Thursday, June 17, 2010

Trust in the Gulf -- Boot on the Neck

Department of the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, made the following statement on CNN: "Our job basically is to keep the boot on the neck of British Petroleum to carry out the responsibilities they have..."

Salazar's remark has now been widely circulated. How do you think the Secretary's statement affects the level of trust between the administration and BP?

How would you react if your client or a user group spoke to you like that? What if your manager told you that he was going to put his boot on your neck until you fulfill your responsibilities? I wonder whether the administration considered what effect its violent tone would have on the trust of those involved in the solution. Perhaps the administration doesn't believe trust has a part to play in the success of this unfortunate project.


  1. How should you react if you blatantly violated federal and state laws, intentionally lied and forged safety reports, fired employees reporting problems, and general acted outside the norm.

    BP has a long record of flaunting safety regulations in the lower 48 and Alaska. They've killed dozens of people in the US over the years.

    They outsource nearly everything and pass down responsibility. Trust was lost decades ago on the North Slope. The other half of the problem is MMS and the corrupt inspectors. They'd sign the bottom of the monthly report and have BP fill out contents.

    BP needs to not only pay in cash, they need to play at the shareholder level - and be gone from the market place.

  2. Thanks for your observations and feedback Glen.

    It sounds like it is way too late to expect trust among these project members. There is just too much water over the dam.

    We have all had to work with people or organizations that we haven’t trusted. I’d like to think that trust can be regained, or at least the level of trust can be maintained. I am probably an idealist. Perhaps the consequences here are too profound to even consider trust.