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Oil Danger and the Gulf Coast

A coastal crisis unfolds, as the Gulf braces for the oil slick. We look at the threat ahead, and the impact on national oil policy.

Workers secure oil retention booms to the shore in Bay St. Louis, Miss., Sunday, May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Now it’s a face-off in the Gulf of Mexico: the unslowed gushing of a deepwater oil well, against the environment and economy of a huge chunk of vital American coastline. 

And maybe Americans are coming face-to-face again with the implications of a fossil fuel-driven national life. 

The robots undersea have not stopped the oil. The booms on high seas have not stopped the slick. The fishermen see what’s coming and shake their heads. 

It could get much worse before it gets better. And it’s bad now. 

This Hour, On Point: calamity and offshore oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

Guests:

Jeffrey Ball, environmental editor for the Wall Street Journal. Read his new piece, “Disaster Invokes the Spector of Valdez.”

John Williams, executive director of the Southern Shrimp Alliance.

Lisa Margonelli, director of the New America Foundation’s Energy Policy Initiative and author of “Oil on the Brain: Petroleum’s Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank.” Read her editorial in the New York Times, “A Spill of Our Own.”

Aaron Viles, campaign director for the Gulf Restoration Network.

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  • JP

    This will be the worst man-made environmental disaster in history, having occurred in an ecologically critical and sensitive area at a time when the biodiversity of the region is already stressed to its limits.

    “Catastrophe” barely describes the ultimate damage to the ecology of Gulf waters, but the toll on life in the delta marshlands, and to the American hemisphere’s migratory fowl moving through and nesting in the region will be irredeemable.

    The birds killed directly by contact with oil will be overwhelming, but only the tip of the iceberg.

    This spill will decimate some of the most important nesting and feeding grounds along the most important migratory route in the Americas.

    Not only will some already endangered species be severely affected, but also the contaminated feeding grounds will poison and/or outright starve the vast majority of species that utilize these most important wetlands.

    Nesting and mating will also be severely affected, and the consequences will last for generations.

    Add to the problem the fact that Gulf fish species are going to be decimated, which despite being a tragedy in itself, will further exacerbate the problems facing Gulf fowl populations that feed on the fish and fry.

    Also add in the ecological problems that will result from some species being so decimated that the ecology of interspecies competition will also be dramatically altered, cascading all through the food chain and the environments in which these bird and animal populations live and migrate throughout the delta, the Gulf, and the Americas.

    I’ve heard some really stupid and/or ignorant comments in the last several days, such as George Will’s comment Sunday on “This Week,” in which he said that wind turbines kill more birds in a single day than will be killed by the entirety of the Gulf spill… this statement is criminally ignorant, as are many more made by conservative pundits trying to defend their idiotic cries of “drill, baby, drill.”

    The cost of this tragedy to countless industries, sport, and tourism will be enormous, but the environmental costs and the loss to our children’s legacy is inestimable… and all of this so that oil interests could squeeze a little more profit beyond the quarterly billions they already make. Was it really worth deregulating the oil industry to the point that something like this could happen? This is why I’ve ridden a bike for the last twenty-five years and refuse to buy a car… this is why I try to limit my energy use to the minimal amount I need to get by.

    America needs to take energy conservation seriously, demand that alternative to carbon fuels are encouraged and subsidized, and end the detrimental patronage of Big Energy and Oil.

    We’ve wasted enough time people!

  • Dee

    There is no way this spill will be contained or cleaned up in time for the start of the 2010 Hurricane Season. The thought of high winds picking up millions of gallons of oil-laced water in the Gulf is a scenario straight from Hell. How fortunate for BP and Big Oil that they were able to convince Congress to exempt them from using well-capping technology. Best damn government money can buy.

  • LinP

    Let’s see….the Gulf Coast is about to be ruined, and we haven’t even finished the work from Katrina. Obama took office with an economy in shambles. Our corporate thieves have been unregulated and unbridled, and we are living the fallout of that. Immigration law in Arizona implies one of the worst possible civil liberties abuses ever. And the list goes on and on.

    The Republicans are responsible for ALL of the above, and so much more–all adding up to one disaster after another. And they continue to support policies that would shatter our world and our lives. These people are out and out WRONG. About almost everything. ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH!!!

    Rush Limbaugh claiming the explosion was deliberately done my environmental extremists! When does this madness finally end???

  • Gary

    I’m fairly certain that we won’t be seeing the president of BP dragged before the Senate, bowing and cringing before a blizzard of harsh questioning as they did to Toyota.

    Toyota’s problem killed what…about 10 people, however Toyota did not destroy the economy of the gulf states, or kill what remained of the gulf ecology, or poison the region for the next 30 years.

    If we fined Toyota 12 million for their corporate shortcut… by the same measure, how big will the fine be for BP? I bet it will not only be zero, but that we actually write them a big fact subsidy check.

  • jeffe

    George Will is a tube and he twists facts to fit his ideology. But he is right up to a point. If you have hundreds of wind turbines installed areas with a lot of migratory birds they are going to kill a fair amount of them. That said this is a huge environmental disaster as is noted above. The Louisiana fishing economy alone is about 2.2 billion dollars a year. That’s Billion with a “B”.

    However his analogy was absurd and to use it to defend BP is typical George Will. I watched that show and he was more obnoxious than usual. This

    From what I have been reading about this the US is the only industrial country that does not have regulations regard the automatic shut off valves. Companies such as BP have been fighting any stiff regulation in this area.
    BP also has one of the worst environmental records as well. By the way they are a British corporation.

  • http://hydren.net Richard Hydren

    When was this well built?
    What were the codes concerning emergency shut-off valves at the time it was built?
    Were the codes at that time equal to those in other parts of the world?
    If not, why not?
    Was there an emergency shut-off valve of any kind in place?
    If there was, I’m sure we have no idea why this one failed, but what factors would result in the failure of the typical technology that should be in place today?
    The assumption being that nothing is truly fail-safe.

    And I’m sure you saw this one coming: How many other wells are there around the world with same emergency shut-off technology, or lack there of, sitting on the ocean floor?

    Maybe “around the world” might be a tough one to answer, but we should know, after all this is the only planet we have.

