Big oil's slick trick

Following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, it's time the US considered changing the system that allowed the BP-owned rig to fly a Marshall Islands flag instead of the Stars and Stripes.

Deepwater Horizon, the Transocean offshore oil rig currently shipwrecked on the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico, about 1000 feet below the surface, operated under a "flag of convenience" from the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This is by no means unusual. Marshall Islands operates one of the five biggest shipping registries on the planet, accounting for some 1500 vessels – 35 of which, at last count, were Transocean oil rigs.


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