Whatever happened to DRILL BABY DRILL?
In the last few months, we have shut down several platforms to request modifications consistent with BP's standards. One of these was our Holstein platform in the Gulf of Mexico, which was shut down after we discovered incorrect specifications for some bolts.It's hard to imagine, however, how the improved safety could have been achieved without the temporary moratorium on new deepwater drilling. Even with the moratorium, not enough has been done to improve safety. 4.9 million barrels of oil, 1 million gallons of dispersants, causing 90,000 square miles to be closed to fishing, devastating a local industry (if only temporarily) [numbers here]. Another spill like this, and deepwater drilling would be as dead as the nuclear industry after 3-mile-island.
So what has happened since? The Obama administration has moderately improved safety: as with most actions by this administration it's not enough, but it's a good first incremental step towards reform. Meanwhile, the industry shills have bitched and moaned relentlessly. How much has offshore oil production decreased as a result? 13%. That's right. 13%. You'd think the world was coming to an end listening to these yahoos. And it's had its effect: of the 101 bills introduced to Congress to attempt a legislative improvement in oil drilling safety, 0 were passed.
You'd think that those interested in improving safety and public confidence in offshore drilling would be lauded for their efforts. Instead, in this strange alternate reality we live in, they are described as "anti-industry."