Interior Dept. Inspector General Investigating post facto falsified statements from engineers on drilling moratorium

While this isn’t our normal fare here at WUWT, I found it interesting and relevant, since WUWT covered the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling spill story early on here, with several follow ups. This story is a result of that spill. – Anthony

Guest post by WUWT moderator Mike Lorrey

US Department of Interior Inspector General Kendall is now investigating claims by seven members of the National Academy of Engineers that Interior falsified statements by them in order to support the Obama Administrations arguments for a moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the wake of the BP oil spill.

As you may recall, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was asked by President Obama for recommendations on new drilling safety recommendations. On May 27th, Obama announced a six month moratorium on offshore drilling based on Salazar’s report, the top recommendation of which was a moratorium on drilling.

The Department of the Interior later said it didn’t intend to imply that the experts had supported the moratorium. Oh dear, that must make it all better. After all, good intentions helped the hockey team get away with their climategate related actions.

Fortunately, the courts aren’t having any of this sort of argument. The engineers complaints are also a central part of the federal lawsuit against the moratorium, which to date, has gone badly for the Obama administration.

A Justice Department attorney, Brian Collins, argued in the case before Judge Martin Feldman that the government was justified in acting because the potential environmental and economic harm that would come from the risk of a second rig disaster would far outweigh the costs of the moratorium. Collins said a better question (versus the 10,000 oil drilling jobs at stake) is the tens of thousands of people whose livelihoods are harmed by the ongoing oil leak.

Feldman frequently interrupted attorneys Montero and Collins with questions about the “probity” of the record on which the Interior Department’s decision was based, the basis of the six-month time frame, and why steps aren’t taken to shut down other industries if there’s a horrible accident.

Indeed. By this sort of logic, the hockey team’s claims of catastrophic global warming justifies shutting down the entire global coal and oil industries no matter what the economic impact.

Now, claims of economic harm from the ongoing oil leak are difficult to assess. Primarily because those most impacted by the spill, for instance, shrimp fishermen and beach/vacation industry employees, are largely being employed by BP on a full time basis to clean up the oil mess, from skimming oil on the water to cleaning up tarballs on beaches. One would be hard pressed to say whether these people are working harder or not than they would have in an otherwise depressed economy, where family budgets for vacations and shrimp food products may be otherwise limited. Given the type of work, one might say they are earning more per hour doing this cleanup work than they would be doing their normal labor.

It is, however, far easier to assess damages when entire industries are shut down with no alternative employment during the interim. While the moratorium has been lifted by court order, the Obama administration continues to enforce it and is fighting it on appeal. Uncertainty due to this fight is creating a de facto moratorium as companies are loathe to risk capital drilling when they don’t know if they may be shut down from day to day in the political tug of war.

Similarly, uncertainty over cap and trade legislation has created similar uncertainty in the wider economy for businesses of all types, making them loathe to spend capital on business expansion, productivity improvements, and hiring, when they do not know from day to day whether they will need that capital to pay for carbon credits or other emissions mitigation efforts.

Now that Senator Reid has taken cap and trade off the schedule for the remainder of the term, we may see that business, in a sigh of relief, will open their purse strings to helping finally to capitalize a true economic recovery, not the fake recovery of earlier this year in the teachers and police union industries, as well as in the temporary census worker industry. They may hold off on this until after the elections deliver a significant loss of control in Congress, particularly if it leads to the removal of Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker with the GOP regaining a majority in the House.

Either way, on the Interior Department investigation, I suspect we will see a whitewash similar to recent climategate related inquiries.

About these ads

About mikelorrey

Mild mannered virtual reality tycoon.
This entry was posted in Disaster, Energy, Environment, Government idiocy. Bookmark the permalink.

83 Responses to Interior Dept. Inspector General Investigating post facto falsified statements from engineers on drilling moratorium

  1. C Monster says:

    Just as with Blagojavich, Obama will fire this IG too.

