Gem of the day

Warning: this one hurts. A lot.

Johnnie Burton, former director of the US Minerals Management Service (MMS) under George W. Bush (2002 to 2007), on the state of the MMS under her tenure:

"I can’t answer all these questions at this point because when I was there it seemed to work well,” Burton said.

A most excellent post by Brad Johnson at ThinkProgress describes at length how unbelievable that quote is. But just in case, like me, you lack both the time and the stomach lining to pursue that background reading, here's what you need to know:

Burton was in charge during the development of the offshore drilling plan that expanded drilling to the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. And the report she produced on the feasibility of that expansion explicitly stated as follows:

"...lessees have been producing oil and gas from the Central Gulf and other areas for over 50 years with a remarkable record of environmental safety. For more than 30 years, there have been no significant oil spills from platforms anywhere on the OCS. No Environmental Justice impacts from accidental oil spills are expected."

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