The release of part of the President’s Oil Spill Commission report has a lot of people talking in Alabama’s coastal communities. The report says a disaster could happen again without significant reforms by the industry and government.
GULF SHORES, Alabama – British Petroleum, Transocean, Halliburton, all responsible for the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. History. According to the Oil Spill Commissions report it all could happen again if significant changes aren’t made by the industry and government.
“Not unexpected,” says Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft. “I think that we all assumed that there was some management responsibility from all different players so, not unexpected but glad to see that we are at least being honest with ourselves about the problem.”
Craft is not as concerned with the finger pointing as he is with where we go from here and how will new regulations and safety requirements be used. “The fear that we have of existing wells out there that there are 10s of thousands of if all of those are some threat to explosion and leakage then we have a real problem.”
“That its really scary that it could happen again.” Orange Beach City Administrator Ken Grimes finds little comfort in the report when he reads things like all three companies made decisions that saved time and money but gave little thought to consequences.
“I think that all of us hope at the federal level with restrictions and inspections all the things we’ve learned from this that future drilling would be monitored in a way that this would not allow to have the same potential without tremendous measures,” says Grimes.
And if changes are not made it’s not a matter of “if” another disaster happens but when. “I would hate to see us go through it but we are definitely prepared. We know more now,” says Grimes.
BP issued this statement in response to this part of the report:
“BP supports the Presidential Commission’s efforts to determine the causes of the Deepwater Horizon accident, and has cooperated fully with the Commission’s investigation. Today’s release largely adopts the preliminary findings of the Commission’s Chief Counsel, and like several other inquiries, including BP’s internal investigation, concludes that the accident was the result of multiple causes, involving multiple companies.
BP is working with regulators and the industry to ensure that the lessons learned from Macondo lead to improvements in operations and contractor services in deepwater drilling. Even prior to the conclusion of the Commission’s investigation, BP instituted significant changes designed to further strengthen safety and risk management. These changes include the creation of a new Safety & Operational Risk division, reporting directly to Group CEO Bob Dudley, that will provide independent oversight of operational decisions involving safety.”