Writing intermittently on life, politics, and society

Shut up and take your medicine

The Guardian reports on another fire on an oil rig. It comes just 24 hours after oil companies held a rally in Houston against the Obama administration’s moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf.

I found the following quote from an oil company spokesperson quite funny:

I have been in the oil and gas industry for 40 years, and this [the Obama] administration is trying to break us. The moratorium they imposed is going to be a financial disaster for the Gulf coast, Gulf coast employees and Gulf coast residents.

I would be able to take this claim more seriously if there were signs of impending disaster. There aren’t. More importantly, it’s the complete tone-deafness combined with the timing.

To my knowledge, this the second incident on an oil rig in a year, after nearly 5 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf, which resulted in revelations that safety standards have taken a back seat, and the oil industry has had little in the way of effective oversight for ages.

It beggars belief that in spite of this the industry is fighting the moratorium. What else is the government supposed to do to ensure safety? A disaster -and subsequent clean up operation- is far more damaging to a company than making sure disasters don’t happen.

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