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Congress' Gulf Oil Spill Response Given a 'D' By Commissioners

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the they-sure-talked-about-it-for-a-few-weeks dept.

Earth 129

ananyo writes "Many of the problems that led to the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill have not been addressed, say the members of a commission set up by U.S. President Barack Obama to study the disaster. The group released a report today (PDF) on progress towards its 2011 recommendations for preventing future disasters and improving spill response. The U.S. Congress fares worst in the new report, earning a 'D' rating for its failure to enact any meaningful legislation in response to the disaster. The Restore Act would allocate 80% of any fines that BP pays for the spill under the Clean Water Act to restoring the environment and economies of the states in the Gulf of Mexico, but the act has stalled in the House of Representatives. The Obama administration did better, with a B, thanks in part to new drilling regulations, while the oil industry's efforts to improve safety saw it awarded a C+."

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Well, on the upside (4, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713673)

They scored an "A" on fund-raising from oil companies.

Re:Well, on the upside (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714399)

As well as protecting them from corporate liability(fine was absolutely trivial compared to harm done), competition from the rest of society(government not only subsidizes oil companies, but restricts harvesting to those who are given contracts), and personal accountability for executives(any of them see a dime of cost for their actions?).

The commission itself was a joke from its inception. The only criteria of which a government sanctioned investigation like this will approve is more control and involvement by government and less control and involvement by the society these industries supposedly serve.

Re:Well, on the upside (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714499)

More blah blah in an election year. Anything to divert attention away
from the failures of the current administration. . .

Re:Well, on the upside (2)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715189)

earning a 'D' rating for its failure to enact any meaningful legislation in response to the disaster.

Because anytime anything goes wrong, Congress should pass yet another law to cover it.

I seem to recall that the reason the rig sank in the first place, which jacked up the pipe at the well head, was firefighting efforts swamped it [drillingahead.com]

Re:Well, on the upside (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715821)

Except that all the safety systems in place were turned to silent due to false alarms. That had a little something to do with how the fire began which ultimately let to it's sinking.

Regardless (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716547)

Be that as it may, if they had just let the fire burn, the rig may not have sank, which busted the pipe and caused the massive spill. They could have worked the unit on the sea floor while most of the oil was burned off topside.

I do remember some newsbabe saying that the EPA insisted they try to douse the flames due to the "pollution" it was causing.

Ironic.

Re:Well, on the upside (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715003)

Well, this D does translate to a Aaa* in financial terms, which is practically junk status.

But an A by BP (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713693)

In a related note, BP gave Congress' an A+ on their response to the oil spill.

Re:But an A by BP (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713835)

Bingo. To use an auto analogy, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are clogged intake filters.

Re:But an A by BP (1, Offtopic)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713919)

Mitch McConnell looks like he has a clogged OUTTAKE filter. His face looks like he has permanent constipation.

Re:But an A by BP (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714277)

what bp did was already illegal.

there's a problem with how the court/justice is implemented when they're not doing time for it..

Self-evaluation. (4, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713723)

Obama's administration gave itself a 'B' . . . dude needs to learn how "patting yourself on the back" is supposed to work.

Re:Self-evaluation. (1, Flamebait)

Norwell Bob (982405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713931)

Oh, I'd say he's got a pretty good grasp on it. Remember how modest he was when he roped in with SEAL Team 6 and personally shot Bin Laden?

Re:Self-evaluation. (5, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714079)

Still two orders of magnitude below flying onto an aircraft carrier deck in a flight suit under a huge "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" sign.

Re:Self-evaluation. (4, Insightful)

Norwell Bob (982405) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714247)

We need a new Godwin's Law regarding the invocation of Bush. The parent specifically brought up Obama's administration... but you can't make a criticism of Obama without people immediately saying something along the lines of, "Yeah? Well, what about the time that Bush did yada-yada-yah? Huh?"

Also, I realize I am opening up a whole new branch of Bush-as-Hitler metaphors. Resist the temptation, people. That shit is old.

Re:Self-evaluation. (2, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714313)

The difference is Bush actually did what I said, while the GP is just making shit up. Also, I seem to remember an awful lot of Clinton blow-job jokes during the Bush years. Sauce for the goose and all.

Re:Self-evaluation. (3, Insightful)

sunwukong (412560) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714385)

I seem to remember an awful lot of Clinton blow-job jokes during the Bush years. Sauce for the goose and all.

