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As Transocean touts its best year in safety, government has amnesia about Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill

It’s like they took a tip from the Wall Street banksters after they crashed the economy. Only this time, it’s the oil execs.

Transocean decided to pat itself on the back for a job well done in 2010 and touted its “best year in safety.” Yes, for 2010. For those keeping score, that was the same year that its oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and killed 11 workers.

But the company’s executives did such a great job the rest of the year that apparently they deserved some bonuses.

“Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate (“TRIR”) and total potential severity rate (“TPSR”),” Transocean wrote. “As measured by these standards, we recorded the best year in safety performance in our Company’s history, which is a reflection on our commitment to achieving an incident free environment, all the time, everywhere.

Or, as Grist put it:

“Yeah, some people died and some animals died and some livelihoods were ruined, but that was only April through July. On average we did pretty good. Here’s a suit made of money and a hat made of money.”

Meanwhile, the government seems to have amnesia. Just shy of the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the ensuing oil gusher that poisoned the Gulf of Mexico, BP is in talks with the Interior Department about permits that would allow it to resume deep-water drilling in the Gulf. BP hopes to restart its programs by the summer.

We hope that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s reaction to Transocean’s bonuses indicates how he’ll react to BP’s permit requests.

“At the end of the day, it was that complacency that created an oil spill that was pouring over 50 million barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico,” Salazar said on a conference call. He said Transocean was “at least at some fault” regarding the rupturing of BP’s Macondo well, which dumped 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf.