Transocean, the folks responsible for the horrible explosion and resulting oil leak in the Gulf, has given its executives safety bonuses.  Yes, that’s right, safety bonuses.

I want to make sure I quote them exactly, so you don’t think I’m making this up:

for achieving the “best year in safety performance in our company’s history.”

I suppose we have no choice but to wonder what prior years were like at Transocean.  A quick check of the history books turns up nothing about sinking entire continents, blowing up individual states, or nuking any specific bodies of land, so I am disinclined to believe their claim.

A presidential commission stated that the Gulf explosion was caused by a series of time and money-saving decisions by Transocean, BP and oil services company Halliburton Inc.  Remember: wherever there’s Halliburton, there’s Cheney.

With that kind of presidential fact-finding, it’s no wonder Transocean gave out safety bonuses.   Perhaps they were simply elated that they hadn’t somehow managed to blow apart large chunks of the planet, sending Earth into an orbit around Pluto (whether or not it’s a planet).  Based upon this tremendous record of safety, we will have no choice but to continue to allow them to operate.

For the curious, Transocean rents floating drill rigs to oil and gas companies at a daily rate of roughly $282.700.  And with rental rates like that (and safety rates like this) you begin to understand why we use them and why there is a need to lavish their executives with obscene bonuses.

In order to keep the company lean and mean so they can pay out these bonuses, Transocean moved to Switzerland, where it enjoys a sixteen percent tax rate (down from thirty five percent when the company was headquartered in the US).  Just so you know this is not a tax-dodge, the Switzerland office maintains a full staff.  Of twelve.

For more on the Gulf oil explosion, read this.