Cue uncomfortable silence.

Re:Self-evaluation. (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714505)

Yeah. It's only beyond the pale when the Repubs are on the receiving end.

Re:Self-evaluation. (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714507)

The parent specifically brought up Obama's administration.

To be precise, TFA brought up the Obama administration, I was just commenting on the silliness of the Obama Administration effectively giving itself a 'B' grade.

We need a new Godwin's Law regarding the invocation of Bush.

So in this analogy Bush is Hitler? That is, in and of itself a reverse Godwin. You're invoking Hitler to argue that there's something fallacious about referencing the Obama administration's immediate predecessor in power as a reference point for their behavior. The problem is that the reference is so incredibly ugly in the popular conscience that you don't want it raised.

Godwin's law is a touchstone for lazy argument because the Nazi's are so obviously evil that any attempt to analogize against them renders an argument flawed. The only thing as evil as Nazis are the Nazis themselves.. also maybe Pol Pot and Stalin. Since then even attempts at Genocide are tame by comparison.

So... is the argument that Bush was such an incredibly BAD president that any attempt to analogize against his presidency is, in effect, comparing yourself to the absolute floor of presidential behavior?

Just trying to understand the point here.

-GiH

Re:Self-evaluation. (1, Troll)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715225)

So in this analogy Bush is Hitler?

It would seem that many fervently believe this in general. And they invoke Bush in the same manner as they do Hitler.

Re:Self-evaluation. (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716199)

The same could be said about Obama. At least Bush is rarely accused of being secretly planted in the United States by Kenyan muslims on the odd chance the son of a single mom in Hawaii might one day become president and impose sharia on us all . . . or whatever.

The comment above re: Bush is explicit and specific on a single point. "Mission Accomplished" is part of U.S. History now. It's both impractical and frankly unrealistic to expect the 75% or so of the nation that dislikes President Bush to stop mentioning him because he's been out of office for 3 years. He's still on the Government payroll. He's still a public figure. He's not some random private citizen being held up for mockery.

There is no reason not to look back and go "oh yeah, THAT'S how Republicans run the country." To ignore history is to repeat it. I do not want to repeat those 8 years.

Re:Self-evaluation. (2, Insightful)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716773)

Now, that's a narrative I've yet to hear.

The fact is that the Left and Obama in particular have used Bush as an excuse for everything. They do so to excess, to the point of it being a Saturday Night Live parody.

As for going back 8 years, things were going as well as could be expected after 9/11 until about 2007, when the Dems got a hold of the check book again.

I, for one, do look back with fondness on the dollar something a gallon gas and the 4 something percent unemployment rate.

Re:Self-evaluation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715379)

The majority of your post is a rant where you completely misunderstood your parent post. He didn't say Bush is Hitler. Your feeble, mouth-breathing mind concluded that.

He suggested a new law that states, "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Bush or the Bush administration approaches 1."

Or, as he paraphrased it, "We need a new Godwin's Law regarding the invocation of Bush"

I'm not trying to make personal attacks here, but how you misunderstood that is beyond my comprehension. Are you stupid or something?

Just trying to understand your point here.

Re:Self-evaluation. (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716099)

A sock puppet speaks!

How goes the life of being a shill for your employer?

-GiH

Re:Self-evaluation. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714959)

Wish people would stop looking like an idiot every time they parrot this line out.

Bush's mistake was believing the people would act like humans rather than animals.

Ohhh, burn! Bush is such a total dork, he actually believed those like-Muslims...wanted to stop being murdered under the rule of a tyrant and cared enough for their fellow man to improve life for themselves. Oh, what a t-o-t-a-l douche. I was like, duuhhh...and he was all like, mission accomplished. Totally douchie - to the max.

You sound like a retarded 13 year old girl.

Re:Self-evaluation. (2)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714541)

Remember how modest he was when he roped in with SEAL Team 6 and personally shot Bin Laden?

No. I do remember when he came out and calmly announced that the Obama administration had ordered SEAL Team 6 to go into Pakistan and kill them some Terrorist assholes. I think you can comfortably assume that you will see Obama taking a few more victory laps on killing Osama. You will also have to get used to seeing it in places like text books, because that shit was history in the making.
-GiH

Re:Self-evaluation. (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715241)

I remember that announcement....

"I...I...I...I...My...I...My...I....I...I..." etc.

