Another rig in the Gulf has, according to recent reports, been leaking oil into the Gulf since late April. This rig, the Ocean Saratoga, is run by Diamond Offshore on behalf of Taylor Energy, the owner of the well. While much, much smaller than the BP spill, it’s supposedly not exactly difficult to see. Skytruth.org, an environmental watchdog organization, was able to spot the leak in satellite photos of the area.
But hold on there a moment. Didn’t we read about Obama sending “Swat teams” to the Gulf when he finally got around to responding to the crisis? It was quite a big moment when he sent them. It was a much quieter affair when they reported in.
The announcement of the SWAT teams received much media attention because it came as the White House was being criticized in some quarters for a tardy response to the explosion that killed 11 crew members on the platform and the ensuing massive oil spill that followed the structure’s sinking in 5,000 feet of water.
But have you noticed we haven’t heard much at all about the results of those inspections? Maybe that’s because the SWAT teams found virtually nothing of significance?
What they did find on the 29 rigs was a single violation on one rig and three violations on another. That’s it. None of the four violations was serious, though one involved flammable materials left in a safe welding area. The other violations included a testing procedure flaw, an uncovered six-inch by 12-inch hole, and expired eyewash bottles in a first aid kit.
The reason you likely heard little to nothing about this is because it didn’t fit the media narrative of massive corporate negligence and a deliberate dismissal of every safety protocol in the book. But answer me this, now: if these teams were flushed into the area with authority to inspect any rig they liked, how are we now hearing that we have yet another leak down there? Are there others leaking that just haven’t been caught by private watchdogs and bloggers? Basically, what the hell are they doing at MMS and the White House if they’re not sending people down there who can actually inspect what they’re supposed to be inspecting?
Sloppy and definitely not helpful. Get it together, .gov and get your heads on straight. We need the real story about what’s going on down there.