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After The BP Spill, Drilling Deep

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

On the anniversary of the BP spill, we’ll ask how the Gulf Coast is faring and look at the future of deep water drilling.

Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning (AP)

April 21, 2010, file photo of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burning after an explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP)

It’s been a year since the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The beaches are cleaner – not quite tar ball free, but much better – and the seafood has been declared safe to eat. But dolphins are washing up dead, and the coastal wetlands are still oil-soaked.

The government is back to issuing offshore drilling permits.  Big oil is making political contributions. And BP plans to resume drilling in the Gulf this summer.  What’s changed?  For whom?

This hour, one year out, how the BP spill is redefining the Gulf Coast and the future of drilling.

- Jane Clayson

Guests:

Aaron Viles, deputy director of the Gulf Restoration Network.  See recent photos from the coast on their Flickr stream.

John Broder, New York Times reporter. Read his article “Regulation of Offshore Rigs Is a Work in Progress.”

David Pritchard, petroleum engineer and owner of Successful Energy Practices International. He’s a member of the Deepwater Horizons Study Group at the University of California, Berkeley.

Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council and a member of the President’s National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Michael

    BP is back to making record profits

    “In a sickening Interview with Forbes Magazine BP Chief Tony Hayward says the Gulf spill might help the BP and the oil industry to make increased profits of up to 20% by 2015, which would mean record profits for the British oil maker.

    http://www.aspousa.org/index.php/2010/06/bp-chief-executive-says-gulf-oil-spill-will-lead-to-record-profits/

    TNK-BP nets record $5.8 billion profit in 2010
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/03/01/uk-russia-tnk-bp-idUKTRE72030R20110301

    Maybe one of our congressman needs to apologise to BP again
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/06/17/congressman-apologizes-bp-white-house-shakedown-million/

    Also BP is working with the WH and Congress to do business in the same area they ruined.

  • Tom F.

    Are fish and shrimp and oysters from the Gulf region safe to eat? Personally, I’ve been avoiding seafood that I think might be from that area.

  • Tom F.

    Are fish and shrimp and oysters from the Gulf region safe to eat? Personally, I’ve been avoiding seafood that I think might be from that area.

  • Anonymous

    The reality is that there are still thousands of people in that region who’s lives have been ruined and are on the verge of economic collapse due this spill. BP and the Federal government has not done a very good job of compensating these folks. It does not matter if it’s republicans or democrats in charge, when it comes to the average person who’s life is impacted by an event of this magnitude, they are left out in cold.

  • Bill A

    Initially there was a moratorium on drilling/exploring new offshore oil regions, but
    What sort of safety controls or policies have been enacted since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill to ensure this won’t happen again on the same scale?

    • Anonymous

      Not many, from what I have read about this not much has changed.

  • Cory

    This will not please my lefty brethren, but I think the ocean/gulf is a hell of a lot bigger than most of us can comprehend. The amount of oil leaked in the gulf by BP is orders of magnitude less than “a drop in the bucket”.

    The real story is gas surging past $4 a gallon again across the country. I’ve heard and read that this increase doesn’t have anything to do with supply and demand. Last time we broke $4, oil was $145/barrel. This time the increase is mostly being generated by commodity speculators. I’m not sure why we let these A-holes get away with this! Talk about a lack of patriotism.

    Ask yourself this… How expensive does gas have to be to 1. alter lifestyles? 2. Ruin lives of average people? 3. cause civil unrest and societal collapse?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      To bolster you point on speculation:

      -The Saudi’s announced that there is an oversupply of crude and will cut back on production.
      -Oil prices shot up yesterday concurrently with strengthening of the dollar. Previously, some of the increase in crude price was the dollar weakening. Not now.

      • Cory

        I heard that about the Saudi’s too. We really can’t win under the current paradigm, can we?

