Effort to Cap Gulf Oil Leak Fails Again

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From Reuters:

BP has given up on efforts by underwater robots to close valves on a failed blowout preventer at the site of a massive oil leak in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, an executive said on Friday.

“We’ve essentially used up all those options,” Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for BP (BP.L) (BP.N) said regarding the robots’ unsuccessful efforts to close the valves, called rams, and plug the leak at the well.

While other measures to stop the leak are still underway, the focus on BP’s so-far unsuccessful efforts to stop the leak at its source has served to divert focus from a much bigger act of negligence: refusing to contain the oil slick, which would have been a low-tech operation. BP failed to implement emergency plans as it has promised to the US government. As Greg Palast explained:

Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf last week, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (OSRP), which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.

What’s so insane, when I look over that sickening slick moving toward the Delta, is that containing spilled oil is really quite simple and easy. And from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates.

That’s because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap.

To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a “boom.” Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.

But there’s one thing about the rubber skirts: you’ve got to have lots of them at the ready, with crews on standby in helicopters and on containment barges ready to roll. They have to be in place round the clock, all the time, just like a fire department, even when all is operating A-O.K. Because rapid response is the key. In Alaska, that was BP’s job, as principal owner of the pipeline consortium Alyeska. It is, as well, BP’s job in the Gulf, as principal lessee of the deepwater oil concession.

Before the Exxon Valdez grounding, BP’s Alyeska group claimed it had these full-time, oil spill response crews. Alyeska had hired Alaskan natives, trained them to drop from helicopters into the freezing water and set booms in case of emergency. Alyeska also certified in writing that a containment barge with equipment was within five hours sailing of any point in the Prince William Sound. Alyeska also told the state and federal government it had plenty of boom and equipment cached on Bligh Island.

But it was all a lie. On that March night in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef in the Prince William Sound, the BP group had, in fact, not a lick of boom there. And Alyeska had fired the natives who had manned the full-time response teams, replacing them with phantom crews, lists of untrained employees with no idea how to control a spill. And that containment barge at the ready was, in fact, laid up in a drydock in Cordova, locked under ice, 12 hours away.

As a result, the oil from the Exxon Valdez, which could have and should have been contained around the ship, spread out in a sludge tide that wrecked 1,200 miles of shoreline.

And here we go again. Valdez goes Cajun.

BP’s CEO Tony Hayward reportedly asked, “What the hell did we do to deserve this?”

It’s what you didn’t do, Mr. Hayward. Where was BP’s containment barge and response crew? Why was the containment boom laid so damn late, too late and too little? Why is it that the US Navy is hauling in 12 miles of rubber boom and fielding seven skimmers, instead of BP?

Last year, CEO Hayward boasted that, despite increased oil production in exotic deep waters, he had cut BP’s costs by an extra one billion dollars a year. Now we know how he did it.

As chance would have it, I was meeting last week with Louisiana lawyer Daniel Becnel Jr. when word came in of the platform explosion. Daniel represents oil workers on those platforms; now, he’ll represent their bereaved families. The Coast Guard called him. They had found the emergency evacuation capsule floating in the sea and were afraid to open it and disturb the cooked bodies.

I wonder if BP painted the capsule green, like they paint their gas stations.

Becnel, yesterday by phone from his office from the town of Reserve, Louisiana, said the spill response crews were told they weren’t needed because the company had already sealed the well. Like everything else from BP mouthpieces, it was a lie.

In the end, this is bigger than BP and its policy of cheaping out and skiving the rules. This is about the anti-regulatory mania, which has infected the American body politic. While the tea baggers are simply its extreme expression, US politicians of all stripes love to attack “the little bureaucrat with the fat rule book.” It began with Ronald Reagan and was promoted, most vociferously, by Bill Clinton and the head of Clinton’s deregulation committee, one Al Gore.

Americans want government off our backs … that is, until a folding crib crushes the skull of our baby, Toyota accelerators speed us to our death, banks blow our savings on gambling sprees and crude oil smothers the Mississippi.

Then, suddenly, it’s, “Where was hell was the government? Why didn’t the government do something to stop it?”

The answer is because government took you at your word they should get out of the way of business, that business could be trusted to police itself. It was only last month that BP, lobbying for new deepwater drilling, testified to Congress that additional equipment and inspection wasn’t needed.

Update 5/8, 2:30 AM: Reader Crocodile Chuck noted from comments that there appears to be confusion about the size, location and drift/trend of the slick. He wrote:

This site is updated 8X a day with near real time data. The slick is growing, and, per oceanographic predictions, being carried south and west (down to Naples):


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  1. sc127

    This article *does not* refer to the placement of the much publicized dome – all this article is talking about is that BP has finally stopped trying to get the busted preventer to work – which hasn’t worked for the last two weeks anyway.

    I just wanted to make that clear, since the “Doomsday Scenario” tag might get some people worked up about the wrong thing.

    1. reprobate

      Who objects to tags on articles? Pedantic and wrong. The environmental damage that will result from this slick even if it gets no larger will be massive.

      1. sc127

        Perhaps, but what is the point of a easily misleading post title (“cap” sounds like “dome” to me…and it is the *dome* which has been in the news the most the last few days).

        Given *that*, I think the use of the “Doomsday Scenario” tag is relevant and misleading.

        As to the amount of eventual damage – we’ll see.

        Might be a lot – might be a lot less than a lot.

        If catastrophic damage were *already* in evidence on shore, the media would have *miles* of footage already aired.

        If you’ve seen tens of thousands of oil slicked birds or hundreds of miles of oil slicked beaches or tarballs washing up in Britain *to date*, send in a link.

        I’m not saying that extensive damage *can’t* occur, what I’m saying is that the evidence of catastrophic damage *to date* is thin – and that the hysteria is rapidly outrunning the actual results *to date*.

        Proceed to be outraged…

        1. abelenkpe

          BP thanks you for defending it’s right to damage the environment.

          Corporate kiss a$$.

        2. cougar_w

          And up is down.

          But you are right about one thing, this is not the time to be worried. Because the time to have been worried was 10 years ago. At this point, we’re reamed.

        3. Toby

          “Might be a lot – might be a lot less than a lot.”

          I could have told you that, and I wouldn’t have said a damn thing either.

          Why shouldn’t there be outrage, for fuck’s sake?

  2. Daniel

    I’m not sure the author is fully understanding the difficulty in placing oil containment structures in deep, open water that is subject to routine rough weather, around a spill spanning possible hundreds of square miles. Not to mention how you anchor said containment to keep it in place, or remove the oil from inside the containment.

    Containing an uncapped well *5000* feet below the surface in the middle of open water far from shore is non-trivial to say the least.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      With all due respect, you appear to have misread Palast’s piece. His point:

      To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a “boom.” Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.

