Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ben Jervey: Offshore Drilling Oversight Necessary

Offshore Drilling Oversight Necessary
by Ben Jervey

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, as the oil still gushed into Gulf waters, the president formed a commission to figure out what went wrong, and how to prevent a similar disaster in the future. Commission members claim that the president told them to "follow the facts wherever they led," and so for six months they've been doing exactly that.

Today, the commission released its final report. Impressively, the authors didn't mince words, essentially saying that if industry's practices and government oversight don't improve, another disaster is all but inevitable.

It's a monster of a document (398 pages), and I haven't come close to finishing it yet. But I have tackled the intro, the first couple chapters, and the recommendations. It's actually a pretty fascinating read. Chapter One is honestly the best narrative journalism I've read of that fateful day in April. Chapters Two and Three are good history lessons on offshore drilling in America and the regulation (or lack thereof) of the industry.

The conclusions and recommendations, though, are probably most important. A summary of the commission's conclusions, provided in the intro, may look on first glance like common sense criticism that you've probably spouted off to your friends, but in the world of D.C. politics, they are pretty severe.

To Read the Commentary and To Access the Original Report

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