Fire all BP executives immediately

It’s now totally clear that cutting corners was standard operating procedure at BP. And anyone who objected was simply fired:

The morning the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, a BP executive and a Transocean official argued over how to proceed with the drilling, rig survivors told CNN’s Anderson Cooper…

The BP official wanted workers to replace heavy mud, used to keep the well’s pressure down, with lighter seawater to help speed a process that was costing an estimated $750,000 a day and was already running five weeks late, rig survivors told CNN.

BP won the argument, said Doug Brown, the rig’s chief mechanic. “He basically said, ‘Well, this is how it’s gonna be.’”

…Shortly after the exchange, chief driller Dewey Revette expressed concern and opposition too, the workers said, and on the drilling floor, they chatted among themselves.

“I don’t ever remember doing this,” they said, according to Barron.

“I think that’s why Dewey was so reluctant to try to do it,” Barron said, “because he didn’t feel it was the right way to have things done.”

Revette was among the 11 workers killed when the rig exploded that night.

In the CNN interviews, the workers described a corporate culture of cutting staff and ignoring warning signs ahead of the blast. They said BP routinely cut corners and pushed ahead despite concerns about safety.

The rig survivors also said it was always understood that you could get fired if you raised safety concerns that might delay drilling. Some co-workers had been fired for speaking out, they said.

Firing BP executives is only a first step. Those who ordered the Deepwater Horizon shortcuts must be dragged off in handcuffs for a long, long time. Otherwise, we’re condoning and encouraging more murder and more environmental destruction in the name of slightly shaving production costs.

Posted by James on Wednesday, June 09, 2010