  • WINSTON SMITH

    I wasn’t a George Bush fan, but I do wonder if the liberals are going to blame Obama for this mess the way that blamed Bush for Katrina. Also, maybe if the Hollywood and Washington DC liberal hypocrites who consume mass quantities of oil flying all over the world and living in their 20,000 square foot homes (while giving lip service to being green)would live a more frugal lifestyle, we wouldn’t need to produce and consume so much oil! Also, maybe if the liberal hypocrites would finally allow some windfarms to be built in their back yard (or front yard as in the case of the Kennedys), we could actually get serious about alternative energy sources!

  • Tim C.

    Given the sensitivity of this area, it’s hard to believe that two blowout protection systems were not required for this well to ensure against a catastrophic failure. Surely, that would not have been too onerous a requirement for a company as profitable as BP. This is just another example of how toothless industry regulation (pick your industry) has become.

  • Dave

    We knew it was coming and it has already started. A BP exec stated this very AM on the ‘Today” show that ‘this is not our spill’. He mentioned the name of the operator of the oil rig, intimating that the fault was not BP’s but this other party. Certainly this is a mere hint of things to come from BP. Expect from BP exactly what we got from Exxon after Valdez.

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Jeffe: The migratory bird killing from wind turbines, especially big ones is an urban legend that has taken off because it makes sense. However, search around and you’ll find that even environmental groups who would normally be paranoid about this are dropping the paranoia. Big turbines rotate so slowly that there is much less chance of birds not seeing the propellers.

    The data seems to show that in existing European wind farms like the one going in off Cape Cod, the incidence of bird death isn’t any more than the incidence of bird death from them flying into buildings and other stationary objects.

    We lose a bird a month at our house… they fly into windows no matter how many hawk decals we put on them. I don’t like to see it and I’ll do my best to prevent it but these things happen.

  • John

    Did Goldman Sachs find a way to profit from this yet?

  • http://N/A Joyce Newland

    Would like to know why there have not been any interviews with the survivors of the broken up oil rig. Usually survivors of any even are beleaguered with questions and journalists from television and radio.

    From Opelika, Alabama

  • mogl

    In the first three days there was talk of pumping in cement to stop the leak. It has been two weeks and no one is talking about that any more. WHY? WHY NOT? Is it BP’s decision? Are they more interested in preserving the production of their investment and willing to sacrifice everybody and everything else???

  • Larry

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/us/02liability.html

    Just when you thought you couldn’t get any sicker about this gusher

    Matthew Wald of The New York Times reports the details of the previously obscure Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, a $1.6 billion fund financed by a minuscule tax on oil — eight cents per barrel, which Wald says is roughly 0.1%. According to Wald, the fund is designed to pay damage claims resulting from oil spills, though not cleanup and containment costs. But that’s not all it does. It also limits the liability of oil companies like BP.

    Under the law that established the reserve, called the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, the operators of the offshore rig face no more than $75 million in liability for the damages that might be claimed by individuals, companies or the government, although they are responsible for the cost of containing and cleaning up the spill.

    The fund was set up by Congress in 1986 but not financed until after the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska in 1989. In exchange for the limits on liability, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 imposed a tax on oil companies, currently 8 cents for every barrel they produce in this country or import.

    The tax adds roughly one tenth of a percent to the price of oil. Another source of revenue is fines and civil penalties from companies that spill oil.

  • Mike B.

    Will this spill change our attitudes about energy? Maybe. But today I still will go to work sixty miles from my home in the U.S., one of the least densely populated countries on the planet; as a consequence, I will drive my own car. Next winter the temperature will still drop way below freezing, and my family will die if I don’t provide them with heat.

    Energy is an engineering issue, not a political issue. Our attitudes towards energy are largely political, and hugely irrelevant with regard to the engineering issues involved.

  • http://percolatordesign.com Mark Drury

    I just heard BP CEO Tony Hayward has just said this morning…”This is not our accident, but it’s our responsibility,” BP CEO Tony Hayward told CBS’ “The Early Show” Monday. How can he say that this is not our accident? Please discuss this topic today.
    Thank you.

  • Larry

    (CNN) 05/03/10 — BP will “absolutely be paying for the cleanup operation” of the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, chief executive Tony Hayward said Monday. “There’s no doubt about that.”

    “It is indeed BP’s responsibility to deal with this and we’re dealing with it,” Hayward told NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

    And, he added, “where legitimate claims [of damages] are made, we will be good for them,” according to NPR’s website.

    You can never clean this up. Take a look at Alaska where the Exxon Valdez spill took place. There is still oil in the sands and seabed from 20 years ago.

    When they say clean up they mean move on as fast as possible.

  • jeffe

    Richard I’ve read that it depends on the location of the turbines. Personally I’m not sure who to believe on this one. It seems in some areas bats are effected.

    I’m not against wind turbines, we need more as this disaster has shown.

    Say goodbye to Gulf Shrimp. I think BP should be paying for all of this. I hope they get into how this might spread to the Florida Keys.

  • Jason S

    Can you imagine how much worse it would be if the Chinese or Cubans had one of their rigs leaking crude off the coast?

    This event should make it even more prudent for us to drill in the gulf and tap our recourses before other countries with worse environmental records from steeling our recourses.

  • Larry

    Did Goldman Sachs find a way to profit from this yet?
    Posted by John

    John, they will be speculating on the price of oil and driving it up to astronomical heights.

    Hello depression.

  • Chris Green

    Hi Tom,

    To stop the leak:

    How about cutting the pipe at or very close to the source (what’s the diameter?)and shoving a giant concrete pencil-shaped cylinder into the hole?

  • Jason S

    Jeffe,

    Wind will never replace oil, coal, and natural gas until battery technology improves 500% or more.

    Wind only blows part of the time.

    The sun is not always shinning.

    Because of this you always need to be able to cover 100% of the electrical load capacity using fossil fuels. Not to mention that wind and solar are not yet cost competitive.

  • jeffe

    Did Goldman Sachs find a way to profit from this yet?
    Posted by John

    Look for $100 or more a barrel and gas prices will be going up, up, up.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/ftitzwilliam F. William Bracy
    Good question, Tom … “Where does this end?” and it has a simple answer. It ends with the end of oil.

  • http://n/a Maryl Mendillo

    My heart breaks at all the destruction of our environment and the slow death of all the fauna.

