Salazar blasts Gulf disaster company Transocean for touting “best year in safety”

Transocean now says statement “may have been insensitive.”

Deepwater HorizonOn Friday, Transocean, the company that operated the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil rig, told its shareholders that it gave its executives multi-million-dollar bonuses based on the company’s “best year in safety performance.” CAP’s Kristen Bartoloni has the what-were-they-thinking story of week.

Today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar lashed out at the global offshore drilling company, which moved its official headquarters from Houston to Zug, Switzerland in 2008 in order to avoid paying taxes to the United States government. In a statement to ThinkProgress, Salazar criticized the company’s “complacency” about the explosion that killed 11 people, spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and caused irreparable damage to Gulf communities:

At the end of the day, it was that complacency that created an oil spill that was pouring over 50 thousand barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico a day.

Using the justification of the company’s “exemplary statistical safety record,” Transocean’s executive compensation committee “” GenOn Energy CEO Edward R. Muller, oil industry lawyer Martin B. McNamara, and retired Shell executive Robert Sprague “” granted CEO Stewart Newman $6.3 million in bonus and “incentive compensation.”

“Transocean just doesn’t get it,” presidential oil spill commissioner William Reilly said in the conference call with Salazar. Reilly’s commission found that “systemic failures by industry management” and a “culture of complacency” were at the root of the disaster that Salazar characterized as a “nightmare” and “tragedy.”

—  Kristen Bartoloni, Researcher for Progress Central.

UPDATE:  CNN reports today that “Gulf oil rig owner apologizes for calling 2010 ‘best year’ ever.”  And here’s the understatement of the year in Transocean statement:

“We acknowledge that some of the wording in our 2010 proxy statement may have been insensitive in light of the incident that claimed the lives of eleven exceptional men last year and we deeply regret any pain that it may have caused.”

“May have been insensitive”?  And the biggest oil spill in US history is an “incident”?  And you thought BP was tone deaf.

7 Responses to Salazar blasts Gulf disaster company Transocean for touting “best year in safety”

  1. Bob Doublin says:

    You can’t make this s**t up.Here’s one more in a long line of “Let them eat Cake” moments.Hey Gulf Coasters,how ya lovin’ them “cadillac” unemployment benefits you’re receiving while executives get a $6 million BONUS?

  2. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Well, the plutocrats and kleptocrats of crony capitalism, US style, really think that they’ve got it sewn up, don’t they?. They own an entire caste of political stooges, a collection of some of the most scabrous specimens of the genus Homo extant, who follow their every order with robopathic obedience. They own the entire MSM propaganda apparat, itself populated by another cadre of compliant, ideologically correct flunkies, which they use to brainwash the serfs to love their chains and worship their masters. They fly from home to home, throw their bloated carcasses into their infinity pools, inspect the latest ‘trophy wife’ for signs of wear and tear, lest she has passed her ‘use by date’ and needs to be traded in on a new model, crack a $2,000 bottle of wine that their jaded palates probably cannot distinguish from vinegar and congratulate themselves on their evolutionary success. Only the toughest, the best, the most ruthless dung beetle pushes a big enough ball of dung to the top of the heap. And what better way to celebrate than to take all your dung out of your ‘native’ country (in fact the elite inhabit a transnational homeland, without any particular identification with any parcel of real estate)and hide it, store it up, in some foreign bolt-hole. Then reward yourself for your ‘rational self-interest’ by awarding yourself yet another huge pile of dung. And, as for the eleven serfs obliterated in your quest for more dung, or the ecosystems defiled and communities poisoned, well, you know ‘Shit happens!’.We must get the eleven dead into proper perspective. As Josef Stalin, who would have made a wonderful CEO, observed, ‘One death is a tragedy-eleven are a statistic’ or words to that effect.

  3. catman306 says:

    Completely off topic:

    Joan Savage: Here is where our real power resides. Unity. Stiff the banks!
    Actually I suggested this at RealClimate 3 or 4 years ago, I’m glad someone’s picked up on.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    Massey Coal’s Blankenship bragged about their excellent safety record right after their big explosion, too.

    It’s bad enough that money drives these guys to do and say anything. Judging from their public pronouncements, it’s making them crack up, too.

    Salazar is being phony here anyway. This is the same man who just announced a giant expansion of coal mining on public lands. He can save the sermons for the suckers.

  5. The Wonderer says:

    I’m curious now what their “worst year in safety” was, and what bonuses were paid then.

  6. Steve Metzler says:

    Wasn’t April Fools’ day 3 days ago? *checks today’s date again, shrugs*

  7. Christophe says:

    “With notably rare exceptions, 2010 was Transocean’s best year in safety…”