BP, the company that owned the Louisiana oil rig that exploded last week, spent years battling federal regulators over how many layers of safeguards would be needed to prevent a deepwater well from this type of accident.Doesn't this sound oddly similar to Wall Street that spent tens of millions (hundreds?) on lobbying to get the Glass-Steagall Act rescinded? You know, the one that kept the banking system sound for 70 years after the Great Depression and which, once rescinded, resulted within 10 years in The Great Recession as the banking system imploded!
One area of immediate concern, industry experts said, was the lack of a remote system that would have allowed workers to clamp shut Deepwater Horizon's wellhead so it would not continue to gush oil. The rig is now spilling 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.
In a letter sent last year to the Department of the Interior, BP objected to what it called "extensive, prescriptive regulations" proposed in new rules to toughen safety standards. "We believe industry's current safety and environmental statistics demonstrate that the voluntary programs…continue to be very successful."
I sure hope there isn't a BP "TARP" bill rushed through Congress to save BP. (I'm joking.)
But I do hope that the cleanup costs bankrupt BP. That's the kind of scare that will make the other energy companies sit up and pay attention to investing in the level of redundancy and the amount of safe guards needed to ensure this kind of disaster doesn't occur again.