    My heart breaks for the economic disaster that this has caused all of the people directly affected by this mess.

    What will it take for energy companies to move with clear deliberance to alternative energy????

    There isn’t enough money to repair this mess.

  • jeffe

    Jason so destroying a 2.2 BILLION dollar a year fishing industry is cost effective for you?

    Why don’t you drive less.

  • John

    Bumbling Polluters

  • Jason

    Jeffe,

    BP will decide if it is cost effective, not me. We are still a free country, not communist.

    I will buy my gas and drive my truck and sports cars as much as I want.

    I know you think that if the US doesn’t drill no one will, but that is not a fact, countries from half way around the world are drilling off our coast and stealing our natural resources and selling them back to us and we have better track reccords.

    Did you stop driving your car after you had your first accident?

  • Tom

    What are the chances that we have to worry about a terrorist attack on the Gulf? I mean if this gets bad enough can someone go into the Gulf and drop a match and light it on fire?

  • Bob

    Maryl,

    Have you installed solar panels on your house yet?

    Why not?

    Why are you waiting for others to do what you want them to do without YOU taking the lead?

    Cost? …. It will cost the energy companies the same amount to increase their renewable energy and you will pay the bills either way.

  • Ellen Dibble

    On the one hand, we worry if gallons of gas bought goes down, if airline miles flown goes down, and we say that measures the extent of the failure/gloom in our economy.
    I like what I hear from Lisa Margonelli now. But everything depends on gearing up alternative ways of living. Lifestyle shifts have to accompany the winding down of the old ways.
    Let us count GNP in terms of SUSTAINABLE growth, not oil consumption.

  • http://www.brendanbannon.com brendan bannon

    Have a look at Ed Kashi’s project on the Niger Delta:
    http://www.curseoftheblackgoldbook.com/

    This incredible work examines the ecological and cultural impact of oil extraction in Nigeria. Everyone that drives is partly responsible for this in Nigeria and the situation in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Is this the future of the Gulf?

    Brendan Bannon

  • Larry

    I will buy my gas and drive my truck and sports cars as much as I want.
    Posted by Jason

    Good Jason. Get ready to pay. And pay dearly for your selfishness and greed.

  • Scott

    Ethanol, Ethanol, Ethanol!!!!!!

  • Maryl

    Bob,
    You make alot of assumptions!!!

    Yes, I have reduced my carbon footprint through many different methods.

    Your point is well taken, though.

    As long as their is demand there will be supply.

  • Jason S

    Larry,

    My statement is not selfishness, it is the sweet smell of freedom.

    It saddens me that so many Americans like you don’t value freedom any more. You should really travel the world so you can once again see how great the US is and can be into the future if freedom is maintained.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I’m thinking of moving to the Gulf coast for my next phase of life. Those of us who have mobile jobs should have a magazine devoted to communities stripped of their workforce by disasters (out-sourcing or other), and we can move into the abandoned communities. And those in the fishing industry — well, I don’t know. Move to Maine maybe.
    From looking at TV ads, even the oil companies are actually shifting from oil to solar and wind. Shift fast, I say. Shift NOW.

  • Bob

    Maryl,

    Who cares about your carbon footprint. Carbon is an element that is no more polluting than gold. How have you reduced your energy consumption?

  • Ren Knopf

    A heck of a start would be to not allow corporate dollars – ie our legislators being more concerned with their coffers – to hold sway on safety measures. Imagine if there had been a secondary capping device on this rig. Seems every time we are assured ne plus ultra systems are in place, we learn otherwise to the detriment of all.

  • jeffe

    Jason freedom has responsibilities. You are free to do what you want. Your showing me that you think like an adolescent. I have never been in an accident so I don’t know about that. Apparently you have had more than one.

    The reality here is that corners were cut. We are decades behind countries like Norway in the safety of deep ocean rigs.

  • jeffe

    No Jason Americans like you are selfish and seem to confuse being selfish with freedom. You think freedom means you can do whatever you want without any thought to the consequences. Your attitude speaks to the absurd American mindset that we are above everything and everyone else. Is this spill not a wake up call to all of us I don’t know what is?

  • Bob

    Does anyone remember ENRON?

    Did you know that ENRON was a huge proponent of Cap & Trade because lots of dollars could be made by them by the trading of an invisible mostly unmeasurable gas.

    ENRON is great Right!

  • John

    Why isn’t it publicized more that spills occur every year in the Gulf of Mexico? This is the perfect time to drive that message home.

  • Larry

    My statement is not selfishness, it is the sweet smell of freedom.

    It saddens me that so many Americans like you don’t value freedom any more. You should really travel the world so you can once again see how great the US is and can be into the future if freedom is maintained.
    Posted by Jason S

    Jason, you are going to see what freedom tastes like when your lifestyle disappears.

    BTW, I have traveled to many countries around the world.

  • Jason S

    Jeffe,

    Freedom is the ability to do what you want when you want and how you want. You will pay the consequences personally for your choices.

    Communism is the thought that a few people can tell the masses what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.

    People all around the world are trying to be more like the US, so the masses have voted and freedom is KING!

    Freedom drives innovation and will take us to a more efficient country in the future when it becomes cost effective.

    Which side do you stand on?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Oh, ENRON. End-run. We admire their maneuver, but does it get us where we need to go? I’m thinking California and the great air-conditioning disaster.

  • Sarah Freas

    A Canadian backyard inventor by the name of WIlly Nelson (not that Willy Nelson) has conducted tests covering oil spills with a paraffin spray (another petroleum product) which combines with the oil and lifts it out of the water. Simple but effective. Watch the video http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7708120232704318826#.

    Listen to Willy.

  • jeffe

    Jason you are a real piece of work and seem to not understand that this country was founded on the idea of individuals having the freedom to have their own opinions.
    Mine are not the same as yours. However you seem to think that freedom is defined by YOU and that there is a side to this that must be taken. I think people like you are wrong.
    However you can keep doing what you do, but some day you will, we all have to pay the piper. Which side indeed.

    So according to you having some form of consciousness is akin to being a Communist. Am I right here?

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    Jason: “You will pay the consequences personally for your choices.”

    If that were true I’d be encouraging you to drive more. However, it’s not. When you drive more you release exhaust into the atmosphere which is shared by all of us.

