April 30th, 2010
06:21 PM ET

In ironic twist, BP finalist for pollution prevention award

Call it a tragic irony.

BP, now under federal scrutiny because of its role in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and oil spill, is one of three finalists for a federal award honoring offshore oil companies for "outstanding safety and pollution prevention."

The winner of the award - chosen before the April 20 oil rig incident - was to be announced this coming Monday at a luncheon in Houston. But the U.S. Department of Interior this week postponed the awards ceremony, saying it needs to devote its resources to the ongoing situation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and fire.

Eleven workers are presumed dead and an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil are leaking every day from the well. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

A spokeswoman for the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service said she did not know which of the three finalists for the non-monetary award had been selected, nor did she say whether the current circumstances could influence the decision if BP was the winner. Winners of the award are kept secret until the ceremony, she said.

The floating Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded and eventually sank 130 miles southeast of New Orleans is owned by Transocean Ltd., a Swiss company, but was under contract with BP. The U.S. Coast Guard has termed BP the "responsible party." In U.S. Coast Guard parlance, "responsible party" typically means the entity that owns the vessel that caused the spill and is responsible for responding to an incident.

It does not imply criminal negligence.

According to a Department of Interior's website, BP Exploration & Production Inc. is one of three finalists for a Safety Award for Excellence, which honors companies for "outstanding safety and pollution prevention performance by the offshore oil and gas industry." The other nominees are ExxonMobil Corp. and Eni US Operating Co. BP specifically was nominated in the High OCS Activity Operator category, for companies engaged in operations on the outer continental shelf.

The Minerals Management Service was to name the winner of the award at the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston next week. The annual award is an engraved plaque and a letter of citation, both signed by a Department of Interior official.

The awards program is intended to elevate awareness of safety and pollution and prevention, encourage voluntary compliance, educate the public and encourage excellence in safety and pollution prevention, the department says.

The program began in 1999, and is for a company's performance the previous year. British Petroleum has won the award once before, in 1992.

soundoff (153 Responses)


    May 3, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rob

    Irony perhaps, but I don't see anything wrong in this picture. BP may very well be a safe and environmentally conscious company – just bad luck that a disaster happened to them. Luck of the draw. OIl drilling is a dangerous proposition and this could have happened to anyone. If the blame is to be placed on anyone, maybe it should be on Halliburton who was undertaking the the operation to cement the pipe. Perhaps BP was a little slow to realize the significance of the disaster, but I think they've manned up and taken responsibility for this.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  3. timd

    I'm not surprised that Trig is retarded since both his parents are.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • roughneckdave

      @timd you are a waste of skin. So you dont like Sarah palin. That's your right. But leave her children out of this. They didn't choose politics. People like you are what's wrong with america.

      May 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David Steele

    Here is the problem: we focus on US companies yet ignore the fact that Russian and Chinese companies are drilling within miles of the same platforms. If BP is so bad then why are we not using our military to take out the Russian and Chinese operations? If oil is bad then any control drilling in that area needs to be removed.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. martin

    I hope all the critics complaining about BP and oil companies are ready to trade their gas vehicles for bicycles...

    May 3, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. timd

    Exxon said they would pay and make it right in Prince William Sound almost 20 years ago to the day. Guess what? They lied. The herring fishery never came back, salmon was affected for many years and the towns in the sound are shells of their former selves. You can still find lots of oil buy going a few inches into the sand. This is going to be the gulf coast now. God ble$$ America.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Moapa

    Actually, the deep sea oil extraction sector HAS had a very good safety and environmental record over the past 30 years. Saety record rates are tracked by hours lost time per hours worked. The DEPARTMENT of INTERIOR has an INCREDIBLY POOR safety and environmental record. This DOI safety loss time record has historically been one of the worst in the administration, with safety losses MULTIPLES higher than the industries it regulates.

    Try a little research before denigrating the honest men and wonen making a living supplying the petro and minerals you demand as an integral part of your daily life.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. Steve

    How is it possible that the program was started in 1999 and BP won an award in 1992?

