Time Magazine’s new issue focuses on the oil disaster in the gulf. In the article 12 people are specifically named as culprits in the fiasco. There are the usual suspects like the CEO of BP Tony Hayward and John Browne- the former CEO who presided over a period of dynamic expansion at BP, but his cost-cutting may have contributed to the company’s checkered safety record. Chris Oynes sits at position #3 and was the top Interior Department official who, until he retired May 31, oversaw offshore oil- and gas-drilling for the Minerals Management Service [whose name belies the truth]. BP’s COO Doug Suttles is #4
Guess who are tied at #5? Dick and George, of course, oil men themselves, with their demand for fewer government regulations. I might also throw in Congress and the people who voted on this lessening of regulations, but it was Bush and Cheney leading the way.
The American car driver comes in at #7. Perhaps they ought to be moved higher on the list as it is their demand for cheap gas as well as their resistance to any new taxes that brought on the demand for more and cheaper oil.
Obama and Salazar are numbers 8 and 9. Neither thought it necessary to amend the lax regulations that were solidified under Bush and Cheney. Salazar himself, as a member of Congress, was not unfriendly to the fossil fuel industry.
S. Elizabeth Birnbaum lands the #10 spot- she was the former head of MMS. Those serving under her complained that she had done almost nothing to fix problems that have plagued the minerals agency for over a decade and that she was pretty much a hands-off manager, rarely leaving her Washington office.
The CEO of Transocean, the Swiss company that owned the Deepwater Horizon rig, Steve Newman is #11. The president of global business at Halliburton, the contractor responsible for cementing the well, Tim Probert, rounds out the dirty dozen.
I’m thinking that President Obama ought to be much higher on the list. Even I knew that Bush and Cheney made deals with the fossil fuel CEO’s early on in their administration to loosen oversight of their businesses. Why didn’t Obama jump in shortly after he was inaugurated to demand that all of the loosened regulations be tightened? He could have easily done that but he did nothing. Shame on him.