    One of the other basic building blocks of the country you/we live is majority rule. If the country reacts to this spill by voting in tougher regulations on driving, gas use, off shore drilling, etc. you, as a “freedom loving” citizen will have to abide by those rules.

    One of the ways we coexist as free citizens is by working together and abiding by the country’s laws.

  • http://brainmindinst.blogspot.com/ Peter Melzer

    The spill in the Gulf reminds me of the Amoco Cadiz incident in 1978. The consequences of this spill can be still seen today.

    Perhaps we should put our laundry on the line and set the AC to 78.

    References to the Amoco Cadiz disaster can be found here:
    http://brainmindinst.blogspot.com/2010/04/energy-mind.html

  • Jason S

    Jeffe,

    You and God are the only people that should judge your heart.

    I hope your opinions shape your life and you will not try to force others to do what you preach. You should really set a personal example for them to follow if it is so great.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Perhaps we could have available some vehicles that have just the power we generally need, just the speed that makes safe sense, and just the range we usually require. So if we made a weekly run say to the next state, we would expect to use our annual membership/access to a faster vehicle, and expect to use the faster lane.
    But when I see a person weighing about 150 pounds, sitting in a vehicle the size of a small tank, traveling a couple miles, and returning home with a bag of groceries, I think this: Only the delivery services that stop everywhere should be allowed to carry ONE BAG in a gas-powered vehicle that size across town. I’d require special permits for anything larger than a golf cart.

  • John

    How do the people claiming unlimited individual rights for oil consumption reconcile that with passing on the externalities to the rest of us? They are not paying the true total of their share.

  • Mary

    Jeffe.
    Don’t give these guys, like Jason, a forum.

    Tell us what you think and the rest of us will filter out what is sane, practical and appropriate. There is always a fringe element.

  • shoirca

    Why is the media comparing this to Exxon Valdez and not the Ixtoc spill? Ixtoc was the second worst oil spill ever and happened under very similar circumstance with the Blow Out Preventer failing during deep water drilling.

    Ixtoc I was an exploratory oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, about 600 miles (970 km) south of the U.S. state of Texas. On June 3, 1979, the well suffered a blowout and is recognized as the second largest oil spill in history.

    Mexico’s government-owned oil company Pemex (Petróleos Mexicanos) was drilling a 2-mile (3.2 km) deep oil well, when the drilling rig lost drilling mud circulation. In modern rotary drilling, mud is circulated down the drill pipe and back up the casing to the surface. The goal is to equalize the pressure through the shaft and to monitor the returning mud for gas. Without the counter-pressure provided by the circulating mud, the pressure in the formation allowed hydrocarbons to fill the well column, blowing out the well. The hydrocarbons caught fire and the platform collapsed.

    At the time of the accident Ixtoc was drilling at a depth of about 11,800 feet below the seafloor. The day before Ixtoc suffered the blow out and resulting fire that caused her to sink the drill bit hit a region of soft strata. Subsequently the circulation of drilling mud was lost. Rather than returning to the surface, the drilling mud was escaping into fractures that had formed in the rock at the bottom of the hole. PEMEX officials decided to remove the bit, run the drill pipe back into the hole and pump materials down this open-ended drill pipe in an effort to seal off the fractures that were causing the loss of circulation.

    During the removal of the pipe the drilling mud suddenly began to flow up towards the surface. Normally, this flow can be stopped by activating shear rams contained in the blowout preventer (BOP). These rams are designed to sever and seal off the the well on the ocean floor, however in this case drill collars had been brought in line with the BOP and the BOP rams were not able to sever the thick steel walls of the drill collars leading to a catastrophic blow out.

    The drilling mud was followed by a large quantity of oil and gas at an increasing flow rate. The oil and gas fumes exploded on contact with the operating pump motors, a fire broke out on the platform leading to the drilling towers collapse. The collapse caused damage to underlying well structures. The damage to the well structures lead to the release of significant quantities of oil in to the ocean.

    n the next few months, experts were brought in to contain and cap the oil well. Approximately ten thousand to thirty thousand barrels per day were discharged into the Gulf until it was finally capped nearly 10 months later on March 23, 1980

  • Heather Bellanca

    While I don’t agree with Winston Smith’s anti-liberal diatribe, I do agree w the assessment that the whole conversation should be about HOW TO USE LESS ENERGY.
    This means reassessing the whole economic model based on growth. It means making a 30-year plan to create an energy-efficient transportation system that drastically reduces the use of the private car. Stop investing in adding/widening/improving roads – invest in a comprehensive rail system. Tax the bejeepers out of auto usage and the petrol. required to build, ship & run them. Etc. We’re in an emergency – we need to behave that way.

    BTW Jason – the wind does blow and the sun does shine reliably in some places, (coasts, deserts) and some river waters always run – hydro option.

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    With total predictability, along comes the “give us our freedom” argumentative smokescreen. Want to know what governs your freedom? I wrote in response to Rush Limbaugh just 2 days ago:

    “Freedom isn’t free,” as they like to say, but it is for sale through a clearinghouse known as the U.S. Supreme Court. Every time the Supreme Court rules in favor of a special interest group, it undermines the freedom of the remaining masses.

    Lawsuits galore will arise from this, that’s a guarantee. Many of these will end up before the Supreme Court — also a given as long as there are lawyers.

    And who sits on the Supreme Court? … Bush appointees Roberts and Alito. So I ask you, what chance to you think justice will have in protecting the livelihoods of hard working, play-by-the-rules Americans? What? … were you born yesterday?

    If you’re that concerned with your freedom, read. http://www.lit.org/view.php?viewid=47971

  • http://OnPointRadio.org Paul Schweid

    I live in Norway and our country set the bar for offshore drilling in the North Sea (toughest water in the world) but what is so amazing and is still so old school none of the world engineers are saying ,as much as we know and all the scientific equipment we have in assessing information involved in drilling,the entire
    process hinges on the earths crust and strata on land or under the water and at best because we really don’t know–reacts to the process itself– with the great pressures generated by gases in the drilling area and other facors——anything is possible-lines can rupture,the pressure maybe overwhelming to the equipment,
    and most important because of a fissure in the layers
    being affected–a fissure can develop and the oil may start leaching out in another spot which isn’t being managed or controlled with the oil spilling out in another area uncontrollable and creating a disaster!
    So, the wakeup call is– in an area which is grossly
    unpredictable and we have espoused that it is time to
    move away from all fossil fuels for all kinds of reasons
    then– why are we doing this–We are kidding ourselves.
    Its time for a change—–not more drilling !!
    Tak,
    Norway Paul

  • Ellen Dibble

    Wasn’t there an earthquake in Haiti not so long ago, and not so far from the Gulf?

