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Thread: Spill, Baby, Spill!

  1. #51
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    This pretty much seals the deal on the spill with regards to government regulatory incompetence:

    "If U.S. officials had followed up on a 1994 response plan for a major Gulf oil spill, it is possible that the spill could have been kept under control and far from land.

    The problem: The federal government did not have a single fire boom on hand. "

    http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/fire...ll_raines.html

  2. #52
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    And it begs the question....WHY didn't the government have these booms on hand? I don't know the answer to that question, but I think it's quite possible that congress did not provide funding or the MMS did not think it was a priority worth paying for, given who was running the show during the late 90s thru 2008.

    I'm also a little unclear about where the federal government's responsibility lies and where the oil company's responsibility lies re oil spill response......I had thought it was the oil company's responsibility to provide spill response capability, not just leave it to the government when things go bad.

    As usual.....I find myself in agreement with Paul Krugman's op-ed on this subject.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/10/op...rugman.html?hp

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 9th May 2010 at 23:22.

  3. #53
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    And it begs the question....WHY didn't the government have these booms on hand? I don't know the answer to that question, but I think it's quite possible that congress did not provide funding or the MMS did not think it was a priority worth paying for, given who was running the show during the late 90s thru 2008.
    Here's an outline I found from the EPA website:

    http://www.epa.gov/oem/docs/oil/fss/fss09/dehaven.pdf

    The information references things all the way back to LBJ, so I seriously doubt there is anything particular to the Clinton or Bush administrations that has any relevance to the recent spill.

    We are witnessing government bureaucracy at its best (or worst, depending on one's viewpoint.)

    "Our job basically is to keep the boot on the neck of British Petroleum to carry out the responsibilities they have both under the law and contractually to move forward and stop this spill," Interior Secretary Salazar.

    Perhaps he should keep the boot on the neck of the Department of the Interior...but that may require some degree of contortions.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Let's be realistic about this.....both BP and the government have plenty of blame to share for this catastrophe. BP filed a plan that was approved. Then all the worst scenarios came true, and the plan went out the window. The government has the right to step in and take over in situations they deem potentially catastrophic, which they did. Problem is that the government is totally unprepared and mostly incapable of handling this sort of spill. On balance, both are doing what they are expected to do, and neither are fully prepared or capable of meeting the challenge.

    From the start, if the government would step in, then it needs to have invested properly in the crews, equipment and speed needed for this type of disaster control. If the responsibility is solely at the hands of the operator (BP and others), then the plans they presented for disaster, recovery and remediation were inadequate in this worst case scenario, yet they were approved by MMS. As I say....plenty of blame to spread around, but that does not make this situation better. Hopefully, as we move forward, everybody will be learning something from this.....companies are to be held accountable and the government has its part to play in properly overseeing drilling and disaster planning and how they will step in if needed. Both failed the test here.

    LJ

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Please excuse my naiviety and lack of knowledge. I remember with the New Orleans fiasco Bush got a huge amount of flack for not responding appropriately. Has the government responded better this time? Will the blame be doled out as freely?
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    No one is doing a "heck of a job".

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    There are many accounts of what has happened or is still going on. In the case of this disaster, the government actually responded quite rapidly. The issue is that their capabilities in this situation are not close to what is needed, so in some sense, their "taking over" the spill has created a bit of a loophole for BP, while also not really getting much done. If the equipment is not available (containment booms, surface skimmers, deep submersibles to cap the leaks), all the Army, Navy, National Guard troops, helicopters, surface ships, etc., are not going to do much good in surface oil spread containment. So, plenty of willingness, not much ability to do much until now, when the oil will actually start reaching the shores.

    This is more the entire point. There are regulations, but they are maybe too lax and not enforced enough; there is a lack of an adequate response and containment plan and the qualified personnel and equipment to put it into place rapidly; there are plenty of folks on hand offering help, but maybe not the most organized way of making that assistance useful and effective quickly.

    LJ

  8. #58
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    There are differences with Katrina, of course. An off-shore accident is not under the immediate authority of a state or local government, for one. The govt failures in LA are quite well documented and are still happening even five years later.

    In terms of rapid response, I disagree. I'm not sure anything at all was done in a 'rapid' fashion with regards to the spill. It appears it could have been easily contained if the feds had the proper tools at their disposal.

