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Oil spill: Passing the blame

Posted Monday, May 17, 2010, at 8:29 AM

Over the past few days we've seen and heard President Obama blame both Big Oil and federal regulators for the BP oil spill still spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil industry reps spoke before Congress and passed the blame from one person/agency to another for the mess threatening tourism and fishing in the Gulf.

I'd think it would be impossible for the oil industry to guarantee mishaps won't happen. But I suspect the industry could certainly take stronger protective steps in the future.

I'd like to see all sides involved take safety -- and concern for the public -- more seriously in the future. But I doubt there's much room for that attitude in the mindset of big business.


Comments
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I blame the "drill baby drill" mentality. There has to be more thought to it, (this simplistic mind set as we see can be disastrous)more concern respect for this planet, is a must. I am not making a political party statement but one against the mentality that makes profits the most important element in any decision, and the statement above sums that up in a "nut" shell.

We have to find ( this is not a new concept I know) SAFE ways to find energy, and ways that do not endanger us any more than absolutely necessary. I don;t have any answers. But I do know we can all help even in small ways.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, May 17, 2010, at 10:56 AM

AFTER the spill obama approves 27 new offshore drilling plans and exempts all but one from environmental impact studies.

http://towardfreedom.com/home/content/vi...

Then he gets on TV and puts on his serious face and decries how government is in the pocket of the oil companies.

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, May 17, 2010, at 5:24 PM

YOu know Mike this is not just an Obama thing or a republican thing, the world does not revolve around bashing Obama at all cost. Get over it move on. These wells are there by the approval of both parties so look at the whole picture not just your little "I hate Obama" one. They have been here long than him and will be here when he is gone. It is corporations and greed mongers, if you notice the company is neither right nor left but from another country all together. Do you have any thing else in your life than hate for Obama to live for? If not you need to go out and get a life.

This planet not just the Florida shore line is at risk from these wells and other such things that are not being monitored for safety standards. It needs to have some real problem solving done and that means people who are concerned more about results for the good of planet than those more interested in burning and American president they choose to hate (dem or rep) I can guarantee you the eco system that is being destroyed by these careless greed seekers is ot the result of a political party pr. say but an in dusty seeking extra profits. So Obama, Bush or even who ever is not the issue, even though there are those(like you) that refuse to see past a black dem president they hate on any matter that comes up.,or some war monger white rep one they hate, or some one from another country that for some idiotic reason they hate it goes way beyond that.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, May 17, 2010, at 6:06 PM

If you were able to put together a cogent argument someone might take you seriously. Until then...

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, May 17, 2010, at 6:19 PM

What ever, go hate some more.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, May 17, 2010, at 6:28 PM

I guess maybe quietmike didn't even read his own link he posted. It also says that Obama has "put the brakes on new drilling". The only thing that was approved, (according to that article) was "exploration plans". But that should still make you happy. Didn't Republicans use the "Drill, baby, drill" battle cry for their election campaign?

-- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Mon, May 17, 2010, at 9:31 PM

This oil spill will not only effect the gulf coast. After it continues to spread and destroy the coral reef it will be a global catastrophe.

There's a great quote from the movie The Matrix. It's when Agent Smith talks about the human race.

"I tried to classify your species. I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with their surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and you multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague."

I laughed the first time I heard that line from the movie. But the more I thought about it, the more it rang true. We just continue to pollute the planet, turn a blind eye on global warming, or dimiss it altogether. We can point fingers all day, but all we can do now is watch the devastation that this oil spill will cause for decades. Will we ever learn?

-- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Mon, May 17, 2010, at 10:21 PM

wonderwhy, I do not necessarily disagree with you at all, but your emphasis may be directed to the wrong groups of people. The way I see it, it is not the little things that "we" do that make a small difference, it is those very small things that drive the entire machinery of the economy.

It is easy to blame the large corporations for all the problems in the world, but that is really only an indictment of degrees. To decry the wealthiest for seeking profit, does not take into consideration every consumer's demand for cheap and plentiful fuel. Nor does it take into account the millions of working people who have their retirement accounts dependant upon those profits.

I am no apologist for huge concentrations of capital, especially energy, but accidents do happen. I will grant you that this a is large accident, and others should be prevented in the future, but the drilling for oil must be done somewhere, at least until alternative energy sources are in sufficient demand to justify robust development. That requires either strong consumer preference, or much more constraining market conditions.

-- Posted by memyselfi on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 5:00 AM

Who knew Agent Smith was familiar with the one of the primary tenets of progressivism? Maybe we need a strong government to reign in this scourge known as humanity or at least promote abortions or "death panels" (since folks are so fond of Palin quotes).

If drilling for oil does not occur here, then oil will be loaded into tankers and shipped across the oceans to us. These tankers have been known to have accidents as well. Rather than vilification, the current administration should concentrate on positive action like working with these companies to ensure the safety of deep sea oil rigs to provide assurance that everything possible is done to prevent or mitigate this sort of disaster for the future. Blame will only lead to cover-ups in the future. That's the real risk of playing politics with a disaster like this.

When Al Gore's carbon footprint is lower than mine, it might be easier to take him seriously. Until then I continue to drive my car to work like a little virus going down the road. Another movie quote from a far better film, "I drink your milkshake!".

-- Posted by cortnerkin on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 8:48 AM

cortnerkin has provided us with the standard conservative response to environmental awareness. Use Al Gore as your excuse to dismiss global warming. Nevermind all the other scientific organizations (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, The World Meteorological Organization, The United Nations Environmental Program, or The National Academy of Sciences, just to name a few) that also conclude that greenhouse gases caused by human activities are causing our climate to change.

