The Facts Get Worse and Worse

By Loudoun Insider

bird-at-deepwater-horizon-006

This photo in the WaPo practically made me cry this morning.  Whine all you want about the liberal WaPo and weeny environmentalists, but this photo captures the real essence of man’s often overbearing assault on an unsuspecting natural world.  This poor bird and millions of other organisms didn’t need what is looking more and more to be an easily avoidable mistake born from incompetence and greed. 

 

The facts indeed do keep getting worse and worse in regard to the shortcuts and mistakes that led up to the horrific Gulf oil spill.  Truly disgusting and utterly appalling.  F BP!!! 

 

I am no fan of over-bearing regulation, but this incident should shut up the no-regulation crowd for good.  Stringent, competent regulation (not this kind of BS) is absolutely necessary to protect our finest natural resources.


Comments

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Where are all the “drill, baby drill” people slamming me?
    .
    BP should be disqualified from ever drilling in US waters again.
    .
    First I heard Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen was retiring this week and thought, how in the hell can they let this guy go???, but he’s staying on as National Incident Commander.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/20/AR2010052005182.html
    Thank God – I’ve always liked this guy and he seems to be a straight shooter.

  • pgreer says:

    We don’t need more regulations. We just need to enforce the ones we already have. All this could of been avoided if Min. Mgmt had worried more about doing their job and less about season tickets.

  • Not Russ Moulton says:

    Yeah, gummint regs make everything safer:

    Cars — umm, no, the new lighter, underpowered cars required to meet CAFE (and inflated oil prices due to gummint regs, no drilling and OPEC) are LESS safe, even with airbags

    Cities — gummint reg of private gun ownership makes DC and Chicago MUCH safer … not

    Food — sure, without gummint we’d all be dead from food poisoning since without regs every meat processor would put out bad meat and there’d be zero tort consequence.

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and TARP — oh, nevermind.

    I’d go on, but you’ll just whine and stomp your feet and say look how wonderful it is how could ANYONE disagree blah, blah.

    Yes, the Gulf situation sucks, ESPECIALLY FOR BP. They lost what 10 men (sure, they don’t care you say, and I say your a imbecile if you really believe that), a massive rig, hundreds of millions and counting trying to stop the flow and contain the spill, facing hundreds of millions more for cleanup … and THEN they will face gummint grandstanding for fines (and free money) and massive, many legitimate tort claims from virtually everyone person and entity affected.

    Idiot, life is about choices and risks. Maybe you want to live in poverty, but I don’t. And government makes poverty while enterprise makes wealth and comfort.

    Sayonara

  • NRM: So your sympathy is with BP in this situation? That just boggles the mind.
    As for your hatred of government, you Randians should all move to Somalia, there’s no effective government there. It will be paradise for you.

  • Frylock says:

    Drill, baby, drill!
    *
    It’s amazing this doesn’t happen more often. Strangling the oil industry with more regulation is the answer? It will still happen every now and then.

  • NotJohnSMosby says:

    Steve, you don’t seem to be with the current Wingnuttery Program:

    Government Bad (unless Republicans are in control)
    Regulation Bad
    Lawyers Bad
    Private Enterprise Good
    Total Free Enterprise Good

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    What an asshat response, NRM. I’m not for governmental domination, just sound resonable and strict when need be regulation. This whole thing has been a huge screw-up for BP, on so many levels. And a scathing indictment of how inneffective corrupt regulation is just as bad (if not worse, morally speaking) than no regulation at all. Private industry is our key to productivity, but unfortunately the shitheads who run some of these companies care way too much about the bottom line at the expense of everything else.
    .
    Great point about Somalia, SV!

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Sound familiar?
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/environment/2010-05-23-super-spill_N.htm
    A very similar blowout occured in Mexico in 1979. Glad to see the wonderful self-policing oil industry has done basically nothing to increase their ability to deal with such a problem in 30 years.

  • [...] LI points out, this issue gets worse as time goes on and I don’t blame just BP.  Despite the volume of air [...]

  • Brian S says:

    LI, watch this and you’ll feel better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGcZrqP4f98.

  • Not Russ Moulton says:

    LI: Yeah, MY response is asshat when you cite a PEMEX spill. PEMEX being 100% a Mexican-government controlled “company.” Yes, it’s corrupt. And so are our regulators (though, I agree, not nearly so much). And the bigger the regulation and control the more politicized and corrupt it will all be.

