Resigning MMS regulator gave Transocean a safety award last year

The man in charge of regulating offshore drilling gave the owners of the rig that exploded in the Gulf a prize!

Published May 17, 2010 10:29PM (EDT)

Here is a photo of Chris Oynes, the Minerals Managmenent Service associate director of offshore energy who just resigned, giving an award to Transocean last year.

Oynes, who's resigning at the end of the month, is the industry-friendly head regulator of offshore drilling. MMS presented Transocean with a "Safety Award for Excellence" (or, creatively enough, "SAFE") for "'outstanding drilling operations' and a 'perfect performance period' in the Lafayette District of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico during 2008...." (It wasn't their first.)

The crew of Transocean's Deepwater Horizon was also recognized. A year later it blew up and it is still leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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