Peter Sperry

From what I have read of the inspections conducted prior to the accident, we have a “strain the knat and swallow the camel” problem with federal regulations. Inspectors arrive with a 100 to 200 item check list and hand out citations like candy for trash in the wrong container but fail to discover the use of substandard seals on the drill pipe. Unfortunately, it is a pattern repeated throughout much of government regulation (and private sector due dilligence). Financial regulators regularly issued citations to banks for minor bookkeeping errors while failing to say anything about the complete lack of monetary value to support their credit default swaps. We would be better off across the board if government and private sector standard setting organizations would cut the number of regulations by 3/4 and then vigerously enforce the ones that remain. Trim the regulatory and standards writing staff in by 2/3 and double the number of on the ground inspectors. Do away with 80 percent of the potential citations and impose draconian penalties for violating the other 20 percent.