Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reason for the oil spill in the Gulf.


The following information is from Bunny, who it appears has giving up on me and not reading my blog, but she is sending a lot of very pertinent email information on the oil spill. She is focusing on her theory that this whole thing starts at Bushes feet.


Careful reading will clue you in that what is happening to America right now is a failure of our government. There is an old expression that “We get the Government that we deserve”, meaning that if we don’t know what’s going on, and we go with the flow. The people in office will take advantage of us.


If what just happened in the Gulf of Mexico, with the oil-well blow-out doesn’t wake you up nothing will. It appears that our government regulators are having an absolute orgy (very literally, an orgy) while America is burning. (very literally, burning)


I clipped out all of the politics from bunny email so you might read it and know that mechanics of what happened, but I included the whole context, below the bold printed part, with the hopes that you might read it. It is another real eye opener.
 
The absence of an acoustical regulator -- a remotely triggered dead man's switch that might have closed off BP's gushing pipe at its sea floor wellhead when the manual switch failed (the fire and explosion on the drilling platform may have prevented the dying workers from pushing the button) …Acoustic switches are required by law for all offshore rigs off Brazil and in Norway's North Sea operations. BP uses the device voluntarily in Britain's North Sea and elsewhere in the world as do other big players like Holland's Shell and France's Total. In 2000, the Minerals Management Service while weighing a comprehensive rulemaking for drilling safety, deemed the acoustic mechanism "essential" and proposed to mandate the mechanism on all gulf rigs.


In 2003, newly reconstituted Minerals Management Service genuflected to the oil cartel by recommending the removal of the proposed requirement for acoustic switches. The Minerals Management Service's 2003 study concluded that "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly."
The acoustic trigger costs about $500,000. Estimated costs of the oil spill to Gulf Coast residents are now upward of $14 billion to gulf state communities. Bush's 2005 energy bill officially dropped the requirement for the acoustic switch off devices explaining that the industry's existing practices are "failsafe."


BP's confidence in lax government oversight by a badly compromised agency still staffed with Bush era holdovers may have prompted the company to take two other dangerous shortcuts. First, BP failed to install a deep hole shut off valve -- another fail-safe that might have averted the spill. And second, BP's reported willingness to violate the law by drilling to depths of 22,000-25,000 feet instead of the 18,000 feet maximum depth allowed by its permit may have contributed to this catastrophe.


Halliburton may emerge as the primary villain in this caper. The blow out occurred shortly after Halliburton completed an operation to reinforce drilling hole casing with concrete slurry. This is a sensitive process that, according to government experts, can trigger catastrophic blowouts if not performed attentively. According to the Minerals Management Service, 18 of 39 blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico since 1996 were attributed to poor workmanship injecting cement around the metal pipe. Halliburton is currently under investigation by the Australian government for a massive blowout in the Timor Sea in 2005 caused by its faulty application of concrete casing.

Complete context:
A common spin in the right wing coverage of BP's oil spill is a gleeful suggestion that the gulf blowout is Obama's Katrina.

In truth, culpability for the disaster can more accurately be laid at the Bush Administration's doorstep. For eight years, George Bush's presidency infected the oil industry's oversight agency, the Minerals Management Service, with a septic culture of corruption from which it has yet to recover. Oil patch alumnae in the White House encouraged agency personnel to engineer weakened safeguards that directly contributed to the gulf catastrophe.

The absence of an acoustical regulator -- a remotely triggered dead man's switch that might have closed off BP's gushing pipe at its sea floor wellhead when the manual switch failed (the fire and explosion on the drilling platform may have prevented the dying workers from pushing the button) -- was directly attributable to industry pandering by the Bush team. Acoustic switches are required by law for all offshore rigs off Brazil and in Norway's North Sea operations. BP uses the device voluntarily in Britain's North Sea and elsewhere in the world as do other big players like Holland's Shell and France's Total. In 2000, the Minerals Management Service while weighing a comprehensive rulemaking for drilling safety, deemed the acoustic mechanism "essential" and proposed to mandate the mechanism on all gulf rigs.

