CHRIS MATTHEWS: Welcome back to Hardball. We continue to see more fallout over that disastrous rig explosion, an oil leak, down in the Gulf of Mexico. The chief electronics technician on the Deep Water Horizon rig told 60 Minutes that there were known problems in the blowup preventer in the weeks leading up to the accident. An Associated Press investigation shows that the Minerals Management Service didn’t live up to its own inspection policy and today the top government official who overseas offshore oil drilling for the Minerals Management Service announced his retirement. So how much fault lies with the BP and the other companies associated with the rig and how much blame lies with the Minerals Management Service of government for lax oversight. Kate Sheppard sits with me now. She’s an environmental reporter for Mother Jones and Abrahm Lustgarden is with Propublica.
Abrahm let me ask you this question first of all. I have a hunch that the reason they don’t want to fix this mess down there is because they would admit who did it, if they fix it. Nobody is, if this was a nuclear bomb ready to go off we’d be down there. I am so…I don’t even want to talk about it, I get so mad at this oil company. Why aren’t they fixing it? First of all.
ABRAHAM LUSTGARDEN, PROPUBLICA: Well I think they’re doing the best they can, honestly. I mean drilling at the bottom and operating at the bottom of the ocean or 5000 feet down, maximizes the, the technological capabilities of the oil industry. It’s been likened to space exploration and I think it’s quite similar. So at this point, they may, they may want to hide blame, but at this point I don’t think there’s much motivation, not to fix the problem if they know how to do that.
MATTHEWS: Really? You know, I have a suspicion I’ll go back to it again. I don’t think they’re doing their best. I don’t think the government is doing its best. Why doesn’t the President go in there, nationalize an industry and get the job done for the people? There’s a national interest in this, not just a BP interest. We’re letting BP fix a national problem.