Where are the engineering societies when we need them? Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (a lawyer) asked engineers for advice on the Gulf oil spill and then proceeded to ignore that advice. Now the administration has set up a commission to investigate the event. This seven-person commission includes a majority of four lawyers, a biological oceanographer, a professional environmentalist and a single engineer (who is actually a physicist).
Although some have experience with the aftermath of oil spills, none has any obvious or advertised experience with petroleum engineering or engineering-failure investigations. This is either amazing incompetence or blatant bias. The engineering societies should be demanding a real engineering-failure investigation.