Washington (CNN) — If the government does not take drastic steps, another deep water oil spill like the BP spill in the Gulf could devastate the United States’ coast, warned an oversight commission Tuesday in a long-awaited report to the president.
More research, funding and oversight are needed to help prevent another disaster, concluded the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
“As drilling pushes into ever deeper and riskier waters where more of America’s oil lies, only systemic reforms of both government and industry will prevent a similar, future disaster,” William K. Reilly, the commission co-chairman.
The answer to this important question should not be about targeting managers as convenient scapegoats— the most available culprits when industrial accidents occur.
There are too many incidents for it to be a prob- lem with individual managers.
And we’ve witnessed our share of accidents lately—the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and mining catastrophes in West Virginia and Chile. Why is it that with all our technology we can’t pre- vent these disasters?
Many are starting to believe that the problem lies with the industry’s culture. Can this be true? Is it possible that all our technology is being thwarted by this nebulous thing called “culture”?
A 48-page report released by the investigative commission said “a failure of management” and an inability to identify risks led to the blow-out. The report blames “systemic” problems within the oil industry.
“The blowout was not the product of a series of aberrational decisions made by rogue industry or government officials that could not have been anticipated or expected to occur again,” the report says. “Rather, the root causes are systemic and, absent significant reform in both industry practices and government policies, might well recur.”
“A blow-out in deep water was not a statistical inevitability,” it reads.
The April blast aboard the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 people and caused one of the worst oil spills in history.