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Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Tragedy of Deepwater Horizon has Greased a Lot of Hands

by Dan Ehrlich (writer), London/L.A./Seattle, June 01, 2010

Our gas addiction made drilling wells at unsafe depths inevitable...how many more disasters such as this could we see?

The Gulf oil catastrophe was a man made disaster waiting to happen and no one’s hands are free of the sticky crude that’s slowly enveloping the northern Caribbean. The fact is, we as a nation are petroleum junkies…we can’t live without our cars and gasoline, a life’s blood that has made ruthless pushers wealthy no matter what the cost.

Daily we cruise the streets looking for the cheapest fix for our gas guzzling cars…But, in reality, no price is too great for a tank-like SUV that has become a symbol of power, security and wealth. The Deepwater Horizon disaster was inevitable as our need became greater and greater.

It’s one thing drilling for oil on the plains of west Texas or the deserts of the Middle East. Those wells are on land and easily accessible. But, this is a craving has driven us to new depths, to allow a well to be drilled in uncharted territory, a mile under the sea? In the end it’s all about our suppliers’ greed for more and more black gold, no matter where it is and how hard it is to get and secure.

Construction on the Horizon began during the latter part of the Clinton Administration, completed in 2001 during the G.W. Bush presidency and positioned of Louisiana during the Obama Administration. It is one of about 200 massive floating oil rigs built. They were designed for deep sea drilling…but how deep?

In September 2009, the rig drilled the deepest oil well in history at a vertical depth of 35,050 feet and 5,000 feet under the Gulf. Then, April 20, an explosion on the rig killed 11 crewmen and on April 22 the rig sank, leaving the well gushing, causing possibly history’s worse made-made disaster.

Ironically, the catastrophe happened within weeks of President Obama stating his intention for increased offshore drilling. Now, with the aftermath still in progress, he has called for a moratorium on new wells, a rethink and a determination to develop alternative energy sources. Where have we heard that before?

As long as we have this addiction firms such as BP will be getting rich off of us and seeking to keep those billions rolling in. Yet, BP, a foreign company that leases a lion’s share of our oil fields, has had scores and scores of unanswered complaints from oil inspectors. That’s largely because of the long-standing cozy relationship oil giants have with our political leaders. BP has been allowed to get away with murder, mainly because it is a British company wrapped in what the Brits love to trumpet as our special relationship with them.

Part of this relationship is a trade-off deal. America has long operated many of the UK’s North Sea oil platforms, while BP has been given leases here. To that extent America’s has blood on its hands, too…far more than BP. On the American owned Piper Alpha rig off Scotland and explosion and fire destroyed it on July 6, 1988, killing 167 men. Only 59 survived. In terms of human life, this still remains the worst such disaster.

It is still too early to determine the long-term impact of the Deepwater Horizon since it still is gushing thousands of barrels a day into the Gulf. And with the hurricane season upon the region, it’s anybody’s guess where all this oil will go besides the beaches of America’s Gulf Coast. But, there’s one certainty: Someone will be making money off this disaster. For example, I hear the oil reclamation business is a growth industry.

And, will this new business opportunity be repeated? Are we simply waiting for another of the 200 deep water rigs to explode through negligence and political backhanders?

But if the Gulf leak can’t be plugged, we have to ask: Why there has been all this talk about an oil shortage in America that keeps us slaves to the big kingpin cartel known as OPEC? Just look at the Gulf there’s plenty for everyone.



About the Writer

Dan Ehrlich is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on The Tragedy of Deepwater Horizon has Greased a Lot of Hands

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By JJFCPA on June 02, 2010 at 08:59 am

You are on point with your argument. Most Americans including politicians agree that we need to develop a long term solution and fast. The problem with alot of the green or eco solutions is basic economics. In alot of cases, the ROI is too low considering the risk involved for provate capital. Government will have to fund this and right now where is the money to come from.

Good article and timely.

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By Lady D on June 02, 2010 at 01:21 pm

Don't they have some Giant OIL Vaccums for this type of thing?

It is not nice to fool Mother Nature.

Great article.

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By Lynda Lehmann on November 01, 2010 at 08:40 am

And now, months later, what has come of this crisis, except for a return to business as usual and poisoned sea depths? It seems like madness, to operate wells where the food chain begins and thrives. And is SO vulnerable...

I'm wondering if there's any meaningful new legislation pending. And who will enforce it.

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