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THE Oil Spill

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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby StlSluggers » Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:05 pm

Grounded Polo wrote:It's just too bad that this was caused by a company so indestructible like BP.

I wouldn't be so sure about that.

Reuters wrote:Obama Urged To Fine BP plc $100 Billion In Damages-DJ
Sunday, 13 Jun 2010 09:14am EDT

Dow Jones reported that senior U.S. politicians are urging U.S. President Barack Obama to seek $100 billion in damages against BP plc for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a prospect which would almost certainly bankrupt the Company, the Independent newspaper reported on Sunday. Without citing sources, the report said it is understood that a group of senior congressmen from Obama's Democratic Party are pushing the President to sue for up to $100 billion, including punitive as well as physical damages even though it is not yet clear that BP plc failed to meet its responsibilities.

As much as I'd love to destroy someone over this, too, I think getting rid of one of the biggest oil companies in the world would only make this worse. It'd be like killing the only pilot on the plane because he didn't go through the proper safety checks before taking off. Sure, he effed up, but getting rid of him only makes the mistake that much worse.

As long as we need oil like we do, we need BP to exist. Now how profitable they are... That's another story altogether.
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby Madison » Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:23 am

Interesting responses... :-?

Contrary to what most say/believe, the "only" thing we can really be upset about is that BP didn't have a plan in case there was a leak (obviously the rest of the country and even the government didn't/doesn't have a plan either...). Other than that, a lot of people expect way too much. A company wants to drill into the bottom of the ocean to extract oil, and no one figured there would be a spill of some sort at some point? The people allowed it to happen, the government didn't require a plan of action should there be a leak (before they started drilling!?), and the company itself didn't have a plan? But now that a spill has happened, it's "boycott BP" or fine them into bankruptcy? Yeah...right... I understand being irritated with them, I know I am irritated by the stupidity of drilling there and not having a plan in case there was a leak, but to boycott them or have the government fine them into bankruptcy is pretty overboard. I have no love for Big Oil as most people are aware, I just fail to see why so many are calling for such an extreme punishment. BP is already footing the bill for anyone and everyone affected by the spill (individuals and businesses both) and they are taking one of the biggest PR hits they can possibly take. Yet that's not enough punishment for something that was completely predictable... ? They need to be put out of business? That's laughable because it's so dumb and it's sad that some people might actually believe BP deserves that harsh of a punishment, but whatever.

I actually blame the government about the same amount I do BP. The government should have required a plan in case of a leak from BP prior to allowing the drilling, and even with a plan in hand, the government should have had its own plan should BP's plan fail. The government loves to rob from the rich and give it to the lazy (welfare, food stamps, etc) because they feel it is their job to take care of their citizens. Heck they push that point so much that they are forcing people into bankruptcy and forcing people to take government handouts just to live (Obamacare - Yes, I'm using that word, I don't care at the moment). So where was the government on this one? Where is/was their plan to protect its citizens? Sure doesn't look like they lifted a single finger to protect anyone from anything to me. But it's all 100% BP's fault and BP should be put out of business? Obama will certainly make a statement about himself and leave no question about the type of person he is if he levels the $100 Billion fine.

I do find it quite interesting how much people waffle around here. The typical response to someone (even a company or corporation) screwing up is if they make it right then all should be forgiven. Typically punishments (governmental/legal) are considered too severe by the Cafe. But nah, it's BP, they should be forced to go out of business. ;-7 The consistancy and fairness around here is second to none. ;-7

Oh, and I found this graphic comparing oil spills a few days ago. If it is accurate, this is by far and away not the worst oil spill in history. Not trying to downplay it or anything, just a visual reference is all.

http://www.gavinpotenza.com/worst-oil-spills/
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby jfg » Sat Jun 26, 2010 4:03 am

Who said anything like that here Madison? I'm the only one who brought up the word boycott and quickly followed it with why that's not really a good answer... and then an article was quoted about fines. Who are you referring to?
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby Madison » Sat Jun 26, 2010 7:06 am

jfg wrote:Who said anything like that here Madison? I'm the only one who brought up the word boycott and quickly followed it with why that's not really a good answer... and then an article was quoted about fines. Who are you referring to?


I could go quote by quote but that wouldn't accomplish anything other than wasting my time, so I'll simply point out that if you don't think BP deserves to be boycotted, why bring it up? You want to tell me that was just a pre-emptive strike against someone saying they should be boycotted? ;-7 :*)
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby StlSluggers » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:33 am

Madison wrote:Oh, and I found this graphic comparing oil spills a few days ago. If it is accurate, this is by far and away not the worst oil spill in history. Not trying to downplay it or anything, just a visual reference is all.

http://www.gavinpotenza.com/worst-oil-spills/

It definitely is not the worst oil spill ever, but no one says that. It's often noted that it's the worst in American history.

Interestingly, the Saudi spill supposedly wasn't much of an ecological disaster, because they have "vacuum boats" ready to suck up the oil.
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby RedHopeful » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:00 am

Madison - why aren't you also upset that safety measures were ignored? No doubt, they (the oil industry) needs to have a plan in case of catastrophe, but it's more irritating to me that this whole mess could have been avoided in the first place.

Have you read anything like this?

A Deepwater Horizon worker has told the BBC he warned BP and its partners weeks ahead of the catastrophic explosion aboard the Gulf of Mexico oil rig that a crucial piece of hardware on the sea floor was leaking.

