The New York Times has a story today about widespread anger from coastal residents as they watch their hometowns become slathered with oil, ruining future prospects of work and normal life in general. This one paragraph, summarizing the major lessons learned from this disaster.
Several things have become clear over the past month. Neither BP nor the government was prepared for an oil release of this size or at this depth. The federal Minerals Management Service, charged with overseeing offshore oil development, has for too long served as a handmaiden of industry. Laws governing deepwater drilling have fallen far behind the technology and the attendant risks. And no one can estimate the extent of the economic and environmental damage, or how long it will last.
Also, make sure to check out the Times’ photo slideshow of the oil making landfall.
Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil — and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general’s report to be released this week.