The Big Spill, like many disasters, was only partly an accident.
Many policies made disaster likely and exacerbated its consequences.
- Weak government safety standards for the drilling.
- Inadequate government inspection of the drilling.
- Weak government safety standards for spill response plans.
- Inadequate enforcement of standards for spill response plans.
- Failure to require the advance provision, in the region, of all the
equipment that might have been necessary to deal with a spill.
All the equipment that actually was tried this time ought to be
required in the future.
- Lack of government personnel competent to take charge of the major
decisions about how to respond, so as not to leave major decisions in
- Use of toxic dispersant, which made it hard to skim the oil and made
it impossible for booms to effectively protect coastal areas.
- Efforts by BP to exclude the press, gag victims, and control
publication by scientists.
- Government cooperation with those efforts by BP.
- Failure to test fish caught, and fish found dead, for dispersant
Undersea drilling cannot be allowed until we have made sure that none
of these problems will recur.
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