      This is what BP said it would do and failed to do. This is NOT about how you stop/cap the leak, this is how you prevent the resulting slick from spreading and doing damage. That effort is low tech but costly, and BP failed to implement its containment plans, first with the Valdez, now in the Gulf.

      1. sc127

        Simple, huh?

        Look, BP screwed up big time by having a single point of failure in the blowout preventer.

        But, once the spill had occurred, what you and the author imply is simply *wrong* as a matter of physics and hydrodynamics – unless you assume a boom with a circumference of dozens and dozens of miles.

        From a point about a *mile* below the surface, the rising oil is subject to subsurface currents and its own Brownian motion (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownian_motion), dispersing it over a very wide area.

        It ain’t a geyser shooting up where the rig used to stand.

        Given that, the “enclosing boom” would have had to be almost inconceivably big.

        Real world example – go to the bottom of a pool with a can of WD-40 and squirt it – see where it ends up on the surface relative to where it started on the bottom.

        And that’s without currents.

        Again, BP should have had a double failsafe on the blowout preventer (even though blowout preventers do have their own internal redundancies) but the post-accident fix suggested by the author is extremely unlikely to be feasible in a real world setting – at least for an accident where the source point is a mile down.

        1. bill44

          Walks like a troll, talks like a troll…

          BP proposed this very measure of containment, for this very sort of well, and now you are saying this is all impractical and impossible….based on a Wikipedia article. I’m waiting on the Congressional hearings. This isn’t as uncontained as an aerosol dispersion, and if it was costly to surround it, so what? That was a business risk BP took when it cut the other safety margins.

          Your logic is tantamount to saying if a rich person who was speeding smashes his SUV into a crystal store, he shouldn’t pay for clean up and replace all that broken glass because it’s expensive. Utterly bogus reasoning, and morally bankrupt to boot.

        2. DownSouth

          It’s my understanding that the blowout occurred shortly after the production casing had been cemented.

          Did the blowout occur up the casing, or behind the casing?

          If it occurred up the casing, what was the cause? Did the plug not hold? Was there a casing failure?

          If the blowout occurred behind the casing, again what was the cause? Did they lose circulation while cementing? Was the pit gain greater than it should have been during cementing?

          Had they installed the right sized pipe rams to fit the casing? If they had indeed changed the pipe rams, did they test the BOP after changing the rams? What were there BOP testing procedures, and schedule? What was the last time the BOP was tested?

          You say that “blowout preventers do have their own internal redundancies.” Could you please explain these in more detail? How many BOPs were installed? What types. What are the various mechanisms available to close the BOPs? Which of these mechanisms did BP have installed? From this report, it sounds as if the BOP per se is not what malfunctioned, but the mechanism (or mechanisms) that shuts the BOP. This report would lead one to believe that the BOP itself is still operative. Were there no redundancies of mechanisms to shut the BOPs?

          Blowouts don’t just come out of nowhere. There are a number of events that occur over a period of time that augur an impending blowout. Were these missed? If so, why? If the drilling crew wasn’t asleep at the wheel, and perceived that something was amiss, why didn’t they react appropriately?

          You seem to be quite knowledgeable about all this, so I’m sure you won’t have any trouble answering the above questions. Having the answers to the above questions is important to understand what went wrong.

          1. Skippy

            Yep I would like to see the ITP and talk to the officer that signed it.

            Skippy…funny how many subbies do critical work these days…eh…risk arb ha ha.

          2. K Ackermann

            The bottom line is, they went operational without even having a plan for the most fundamental problem: loss of control at the wellhead.

            It would be like a nuke plant not having any procedure in place for when the coolant pumps failed.

            You watch, too: the problems with the dome are going to be many. It’s also a very dangerous operation.

            If it was easy to get oil to the surface by punching a hole into a resevoir and dropping a bell over it, then that’s how we would be getting oil.

            BP is “hoping” for 85% capture, but if they get 15%, I’d be surprised. I won’t be surprised at all if the surface operation goes poof. The outgassing during decompression from 5000 ft has to be substantial. They are going to have a rig parked over an unlit bunson burner, and we are coming up on thunderstorm season.

        3. cougar_w

          BP knew that they could walk away from any issues at a well. Watch them do just that. Their “cleanup” will be a few ships hulls and municipal piers, and the cost will be under a $1M. Then they’ll walk away “sorry that’s clean, the rest is dead, and dead is not in the deal.” They can do this because they own the regulatory apparatus outright through their payment of royalties. BP is a client of the regulators, and the regulators are there to make sure BP is happy.

          Game over folks. Maybe another 20 years of hard-fought legislative battles for regulatory reform will change the laws a little for the next time, but I doubt it. BP and their undead kin own the legislature too. But 20 years will be enough to ensure nobody reading this is actually alive the next time it happens, and another immortal corporate vampire will have evaded the petty limits of mere mortals to stalk us and kill us again and again and again.

          We are their food. Prepare to be eaten.

          1. Toby

            I hear what you’re saying but…

            No. Fucking. Way.

            Corporate power is not the end of the universe, nor is it the high point of human civilization, neither have we seen the end of history.

            Don’t believe the hype.

  3. Doc Holiday

    Re: “We’ve essentially used up all those options,” Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for BP (BP.L) (BP.N) said

    ==> Well …. shit, maybe he should call up Bush and ask about the backup plan that Cheney had when they were in Aspen having so much F’ing fun and laughing about all the stuff that they got away with …. nah, maybe he should call Obama and see if they have a backup plan .. nah, what about Warren, maybe Warren’s rating agency can upgrade BP derivatives and then maybe someone can crash the stock market and help find some extra cash for XMAS bonuses ….. nah, what about he just jumps out a window …. nah, what if he offers to stuff himself into the well-head with a few thousand like-minded squid … yah, that sounds good!

  4. Bill Wilson

    Cushions … It’s all about cushions.

    We used to have “margins for error”, way back when. Then we got the gospel of efficiency and “just in time” operations, but we forgot that there is always a potential cost.

    High leverage … fine as long as nothing goes wrong
    High frequency trading … fine as long as nothing goes wrong
    Alphabet soup mortgages – sure they can handle the reset as their income goes up, or the house price goes up … or it doesn’t
    Global warming … not a problem .. unless
    Iraq .. “we will be greeted as liberators” … unless
    Drill for oil at 5,000 feet. No worries, nothing wrong will happen, we have great new technology.

    etc etc

    I say let’s bring back some cushions!

  5. craazyman

    What have they done to the earth?
    What have they done to our fair sister?
    Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her
    Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn
    And tied her with fences and dragged her down

    -Jim Morrison, 1943-1971

    . . . from the Hippie Museum

    It is not a cooincidence that the Iceland volcano blows then the oil rig blows and the market blows. It’s all part of an n-dimensional spirit form moving through 4 dimensions, seeking similarities and metaphors for its inchoate expressions of meaning as it attempts to communicate with stiff-necked morons who use their heads to count and their bodies to piss, eat, drink and f–k.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Indeed, Gaia is screaming in agony, but the stiff-necked heathens have no ears to hear. In our insatiable lust, we will consume her and our own flesh until at last the angels pour out their bowls of plagues.

