Brian Salerno, Director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, had interesting remarks on the conference from the perspective of a regulator:
Your industry sets a very aggressive pace, you are the source of new ideas and technology. The challenge for those of us who are regulators is to keep pace with you, and to understand the safety and environmental implications of this technology, so that offshore resources can be developed without incident.
This then gets to the fundamental question of the role of the regulator, vis-a-vis the industry, and how we can collaborate in a meaningful way, all the while remaining true to our obligation to act first and foremost in the public interest.
His full statement here.
The MTS council meeting was the day before the conference started, so we had time to explore the city, including the Natural History Museum.
The debate on who should fund what scientific research is huge. Should governments fund? Should private companies? If the government funds, will the private sector follow? I don't have answers, but I know something has to change. See "James Cameron says today's ocean exploration is “piss poor.” He's right.