    You are an idiot, sir, who thinks massive industrial activity will have zero bad effects if we just had MORE, BETTER government to regulate it. Bullshit.

    And finally, I despised the corporatists, big spending, zero economic prinicples (or most any other) of the two Bush admins.

    Peace out.

  • Steve Vaughan
    Actually Rand supported limited government but ridiculed anarcho-libertarians. A court system for contract enforcement and laws against fraud and force and protection of property rights were what she wanted and that does not exist in Somalia. But then again, Statists aren’t concerned with fact.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    NRM – same result on both spills, and same far too long solutions. Strict and equitable enforcement is possible, we just need a bureaucracy that doesn’t tolerate corruption and laziness, which unfortunately most governments have too much of.

  • Not Russ Moulton says:

    LI sez: we just need a bureaucracy that doesn’t tolerate corruption and laziness.

    NRM replies: what flippin planet to live on? or are you just pulling my leg? I mean really, read what you wrote, and what it shows you think. Dude, you are not fit to type.

    OUT for the weekend

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    I have seen certain state and local bureacracies that actually work well with little corruption and laziness. Far and few between to be sure, but it is possible. So do you say just get rid of all government?
    .
    If need be a couple of good FBI agents should be assigned directly to watch over some of these regulatory bodies. Locking up a few of the bad apples will straighten out the rest in a hurry.

  • pgreer says:

    No he didn’t say to get rid of all government. He just said that the solution isn’t to pile on more government. Fix what you already have.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    I absolutely agree with that statement, but it is painfully obvious that the current sustem of oil exploration regulation is far too cozy with industry. The revolving door needs to be slammed shut in many areas of government.

  • Frylock says:

    “A very similar blowout occured in Mexico in 1979.”
    *
    A blowout in 160ft water would be no problem to cap with today’s technology, but 5,000ft is a different story. If you think of the tens of thousands of wells drilled in the gulf over the past 30yrs, it’s not a bad record. The risk will never be eliminated.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Are you sure about that???

  • Matt Letourneau says:

    Yes. This situation is horrible. I’m not downplaying it one iota. But the fact remains–the safety record has been excellent–particulary in the US. This is like a plane crash–and generally, when NTSB starts peeling back the onion, you get angry because it usually turns out that mistakes were made and corners were cut. The results are catatastrophic. But that doesn’t mean we ground every plane and shut down the airline. But we make darn sure it never happens again. And in this case, we make sure the company makes it right.

    As awful as this is–the alternative is to be more reliant on foreign oil. We get almost nothing from renewables. Even if we quadruple it overnight–which is impossible and cost prohibitive–we’re still going to be totally reliant on oil. We’re either sneding billions overseas for it, or we’re developing it here and creating jobs here. That’s the choice.

  • Elder Berry says:

    Corporations weigh risks, money, lives, environmental damage, etc. all the time, and money usually wins. We do need government regulation, and we need enforcement.

    This disaster is a direct result of almost a decade of the Bush-Cheney administration disemboweling the federal regulation of the oil industry, filling the government agencies that did the regulation with industry insiders, lackeys, and do-nothings. There was a revolving door (which Obama to his credit has tried to put a stop to) between the corporations who were regulated and the government regulators. MMS seems to have been worse than most, but the same situation has been the case in food safety, etc. You gut the regulations and then you encourage lax enforcement of what’s left, what DO you think the result is goiung to be.

  • Ric James says:

    LI, if you don’t want people misrepresenting your position as being “for governmental domination” I suggest you try not to misrepresent their position as being “the no-regulation crowd.” This time you’re reaping what you sowed.

  • pgreer says:

