Oil Rig Fire Mis-management and greed leads to biggest catastrophe in history

Exploding Rig’s Operator Has History of Safety Violations

By Lindsay Beyerstein - Eleven oil workers are still missing after a massive explosion and fire late Tuesday night on an oil rig off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig was under contract to BP Exploration and Production (BPEP).

Karl Grossman - Investigative reporter

depsys1What's happening now in the Gulf of Mexico will occur more often if the plan to open more offshore waters to oil and gas drilling moves ahead.

This is because such drilling and spillage are intertwined.

I learned about this 40 years ago after, as an investigative reporter for the Long Island Press, I broke the story about the oil industry seeking to drill in the offshore Atlantic.

It began with a tip from a fisherman who told of seeing in the ocean east of Montauk -- on the eastern tip of Long Island -- the same kind of ship he observed searching for oil when he was a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico. I spent a day telephoning oil companies to be told by PR people from each that their companies were not involved in searching for oil in the Atlantic. As the day ended, as I walked out of the office, there was a call from a Gulf Oil PR representative saying that, yes, Gulf was involved in exploring for oil in the Atlantic as part of a "consortium" of 32 oil companies. These included the companies which all day issued denials. It was an initial experience in oil industry truthfulness.