Since the offshore oil rig spill in the Gulf of Mexico, federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service (MMS) have been coming under increasing scrutiny for whether they were negligent in overseeing the rigs owned by BP and others. At a press conference yesterday morning, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) compared it to the SEC’s failure to enforce regulations leading up to the financial crisis. Ironically, MMS was all set to hold its annual “2010 Annual Industry SAFE Awards Luncheon” on May 3. Perhaps recognizing that now is not the time to applaud the oil industry for safety on the job, MMS postponed the event. From the agency’s website:
The LA Times notes that last year, BP “was among the luncheon’s winners, cited for ‘outstanding dedication and leadership in promoting improved medical care and evacuation capabilities for offshore facilities.’” During the Bush administration, MMS was embroiled in scandal over its employees being in bed (sometimes literally) with the oil industry it was supposed to be regulating.
Get Energy Smart! notes that BP was a finalist for a SAFE award this year.