Easy to criticize obama about... without fantasies (2)

microbox (704317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715973)

"I...I...I...I...My...I...My...I....I...I..." etc.

Pay attention now. Obama uses personal pronouns less than any modern president. Yes, there has been empirical analysis on the topic. In particular, I refer you to the work of James W. Pennebaker, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, who specialises in the use of pronouns.

None of this matters, of course, because political discourse continues to devolve to "four-legs-good, obama-bad" for the right. One might reasonably think that the left is just as bad, and they are pretty bad; however, this is simply not true. And for that, I refer you to the obama hate machine [amazon.com] , which chronicles just how bizarre republican vitriol has become in the last 4 years.

And your comment is a perfect case in point. In the absence of any real criticism, we have nonsensical and factually inaccurate ad-hominems. There is plenty to criticise Obama about without making stuff up.

Re:Easy to criticize obama about... without fantas (0)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716639)

Poor little leftist thinks Obama is being unfairly attacked.

They fact is that your guy took credit for the raid. He made it seem as if HE put into place the mechanisms to find him, HE made some difficult decision to go ahead and then lauded himself for making it.

If you can't see that, all I can say is that the Kool Aid has blurred your vision.

Re:Easy to criticize obama about... without fantas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39717213)

Poor little leftist thinks Obama is being unfairly attacked.

I don't think Obama is being unfairly attacked -- after-all, you have to have a brain to attack someone. Just think you are another moron political foot-soldier.

Shot the messenger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39717375)

He accused you of making stuff up... and you attacked the messenger. Wouldn't it be more mature to figure out if you really were making stuff up, instead of attack, attack, attack? At what stage do you take feedback from the universe?

Re:Self-evaluation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39716817)

I do remember when he came out and calmly announced that the Obama administration had ordered SEAL Team 6 to go into Pakistan and kill them some Terrorist assholes.

I also remember how Obama administration is currently sending drones to Pakistan (and other countries) to kill many more people. Why won't he come out and tell us who those people are and why are they being killed? Maybe apologize about the civilian casualties?
For some reason, everyone likes to announce successes, but not the failures or anything in the middle.

Re:Self-evaluation. (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714575)

The class room loser who fails the test, but gives himself a B.

Re:Self-evaluation. (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716135)

So I noticed. But to be fair, they did *something* and congress did *nothing*, so they're justified in giving themselves at least an C.

Re:Self-evaluation. (1)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716897)

I know this is a naive question, but should they perhaps be forcing the companies to do something and fining them instead of "evaluating"? Are they done now?
Congress seems to act like a cheer-leading squad, with all those non-binding resolutions and evaluations.

Congress should get an "A" if RA is slush fund (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713763)

Hmmm...I think Congress should get an "A" if the goal is "progress towards...preventing future disasters" and the Restore Act is basically a slush fund that delivers "80% of any fines that BP pays for the spill under the Clean Water Act to...the states".

Re:Congress should get an "A" if RA is slush fund (1)

suutar (1860506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714809)

only if they pass it. Though I'd raise them to a C if it at least passes the House.

Re:Congress should get an "A" if RA is slush fund (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714919)

Drill baby drill is actually an environmental push.

Drill ALL the oil - no more spills.

Simple!

Oh really? (5, Informative)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713783)

The administration ought to get an 'F', given that they've approved Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean. You think it's tough to clean up a spill in the nice temperate Gulf of Mexico? Wait until we have a midwinter blowout up there, with no idea how to clean it up or even stop it.

You'd think they'd at least learn something. Apparently not.

Re:Oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714177)

Yeah, in the face of Drill, baby, drill [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Oh really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714491)

The administration ought to get an 'F', given that they've approved Shell to drill in the Arctic Ocean. You think it's tough to clean up a spill in the nice temperate Gulf of Mexico? Wait until we have a midwinter blowout up there, with no idea how to clean it up or even stop it.

You'd think they'd at least learn something. Apparently not.

It just has to stay intact until the other side is in power, so they would get the blame.

commission set up by Obama? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713823)

Ho hum, so a commission created by the democratically controlled executive branch somehow determines the republican controlled congress is not doing a good job. I wish I could believe this was relevant, but I am too jaded to believe this report is anything but political maneuvering 6 months before an election.

Re:commission set up by Obama? (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714461)

Kind of hard not to give "not doing shit about it" an F, partisan or not.

