16 Government Targets


Even those of us with low expectations of the joint Coast Guard, former-MMS hearings into the Deepwater Horizon explosion have to admit it looks like that’s where the rubber is meeting the road. So far, the government has identified 16 targets, including both BP and Transocean.

While we should cringe at the focus on workers and not company policy, it seems clear that managers who can link practice to corporate orders are feeling the heat; it was one of those managers who was the first to “plead the Fifth” among BP employees.

We’re a long, long way from anyone thinking that the newly minted “Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement” is any sort of long-term improvement from when we called it the MMS. But that investigation, perhaps surprisingly because it involves some of the people who were responsible for lax regulation enforcement in the first place, is where the governmental investigation action will be for at least another week.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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