  • Jason S

    Heather,

    FYI: The Sun doesn’t shine at night… even in the desert. If the wind blows so reliably by the coast, why is Iowa, which I believe a little way away from the coast have the most wind turbines per capita in the US even though according to you should not be a reliable wind source?

  • http://www.lit.org/author/fritzwilliam F. William Bracy

    With total predictability, along comes the “give us our freedom” argumentative smokescreen. Want to know what governs your freedom? I wrote in response to Rush Limbaugh just 2 days ago:

    “Freedom isn’t free,” as they like to say, but it is for sale through a clearinghouse known as the U.S. Supreme Court. Every time the Supreme Court rules in favor of a special interest group, it undermines the freedom of the remaining masses.

    Lawsuits galore will arise from this, that’s a guarantee. Many of these will end up before the Supreme Court — also a given as long as there are lawyers.

    And who sits on the Supreme Court? … Bush appointees Roberts and Alito. So I ask you, what chance to you think justice will have in protecting the livelihoods of hard working, play-by-the-rules Americans? What? … were you born yesterday?

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    “The Sun doesn’t shine at night… even in the desert”

    Ever hear of batteries?

  • anthony sharkey

    The entire oil spill (or a large portion of it) could have been avoided if the original fire, resulting from the explosion, was left to burn. Agreeably this would create a large toxic cloud of black smoke. However, by the introduction of a very large smoke stack, oxygen could be introduced into the fire eliminating the toxic black smoke.
    By adding a steam turbine electrical generating system, the oil would be the source of electrical power rather than a black sticky floating disaster.

  • Steve

    “Bad moon rising…”

    “drill baby drill”

    “the good have lost all conviction”

    “the politicians establish cover..
    “the company officials begin parsing…”
    “the people perish for lack of wisdom…”

  • gloria from Vermont

    Do not waster your time on people like Jason. He was raised this way. He was likely brought up by parents who encouraged more is better, it’s all mine, the sea will clean itself (one of my all time favorites!), I work hard so to heck with what you like and so on. These types of people are no more red, white and blue americans than the company they keep. It has come to this, everyone who has a deep love and respect for the earth is a liberal nut according to people like Jason. People like Jason’s lives are not filled with respect for clean air and water and all living creatures that call this home. These are the very types that came from Europe long ago, slaughtered the First, real Americans, The Indian Nations, they sent them to boarding schools to convert them into the Euro way of living, they raped and ruined the Natives and their lands all in the name of progress. They shoved them on small parcels called Reservations where they, the natives, now sit and look at the destruction the Jason’s of the world approve of. Unless Jason is a First People, he should keep his selfish ideas to himself or go back to where his ancestors came from….a filthy Continent across the sea.

  • http://www.bc.edu/schools/law/fac-staff/deans-faculty/platerz.html Zyg Plater

    Unfortunately it’s again time to learn from a disaster. Working for the State of Alaska Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Commission 20 years ago we learned a lot of hard lessons. In light of BP’s Gulf deepwater blowout it appears that many of the lessons we learned from the 1989 EVOS have been forgotten, and the deficiencies of OPA 90 and its implementation are becoming pretty clear.

    The lessons we learned in Alaska — where BP was the dominant Alyeska Consortium player making many of the risky cost-cutting decisions that contributed to the disaster– about managing high-risk mega-systems, about spill response command centers run by joint govt-corporate players, about the importance of citizen oversight councils, and on and on, now have to be relearned.

    Virtually all the Alaska oil spill litigation premised liability discussions upon the assumption that the primary cause for the Exxon-Valdez’s grounding on Bligh Reef was intoxication of the captain. That premise unaccountably ignored our Oil Spill Commission’s intensive analysis concluding that the spill and the failure of the response planning was attributable to systemic “complacency,…collusion, and…neglect” on the part of corporate actors and governmental officials in overseeing a complex high-risk network of systems before and after the spill.

    And 40 years after the Santa Barbara spill, 20 years after the Exxon Valdez, we still are using primitive spill-containment technology: booms that don’t work when the wind is blowing. Dispersants need scrutiny because they can cause far more harm than benefit; some of the beach-washers I talked to were peeing blood because of exposure to dispersants and were not surprised to find that a cleaned beach was a dead beach. Burning is useful in some limited cases but not others.

    This Gulf Deepwater blowout disaster will produce some good law and better technology, I hope, but why do progressive advances require disasters to make good law, with such god-awful horses already out of the barn?

  • Janet

    The administration seems more interested in blaming BP than working with them to clean up this industrial accident.

  • John
  • justanother

    I’m not able to listen to the show yet. Did anyone mention how much carbon emission has been burn to air from the explosion and burning off the leak on the surface of ocean?

  • Janet

    Where is Lisa Jackson? The EPA CZAR? She seems to be MIA in this large industrial accident.

  • justanother

    ****Rush Limbaugh claiming the explosion was deliberately done my environmental extremists! When does this madness finally end???****

    How can you trust a guy promised going to pack his bag and leave the country if Heath Care Bill passed? Why is he still here opening his big crazy mouth in front of a microphone without a decent soul inside that body?

  • http://www.math.jmu.edu/~jim Jim Sochacki

    Hi Tom,

    I have been writing about this problem since 1969. I was 12 then and I wrote how the bulldozer was destroying the Earth and needed to be stopped. Let’s face it. We have turned the Earth in to a toxic cesspool. Only a miracle will keep it around for 30 more years. Think of all the people who will get cancer from this disaster. We are focusing on this oil spill, but these disasters have been going on for 40 years all over the Earth.

    We are mining and drilling in to the Earth like crazy. France is drilling far in to the Earth to deposit nuclear waste. What problems is this drilling causing? Do we honestly believe that all the oil that is leaving the interior of the Earth will not cause earthquakes. Do we think that all this oil on the surface of the Earth will not cause drastic changes in the weather?

