Blame Officially Assessed in Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Deepwater-Horizon-oil-spillIn case anyone was still wondering who is to blame for the April 2010 explosion that killed almost a dozen workers and set off a monumental Gulf of Mexico oil spill, wonder no more: the official United States government report came out a while back. Let's recap first. Deepwater Horizon was an oil drilling rig built above the Macondo well and operated by British Petroleum (BP). On April 20th, an explosion and subsequent fire on the platform killed 11 workers and injured 17 more. The blowout preventer, intended to prevent the release of crude oil in such an event, failed to perform as advertised.

For months, BP tried various measures to prevent the growing oil slick that became the poster child for corporate negligence. Though the leak was eventually contained, and there have been wildly differing versions of the actual environmental damage, of course we all knew there was going to be an official report released to assess blame.

The report is now here.

The official press release from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement concluded: “the deaths at the Macondo site on April 20, 2010, and the following pollution of the Gulf of Mexico were the result of “poor risk management, l

ast-minute changes to plans, failure to observe and respond to critical indicators, inadequate well control response, and insufficient emergency bridge response training by companies and individual responsible for drilling at the Macondo well and for the operation of the Deepwater Horizon.”

While BP went along with the “core” findings of the report, their official response was quick to point out that the accident was a result of multiple causes from multiple parties, including Transocean and Halliburton. This report puts a sort of closure on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, as indicated in the 5% jump in stock price immediately afterwards.

Enough time has passed that the Obama administration has recently begun making noises about opening more areas of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico to oil exploration and drilling, as well as implementing a five-year plan to begin evaluating oil and natural gas projects off the Atlantic seaboard. To a nation weary of high gas prices and foreign energy dependence, it might not be as welcome as “Drill, baby, drill!” but it's a step in the right direction.

The American Monetary Association Team

Flickr / EPI2oh

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