Tom Eley writes on the World Socialist Web Site:
The explosion on the BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon on April 20 off Louisiana’s coast, which took the lives of 11 workers and has resulted in a massive oil slick that threatens economic and environmental ruin for the Gulf Coast, stands as a powerful exposure of American capitalism.
Each day brings new revelations that federal regulators under both the Bush and Obama administrations aided and abetted BP and the oil industry as they disregarded safety and environmental precautions that might have prevented the disaster.
Some of the most recent revelations include:
• In 2000 the Minerals Management Service (MMS) requested industry advice on problems related to the cementing used around deep sea well caps to stop blowouts. The oil industry never produced recommendations, and no regulation was put in place.
• A 2002 study conducted by the MMS revealed that vital equipment on oil rig blowout preventers did not function. In laboratory testing of one manufacturer’s shear rams—devices used to sever pipes after a blowout—half failed. Seven other makers refused to have their shear rams tested…