    I've made my points here, not sure there is much else to say, other than taxpayers should expect much, much better performance.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    In terms of rapid response, I disagree. I'm not sure anything at all was done in a 'rapid' fashion with regards to the spill. It appears it could have been easily contained if the feds had the proper tools at their disposal.
    This is sort of the point....having the support (tools, personnel, knowledge) at the ready, not just the laws and regulations in place. Not sure what kind of speed you are expecting for this kind of disaster. The Coast Guard was on the scene immediately for search and rescue, plus fireboats to try to contain the fire. The wellhead is a mile below the surface, and nobody knew it was leaking until the fire was out, the rig collapsed, and the oil started to make its way to the surface. Without any gauges working, or gear at the ready, nobody really knew just how much oil was leaking from where, and how much needed to be contained and cleaned up. The feds were onsite the entire time, starting to take over operations, but they lacked both the proper gear and people to do anything more than the well operator was already trying to do, and in some cases, because of their agency and bureaucratic maze, decisions about what to do and how were not coming fast enough, nor was there any real way to implement things more quickly.

    Not trying to defend the government, the industry, or any of the parties involved, but some things were just beyond abilities to contain quickly without the gear and people to do this sort of thing at a moment's notice. When hurricanes blow in, most of the production wells are shut down remotely, and fortunately there have been few or no spills resulting from those sorts of natural disasters, so some planning and methods work pretty well. This was a drilling well, in insanely deep water that was being capped to be put into a production stream at a later date. Should it have had more safety measures in place? Probably. Should there have been more tools on hand for immediate disaster recovery? Probably. Should there be a better plan with options and support ready for immediate action? Sure. All of that costs money/support on all sides of the operation. Until that part gets "fixed", we can expect to see this sort of disaster again. If you think about how many wells have been drilled, how much oil and natural gas has been produced, and how few actual major disasters have occurred, it does speak well to how some things have been working, but obviously this latest one is of a scale and complexity that has overcome the conventional planning and recovery tools.

    Fixing these problems is going to cost a lot of time and money. That is going to be hard to avoid, especially in a political climate where there are more problems, conflicts, special interests and other things coming "first", yet our use of this sort of resource is not abating. Not a simple problem to solve at all, I do not think.

    LJ

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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    From what I know, the current response is being done jointly by BP, others in the oil industry and government agencies (Coast Guard and the States etc). I know BP has more than 700 employees working on the spill response. I don't know of any government agency, possibly not even the military, that has the specialized deep sea robotic submersibles and technical expertise/knowlege to handle the undersea operations of trying to get control of the well. The reality is that a spill of this magnitude needs "all hands on deck".

    Gary

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    As a matter of interest, what does anyone do in a situation like this? What is the optimum and immediate containment which should have happened? Is there a solution that should have been ready and waiting or is this a case of a problem to which there is no easy and fast solution?
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    The problems are so difficult and severe that no one has any solutions.

    The US govt feels the necessity and importance of these operations that they are going to split up DOE (Department of Energy, swell organization btw) to create an entity for offshore drilling/extraction related stuff.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Ben, if I may offer up some thought.....I really do not think that there is anything beyond better prevention. There is no easy way to drill an offset well to kill the leaking well. That is going to take months, even if there was a rig on standby right next to the problem well. If the leaks are coming from multiple places, each may need a different kind of solution. Some of this stuff is just not easy to contain once it gets out of control. The concept of the operation from the start is one drills a hole using bits and pipes for the mechanical part, and using drilling mud of proper weight and consistency to keep the pressures of the oil and gas from blowing out the hole as you drill. Once you hit your target, you cement the entire cap of the hole area you just drilled, and have a blowout preventer in place over the hole that is cemented in place and is designed to shut off any flow from the well. One of the problems with this well in this deep water area is the accumulation of methane hydrates (frozen gas-water) in the sea bed that extended beyond the area where the hole was drilled. Once those hydrates are exposed to any heat, they expand quickly and essentially blow up and out from the sea bed. Again, only way around that problem is prevention. Do not drill into hydrates, or if you do, make sure things are controllable.