    “But Salazar largely placed the blame on the George W. Bush administration, saying the bias toward oil companies was part of the culture of MMS and of the previous administration. He said that for oil companies, “essentially whatever it is they wanted, is what they got” during the Bush years but that the Obama administration has “turned the ship.” http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/05/26/26greenwire-interior-chief-vows-crackdown-on-mmss-bad-appl-60218.html
    *
    Turned what ship? Deep Water Horizon was drilled six months ago. Apparently Salazar was not very good at changing this lax environment. Blame Bush for stuff that happened during his administration. But I see very little evidence that the Obama administration did anything to change MMS.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    The technology of drilling for this stuff far exceeds the technology of cleaning it up when something like this happens. The Europeans seem to have better systems in the North Sea than we use here (although I don’t think the depths are nearly as great). I always thought Bush got a raw deal from Katrina and that the Dems were beneath contempt for using that tragedy as a political weapon. I feel the same way here. This would have happened the way it happened no matter who was President. It could have happened to Bush I, Clinton, Bush II. The rot had set in a long time ago, both in industry, and at the industry/MMS interface. In a responsible republic, the citizens and the elected officials would be keeping their eye on getting the hole plugged, the oil cleaned up, protecting the people and wildlife in the affected zone, and then, those tasks having been taken under control, addressing the legal and structural issues that contributed to this. It seems highly likely I will not vote for Obama in 2012 (the only event I could see changing that is the Republicans running someone who is incapable of governing), but this won’t be one of the reasons.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Ric, that was not directed at every single person that will disagree with this, but at the extremist types like most Club for Growthers. As I said, I am no fan of ineffective over-bearing regulation either, but what we’ve had in this industry has been pathetic and practically worthless. That needs to change – immediately.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    And that photo still breaks my heart.

  • Tom Seeman says:

    LI, you are misrepresenting the situation when you talk about “the no-regulation crowd” – no one is in favor of “no regulations.” If you want to propose regulations to make deep off-shore drilling safe, fine, propose them and they’ll be considered. What I am against is a knee-jerk reaction that prohibits all drilling.
    *
    Elder Berry, that rhetoric won’t fly. Obama has been president for well over a year, and if what yo say is true then why hasn’t Obama fixed it? Why hasn’t he sent new regs to Congress? or sent out inspectors? And why aren’t you blaming him for not having done anything?
    *
    Matt Letourneau is one of the few making sense on this thread.

  • Leej says:

    this was not about drill baby drill she was and still is a idiot laughing all the way to the bank
    *
    this is about the biggest environmental tragedy in the world

    and we thought the nuclear thing was going to be the big one

    this does make you cry

  • Tom Seeman says:

    Actually, Leej, this is about whether we should drill or not, your juvenile ad hominem attack on Sarah Palin notwithstanding.
    *
    The question is, “how does the U.S. meet it’s energy requirements?” Because petroleum provides the best bang for the buck for vehicles, it is what we depend on. To keep supply up with demand (and thus prevent price increases, which would hobble our economy), we both drill domestically and import oil.
    *
    So the reason why we have the spill is that as a nation we decided to accept additional risk in order to keep up supply. If we cut back on drilling, energy costs will rise. All those in favor of higher energy costs need to make clear that they are willing to accept a lower standard of living (more of your money going to energy than, say, a new TV) and a worse economy.
    *
    If you don’t like that we depend on petroleum, then please propose alternates. Keep in mind that solutions that increase energy prices and thus negatively impact the economy. That, dear readers, means your company and 401k. Are you really willing to risk job loss and a reduction of your retirement income?
    *
    I’ve looked into alternatives, and none are really satisfactory. Ethanol(E85) requires lots of cropland (even for the more efficient sugarcane or sugar beets), and Brazil has had to destroy it’s rainforest to get to where 45% of it’s vehicular fuel is met by ethanol. You get more energy per unit with ethanol (E95), but it’s highly corrosive and hard to handle.
    *
    Electric cars? Not ready for prime time, although they may get there someday. And while it’s theoretically more efficient to produce your energy at a large plant than in a (relatively) small vehicle, you still need to produce the energy, and that too requires hard choices. Nuclear? Coal? Natural gas? All have pros and cons. Wind and solar are expensive yuppie jokes that at best will supply a fraction of our needs, and then only at a terrible cost-benefit ratio.
    *
    So let’s hear some proposals, as I’d be interested.

  • GI Jane says:

    You could try actively working on measures to decrease our use of energy, which would help with energy security and independence. Why don’t you all get involved in some ongoing regional efforts on that and blog about it? It might make us all feel better. The photograph is so, so sad. I am sick to think about all the wildlife that has been decimated by this disaster, as well as so many people’s livelihood.

