Remember when Ronald Reagan used to tell us it was fine to deregulate industry, because what businessman would take a risk that could end up costing him money?
NEW ORLEANS — Oil industry and government officials could get caught flat-footed again by another deep-water blowout in the coming months because they have yet to incorporate many of the lessons learned during the BP disaster, experts inside and outside the business tell The Associated Press.
For one thing, it could be another year before a bigger, better cap-and-siphon containment system is developed to choke off leaks many thousands of feet below the surface. Also, existing skimmers still don’t have the capacity to quickly suck up millions of gallons of oil flowing at once.
In interviews with the AP, environmental experts, industry veterans and government officials also said the industry needs better technology and more thorough testing and analysis to prevent blowouts from happening in the first place.
And despite an overhaul of the federal agency that regulates the industry, there are lingering doubts about whether the government can effectively police Big Oil at the same time it relies on the industry for revenue.