June 14, 2010 | Mark Paradies

How Long Must We Wait to Learn?

I keep seeing comments by BP, other oil executives, and even environmental activists that we have to wait until the investigation is complete before we take action to prevent future spills in the Gulf.

Oil execs say that the proposed six month deepwater drilling moratorium is overkill. They believe they already have safeguards in place that go beyond the actions taken by BP. They argue that waiting for a final investigation is an unnecessary waste of time and a burden for those who will lose their jobs. They also explain that if rigs are moved to other non-US locations, that drilling could be disrupted for years.

However, environmental activists are saying the the drilling moratorium should cover all offshore drilling activities and should be extended until the blue ribbon Presidential Commission has completed their work. It took the CSB three years to complete their investigation of the BP Texas City explosion. Could we really wait three years to resume offshore drilling?

To me, it seems that there is lots of information already available. People who know our TapRooT® Instructors/Facilitators can understand how in a couple of weeks a dedicated, facilitated team could have a preliminary set of causal factors determined, identify areas where there is any uncertainty, and identify the root causes of problems where uncertainty is limited. This would provide significant learning without waiting years. The lessons could provide a basis for resuming drilling with interim compensatory corrective actions to assure better safety and environmental stewardship. I hate to see people lose their jobs and environmentally sound drilling be put off for no good reason.

What do you think? Do we have to wait for a Presidential Commission to learn? Or are there lessons learned that could be analyzed and applied now?

Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment here.

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