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On April 22, 2010, the Gulf of Mexico exploded and telephones rang in Houston, Baton Rouge, London, and Washington.
Tony Hayward, the embattled CEO of the world’s largest oil company since late 2007, was surely aware of the 6 deep water drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico but certainly not aware of the specific safety issues reported through the chain of command from the rig up to Houston. Mr. Hayward had, on April 22, a good reputation as a cost cutter and a safety first executive.
Ken Salazar, the Secretary of Interior, was aware of a need for strategic, process and tactical reform at the Mineral and Mining Administration both from his time in the US Senate from 2004 to 2008 and as Secretary of the Interior since January,2009. Like Tony Hayward, Secretary Salazar was aware of BP drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico as well as debarment negotiations between BP and the EPA if not the detailed inspection reports from the Deep Water Horizon rig.