    The weather system is highly chaotic. Slight changes could bring global warming or an ice age or nothing. Do we know that solar panels and wind turbines will not cause weather changes? Will all the mining and drilling required to build these solar panels and wind turbines lead to more earthquakes?

    What happens to all the chemicals leaving all the abandoned factories all over the Earth? A chemical plant was destroyed during the last tornado in the south. Where are all those chemicals?

    We are scuba diving in the oceans, we are skiing in the mountains, we are hang gliding? Where do all the materials come from to make these things? Right, we are mining and drilling. More pollution and more earth disturbances.

    We are covering farmland with mansions. We are bulldozing mountains away to put up resorts. We are filling atmosphere with satellites and airplanes?

    We can have a high quality of life with a viable economy by using plants and animals and building human powered vehicles, but we will not. We will continue to mine and drill.

    I sent plans on how to do this to presidents since 1992, governors and mayors for a while. I have received responses that these ideas need to be looked into, but none have. Most of the mayors and governors have just ignored me.

    Isaac Newton wrote that the Earth would be in great turmoil in 2000 and that it would go on for 60 years before the hand of God intervenes and shows mankind the proper way to live. I hope he is wrong. I hope it happens sooner because we are not learning His Ways.

  • Janet

    The radical left does have a history of bombings. The ELF blew up a radio tower, riots in Seattle, burning down homes, SUV’s. It’s going to be difficult to find out exactly what went wrong but all areas should be considered.

  • Rachel

    How can you trust a guy who pledged to accept public financing and then reversed his position and opted oout of the system?

    Why is he still here opening his big crazy mouth in front of a microphone without a decent soul inside that body?

  • Janet

    obama took in nearly 1 million dollars from the oil lobby. This would explain his attempt to down play this industrial accident, lack of stricter regulations etc…

    http://oilmoney.priceofoil.org/

  • http://www.filipinoboston.blogspot.com AKILEZ

    How can You Trust Rush Limbaugh who gets HIGH during his radio talk show? Call him now he must be high on drugs.

    How can you listen to A guy who is always Trippin’ with prescription drugs. This guy is high all the time and you believe him.

    Arizona Immigration is poweful and will remain to protect Legal immigrants.

    Blacks has been suffering racial profiling before the Rodney King incident.

    Did the Mexican or Hispanic people ever supported the Blacks on being targeted all the time by police officers or racially profiled as gang members or dealers before Immigration law was passed.

    Black has been targeted all the time without any people marching on the streets to stop the Real Racial Profiling or protest Black being profiled.

    ANYWAY, why do we have Spanish Press 1 on every customer service 800 number.

    How come there is no Mandarin, German,Tagalog,Italian or French on every 800 customer service numbers.

    Spanish is the NOT SECOND LANGUAGE OF AMERICA THERE HUNDREDS OF AMERICAN THAT SPEAK DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.

    English is the Language of America.

    signed
    A Filipino in Boston

  • http://onpointradio rachel brown

    What about Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh and all the other proponents of “Drill, Baby, Drill”? Have they commented? It seems relevant to hear their perspective on this catastrophe.

  • justanother

    ****How can you trust a guy who pledged to accept public financing and then reversed his position and opted oout of the system?

    Why is he still here opening his big crazy mouth in front of a microphone without a decent soul inside that body?****

    Which I don’t! (if you’re referring to Obama)

    This is why the moderate liberals still possess — reason, logic and free thinking.

    But can those people listen to Rush like he’s the word of authority, can they distinguish reason, logic and free thinking, which most time Rush doesn’t demonstrate any.

  • luigi

    BP’s lawyers are trying to have the locals give up all of their rights to litigate w/a $5,000 payment. The thieves continue to screw the public.

  • justanother

    ***Not to mention that wind and solar are not yet cost competitive.***

    Jason,

    And part of reasons solar and wind can’t compete with oil co. is they don’t have enough tax credit to take off the research and market, but petroleum co do.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Wind, solar, geothermal — they don’t have mega-lobbyists and legions of lawyers, thanks to a century of very successful business around the world. Therefore the laws are arranged to the liking of the Old Order, not the new. Duh.

  • JP

    Joe (aka Janet):

    Do you realy think idiotic ravings about “Obama this and Obama that” are going to convince anyone that any part of this oil catastrophe and/or the obscene profits of Big Oil are in any way Obama’s fault?

    Keep dreaming big, little man.

    This oil rig was built long before Obama took office, and Big Oil profits were exploding through the stratosphere before Obama even took office… or did you forget about the disgustingly obscene progits announced by Big Oil during the gas crisis at the end of Bush’s term as “Ignoramus-in-Chief?”

  • justanother

    ***My statement is not selfishness, it is the sweet smell of freedom.

    It saddens me that so many Americans like you don’t value freedom any more. You should really travel the world so you can once again see how great the US is and can be into the future if freedom is maintained.***

    Jason,

    Your definition of freedom is “freedom of being selfish & indulgence”, which takes away others’ freedom of having cleaner environment & resources. The true meaning of freedom should be stressed to people with your kind of mentality. When you misuse freedom, you abuse freedom.

    And remember, nature will take away your freedom in any second if you don’t respect them.

  • JP

    … and the “down play this industrial accident” was due to BP execs freaking out, then hoping that the deep ocean would mask the disaster until a solution could be found.

  • Joe V

    I believe there’s a relationship among the gulf oil situation, the recent mine explosion, the wall street driven economic disaster, and even the immigration problems vis a vis the new Arizona law.
    That is the putting of profits ahead of the welfare of both citizens and the environment. Businesses or government doesn’t adequately cover the risks of practices or policies up front, then pays more (probably) after something goes wrong. It seems to be a prevailing attitude in the US.
    Politicians generally stay away from real regulatory reform or adequate financial solutions as any who try to tackle the issues commit political suicide by doing so. Pogo was right, the enemy is us.

  • Larry

    The radical left does have a history of bombings. The ELF blew up a radio tower, riots in Seattle, burning down homes, SUV’s. It’s going to be difficult to find out exactly what went wrong but all areas should be considered.
    Posted by Janet

    No environmentalist would ever do this lady.

