The New York Times: Regulators Failed to Address Risks in Oil Rig Fail-Safe Device

Monday 21 June 2010 - Filed under Dumbassery + Environment + Government + Journalism + Regulation

A very long and impeccably researched expose on the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the immediate efforts to pinch the leak shows two very undeniable facts:

Though people would blame “deregulation” for the oil leak, it wasn’t that there were not more than enough regulations that might have kept the explosion and resulting spill from happening, it’s that many of those regulations were not enforced in any capacity.  It makes absolutely no sense to have rules, not ask companies to follow them, then blame the companies for not following them.  In many cases, regulators weren’t even aware of some regulations and never once asked a company to comply or even submit information to show that they would or would not be in compliance.

The article also drives home a point that I have been harping on for weeks, even though it never once mentions it: liability caps.  When government doesn’t enforce its own regulations, doesn’t act on knowledge it has and has had for years which might have kept the explosion from happening, then says that massive companies such as BP are liable for less than one day’s profit ($75 million), it sets in motion the events which led to the oil spill.

This article shows nothing short of massive government failure in many places.  Had they simply done their job, enforcing the rules they already had, this oil spill would very likely NOT have happened.

Later on tonight, once I’ve had a chance to re-read the article (and after I get home from my strategic withdrawal due to the crazy Ichthus Festival that occurs in my back yard every year), I’ll comment on specific portions which clarify my position that government is at least as responsible for the oil spill as those they are attempting to villify.

2010-06-21  »  madlibertarianguy

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