  2. Kilted Mushroom says:

    I understand the “whitewash” expectation. However I would have thought this move would be seen in a more positive light given that, as far as I know, there has been no real pressure on the Inspector General for an inquiry?

  3. Roger Knights says:

    Typo (twice):
    “loathe to” should be “loath to”
    (The first means hatred, the second means reluctant. They’re pronounced differently too–the ending of the first is drawn out, the second’s isn’t.)

  4. Orkneygal says:

    If the President of the United States (George Bush) can subvert a respected and distinguished Military Officer (Colin Powell) into telling the world a lie of massive consequence (Iraq has WMD), why should anyone be surprised or concerned by this tiny little tempest of no consequence about deep water oil drilling technology?

    If the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank (Alan Greenspan) can tell the elected representatives of the people (the Congress of the United States) a falsehood of astonishing stupidity (No one could have predicted the housing industry collapse and resulting banking turmoil of 2008), why should anyone be surprised or concerned by this tiny little tempest of no consequence about deep water oil drilling technology?

    The American people have lost their moral compass on these matters. Why do they keep reelecting these people?

  5. Eric (skeptic) says:

    The political strategy for carbon control is two-pronged. First reduce or eliminate use of refineries, coal plants, etc. This is already underway by the EPA and the Senate voted last month to let it continue (including my two very stupid senators). The second prong is to bribe or cajole electric providers to sign up the rubes for 30 year contracts for “solar” power (meaning “no” power). That is underway in Front Royal VA where a few of the rubes have noticed that there is not much sun and solar power is really just a scam. Lots of stories about it at nvdaily.com

  6. Julian Braggins says:

    What’s new?
    Preconceived agenda, ignore experts if differing from agenda, proceed.
    IPCC revisited.

  7. Carl Chapman says:

    It reminds me of the IPCC report where the signed off version had six statements saying there was no evidence that the warming was caused by man. But an altered version mysteriously had those statements deleted and an added statement saying it was caused by man.

  8. James Sexton says:

    I’m beginning to think this administration either doesn’t know what makes an economy grow or doesn’t want our economy to grow. I’ll be generous and say they’re horribly ignorant on how economies grow. Shutting off the power supply probably isn’t the best way to jumpstart an economy. Putting people out of work probably isn’t the best way either. Doing both at once is either willfully evil or incredibly stupid.

    I think the masses of the world and particularly the masses of the U.S. have had their fill of “white-washes”.

  9. Paul Deacon says:

    Anthony – the common spelling in British English is “loth” (“loath” is an acceptable variant). The “th” in the word “loth” is unvoiced (in the word “loathe” it is voiced).

    So it should be: “making them loth to spend capital on business expansion”. They may loathe spending capital, but they are loth to spend it. A common error.

    Good to see that the courts in the USA, like Britain, are not yet giving free favours to the AGW movement. All the best.

    Christchurch, New Zealand

  10. kim says:

    James Sexton @ 4:08

    The question for awhile has been whether all this destructiveness is from incompetence or deliberation. I say both!
    =============

  11. polistra says:

    In the end we’ll find that most of the economic losses were not from the thin film of oil, but from the panic deliberately generated by the gov’t and the media. Tourist-oriented businesses especially should be suing CNN, not BP.

  12. Curiousgeorge says:

    The BP leak presented our wannabe tyrant with a opportunity to tighten his grip on the US economy. Why would he waste it? Never forget that The Objective is to fundamentally transform America. It is continuing apace, and Obama and his followers will take every opportunity to advance that agenda. From their point of view, this was a very lucky break indeed.

  13. Mac says:

    Obviously BP didn’t donate enough $ to Obama, Clinton and the Democrats to exert much influence.

    It seems you don’t get much return for making $300,000 in political donations.