  • justanother

    I know I may go off the tangent a little here, but Joe V’s comment sort of making me think about those attempted bombing, from the shoe bomber to the car bomb in NYC yesterday. Brave New World is so easy to implement just by putting those attempted incidents, next thing we know is we are on high security, next thing we know is everyone should have a “national ID care”, next thing we know is we will be implanted with chips in our body, next we know is “NEXT……..”, we are no longer human, but only numbers

    The future security scanners in the airport are so privacy intrusive, and they tell us the radiation does is too small to worry. This is part of the article from Reuters –
    “According to the Transportation Security Administration website, the radiation dose from a single scan on a backscatter machine is the equivalent of two minutes of flying on an airplane.

    Brenner said that as with medical scans, the benefits of the scan need to outweigh the risks. “If the benefit means we’re safer, then that probably outweighs the potential risk,” he said.”

    This is why we are so easily being sold just about anything if they tell us “it is for the sake of your safety”.

  • justanother

    “The radical left does have a history of bombings. The ELF blew up a radio tower, riots in Seattle, burning down homes, SUV’s. It’s going to be difficult to find out exactly what went wrong but all areas should be considered.” Posted by Janet

    Janet,

    Environmentalist can be radical at times, but not to this extend. Because they will put environment before anything else, it will break their heart to do such thing at the cost of environment, even this could possibly detract the off shore drilling.

  • justanother

    “But when I see a person weighing about 150 pounds, sitting in a vehicle the size of a small tank, traveling a couple miles, and returning home with a bag of groceries, I think this: Only the delivery services that stop everywhere should be allowed to carry ONE BAG in a gas-powered vehicle that size across town. I’d require special permits for anything larger than a golf cart.”

    Ellen,

    Great point!

    Here you have some people making comments like “you left liberals, what do you do to save environment and conserve energy?”, often times I sense they are actually not doing a thing about changing their life style to cope with our changing world, but they just want to drag other people down to their level. I really doubt if they really know where to even begin to change their life style, because they are probably not even interested to read those “green” articles giving tips to conserve.

    I am for one have changed my life style dramatically and do the “dos and don’ts” within my ability for conservation and sustainability

  • wavre

    D@#%#@*Humans!

    I cannot wait to be the snitch when all of us will be on trial in some “galactic court” for messing up the Earth and milky way:)

    ” Oh! Celestials, just beam me up for a ride in one of your UFO’s and i will show you who did it and where they live, One is hiding in a white house, is name is O…There is a short one, in Paris is name is S…Another one is a white man in london, who calls himself Brown,Another short one in Moskow, his name is m…let’s not forget the guy behind him, he is the one with the real power is name is P…and all the Rushes and the Palins ect…”

    I can’t wait:)

    But again, This planet may already be a prison, we just don’t know it. Our isolation, our apparent quarantine may just be on purpose. Humanity may be serving a life sentence.

  • Bush’s fault

    This is not a big deal….despite Fox news hysteria tonight, this spill is already paid for by every person who drives a car, heats a home, uses electric lighting, or buys any product manufactured using any petroleum based material or energy. Besides, the Gulf fisheries are over-used and need a break. For the fisherman, this is a blessing in disguise, and when the imaginary crisis is past, they will prosper again.

  • http://neilblanchard.vox.com/ Neil Blanchard

    This well was supposedly an “exploratory” well, right? Why is there so much oil coming from it? Was BP just calling it an exploratory well, so they did not have to pay (as much) for it?

    Sincerely, Neil

  • James

    I would like to know more about Acoustic valves and whether one might have prevented this. I have heard a lot of suggestion that it might but a recent Reuters story suggests that it may not have helped. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0321388420100503?type=marketsNews

  • david

    The cost of solar panels.
    To produce 600 watts on average. Over the course of 24 hours, you need 600 watts * 24 hours = 14,400 watt-hours per day.
    A solar panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch * 5 hours = 350 milliwatt hours per day. Therefore you need about 41,000 square inches of solar panel for the house. That’s a solar panel that measures about 285 square feet. That would cost around $16,000 right now.
    600 watts would power most 125 volt stuff, lights, refrig, TV etc. No 220 volt stuff.
    Solar and wind are still very expensive. Hopefully, they will come down.
    Fossil fuels are still the cheapest, despite the risk.
    If gas goes to $5/gal. look for another meltdown in our economy.
    Remember, we are an economy that is 60% consumption, we do not have the industry to pad our down turns.
    If gas goes up, prices of everything goes up and people will be forced to cut back on spending.
    Cap and trade is coming, quess what that will do????
    At present, we must rely on fossil fuels till cheaper alternatives arrive.

  • Bill

    Question:

    Why IS this leak of such high pressure? IS this a giant gusher that, if contrlled, would have been a wind fall. Is such a high pressure source rare to find?
    Bill

  • J Unque

    BP is going to pay sounds so naive. BP has insurance and what’s the chance AIG is holding the paper to back up those policies.

  • Impeach Obama

    Comrade Obama was making jokes on Saturday night about the Jonas Bros. while a 30 mile oil slick was rapidly moving toward New Orleans, what more proof do you need that we have an incompetent and fraudulent scheister for a Commander in Chief?

  • DB

    Could this be a case of sabotage?

    Just when Obama was backing off-shore drilling, with the thought that off-shore drilling is safe, this huge blow-out happens.

    With this in mind, why would all the safety features suddenly not work? Could this have been sabotaged (blown-up) so that the safety feature couldn’t work?

    How can it be ruled out?

  • DB

    I just read the post by “Impeach Obama”. It is people like this who go so overboard, that foment rash actions such as sabotaging an oil rig just to prove a point.

    We need to come together, “MR.Impeach”, not go to the opposite corners of the ring, waiting for the next round. If we can pull together, we can conquer these big problems. Being oppositional to everything is not helpful. The fact that we spend alot of money and time on these oppositional thinking, keeps us from focusing on what needs to be done.

    And, until someone can disprove it, I will believe it was sabotage of some sort.

  • DB

    My previous post was not pointed enough. I think that the oil rig was sabotaged, but NOT by “eco-terrorists”, but by people trying to discredit President Obama.

    Also, on the on-point radio, did one of the guests say something about Haliburton doing something at the well-head? What was that about, I am wondering?

  • John

    Halliburton built the well head and may be a primary suspect here but the oil industry lobbied hard against measures, standard in countries such as Norway, which might have prevented this disaster. Looks like the real culprit here is greed!

