From the New York Times:
Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil — and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general’s report to be released this week.
The report, which describes inappropriate behavior by the staff at the Minerals Management Service from 2005 to 2007, also found that inspectors had accepted meals, tickets to sporting events and gifts from at least one oil company while they were overseeing the industry.
We knew this was going on, but we didn’t have proof until now. I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed or enraged I am. It’s one thing to know that our elected officials are on the take for Big Oil. It’s another thing to finally have solid proof that our Congressional Oversight Committees oversee a Federal Regulatory body that is as crooked as it is useless.
American citizens ought to be outraged over this; far more than they actually are. It’s not just the oil spill that should have them incensed. It’s the complete lack of government integrity.
Liberals have been screaming for a month about BP, Transocean, and Halliburton’s criminal neglect. Scream all you want, Liberals; Corporations only do what they are allowed to do by law, or by other, more sinister methods, such as hunting trips or junkets to Jamaica, man. I hear you, Liberals, I really do. I’m as outraged about those three as you are, and more.
But I have to say this; if there was one prime example to show Conservative’s disdain for big government, Deepwater Horizon is it. It has everything. It has a Congressional Oversight Committee being completely blind for decades to the cozy practices of the industry with our regulators. It has our Federal Government’s Mineral Management Services Arm grossly neglecting its duties. It has everything!
Liberals are screaming for more regulation and less drilling. I’m screaming for more redundancy, which is the one thing that could have prevented this oil spill, and wasn’t on the Blow-out Preventer.
But don’t we see? We already had all of the regulation we needed, and none of it did any good. That’s what Conservatives will say…and they are right. We had the Congressional Oversight, we had a Federal Agency that was supposed to be the long arm of the law. We had the EPA. We had the White House.
None of it made any difference. In the end, it was all a waste of money. It turned out to be a Federal jobs program that produced absolutely nothing, because "Big Government" became corrupt. There is no arguing that point. If the people hired by the Federal Government had done their jobs, this spill would never have occurred. If there had been a demand for redundancy on the rig’s BOP through Federally mandated specifications, Deepwater Horizon would have sunk, but the oil would have been contained.
"Big Government" failed. "Big Government" ended up costing Americans billions of dollars before the accident, and an incalculable amount of damage after.
I’m not one of those people who say we should do away with Federal Regulatory programs. If there is one thing this oil spill has taught us, it is that big business will do whatever they are allowed to get away with, no matter the cost or impact on mankind. When the bottom line is the driving factor, nothing is too out-of-bounds. There needs to be regulation.
But that regulation needs to work. It needs to have people who aren’t there just for the paycheck and the government Bennies. It needs to use the teeth it has been given, and it needs to do so with integrity. None of the above was present in this "Big Government" mess. You can blame BP as much as you want, but they only ever did what "Big Government" allowed them to do. Conservatives have a point that you can’t argue against here. Big government agencies were in place, and instead of having integrity, they were more crooked than the industry they were supposed to regulate. More regulation won’t make any difference until the people inside of our government learn what integrity is all about. Currently, their body of work for the last few decades reveals a shocking lack of integrity, along with billions of wasted taxpayer dollars.
Like I said, a Federal jobs program that produced absolutely nothing.