A former federal regulator warned today that growing “complacency” since the 2010 Gulf oil spill threatened to undermine changes that have boosted safety and government oversight of offshore drilling.
Michael Bromwich, who headed the Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement in the wake of the spill, said he was “surprised and troubled” by how quickly memories of the Deepwater Horizon disaster have faded.
“All of the discussions I hear on Capitol Hill … are all about the pace of deep-water drilling and speeding up the application approval process,” Bromwich said, adding that, at the same time, there is “very little discussion about safety.”
Yeah, no shit? It’s almost as though the industry does everything in its power to undermine federal and local oversight of drilling processes — understanding that delays and regulations cost it money — and then takes increasingly large risks to maximize profits at the expense of worker and public safety until something goes wrong and the government steps in at which point the entire process starts again. It’s almost like that’s the case, isn’t it, Mr. Bromwich?
But, yeah. Thanks for ringing the ol’ warning bell. I look forward to your book in two years, after the next spill, entitled, If Only They Had Listened.