Thanks to the legacy of the Bush-Cheney regime, acoustic switches --$500,000 critical defense measure capable of shutting down operations remote-control style-- were deemed unnecessary by the unit responsible for overseeing offshore drilling: the U.S. Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS).
According to investigations by the Interior Department's former Inspector General Earl Devaney, the MMS, found to have accepted "gifts" from energy companies, was an agency marked by a "culture of ethical failure." Deepwater Horizon, the drilling rig that exploded, catalyzing the undersea spill, was exempted from environmental reviews by the MMS just days before the crisis. --Forbes