Tyrone Benton, who operates underwater robots that do the actual work on the complex, giant machinery a mile underwater, says one of the robot's cameras spotted a leak on a control pod of the blowout preventer (BOP).

The BOP is essentially the emergency shutoff valve fixed permanently to a wellhead on the seafloor. The Deepwater Horizon's BOP is as tall as a house and the control pods, of which this rig had at least two, are the brains of the machinery - a combination of mechanics and electronics.

"We saw a leak on the pod, so by seeing the leak we informed the company men," Benton told the BBC in an interview for its investigative program "Panorama," which airs Monday night.

He said his supervisors told BP and the company in charge of the BOP, Transocean, and their management teams made the decision to shut down the leaking control pod and rely solely on another, meant as backup.

"They have a control room where they could turn off that pod and turn on the other one, so that they don't have to stop production," Benton told the BBC's Hillary Anderson.

One expert on ocean oil drilling from the University of Texas called the decision to keep the BOP operating after the discovery of the leak "unacceptable."

"If you see any evidence of the blowout preventer not functioning properly, you should fix it by whatever means possible," professor Tad Patzek told the BBC for its report.

The decision appears to have been made to save money. Shutting down the entire BOP would have meant a complete halt to Deepwater Horizon's work - at a time when the BBC says BP was spending $500,000 every day to keep it running.

U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly accused BP of putting profits over safety in their operation of the rig.

CBS News

If you keep reading the rest of the article at the link, you'll discover how many of these problems revolve around blowout preventers. Consequently, it should be of the utmost importance that these things are operating 110% correctly.
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby StlSluggers » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:35 am

I have a problem with immediately assuming that BP didn't follow safety precautions.

We don't yet know what the MMS' standards were for this well. Given the problems with the MMS, I think it's entirely reasonable to foresee a final determination of this investigation that finds the cause of the disaster simply being that BP did the bare minimum required by law. That would ultimately mean this disaster was caused by both BP's profit motive and corruption of the MMS, which is entirely plausible given what we learned about them last year.

That's my guess of what the actual cause was behind this mess. I wouldn't doubt if more of the attention was focused on the commercial side of the blame, just like how Congress managed to pitch themselves as our saviors during the housing crisis despite the fact that their laws, while not wholly to blame, certainly helped make things worse. It's really hard to expect the "watchmen" to blame themselves, but I could be wrong. It's very easy to blame the laxity in the MMS on Bush (probably more right than wrong), so that department might go down with the ship, too. We'll see.

But either way, I don't think we need to assume BP actually disregarded standards until we see those standards.
Obviously, they made the wrong decisions, but that may be because they were allowed to.
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby Neato Torpedo » Sat Jun 26, 2010 2:29 pm

Oh, no no no no no Mad, you can't do that. You can't blame the government for not stepping in and setting aside money to bail out BP (yes, I split an infinitive, I don't care at the moment) after always advocating a laissez faire approach, then using the government's inaction to prove that they're a bunch of bumbling fools.
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby bleach168 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 6:42 pm

Neato Torpedo wrote:Oh, no no no no no Mad, you can't do that. You can't blame the government for not stepping in and setting aside money to bail out BP (yes, I split an infinitive, I don't care at the moment) after always advocating a laissez faire approach, then using the government's inaction to prove that they're a bunch of bumbling fools.


Mad's position is perfectly consistent. It doesn't matter what govt does (or not do), it's always wrong. ;-7
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Re: THE Oil Spill

Postby Madison » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:02 am

StlSluggers wrote:It definitely is not the worst oil spill ever, but no one says that. It's often noted that it's the worst in American history.


Read Metroid's post on page 1 of this thread. I'm not the only one hearing people overexaggerate this spill. Heck, there are a couple of posts in this very thread that highly overexaggerate the spill, but whatever.

RedHopeful wrote:Madison - why aren't you also upset that safety measures were ignored? No doubt, they (the oil industry) needs to have a plan in case of catastrophe, but it's more irritating to me that this whole mess could have been avoided in the first place.


I read the article and I agree that BP could have done a better job of preventing the spill. I haven't said they are innocent or anything like that.

Neato Torpedo wrote:Oh, no no no no no Mad, you can't do that. You can't blame the government for not stepping in and setting aside money to bail out BP (yes, I split an infinitive, I don't care at the moment) after always advocating a laissez faire approach, then using the government's inaction to prove that they're a bunch of bumbling fools.


Who said anything about the government bailing out BP? 8-o I said nothing of the sort or anything remotely close to that. Having a backup plan to fix a spill is to protect the citizens of the United States. Bill BP for the cost of the fix, fine them for the spill happening, fine them for their fix not working, and then require a better plan for a fix before letting them drill again. That is all in the best interest of the citizens of the United States, which majority opinion here at the Cafe is that is exactly what the government's job is.

People need to pick a side and stick with it. Either the government is responsible for taking care of its citizens, or it isn't. If it is, then stuff like mandated healthcare is cool (which the majority here supported), but that means the government is also responsible for having a backup plan for when an oil leak happens. Now if the government isn't responsible for having a backup plan to fix an oil leak to protect its citizens, then the majority opinion should be that the govetnment keep its hands off of everything else as well (like mandated healthcare). But it isn't that way, people flip-flop back and forth and back and forth at their whim, which is pretty sad.
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