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Safety, My Ass

The company that owns the Deepwater Horizon oil rig is Transocean Ltd. You remember, the rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last year, killing 11 people immediately, spilling 200 million gallons of oil, costing untold amounts of money, killing dolphins and other sea life, and causing major ruin and destruction on the gulf coast. The company that — along with BP and Halliburton — was blamed by the presidential commission investigating the spill for making too many money-saving measures that resulted in an unacceptable amount of risk. Yeah, those guys.

Well, they just awarded their top executives big bonuses for achieving the “best year in safety performance in our company’s history” and for “significantly improving the company’s safety record”. I kid you not. They had the balls to claim that the company has an “exemplary” safety record.

Exemplary. Well, that’s certainly an example that none of us will ignore.

UPDATE: Transocean Ltd. admits that calling 2010 its “best year in safety” might have been a tad insensitive.

UPDATE 2: Transocean’s senior management team has reportedly said it will donate their safety bonus money to the victims of the well explosion. Nine of the people killed when the well exploded were Transocean employees.

UPDATE 3: The blowout preventer that failed to prevent the blowout was four years overdue for maintenance.



  1. PatriotSGT wrote:

    You can”t make this stuff up. Even in hollywood, they’d say “awe come on, nobody would believe that one”. Un-freakin-believable. The only other thing that culd make it more sadly hillarious is if the energy dept honored them as well.
    We need Mel Brooks or Mike Myers to make a parody.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    What’s also making me angry is that guess which media outlet broke this story. Big hint, they aren’t a US media outlet. It is Al Jazeera. If you google the story, it is mainly being reported by the foreign press, with just a few US outlets giving it coverage (and most of those in blogs, not in their news pages).

    Speaking of the gulf, BP — the company that has one of the worst safety records for offshore oil drilling — has announced that it will resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in July.

    I really feel like we are being played for fools.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  3. Mad Hatter wrote:

    It’s a shame to feel that you can only get the unvarnished truth about our country from the foreign media. Growing up during the Cold War, I see similarities between the media in the USA now and the media in the USSR during the 60s and 70s. I mean does anybody see any practical difference between Pravda and Fox News?

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  4. Bard wrote:

    Yes, Pravda was at least started by Leon Trotsky, who had good intentions at the time.

    I heard about this a few days ago, I can’t believe there’s so little outrage.

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Permalink
  5. ebdoug wrote:

    And here is what we are allowed to know:

    Sunday, April 3, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink
  6. saintrage wrote:

    Possible the most unbeleivable thing I have ever heard.

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 5:51 am | Permalink
  7. Jeff wrote:

    Well, they’re giving themselves this award, so it’s really just stupid PR. I wonder if anyone really believes they have improved on their safety record from previous years?

    I’m surprised they even came up with a reason to award bonuses. Don’t big companies just dole that money out at a whim, no matter the financial situation of the company?

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 6:26 am | Permalink
  8. Laurie wrote:

    So what can we do to stop this sort of thing? Any ideas?

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 8:15 am | Permalink
  9. No u wrote:

    I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say after the disaster they created a handful of new safety devices and put in new safety measures and they use that to justify…but wow…

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 9:30 am | Permalink
  10. Mad Hatter wrote:

    Laurie, I’d like to be able to say let’s boycott their products but that would just make you feel better as an individual. The power of the consumer to effect change in a “global” market is practically nil.

    The only thing I can think of is to never, ever vote Republican or conservative on the local, state or federal level. There are a very, very small number of conservative politicians who I would possibly have voted for(if I were in their district and if their opponents were complete morons) but they’re being primaried and run out of public service by the tea party types. So my rule of thumb is to never, ever….

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  11. Iron Knee wrote:

    No U, the problem wasn’t with current safety procedures, it is that they ignored them, or cut corners on them.

    Just no justification that I can see.

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  12. RK wrote:

    No one is asking what their safety record was prior to last year. Maybe it was an improvement.

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink
  13. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Of course they had to improve after last year. From absolutely the worst spill in history to no spill. Wow, what an improvement, high 5, yeah baby, awesome.

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Permalink
  14. Iron Knee wrote:

    But the bonuses were for last year, when the spill occurred. Now, if they improved safety *this* year, and awarded bonuses next year for that, I wouldn’t be upset at all.

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Permalink
  15. No u wrote:

    Oh I know, there is no justification, I was just saying :p

    It seems this has made its way to yahoo

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink
  16. ebdoug wrote:

    There are ways to boycott non renewable energy sources. I did tax returns at home for 16 years. To cut the cost of gas, I charged an extra $1.00 to mail the client copy back to them.(e-filed the returns, of course)
    I shop off the Internet mostly using UPS who is going to energy efficient vehicles; although using electric produced by coal doesn’t save a thing in my eyes.
    I drive my car 2000 miles a year. I can now walk to my son’s house slightly over a mile away.
    My heat is pellets and now a little solar if I can get it to work.
    That’s a boycott.

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Permalink
  17. Laurie wrote:

    Well, I did recently become unemployed (not by choice) so I am not using nearly as much gas. Maybe it isn’t all bad…..

    Monday, April 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink
  18. BTN wrote:

    I read this in the Washington Post last weekend:

    Anyway, it looks like at least someone over there is not asleep, because they ended up donating the bonuses:,Authorised=false.html

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

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