Then, between January and March of 2001, incoming Vice President Dick Cheney conducted secret meetings with over 100 oil industry officials allowing them to draft a wish list of industry demands to be implemented by the oil friendly administration. Cheney also used that time to re-staff the Minerals Management Service with oil industry toadies including a cabal of his Wyoming carbon cronies. In 2003, newly reconstituted Minerals Management Service genuflected to the oil cartel by recommending the removal of the proposed requirement for acoustic switches. The Minerals Management Service's 2003 study concluded that "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly."

The acoustic trigger costs about $500,000. Estimated costs of the oil spill to Gulf Coast residents are now upward of $14 billion to gulf state communities. Bush's 2005 energy bill officially dropped the requirement for the acoustic switch off devices explaining that the industry's existing practices are "failsafe."

Bending over for Big Oil became the ideological posture of the Bush White House, and, under Cheney's cruel whip, the practice trickled down through the regulatory bureaucracy. The Minerals Management Service -- the poster child for "agency capture phenomena" -- hopped into bed with the regulated industry -- literally. A 2009 investigation of the Minerals Management Service found that agency officials "frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives." Three reports by the Inspector General describe an open bazaar of payoffs, bribes and kickbacks spiced with scenes of female employees providing sexual favors to industry big wigs who in turn rewarded government workers with illegal contracts. In one incident reported by the Inspector General, agency employees got so drunk at a Shell sponsored golf event that they could not drive home and had to sleep in hotel rooms paid for by Shell.

Pervasive intercourse also characterized their financial relations. Industry lobbyists underwrote lavish parties and showered agency employees with illegal gifts, and lucrative personal contracts and treated them to regular golf, ski, and paintball outings, trips to rock concerts and professional sports events. The Inspector General characterized this orgy of wheeling and dealing as "a culture of ethical failure" that cost taxpayers millions in royalty fees and produced reams of bad science to justify unregulated deep water drilling in the gulf.

It is charitable to characterize the ethics of these government officials as "elastic." They seemed not to have existed at all. The Inspector General reported with some astonishment that Bush's crew at the MMS, when confronted with the laundry list of bribery, public theft and sexual and financial favors to and from industry "showed no remorse."

BP's confidence in lax government oversight by a badly compromised agency still staffed with Bush era holdovers may have prompted the company to take two other dangerous shortcuts. First, BP failed to install a deep hole shut off valve -- another fail-safe that might have averted the spill. And second, BP's reported willingness to violate the law by drilling to depths of 22,000-25,000 feet instead of the 18,000 feet maximum depth allowed by its permit may have contributed to this catastrophe.

And wherever there's a national tragedy involving oil, Cheney's offshore company Halliburton is never far afield. In fact, stay tuned; Halliburton may emerge as the primary villain in this caper. The blow out occurred shortly after Halliburton completed an operation to reinforce drilling hole casing with concrete slurry. This is a sensitive process that, according to government experts, can trigger catastrophic blowouts if not performed attentively. According to the Minerals Management Service, 18 of 39 blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico since 1996 were attributed to poor workmanship injecting cement around the metal pipe. Halliburton is currently under investigation by the Australian government for a massive blowout in the Timor Sea in 2005 caused by its faulty application of concrete casing.

The Obama administration has assigned nearly 2,000 federal personnel from the Coast Guard, the Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, EPA, NOAA and Department of Interior to deal with the spill -- an impressive response. Still, the current White House is not without fault -- the government should, for example, be requiring a far greater deployment of absorbent booms. But the real culprit in this villainy is a negligent industry, the festering ethics of the Bush Administration and poor oversight by an agency corrupted by eight years of grotesque subservience to Big Oil.

THANK-YOU BUNNY!

Ernie

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow Bunny. I see the Bush administration with different eyes now. I can't defend Bush or Chaney here as I don't dig this information up. I do have more time now days to watch and listen to the news. In days past I worked 6 and 7 days a week and 12 plus hours a day so all I could really do is hope the government was taking care of things. The one thing I did wonder and worry about was the amount of money the Bush administration was spending. I also can't defend the oil spill and if it was preventable then I am behind you to caste arrows. However it is in my opinion that the current administration is selling America down the tubes and I feel full well if Obama succeeds in his agenda, that gulf oil spill will look like fun.

Oregon

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I feel strong about that last bit I added to Ernie's blog.
I should have signed it.
James Newland and I approve the above statement.

Oregon

Joseph said...

I am afraid many people have been sold a bill of goods regarding the "Obama agenda." Much of what is claimed as an Obama agenda is just made up nonsense designed to feed the fanatsies of people who are prepared to believe anything negative about the man. Not that I disagree with some of what has been said about Americans getting what they deserve. It is a mystery to me why anyone would have voted to elect two Texas oilmen in the first place, and even moreso, why they would have re-elected the same two when it was already clear that they had put the country into a costly and unwinable war under false pretenses. Those two Texas oilmen and their cronies damn near wrecked the entire country. It is not so easy to get a derailed train back on track. Just my opinion, of course. I have friends who agree and some who don't.

Anonymous said...

Well Joe, I bought the bill of goods. Three things I am against are taxes, gun control and big government. I know nothing about city life, suits and ties. Never lived that way but I do have a since of right and wrong and I feel we are getting the shaft. I say we, I am talking Americans and I guess damn few of them feel the way I do.
I don't buy the racist stuff either. Some of my best friends are Hispanic and some are American Indian which include relatives. I might mention that I even like my Indian relatives too. My step mom was a beautiful, nice black lady. I judge a person on their character.
So, I still say Obama is destroying America. If anybody says give him a chance, I will. No choice there, but the proof is in the pudding.
Just because the ship (America) is listing heavy to the left I still enjoy your posts. I like the country way of life and the people that live it, lived it, and tell about it.

Oregon

Ernie Branscomb said...

The thing that most people don't realize is, I know that the Bush administration was corrupt and inept from top to bottom.( In some cases very smart, but lacked scruples) But, Obama has been in there long enough that he should realize that he has some pretty shady dudes working for him, and he has done nothing about it.

I can’t say anything bad about Bush without being branded as a damn liberal, and I can’t say anything bad about Obama without being branded as a damned conservative. How do I tell “the folks” that I’m not out to raid their chicken house just because I want them to know the truth? We need to quit defending “our team” long enough to face facts. The facts are that I see clear signs that we are not getting fair representation for our reps.

Sadly, we are being manipulated by out-of-control corporations and their very powerful stockholders. They own the news media and they determine who gets elected. Either we need to wake up and truly look at who’s running, or should I say ruining, our country or at least get ourselves invited to the orgies that we are paying for.

With apologies to Joseph, I really don’t think that writing letters does any good anymore. (And I’ve written my share) I think that writing letters are just a pressure release to make us think that we are making a difference. We need reasonable logical people to be running this country. The out-of-control corporations only want the stage set for them to make money.

Once upon a time large corporations were limited in their power and size by anti trust and anti-monopoly laws, to keep them from over-powering the common man and this country. So tell me, do you think that we have any power over British Petroleum, Exxon, Dick Chaney, or Halliburton?

If so send them a letter...

Anonymous said...

I try to stay away from politics on Ernie's blog as I believe most that follow it are of a different caste than me. I get the same sick feeling with the way our government is going as I did with my homeland back in the 70's. So I do stay away as much as possible here. I know I can get very opinionated. However, this oil rig thing comes up and it seems to be the topic. Bush's fault.
Obama said in a speech a few weeks ago, I know, he gives 12 speeches a day, that he supported drilling offshore. In the same speech he said we need to build more nuclear power plants. The one thing he did not say in that speech is he had already shut down Yucca Mountain. so now there is not a place for spent fuel rods. So the left wing says "see there" Obama wants nuclear power plants built.
Jim says, go for it. Build a bunch of nuclear power plants and make a fence with the spent fuel rods on the Mexican-USA border.
I want all to know I am not as nice as Ernie is. I will call a pile of shit a pile of shit. I don't have to keep peace with anyone.

Sharp hooks,
Oregon

Joseph said...

Thanks Ernie and Oregon. You could have been a lot tougher on me. Once again, I think it is clear that we all agree on the values of rural life, self reliance, and personal responsibility. We have a little difficulty understanding or relating to urban and suburban-ites, and we sure feel like Washington, D.C., and New York and a long way from us and the things in life we value.

I live in rural Fulton County in south-central Pennsylvania. The population of our county is about 15,000. The county is officially part of what is called Appalachia. This is country. Fifty years ago it was a lot like Humboldt was 50 years ago. 250 years ago it was like Humboldt was 150 years ago. My perspective benefits from having had ancestors around both places at the various times. I also feel fortunate to have spent a little time in Kenya and quite a bit of time in Indonesia (it has helped me understand a little of what Obama experienced--and that surely biased me in his favor).

