I just read that an employee of BP who was on the Deepwater Horizon Rig, pleaded the 5th at a federal investigative panel about his actions on the day of the explosion. The obvious reason for this is that there was criminal negligence or possibly criminal action.

The article deserves a read. One passage stood out:

The company men [from BP] have a key role on a drilling rig, said Carl Smith, a former U.S. Coast Guard captain and expert witness, who testified Wednesday.

“Their [BP’s] emphasis is they’re trying to drill to make money for their company, so their primary interest is to make progress on the well,” he said. “So, you’re always going to have a conflict between the people who are representing the owner’s of the rig and the people who are renting it because the people who are renting it want to go faster and drill, and the people who are operating the rig want to maintain the integrity of the rig, which is a natural conflict.”

The people who are operating the rig want to maintain its integrity. Seems fair. But the conflict is the company that is renting the rig, in this case BP, wants to drill faster at the expense of safety. Surely this implies that it is less expensive in the long run for the company to mop up oil spills and pay the insurance on those on the rig that have died.

That’s some truly fucked-up accounting, right there.