Sunday, May 30, 2010

BP: Human Nature at Work

When the world is watching it is better to do something than to do nothing.  Even if the “something” has little or no chance of success.  That is exactly what BP has been doing.

There is a very good chance that BP knew from the beginning they could do nothing to resolve a one mile deep blow out.  Not the robotic valve shut off, not the “top hat”, not the “top kill”, not cutting the pipe and installing a valve (which on May 30 was the next “Plan B”).  Possibly not even BP’s highly touted “relief wells”, the ultimate sure-fire solution that might be implemented by July may work.  Has that process ever been tried on well-heads one mile beneath the ocean surface?

What then?  What is the outcome when this undersea oil gusher continues for three to six months - or longer?

  • When will seafood from the Gulf be marketable again?
  • What happens to the commercial and charter boat fishing industries?
  • What happens to the life (aerobic capacity) of the Gulf.  Might it temporarily become a “dead sea?”
  • What happens to the tourism industry of Gulf Coast communities?
  • What happens to the economies of these communities, the businesses dependent on tourism?
  • What happens to property values when business die and people have to move away to make a living?
  • What happens to local governments when revenues from taxes drop 50% or more?

Will BP pick up the tab for these losses?  Or will they find a way to declare this event an unavoidable act of God?  How much of the tab will our enabling federal government (taxpayers) feel compelled to cough up because “BP is too big to fail?"

One thing is likely:  Drilling in deep water is not likely to resume any time soon.  Can we expect government to over-react?  Yes!  Our officials have already made Fascist-sounding declarations like "We will keep our boot on their neck until the job gets done."  Our government is likely to have a noose around the neck of the entire oil industry until we are assured this sort of disaster will never occur again. 

Which brings up this question:  Why do we continue to prohibit drilling in areas of our continent like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) where there is much less risk than in deep water drilling; where waters are shallow and a blowout can be quickly locally contained and repaired?

In the meantime, we keep feeding the coffers of middle east Islamists who are funding our destruction.  And, oh yes, expect fuel prices to skyrocket over the next year.

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