I also lived in Chicago. An incredibly corrupt Democratic stronghold. And in Nashville, where the Democratic governor was caught selling pardons. Deeply corrupt. And I worked in Washington, D.C., when I worked for National Geographic. I frequently visited government officials and, sometimes, senators and congressmen. I worked with or against lobbyists on legislation, etc. The process is deeply disturbing.

So now I am fairly deeply engaged at the township and county level in trying to get things done right. The process is difficult at every level.

Dave Kirby said...

Latest this Saturday morning is that a Methane bubble came shooting up the drill pipe expanding as it decompressed blowing out everything in its path and ultimately exploding on contact with an ignition source on the rig. The scary thing is this could happen on any rig drill at depth. Plan B?

Idaho said...

Big business as usual: "On another BP front, we hear that BP is demanding that fishermen who they hire in the cleanup sign gag orders, agreeing not to talk to the media. Rick says it’s one of the many similarities to the Valdez spill. BP’s reading from the playbook Exxon wrote.

The rules are:

1 – Understate the amount of oil spilled and environmental damage done.

2 – Overstate the effectiveness of the oil company’s response (or more accurately, the oil company’s “response theater”).

3 – Try to buy off the locals for a pittance in exchange for waivers that they will not sue.

4 – Get as many people under a gag order as possible.

We are warning the locals that it took 20 years of court battles to get Exxon to pay damages to the people of Prince William Sound and that the final settlement was only one-tenth of the original award.

Rick said, “Right after Valdez, someone told me, ‘Lawyers still unborn will be litigating this spill’ and I laughed at him. Well, it’s been 21 years and the litigation is still not finished, so he may be right.”

Anonymous said...

This just in, people are making sausages out of hair to save the SE coast... wait'll I tell the dreadheads how they can save the planet an' all! One pound of hair can absorb up to 1 gallon of oil... I will never look at a dreadheaded person again, they are the ones to save us!

Anonymous said...

Nothing has changed.

Anonymous said...

Gulf Oil 'SPILL' - What A Lie
By J. Speer-Williams
5-14-10


Spill ? The corporate media continues to call the volcano of continuous gushing oil, in the Gulf, a spill. How insulting. A volcano that shoots out a million gallons of crude oil a week is hardly a spill.

The common definition of a spill is the liquid that fell out of a container, a one time occurrence, not a massive flow that has no known end. An oil tanker can spill oil; but not Mother Earth, who has been and still is continuously gushing oil from 35,000 feet from within her bowels.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill, of about 10.8 million gallons of crude, on the 24th of March 1989, in the Prince William Sound of Alaska, is considered by many to be the most devastating humanly-caused environmental disaster ever to occur in history.

The definition of "gush" is to flow forth suddenly and violently. What we are faced with in the Gulf of Mexico is a continuous and monster gusher of crude oil that has no known termination point.

Currently, the oil gusher in the Gulf produces an Exxon Valdez disaster about every four days.

How long will the Monetary Cartel's media insist on calling a continuous gusher a mere spill?

Will it still be a spill when millions of people in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida are losing consciousness from the stench in the air, that will not dissipate?

Will people have to convulse and hemorrhage from their internal organs and lungs before the corporate media will show at least a modicum of truthfulness?

First, the stench will be overwhelming and it won't go away. The air itself will kill because crude oil is composed of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, hyrogensulfide, benzene, toluene, xylenes, ethlbenzene, and trimethylbenzene.

According to the Federal Register and OSHA these are all extremely hazardous substances.

Exposure can cause the following health effects: eye and skin irritation, narcoses, and/or chemical pneumonitis.

High concentrations of hydrogen sulfide can cause headaches, dizziness, unconsciousness and/or death.

More worrisome yet is hurricane season is coming. And a Gulf hurricane that hits any part of our Gulf Coast, this summer, could produce unheard of destruction, sickness, and death.

Even in the face of all these obvious facts "our" "free," "unbiased" media insists on calling a continuous volcanic gusher of toxic crude oil a spill.

Has there ever been more evidence that the International Monetary/Banking Cartel, that own the major oil companies, also own "our," "free," and "unbiased" media?