    • Anonymous

      Ask yourself why it is you don’t understand how the oil market works. We could have rigs all over the Gulf and not one drop of that oil is going to help you or me at the gas pump. It’s sold on the open market. You understand that the only way for the oil to remain here in this country is for the US to nationalize the oil companies. Also remember that Mexico has a large stake in the Gulf of Mexico as well.

      • Cory

        Geffe, don’t misunderstand me. Drill everywhere is a stupid idea. Allowing paper pushing speculators to screw us is equally stupid.

        • Anonymous

          The thing is unless we regulate the speculators, something I support on the international level, we wont put an end to all of this.
          Speculators have all but destroyed Portugal, who were doing OK economically until the speculators started in on their currency.
          This should be illegal.

          • Dave in CT

            Before we succumb to one world government and international regulators, how about we try doing the right thing in America first? Let the cheaters leave. Let the rapacious leave. Make a law that US oil is sold in the US, without nationalizing, etc etc. There are enough folks who appreciate America enough to see reduced profits and do business here within a more self-suffiecient, honest and less corrupted free market system.

            Are our choices a corrupt “globalization” with unfair competition and race to the bottom short term blitzes by unsavory corporate characters, or One world government? I think not.

            Again, I think we should not be competing with other countries who are classically illiberal. We have paid a price in education, revolution, political establishment based on constitution, inefficiency of democracy etc, that illiberal societies don’t have to. Competition against efficient, but despotic (China) regimes is not a fair fight. Their labor does not reflect the cost of liberty.

            Some would call it protectionism. Yes, protection of liberty.

            Of course we get sick of the term, as much as I sling it, but its only because 90% of the comments often show a complete lack of appreciation of what it really is, and the value of the American experiment to the POTENTIAL liberty for the average person that we have, and must remain vigilant to retain.

    • TerryTreeTree

      Cory, For over half a century, we have had the technology to get over fifty miles per gallon, in a land-yatch. Big Oil buys up the patents, and shelves them, so they sell more oil. Go to your Auto Parts store, look at the prices of oil-products, motor oil, grease, fuel stabilizer, carb and choke cleaner, etc…, figure up the price-per-barrel (at 44 gallons-per-barrel), and see how much profit they get. There are a lot of EXPENSIVE products that you don’t know about. How about you drive down, and drink up that ‘drop in a bucket’, and save BP money, since it is so small?

    • Brett

      “This will not please my lefty brethren…”

      Cory, I was wondering why you weren’t at the meeting last night…

  • nj

    BP is just one manifestation of the neglect, indifference, and malfeasance of the oil industry and the ineffectiveness of what passes for government regulation.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/ap-impact-fedl-records-show-3200-wells-abandoned-unplugged-unprotected-in-gulf-of-mexico/2011/04/20/AFwlaaAE_story.html

    AP IMPACT: Fed’l records show 3,200 wells abandoned, unplugged, unprotected in Gulf of Mexico

    By Associated Press, Wednesday, April 20, 5:30 AM
    More than 3,200 oil and gas wells classified as active lie abandoned beneath the Gulf of Mexico, with no cement plugging to help prevent leaks that could threaten the same waters fouled by last year’s BP spill, The Associated Press has learned.

    These wells likely pose an even greater environmental threat than the 27,000 wells in the Gulf that have been plugged and classified officially as “permanently abandoned” or “temporarily abandoned.” Those sealed wells were first tallied and reported as a major leaking threat in an investigative report by the AP in July.

    The unplugged wells haven’t been used for at least five years, and there are no plans to restore production on them, according to the federal government. Operators have not been required to plug the wells because their leases have not expired.

    As a result, there is little to prevent powerful leaks from pushing to the surface. Even depleted wells can repressurize from work on nearby wells or shifts in oil or gas layers beneath the surface, petroleum engineers say. But no one is watching to make sure that doesn’t happen.…

    —snipped

    • Cory

      Why you ask? Because they can, and it generates the highest return of profit.

