Agency Regulating Oil Rigs Has 'Spotty' Record
Interior Department's MMS doesn't inspire confidence
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2010 3:52 PM CDT
An aerial view from Greenpeace.   (AP Photo/Greenpeace)
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(Newser) – As the oil spill off Louisiana threatens to become one of the biggest in US history, Pro Publica would like to remind everyone that the federal agency charged with preventing such accidents "has had a spotty record over the past few years." That would be the Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service, which made news in 2008 for a sex-and-drugs scandal of epic proportions.

Now, thanks to reporting in the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post, it's emerging that the MMS did not require rig owner BP to file plans on how it would react to an uncontrollable spill or to have a safety device known as an acoustic control that could have helped. MMS allowed BP to plan for a smaller-scale spill, and now the federal government is scrambling to contain the slick before it reaches land.