It may be popular for the current administration in Washington D.C. to blame the previous one. The previous administration does have a lot to answer for, and the article points it out. However, the current administration also has a lot to answer for, and they are continuing a pattern of inertia, negligence, and just plain incompetence that could lead to other catastrophes.
Here are some choice lines:
- "Like the attacks by Al Qaeda, the disaster in the Gulf was preceded by ample warnings – yet the administration had ignored them. Instead of cracking down on MMS, as he had vowed to do even before taking office, Obama left in place many of the top officials who oversaw the agency's culture of corruption. He permitted it to rubber-stamp dangerous drilling operations by BP – a firm with the worst safety record of any oil company – with virtually no environmental safeguards, using industry-friendly regulations drafted during the Bush years."
- "It's tempting to believe that the Gulf spill, like so many disasters inherited by Obama, was the fault of the Texas oilman who preceded him in office. But, though George W. Bush paved the way for the catastrophe, it was Obama who gave BP the green light to drill."
- "In reality, MMS had little way to assess the risk to wildlife, since a new policy instituted under Bush scrapped environmental analysis and fast-tracked permits. Declaring that oil companies themselves were "in the best position to determine the environmental effects" of drilling, the new rules pre-qualified deep-sea drillers to receive a "categorical exclusion" – an exemption from environmental review that was originally intended to prevent minor projects, like outhouses on hiking trails, from being tied up in red tape." Talk about putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
And therein lies the real problem.The politicians will do their best to do damage control so they can go on with business as usual. BP may have lost some reputation and money, but as long as agencies like MMS remain an incompetent clusterfuck mostly in bed with corporations it is supposed to regulate, BP and others will move on as well with their corner cutting and other criminal behavior. Then again, I leave my two readers with the question I posed when I began writing: why am I reading this in a "music" magazine? Clearly the news media is failing miserably in its job to investigate, demand answers, educate the public, and hold the powers that be accountable.
A hat tip to Radical Vixen. (Warning: some content in RV can be little risque for some readers).