By Kay B. Day
The explosion at Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico has stymied the corporate sector and the government sector on an effective solution to oil gushing ever upwards. President Barack Obama said the buck stops with him on dealing with the disaster and it’s a no-brainer to conclude that BP corporate will do everything within the company’s power to stop the gusher. Obviously this accident is something no one thought of.
Short answer: government obsession with global warming/climate change and BP’s obsession with cost cutting in the interest of profit.
I’m deliberately omitting conspiracy theories about why the exploratory well blew because we don’t know enough about it yet.
For years government has been maniacally obsessed with global warming/climate change in large part due to failed presidential candidate Al Gore’s promotional efforts.
But the fact remains the world runs on carbon.
Obama is facing heavy criticism for what appears to be a lethargic response to a national manmade disaster. The other disaster nature levied, partially submerging parts of Tennessee, has gone largely unnoticed.
BP’S BUSH ERA DISASTER
BP is facing criticism. Again. Despite some on the left who point a finger at President George W. Bush anytime anything happens anywhere for any reason, the land-based disaster BP incurred when Bush was president was investigated, analyzed and covered intensely by media.
The Bush era disaster occurred in Texas City, Tex., where a refinery explosion killed 15 workers and injured approximately 170 other people, according to The Washington Post. The paper detailed a major conclusion of a panel headed by former secretary of state James Baker III: “[T]he oil company skimped on spending and failed to take other steps that might have prevented a deadly refinery explosion in March 2005.”
The US Chemical Safety Board, said the paper, “urged” BP to look into safety at “all of its US refineries.”
Apparently no one thought to include offshore drilling in that directive.
THE GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATEGATE SINKHOLE
Meanwhile even as our government urges Americans to accept higher taxes and tighter environmental regulations as we move towards alternative forms of energy, it’s obvious that we like other countries are reliant on carbon.
Bob Tippee, editor of Oil and Gas Journal, appeared on C-SPAN Friday morning to talk about the exploratory well that BP was actually suspending when the explosion occurred. Tippee explained the company would then come back to drill wells. Obviously there was a lot of oil in this location, oil made available by technology that permits drilling in depths once believed unreachable.
Asked by a caller about the possibility of using electromagnets to stop the gush Tippee said, “The flow is constricted right now.” So if the opening is impacted by jarring or abrupt moves, the whole situation could get even worse. The same was true of the cut and cap method BP eventually resorted to—there’s a risk of making things worse.
Government has rolled billions into study after study on global warming. Most Americans agree we need alternative energy largely as a matter of national security and economics, because we send a large amount of money to parts of the world that would like to see the US meet an untimely end.
But with our dependency on carbon, you’d think someone in government would have thought to address the “what if” with deepwater drilling.
More importantly you’d think a company like BP would have thought of the “what if” first.
Obama didn’t make the oil rig blow. But the federal government our president manages did place obstacles in the way of some who wanted to act early on. Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) is a perfect example.
On Thursday, BP placed a notice on the corporate website: “BP today announced that it has established a $360 million escrow account to fund immediately the construction of six sections of Louisiana barrier islands approved by the U.S. government. BP has been directed to pay for the construction by the federal government. Since the environmental implications of the projects are not fully understood, BP assumes no liability for unexpected or unintended consequences of these projects.”
Those barrier islands might have already been in progress but for bureaucratic holdups.
We might be farther ahead on alternative energy had our government rolled all those billions into research for actual energy projects rather than into politicizing energy and fattening the wallets of people like Gore and the Chicago Climate Exchange. The government has subsidized hedge funds and academics who many believe coordinate their research in order to achieve the results they desire, an impression created by the Climategate scandal as well as numerous documented errors in the UN IPCC panel research and in Gore’s iconic film shown in just about every public school in the US.
Here’s the raw truth, explained by an article in Bloomberg: “Restricted access to deposits in the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela and advances in technology have spurred a shift toward harder-to-access reserves that would once have been unreachable. BP has pushed back the frontiers of exploration in North America in the past. It discovered Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay field, still the biggest oil field in the U.S., in 1969.”
Factors in the BP disaster can be laid at the feet of sacrificing safety for profit in the corporate sector and sacrificing common sense for politics in the government sector. Next time you see a pitiful creature covered in oil in one of the coastal areas affected by this explosion, ask yourself why no one in charge in the private or public sector thought to address the issue as a “what if.”
The same mistake happened with the disaster we’re still paying for—Katrina. Despite awareness of the risks, no one took ‘what if’ seriously.