    So now we have a failure of the well, a failure of the blowout preventer which is supposed to stop oil from flowing out, maybe a failure of the cement that was containing the blowout preventer to the wellhead, and multiple leaks from broken pipe and plumbing things built for future production. Lots of serious-sized problems, and in an environment that is really hard to access and work in without very limited and very specialized equipment (deepwater submersible robots). If one had all of that gear on a tender ship nearby, plus the crews to work things, and knew exactly where the problems were, things may have been able to be slowed down or shut off a bit sooner. Not easy to anticipate, so that is why prevention is so important in the planning and execution, because recovery after the fact gets really hard and complicated.

    In some other countries, Norway for example, they require multiple blowout preventers be installed. They require independent assessors to monitor and inspect installations, cementing and testing, and lots of other operations. Being a major source of Norway's income, they apply the resources, have the skilled people and equipment on hand, etc. Working conditions there are more harsh in many respects, but damages impact a lot of things they care a lot about....fisheries, etc.

    That is why it is not an easy problem to solve once things get out of control like they are with this particular well. All of the thing BP is trying to do, both conventional and unconventional, are difficult to do, and take time. If, for example, they had that containment dome thingie already built and nearby, they may have been able to utilize it sooner or more effectively, but only if they knew for sure the location of the leaks.

    At this point, finding and containing the leaks as quickly as possible is the priority. cleaning things up becomes the second, but most visible problem to tackle. Had they been able to string out the miles and miles of oil booms around the accumulating slick sooner, it would also have helped, but they were not readily available, and the seas were also too rough to have the containment booms contain the growing oil slick. Nobody has yet devised another effective way to keep the slick contained, that is why shutting off the source is so important first, and not even letting the leak happen in the first place is the most important. Recovery is going to take time and it is going to be very messy and damaging for sure. I live in Texas, and our shores were at first not threatened by the spill, but we were sending everything and everybody into the fray to help. Now the winds have shifted and the spill is threatening our coastal waters too, plus the extremely fertile and delicate Galveston Bay area, which is a major source for seafood for the entire world. They are already trying to build oil containment booms across the major opening to the bay at this point. If we get one bad storm, and hurricane season is just around the corner, this is going to be really ugly. Tar on the beaches is more a tourist issue. Oil and tar in the marshes is a food source and livelihood issue that takes years and years to recover.

    LJ

  14. #64
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Former Pres. of Shell:

    ESQUIRE: So do you think, aside from the U.S. Coast Guard, that the federal government should be playing any more vigorous a role? Should the White House be more visible on this?

    JOHN HOFMEISTER: No. I think the more this is politicized, the worse it gets. And I think the White House and the Interior Department and others have been prudent and practical and reasonable thus far in the way they've been managing it. Letting BP continue to manage the process is far better than the government trying to take it over. And in any case, they have the Coast Guard, they have the Interior Department, the MMS, they have all the resources they need, but somebody has to actually make operational decisions without bureaucracy, and BP can do that, because they're trained to do it a whole lot better than government officials. Government is paid to debate and regulate serious matters over time. They're not paid to execute in an emergency. And we saw FEMA, in Katrina, make a complete hash of Katrina response. So what we don't want are government officials on the beaches making decisions as to what to clean next.

    (And then Hofmeister made a startling suggestion...)


    JH: The work going on to close the well is taking multiple approaches, and I am aware that BP has sent out a message to all the oil companies asking for help and advice. And I actually sent some people to BP in terms of the spill response cleanup to try to get them aware of a process that has been used in the Arabian Gulf that has not been used in the Gulf of Mexico, and that is to use supertankers, empty supertankers, to suck up the oil off the surface, where they can store the oil, they can treat the water, they can discharge the water and then they can either salvage the oil or destroy it, as the case may be. And I know the mayor of New Orleans and a few other officials are now asking BP about that process as a result of these engineers coming forward from Saudi Aramco.

    ES: When did that spill happen, John?

    JH: I don't actually know, but it was sometime back, there was a huge, huge spill that never got reported, because they don't have an open press, obviously... But I was told it was a 700-million-gallon spill.

    ESQ: That would be the biggest, right?