  6. Carlos

    It sounds pretty naïve, to say the least, to expect BP to take what would be unprecedented measures to protect the environment, ones involving probably tens of millions of dollars a year, if not a hundred million, while its competitors all over the world, with rare exceptions, are as careless and greedy as BP has now been proven to be. Let’s see, if BP were to see the light, how many traders in the NYSE or the LSE, how many financial analysts in JPM,GS and Deutsche would shower BP with praise and ask their clients to invest in such a moral, environmentally conscious company and put the bottom line aside while the Sisters and their colleagues around the world go on drilling for cents on the dollar with second rate equipment in some cases picked up from Soviet junkyards. And, no I am not going to lie and say that state ownership is the solution, that StatOil is the ideal – they need to keep the fat flowing into the Norwegian state’s treasury. No. Here lies the problem: The mostly impoverished global consumer wants and needs cheap, so state and business will make sure he or she gets it cheap.

    1. bill44

      How much has BP spent selling itself as an environmentally friendly company? Gee, do you think they did that out of the goodness of their heart, or to get a higher multiple.

      And don’t try poormouthing. The slick containment is what BP promised to do if something went amiss. Oh, but you forget that part. Big companies get to welch on their promises if they might inconvenience investors.

      1. Moopheus

        But don’t forget that YOU still have a Moral Obligation to pay your bills! So sit down and shut up!

        1. 1whoknu

          Yes, I am tired of hearing how hard it is for Corporations to comply with real world risk because it costs too much but we are told…

          “But don’t forget that YOU still have a Moral Obligation to pay your bills! So sit down and shut up!”

      2. Che Guernica

        I for one would love to see how much BP has saved by shortchanging their promised Oil Spill Response Plans vs. how much they spent rebranding themselves as “Beyond Petroleum”. I wouldn’t be surprised if the former didn’t pay for the latter.

  7. George

    One option not used up would be to drill two wells alongside the blowout to relieve pressure and enable them to cap the leak. That’s how they stopped the Ixtoc blowout in the gulf, an effort which lasted nine months. Mexico also hired Norwegian skimmers for clean up.

    The 2-mile-deep exploratory well, Ixtoc I, blew out on June 3, 1979 in the Bay of Campeche off Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico. By the time the well was brought under control in March, 1980, an estimated 140 million gallons of oil had spilled into the bay. The Ixtoc I spill is currently #2 on the all-time list of largest oil spills of all time.

    1. Dingojoe

      A relief well is being drilled, and is the ultimate solution, but that will take another 2-3 months to complete. The best interim hope right now are the coffer dams.

  8. ron

    Why no pictures of the leaking oil from it source? Many pictures of the attempts to close the value’s but nothing regarding the leak itself. Also the idea that putting out a boom to contain this spill at the source in rough water is a bit extreme given the rate of oil gushing and the distance underwater (5 miles) currents will move it far beyond the local source.

    1. bill44

      That’s why you have helicopters, to find where the oil winds up on the surface.

      Remember, they remove the oil that rises to the surface. Even if they don’t get it all, this would be a big improvement over letting it contaminate the ocean and eventually, the shore.

    2. cougar_w

      There are no images of the leaking oil because BP is in control of the robots. By controlling the images they control the message. That’s basic Propaganda 101.

      Or are you implying that there is no leak because there are no images of a leak coming out of BP? That would be quite amusing, if that is what you think.

      1. ron

        I like you understand that its a show but it odd that nobody in the media has demanded to see existing video of the leak, must be a horrible photo!!!!!!!!!

  9. Brett

    Sounds like CSX’s behavior over that deadly Orlon Crossing crash – which CSX wasn’t imdemnified for (even though they were responsible for the maintenance of the switch that failed), as Amtrak was carrying the people who were injured and killed.

    Amtrak (taxpayers) paid the damages.

  10. John L

    This is yet another example of what can happen when regulatory agencies are gutted in the name of “let business do its job”.

    Coal mine disasters (Bureau of Mines can’t close a mine for any reason, only fine, and they appeal for years).

    Banking disasters (regulators looked the other way, or just didn’t understand what the banks were doing),

    Drilling rig disasters (BP lobbied successfully to not need acoustic shutdown devices on their wells, saying the $500k cost was too much)

    What’s next? It is criminal behavior of BP to not have the spill response equipment readily available, as their plan says it should be. While Obama has already said BP will pay for all the cleanup, how do you put a price tag on a dead Gulf? How do you price out the lives of who knows how many sea turtles, shrimp and fish? How will they calculate the loss in sports fishing, commercial fishing and tourism lost if (when) this oil reaches the Alabama/Florida coast?

    I’m a big fan of regulatory agencies; I work for a state DOT and see every day what happens if contractors don’t have someone looking over their shoulder to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do. Thinking that any business will “do the right thing” is either naive or stupid.

    1. Doug Terpstra

      Well said.

      Our corporate legislators obliged BP and big oil with a cap on damages of $75 million, which is about one tenth of one percent of BP’s last quater profits ($5.6 billion). Economic damages alone will almost certainly be in the $billions, and ecological damage incalculable.

      For this level of criminal negligence, official and corporate, we should demand Chinese-style justice. Instead, Senator Mary Landrew (D-LA), top recipient of BP cash, is betraying her own state and actually defending the cap for the protection of “mom and pop” drillers. Hers is a very lucrative form of prostitution.


  11. nmewn

    While I grieve for my fellow southerners as it will soon be here in Fla…I must point out that drilling for oil on land rarely leads to an oil slick reaching the beach.

    The NIMBYism is astonishing, as is the lack of pointing the fickle finger of guilt at federal regulators and the clear and concise rules involved when extracting oil at sea…for instance they had to wait days before trying to burn slick off because there was no fire booms on the rig…they had to call the manufacturer and have them transported out there…regulator or BP’s fault???

  12. Free Man

    Look consumers want cheap oil, they got cheap oil. If they paid the full cost for the environmental measures the activists want then we would hear screaming about the “greedy oil companies” and $6.00 gasoline.

    If they nationalize the companes because the government can do it better then we will get bigger oil spills (like in Mexico in 1979) and $8.00 gasoline.

    BP is a crappy company but lets can the hyperbole

    1. 1whoknu

      It may not show $6.00 at the pump, but you are already paying the price whether you choose to see it or not.

    2. Skippy

      Yep the same consumer that has since ???? has had their heads filled with lollipop dreams of big houses, big cars with huge engines, plastic everything, mono agriculture requiring catch-up petro products chasing man-made evolutionary curves, unlimited resource depletion in the name of individual desire satisfaction.

      Skippy…freedom is the ultimate edifice upon which one can smash their head to infinity. Freedom is the ocular bend tank-fish observe with regards to their environment.