Re:commission set up by Obama? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714489)

So we are to believe that this Socialist Obama Anti Drilling commission gave BP a C+ by what a mistake, which by the way would be much harder to grade then congress witch has one job, to pass legislation (ok two if you count oversight), either they have done so or they have not, so its easy to grade them.

I guess i just don't get the cynicism, I mean he could have gamed the commission got a F for BP and used it to thump on oil companies to his base. Instead they get a C+ which is like saying ya they could have done more but they didn't do nothing, which they also could have done.

Re:commission set up by Obama? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716555)

Ho hum, so a commission created by the democratically controlled executive branch somehow determines the republican controlled congress is not doing a good job. I wish I could believe this was relevant, but I am too jaded to believe this report is anything but political maneuvering 6 months before an election.

My first thought on reading the summary was "Obama's commission said that Obama did good, and his political enemies did bad - big surprise there, eh?"

Re:commission set up by Obama? (4, Informative)

HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716887)

I dunno... maybe these people:

http://www.oilspillcommission.gov/page/commission-members [oilspillcommission.gov]

are all supporters of Obama... but after reading their bios, I find no reason to believe they're more or less supportive of Obama than your average businessmen or scientists, other than they were selected while Obama was in office. If fact, there's 2 co-chairmen; one's a democrat and the other's a republican. All members seem to be experts in their various fields, specifically marine ecosystems, engineering and oil extraction/spill cleanup (a couple of Exxon Valdez veterans on that list; sounds very useful and logical to me).

Briefly perusing the meeting minutes, it seems they've been up to a lot more than grading Congress and Obama's administration, anyway. If you have a problem with what they're doing, this site's where to go to learn more, and it's surprisingly full of info.

I'll give them a passing grade... (4, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713843)

... for doing nothing. This was, as I understand it, more a problem of lax regulation than lack of regulation.

I don't like the "but we must do SOMEthing" philosophy. Most problems are caused by solutions.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39713937)

BUT BUT BUT BUT the free market will take care of it! Incentives and all that shit.

The free market doesn't work when the fat cats have control over all the levers of government. This just shows it once again.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714019)

The free market doesn't work when the fat cats have control over all the levers of government.

So you're saying that a free market doesn't work when it has state support oligarchies?
I agree, for a free market to work, it has to actually be (shockingly) free, instead of being divided between "too big to fail" and "too small to make suitable donations" by the lawmakers.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714043)

The free market isn't free when the laws are purchased.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715299)

and the media is purchased too

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715945)

Which is why the proper solution is to remove all violent regulation that prevents us from actually determining how the industry should function. Put society back in the driver seat instead of these corrupt and inept bureaucrats and the corporate suits that bribe them. End the violent domination over us in the direction of this industry. The biggest deregulation benefit would be to do away the legal shield called 'the corporation' itself. By abolishing the government protection from accountability to the rest of society, responsibility would return. Second, specifically for the oil industry, would be to remove the legal fiction that makes the US government the owner over all the land, which would in turn end rent seekers from getting privilege in oil harvesting contracts, deciding who gets us oil by political pull rather than productive capacity. There are(with no hyperbole whatsoever) over 100,000 pages of regulations that could be removed from the federal register to give control back to society, but those two would be a great first step in that direction.

Unfortunately, government never removes the controls that cause these problems unless there is no room left to try anything else and they are about to collapse. Instead, politicians will simply add new laws to try to mimic the natural process they have destroyed, while only succeeding in further distorting the market away from what we all want. They will set up some basic laws, then an agency or two, then an over arching agency, then a commission, then a slight nationalization, and so on. All the while this regulation increases, they get useful idiots to claim that deregulation is to blame. It is embarrassingly predictable.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (1)

The Evil Atheist (2484676) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717281)

The free market isn't free when the laws are purchased.

Yes it is. That's precisely the definition of a free market. The person with the most money are free to do whatever they can. In a free market, buying laws is just another business strategy. Sure, the free market doesn't remain free after that, but, however you like it, it is still permissible in a free market. The crazy thing is people I keep talking to think economics plays by the definitions of terms and never evolves out of a system.

Free markets are not self sustaining.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39718255)

You have an odd misunderstanding of free markets. Buying a law that prevents the actions of other actors .. is not a free market in any sense. Free markets cannot be free in the presence of coercion. Government corruption is coercion. You think "free market" means "if I feel like doing it, I will because its a free goddamn market".