  14. Eric (skeptic) says:

    I should add to my post above, search for “solAVerde” in nvdaily.com It’s a long sad tale of AMP, Standard Energy and a local company “SolAVerde” to sell solar power to the rubes of Front Royal at 50% more than current power costs. Benefits? Zero, except for some false promises of jobs, alleged cash bribes, etc. Drawback? Unreliable. The contract for the power specifically states that no power delivery will be guaranteed.

  15. H.R. says:

    kim says:
    July 26, 2010 at 4:15 am
    James Sexton @ 4:08

    The question for awhile has been whether all this destructiveness is from incompetence or deliberation. I say both!
    =============

    ————————————————————————-
    So, Kim, you’re claiming deliberate incompetence? Now that takes planning and if you’re incompetent, you can’t plan. Got it? ;o)

  16. Mac says:

    Correction: That should be $400,000 in total donations to Democrat politicians from BP.

    I ownder what Obama did with the $71,000 he got from BP?

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000000091&chamber=S&party=D&cycle=2008&state=&sort=A

  17. wws says:

    I very much doubt that there will be a whitewash – remember the biggest difference between this situaion and the Climategate inquiries: This report is going in front of a *Real* Court, and the people preparing it know that, rather than the kangaroo kourts that were ginned for the CRU inquiry. The possibility of real indictments for lying under oath will concentrate the minds of those involved wonderfully, I think.

    What astounds me most is that not only is this moratorium economically insane, it’s also politically insane! Remember we’re barely 100 days away from a major election, and no voting group strongly support this while many bitterly oppose it. I add this just to point out to readers outside of the US how this is playing out in the real world (not Washington) Enviro’s who may support this were already in the administration’s pocket with nowhere else to go, so nothing is gained by playing up to them. On the other hand, I have quite a few relatives in Louisiana and that entire state is outraged by this – quite rightly, they see it as an economic dagger aimed at their heart, just as they were finally about to recover from the hits of the last few years. As a consequence, it now looks almost certain that every dem running for statewide office there is going to be wiped out in November. Maybe it’s not a huge state, but Obama has just tossed this state and all it’s voters in the political trashcan, and for no advantage at all!

    And then you take the Arizona situation – leave aside the merits (or not) of that situation, and focus on how 70% of that state is outraged that the Feds are suing them. Same thing coming – wipeout in November. That’s why I said this is truly insane – I have never in my life (and I’ve been watching since Nixon) seen a President and a Party just casually throw away entire states leading up to a major election. I’m at a loss to explain what sure looks like a death wish in their policy making.

  18. Tenuc says:

    Good to see more evidence of the ‘not so hidden’ agenda of Obama’s masters seeing the light of day.

    I wonder how long it will be before the public of the USA make their feelings known about this travesty of an administration?

  19. Henry chance says:

    This is about tyranny and control of a sector this administration neither understand nor likes.
    Obama tried to sell us 3 things.

    1 Obama said he wanted to import less oil from the Persian gulf. This policy is the opposite of that.
    2 Obama tells us he won’t sleep until we all have jobs. Then he lays off fisherman, drillers and tourist service people
    3 Obama said they wouldn’t allow lobbyists and interests groups. Then Sierra Club is at the table approving whatever they want

    Salaczar is dishonest but since he is loyal, he is safe.

  20. Paul McCauley says:

    Oil spill, not leak. A significant difference, in my opinion.

  21. Anthony G says:

    This article completely ignores a far bigger concern than any moratorium on drilling. That concern is the catastrophic (and I do mean *catastrophic*) health consequences that will in all likelihood induce hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people along the Gulf Coast to contract cancer and/or give birth to deformed babies over the coming years. The ocean affected by the oil contains benzene as well as methylene chloride, amongst other harmful chemicals — which are extremely toxic. I recently saw a video of children swimming along the western coast of Florida and there were tar balls all along the beach. The water they were swimming in is nothing less than a cancer bath (and just because you can’t see the oil doesn’t mean the toxic chemicals are not there), and it made my stomach sink to know that those poor children are very likely to contract terrible diseases in the near future, all thanks to the unbelievable greed and incompetence of BP. So mark my words — a health calamity the U.S. has never before seen is about to happen. And yet the U.S. administration refuses to warn people to stay away from the water!