      1. nmewn

        Freedom allows you to post and take whatever mind altering drugs you wish to view yourself as Mr. Limpit.

        Freedom also allows those to post and take whatever mind altering drugs (in my case domestic beer) and view this travesty as something less than Armageddon.

        Four dollar gas is economic Armageddon…as is the slow drip morphine subsidization/seduction of unworkable business models like wind mills and solar.

        Buy yourself some EXC and your kids can thank me later inside the Matrix…LOL.

        1. Skippy

          petroleum based economics is/are the trees of Easter island, 24 tribes vying for the honor of best, to get the best, whilst the rest provide.

          Skippy…freedom = man-made friction reduction + supplied by funny money with out regards to limits or consequences in the near or long term management of our world.

          PS. America, to me, is becoming the biggest pit of desire humanity has yet seen, its needs outweigh its benefits.

  13. Choderlos de Laclos

    Peak oil…? Hello It’s NOT because the oil is HERE…you can get it…..
    We are embarking on a major ecological disaster with terrible consequences for the next 20 years, yes sir, if they can not contains that quick….Nothing will be spare…Florida east and west coast, at least the riches will have their playground spoiled..think about real estate on the coast, fisheries..In place to let companies get all the oil they can at any cost we should change the way we are living and massively invest in alternate technologies (not nuclear btw)..

    Do you remember drill, drill baby from the last presidential campaign ? Here we are

  14. john


    Greg Palast is semi-regular guest on a *great* Saturday morning radio show called This is Hell — 30 minute interviews, a host that will have read the book and have intelligent questions. He’s had some heavy hitters on (you may dis-/agree w/ ’em, but everyone’s heard of ’em): e.g. Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn. (See: thisishell.net)

    Would love to hear an interview about Econned there!

  15. RHS

    We should just nuke it and be done with it. Russians have done this before to stop natural gas leaks on land. Polution from radiation would be mininmial compared to months of oil sepage.

  16. Michael

    It is astounding that anybody could defend this obvious criminal negligence in any way. Truly lost for words.

    Just remember this is a world that you and your children also have to live in, and there’s a lot more to life than cheap petrol.

  17. sam hamster

    BP is facing a new challenge. No doubt, those involved will ask for help and develop an action plan. Each will block out time in his and her day-timer to implement the plan.
    Leaders will train the new people, when needed. Lessons learned will be discussed, at times, and action plans modified. Everyone will stay positive. Finally, the team will succeed and the oil disaster will be averted.

    I’m not scared.

  18. BC

    Hi. Love your site. I spend a lot of time in South Plaquemines and wade fished gosier and curlew regularly as a kid. I’m going to copy an paste this. I got it in an email so no link. Thank you for covering the story.

    I have been reading the many comments posted by newspaper readers on the oil spill. It has been most entertaining, in part because it gets me all stirred up. What follows is my recent post to readers of the New York Times. (It was highlighted by the NYT editors as one “of the most interesting and thoughtful” comments.) Hope you enjoy.

    I’d like to offer a few humble answers to the serious questions posted in the past two weeks”

    Why does it take so long?” Because it is hard. This is in the middle of a turbulent ocean. Every operation out there has to be conducted by men on the wind-swept decks of vessels that have, for the last few days, been hurled around in seven to ten foot sees. Any of you folks ever been on a crewboat in ten foot seas? It is not a pleasant experience. Think Deadliest Catch except a hell of a lot more dangerous. There isn’t a simple way to kill an out of cjontrol well that is in five thousand feet of water.

    “Why don’t they have the containment dome ready yet?” Because fabricating pollution domes involves welding together tons and tons of steel in a place that can be reached by large transport barges. Those places are a long, long way from the steel mills. The workers in Fourchon, Louisiana have been toiling 24/7 to get this done. I suspect none of you have been to Fourchon, and I am certain that none of you can pronounce it correctly. Trust me, it is a tough place inhabited by tough, hard working people who never whine. They just work and sweat and get it done. None of them are wearing sackcloth or wringing their hands about it, and they live in these coastal wetlands that you all seem to have some fantasy about but very few of you have ever seen, and almost none of you would be willing to inhabit. you have ever seen, and almost none of you would be willing to inhabit.

    “Why doesn’t the federal government/ Obama/Congress/EPA do more?” Like what? Every containment boom in the world is either there or on the way. The federal government doesn’t own any drilling rigs, and couldn’t drill a relief well if it did. Everyone with the expertise to do these things is in private industry. No one in the federal government has ever built a containment dome. No one in the federal government has ever attempted to use undersea dispersants, or designed the “BOP on top of the BOP” solution that is being considered. I am not knocking the federal government. Heck, I am known around these parts as a big government liberal. But the federal government just isn’t in the business of doing these things.

    “Why don’t we publicly assassinate the CEO of BP?” Ok, I am exaggerating a little about these comments, but not much. BP didn’t want this to happen, and BP didn’t cut corners. Forget all you read about the lack of redundancy systems. It is just the end product of hay processed by male cattle. People saying that really show no technical understanding at all of what is happening. This was a perfect storm of horrible events. The men on the rig didn’t want it to happen, because it put them at risk and cost eleven of them their lives. They train and train and train to keep this from happening because their lives are on the line. BP didn’t want it to happen (nor RIG, nor HAL, nor SII, nor CAM), because it has cost it (and them) billions, and no one gets ahead by losing billions. the line. BP didn’t want it to happen(nor RIG, nor HAL, nor SII, nor CAM), because it has cost it (and them) billions, and no one gets ahead by losing billions.

    “Why can’t somebody do something?” Every one of you can. But it will not involve going to a place you have never been to and could not possibly understand in order to clean oil from a bird. What it does involve is sacrifice on your part. Ride a bike to work or walk. Turn the thermostat down (or up, depending on the season). Move closer to the office. Eat things that are locally grown. In short, curtail your lifestyle. If you are not willing to do so, then please apply your upper lip firmly to your lower lip and keep it there, step away from the keyboard, and stop griping about the cost of your own addiction to cheap oil.

    1. BC

      Excuse mistakes due to me having done that via Droid. I don’t feel we can fault BP. I think it’s irresponsible. I drive 30 miles to work alone and I’m going to get all uppity at BP? I LOVE. Breton. Words can’t express it. You’ll never understand. You can’t. Just be rational please and don’t demonize BP because it’s easy. It starts with me. Boycott BC. :’-(

        1. BC

          The problem with this country is that we won’t own this problem. We’ll blame it on a company. Arrogant jerks will dismiss it as te “redneck riviera’s problem. Nobody will stand up in Ohio and say, “this is my fault. I must change”.

    2. DownSouth


      You and sc127 (above) and your pompous bloviating, as if you actually know something.

      You assert that this “was a perfect storm of horrible events.”