Ignorance is self-sustaining.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715279)

There also has to be consequences for you actions, like stealing from your customers. [bloomberg.com]

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (3, Interesting)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717739)

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."
--Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714097)

If it's a free market then the fat cats don't need control over the levers of the government.
 
What shows here is your inability to understand what the term "free market" really means.

actually the free market (1)

boligmic (188232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714109)

ALWAYS WORKS - you just have zero understanding of what a free market really is - you also hate success, so hopefully you stick to your personal beliefs and overpay your taxes as you believe the government should take care of you - since you don't feel the need for personal responsibility.

Re:actually the free market (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714495)

So your definition of "free market" boils down to "might makes right", yes? Glad we got that down by now.

Re:actually the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714687)

ALWAYS WORKS

Pick up any intro to economics textbook, and read the chapter on "externalities".

Re:actually the free market (1)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715505)

If you absorb the externalities into the market, then you don't have externalities.

Re:actually the free market (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716223)

That's what many environmental laws are for. Companies are forced to clean up (or prevent) their environmental damage and pass that cost onto their product consumers. If companies weren't forced to do this, rivers would be on fire.

Re:actually the free market (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714955)

The free market always works until it stops working.

And when is that, you ask?

It's when the concentration of wealth and power - the end results of any free market let run loose to long - become great enough that real competition no longer exists, and the laws can be purchased by those with said wealth and power.

And we passed that point sometime between Eisenhower and Reagan.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (1)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714969)

BUT BUT BUT BUT the free market will take care of it! Incentives and all that shit.
Is your supposition that the best laws [wikipedia.org] arise [wikipedia.org] in response to a crisis [wikipedia.org] before cooler heads can prevail?

WHAT?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713999)

I don't like the "but we must do SOMEthing" philosophy. Most problems are caused by solutions.

LOL, how is this shit modded up?

Please, don't try to fix or prevent any future oil spills because that is tampering with the free market and that just causes the worst problems. Hahahah, oh my god, does your daddy work in a Texan oil refinery or something?

You're almost there, now you just need to explain how the oil spill is actually the fault of the government interfering with pure unadulterated capitalism.

Re:WHAT?! (2)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715119)

That's not at all what he said; I am not sure where all of this "free market" crackdown is coming from on Slashdot recently, particularly when it's not mentioned anywhere else. His point is that the actual regulators--the government people--were just as corrupt as the people doing the drilling in this case. What legislation should be passed by the government to prevent government corruption? Anti-corruption laws? Those exist.

Besides, the entire fiasco was not even as serious of a problem for BP as it should have been, beyond PR, thanks to the way that the administration forced them to handle it financially. Practically half of BP's escrow turned into a tax write-off (read: effectively funded by US taxpayers) for them rather than an expense for doing something incredibly stupid, and bad. Me thinks there was a bit of bias in the entire "study" in missing a $10 billion practical-expense that the government incurred as a result of BP's escrow account that was supposed to be entirely their own money (and the ~$20 billion was, but the $10 billion tax write off thanks to their spending sure made that a lot more palatable for a company that actually has that much money sitting around).

It's terribly shocking that a committee setup by the President would give him the best grade while avoiding an A to act like it was not biased.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714103)

obligatory: http://www.despair.com/government.html

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714143)

I would think that in this case, the proper something to do is spank the regulators that were so lax so that in future the existing regulations will be applied.

There's no point in new regulations if they will be enforced like the current ones.

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714443)

I don't like the "but we must do SOMEthing" philosophy. Most problems are caused by solutions.

I'll agree with your disagreement. Government solutions usually need more solutions.

Story time! I have an in-law who works for a certain energy company that had a pipeline leak within the past few years (it's not BP, and I honestly don't remember the name). He's a manager for a department of about a hundred people whose primary job is to produce reports to accommodate whatever silly requests the government agents want. Among the requests I've heard about:

  • Daily updates on the age of a pipeline
  • Metallurgical review of a piece of pipe, confirmed by four independent metallurgists
  • A list of all airplanes who would be crossing the area during repairs
  • Justification for every piece of equipment (including things like radios and portable toilets) at the repair site
  • Marital statuses of all construction workers

As it was explained to me, the vast majority of those agents were contractors, who make requests simply to look like they're doing something, which then entitles them to a piece of the government's clean-up money. The energy company faces enormous fines for not complying with every request, no matter how ridiculous the request or how indirect the connection to the incident may be. The end result is that the government money goes to producing useless reports, the company's repair efforts get less funding, and my in-law has a job.

