Heres why youre wrong about a case of "depraved indifference" , when the government should be branded merely as "Incompetent"
BP was not even responsible for the manufacturing of the parts that were used. A company called Transocean Ltd. is the company behind the design and construction of the parts that failed.
If your specific comment refers to blow out protection, these same mechanical BOP devices had shown similar problems to not engage elsewhere(in shallow water, so why did the contractors choose to install them as a "redundant system of failure prone BOP devices"?. The govt sets "minimum" standards of performance for evverything. When an article or device achieves the required ASTM or other standard of performance there is no reason to disapprove.The use of redundant BOP's was a decision agreed to by all the parties, BP wasnt "surprised" at the outcome. They allowed it without any question, as did the other partners.
The second issue is that BP was forced into deeper waters because the government would not allow them to drill in shallower water.
The USGS does a compilation of the data thats provided them by the oil companies (who actually do the seismic research and modelling) Then the US govt DOI will "auction off" the leases to these plots of bottom . BP was the successful bidder for this tract. Noone was "holding them hostage" to drill in this area of the canyons.
There are already about 4000 rigs in the immediate shelf and reservoir zone. Only this one blew out to the extent that it couldnt be controlled>( Imsure that there were other blow outs that were successfully handled)
The third failure is that even before BP set up any equipment, congress and BP were in the works for determining oil spill disaster plans and how much money BP must put up front in case of a disaster. Congress decided that BP only needed to pay a 70 million dollar insurance premium and capped it at that while BP was currently in drilling operation.
Since BP is basically "self insured" this requirement is meaningless. We should merely require a letter of credit and a pledge from the industry that they will do what is needed. Anyway, after the fact-Why did BP quickly agree to the 20 BILLION dollar escrow account?
I think the real problem was the waiving of the requirement for the environmental impact statement because the lease hold requirements require an EIS within 30 days of closure. This feat is virtually impossible as anyone in the environmental engineering industry will tell you. This merely led to a "compromise" that was heavily lobbied by the oil companies and was agreed to by congress. Its an example of how the NESHA requirements are trashed by certain industries including mining and oil exploration.
Your analysis sounds like a bakery shop that bakes a loaf of poison bread and then pleads a defense that the Health Department "Didnt disallow it"
There is plenty of blame to go around and the govts "watchdog" resposnibility is an area that the GOP has been trying to dismantle ever since Reagan. What weve got now is a series of agencies that are historically "friendly" to the very industry they regulate. These conditions must be changed in this administration . Deregualtion as a theory of operation wont ever work because industries simply cannot be trusted to act responsibly. To put the steering wheel of this particular event into the hands of the licensing agencies is naive. While the govt has many quetions to be answered, BP (and its "low bid" contractors was the driver.
I see that ANadarko Ltd (a 25% partner in the well) is trying to legally back off their share of reparations by blaming BP with outright fraud and "depraved indifference".
This is turning to a political opportunity by both sides of the aisle.
As long as BP keeps its money pledges coming and without a cap (as the GOP wants) we may get out of this and develop some new technology as a collateral effect.
Nw that we know that this could happen again and again (The last one in the bay of Campeche wa dismissed as a"one time occurence by a third world outfit named PEMEX". Well here we had many "1st world experts" all standing around with thweir thumbs up their ani and we have finally learned the dark secret of ALL offshore derilling (its fraught with dangers and environmental consequences).
WQe are reaping the crop that was sewn in the age of deregulation, and until oversight actually means something this may not be a single event.