First off I’ll say that I can find something to be disagreeable with in terms of content from both the Oil Spill Commission and the local reaction to it. My main point of contention with the commission itself is philosophical in that outlier events like the Deepwater Horizon blowout are inevitable statistically. The problem is one of degree of inevitability and in the case of the US captured regulatory model and its one size fits all cookie cutter approach I would argue the conclusions of the Oil Spill Commission are spot on when it comes to their endorsement of British style risk based safety regulation. I think the proof it works was in a statement I heard this morning on Mississippi Edition where a member of the Oil Spill Commission observed how much more likely a US based oil worker is to die in an accident than his British or Norwegian counterpart.
Along those lines the difference in how the parts of the report focused on safety are being conveyed kinda shows how the locals in Louisiana are being sold out by those with more than a pa$$ing interest in keeping the status quo. Mississippi Edition runs a day behind so I have no link for this morning’s interview. Here are some links on the topic.
- Keep focus on BP and whitewash the rest, a guest column in the Daily Oil.
- Sold out politicians tote water for big oil.
- Politics and implementing the recommendations. (Only in America would a debate about allowing a for profit business to skate the consequences of its actions be seen as anywhere approaching rational.)
- From the outside where one often must go to shed local media bias: BP Gulf oil spill final report backs British safety model. (evidently BP cuts corners only in places like the US where corner cutting is allowed.)
- Another view from a small US paper not dicked up with oil interests.
The topic of risk and how to manage it is one that I am intimately familiar, both as a small businessman and financial blogger. When you strip away the money driven bullshit, the concepts in play here well survive the test of time. Speaking of time, it is a scare commodity so it only makes sense that shallow water wells receive less scrutiny than those that test the limits of our current technology. Managing safety is all about the management of risks. To the extent each well is unique so must the approach to how the risks associated with such well be managed. Such thinking I generally term as common sense, but then again no one said the politization of this topic is such. That naturally makes me wonder why that political angle gets so much the airplay.
I’d love to hear what some of the risk managers that read us think about this topic.