Just act like Al Gore is the only person who speaks out about the topic. Or you can always watch the occasional wacky Fox News "climate expert" (who just happens to work for the petroleum industry) assure you that all this "global warming" stuff is just a big hoax.

And this pesky oil spill? Well, let's hear what the wise old Republican hero Rush Limbaugh had to say...."The ocean will take care of this on it's own, if it was left alone and left out there. It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is". "At some point the beach will fix itself".

See....all this Global Warming and Oil Spill stuff is no big deal.

I can agree with cortnerkin on one point. You are a virus. A happy little virus driving down the road. But still, a virus.

-- Posted by Rocket Valentine on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 11:26 AM

We are fallible as a species. BP had redundant systems to prevent a blowout, on this rig three in fact. When the rig exploded and dropped to the bottom, the falling rig itself fell on the wellhead and destroyed the secondary shut-offs. We the U.S. have been allowing drilling in the gulf in U.S. waters since the early sixties and this is the first time there has been an accident. Nearly fifty years is a damn good record. This is due to BIG OIL having to follow GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS. Look at other countries records that don't have the governmental oversight that the U.S. has, and you will see issues all over the world. '79-Mexico, '80 English rig- North sea, '82 Canada, '84 Brazil, 88 England north sea, '89 Thailand, '95 Nigeria, '01 Brazil, '05 India, '07 Mexico, '09 Australia. All of theses were oil releases from deep sea rigs. And let's not forget that BP is not an American "BIG OIL" company it's a British "BIG OIL" company. So BIG U.S. OIL" is not responsible for this screw up so lets get our anger focused in the correct direction. The last time a U.S. "BIG OIL" company had a rig leak into the sea was off the coast of Santa Barbra California in 1969. American oil companies have an impeccable record when it comes to environmental safety as far as oil release at the rigs themselves; tankers are another issue, before you start screaming Exxon Valdese.

-- Posted by docudrama on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 12:58 PM

Got my rig accident info from; www.ukreuters.com

-- Posted by docudrama on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 12:58 PM

Using oil for power is an outdated technology.

We could have been using nuclear power for decades now as our primary source of power, just as France has, but all we have heard is the doom and gloom, sky is falling nonsense, from the same folks who advocate "carbon credits" as a solution.

If this offset nonsense had any merit, Al-Qaeda could have bought terrorism credits from the Amish and the Quakers to make up for 9/11.

If anyone really cares to apply science to the global warming debate, they might do well to look at Henry's Law and it's variants, which have been around since 1803.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry%27s_l...

-- Posted by quietmike on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 5:31 PM

You all realize that oil is sold on a world wide market? Even when we do produce a vast majority of "our own oil" it will still be sold on the world market, competing with fluctuating currencies (yen, yuan, euro, dollar, et al). So regardless of how many factors we control in the process, the price is still determined on a global basis. Don't pretend that if we produce our own oil, it will be cheaper for us to use; any finite look into the history of American production shows you that it is FAR cheaper to send our companies overseas, paying extremely low wages, and following sub human safety regulations, etc to make "our stuff" cheaper. If it were cheaper to make our own goods, then 70% of what we consume wouldn't be made in China...

I do realize the impending need of drilling for oil on our shores, because the dessert will soon run out; however, we should only use such measures as temporary ventures and ultimately be more creative and design the next generation of energy. This is America, the country that has (at least in recent memory) led the way in technology, so why do we want to fall behind every other industrialized country in the world? Cleaner energy, will not be as expensive, because unlike oil, many countries will be able to create their own clean energy, that which most of us can not do with oil...

Passing the blame for the oil spill is typical, and it is truly absurd to hear all the people here who pretend they won't be effected act as if this is no big deal. 19% of all fishing has been ordered to stop in the Gulf due to oil contamination. 19% is far too repulsive, because it means hundreds of people who depend on the fishing industry will now be jobless, thousands of animals will be dead, and millions of humans will ingest (through sea food) the very ingredient, oil, that will be the death of so many, in one way or another.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, May 18, 2010, at 10:06 PM

What good is placing "blame" now is the time to hold "accountable". The lame so called attempts to fix this problem are a disgrace. Some are better than others, but things like golf balls are an insult to anyone with a brain. BP is at a loss at what to do, they are grasping at straws for solutions.

The people to question are the ones who signed the final papers to start these wells knowing they do not have the proper solutions if there are mishaps like this. These people are not concerned about our oceans and lands they only see the bottom line of the profits they will get.

Each and every one of the people who are the heads of these projects should be required to live and spend the rest of their lives and fortunes in the areas destroyed by their wells. They should live on the land, eat the foods, and pay for the damage. Let them suffer the losses caused the same as all the people who by no choice of their own have to. Let them walk in the shoes of those they have harmed, the lives they have destroyed.,

-- Posted by KaiteJones on Thu, May 20, 2010, at 10:58 AM

Each and every one of the people who are the heads of these projects should be required to live and spend the rest of their lives and fortunes in the areas destroyed by their wells. They should live on the land, eat the foods, and pay for the damage. Let them suffer the losses caused the same as all the people who by no choice of their own have to. Let them walk in the shoes of those they have harmed, the lives they have destroyed.,

-- Posted by KaiteJones on Thu, May 20, 2010, at 10:58 AM

AMEN! Could not have said it better! Spot on.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Sat, May 22, 2010, at 10:23 PM

http://climateprogress.org/2010/06/02/bp...

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Jun 8, 2010, at 12:42 PM


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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.