      Well if you’re so knowledgeable about these things, and have insider knowledge about the actual sequence of events, why don’t you enlighten us with all the gory details? I spent a few decades as a drilling engineer, so you’re not going to blow smoke up my ass.

      Were you on the rig when the blowout occurred? If not, who are you getting all your information from? BP? Halliburton?

      Finding out the truth about what happened is not going to be an easy task. These over-generalized pontifications, devoid of fact or detail, are nothing but a bunch of hot air.

      1. DownSouth

        And another thing, the time to have done something about this was before it happened.

        Many dedicated people may indeed be making extraordinary efforts now to do everything they can to help. But it’s a little too late, isn’t it?

      2. Skippy

        I concur DS, more times than not, in my construction days, the order has come down from above to fudge facts and numbers to facilitate the spreadsheet with out regards to safety (personal or other wise). Cheep steel after a bit, more apprentices than journeymen can supervise, compliance officers told to look the other way or sacked after a project is past the half way point, etc etc.

        Why? bonus tied to stock market evaluations!

        Skippy…Sorry DS for hanging on your coat-tails on this one.

        PS. Cheep gas is no reason for this dearth, strawman argument!

      3. BC

        Check back this afternoon and I will. My buddy passed away in this accident, so yes I do have the gory details. Pompous? Sorry, I see the outside world as acting that way. You don’t know crap about Venice so don’t pretend to care and talk down to us when you don’t give a cross about those 11 men, Breton or Venice.

        1. DownSouth

          Give me a break!

          If your friend was killed in this accident, he was probably more of a victim of BP’s incompetence and negligence than what the rest of us are. The decisions that led to this blowout were made at the top, not by some rig hand. I wonder what his survivors, and their lawyers, think about your efforts here to exculpate BP et al.

          Your argument is bereft of any logic.

          And Tony Hayworth, the chairman of BP, is an embarrassment to humanity, much to any dedicated and competent oil man. He’s already on record casting all the blame on Transocean.

          1. DownSouth

            should have read:

            And Tony Hayworth, the chairman of BP, is an embarrassment to humanity, and even more so to any decent and competent oil man. He’s already on record casting all the blame on Transocean.

          2. Anonymous Jones

            DS — I respect your knowledge and thoughts on this matter, but you’re forgetting one crucial thing. This operation is run by human beings. Everyone always tells me, “oh, you’ll see, people will surprise you.” And in fact, people do – they always manage to duck under my unbelievably low expectations for them. Almost every day, I’m on the phone with some high priced lawyer in NY or LA who is charging over $1000/hour, and half of them don’t understand the basic principles of their craft. They are completely unable to do the thing that should be most critical in their profession — distinguish between the points that are important and those that are not. They think every little comma is as important as the most critical business point, which simply, positively cannot be correct. And these are the people with high aptitude! It only gets worse from there. I mean, God love ’em, some of my employees are great, but rocket scientists, they are not.

            Any plan is at risk of failure of its weakest link, and that link is almost always the human element. I am not saying that we shouldn’t have harsh penalties to incentivize companies like BP (and their executives) to have triple redundancies in matters that have low probability but extremely high negative consequences, but at the same time, we have to understand that people f*ck sh*t up. I see it every day, from all sorts of well educated (and even well meaning) people. F*cking sh*t up is going to happen even without duplicity and nefarious intent. I am not saying that there was no duplicity or nefarious intent here; I’m just saying that it is *possible* that there could be a disaster like this without such things.

            Finally, as to the main post, you can’t say something is simple and easy but not cheap. With all due respect to Greg Palast, that line doesn’t make sense. “Cheap” is obviously a relative determination, but things are expensive because at some point in the production process, whether it’s volume, inputs or whatever, it’s “expensive.” What Palast means is, as in the common law negligence standard, the cost of protection would have been “cheaper” than the expected value of the loss.

            I am not defending BP with either of these points. I am completely ignorant of almost every answer here, as is most every other commentator it seems. I just feel that it is important to be extremely precise with our language and what we know and don’t know. The force of our arguments rises in proportion to the precision with which we use our words.

    1. Doug

      “These valves and shears were the last line of defense. The federal Minerals Management Service, which regulates offshore oil and gas production and collects reports on spills as small as a single barrel, was so confident of the system that it exempted BP from filing an environmental-impact statement for the Macondo operation. ”

      “confident”? more like – paid off.

      I’m not sure how “more regulation” solves a problem caused by regulators simply not doing their job.

  19. sam hamster

    This containment dome introduces an element of doubt in the public’s mind that the undersea geyser of oil will not flow freely for weeks to come.

    I hope that it works, but I don’t ignore its PR value. Can anyone discuss the likelihood that this dome will work?

    I understand that the dome-to-ship line that will drain the dome must be able to absorb explosive releases of gas, besides the oil. Also, what is to keep it from capsizing once the pressure inside the dome provides buoyancy. Also, containment in the dome depends entirely on a “mud seal” around the bottom.

    Am I being too negative?

    1. Skippy

      Old trick…just through bodies at a problem till something sticks…at least we tried..eh.

      Skippy…prevention is not a post date isssue.

  20. ventu

    There is quite a bit of nonsense in this Palast article, and it seems to be a political bias that is unable to see common-sense solutions.

    One indication of the bias is this comment…

    “This is about the anti-regulatory mania, which has infected the American body politic. While the tea baggers are simply its extreme expression……”

    Sure, clowns like Palast think it is funny to refer to the Tea Party with the cheap slur, but isn’t that just a bit tired by now ? Grow up and get informed. The Tea Party is not about repealing reasonable regulations.

    Setting Palast’s ignorance aside for just a moment, there is the specious argument he makes about why we must have even more regulation– it is because those who are charged with enforcing the regulations have proven themselves to be incompetent, as are their overseers– Congress.

    Whining about the lack of “regulation”, Palast says, “The answer is because government took you at your word they should get out of the way of business, that business could be trusted to police itself. It was only last month that BP, lobbying for new deepwater drilling, testified to Congress that additional equipment and inspection wasn’t needed. ”

    How idiotic. What a mess of a failed argument, typical of those who just blather on about an issue, with no effort to shed light on the problem– only an effort to push for more government.

    Well, here is the correct answer: We don’t want government to make up tens of thousands of new regulations that they will not enforce or at least supervise. We already have millions of those– literally. We want and need government to be extremely cautious in entering the area of telling citizens or businesses what to do, but when they must– government needs to make sure it is not just taking the word of those who need regulating. If it needs regulating, make sure it is done right. Why write regulations and then turn a blind eye ? Only a fool would argue that the problem of regulations not enforced can be fixed by writing more regulations.

    And stop slurring millions of honest, patriotic Americans with your toilet talk.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Your argument is far less coherent and persuasive than Palast’s. All I see is self-righteous indignation about criticism of Tea Partiers (man, that crowd can dish it out but it sure can’t take it) and an emotional, fact free reaction to his comments about regulation.