  • Zeno

    I saw on a program the other day that less than one billion of the BP fund has been paid out to impacted gulf residents and businesses, but the law firm that handles the fund continues to take huge payouts from the fund. It would seem that the top five percent have decided that that the bulk of the fund money is their money.

    • Cory

      Yup… 3 billion of the 20 billion dollar fund to settlements, 17 to lawyers and other economic apex predators.

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    New Obama deep water drilling policy: only in Brasil

    • Anonymous

      of course you are aware that there is still plenty of drilling going on in the Gulf. Good ol partisan lip flapping.

      • Worried for the country(MA)

        Production -yes. Drilling – no. Only one new drilling permit has been issued. Right?

        • crm65

          11

  • TerryTreeTree

    ALL the oil companies could do more good by putting ALL the money that they pay for political control, into REALLY CLEANING UP THEIR MESSES. They can prove that the Gulf is clean, by simply eating, drinking, swimming in, showering in, and everything else, for them and their families, 100%. They should eat the worst oil-contaminated food that can be found, to prove they aren’t liars.

    Terry in Brewstertown, Tenn.

    • Cory

      But they won’t. Why? Cuz that wouldn’t serve the short term profit motive. They must be forced to engage in acts of altruism. Forced altruism, hmmmm.

  • TerryTreeTree

    Why weren’t all of the ‘Drill, Baby, Drill!!’ Tea Partiers, there sipping up the ‘Texas Tea’ , of the ‘Spill, Baby, Spill!!’, or are they simplier forms of life than the ‘microbes’, that were supposedly digesting the oil?

    Terry, in Brewstertown, Tenn.

  • ThresherK

    Bobby Jindal is on the news right now talking about the aftereffects. He doesn’t remember very much, does he?

  • Anonymous

    Did I just here that woman right? She wont eat the seafood.

  • JP

    Don’t forget all the ill-informed “fixes” which did nothing but further harm Gulf ecology, such as building berms by dredging up the sea floor.

    Also, don’t forget to mention the issue of disposal of toxic cleaning materials, such as the thousands of miles of boom employed.

    Thanks!

  • Chev

    Of course the seafood is still affected. How could it not be!

  • Anonymous

    The word “impact” means a striking. The word that Viles is looking for is “affected.”

    Greg Camp
    Springdale, AR
    http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/

    • nj

      impact verb [ intrans.] “have a strong effect”

      • Anonymous

        That’s what happens when dictionaries become permissive. The word may be misused that way, but that’s not it’s correct meaning.

        • nj

          That was my point yesterday with “website” and “Web site.”

          Language does (and should) evolve, but sometimes important distinctions are lost, or at least muddled.

          The misuse of “decimate” as “destroyed,” “absolutely” as “emphatically,” etc. are some examples.

          On Point should do a program on this.

  • ThresherK

    “The real tragedy is the moratorium” say Louisiana politicians, per our guest.

    I thought that pols in Red States, where Mary Landrieu passes for a Democrat and has to make sure she’s not too liberal lest she be called a communist, were in touch with RealAmerica(TM)

  • ThresherK

    “The real tragedy is the moratorium” say Louisiana politicians, per our guest.

    I thought that pols in Red States, where Mary Landrieu passes for a Democrat and has to make sure she’s not too liberal lest she be called a communist, were in touch with RealAmerica(TM)

    • ThresherK

      (Sorry for double post. Hiccup on this end, I guess.)

  • Yar

    Who pays?
    We pay, I would have added a 1 dollar per gallon tax the day the spill occurred. The public consumer pays either way. Trying to extract the cost of the spill out of BP profits only increase the profits for their competitors.

    • Dave in CT

      Bail out banks, bail out oil companies. The lack of accountability culture in which we try to finesse a government/corporate relationship, just continues to fail and be corrupted.

      Punish and let fail malefactors. Behavior by the actors will change.

      Keep coddling and backstopping them, and they won’t.

    • Dave in CT

      Bail out banks, bail out oil companies. The lack of accountability culture in which we try to finesse a government/corporate relationship, just continues to fail and be corrupted.

