church, with the flood of new stuff with the spill, can’t find the exact articles and stats- even MMS pages are changed, but as I recall there were something like 211 inspectors pre-Cheney. MMS has announced their difficulty in keeping folks on board. Current “News” articles show 50-65 inspectors in the Gulf. MMS is now trying to contract for more inspectors.
“More money” with inflation and budgetary diversions does NOT MEAN “more”. VA has gotten more for example, but it can’t keep up with the number of disabled coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and more ‘Nam era and others filling or needing care.
For consideration. In the Gulf at the moment, at depths OVER 1,000 meters of water- 3,487 ACTIVE LEASES, 1,634 APPROVED TO DRILL, and 25 ACTIVE PLATFORMS. Yes, those are JUST the leases in over 3,000 feet of water!! You want to figure how 50-65 folks are going to inspect all those on the minimum of once a month? And that doesn’t include the additional over 3,000 active production wells that must be inspected.
Regulations also changed again in 2008. Having reviewed regulation changes for over 20 years, on various issues and departments, not in the mood at the moment to look this one up, but I can make some guesses on how “punishing” they were to industry.
Also interesting that Bruce’s citation notes one inspection annually, 50 inspectors 5 supervisory, when the regs say monthly.