      Complaining about failures to enforce regulation by people who are openly anti-government is bogus. We’ve had a concerted push by business interests since the 1990s both to tear down regulation and to weaken enforcement. Enforcement budgets and staffing have been gutted, from the FDA to the SEC to the EPA. And you complain about failure to enforce? Spare me. That takes money and staffing, which Congress, pressed by its donors, has cut repeatedly (I can quote you chapter and verse as far as the SEC is concerned).

      1. nmewn


        So in your view the exponential growth of government and it’s tax collections for expotential growth is the resolution to all ailments within our society?

        “Enforcement budgets and staffing have been gutted, from the FDA to the SEC to the EPA. And you complain about failure to enforce? Spare me. That takes money and staffing, which Congress, pressed by its donors, has cut repeatedly (I can quote you chapter and verse as far as the SEC is concerned).”

        Would this be the same SEC staffing who uses it’s taxpayer funded budget to while away the hours watching porn at work?

        It was not my expectation to come to your site and throw rocks inside a glass house…but the irony of your funding problem example regarding the SEC had to be commented on…LOL.

          1. nmewn

            Haven’t brushed your teeth yet after having sucked all the goo off the inside of your fish tank last night???…LOL.

            No fear here Mr.Limpit ;-)

            Just showing respect for “Yves'”…while pointing out the obvious flaw in the remedy proposed.

            SeeYa round Skippy.

          2. Anonymous Jones

            Maybe if you had a little more fear, it would inhibit you from crafting such embarrassing arguments. Just sayin’.

          3. Skippy

            As some one, that used to take care of the perceived monsters under the bed (bad guys across the globe) ex-military/mercenary, that has worked for leading, if not, the top corporations of this world, in their fields of enterprise. That has lived and worked with many ethnic peoples across this globe, whose life and others around me necessitated my understanding of the psychological profiles of those around us…I can smell your fear.

            Do you think the government is so big, compare the population to government ratios from the inception of this country. Compare the activities engaged by the population private and business over this time period. Compare the consequences of these activities with regards to increasing effects of man-made compounds/activities and the lack of meaningful testing or oversight.

            Sorry old boy, this is not 1776 or any other time before, this is now and most of this worlds inhabitants have not a clue to half of what transpires in the name of their lifestyles or beliefs. Why not strive for real accountability rather than just say I can cover it all by myself, cuz that’s what this is all about, isn’t it, your preception of self…eh…or the perceived loss of it. Fear of perceived diminishment, status, life long beliefs rendered lies that they are, rosebuddddd!

            BTW my tank is the universe, how big is yours.

            Skippy… the half-ass man with one white shoe and liking it that way, yet I would give you my hand if you were in need and with out a bond over your head, no matter how much I disagree with you.

            PS. I would give you about 5 minutes in total sensory deprivation before feedback loss induced insanity sets in.

  21. Doc Holiday

    Boycott BP on Facebook has thousands of fans saying they will not fill up at a BP gas station until the company cleans up after itself. But are the boycotters having an effect on the Suncoast? Or are the stations still getting business?

    “I am upset that they don’t have a way to cap off the oil,” says Buddy Gibson.

    “I don’t want to support them right now,” says Bonnie Eskell.

    On the intersection of Lockwood Ridge Road and 17th Street in Sarasota are two gas stations; they even have the same price of gas. On one side of the road is a Sunoco, on the other is a BP.

  22. Doc Holiday

    Castrol is a brand of motor oil and other lubricants which is entirely a BP brand but tends to retain its separate identity.

    ampm is a convenience store chain with branches located in several U.S. states including Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, recently in Illinois, Indiana, Georgia and Florida, and in several countries worldwide such as Japan. In the western US, the stores are usually attached to an ARCO gas station; elsewhere, the stores are attached to BP gas stations. BP Connect stations in the US are transitioning to the ampm brand.

    ARCO is BP’s retail brand on the US West Coast in the seven Western States of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, and Utah. BP acquired ARCO (formerly the AtlanticRichfieldCompany) in 2000. ARCO is a popular “cash only” retailer, selling products refined from Alaska North Slope crude at plants at Cherry Point (WA), Los Angeles (CA) and at other contract locations on the West Coast.

  23. SH

    “Americans want government off our backs … that is, until a folding crib crushes the skull of our baby, Toyota accelerators speed us to our death, banks blow our savings on gambling sprees and crude oil smothers the Mississippi.”

    How does this fit in?

    1. Doug Terpstra

      SH, surely you’re kidding, right? You might also re-read Palast’s article.

      “This is about the anti-regulatory mania, which has infected the American body politic. While the tea baggers are simply its extreme expression……”

      Anti-regulatory mania has been metastasizing rapidly, malignant by design, since greed-is-good reaganomics, capturing or muzzling every public agency set up to ensure food and drug safety, child safety, highway safety, consumer product safety, market integrity—you name it—all in pursuit of profit at any cost to the commonwealth and the middle class foundation that made wealth-creation possible in the first place. If you still can’t see the connection, then join your local tea party—and bring a flask.

      1. SH

        Yeah, I’m like the jerk when Steve Martin finds out what his special purpose was. I thought Yves posted an article because she was worried about the ecological effects (not to say that she is not). Now I get it.

  24. jdmckay

    Palast has written/dug up some illuminating stuff over the years. He’s also often tended towards sensationalism more than a couple times. This article strikes me as the later, particularly the “rubber skirts” stuff. I’m not an oil guy, and I’m understanding this as things go by, but as others have said those things don’t make much sense for a leak a mile under.

    Beyond that, from what I’ve gathered, BP’s current CEO has all in all been improvement over his predecessor re: safety by a good margin. BP may have cut corners on this, and they certainly have on safety measures in the past. But the VALDEZ spill was not BP as Palast tries to imply. Nor does evidence available at this time suggest all that Palast imputes upon them.

    Again, BP’s malfeasance may be as Palast suggest, but it’s far from established fact currently.

    I read this Palast account w/skepticism.

    Meanwhile, they did get theirdome in place.

    Underwater robots guided the 40-foot-tall box into place in a slow-moving drama. Now that the contraption is on the seafloor, workers will need at least 12 hours to let it settle and make sure it’s stable before the robots can hook up a pipe and hose that will funnel the oil up to a tanker.

    There’s plenty of news out there on methane bubble. However this NOLA article has details I haven’t seen elsewhere:

    There was, however, a simpler protection against the disaster: mud. An attorney representing a witness says oil giant BP and the owner of the drilling platform, Switzerland-based Transocean Ltd., started to remove a mud barrier before a final cement plug was installed, a move industry experts say weakens control of the well in an emergency.
    In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, Scott Bickford, a lawyer for a rig worker who survived the explosions, said the mud was being extracted from the riser before the top cement cap was in place, and a statement by cementing contractor Halliburton confirmed the top cap was not installed.