      Punish and let fail malefactors. Behavior by the actors will change.

      Keep coddling and backstopping them, and they won’t.

  • Dee from NYS

    How ironic that the Gulf seafood industry is “open” for business at the same time that the Sea of Japan is closed due to radioactivity. When will we ever learn?

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Dee, the Sea of Japan is not closed. They have a temporary fishing restriction on a tiny area.

      Also, notice there is no new news about radiation emissions in Japan. Just last week they were saying it was going to be worse than Chernobyl. NOT!!!

  • Worried for the country(MA)

    John Broder, natural gas vehicle technology IS here now. The fueling distribution system exists but needs expansion. Dual fuel (gasoline + natural gas) is the bridge technology until the fueling stations exist everywhere.

  • kirby

    Why is it that the American people continue to pay for a government that is dysfunctional. Letting other countries dictate the future of what so many died for to protect ?

    • Anonymous

      Good question. Maybe we are by and large not very smart in our political awareness.

  • Chev

    this caller is a dope. BP doesn’t need our help

  • Ben

    Repeatedly, I’ve heard Jane and the guests say “the BP Oil Spill”. What about Haliburton and TransOcean? They’ve also been found to be responsible for caisomg the oil spill.

  • Dave in CT

    Government “regulators” as handmaids to industry?

    Can’t blame the libertarians for that one. How about setting up harsh punishments- punishments harsh enough to reflect the damage done by breaking the rules (dumping toxins into the environment which effects others liberty, public and private).

    Oh, say, fines that would bankrupt the company, including personal liability to the executive levels that prevents all profits and options. No bailouts. No golden parachutes.

    How many of you think given those consequences to breaking that rule of law, that oil drilling developers would just go out all reckless and cowboy? I think, given the promise of profits if they succeed, they would develop rigorous backup safety equipment and procedures, all in their own self interest.

    Or we can keep hoping passing the buck to the white knight of government can save us. Gasp! They were corrupted by the industry they were supposed to enforce laws against? Taking responsibility away from the actor and giving it to another party with no accountability stake didn’t work? Shocking!

    • Jim in Omaha

      In 21st century America, being held responsible for your mistakes is for the “little people.”

      • Dave in CT

        Yes indeed. We should try bringing it back to the big people before we throw out the whole American experiment.

  • les from vt

    We wouldn’t give anyone a permit to drive drunk. It’s time we take the same attitude towards these environment distroyers.

  • les from vt

    We wouldn’t give anyone a permit to drive drunk. It’s time we take the same attitude towards these environment distroyers.

  • ThresherK

    So BP needs to make $20B to pay for their damage, and therefore can’t be kept from drilling in the Gulf.

    Fine. At what point does the government get to threaten them with indentured servitude? Or can we just throw their executives into prison, becase (thanks, Roberts Court!) Corporations Are People Too!

  • J_goding

    Correction: Santa Barbara oil spill occurred in 1969 not ’62 I remember that event quite well

  • J_goding

    Correction: Santa Barbara oil spill occurred in 1969 not ’62 I remember that event quite well

  • Matt R

    I know this is going under the category or “hear-say”, but, my ex-wife has property in Orange Beach, AL (Perdido Beach Boulevard) and claims that the condo that was under construction there and had been abandoned in the economic downturn and was filing for bankruptcy has received BP settlement money. How can a business that was going if not broke due to the economy have any claims that the BP spill affected their business?

    Thanks for a great program !

  • Dave in CT

    “In 1854, Henry David Thoreau wrote this in Walden:

    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

    The root of our political evils is money. The question is: what can we do about it?

    We’re excited to announce two new projects. First: Rootstrikers! We’ve just launched rootstrikers.org, where you can read stories about corruption, add comments and votes, and contribute stories of your own”

    http://changecong.bluestatedigital.com/page/m/bedf87c/491c6d45/2f9ebaeb/3325e61e/4036505970/VEsE/

  • FLowen

    What is unbelievable to me is that people actually believe the solar/wind industry gets more government support than OIL, GAS, NUCLEAR, COAL, ETHANOL.