  22. juanslayton says:

    Kim, H.R.:

    Check out C. Northcote Parkinson’s essay, “Injelitance.” Might be a good indicator of the mindset you discuss, and it’s a good read, anyway.

  23. RockyRoad says:

    Paul McCauley says:
    July 26, 2010 at 5:18 am
    Oil spill, not leak. A significant difference, in my opinion.
    ———-Reply:
    And yet how does one “spill” oil from an oil well? It wasn’t tipped over like a bottle of ink. Nor was the oil contained in a storage tank or vessel that ruptured. I’d describe it more as a “gusher”, since that’s what it looked like from the video taken of the wellhead.

  24. James Sexton says:

    wws says:
    July 26, 2010 at 5:06 am

    “……….I’m at a loss to explain what sure looks like a death wish in their policy making.”

    This is pretty much inline with what he’s been doing all along. He punishes the people that didn’t vote his way. Texas is probably a lost cause for the next election if you’re a lib, AZ is the same. Ala and Miss., also. Fla. may still yet go with the libs, because of the conservative in-fighting, but in this case, your right, and Fla is a big one. La. would have probably voted party lines and may yet still do it. They’ve some strange politics down there. So, he didn’t have much to lose if he really wasn’t intent on boosting the economy, but rather have an opportunity to punish an “evil” oil company along with some states that didn’t vote his way in the last election.

  25. David says:

    Am I missing something here.

    What an appalling argument that people are better off working cleaning up an oil spill than working in their normal jobs whether it be tourism or fishing.

    I guess the people in the gulf must really be counting their blessings. Definitely one of the most disgusting justifications I’ve seen on these forums in the whole time I’ve been visiting and posting.

    I’m anti-AGW but posts/stories like this one certainly make this site appear like an oil industry mouthpeice which I find truly disappointing.

  26. Henry chance says:

    Make a dishonest claim
    Base a policy decision on dishonest claim.
    The advisors have no drilling expertise. They did make a recommendation which Salaczar falsified.
    Last week BP was accused of influence in relaease of the Lockerby Bomber to get a crack at drilling in Libya.
    Now we find out Obama was involved in the release. The Whitehouse said they were not aware and Scotland told them and achieved consent. Scotland says BP was not involved at all.
    Climate Progress has the story down wrong.

    “The document, acquired by a well-placed US source, threatens to undermine US President Barack Obama’s claim last week that all Americans were “surprised, disappointed and angry” to learn of Megrahi’s release.”

    This is fake. They were aware of all the details.
    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/07/26/did-the-obama-administration-push-for-lockerbie-bombers-release/

  27. NK says:

    Dear Anthony G.–

    Please provide factual data which can be cite checked, and which provide scientific authority for your assertions. Data should include current spectrograph analysis results of Gulf water; longitudinal studies of cancer and birth defect risks from ocean water containing tar balls, etc. I do not know the answers to these questions, I am betting you don’t either. This is the type of nonsense that WUWT routinelt vets and exposes as baseless.

    Cheers,

  28. mjk says:

    Dear Mike,

    Two points. Firstly, please remove Fredrick Lightfoot’s post (3:45 am). While it might go down well with the Tea Party crowd, it is clearly racist and has no place here. Secondly, although this might not be WUWT’s “usual fare”, I am not surprised to see WUWT post on this issue now that it has clearly become a mouth piece for pro-oil republicans of the United States.