    Our political system is far too vulnerable to lobbying by industry and special interests including foreign powers! We desperately need to reform our campaign finance and lobbying laws!

    Please support the Fair Elections Now Act!

  • toots

    Here is a forum of oil professionals discussing the issue in a non-partisan, honest way.

    http://www.drillingahead.com/forum/topics/transocean-deepwater-horizon-1

  • Gary

    @ Bill – “Why IS this leak of such high pressure? IS this a giant gusher that, if contrlled, would have been a wind fall. Is such a high pressure source rare to find?”

    Water is heavy (dense)…If you were a mile deep you would be gushing too.

  • jeffe

    toots, thanks for that link. Very interesting reading and while I do not understand the lingo it does put a very good perspective on this from the point of view of the people in the business.

  • Janet

    Jo (aka Mary), You need to see obama has faults. He took in nearly 1 million dollars from the oil industry. The EPA has been MIA on this industrial accident and their chief was out doing a Letterman appearance. obama himself admits he is not a CEO which is not a disaster but he failed to put qualified people into critical jobs..i.e. the head of the EPA.

  • d-Arcy

    re: With the rapid agreement of Mr. Ashbrook, Ms. Margonelli dismissed the suggestion of eco-terrorism with a brief reference to spiking trees. Modern eco-terrorism goes well beyond the spiking of trees, although even that can cause serious injury or death to loggers. I seem to recall eco-terrorists bombing a lab at the University of Washington that destroyed 20 years of research data and may have killed a lab worker, although I’m hazy on that last point. They also burned several homes in at least one sub-division in Michigan a few years ago. I would not dismiss the possibility of eco-terrorism. `If that is what occurred, I suspect the incident went way beyond the saboteur’s expectations which probably would have involved only the thousand or so barrels actually in the riser pipe.

    Like it or not, exploration will continue in the Gulf of Mexico. Ms. Margonelli said (NPR’s “Talk of the Nation”, May 3) that a leasing moratorium on the part of the U.S. would not deter Mexico or Cuba from drilling. Cuba recently announced plans to drill in the Strait of Florida; imagine what a blowout there would do to Florida’s beaches.

    Another possibility is an act of war. Two ships sank under suspicious circumstances in about a month, the S. Korean warship and the Deepwater Horizon. Think about who would benefit from the U.S. abandoning off-shore drilling or just from the U.S. being distracted from other matters while dealing with this incident; and certain countries do have it in for BP.

    According to the patent (3,853,177) for a blowout prevention device, current devices are automatic and are supposed to close the well when the topside pressure becomes significantly less than the low side, either because topside pressure is lost or from the low side pressure rising, e.g. from hitting oil or gas under pressure. It used to be that it required active manipulation of controls by rig personnel to cause the blowout preventer to close the well.

    Mr. Ashbrook and Ms. Margonelli seem to put great stock in the “Acoustic Blowout Preventer”. Let’s hope that they aren’t being built as described in the patent for same (4,367,794). The patent describes a device that is NOT “Fail Safe”! As described, the acoustic energy is required to CLOSE the well. If the acoustic energy is lost, e.g. after the control center is destroyed, the valve opens the well. Maybe there’s a later patent that fixes that problem.

    Ms Margonelli allowed as how the surviving personnel aren’t speaking to the media. I sure hope they are being debriefed individually by FBI, MMS and Coast Guard interviewers.

    Surely the submersibles being used around the wellhead are taking pictures. Has anyone any of them? I sure haven’t. Is BP or the government suppressing them?

  • jeffe

    OK everyone who has these absurd conspiracy ideas about eco-terrorism needs to go to the link posted by toots and get some education on the subject. Read the blog and try to learn something.

    http://www.drillingahead.com/forum/topics/transocean-deepwater-horizon-1
    Posted by toots

  • Maurice Rogers

    ABCNEWS: While Slick Spread, Interior Dept Chief of Staff Rafted with Wife on Grand Canyon Trip …

    AND YOU LIBS AND DEMS HAD THE NERVE TO CRITICIZE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION DURING KATRINA? WHERE IS THE CRITICISM OF OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION? WHERE IS THE CRITICISM OF THE LIES THAT OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION AND MEDIA PROPAGANDISTS HAVE TOLD THE PUBLIC THAT OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION WERE ON THE OIL SPILL PROBLEM SINCE DAY ONE?

  • KRG

    Maurice Rogers said:

    “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH?”

    Do these moronic ravings mean anything to anyone?

  • Robb

    It’s hard not to comment on lots of the above posts, but I’ll try to refrain. While listening to this program Monday, a caller mentioned nuclear and the limits to technology. A case in point: during the siting/licensing and operating permit hearings for Three Mile Island Units 1 and II in the early 1970′s, citizen intervenors raised the issue of a “Class 9″, or catastrophic, accident, that would allow the reactor core to become uncovered. The regulatory agency, the NRC, ruled that the probability of such an accident was too small, and disallowed the questioning. TMI then had such an accident, and since all the stack monitors were off-scale, no one really knows what levels of radiation were released. The point here is that regulation seems to have gone downhill from that already very low point. Apparently, BP told the regulators that a blow-out couldn’t or wouldn’t happen and that satisfied everyone. Regulatory oversight exists for reasons like the oil now in the Gulf and Gulf shores and the enduring legacy of cancers, and genetic and somatic damage from Three Mile Island. Sometimes government oversight is what we need.

  • justmeint

    This entire toxic scenario is frightening……
    Did You Know?
    BP engineers alerted federal regulators at the Minerals Management Service that they were having difficulty controlling the Macondo well (Deepwater Horizon) six weeks before the disaster, according to e- mails released by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

    “I don’t think this would have happened on Exxon’s watch,” Tom Bower, author of “The Squeeze: Oil, Money and Greed in the 21st Century,” said in a June 11 Bloomberg Television interview. “They’d be much more careful and much more conscious of the need to supervise subcontractors.”

    WELL excuse me your sainted Exxon……. and Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

    Let’s just take a look at a few of your past misdemeanours, and then we can consider again – if the moratorium on deepwater drilling should be lifted, and place it all firmly back into your nice clean hands!

    http://just-me-in-t.blogspot.com/2010/06/fairy-stories-about-oil-companies.html

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

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Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

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This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

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