    JH: That would be the biggest the world has ever known. And they used six supertankers to clean up the oil and were very successful. We'd do well to get supertankers in the Gulf.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politic...l-spill-051110

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    wow!
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Good News, America; we're better than Nigeria. From The Economist:

    So long as Americans do not reduce their consumption of oil, refusing to drill at home means importing more of the stuff, often from places with looser environmental standards. The net effect is likely to be more pollution, not less. Nigeria, for example, has had a major oil spill every year since 1969, observes Lisa Margonelli of the New America Foundation, a think-tank. Putting a price on carbon would eventually spur the development of cleaner fuels, and persuade Americans to switch to them. But in the meantime, oil is both useful and precious. Extracting it domestically, with tougher safety rules, would bring a windfall to a Treasury that sorely needs one. When the current crisis is past, Mr Obama may remember this. http://www.economist.com/world/unite...60073&fsrc=rss

  17. #67
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Unfortunately putting a price on carbon just hurts the economy at a time when we can least afford it, and it does nothing to reduce pollution. Similar to the Nigerian reference...American carbon limits have no bearing on pollution in the rest of the world, except by putting America at a disadvantage. I do agree that not using domestic supplies to the max is a huge error; every administration/congress since the 70s has failed in this regard despite stating it is imperative to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    American carbon limits have no bearing on pollution in the rest of the world, except by putting America at a disadvantage.
    That is correct since there are no limits put on the carbon emissions from one of the largest pollutors in the world.

    To have any real impact, these limits should apply to any American investments in China, India, South America, wherever and should be made punishable just like Iran is isolated by the US (any US companies that do business with Iran is penalized).

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Sorry to say, this idea just lends itself to complexity and corruption. A better solution is to just eliminate carbon based fuels as quickly as possible, with major industrial countries leading the way with significant measurable and sustainable reductions year on year. If this creates a "disadvantage", then maybe there are other ways to address that issue by not supporting output from nations that are not also reducing carbon output. Look, we need to do these things, and it is going to be painful to change ways, incur price increases until energy source switchovers are made, but the alternatives are less attractive for everybody. We have to move past the blame crap, the whining, and all the other excuses for exceptions, but this will never be an easy thing for many to do.

    LJ

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    OK simply invent a new energy source that is as cheap as oil. It's just not going to happen anytime soon. And there is significant doubt about the effects of carbon, just look at the recent events with regards to the IPCC, East Anglia, and all that. It's the UN, after all; corruption is a normal part of doing business.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    "...energy source that is as cheap as oil."

    the problem with this is that there are other costs associated with fossil fuels that must be considered, and they are not all financial. environmental damage getting and consuming, political consequences, international compromises, wars, dependence upon foreign nations, etc.

    the concept of escalating the move to alternative energy development and leading the world and that world market flies in the face of the monied oil, coal and automotive lobbies and ease of retaining the status quo, but makes a lot of sense.
    not so easy to implement, but glorious if we get there

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Yes, certainly it would be nice. One under utilized option is nuclear. Compare how much power France gets from nuclear vs the US and it's an eye-opener.

    However the US has plenty of our own oil, if we would just use our own resources that would eliminate several of those factors.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Sorry to say, this idea just lends itself to complexity and corruption. A better solution is to just eliminate carbon based fuels as quickly as possible, with major industrial countries leading the way with significant measurable and sustainable reductions year on year. If this creates a "disadvantage", then maybe there are other ways to address that issue by not supporting output from nations that are not also reducing carbon output. Look, we need to do these things, and it is going to be painful to change ways, incur price increases until energy source switchovers are made, but the alternatives are less attractive for everybody. We have to move past the blame crap, the whining, and all the other excuses for exceptions, but this will never be an easy thing for many to do.

    LJ
    USA is entrenched in the profit and the amount of fossil fuel still used as standard ways to heat and make energy made with Oil products...Tough Lobbyist and greedy companies are the biggest problems stopping new technologies to get in full swing. Right now, only a handful of new technology companies are "Trying Out" these without any real mass effects because of the low production

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    OK simply invent a new energy source that is as cheap as oil. It's just not going to happen anytime soon. And there is significant doubt about the effects of carbon, just look at the recent events with regards to the IPCC, East Anglia, and all that. It's the UN, after all; corruption is a normal part of doing business.
    Or, an exsisting energy source that is cleaner to make and use...

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    "...energy source that is as cheap as oil."

    the problem with this is that there are other costs associated with fossil fuels that must be considered, and they are not all financial. environmental damage getting and consuming, political consequences, international compromises, wars, dependence upon foreign nations, etc.

    the concept of escalating the move to alternative energy development and leading the world and that world market flies in the face of the monied oil, coal and automotive lobbies and ease of retaining the status quo, but makes a lot of sense.
    not so easy to implement, but glorious if we get there
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Yes, certainly it would be nice. One under utilized option is nuclear. Compare how much power France gets from nuclear vs the US and it's an eye-opener.