    MJK

    [reply] You are right about point one and the post is removed. You are wrong about point two, but as free to express your opinion as anyone else here is. RT-mod

  29. KenB says:

    David says:
    July 26, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I don’t think that any sceptics are apologists for oil companies, that is propaganda flung about by the well funded warmists who think they own climate science. I am certainly not in the fan club as I struggle to pay ever higher gas prices. What I do find extraordinary is the initial response or lack of response from the government and then political ranting with severe overtones of a coverup for the initial inertia, and emboldened by the fact the company was British owned rather than American. Though that certainly helped in the pressure process rather than process of law requiring BP to create a pool of funds, when one would have thought both government and BP would be creating similar funds and resolving recoups in courts of law, almost gaurantees a whiff of extortion, and Taminy Hall politics.

    While I don’t generally watch Glenn Beck, I did see one of his programs that assembled a nice jigsaw of possibilities that pointed to countries and companies that stood to directly benefit from the Obama Administrations moratorium on deep water drilling. Hmmn in the light of these exposures, perhaps he was right on the money, and the individual links between financiers do need some more checking and exposure.

    Of course if there is something to hide, then they will fight tooth and nail to keep that concealed from the American public, and that in itself is tragic for the people who are directly suffering from the effects of the oil spill.

    Needs some good old fashioned light to be shed on the whole process rather than this minefield of endless appeals, legal obstruction and bully boy tactics – can this be hiding the decline of democratic governance?

    Forgive me if I err as an outsider, but it looks a little odd!

  30. CodeTech says:

    Anthony G:

    Reading your post leaves me in amazement. Seriously, I am amazed that anyone can be so incredibly ill-informed about something that they appear to be stating with complete certainty.

    Hundreds of thousands? Millions? Um… no. Unfortunately you appear to be either the victim of junk science gone mad, willful ignorance, or you’re a plant from some whacko enviro group (is there any other kind these days?)

    Quite simply, the leak is nothing remotely that catastrophic, as much as the left seem to desperately want it to be. And just because a substance “contains” a chemical that has been “shown” to be a carcinogen does not even REMOTELY indicate that anyone will get cancer from it. You need to learn more about this since you’ve now spoken up.

    There are far too many statements about carcinogens going around that are flat-out wrong, and so many people appear eager to believe every one of them. I blame the anti-tobacco activists for completely distorting and misrepresenting the science, which was necessary for them to enact their otherwise unlawful tobacco bans.

  31. Peter Miller says:

    I never thought much of Obama before the BP debacle, now I think even less.

    All his actions have done is to confirm the USA is not an attractive place in which to do real business.

    The ranting and ravings from unscrupulous populist politicians about the oil spill is similar to those supporting AGW theory and punitive taxation.

    In 12 months from now, there will be no evidence that the oil spill ever happened. Obama’s epitaph to the American people by his knee jerk, ill considered, actions will be increased dependency on foreign oil and reduced investment in the economy.

    There should be a law which states that no one can become a senior politician without having spent at least 15 years in the real world of the private sector. There would then be a much better realisation that doing something stupid has inevitable consequences.

  32. kim says:

    MJK @ 8:07 is wrong about part of his first point. He says that something ‘racist’ may go down well with the Tea Party crowd.

    This is false. Race-baiting has become the topic du jour, and it’s interesting that it is all coming from the left and the Administration. The Tea Partiers are concerned about debt and about overweening federalism, and not about race.

    This needs to be pointed out every time the vicious insinuation is used. I didn’t read F. Lightfoot’s comment, but mjk is racebaiting here.
    ================

  33. mjk says:

    RT-mod

    Thanks for taking the racist post down.

    MJK

  34. kim says:

    More IG stuff and this administration’s approach to FOIA. Homeland Security investigated and documented people submitting FOIA requests.

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/38350993/ns/politics-more_politics
    ====================

  35. son of mulder says:

    So what was the root cause of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling spill? I’m intrigued to know.

  36. Jim G says:

    Those of you who are wondering if the actions being taken by the administration are intended to destroy our economy or merely “ignorance” should consider that George Soros, the left and Obama’s largest financial backer, (with moveon.org and all their acorn affiliates, etc.) makes his money by destroying economies, short selling and so on.

