Thursday, June 10, 2010

Salazar Bailed on Deepwater Horizon Review

On April 30, 2010 President Obama said:

He had ordered Interior Secretary Ken Salazar "to conduct a thorough review of this incident and report back to me in 30 days on what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be required to prevent accidents like this from happening again."

An April 27 Department of Interior press release states:

“We will remain focused on providing every resource we can to support the massive response effort underway at the Deepwater Horizon, but we are also aggressively and quickly investigating what happened and what can be done to prevent this type of incident in the future,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

The Salazar report bailed on its primary charge, a thorough review of the Deepwater Horizon blowout. His report states on page 4:

This 30-day review has been conducted without the benefit of the findings from the ongoing investigations into the root causes of the explosions and fire on the Deepwater Horizon and the resulting oil spill (collectively ―BP Oil Spill‖) including if there were any violations of existing safety or construction law, gross negligence, or willful misconduct. In the coming months, those investigations will likely suggest refinements to some of this report’s recommendations, as well as additional safety measures. Nevertheless, the information currently available points to a number of specific interim recommendations regarding equipment, systems, procedures, and practices needed for safe operation of offshore drilling activities.

Furthermore, because the purpose of this review is to recommend immediate measures to improve the safety of offshore drilling activities, nothing in this report should be used to influence or prejudice any ongoing investigations, or impact any current or future litigation.

Salazar pushed it onto Obama's Oil Spew Commission, co-chaired by still conflicted William Reilly.

Administration officials say the pause (deepwater drilling moratorium) will allow them time to hear from a newly appointed presidential commission and to reevaluate safety regulations and other federal oversight. "With the BP oil spill still growing in the gulf, and investigations and reviews still underway, a six-month pause in drilling is needed, appropriate and prudent," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

President Obama ordered a thorough review of the incident. Salazar bailed. Will the Oil Catastrophe Commission do any better? William Reilly controls millions in ConocoPhillips stock. It's future value will be impacted, in part based on his commission's actions.

Obama accepted Salazar's skinnied down report. The President appointed William Reilly, fully aware of Reilly's conflicts of interest. A thorough review awaits.

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