Hey, maybe we just haven't been looking on the bright side of oil disasters. The ocean gains new traits ... like being able to light it on fire! And maybe new species will evolve, like birds that ... uh ... enjoy being sticky!
From IFC's The Whitest Kids U' Know (featuring Trevor Moore, who grew up in Charlottesville, and Arlington native Zach Cregger):
Yet the very next day, BP is continuing to use Hayward's rhetoric. A researcher on BP's payroll predicts the BP oil disaster's impact will be "quite small." Hayward himself once infamously predicted the impact would be "relatively tiny."
Last night I was at happy hour with friends talking about the disaster. "This is what BP doesn't get: We don't hate Tony Hayward because he's British," one of my friends said. "We hate him because he [screwed] the Gulf Coast."
BP dumping its CEO but continuing its lies changes nothing.
These are the big, sexy ones, but there are thousands of others. Just one example: we have managed to contaminate the entire world with polychlorinated biphenyls aka PCBs. The whole world. We are redefining survival of the fittest (or so we think) through genetic engineering. This is a new twist on "fittest." Want an uplifting documentary? Try The World According to Monsanto and then feel guiltless about serving your child that next glass of milk.
Jefferson believed in a natural aristocracy. Nature has time and takes its time in allowing success to percolate. We are not the final arbiter. But we affect the outcome, despite the denial.
The failure to capture the costs of this particular unassigned risk are dramatic and, in this case, quantifiable. Further, the casual dismissal of potential responsibility and the attempt to fix it on others is transparent. Both Marine Spill Response Corporation and National Response Corporation were set up to be the fall guys in the event of a less tragic event where BP would be positioned to claim it had been misled about the capabilities, dust itself off, and carry on.
It is much more difficult to fix costs when, for instance, mountaintop removal is used to mine coal that will produce poisonous pollutants as an end product. With this oil spill, the damage is impossible to disguise and easier to assess. Other industries that create waste that will either one day have to be cleaned up or will create permanent wastelands while reaping exorbitant margins by shifting real cost are harder to indict. Consumers who enjoy the benefit of such arrangements through lower prices at the counter are just as irresponsible as the corporations. But theirs are often acts of omission while the corporations' are acts of commission.
The BP obfuscation continues in the stories of skimming efforts. While it reports that more than 671,428 barrels of oil-water mixture have been captured, they are remiss in failing to mention that 90% of the mixture is water. In the end, $20 billion may not cover making the Gulf region whole. And equally as dangerous is the prospect that BP may be the victim of a corporate raid by our close ally, Libya. Imagine if the long term cost of this spill had been included in the price of a gallon of gasoline in anticipation of risk.
Bottom line: if the true cost of oil production or coal production, or battery production, or whatever, were captured by the producers and passed to the consumers, the free market could function more closely to the ideal manner described by the Chicago acolytes. The actual cost of energy would make the green alternative dynamic and profitable in a world where truth has value.
1. President Obama did not ban all drilling or even all deep water drilling. Those who claim he shut down some existing rigs are wrong. He placed a hold on new deep water permits. (I believe even Rachel was wrong when she said he only shut down 33 existing wells in the gulf. The wells in question didn't' exist yet and weren't permitted yet. Rachel did correctly distinguish between drilling and production phases, however.)
2. BP does not own all the BP gas stations many are boycotting. They are independently owned. They pay BP a licensing fee and may, or may not, actually sell BP oil. BP dis-invested in its retail operations in 2007.
3. Gulf oil won't make our country independent of foreign oil. (Pssst BP is a foreign oil company.)
"I will tell you that when this investigation is complete you are going to find out that equipment wasn't maintained properly, warning signs were ignored...and it was a corporate attitude of profits over safety...and you're also going to find lax government oversight over the inspections..."Wagner called for three things that must happen: 1) they have to get it plugged, 2) capture as much oil as they can, and 3) clean up. He called for a thorough investigation and speculated that as with most JAG investigations he has been involved with (and he elicited Ben Loyola's concurrence), inevitably there is not one mistake, but a series of mistakes that reflects an attitude within the command that allowed the accident to happen.
"People are saying, can't you just plug this?...I don't think you have any idea what it is like working 500 feet under the water, much less 5000...I can assure you that BP, and not just BP but every other major oil company who has equipment...has offered it to bring every resource to bear because all of them have as much to lose as BP..."
I do not suggest that BP did this on purpose, though its behavior was purposeful negligence. Apparently, BP also allegedly engaged in purposeful lying to regulators. And BP was purposefully reckless and cavalier in the aftermath. Where the administration is concerned, I do not suggest that extensive person hours haven't been spent by this administration. They have, from the beginning. Nor do I suggest that the administration doesn't care about what is happening. I think the president has gotten a bad (and very unfair) rap on that. However, the president has more on his plate than finding the right "ass to kick." (I must confess, I hope he does that, through the DoJ.)
What is needed is a massive re-organization of our national priorities. Given the extensiveness and seriousness of what we face in the Gulf, and potentially up the Atlantic Coast, we must consider some outside-the-box thoughts:
But wait! BP has a new plan to keep us from seeing this spill as an inevitable overdose of our ongoing addiction to oil! Put down that clean energy & climate bill and check this out:
[BP Managing Director] Bob Dudley said there was a greater chance of success with this operation than with the "top kill" procedure that was tried last week.If this plan was really so much better than the "top kill" scheme, wouldn't BP have done this a lot sooner? Of course. Because this plan has one major drawback -- it inherently has to make the gusher a lot worse before it has any chance at all of making it better:
"This is a better chance, definitely better. We're not working with those high pressures and pumping that we weren't sure we were able to even connect up. The guys that are running the robots, this is something that they know how to do. The cutting is probably the critical piece. We may have to try a couple of blades to do it. But from an engineering sense, this is much more straightforward.
Here are two videos of the 60-Minutes' interview with the electronics engineer who survived the blow-up of Deepwater Horizon, coupled with an interview with Dr. Bea, who has been asked by the White House to look into the infamous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (he also investigated the loss of the Columbia space craft and the flood from Katrina in New Orleans). You will be alternately chilled and boiling mad. I was unable to get the URL for the two videos to embed them in this diary, so here are the two links. If you have not seen this, it is well worth the time---- one of the most compelling things I have ever heard.