  25. Justicia

    Industry spin at work:

    By Peter Coy and Stanley Reed
    May 7
    Until now, Gulf oil production had been expanding, with serious spills rare. Catastrophic accidents had been relegated to history by such gear as “blowout preventers” designed to shut off wells when pressures get out of control.

    NY Times
    Regulator Deferred to Oil Industry on Rig Safety
    Published: May 7, 2010
    Agency records show that from 2001 to 2007, there were 1,443 serious drilling accidents in offshore operations, leading to 41 deaths, 302 injuries and 356 oil spills. Yet the federal agency continues to allow the industry largely to police itself, saying that the best technical experts work for industry, not for the government.

  26. sceptic

    This post and most of the comments sound like typical bumbpf from people not in the oil business, clearly demonstrating how little they know about it, and damn determined to prove their ignorance at all costs.

    Statements like “To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a “boom.” Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.” only prove to me the author has no clue.

    Newsflash – booms don’t work when you have 4+ swells, the ocean just washes over them with the oil – I suppose this is too deep of a concept for most here to grasp, no pun intended. Neither do most other methods. If the ocean was flat and calm maybe. But then you have the oil moving below the surface, which won’t be stopped by a boom anyway.

    Etc etc etc – everyone is angry at BP, I get that. But overly simplistic crap like this post does not help anyone. Even if those crews were standing by 1mile from the rig, it would not have helped much. Of course, don’t let the facts get in the way of your rant.

    And no, before I’m accused, I don’t work for BP or any oil company nor do I own shares. But I do know for a fact that what ivory tower academic domeheads think is “easy” is very often nothing of the kind.

    1. Jeff

      “…Booms don’t work… [I’m not affiliated with] BP”

      Huh, booms don’t work. Imagine that.

      Now read the rest of the article, expecially the part where
      it says that having the booms at the ready in case of such
      an event was proposed by BP and was a condition of their
      environmental compliance.

      But booms don’t work, only those determined to prove their
      ignorance would suggest such a thing. And BP, because I
      guess we all know that all that matters is to snow those
      evil regulators.

      But that’s not you, who doesn’t own any BP stock, you say.

  27. ray l love

    Dead zones are reversible. The Black Sea dead zone, previously the largest dead zone in the world, largely disappeared between 1991 and 2001 after fertilizers became too costly to use following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the demise of centrally planned economies in Eastern and Central Europe. Fishing has again become a major economic activity in the region.[8]

    While the Black Sea “cleanup” was largely unintentional and involved a drop in hard-to-control fertilizer usage, the U.N. has advocated other cleanups by reducing large industrial emissions.[8] From 1985 to 2000, the North Sea dead zone had nitrogen reduced by 37% when policy efforts by countries on the Rhine River reduced sewage and industrial emissions of nitrogen into the water. Other cleanups have taken place along the Hudson River[9] and San Francisco Bay.[1

    Anyway, there is some hope. It seems the answer lies in the elimination of countries or groups of countries that are known by acronyms: ‘USSR’, ‘USA’, EU, etc., it may take some time though.

  28. Dingojoe

    I went to the site indicated by the update at the end of the article


    It really doesn’t show any near term indication of the slick getting caught up in the gulf loop current and heading to Naples (FL).

    Here’s a link to the NOAA forecast for the oil slick over the next 72 hrs. It sure indicates that Venice (LA) is in far more danger.


  29. Glen

    The only thing green in BP’s logo is the money they spread around to their bought and paid for politicians and regulators.

    BP deserves to get sued back to the stone age.

  30. Dingojoe

    Offshore drilling won’t stop because of this. The oil companies will be required to have booms, coffer dams, rapid response teams pre-staged anywhere offshore drilling occurs. More redundancy in blow-out preventers will be required. BP will be paying quite a bit for several years to monitor the impact of the spill and paying for damages to lost income and for the negligent deaths of 11 men (Halliburton and TransOcean will be paying too). And the world will continue to turn.

  31. John

    Few people have any real comprehension of what it takes to get a barrel of oil out of the ground, and especially in 5,000′ of water. We are all dashing around the countryside in our big SUV’s, hauling kids to and from schools and to “events”. Ever consider how much fuel our schoolbus system burns every year? And, I didn’t see any of the shrimp and fishing boats paddling or rowing to their favorite fishing sites, so how do they expect to get there when the oil starts running out? With 5,000 barrels a day gushing from the ocean floor, nobody has bothered to observe, “Boy, there sure is a lot of oil down there!! We need responsible drillers and the most up-to-date technology. A company such as BP, when faced with such irresponsible accidents, should be banned from any further leasing and drilling for a period of time–five or ten years! That would make the short-term, cost saving, bottom line achievements seem rather miniscule in the big picture. It is, indeed, a disaster; we just need to learn how to be prepared and best cope with it. If our way of life is to continue, doing without is not an option! jlw

  32. Jerry

    I read an article called the ‘Mother of all gushers could kill Earth’s oceans” . Here’s a little of the start of the article. You might want to google to get the full account. This is really really serious and we are not being told:
    Mother of all gushers could kill Earth’s oceans
    Imagine a pipe 5 feet wide (potentially) spewing crude oil like a fire hose from what could be the planets’ largest, high-pressure oil and gas reserve. With the best technology available to man, the Deepwater Horizon rig popped a hole into that reserve and was overwhelmed. If this isn’t contained, it could poison all the oceans of the world.

    “Well if you say the fire hose has a 70,000 psi pump on the other end yes! No comparison here. The volume out rises geometrically with pressure. Its a squares function. Two times the pressure is 4 times the push. The Alaska pipeline is 4 feet in diameter and pushes with a lot less pressure. This situation in the Gulf of Mexico is stunning dangerous.” — Paul Noel (May 2, 2010)

    Last night we received the following text in an email, author not identified. I passed it by Paul Noel, who is an expert in the field. His response follows thereafter. In calculating the gallons required to kill the oceans, remember that oil goes to the surface, where life is concentrated.

    The Oil Mess


    The original estimate was about 5,000 gallons of oil a day spilling into the ocean. Now they’re saying 200,000 gallons a day. That’s over a million gallons of crude oil a week!

    I’m engineer with 25 years of experience. I’ve worked on some big projects with big machines. Maybe that’s why this mess is so clear to me.

    First, the BP platform was drilling for what they call deep oil. They go out where the ocean is about 5,000 feet deep and drill another 30,000 feet into the crust of the earth. This it right on the edge of what human technology can do. Well, this time they hit a pocket of oil at such high pressure that it burst all of their safety valves all the way up to the drilling rig and then caused the rig to explode and sink. Take a moment to grasp the import of that. The pressure behind this oil is so high that it destroyed the maximum effort of human science to contain it.

    When the rig sank it flipped over and landed on top of the drill hole some 5,000 feet under the ocean.