    May 3, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Think!!

    Heckuvajob Obama! The pure incompetence shown by Obama and his administration has been stunning. And these fools think they can run our entire health care system?!?! But then again, these are the clowns who promised that unemployment would be kept under 8% if the stimulus was passed. Of course, the state-run media will tiptoe around this fact. Maybe if the oil spill threatened a golf course or Obama's multi-million dollar oceanfront mansion then he might get off his lazy rear end nd do something.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ralph

    Instead of "DAWN" which is a ridiculous thought, how about some Obama urine as it works on the White House press corps and they seem to enjoy it and so probably it can emulsify the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    If BP works to solve this problem on their own I would imagine that it would take two or three weeks to cap the well. If the U.S. Government steps in we may be looking at six months.

    Those who want more engineers on the job are followers of the belief that if one man can dig a fox hole in sixty minutes than sixty men can do it in one.

    May 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Aunt Bee

    Anyone that believes anything that comes from this administration or any of the crooks and liars in Washington D.C. must be on more medication than the government. http://911essentials.com

    May 3, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. digitalexplr

    Before you go bashing big oil too badly, you may want to consider exactly what petroleum products do for you.

    Out of one 42 gallon barrel, 19.4 gallons of gasoline are produced. The rest is used for over 6000 products including these:

    Solvents, Ink Upholstery, Bicycle Tires, Dresses, Cassettes, Motorcycle Helmet, CD Player, Curtains, Vitamin Capsules, Dashboards, Putty, Percolators, Skis, Tool Racks, Mops, Umbrellas, Roofing, Denture Adhesive, Speakers, Tennis Rackets, Nylon Rope, Water Pipes, Shampoo, Guitar Strings, Antifreeze, Clothes, Combs, Vaporizers, Heart Valves, Enamel, Anesthetics, Dentures, Cold cream, Fan Belts, Refrigerators, Diesel fuel, Floor Wax, Sweaters, Sports Car Bodies, Tires, Dishwasher parts, Caulking, Faucet Washers, Food Preservatives, Antihistamines, Cortisone, Dyes, Life Jackets, TV Cabinets, Car Battery Cases, Slacks, Yarn, Toilet Seats, Linoleum, Plastic Wood, Rubber Cement, Candles, Hand Lotion, Wheels, Luggage, Football, Helmets, Toothbrushes, CD's & DVD's, Balloons, Crayons, Pillows, Artificial Turf, Model Cars, Movie film, Car Enamel,
    Golf Balls, Motor Oil, Ballpoint Pens, Boats, Nail Polish, Golf Bags, Tool Boxes, Petroleum Jelly, Antiseptics, Basketballs, Purses, Deodorant, Panty Hose, Rubbing Alcohol, Shag Rugs, Epoxy, Insect Repellent, Fertilizers, Fishing Rods, Ice Cube Trays, Electric Blankets, Fishing Boots, Trash Bags, Roller Skates, Paint Rollers, Aspirin,
    Awnings, Ice Chests, Paint Brushes, Sun Glasses, Parachutes, Dishes, Artificial limbs, Folding Doors, Soft Contact Lenses, Shaving Cream, Toothpaste, Bearing Grease, Football Cleats, Insecticides, Fishing lures, Perfumes, Shoe Polish, Transparent Tape, Clothesline, Soap, Shoes, Footballs, Refrigerant, Linings, Electrician's Tape, Paint, Oil Filters, Hair Coloring, Lipstick, Synthetic Rubber, Glycerin, Dice, House Paint, Surf Boards, Shower Curtains, Safety Glasses, Eyeglasses, Footballs, Detergents, Tents, Telephones, Cameras, Bandages, Hair Curlers, Drinking Cups, Ammonia, Gasoline.

    Which ones do you NOT use?

    May 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. William Strathers

    The winner was probably BP. How embarassing would that be?

    May 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dave

    Obama, making George W. Bush look better day by day by day.

    May 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
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