Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Happy Macondo Day

Six years ago today a deepwater oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded killing 11 workers and spilling over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf over a period of 87 days. A judge would later find well operator BP guilty of "gross negligence" in the matter leading to the largest monetary settlement in US history. Investigators cited BP and Transocean and Halliburton for systemic failures with regard to equipment maintenance,  cementing techniques,  and adherence to safety procedures concluding that,"absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur."

Today, Louisiana US Representative Steve Scalise is leading the charge to prevent such reforms from ever taking hold.
“He’s a rock star on our stuff, there’s no question about it,” said Stephen Brown, vice president of federal government affairs for Tesoro Corp., which refines and markets petroleum products. “He’s probably your go-to person for the oil and gas industry. If he can’t be for it, it’s not going to happen.”

Scalise’s rise was almost derailed two years ago after the disclosure of a 2002 speech to a white supremacist group, an episode that could have sunk any lawmaker’s career. But he said that making the speech had been a mistake and was able to persevere, now serving in a Republican leadership team headed by House Speaker Paul Ryan.

That’s turned out to be good news for the oil industry at a time when it can use some friends in Washington.
It was important that "big oil's rock star" not have his career derailed by some inconvenient matter of associating with white supremacists. So it didn't happen. And aren't we all grateful for that.

UPDATE: Yes I know the Macondo blowout happened on April 20. That isn't the problem.  The problem is I woke up thinking today was April 20. So... good morning everybody

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