Monday, May 31, 2010
RIP Gulf Coast
At present no greater act of terrorism could be bestowed on the American people. An act of corporate terrorism that will be remembered long after this well is capped. It has been reported that this was not the greatest leak of oil in the Gulf but one in 1979 by a Mexican government owned oil rig Ixtoc I caused a leak of 126 million gallons. If Deepwater isn't stopped until August then it will surpass the Mexican spill. The other difference is that in the Mexican spill Texas (where the oil came ashore) had three months to prepare and used a continuous army of clean up workers that daily cleaned the beaches. Also in that spill Red Adair was able to slow the spill making clean up easier.
This was a case of manslaughter. Not only of the Gulf Coast but for the 11 who died because someone just had to make a little more profit and put just one more feather in his corporate cap from the very top management to the lowest level manager. This even after workers and engineers told them of the dangers.
The evidence is clear. In the permitting process all assurances were given that a spill was highly unlikely and that all measures and safety procedures were in place. Except they weren't. I question whether government regulators even had the understanding of what they were regulating. The rig was registered in the Marshall Islands know for it's lax regulations. I doubt that the territory has any great knowledge of oil industry standards much like registering an oil tanker in Liberia.
There was the lack of a remote switch and acoustic kill device that are a requirement on Norwegian rigs. There was the pipe (casing) that even though BP engineers said would not be the correct type for this particular rig was still approved anyway. There was the control panel to the BOP that had a dead battery effectively making the unit worthless. There was BP managers overriding the Transocean operators to use sea water rather than drilling mud to get the rig ready. There was the concrete plugs and questions about whether the correct concrete was used. We also know that any tests conducted on the pressures were faked. Schlumberger contracted to do some of the tests either left in discussed or was asked to leave when they wouldn't certify anything. And with all this evidence BP remains arrogant in their positions and public information. First it was "this spill was only 1000 barrels". Then it went to 5000 barrels when even a rough guestimate would put it at three times as much. Even now BP is refusing to let independent scientists get an actual measured amount. And even after four failed attempts to get the flow stopped they insist that they know what they're doing. We've been blocked at every turn not being able to gain access to the live feeds until a member of congress intervened. The video shots you have seen are carefully framed not to show the extent of the damage. Several times the feeds have been cut for no reason during an operation.
This event wasn't the result of some minor mechanical failure or worker error. This was corporate manslaughter plain and simple. Just like Massey Energy (29 dead) did in West Virginia corporate manslaughter is as much a crime as any terrorist act. This day we remember those who have given up their lives for our freedoms but what about those who gave their lives just trying to make a living? What's to fight for only to come home to be kill by a greedy employer?