Gulf Oil Spill Attributed To Oil Industry’s Lack Of ‘A Safety Culture’

Once it became apparent that the BP oil spill would result in billions of dollars in damages and lost wages, not to mention the deaths of 11 rig workers, politicians and activists alike vowed that punishment would be swift.

Yet, almost 7 months after the initial explosion of the Deepwater Horizon the White House oil spill commission still can’t decide whether profit-motivated decisions by BP, Transocean, and Halliburton (the three companies responsible for the rig) are really at fault for the disaster.

Among the commission’s preliminary findings, released on Monday, was that there was “no evidence at this time to suggest that there was a conscious decision to sacrifice safety concerns to save money” (BBC).

During his presentation, the panel’s chief investigator Frank Bartlit even went so far as to say that he agreed with 90 percent of BP’s conclusions about the disaster, namely that there was never a time when, presented with both safety risks and costs, decisions were made to give up safety to save money.

Fortunately, investigators, witness and panel members called before the White House oil spill commission told a much different tale.

Just 24 hours after Bartlit’s presentation, testimony before the commission demonstrated that “BP was hurried and could have operated more safely if it had taken time to acquire necessary material and kit” (BBC).

“There appeared to be a rush to completion of the Macondo well and one has to ask where the drive came from that made people determine they couldn’t wait for sound cement or the right centralisers,” said Mr. Bill Reilly, co-chair of the Commission.

“There was not a culture of safety on that rig,” Reilly said.

Despite Bartlit’s pro-BP challenges, Mr. Reilly called for “top-to-bottom reform” at the companies involved in the well, and chastised them for a “sweep of bad decisions.”

Whether that will actually happen remains to be seen.

Like this story? Connect with Beth on Twitter or StumbleUpon!

Image Credit: Flickr - uscglantarea

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.

58 comments

Marie W.
Marie W.4 years ago

Google "BP is creepy" Watch video by The Kinsey Sicks!

Alison Personal Messages
Alison A.4 years ago

The greed for oil and the corners which were cut, made this inevitable, I have read that there were not the right people on the rig at the time, how true that is? I don't know, but it sounds typical and plausible.

They should never have been allowed to drill there, but the need for power was too great. Some people have taken enormous back-handers so they are happy, but they have caused total devastation to wildlife and many humble citizens, not to mention the rescue organisations which could have done without having to clear up their mess.

Posing AsMe
Posing Asme4 years ago

Amazing. Let the boycotts continue!

Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman5 years ago

I agree with Prevention. thanx

Joy Dantine
Joy Dantine5 years ago

C-O-M-P-L-A-C-E-N-T WAS EVIDENT. I know firsthand, I observed MSHA workers last week leaving refinery without signing out - KNOWING it is a fundemental sentiment and respectful for his peoples' life should one find it necessary to face a life-threatening situation - and enter refinery to save his pal(believed to still be inside compound. TOTAL DISREGARD STARED ME IN THE FACE AS IF "WHO ARE YOU TO DICTATE". Bless the passenger who got out of vehicle seeing sense and nonsense - respectively. I AM PREVENTION AND REMEDIATION; PREVENTION IS MOST COST EFFECTIVE SHOULD EVERYONE HAVE EVERYONE'S BACK. You and I must stand up for what is right of behalf of the wellbeing of all, whether we know them or not. One day, maybe we will - and you can feel real good about that too.

Tori W.
Past Member 5 years ago

let's review...lives or profit?? what do you think bp choose??? as for the head of this "independent" review committee...yep..really independent..i wonder how much bp had to pay him to say "no evidence" perhaps he grew up under a rock...used to be that first person witness statements and observations were considered "evidence"...i guess he only believes those who are paying him...nice try...oh mr. pres...can't you ship mr moron to one of the poles for a few decades?? next moron please...

Susan T.
Susan T.5 years ago

DUH!

Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado5 years ago

When will we learn and stop off-shore oil exploitation?

Henry Schrieber
Henry Schrieber5 years ago

Do we need more evidence? if you are a rich corporation laws, safety, morality mean nothing. But if you personally want some relief from the stress of daily life, or the pain of some injury and light up a joint your a criminal and subject arrest and jail time.
The real criminals laugh all the way to the bank. Rampant hypocrisy.

Grace A.
Grace Adams5 years ago

The elite want money and power more than everything else put together. If we could find away to give the fossil fuel corporations a guarantee of enough profits to please both the stockholders and the bonus seeking executives providing sustainable energy, they would probably accept that. The fossil fuel corps fear that wind and solar are too easily decentralized, allowing individuals to produce their own power instead of having to buy power in retail quantities at jacked up prices from the fossil fuel companies. In order to convince the elite that they can continue to control ENERGY even after a switch to sustainable energy, it would probably be necessary to buy by right of eminent domain all means of producing sustainable energy in the hands of individuals and small businesses and turn them over to the big fossil fuel companies to own and operate. I personally feel that the energy being sustainable is more important than who owns the means of production.