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Drilling through Plagiarism

You’ve probably seen this McClatchy report by now.

Gulf spill raises questions about role of oil consultants

The names, locations and geographical coordinates are different. Otherwise the drilling plans for three oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico contain identical fonts, footnotes, overly optimistic projections and even typographical errors. [emphasis added] …

Department of Interior officials said that federal regulators didn’t oversee third-party consultants and oil companies were “ultimately responsible for the information they submit.” …

Three of the plans that R.E.M. [one of the consulting firms] prepared — for Rooster Petroleum, Tana Exploration and Marathon Oil, all of Houston — used the same language to say that the risk of a major oil spill was minimal, the companies were equipped to respond to a disaster and drilling activities posed little or no risk to marine life or fisheries. …

Reached by phone, Goers [R.E.M. founder] declined to answer questions about her company or the plans it had prepared and referred a McClatchy reporter to her clients. “You’ll have to talk to the operators,” she said. …

The American Petroleum Institute, a lobbying group that represents oil and gas companies, said it wasn’t familiar with the consultants’ work … . “Of course, the documents they help prepare are ultimately reviewed by regulators whose responsibility is to judge their adequacy,” said Bill Bush, a spokesman for the group.

There’s something there, I’m not sure what, that gives me the sense that the oil industry and their buddies in government don’t care about the environment.

No, wait. That’s not right. They don’t even see it. It’s just a heap of annoying rocks and water standing between you and your money.

(Crossposted to Acid Test & Corrente)