Just like sub-prime, if you dig, then you find stupid regulation behind, or at least contributing to, every disaster.
Ask yourself 2 questions:
Why is the gusher so difficult to cap? Because it is in deep water. Why was BP drilling in deep water? Because they were not allowed to drill in shallow water.
Whilst ultimate responsibility clearly rests with BP who could have run multiple pipes, which I’ve read somewhere is industry best practice (I don’t know – I’m not an oil engineer), the US Government too is partially responsible for its knee-jerk, reactive and slapdash approach to regulation, which puts political concerns and pork-barrell politics above environmental and economic concerns.
Every regulation has a cost, and it is rarely borne by the people the framers of the regulation intend it to be borne by. In this case, Louisiana shrimpers and British Pensioners have paid for the poor regulation of deep water drilling and the ban on shallow water drilling.