Liz Birnbaum either resigned or was fired today as the head of MMS. Is this enough of a consequence in the aftermath of the Deep Horizon disaster?
I do not think so. Not only should she resign/be fired, but every administrator of the agency since 2003, when MMS made several rulings concerning the Deep Horizons drilling project, should be investigated for gross negligence, conspiracy, dereliction of duty, corruption, criminal negligence and other possible charges under every statute applicable to knowingly circumventing the letter and spirit of the law. Starting in 2003, according to a May 11, 2010 article by Matthew Philips, MMs ruled that BP to not use a remotely activated blow out preventer and exempted BP from providing a detailed environmental report. These actions create an agency culture that promotes negligence and a lax attitude toward performing ones job responsibilities in a conscientious and professional manner. It undermines the use of "best practices" and promotes behavior that significantly increases the probability of disaster, such as we are witnessing now.
This should be criminal behavior and those responsible for setting this culture should be civilly and CRIMINALLY responsible for creating the attitudes through their policy decisions. The same should be true for the policy makers in the corporate sector. This should result in the confiscation of all income and property accumulated during tenure in these positions and prison time if found guilty of these charges.
It should be applied to the Corp of Engineers for the ridiculous delay in ruling on the idea of dredging to create a barrier to the spilled oil from reaching the coastline and wreaking havoc and environmental devastation on the ecosystem on the lame excuse of requiring an environmental impact study. This study is ridiculous in this case because the environmental impact of not doing it FAR out weighs any temporary damage that may result from building this barrier.
I propose that we change our awkward approach to regulation through micromanaging industry sector by sector with a complex and easily subverted aggregate of confusing, anti-innovation, and often contradictory series of individual specific regulations with a simple easy to understand rule. Failure to use best practices is a violation. Policies decisions that discourage use of "best practices" is a violation and prosecutable under RICO statutes. This includes possible forfeiture of personal property and criminal charges associated with any incidence resulting from these policies. In the cases of Deep Horizons and Massey mining, this includes aggravated homicide charges since people died as a direct result of these policies. The motivation of which is profit. That equates to homicide for money. These individuals should be treated the same as we treat organized crime bosses like John Gotti. They are no better in my opinion.