    However the US has plenty of our own oil, if we would just use our own resources that would eliminate several of those factors.
    Well, we could only increase out output to about 3% of our "needs" at best.. We still need to import 20% instead of maybe 23%-25%

    On Nuclear: We can do this, and it is on the table.. we also have many old Nuclear plants, that need upgrading and maintenance to bring them up to modern loads. I think this might be our fastest track at the moment as others are developed for mass production use.

  24. #74
    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/us/14agency.html

    “Under the previous administration, there was a pattern of suppressing science in decisions, and we are working very hard to change the culture and empower scientists in the Department of the Interior.”

    Seems like I've heard this story before......something about the extent and causes of global warming.

    After all.....as one GW Bush aide said to Ron Suskind:

    "Guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' ... 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"

    Funny how "reality" has a way of asserting itself.....and now we suffer the consequences of their arrogance, delusions and actions (or inactions, as the case may be).....the wars, the financial meltdown and now this too.

    Corporate greed, complacency and hubris.....facilitated by the government.... a recipe for disaster.

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 13th May 2010 at 21:14.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    The data loss could be legitimate, but when potentially incriminating data "goes down with the rig".....it sure doesn't look good (putting it mildly).

    http://www.adn.com/2010/05/14/127750...a-missing.html

    Only 5,000 bbls a day?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/14/us/14oil.html?hp

    It's about time.....shared responsibility and greater oversight.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/15/us...5obama.html?hp

    And one more on the failure of government regulators to do the job many of us expect them to be doing.....

    http://washingtonindependent.com/845...cent-disasters

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 14th May 2010 at 14:04.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    now if this only ends up that obama really kicks some *** in the gov and elsewhere, yippee.

  27. #77
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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    now if this only ends up that obama really kicks some *** in the gov and elsewhere, yippee.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by jlm View Post
    now if this only ends up that obama really kicks some *** in the gov and elsewhere, yippee.
    Quote Originally Posted by bensonga View Post
    Let's hope.
    But, to close the pockets of the regulators, senators and congressman is the biggest problem he has.

    It is a huge undertaking and and very unpopular with many Ideologues that support so called "Free Reign Capitalism" with NO government oversight at all. You know, "The Private Sector will self regulate them" reasoning we have all heard from the extremists ... Yeah, we have seen what that has gotten us ....over the last 25 years after de-regulations in many sectors got started.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    On the other hand, what has existing regulation accomplished in this specific case...absolutely nothing...with waivers granted by the very administration that is so quick to demonize the involved companies...if anyone has ideas about how government can prevent its own bureaucratic quagmire, to positive effect, please feel free to share.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    When it comes to offshore drilling, the US would be better off from learning from Norway and implementing what they do to the letter. There is little need to reinvent the wheel.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Vivek, how does Norway do it? I presume differently than the way BP/Transocean did.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Robert, Tighter regulations, government ownership and such things which would not resonate well in the US.

    See this (among many other analyses available online now):

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/jo...0/05/03/norway

    BTW, you were quoting postal service and other govt jobs offering lots of wages, have you looked into what the banks pay their employees? They mismanage everyone else' money and pay themselves very well.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    On the other hand, what has existing regulation accomplished in this specific case...absolutely nothing...with waivers granted by the very administration that is so quick to demonize the involved companies...if anyone has ideas about how government can prevent its own bureaucratic quagmire, to positive effect, please feel free to share.
    WRONG....
    The "Current Regulations" (Uhh DE-REGULATIONS) in less inspections and other checks and balances were maned by the oil industry employees to check and record their findings,... many were NOT done to regulation standards... case in point: on testing the BOP (Blow off Protector), was to carry a 5000-psi load for 5 minutes... 100's were tested for 30sec and then the graph was hand done to like it had been on for 5 minutes.. (From ex-Shell personal that has been a whistle blower on what HE witnessed when he was employed by Shell Oil, Source-MSNBC interview on 5-13-2010, 8pm-9pm)...

