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BP oil spill faces Presidential Commission as “Cozy Relationship” between Companies and the Regulator gets highlighted ; BP claims “partial success”

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The BP oil spill has garnered unprecedented media coverage due to the major environment impact it could have on some of the coastal states of the USA.Its a good thing since it again brings the focus back on the problems of fossil fuel dependent world economy.Fossil fuels are far costlier than the $70-80 barrel that we read about due to major external costs like health,pollution,energy security which is not quantified . There is a huge need to give major support and subsidies to areas like renewable energy but that does not happen due to entrenched interests of the energy industry.BP after sleeping for a whole week after the oil spill has been forced to act due to the state and civil society scrutiny . The Presidential Commission is a welcome development as it might help prevent future disasters which have been a regular occurrence . The Commission will also probe the role of the MMS regulator which has come under fire for not implementing best practices in the industry and led to the retirement of a top official.However I don’t think it won’t lead to much changes in the energy policy where  a climate bill contains provisions for “offshore drilling” and “nuclear energy” . BP after  several unsuccessful attempts has claimed “success” through a “quick fix” solution through a mile long suction pipe. Note this just leads to a 20% of  the oil spill being sanitized despite 2 weeks of massive public pressure.

BP, Deepwater Drillers Unprepared for Oil Leaks, Lieberman Says – Bloomberg

Regulators under Interior Secretary Ken Salazar failed to require deepwater drillers including BP Plc to show how they would control leaks like the well gushing at least 5,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman said.President Barack Obama has vowed to end the “cozy relationship” between companies and the industry regulators. Obama is splitting MMS into separate units to inspect rigs and enforce safety rules and to oversee leases and royalties. The agency generates about $13 billion a year for the U.S. Treasury by partnering with companies to develop oil and natural gas, trailing only the Internal Revenue Service in revenue.

Presidential commission to probe Gulf oil spill – Reuters

The commission, which Obama will establish with an executive order, will be similar to those that looked into the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979, an official said.It will investigate issues related to the spill and its aftermath, including rig safety and regulatory regimes at the local, state and federal levels.The federal government’s oversight role, environmental protections, and the “structure and functions” of the Minerals Management Service, the Interior Department agency that has been heavily criticized for its regulatory practices, also will be on the panel’s agenda.With a shakeup of the agency imminent, Chris Oynes, the top official overseeing its offshore oil and gas drilling, announced he would retire at the end of the month.

BP says turns corner in oil spill – Reuters

London-based BP Plc said its latest “quick fix” — a mile-long siphon tube deployed by undersea robots down to the leaking well– was capturing about a fifth of the oil leaking from the ruptured well.Officials cautioned that the tube is helping contain the oil but will not stop the flow.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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