Oil Spill Commission Does an About-Face: “Culture of Complacency” Regarding Safety Led to Disaster


The presidential oil spill commission, just like NOAA after its “vast majority of oil is gone” moment, is rapidly backing away from the “finding” that profit concerns didn’t drive decisions leading to the disaster. Now Bill Reilly – co-chair of the commission and lead pro-BP spinner – is separating himself from his own investigators, while hiding behind the workers who lost lost their lives on the rig.

“They [the investigators] didn’t rule out cost,” Mr. Reilly said of his own commission, applying a bit of reverse spin amid the increasing heat. Again, from Reilly: “[The investigators] just said they weren’t prepared to attribute mercenary motives to men who cannot speak for themselves because they are not alive.”

Wow! The clear implication is that the workers made the bad decisions, not BP managers and executives who decided to go cheap on the well design…and use fewer stabilizers…and ignore test results. But I have to admit the about-face is startling. Now, reports the LA Times, the panel discovered a “culture of complacency” and the companies involved need to be re-shaped top to bottom.

This is more spin. The responsible companies were in no way complacent when it came to profits. Any carefully cultivated “complacency” came in the areas of safety, where being focused reduced profits. To pretend to think otherwise is just not credible. Show us the series of “bad decisions” that increased safety and increased cost. No, the “bad decisions” were to make more money by cutting corners on safety – there’s nothing even remotely complacent about that.

Read the LA Times piece here: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-oil-spill-commission-20101110,0,7355018.story

© Smith Stag, LLC 2010 – All Rights Reserved

Add comment

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

Follow Us

© Stuart H Smith, LLC
Share This