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Its no parody: BP finalist for safest offshore drilling or ‘the joke’s on U.S.’

May 1st, 2010 · No Comments

Painful times call for painful humor to help release the tension and, at times, find whatever Silver Lining might exist in disastrous circumstances.

Looking to the seemingly endless wave descending on the Gulf Coast, threatening fragile environmental spaces and many different economic activities (fishing, tourism, …), it would be easy to imagine that the following headline would be satire:

British Petroleum Finalist for U.S. Government’s  SAFETY Award For Excellence (SAFE)  for High Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Activity

It would be easy to imagine but, considering the sheen covering ever-more of the Gulf Coast (and killing ever more of the Gulf’s inhabitants), it is hard to imagine that this is the reality. British Petroleum, the leading name in what might be the largest single environment incident in the global addiction to fossil fuels, is one of three finalists for this award from the US Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS).

The award ceremony, scheduled for this coming Monday, has been indefinitely delayed.

The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced today that the 2010 Annual Industry SAFE Awards Luncheon scheduled for May 3, 2010 at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas has been postponed.

The ongoing situation with the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling accident has caused the MMS to dedicate considerable resources to the successful resolution of this event, which will conflict with holding this ceremony next week.


Do note that the OTC, itself, is still on Monday through Wednesday even though there are some luncheon spots open.

One has to wonder: was BP to receive the SAFE award for High OCS Activity from MMS and someone decided that it might not look so good for a MMS official to give a BP executive a plaque for safe drilling as news reports of oil hitting the coasts mounts?
Hat-tip to OregonDem.

UPDATE:  See Wonkroom, Five Months Before Disaster, BP Testified Offshore Drilling Is ‘Safe And Protective Of The Environment’.

BP America’s vice president of Gulf of Mexico exploration, David Rainey, opposed the proposed MMS rules and defended the existing regulatory system. Rainey claimed that drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has been shown to be “both safe and protective of the environment”:

I think we should remember that scientific knowledge is always moving forward. And actually using the best available and the most up-to-date scientific information is part of the current regulatory system. And it supports the OCS leasing, exploration, and development program. And I think we need to remember that OCS has been going on for the last 50 years, and it has been going on in a way that is both safe and protective of the environment.

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Tags: Energy