Gulf Oil Spill Investigation "Backward"

The investigation into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is being performed in a "backward manner" and doesn't have sufficient guidelines or inspectors to monitor the oil industry's Gulf operation, reports the Wall Street Journal. Acting inspector general of the Department of the Interior Mary Kendall is expected to tell a Congressional panel Thursday the bleak findings.

The Minerals Management Service, which is responsible for regulating offshore drilling, has been accused of corruption, lax drilling oversight and being cozy with the oil industry. In May, Elizabeth Birnbaum stepped down as director of the MMS.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

The Wall Street Journal reports that the MMS has only 60 inspectors for the Gulf of Mexico region to cover nearly 4,000 facilities.

BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig was only inspected six timesin 2008, according to government inspection documents, even though government regulations dictate drilling rigs should be inspected each month.

In the wake of the allegations of some of its regulators having close ties to the industry it regulates, the MMS is being retooled and reorganized.

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