    Also, if the Republicans win in Nov. it may actually improve Obama’s chances in 2012 as he is great at blaming others for any problems and taking credit for anything that goes well. He’ll have the Republicans to blame if they control congress for the likely continuing problems and unless Hillary actually runs and beats him in the Democrat primary (not much improvement there) he may win again in 2012.

  37. nemesis says:

    Slightly o/t but ‘Risked ‘has an intriguing article about ‘Peak Wood’
    http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/debates/copenhagen_article/9202

    “Energy crisis? We’ve been here before
    Around 400 years ago, Britain faced another problem of dwindling energy resources: ‘peak wood’.”

    It would seem these type of ‘scare stories’ are nothing new.

  38. J.Hansford says:

    If I didn’t know better, I’d swear Obama was trying to shut down America…. But he is a Patriot?….. Right?

    I mean…. The people he has placed around himself are all on the same page as mainstream Americans?… Right?

    ….. They’re not radicals or anything? Their past associations, words and deeds are common knowledge to all…. Right?

    After all, the American people where kept well informed by an engaged and investigative media….. Right?

    ….. Oh crap!

  39. Jeff says:

    I have a friend who quit his taxi-driving job in Fairbanks to drive a boat during the Exxon Valdez cleanup in Alaska. He made $65k in three months & was quite happy about it.

  40. Claude Harvey says:

    There is considerable evidence our President believes that “truth” is whatever he says it is. Unlike most previous administrations that “bent” the truth to suit their purposes, I can’t remember another that regularly and blatantly made things up out of “whole cloth” the way this one does.

  41. Enneagram says:

    No one is to blame, everything is cyclical and now, the stars above have influenced some sensitive people, having a rather different view that the rest, to act according to its mandates.
    What goes up must come down
    spinning wheel got to go round
    Talking about your troubles it’s a crying sin
    Ride a painted pony
    Let the spinning wheel spin

    You got no money, and you, you got no home
    Spinning wheel all alone
    Talking about your troubles and you, you never learn
    Ride a painted pony
    let the spinning wheel turn

  42. latitude says:

    James Sexton says:
    July 26, 2010 at 4:08 am
    I’m beginning to think this administration either doesn’t know what makes an economy grow or doesn’t want our economy to grow. I’ll be generous and say they’re horribly ignorant on how economies grow
    =======================================================

    nah James, there’s too many of them. One person you could blame on ignorance.
    This is an entire party, advisers, congress, senate, czars…………
    They are doing things exactly the way their college professors have taught them.

  43. Andrew30 says:

    son of mulder says: July 26, 2010 at 8:46 am
    So what was the root cause of the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling spill?

    The Big Bang, it always is, figuring out the chain of event may be tricky, but if you are looking for a root cause, it is the Big Bang.

    An investigation will more likely interested in the back-tracking of pre-event events that end up with a person or process that they have already selected. Once they reach that point they stop looking. For example they will not go so far as to ‘blame’ the Earth for creating a high pressure gas bubble, but they will also pass over the engineer that created the device that failed.

    Just like in any graph, pick your end-points and it will say whatever you wnat it to say.

    PS. I you belief system does not include the Big Bang but instead (or in addition to) requires a super-natural entity (God for example), the the root cause is the will of the super-natural entity.

  44. Bill Tuttle says:

    wws: July 26, 2010 at 5:06 am
    That’s why I said this is truly insane – I have never in my life (and I’ve been watching since Nixon) seen a President and a Party just casually throw away entire states leading up to a major election. I’m at a loss to explain what sure looks like a death wish in their policy making.

    Nope, it’s perfectly logical. Obama was born into a Marxist family, was raised and mentored by Marxists, sought out the company of Marxists in college, and continued to collect Marxist friends through adulthood. Obama has only 26 more months to turn the US into a Marxist paradise, and until he can accomplish that, *everyone* is expendable, including his staunchest supporters — remember, you’re dealing with someone who gratuitously tossed the woman who *raised* him under the bus to score a cheap race point in a campaign speech.

