January 18, 2011 | Mark Paradies

Mark’s Initial Comments on the President’s Commission Report on the BP Deepwater Horizon Accident

I didn’t make it very far into the report before the political tone became apparent.

In the second paragraph of the first section (the Forward), the report says:

A treasured American landscape, already battered and degraded from years of mismanagement, faced yet another blow as the oil spread and washed ashore.

These type of political statements and adjectives that can easily agitate public opinion are common throughout the first three chapters that I read this weekend. My opinion is that an accident report should stand on the facts. Perhaps Chapter 4 will present them – I’m still reading.

However, the Editors of The Wall Street Journal were not convinced. In an article in the “Review & Outlook” of the editorial page titled: “Gulf Political Spill”, they said:

Unable to name what difinitively caused the well failure, the commission resorts to a hodgepodge of speculation.”

It also says:

Its [the report’s] section ‘The Root Causes: Failures in Industry and Government’ uses questionable decisions made by the Macondo players to suggest, with no evidence, that such behavior is the industry norm.”

Toward the end of the editorial, it says:

The unbalanced, tendentious nature of the commission report vindicates those who suspected from the start that this was all a political exercise.

They conclude the WSJ editorial with:

The BP spill was a tragedy that should be diagnosed with a goal of preventing a repeat, not in order to all but shut down an industry that is vital to U.S. energy supplies and the livelihood of millions on the Gulf Coast.”

What I’d suggest is that you read the 398-page report for yourself and make your own observations.

To download the report, go to:


Root Cause Analysis
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