Forensic Testing of Failed Blowout Preventer: Delay, Delay, Delay


Believe it or not, forensic testing of the blowout preventer that failed in the BP oil spill has not yet begun – and it’s been about a month now since it was raised from the Gulf floor and taken to a NASA facility for safe keeping. The AP is reporting that Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff blames “… the time it is taking to reach agreement among the various parties on the procedures to be used in the testing.”

Well, I wonder who is involved in that agreement? You’d think that a key piece of evidence would be under the total control of government investigators, right? I mean, if there’s a smoking gun at a crime scene, the guy holding it doesn’t get much say in how the cops go about testing it, right?

The delay will likely push back any final report from that joint investigation by the Coast Guard and the recently re-named Minerals Management Services, which has held five of its six scheduled hearings. Under the April order by President Obama that created the joint effort, the report is supposed to be finished in January – but there’s no way the blowout-device testing will be anywhere near complete.

This is yet another example of the ongoing BP-and-friends strategy to delay, delay, delay while also working diligently to control what information is collected that can be used in court later on. We will watch for more to come out on the blowout-preventer investigation process following this weekend’s AP report.

See the report here:

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