TUCSON, AZ – Today, Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) sent a letter to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel, demanding answers and accountability after findings by a recent Inspector General (IG) report that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) suppressed contradictory findings by three engineers during an investigation into the BP Atlantis deepwater oil production facility.
In 2010 Congressman Grijalva led a request for an investigation into whether or not BP Atlantis, the largest oil and natural gas platform in the world, was operating improperly and risking catastrophe. In a responding report sent to Congress in March 2011, BOEMRE assured Members and the public that while pertinent documents for Atlantis’ operation were in disarray or lacking necessary signatures, there was “no evidence” that these document control problems created specific unsafe conditions.
According to the recent IG findings, the Atlantis’ problems were not limited to disorganized documentation, but rather that “BP did not have a complete set of ‘approved for construction’ engineering documents for all subsea components of the Atlantis platform and related facilities when it began production in October 2007.” Furthermore, BP did not “have a complete set of ‘as built’ engineering documents for the Atlantis facilities that are currently in operation.”
“Congress has a Constitutional duty to conduct oversight over the executive branch, and reports of a federal agency intentionally misleading lawmakers as they fulfill that duty are deeply troubling,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The American people are already suffering enough from BP’s willingness to cut corners on the Deepwater Horizon rig – the last thing we need is the federal government serving as accomplice while BP tries to maximize profits at the expense of the public’s safety and wellbeing.”
The full text of the letter Rep. Grijalva’s sent today can be found here.
The March 2011 BOERMRE report was conducted at the request of Congressman Grijalva and 20 of his colleagues in a letter they sent in February 2010, which can be found here.
The full text of the Inspector General report can be found here.