    The OIL, GAS, NUCLEAR, COAL, ETHANOL businesses have received, and depend on more tax payer subsidy than any business other than Wall Street’s $Trillion bail-outs.

    If people so want to believe the OIL, GAS, NUCLEAR, COAL, ETHANOL industry is a free market business, what the politicians and corporations want them to believe, then they deserve to be driven into bankruptcy by the corporations and politicians…while dying in a toxic, radioactive, environment….just so long as they can get to Walmart in their SUV and not have to pay a lot for it.

    It’s no wonder we have some many issues, people are crazy….they don’t know truth from lie, right from wrong, good from bad…led by the nose by wealthy, lying psychopaths, aka our politicians and business leaders.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Its interesting that you DIDN’T include ethanol with wind and solar.

      Wind and solar DO receive larger subsidies per unit of energy produced. It isn’t even close.

      • nj

        Ah, yes the “per unit energy produced” red herring that the status quo clingers like to invoke to make bogus comparisons.

        Fossil fuels: Mature technologies that have been around for 100+ years that have been heavily subsized for decades. Most renewables: Young technologies that have only a tiny part of the market and have to compete against entrenched systems.

        • Worried for the country(MA)

          I’m not for status quo and I’m not against smart investment in new technologies but don’t delude yourself into thinking we’ve been spending money on these so called alternatives wisely.

          Also, humans have been using wind power long before we drilled the first oil well. Even Steven Chu called wind a ‘mature’ technology yet we still provide massive subsidies.

          Speaking of red herring. Let’s look at oil subsidies vs. tax revenue that the oil industry generates. It is a net win for the government.

          • Zeno

            Even if its a net win. It does not mean entitlement to tax payer money. Its interesting how entitlements for multinationals are considered just when no actual need exists for the entitlement, but if some coal miner has black lung, then he is just being greedy when seeking just compensation via appropriate health care.

  • AndyF

    Your program is interesting, but essentially, you are clapping with one hand…

    There is not going to be any change in drilling for oil (as there has not been for almost 100 years) as long as you have people like the Bush family and others making millions off it. It was Dick Cheney himself, former VP and CEO of Halliburton who said that if needed, this country would invade (Iraq?) and take their oil – THAT is our addiction, and money is THEIR addiction.

    All you need to do is look at Tony Hayward after the BP spill – did he look all that concerned or capable? Not a bit… He gets his bonus either way. Oil is money, and powerful money is not going to let there be any major change or regulation in oil as long as they are reaping such grand rewards – and dont ever feel any impact of problems. It has been that way since the early 1900′s – just watch the excellent series “The Prize” and you get a very good understanding of why rich oil benefactors dont give a rat’s backside about much of anything other than a steady flow of cash from oil.

    • Anonymous

      I encourage you to consider that ‘money’ is not the end. Power is pointless without a vision.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AGMKIHMLYG6D7EFXA4XRG3AUPU ed berezowski

    The dude who goes to BP stations to reward them for being incompetent kills me. The lack of real punishment is the problem BP should be put down. Corporate Death Penalty. Make sure the screw ups never work again that will learn em nothing else will.

    • Tncanoeguy

      Are some of these folks calling in BP employees?

    • http://ibelieveinbutter.wordpress.com/ Soli

      I was thinking the same thing. BP surely isn’t hurting for actual money right now. They can always just cut the big salaries and bonuses to pay out the people who have actually suffered.
      No way in Hades would I want to ever give them money again.

    • nj

      Take a look at the earliest corporate-chartering legislation just after the founding. Corporations were mandated to operate in the public interest, and they could be dissolved by the state legislature if they violated any part of their charter.

      Time to get back to the future! Ending corporate “personhood” is just a beginning!

