Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Thursday News: “Trump Has Treated Britain Shamefully”; Acosta #FAIL; Cooch Says...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, July 11.  New research shows that Paris Agreement goals...

Play the BP Offshore Oil Strike Game! Fun For the...


Ah, the good ol', carefree days.
Up to four would-be tycoons can compete at exploring for oil, building platforms and laying pipelines to their home countries.

But BP Offshore Oil Strike players must also avoid the dreaded 'hazard cards', which state: 'Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1 million.'

Unhappily for BP, that is just one per cent of the amount it has spent each day tackling the very real Deepwater Horizon leak, which has seen millions of barrels of oil gush into the Gulf of Mexico and hit the southern US coast.

Great Reporting From The Gulf By The Green Miles


Great job by Miles Grant on this. I also strongly recommend The Oil Drum for superb, albeit technical, discussion of the Deepwater oil disaster. Often, over the past couple months, I've learned about things at The Oil Drum that didn't appear in the "mainstream" press until weeks later, if ever. Check it out.

Pied Piper of Petroleum Punts

Republican Senator Frank Wagner (VA-7th) announced the obvious last evening: we have an environmental disaster. Virginia offshore drilling's strongest advocate averred that for now "...quite frankly I do not want to come in front of you here and promote it." At least until the ink on investigation is dry.
"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..."

Do As BP Says, Not As It Does?


h/t: Donald McEachin

UPDATE: In related news, 98% of Americans say the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is either a "disaster" or a "serious environmental problem;" 65% of Americans say we should pursue "criminal charges against BP and other companies involved in the oil spill;" and 73% of Americans say the spill was caused either a "great deal" or "good amount" by "unnecessary risks taken by BP and its drilling partners."

A Simple Question

The BP platform fire and subsequent oil spill is not the first time there has been an offshore spill of this magnitude in this hemisphere. On June 3, 1979, a Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) exploratory well 2 miles below the water surface in Bahia de Campeche had a massive blowout. Just like the BP exploratory platform, the oil and gas blowing out of that well ignited, setting the platform on fire. Again like the BP platform, that platform collapsed into the wellhead area.

The IXTOC I well spilled oil at a rate of 10,000 - 30,000 barrels per day until it was finally capped on March 23, 1980.

As I read about efforts to contain the massive environmental damage in 1979-1980, the measures sure sounded familiar: submersible submarines, booms, skimming equipment, pumping mud and debris into the wellhead, use of toxic chemical dispersants, finally the drilling months later of two relief wells.

Here's my question for the off-shore oil industry: If this happened before so long ago, why the H*** didn't you learn better ways to contain such a catastrophe in the 31 years since? (Perhaps because long ago you had bought yourself - through that infamous "access" that campaign contributions buy - a $75 million limit on the damages you cause?)