    BTW, the deregulation started under a Republican President. To profit the largest corporations that were pouring Millions of $$$$ into the GOP coffer via Senate/Congressmen donations for their personal campaigns, or directly to GOP. (That what Lobbyist are paid to do....TO INFLUENCE WASHINGTON POLICY to THEIR PROFIT)..... It ain't rocket science..... and it isn't a very complicated process either! Even it means economic disasters/collapse down the road. Very Selfish and very immoral imo.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Robert, Tighter regulations, government ownership and such things which would not resonate well in the US.

    SO TRUE...

    See this (among many other analyses available online now):

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/jo...0/05/03/norway

    BTW, you were quoting postal service and other govt jobs offering lots of wages, have you looked into what the banks pay their employees? They mismanage everyone else' money and pay themselves very well.
    Thanks for the PM.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    When it comes to offshore drilling, the US would be better off from learning from Norway and implementing what they do to the letter. There is little need to reinvent the wheel.
    I thought you were referring to the way both Norway and the UK (and almost every other oil producing country besides the US, from what I've read) separates the agencies responsible for oil leasing/development and the oil safety/environmental compliance.....as Obama is proposing to do now.

    It's a good start at least. Then Salazar needs to clean house at the MMS and remove all those people who have gotten way too cosy with the oil companies and their lobbyists.

    Gary

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    On the other hand, what has existing regulation accomplished in this specific case...absolutely nothing...with waivers granted by the very administration that is so quick to demonize the involved companies...if anyone has ideas about how government can prevent its own bureaucratic quagmire, to positive effect, please feel free to share.
    Let's start with actually enforcing current regulations, reducing the influence of lobbyists and staffing the agencies with people who are truly there to promote and protect the public interest, not the interests of the oil companies (or Wall Street banks, health insurance companies etc).

    Gary

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Interesting interview with Energy Secretary Steve Chu: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/a...-planet/56685/

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    A man said to the universe:
    "Sir I exist!"
    "However," replied the universe,
    "The fact has not created in me
    A sense of obligation." - Stephen Crane's Black Riders

    And so it goes...

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by stephengilbert View Post
    Interesting interview with Energy Secretary Steve Chu: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/a...-planet/56685/
    Thanks for the link. Mr.Chu is one of the top brains in the world. A very modest person.

    Gary, Norway and the UK are very different (though the difference between UK and the US govts are even larger, unfortunately).

    I am sure that things can be done effectively without government ownership when there is adequate oversight. The first step in that direction would be to get rid of corruption and bribery ("lobbying"), unless the competition is on to beat Nigeria and how they operate.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    I'm all for that. Bribes/kickback/sweetheart deals are what created the financial mess we are in now, with government leading the charge. Fannie/Freddie run by corrupt bureaucrats who lined their own pockets with millions by creating false financials, and don't forget Congressional 'oversight' who directly lied to the American people about the true status of those entities while getting personal benefits. Those same people are still in Congress today. The worldwide effect of which make the frauds at Enron/MCI/Tyco (and Madoff) look like petty crime in comparison. When the president of Fannie gets a civil suit and $2M fine (paid for by Fannie's insurance company) and gets to keep his millions, while all the top execs at those firms get prison, it's pretty obvious government is rotten to the core. This is only going to get worse as the US goes to a bigger/larger more centralized government. The more money that flows thru Washington, the worse this will get.

    What happened here with BP of course may have absolutely nothing to do with permits or lack of enforcement. There is no enterprise that is entirely risk-free, and not every unfortunate event necessarily has to do with the pursuit of profit.

    It's time we start having hearings so the execs of industry can start grilling the corrupto-crats. Wouldn't that be interesting.
    Last edited by monza; 15th May 2010 at 06:29.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    "I'm all for that. Bribes/kickback/sweetheart deals are what created the financial mess we are in now, with government leading the charge."

    I guess that's our disagreement in a nutshell. You seem to think that government causes bribery, that if it weren't for government the people or companies that pay bribes could be trusted to do the right thing.

    Yet these same companies spend fortunes to maintain the bribe friendly environment in which they can continue to do business and prosper. If the unfettered free market is such a great concept, why do companies continue to bribe their way to regulations (like the liability cap for oil spill damages) that benefit them?

