed last June by President Obama to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. Today the commission delivers its report and recommendations. She discussed them with OnEarth in this exclusive interview.

OE: The commission's job was to investigate what happened in the Gulf and make recommendations on what to do about it. What did you learn that we didn't already know?

FB: Although the American Petroleum Institute would have you believe that this disaster was an anomaly, we actually found something very different. We believe that it's really a systemic problem, that the industry -- although very, very sophisticated -- doesn't have a series of industry-wide operating standards that are based on the best safety practices that are uniform across the industry. There's tremendous variation. Some companies, such as Exxon and Shell, would have you believe that they would never have done this. But there are a lot of companies operating out there in the Gulf that are not nearly as big as they are.

So our recommendation was that the entire industry has to be brought up to the highest safety standards that can be realized. The Interior Department has the primary responsibility for ensuring that happens. But the industry itself has to create a series of standards and literally self-police. That's what the aviation industry does, that's what the nuclear industry does, and one would have assumed that an industry as sophisticated as the oil and gas industry would do that as well. It turns out, they don't.

Did you determine why not?

Because it's a highly competitive industry, a lot of the information is proprietary, so each company designs the well its own way, and they don't want to share that. Also, operating offshore " it's a tough environment out there, and there are a lot of very independent thinkers doing their own thing.

We were all kind of blown away by the sophisticated technology. They're operating 18,000 feet below the seafloor, 20,000 feet down, and what they're able to do is amazing. I think we all were astounded by that. What was really surprising was that it wasn't coupled with the best safety practices. And I'm not saying that all the practices are unsafe, or that they don't have safety practices. What I'm saying is that they didn't feel an industry-wide drive to have a uniform set of standards that are constantly improving, that are constantly evaluated, that are being audited time and time again.

The industry might argue that what you're asking is too difficult or would drive up fuel costs.

The aviation industry does it -- they've been doing it for decades. And why is that? Because the rest of us step on planes all the time, and we want to know that this industry is operating to the highest levels of safety. Otherwise, they wouldn't have passengers. The nuclear industry did it after Three Mile Island.  They got together and they realized that there might not be a nuclear industry if they didn't figure this one out, and they created an independent institute that does set these very high standards and reports their findings to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. In both the UK and in Norway, offshore oil  and gas operations are managed according to this kind of risk-assessment practice that we're recommending. So many of the same companies are already doing it in other countries -- why not here? Isn't this the United States of America? We should have the highest standards of safety. We should be setting the international standard. And it turns out, we're not.

Watch the OnEarth Video on this interview:

For the full text of the interview, Click Here
Rate It | View Ratings

Mac McKinney Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines

Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Jesse Ventura Exposes the JFK Assassination Conspiracy Nationally

The Voice of the Wetlands Festival, Part 5: Brad Pitt and the Color Pink


Is Osama bin Laden Dead? Part 4: Deeper into the Confession Tape

Is Osama bin Laden Dead? Part 2: the First Tapes

A History of the FARC and Reviewing The FARC Revolutionist by Renate Vanegas

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend