Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Plug It Up! Plug It Up!

A frame grab of a live video stream of operations to stop the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is seen on June 24, 2010. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20 that caused a massive oil spill and killed 11 workers continues to spill oil into the Gulf Coast despite BP's effort to cap the leak. UPI/BP Photo via Newscom

Are you a Stephen King fan? If so, those words might bring back his debut novel, Carrie, and the memorable shower scene that opened the movie. These days, we’d like to shout this at BP, but it’s going to take a lot more than cotton to stop this leak.

I've been following this story sporadically. It’s too depressing to do otherwise. Last night I was watching Anderson Cooper and it got worse. Cooper’s job is to take a story like this and drum up outrage. Here’s a prime example: due to the Jones Act of 1920, foreign ships have been turned away from joining the clean-up effort within a certain distance of our shoreline. Yes, you read that right. Other countries have volunteered to help and we said no. Unbelievable. If your house was on fire, would you refuse a firetruck made in Belgium? Read more here.

CNN reporter Anderson Cooper lays down on the bow of an air boat to take a picture as Governor Bobby Jindal (R) safely removes a fishing net from the oil contaminated water in Pass A Loutre near Venice, Louisiana May 26, 2010. Louisiana Governor Jindal gave a tour of the area to reporters showing the damage of the oil spill. BP launched an ambitious deep sea operation to choke off a gushing oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, but President Barack Obama cautioned Americans there was no guarantee it would work. BP is under intense pressure from Obama to bring a swift end to the five-week-old spill that threatens an environmental catastrophe and has ignited a political storm. REUTERS/Sean Gardner (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

We’ve all seen the footage of oil gushing into the ocean. Ugh. I’d like to see something else. Do you remember the scene in Apollo 13 where they gather engineers in a room, dump a pile of random stuff on the table, and say, “They can’t get rid of their carbon dioxide. They’ll suffocate. This is the equipment they have. Fix it.” And they did. As far as I know, there’s no cameras focused on a set of engineers working furiously to plug the oil leak, but BP’s website is posting pictures and updates on what they’re working on.

The blame game is in full swing. Go ahead, pick one. BP is an easy choice, when you hear they may have put profit over safety. Or the politicians who okay’d drilling in the first place. Or how about us, the people who gobble up oil and gas at a rate of 17 million barrels a day?

A wall painted with protests messages against British Petroleum (BP) and U.S. President Barack Obama is pictured as Obama's motorcade travels from New Orleans to Grand Isle, Louisiana, June 4, 2010. Guessing BP's ultimate liability for the worst oil spill in U.S. history has become something of a parlor game on both sides of the Atlantic. The company said on June 28 it had spent $2.65 billion so far on its response effort. With the first of two relief wells not expected to be ready until August, that total is certain to soar. Cleanup costs are likely to be only a small fraction of what the oil giant ends up paying. Analysts at Credit Suisse have said BP's cleanup and legal costs could reach $37 billion. Goldman Sachs & Co analysts projected $33 billion. Raymond James & Associates analysts, noting a more plaintiff-friendly U.S. legal system in environmental cases, projected $62.9 billion, after taxes. Picture taken June 4, 2010.   To match Special Report OIL-SPILL/BP-LIABILITY    REUTERS/Jason Reed/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER POLITICS ENERGY BUSINESS)

I don’t know, but here’s what we all want:


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