The Minerals Management Service (MMS), the agency tasked with regulating offshore oil rigs, gave BP what you might call a little bit of a pass:
A rule change two years ago by the federal agency that regulates offshore oil rigs allowed BP to avoid filing a plan specifically for handling a major spill from an uncontrolled blowout at its Deepwater Horizon project—exactly the kind of disaster now unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico.
Wonder where you might have heard about MMS? Maybe this will jog your memory:
In 2008, the Interior Department took disciplinary action against eight MMS employees who accepted lavish gifts, partied and—in some cases—had sex with employees from the energy companies they regulated. An investigation cited a “culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” involving employees in the agency’s Denver office. MMS workers were given upgraded ethics training.
Also, the industryknew about big problems with blowout preventers years ago and you got it, did nothing.