The administration is being misleading when it asserts the oil from the BP spill is “gone”.
Category Archives: Oil Spill
Remember the Simpson’s episode in which Marge derailed Mr Burns’ gubernatorial campaign by serving him the three-eyed fish?
Burns And The 3 Eye Fish
I was reminded of that gem when I read a news report that “BP’s chief operating officer sought to give the southern US fishing industry a much-need boost Sunday, saying he’d “absolutely” eat Gulf of Mexico seafood after the massive oil spill devastated the region.”
Somebody should stick a Gulf oyster po’ boy under his nose and see what happens.
For some time I’ve wondered about this. The gas had to be a major part of the gulf spill. After all the drilling rig was apparently destroyed by a gas explosion. The gas has been an invisible partner of the oil roaring into the golf.
Surely that couldn’t be a good thing could it? Here’s some confirmation of my fears.
At the point of exit from the well, the gas and oil are combined, but in the water they quickly separate. While BP has asserted that most of the gas surfaces and dissipates into the atmosphere, the research of John Kessler, a professor of earth system science at Texas A&M University, shows otherwise. Kessler has found that at the surface, levels of methane—the primary component of the natural gas—have remained normal, but they’ve skyrocketed at lower depths, indicating that most of the gas is still in the water.
In the 10-mile radius around the well site, research teams have measured methane levels in the water averaging 100,000 times normal levels. Kessler says levels are up to a million times normal in parts of the Gulf immediately surrounding the spill site. “This is the highest concentration I’ve ever seen in ocean waters, easily,” says Kessler. He believes it could take years—possibly decades—for the gas levels in the ecosystem to return to normal.
In the meantime, the leaked gas could dramatically change the chemistry of the Gulf. When natural gas is present, certain bacteria that digest it flourish out of control and can quickly deplete the oxygen in the surrounding waters, creating “dead zones” where little can exist.
This is an amzing idea that keeps being discussed. Even Bill Clinton’s on board with a non-nuclear version:
“…former U.S. President Bill Clinton has voiced support for the idea of an explosion to stem the flow of oil, albeit one using conventional materials rather than nukes. “Unless we send the Navy down deep to blow up the well and cover the leak with piles and piles and piles of rock and debris, which may become necessary…unless we are going to do that, we are dependent on the technical expertise of these people from BP,” Clinton told the Fortune/Time/CNN Global Forum in South Africa on June 29. ”
I heard this discussed on Foxnews morning talk show. I was surprised at the idea (I think it’s got to be risky at least), and that the fox host was complementing Clinton as a leader.
I think it was mostly a backhanded way to suggest Obama isn’t a leader.
Keith Hennesy suggested this as a policy in response to the oil spill.
Require that all deepwater wells have a relief well in place before production begins.
Mandate requirements for double piping and a list of other industry engineering best practices. The prior best practice for engineering safety becomes the legally mandated minimum.
Mandate that each deepwater drilling operation be insured for at least $20 B of environmental damage before production can begin. Insurers will therefore require further engineering stringency to protect themselves.
Raise the legal liability cap for any drilling platform to $50 B, just to be safe.
All new wells must meet all of the above requirements, and all existing wells must cease production until they meet them. (The details here might need some work.)
He argues it would be universally accepted. Given the Joe Barton blow-up, I doubt that.
Talk radio on the right is all up arms about the oil spill in the golf.
Laura Ingraham this morning was mostly drawing the important lesson that if this had happened on George W. Bush’s watch the media would have been more upset that he was stopping the leak or its effects sooner.
Rush Limbaugh has (he’s just sayin’):
I want to get back to the timing of the blowing up, the explosion out there in the Gulf of Mexico of this oil rig. Since they’re sending SWAT teams down there now this changes the whole perspective of this. Now, lest we forget, ladies and gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day. I remember that. And then it was postponed for a couple of days later after Earth Day, and then of course immigration has now moved in front of it.
But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants, nuclear plant investment. So, since they’re sending SWAT teams down there, folks, since they’re sending SWAT teams to inspect the other rigs, what better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I’m just noting the timing here.
It’s amazing that nothing is said about what this says about the wisdom of “Drill baby Drill” as policy.
One may start with a built in skepticism about government and perfecting the world. That conservatism.
But one should always want to know true facts along with predispositions from one’s ideology.
Current conservatives don’t seem to want to do that, and that scary.