"The errors and misjudgments that led to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling rig last spring weren't the result just of blunders by BP and its contractors, but reflect industry-wide problems that require new regulations and standards, a presidential commission has concluded.
"The root causes are systemic and, absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur," the panel says in its final report, a chapter of which is being made public Thursday. "The missteps were rooted in systemic failures by industry management . . . and also by failures of government to provide effective regulatory oversight of offshore drilling."
The portion of the report given to reporters late Wednesday was devoted to the specifics of the drilling of the Macondo well and didn't specify what new regulations the commission believes the federal government should impose on drillers. But it left clear that when the entire report is made public on Tuesday, stricter government oversight would be suggested."
Mark Seibel reports for McClatchy Newspapers January 5, 2011.
"Gulf Spill Oil Companies Criticised by US Presidential Commission" (BBC World Service)
"Blunders Abounded Before Gulf Spill, Panel Says" (New York Times)