Readers blame Republicans for oil spill
Our Readers Who Comment are busy throwing rocks at what many see as a Republican regulatory atmosphere that resulted in the Gulf oil disaster after investigators discovered that several things were wrong with equipment that was supposed to prevent it.
The conversation has more than 400 comments and is full of cheap shots at the "drill baby drill" mantra of some Republicans and attacks on an anti-regulatory approach of the previous administration. Republicans respond by noting that the Obama administration wanted to restart offshore drilling but then placed it on hold after the Gulf situation exploded. Readers also express major long-term concerns about our thirst for energy and the price we are paying to satisfy it.
Meanwhile, as Steven Mufson and David A. Fahrenthold write, "Oil is still pouring into the gulf as federal agencies and others investigate the cause of the accident."
We'll start with frantaylor, who wrote, "Really you can look back at the history of engineering disasters, and EVERY SINGLE TIME the failure is in quality control... When it is not done, you get disasters like the Hartford Civic Center roof collapse or the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse. Both of these disasters happened because an engineer made a faulty calculation and it was not caught by quality control... When you hear companies bragging about their profits, beware, it is usually because they are cutting back on quality control."
[Based on my 12 years of covering aviation accidents, I couldn't agree more.]
mike-sey said, "This is no perfect storm. This is bad sloppy, and lazy management and engineering. So much for the American belief in the efficiency of the private sector. We've seen it in health care and now in oil extraction. I'd be scared to death of any kind of businessman running any kind of government like a business, wouldn't you?"
chopin224 wrote, "Many dead from the oil rig blowing up. Many dead form the coal mine explosion. Many dead in Russia and China in coal mine mishaps. Cheap energy huh? Not to those who lost loved ones."
gmclain offered, "When the article starts with 'a House investigating panel...' you can be assured that it is based on guess and not facts. The blame game is proving nothing except how stupid and self centered most politicians are."
reah1 wrote, "Executive Branch oversight agencies were systematically starved of funding by the Bush Administration, and their appointees' jobs were to restrain the feds from doing their jobs. We have seen this again and again, from the Mine Safety Administration to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to FEMA. Republicans have hated regulation since the days of Ronald Reagan, when government was labeled as THE problem, and the stated goal was to cut taxes and starve the 'Beast.' "
whitebeard1 said, "I guess the gummint is going to have to hire away some competent oil field workers to act as regulating inspectors. They have made the comment that the oil companies have all the experts: therefore, we have to hire a few of them. All these comments that the regulators are incompetent to regulate is true, but we did have laws that were not adhered to, practices which were not followed up on, and BP lied about the fallibility of the preventer..."
gurudev16 quoted Coast Guard Capt. Hung Nguyen, co-chair of the investigating board, who said, "Manufactured by industry, installed by industry, with no government witnessing oversight of the installation or the construction, is that correct?"
and remarked that "The idiocy of the whole "Drill, Baby, Drill'/ We don't need no "stinkin guvmint" philosophy exposed for all its profound ignorance in one tight succinct sentence. Breath-taking!"
mgcrhcp asked, "Isn't the ONLY role of government to protect its citizens and maintain order. They can't even get that right. read this article. How stupid do they think we are?"
And jacktar2001 wondered, "Are any heads going to roll over this? It isn't going to save us from this disaster, but we don't seem to hold people responsible for their negligence anymore."
sylkyj wrote, "You can't expect the oil companies to use any of their record profits for such trivialities as the upkeep of safety equipment, can you?"
And kcbob said, "This is what happens after 30 years of proclaiming government is the problem and cutting regulations."
economy48 wrote, "I hope the[y] get this mess cleaned up and back to drilling. The loss of that big rig is going to cause pain at the pump for women, children, poor and minorities and any other of the liberal special interest groups I failed to mention."
francis4 said, "The beaches will be unusable by humans and toxic to the wild life that depends on them. The ecology of the whole Gulf will be destroyed for decades and the livelihoods that depend on that eco system. Know what? They're all red states that send neanderthals to the Congress and also to their state houses. I don't feel one bit sorry for them. The chickens finally came home to roost."
pelohoki wrote, "No point in further laboring to decide who's responsible. Clearly, all three are plus the regulators. First, Ken Salazar should immediately step down, second, order all offshore oil well safety audit and fix weaknesses/problems, order all 3, BP, Transocean, Halliburton, to collectively clean up and pay for all damages for their criminal negligence."
We'll close with ggrant9170, who said, "i am not under any illusions that anything good will come from offshore drilling. its just common sense that its going to be a nightmare eventually and then we can blame the oil companies, the government, but we only have ourselves to blame. we want the oil, we live on the oil, its our entire way of life and we are not about ready to give up comfort and ease for safety of our oceans and sealife because right now, we don't see how it could possibly effect our lives but my friends, it will and it will devastate us. then begging or pointing fingers is just fruitless because the damage has been done, its over and only the whining and blame game is left."
All comments on this article are here.
May 13, 2010; 9:11 AM ET
Categories: Oil | Tags: BP, Congress, Gulf of Mexico, Halliburton, Oil, Transocean
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