Contractors, eh? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39716573)

So you mean private individuals whose position comes on them creating some reason to justify their employment?

How exactly is the problem with government as a whole, as opposed to the privatization of government into the hands of those who benefit not by doing their job properly, but who have corrupted the process for their own benefit?

What does that tell you? Which party is the one who continually claims that outside individuals are somehow going to be better? Whose ideology is that?

Re:Contractors, eh? (1)

reve_etrange (2377702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39718023)

Blame should be apportioned where blame is due. Mod parent up.

Going to tell you 1 I have SEEN myself... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39716757)

I told this to GirlInTraining here a week or so ago, true story -> http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2764255&cid=39577853 [slashdot.org] & it mirrors a lot of what you said in fact... especially on "clean up" money. First I saw it happening, utterly disregarding 'laws' (there is no justice, only money that gets you plenty of 'legal law'), & utterly snowing people ontop of it later, with a company that offers "cleanup solutions" (oh sure, but do they get FOLLOWED is the question? From what I saw roughly 10++ yrs. before it in the 1st part?? Hell no! It's cheaper to pay the fines than do the job right... WTF!)

* Both of the parts of that were from decades ago, and I certainly do NOT think things have gotten any better... perhaps even worse (or perhaps merely more exposed via today's internet being so available & "editorial based control" from the purse strings holders CANNOT control that leaking diff. viewpoints &/or sides of the story).

APK

P.S.=> Makes me ill... the more I see of life and the 1/2 truth b.s. we get fed daily, when we're really so much more than that - I think it all "comes down from the top", ala "attitude reflects leadership" & what I see of our leadership is a pack of short-sighted fools + greedy bastards who are addicted to the heroin needle of money & power, driving it all. Is there any other way? I hope so, and I hope we discover it before we destroy ourselves... that's all, & sorry to bother you or have wasted your time here also if you feel that is all this is from me... apk

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (2)

Hillgiant (916436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714487)

Most problems are caused by solutions.

Wrong. Most problems are caused by empty platitudes. Why do you hate America?

Re:I'll give them a passing grade... (2)

trout007 (975317) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716537)

Its all a big scam anyway. Who is really capable of writing meaningful safety regulations? Only people in the industry with the experience. So who do you pick in the industry to write the regulations? Your biggest donors of course. And when they write the regulations you can be sure they will write them in order to benefit them.

It's like the lead paint in toys. The big toy makers wrote regulations that made it near impossible for startup companies to comply even if they made the toys themselves and had full traceability in their production.

Is responsive legislation ever a good thing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713899)

Typically it's way over the top and far more harmful than good.
So I'm going to say it's a good thing they got a D there.

Re:Is responsive legislation ever a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714015)

The Patriot Act being a prime example.

The government is amazing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713905)

Our government only managed to scrap through with a (averaged) grade of C, and it got to grade its own work.

It's good to see that democracy is working so well.

meaningful legislation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713925)

failure to enact any meaningful legislation in response to the

That's one of the problems when you mix corporations and capitalism. It takes legislation to make companies behave in an appropriate manner. BP should have made sure that a complete disaster would not occur. Taking risks and ignoring social responsibilities is a moral and ethical problem within corporate cultures. BP execs should have been punished way beyond the slap on the wrist. BP should not even exist today.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713951)

I love it. Let's destroy the environment because we're too busy playing politics.

You could pick any disaster, and do a report on it, and the main roadblock from the report will be politicians. Getting anything done to clean it up, prevent it from happening again, or fix it alltogehter, politicians will still be bickering over the perception of responsibility and how a market must remain free, despite said market actually not being free in the first place.

DC needs an enema, and bad!

as the old saying goes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39713969)

If con is the opposite of pro then isn't congress the opposite of progress?

Useless information (4, Funny)

Iniamyen (2440798) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714057)

In other news, the commissioners were given an 'A+' on their use of overly simplified letter grades for summarizing complex issues.

Re:Useless information (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715441)

A++++ WOULD SPILL OIL AGAIN

In other news (1)

prisoner-of-enigma (535770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714165)

A commission set up by Obama rates the Obama administration highest of all. And this comes as a surprise to...who exactly?

