Colleague and occasional RS diarist Steve Maley testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on Thursday. The topic of the hearing was “The Deepwater Horizon Incident: Are the Minerals Management Service Regulations Doing the Job?”
Full video of the hearing (over four hours) is available here. It featured testimony from the acting head of the MMS and the Interior Department’s Inspector General in the morning’s Panel 1. Panel 2 featured BP Atlantis whistleblower Ken Abbott. Steve spoke last in Panel 3, late in the afternoon. Steve’s verbal statement is excerpted here.
A conversation between Steve and your humble correspondent below the fold.
Vladimir: Yo, Steve, wassup, buddy? How was the trip to D.C.?
Steve Maley: Well, Vlad, I felt like the little boy whose mom asked why he kept banging his head against the wall. “It feels so good when I stop!”
V: General comments you’d like to share with RedState readers?
SM: My highlight of the day was when Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) displayed his surgical expertise on the guy from the Pew Environmental Group. I’ve made a few fishing trips to Cocodrie but I’ve never seen a speckled trout filleted as deftly as Rep. Cassidy filleted that [redacted].
V: What else?
SM: Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) impressed me with her questions regarding ethics and the supposed “revolving door” at MMS. Environmental and gov’t watchdog groups have a problem with regulators going to work for industry after they leave gov’t, but none at all with them working for enviro groups. Those enviro groups may be non-profits, but there’s so much dough being thrown around there that it would shame the budgets of most small oil companies.
V: What about Chairman Costa (D-CA)? Was he hostile?
SM: On the contrary, he impressed me as someone who was trying to get to the bottom of what was going on, but not hostile to industry in general. He went out of his way to thank me personally for my testimony. I wish there were 100 more Democrats like him.
V: What about the other Dems?
SM: Mostly only interested in showing the industry in a bad light. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) was only in the room to take advantage of his 5 minutes to ask questions of Ken Abbott, the BP whistleblower. Rep. Sarbanes (D-MD) just wants to shut offshore drilling down, doesn’t care who he hurts.
V: What’s the deal with this whistleblower?
SM: What a [redacted]. He’s a glorified file clerk who was in charge of some engineering drawings from BP’s Atlantis, another deepwater field. He alleges that BP violated industry practice by not providing certain detailed drawings, when in fact those particular drawings, while arguably good engineering practice, are not an MMS requirement. BP canned him after he became a pain in the [redacted] over it. It turns out he stands to hit the lottery: Federal statute will award him treble damages if he prevails in his wrongful dismissal lawsuit against BP. To get that, he’s willing to damage and shut down the entire deepwater industry. And he’s playing right into the radical Dems hands.
V: But isn’t the lack of those drawings a sign that BP lacked attention to detail.
SM: Well, maybe so, Vlad, but to me, the biggest indication of failure on BP’s part was hiring a [redacted] like him in the first place.
So, Vladimir, how do you think I did?
V: “Don’t quit your day job.”
Cross-posted at RedState.com.