Saturday, July 24, 2010

The oil rig explosion: Shoddy construction or deliberate destruction?

By now, I am sure that most everyone is aware of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico due to the blown out BP rig. They now have a sort of cap on the leak to stop most of the oil outflow, but the cleanup will be costly and messy. There is one question still nagging at my mind on the matter, though:

Was the destruction of the well a terrorist act?

At the risk of sounding overly paranoid, lets consider the facts. The oil rig was destroyed and a lot of oil escaped into the Gulf. Due in part to this disaster, a lot of oil exploration and drilling has been curtailed, some of it indefinitely. If I were a oil producing country, this would be excellent news since without our own oil exploration, we have to import more oil. The ME is no longer much of an issue in that regard because we get less then 15% of our oil from that area. (The USA learned a valuable lesson in 1973; the embargo forced us to look for oil sources closer to home or in lands not as hostile to us.) Not only does that happen, but you get the added bonus of destroyed sea-dependent livelihoods which will force the US to import more from abroad to replace what was lost. Of course, we aren't allowed to call them terrorists anymore because it might hurt their feelings, but I was an adult (thankfully) before Political Correctness came into vogue. I call things as I see them; if the rig was deliberately sabotaged, then what should the saboteurs be called instead? Politically/Peace challenged activists? I don't f*****g think so at all. Even if i am wrong on this case ( I actually hope that i am), it brings to mind another question:

Is BP Responsible for the mess that was created?

Damn right they are, At the least, they are guilty of colossal stupidity brought on by 'the bottom line' and at worst, they should be charged with criminal negligence. When undertaking ANY sort of risky venture (drilling into the sea floor a mile down assuredly qualifies), you MUST plan for the worst case scenario and proactively have a solution on hand to address it. The pilots of Apollo 13 could easily have died out in space, but apparently NASA at the time considered such a scenario and brought the pilots back alive. Three Mile Island could have been a disaster on the scale of Chernobyl, but multiple failsafes were built into the design. There is no argument that we need the oil (pending some new energy discovery....Fusion anyone?), but cutting corners to maximize profits is NOT thje way to go about  such a venture as deep sea drilling. Chances are that BP will be paying billions before this mess is over with, but a little proactive management (despite the cost) can save a lot of money and grief in the long run.

A Jaded Bard