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    i think the vitriol needs to be directed at the individuals, not the institutions. whether it be lobbyists, buying/selling their influence, corporate execs, corrupt gov. regulators and politicians, inspectors taking bribes, chanters of the drill mantra who want to keep their personal take coming in, (damn the dolphins), the drivers of gas guzzlers with no concern for conservation, global warming deny-ers, hazardous waste producers who only apply controls when they have to, etc.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    No, I don't think that government causes bribery. Those that ran Fannie/Freddie for example, were not bribed, they just were corrupt -- cooking the books to benefit themselves instead of managing. And that's what it really comes down to. Government has a very poor record of managing...they can't manage business (USPS) they can't manage disaster relief (FEMA) they can't manage social security or Medicare, and they can't seem to manage oil drilling regulations, either. There are plenty of regulations that were in place prior to the oil spill (see EPA link in a previous post.) I simply don't see how more government regulations or more bureaucrats are going to do any better. This goes across multiple administrations and has nothing to do with politics, it is just the nature of government bureaucracy. I agree that we should go after individuals that are behind these debacles, just like we went after the people behind Enron, Tyco, and MCI. However I disagree that vitriol is necessary against people who simply are expressing their opinions.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    "However I disagree that vitriol is necessary against people who simply are expressing their opinions."
    not my intent, which was: "i think the vitriol needs to be directed at the individuals, not the institutions."

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Well you did say that vitriol needs to be directed to 'global warming deny-ers.' That's what my comment about people's opinions was about.

    That pretty much winds things up for me. As I mentioned to someone privately, it would be nice to be presented with evidence that additional government would help prevent these sorts of things. I haven't seen anything along those lines to sway my position but I'd evaluate and consider if it were posted.

    Best to all.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    it would be nice to be presented with evidence that additional government would help prevent these sorts of things. I haven't seen anything along those lines to sway my position but I'd evaluate and consider if it were posted.

    Best to all.
    Robert, I couldn't help wonder at those (politicians) who always came up with "smaller government", what they actually meant by that.

    When special interest (big business) "lobbyists" are taking up the attention of the government all the time, there will be very little time left for them to do any real work. So, in effect, government becomes minuscule.

    I guess that is not what your idea of "smaller" government.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Heh, in general smaller govt means fewer bureaucrats to foul things up. Actually it means less Washington: let local governments govern locally and not have the feds micromanage. Every dollar that doesn't go thru Washington is one less dollar that Washington can waste. No one likes micromanagement do they?

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    i suppose i put those who deny global warming, an opinion that seems to deny something 90% of the scientific community validates, as eco-negative and who are therefore motivated to continue/expand the use of fossil fuel, coal plants, etc. and oppose making "sacrifices" to their lifestyles in order to transition to more eco-friendly forms of energy.

    i agree about the mess gov can make and the mess getting bigger, but at least the gov intention could in theory be properly motivated, whereas the motivation of industry is always profit, by definiton

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    Global warming denier, or global warming denier denier -- both are opinion. For every scientist that 'believes' in AGW, there are plenty of highly qualified scientists that don't. AGW is not fact, of course, it's just theory based on computer models. Said models are now undergoing serious questioning as to credibility, due to the Climategate scandal...

    It is likely the vast majority of individuals in both private enterprise and government have good intentions. But intentions are one thing -- let's not forget about actually getting results, as that in the end is all the counts -- don't want to repeat my previous posts in this regard, so I won't.

    Profit motive is not a bad thing, in and of itself.

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    Re: Spill, Baby, Spill!

    You've commented several times about bad government re FEMA, the USPS, Social Security and Medicare.

    My own extensive experience with the USPS over the past 10 years (monthly print exchanges) and frequent purchases from Amazon, etc (according to my wife, too frequent) shipped via USPS whenever possible has been outstanding. They provide fast and cost effective service for USPS Postal Priority mail to Alaska. It usually takes only 1-2 days longer for USPS Postal Priority to reach Alaska than the much more expensive UPS or Fedex 2nd Day Air. Ask me about damaged goods shipped via UPS. Most people I know here in Alaska much prefer USPS to either Fedex or UPS.

    FEMA? Until the Bush administration got hold of it and appointed the likes "Brownie" , FEMA was recognized as a very effective government agency.

    Social Security and Medicare have the lowest administrative costs of any organization providing similar services....and they are providing those services to MANY more people than any private insurance company.

    The myth that the federal government can't do anything right is a myth promoted by those who hate government...it is a political ideology, pure and simple.

    Gary
    Last edited by bensonga; 15th May 2010 at 17:07.

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