  • BHA in Vermont

    ARE we back to ‘business as usual’?

    Never left. Money buys politicians and legislation. Always has, always will.

    The Supreme Court made it even easier by determining that corporations are ‘voters’ and can shove as much money as they like into the process, anonymously if they like.

  • Dave in CT

    When industry says working together is the answer, you know there is a problem. Have tough laws, let them try, and enforce the laws holding them accountable.

    They, of course if don’t have to, don’t want to be held accountable.

    Hiding and obfuscating behind “cooperation” just lets them off the hook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Donley/1602110622 Paul Donley

    Transparency is the key. The industry has to realize that without public support there is no industry.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Donley/1602110622 Paul Donley

    The impression in the media is the 11 people who died are almost unmentionable.

  • Dave in CT

    Law: You cannot release large scale toxins into the environment.

    Consequence: Company closure and forfeiture of personal profits throughout management.

    Go out and do your best, profit if you succeed.

    Why overcomplicate and expect better results from a corruptible, fallible third party “cooperative regulator”

    Our No Accountability, Bail Out culture is the core of so many of our problems.

  • Jon

    Gas goes over $4 and everyone yells… oil spills during drill and everyone yells. Yet, no one is willing change their lifestyle so we do not need so so much oil.

  • Dave in CT

    More courts and prosecutors, less agencies. More law, less man.

  • Sinclair

    We will not know the actual extent of the environmental damage resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil gushing disaster for years to come.

    BP is trying to move on from the April 20, 2010 disaster as quickly as possible. Profit over human + environmental health + protection.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Donley/1602110622 Paul Donley

    Dr Robert Bea of UCBerkeley is deeply concerned about deep sea ecosystems and the many animals that have been affected by the spill.

    We must consider the ongoing oil releases along the Gulf, where the spilled oil has gone or when and where will it appear; what will be the affect of the dispersants and oil.

  • Tncanoeguy

    “I do believe in the environment.” Awesome comment.

    • Anonymous

      It’s funny if you think about it, we can’t live without the environment.

  • Dave in CT

    Can’t have accountability without a blame game. Game on.

    • Anonymous

      So let try to understand your comment. Are you trying to say that blaming the oil industry for the spill is wrong? This is not a game.

      • Dave in CT

        The opposite. I said, if you want to have accountability, you NEED to have a blame game. Instead of coddling the industry with cooperative government regulators, diluting the blame, lay out the rules and consequences, and then when/if the rules are broken, BLAME squarely and clearly and PUNISH.

        Just have rules and punishments. Enforce them. Let people free to act within them, and let them profit if successful, and suffer consequences of both failure and rule breaking.

        The government should aggressively prosecute our laws, and otherwise get out of the way.,

  • Dave in CT

    Trying to pussyfoot around the blame game in all our problems, avoiding the tough love of accountability is ruining our country.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not eating gulf seafood; I distrust the safety of the dispersant.

  • Jon

    Thank you caller! It is our society!

  • freeman

    Finally; ACCOUNTABILITY– Make it happen and than maybe things will improve. Needs to be more than “lip service” !!

  • Tncanoeguy

    Clean energy future – the fossil fuel lobby will fight that as long and has hard as they can.

  • Mel Goodwin

    Those interested in more information about deep-sea ecosystems in the Gulf and how they have been impacted by the Deepwater Horizon blowout should check out these sites:

    http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/10lophelia/logs/nov3/nov3.html

    and

    http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/edu/guide/welcome.html

  • AWinte242

    Re Santa Barbara, the oil (tar) that the previous caller referred to is NOT from the oil spill, but from a NATURAL offshore oil seep, which is one of the largest in the world.

  • Betsy

    Re the comment from the woman in Vermont:
    The Union Oil spill in Santa Barbara was in 1969, not 1962. The seafood in the Santa Barbara area has not been shown to be bad to eat; quite the contrary. I walk on the beach nearly daily and am a volunteer with the SB Wildlife Care Network. We do get in oiled seabirds, often from Coal Oil Point, off Goleta, as well as from other areas, including Ventura. The oiling is caused by natural seepage and are especially a problem after winter storms.