  • Brian S says:

    The top kill has failed. Back to the drawing board.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    They obviously had no real contingency plans. For that type of oversight, a lot of regulators in MME need to lose their jobs. But it seems as if their bureaucratic culture was to help their regulated industry cut as many corners as possible.
    .
    Tom some people are indeed pure libertarians in that regard, and others will bitch about almost any type of regulation. This incident proves once again that some people simply cannot be trusted to do the right thing in the absence of dire consequences.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Here’s an example of regulation gone amok:
    http://belowthebeltway.com/2010/05/29/police-shut-down-7-year-olds-lemonade-stand/
    Requiring thorough environmental impact assessments and worst case scenario contingency plans (with pre-positioned equipment) for risky oil drilling is not overbearing.

  • Matt Letourneau says:

    No, but it also is absolutely no guarantee that the results would have been any different whatsoever. We still really don’t know enough about what happened.

    The problem I have is that we live in a knee-jerk society. We want heads to roll and we want it to happen yesterday. Very rarely do good decisions get made in that kind of environment. It feels good to get bad, but it also can make the problem even worse. Case in point–ousting the MMS Director on Friday. Sure, it felt good, but explain to me how that’s going to help anything right now. I have no affection–well, more accurately, no opinion–about the current Director of MMS, but I am reasonably sure that ousting her isn’t going to solve anything any faster–now somebody else has to step in in the middle of a crisis and get up to speed. That’s going to take, what..a week, a month? How does that help?

    But that’s the culture we live in. Let’s take all these BP executives and force them to spend hour after hour, day after day, getying lectured by a bunch of Congressman–half of which wouldn’t know the OCS from Sprint PCS. Nevermind working on the problem–much more important for Congressman So and So to get face time slamming some poor BP exec to get some good ink at home.

  • Matt Letourneau says:

    …and that includes posting without proofreading. Should read “Mad,” not “Bad.”

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Agreed, Matt, but there are already plenty of mistakes coming out, both from BP and the government. Heads will and should roll, but it’s probably too early to say whose heads at this time.

  • Brian S says:

    Matt, at the very least, requiring worst case contingency plans would provide a basis to start planning to repair the damage. At this point, we’re trying to invent the wheel here.
    .
    In addition, it would have allowed the localities to prepare as well. There needs to be prepositioned equipment available and having plans for worst case scenarios would enable all of the stakeholders to be better prepared. I think that’s pretty sound, common sense regulation.

  • NoVA Scout says:

    There’s a lot of pre-positioned equipment in the required contingency plans filed at the state, federal and local level. The problem here is that the worst case scenarios weren’t worst case enough, and that the equipment is all the kind of stuff one would use for a tanker accident, where there’s a finite (however large) amount of oil, and none of it appears to be what one needs to fix a virtually perpetual leak a mile underwater.

  • edmundburkenator says:

    The clean up is one thing, how we got here is another.
    .
    While Matt makes great points on how to react in terms of regulation, from what I’ve been able to discern (and it’s very early for all the facts), is that people — PEOPLE — screwed up. They took shortcuts on materials, they took short cuts on procedures, they made decisions to save a buck here and there and, in essence, rolled the dice with the Gulf coast’s money on the table.
    .
    There are regulations in place — there are no police and no steep (and they should be very penal) fines if something is found wanting.
    .
    People need a proper motive to do the right thing. It sounds they had few prior to this.

  • shredder says:

    Thanks LI for the thread and for the wise sentiments about proper regulation.

    The choice between “drill baby drill” vs. dependence on foreign oil is over the long haul a false choice. We need to transition out of fossil fuels altogether, for many reasons. And we can. The best thing we can do is do that as quickly as possible and then use what remains of our fossil fuel resources to engineer the infrastructure for the permanent post-fossil fuel era.

    Oil like any resource has a peak curve. We need to plan seven generations down the road. Oil will not be available forever, and in the arc of history this little energy bubble we’ve been enjoying for the last century and a half or so will seem like a flash in the pan. With these facts recognized, the best policies come into sharp focus.

    And all that is without even mentioning climate change.

  • The Other Dan says:

    >> The problem here is that the worst case scenarios weren’t worst case enough,
    .
    The plans BP submitted to MMS for this project back in 2008 said that the worst case scenario that they were prepared to deal with was 250,000 barrels a day – far more than the 19,000 barrels currently leaking.
    .
    BP Prepared for Spill 10 Times Gulf Disaster, Permit Plans Say
    .
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-31/bp-prepared-for-spill-10-times-gulf-disaster-permit-plans-say.html

  • [...] LI points out, this issue gets worse as time goes on and I don’t blame just BP.  Despite the volume of air [...]

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