Of course, they couldn't give Obama an A. That would just be gratuitous bootlicking.

ignoring the bigger problem (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714181)

congressional approval is the worst ever. nobody thinks they are doing a job.

Congress gets an F.

Also in other news... (1)

dingo_kinznerhook (1544443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714225)

A commission set up to evaluate the work done by Barack Obama's commission tasked with evaluating the work of Congress in evaluating the Deepwater Horizon incident has given the commission a rating of 'C', or barely satisfactory, for their evaluation of Congress evaluating the Deepwater Horizon spill.

According to grade school.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714265)

A 'D' is passing. No child-like organization left behind!

How much money did this report cost? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714271)

Please tell me there's more to this report than that PDF. It's hopelessly light on details and is full of weasel words, it talks about concerns without an indication of how well founded they were. There are no real figures, no expert opinions, citations or anything. There isn't even much indication of how they arrived at their grades.

If I wrote an essay the way this report is written I'd have got a fail.

Re:How much money did this report cost? (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714411)

The real problem was crooked regulators. The regulatory agency was responsible for both collecting leasing fees from the oil companies as well as regulating them. Holy conflict of interest Batman!

With that sort of setup no wonder the regulations were laxly applied. And of course the regulatory agency was frequently taken to parties stocked with all sort of goodies by the oil companies. Including prostitutes.

http://oilprice.com/The-Environment/Oil-Spills/U.S.-To-Restructure-Offshore-Drilling-Regulatory-Agency-In-Wake-Of-Oil-Spill.html [oilprice.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bureau_of_Ocean_Energy_Management,_Regulation_and_Enforcement#Gifts.2C_gratuities_and_the_revolving_door [wikipedia.org]

Re:How much money did this report cost? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714669)

You don't want to do anything complex in a PDF. That's just a set up for failure to display, trojans and other malware.

Our government understands this sort of thing. Progress as promised!

Only the Government (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39714325)

...can screw things up and get a passing grade. BP fired people who might be responsible for this mess, and our Government gets a pat on the back for doing nothing to protect our waters. I wish I could cheat on my tests, and give myself a B when I got all the wrong answers.

Re:Only the Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715035)

People want no government regulation. Then disaster strikes and blames the government for not doing enough.

Passing grade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714357)

So...they passed?

Meanwhile in Brazil.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39714807)

.... it is funny that the accident in the Gulf of Mexico was in part responsible for a very harsh response to a tiny spill just south of the equator:

http://www.economist.com/node/21542179

If anything, other countries have tried to learn from this disaster and the way it was handled.

Who do they think they're fooling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39715101)

Congress gets a D for not passing new laws on the most regulated industry in the world? Give me a break, they should get an A+ for that. It wasn't lack of regulation that led to the break, and it wasn't regulation that got it cleaned up.

Obama gets a B for new regulations? Give me a fucking break. He should get an F for stalling the response to the spill because of union rules about who crews the cleanup ships, another F for stalling the capping of the well because of those same union crew rules, and another F for driving drillers out of the gulf with ridiculous regulations that do nothing to improve drilling safety and everything to put money in Obama's campaign coffers.

FTFY (1)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 2 years ago | (#39715381)

Fill in the blanks: Congress' __________ Response Given a 'D' By ___________

Vast amounts of money... (1)

Livius (318358) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716307)

...or not.

"any fines that BP pays"

I remain sceptical as to the paying part.

There ought to be a law (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39716613)

Oil spills are illegal. How about that?

Honestly, not everything can be fixed by Congress. Sometimes, the administration has to step up, enforce the laws and regulations they've got and kick some ass when they see violations.

The Restore Act would allocate 80% of any fines that BP pays for the spill under the Clean Water Act to restoring the environment and economies of the states in the Gulf of Mexico,

I see the law of unintended consequences coming into play here, big time. So now, gov't revenues in support of various economic recovery programs will be linked to oil spills?

Fuck U and Fuck S (0)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717323)

Provides more Fuck US; So, nothing new and all change is bad?

This is not the commission (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39717697)

Many of the problems that led to the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill have not been addressed, say the members of a commission set up by U.S. President Barack Obama to study the disaster.

If you look at who released the report [oscaction.org] you'll see that the commission set up by the President completed its work and was disbanded. This report was issued by an environmental action group which claims some previous commission members among its founders.

I assume these people are pushing their own agenda, maybe because its an election year, maybe because they really care. But I note that they are all Obama appointees.

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