    There are very few leaks from the oil wells offshore and they are inspected frequently, including by private pilots watching for oil slicks. At least arguably – and I am not sure it is correct – drilling for oil here removes the pressures making fewer natural seeps. (The seeps have been known ever since this area has been populated.) …Just wanted to correct the statements. (I, too, was here for the horrible spill/mess in 1969 and oppose further drilling because of the probabilities for a spill in this ecologically sensitive area and heavily populated coast.)

  • Petensb

    RE Santa Barbara oil spill
    The oil and tar on the beaches in Santa Barbara and surrounding areas has absolutely nothing to do with either the Union Oil spill in ’69 or the current rigs drilling in the channel. It is completely from natural seepage. Anyone who tries to tell you different has no idea what they are talking about.
    The caller obviously let fantasy get in the way of facts.
    All one has to do is visit the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum to see how the Chumash Indians, hundreds of years ago, were using the tar that is commonly found in abundance on the beach to waterproof their canoes. As far as I know, there was no drilling in the SB Channel in the 1700′s.
    Drilling and removing oil actually reduces pressure pressure and lessens seeps.
    The seafood in Santa Barbara is more than “safe”; it is abundant, fresh and of the highest quality.
    The Coal Oil Point reserve just west of Santa Barbara in Goleta is a thriving ocean, dune and tidal marsh ecosystem. I frequently surf off the beaches and it is not uncommon to see gas bubbling to the surface, tar balls floating around and large slicks of oil. A lot of this eventually makes it to the beach. Despite all of this, there are fish everywhere, protected species like the Western Snowy Plover thrive on the beaches there and there is an abundance of other wildlife.
    Nature adapts and thrives. It is a shame to hear those so-called “environmentalists” who refuse to deal in accepted facts and instead resort to non-reality based fear mongering.

  • TomK in Boston

    We’re totally owned by the corporations. The BP disaster has led to no change in regulation on deepwater drilling. just like the financial crash has led to no meaningful re-regulation of the financial sector. Just 2 years after the financial meltdown, the right is already re-running scripts from 1980 about the horrors of government regulation. Apparently we’re not smart enough to act on the evidence of what we got with deregulation.

    Now the right is screaming about the deficit and Obama is caving, so there will be no $ for regulation. The corporations will have all the $, so we’ll let them regulate themselves as voodoo economics says we should. Oligarchy is closer every day.

    • Dave in CT

      I would just posit that regulating by strict, straightforward law and real punishment rather than agencies full of corruptible, cooperative, expensive and even sleepy “regulators” is more effective.

      Its easy be outraged by bad behavior. Its all about how we want to make it stop. More paper pushers and commissions and cooperative regulatory agencies with juicy tax payer funded benefits, or simply more enforcement of law and good old fashioned accountability to actions.

      Maybe we need more laws and tougher penalties, but not not government per se.

  • Brett

    Bill A. wrote: “Initially there was a moratorium on drilling/exploring new offshore oil regions, but What sort of safety controls or policies have been enacted since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill to ensure this won’t happen again on the same scale?”

    Hey, at least the Gulf walruses are safe!

  • Petensb
  • AnthonyR

    I’d rather drill here and have Americans working on and owning the rigs and getting lease payments than I would send more and more petro dollars to Middle East tirants. I like my car and I’m not going to change my behavior unless prices rise even more.

    • The-truth-seeker

      That attitude of “I’ll keep doing what I am doing, come hell or high water” may get you your wish fulfilled (you might get hellish hot weather and hundreds of tornadoes and hurricanes AND rising sea levels). Pretty stupid way to invite disaster and the collapse of our society just because you like cars with some muscle. If people had started driving MUCH higher mileage cars and trucks and the C.A.F.E. standards had been raised 20 years ago, we could have saved 30-40% of the oil and gas we completely WASTED over that period and gas prices would have similarly been 30-40% less now.