    Now they’ve got a hole in the ocean floor, 5,000 feet down with a wrecked oil drilling rig sitting on top of it spewing 200,000 [gallons] of oil a day into the ocean. Take a moment and consider that, will you!

    First they have to get the oil rig off the hole to get at it in order to try to cap it. Do you know the level of effort it will take to move that wrecked oil rig, sitting under 5,000 feet of water? That operation alone would take years and hundreds of millions to accomplish. Then, how do you cap that hole in the muddy ocean floor? There just is no way. No way.

      1. Jerry

        You are right the rid did not land on the hole…..did you bother to google the rest of the article….

  33. nmewn


    “PS. I would give you about 5 minutes in total sensory deprivation before feedback loss induced insanity sets in.”
    LOL…I would give you MUCH less…seems your already there.

    If one is covert, one stay’s that way, forever…if one is expendable, one can proclaim it if they choose to on the internet.

    One should be careful when sharing their “experiences”…you never know who your really talking to…Skippy.

    1. Skippy

      Covert is cover, not concealment, which in these days has the protective value of wet toilet paper.

      I have gone though extensive testing both physical and mental by several metrics and fully understand the testing mechanics. As of less than 6 month ago I took a full mental evaluation buy the top individual in that field, in my region.

      I understand my strengths and failings with regard to this matter and work to better my self for my wife, kids and members of society having been heavily modified by my earlier experiences in taking life. Many are not as lucky as I’ve been, retreated into mind altering drugs (prescribed or other wise), anti-social behavior, ticking timebombs, wife beaters, near or total lack of empathy for others, etc.

      These days I volunteer in the medical field, support the wife in her medical career and try to raise 4 kids in this debt mad world of double speak mental predation upon us all by the truly insane.

      Skippy…You are jocko homo with a dash of Doctor Moreau, test on your self in the future if you like to play god.
      I suggest you read every post I’ve submitted in the last 2 years and reassess your position.

  34. Steve Gaylord

    The possibility of an extinction event? Just one quart of oil may pollute up to 150,000 gallons of water!

    It’s hard to say exactly what’s going on in the Gulf right now, especially because there are so many conflicting reports and unanswered questions. But one thing’s for sure: “If the situation is actually much worse than we’re being led to believe, there could be worldwide catastrophic consequences.”

    The massive oil slicks being created could make their way into the Gulf Stream currents, which would carry them not only up the East Coast but around the world where they could absolutely destroy the global fishing industries.

    This one oil rig blowout could set in motion a global extinction wave that begins with the ocean, then whiplashes back onto human beings themselves. We cannot live without life in the oceans. This could be the global extinction event that will crash the human population by 90 percent or more.

    Many independent scientists believe the leak is spewing far more than the 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, per day being reported by most media sources. They believe the leak could be discharging up to 25,000 barrels (more than one million gallons) of crude oil a day right now.

    The riser pipe that was bent and crimped after the oil rig sank is restricting some of the flow from the tapped oil pocket, but as the leaking oil rushes into the well’s riser, it is forcing sand with it at very high speeds and “sand blasting” the pipe (which is quickly eroding its structural integrity). According to a leaked National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration memo obtained by an Alabama newspaper, if the riser erodes any further and creates more leaks, up to 50,000 barrels, or 2.1 million gallons, per day of crude oil could begin flooding Gulf waters every day.

    Oh! And by the way… The containment bell has failed. What’s next? Maybe a nuclear device placed nearby may solve this man made disaster.

  35. Mike

    I think BP should have had their stuff together before they got themselves into a mess like this. I would think a company of this capacity should have several measures of protection ready when they are dealing in such a risky business. But alas they have been left with a mess such as this: http://bit.ly/ccqiM3

  36. Mario A. C.

    This is quite an important lesson, not to allow just anyone to drill our reserves. England is our ally, yet what about each individual involved? We can’t really just blame England’s, BP, we have to be smart, for our future relies on our action today. Today we create the foward thrust toward what we must accomplish, not merely want, futurely. BP has the capacity to clean this all up, while utilizing whatever is leaking. We must watch them stedfastly, even as we help to clean up, needfully. BP also knows that no other country allows for such slack permits in the oil drilling industry. Hopefully, that chamber will not explode due to pressure that may actually be from magma rising, as to why, perhaps, the methane explosion caused the rig to blow. If it keeps leaking for two more months, God Bless America, during hurricane season that won’t be good. Our military has the power to send several subs down there. Robots can then be controlled through eye witness accounts, not just video feed, which can be perspectively deceptive. Can they get Captin Nemo type human suits at that pressure? I thought we had the tech for such occasions. If not, there is a task that needs getting done. Also, analysis at that 5000 ft. level and above has to be done immediately regarding fractionation in polluted sea water; plus other effects on biologies and their respective environments. Remember, there are several micro environments in the sea, not just one broad swept one. Once one, or more of these environments are destroyed, what chain of domino events will also fold because of the pressure? We act like the gulf was not already polluted. The analysis’ thus far has been wrong more or less, depending on the team of experts at the site (whole Gulf region). On the more side, we have those who realize the true problems; yet are still far too compl(y)acent with what has been given as fact vs what can be initiated through good argument against the status quo of information. The time to be a hero is NOW! The ramifications are that, perhaps, after (if) Katla (Icelandic volcano) explodes, we may be left more isolated because of limited airflight, as economies tumble while our sources of mass produced foods are dwindled. This can be a mini international disaster; just what terrorist need, while all these racial tensions Brew(er). Let US pray NOT.

  37. Mario A. C.

    By the way, do not try using a Nuke to stop this leak, it will eventually stop on its own, or maybe not. Yet to contaminate the water with radiation that will infect the oil is ridiculous. The oil will be unusable for even Kevin Costner. Also, stop using dispersants, for truly they only toxify everything even further. Hopefully the oil slick fuse won’t ignite if it reaches all the way to Iceland’s volcano. Supposedly, what I read on another site, this is perhaps close to 300,000 thousand barrels per day, because most companies drilling that deep won’t spend that much on anything less than that. They need to be extracting 100’s of thousands a day to barely break even. Is this accurate info? we’ll all be educated now, I believe. Thank G*D!

  38. Mario A. C.

    Now what if BP and Kevin Costner get together and try and get those machines down to the source leaks? They could continue operations retrierving the oil, while stopping the pollution. The clean up will have to be up the the residents of the affected areas, just like Tennessee jumped into action, not waiting on FEMA, or anyone else besides their fine community. If they can’t plug the leak, at least with those machines at the source, they can still continue to make a profit off of the oil still pouring out. They’d just have to share more of the profits, so that the Gulf States can get back to business after the clean up.

  39. Shelby Simpson

    I was listening to an engineer while going to work yesterday who said simply that nothing would stop this oil leak. BP really messed up here and the administration needs to focus on stopping this or the whole coastline will be lost. I doubt this top kill strategy will work but we’ll see. It has never been tried at these depths before. They’re just experimenting now.

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