Thursday, June 03, 2010

A Drop in the Bucket Could've Prevented Oil Spill?

The BP oil well "accident" that has evolved into one of the largest oil spills ever in US water continues to spew crude into the Gulf of Mexico. 11 lives have already been lost, and countless other lives, shattered. 

Here's the thing. This "accident" could've been avoided if BP Oil  had shelled out $500,000 (pocket change)  for a remote-control shut-off valve, called an acoustic switch - an underwater valve that shuts down the well even if the oil rig itself is damaged or evacuated - that is normally used as a last-resort protection against underwater spills.  However, unlike most of the  oil producing countries of the world,  "U.S. regulators don't mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore rigs, and the Deepwater Horizon, hired by oil giant BP PLC, didn't have one."

Several years ago, the U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, and the Minerals Management Service (MMS), part of the Interior Department responsible for regulating both offshore wind development and oil and gas drilling, decided the remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well.


Well, I guess, amidst “a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity” MMS officials had better things to do than regulate oil drilling. After all, when you're "responsible" for collecting approximately $10 billion in royalties annually and you're one of the government’s largest sources of  income, it's easy to understand how hubris and greed could've created the "free-for-all" atmosphere that developed and prevailed for much of the Bush administration’s watch and how that might obscure one's thinking. Thus,  making it probable that the first priority became maintaining that coke-sniffing, porn surfing, golf playing, orgasmic kind of climate. And how do you ensure its continuance? Profit, profit, and more profit.

Now, after this horrific event, BP says it is spending $6 million a day to battle the oil spill. Clearly, the sense of power and greed that inspired these officials to shun the vagaries of self-control and instead fully embrace monumental hedonistic debauchery, complete with the senseless and random act of taking "tickets to a Toby Keith concert", did, in fact, render these "officials" dumb as...well, dumb as a BP oil executive.

Granted, much is still unknown about what caused the problems in Deepwater Horizon's well, however, because of the greedy oil executives and the immoral, compliant, greedy MMS officials, who seem to predominate today, in this culture of deregulation that was so heavily advocated for during the Bush Administration - or really, since the inception of Reaganomics - we'll never know if the decision to make the infinitesimally small purchase, relatively speaking, of a football-sized acoustic remote-control may have been able to stop the oil well disaster.


jyoti 05:49  

Very interesting topic will bookmark your site to check if you write more about in the future.
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