      Also, it doesn’t matter where the oil is found – it will be sold on the international market and to China and other countries that are willing to be the highest bidders for it. Even American oil companies are always going to sell to the highest bidder – that’s NOT you!

      Predictions are that gas will go up to $5.00 this summer in some areas and within two years, I am sure it will hit $6. Are you willing to pay $4000-6000/yr. to drive your vehicle. That’s more than the cost of a car + insurance!

      I have driven cars that get over 25-30 miles/gal. for over 35 years – I want the gas back that I saved for you guys to waste!

  • NKk

    Two of the callers made suspiciously similar comments: they would buy gas from BP because BP “needs the revenue”. NPR should check out whether these are plants from BP.

  • Anonymous

    Not surprised–the one voice of truth was on for 5 minutes–and the entire show was dominated by industry mouthpieces and apologists. Typical fraudulent media, typical NPR–good for no one. “Perpetuating status Quo, even when you think we’re not”–that should be ON Point’s slogan.

    We do have the technology and the means for a renewable society. We have for a long time. But the industry–our fascist government–prevents change and humanitarian progress and enlightenment at all costs–no pun intended. We are in the death throws of the American Empire and these criminals are kicking and screaming and killing.

    All these speakers are lying and/or ignorant fools.

  • Brennan511

    3 words -24″ pipe-!!! why not a traditional 8″ pipe for such a “high risk” well or rig or site [whatever... it's called.]

    The other Predictably unpredictable element “NEW ORLEANS” it’s Brad Pits fault [that Hurrican "could've been" snapped or deflected or...]
    but “New Orleans” is ARCADIAN!… and [talk slowly now] they were evicted from frozen! Canada… and Creol… I ain’t goin’ there [OILCAN? or grease spot...?] or is there some Physics… with the Fresh Water of the Mississippi R.? –yeah that’s it… [No Really is there am eco-physics equation, that'll wash my hands of this obsurd trash I talk? Please! say/EXPLAIN there is].
    Also remind me, was The Iceland Volcano first or second? [geologic {political} pressure??]

    Jazz Jazz Jazz, Eat at Brennan’s [East of Eden? or too "big easy"].
    This is the SILENCE!!!-Math.

  • Rob Thomson

    Good show but correct your callers and guests when they get it wrong. The oil spill in Santa Barbara was in 1969 not 1962. they were not the last wells drilled in Southern California – Exxon, Chevron and Unocal have installed rigs in the 80s and 90s. The oil/tar on the beaches is not from the spill but from current natural seeps. The native americans used this material to seal their canoes and boats – not exactly a recent phenomena,

  • Debbe

    I was generally outraged and frankly, stumped, by the lack of any monetary figure cited by Jane Clayson when discussing poor, lil old BP and all the money they have to spend to try to clean up the Gulf. Making a PROFIT of $5.6 BILLION in the first quarter of 2010 alone, and just as I write granted a $13 billion tax break for 2011, I was disgusted that NOTHING was said or cited through the entire program. There were 3 specific instances on air from 2 callers and one guest alluding to how much BP will have to spend (oh boo hoo) to clean up the biggest goddam environmental disaster ever recorded, all BP’s doing and fault, and not a word about their astronomical profits, even today. Shame on Jane Clayson. She’s lost me as a listener.

  • Matt K

    We are at the end of easy oil extraction.  Oil is running out and oil companies are now scraping away at more hectares of land to find more oil (Think tar sands).  It is a mistake to believe that more production will save us!  When there is no more oil and we have scraped away all of the land that life lives on, civilization will be screwed.  There is no denying that.  America making progress?  More like America leading life to destruction.  Good job America *sarcastic clapping*.

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Aug 27, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, right, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, center, looks at them, prior to their talks after after posing for a photo in Minsk, Belarus, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP)

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