Who could have known that putting the oil industry in charge of the country for eight years would turn out to be a disaster? Fortunately, we will be looking forward, not back, and there will be no consequences other than a stern finger wag for these fellows:
The agency in charge of overseeing the United States’ oil reserves was plagued with gross mismanagement that in at least one case allowed the companies being inspected to fill in their own audit reports, an Inspector General’s report will reportedly reveal this week.
Regulators overseeing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico reportedly allowed oil company officials to fill in their own inspection reports. According to the internal probe being released this week, oil officials sketched out their answers in pencil and turned them over to federal oversight officials, who then traced their answers in pen.
And as if that wasn’t enough, a Louisiana inspector from the Minerals Management Service purportedly admitted to investigators that he’d used crystal methamphetamine, and may have been high on the illegal stimulant during a drilling inspection.
The Inspector General’s report was previewed Tuesday in the New York Times. The report is sure to set off a bombshell in Washington, where Congress is probing how a massive and still-growing oil leak was allowed to happen in the Gulf of Mexico. None of the reports findings directly address the lead-up to the spill from the sinking of Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon rig in April, but they certainly draw a picture of a watchdog asleep — or high — at the wheel.
The report also found that during the tenure of President George W. Bush, from 2005 to 2007, “inspectors accepted meals, tickets to sporting events and gifts from at least one oil company while they were overseeing the industry,” the Times said.