  45. Grumpy Old Man says:

    I like Claude Harvey, We had a Prime Minister like that too – it was right because he believed it was right. Good old boy, Tony Blair.

  46. Eric Dailey says:

    Some of you mainstream patriot types seem to be starting to get the message. These failures, goof ups and disasters are by design. It is not incompetence. It started years ago. Make your own list and give it some real consideration. Imagine what they have the black budget people doing.

    Not just wrong, evil.

  47. jorgekafkazar says:

    wws says: “What astounds me most is that not only is this moratorium economically insane, it’s also politically insane! Remember we’re barely 100 days away from a major election…”

    You’re assuming that there will be an election. Never underestimate the inherent evil of Socialism. Remember, too, that the lame duck Congress can enact legislation between November and January that can’t be undone during the remaining two years without a 2/3 majority vote, something unlikely to be attained in November under any condition.

  48. MartinGAtkins says:

    Anthony G says:
    July 26, 2010 at 5:56 am

    The ocean affected by the oil contains benzene as well as methylene chloride, amongst other harmful chemicals — which are extremely toxic. I recently saw a video of children swimming along the western coast of Florida and there were tar balls all along the beach. The water they were swimming in is nothing less than a cancer bath

    What a load of emotional drivel. Millions of people the world over come into contact with various forms of oil products on a daily basis and have done since the invention of the gasoline fueled internal combustion engine. Oil products are used to seal our roads and lubricate much of our machinery and much more.

    Mechanics often get covered in oil in it’s various forms and there is no, zero, zilch evidence that they have a higher rate of cancers than any of the rest of the population.

  49. Gail Combs says:

    Orkneygal says:
    July 26, 2010 at 3:26 am

    ….The American people have lost their moral compass on these matters. Why do they keep reelecting these people?
    _____________________________________________________

    It may not be the people who are doing the electing, it could be the Diebold, who do you want to win, voting machines

    Also the public is subject to some very sophisticated propaganda. This means we get our choice of corporate selected republicans or corporate selected democrats. We never get a real choice. The Ron Paul campaign is an excellent example of how reasonable third party people are sidelined. Paul was adamant he was in the race till the bitter end, but a week later, two days after the Bilderburg Meeting, he unexpectedly got out of the race with no real explanation. This is based on my own observations during the campaign.

    There is also this, that I read afterwards: http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/paul_in_crosshairs119.html

  50. son of mulder says:

    ” Andrew30 says:
    July 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

    The Big Bang, it always is, figuring out the chain of event may be tricky, but if you are looking for a root cause, it is the Big Bang.

    An investigation will more likely interested in the back-tracking of pre-event events that end up with a person or process that they have already selected. Once they reach that point they stop looking. For example they will not go so far as to ‘blame’ the Earth for creating a high pressure gas bubble, but they will also pass over the engineer that created the device that failed.”

    OK let me rephrase

    Was the root cause a known possibility that wasn’t managed according to known best engineering practice? If so what went wrong with best practice? Or was best practice not in the applied rule book? Or was there an unanticipated mechanical failure? Or maintenance failure or what? Or was it known that risks existed that were beyond best practice…and was this was one of them?

    Or was the root cause an unknown possibility for which no best practice could reasonably be expected to currently exist?

    Until I see some attempt to answer these type of basic engineering questions the politicians should stick to sorting out the residual mess and ensuring the real lessons are learned.

    I miss Feynman.

  51. Alan F says:

    Jim G,

    Well done for seeing through the fog where others fail to see their own feet. George Soros’ playground has been shrinking dramatically with China being the last to focus in on his actions within their market. In France I would guess a car accident in a tunnel somewhere isn’t off the table for the man handing out allowances to America’s far left. Just imagine how much $$$ you could make on fear alone if only you also had a method of delivering “doom and gloom” to the masses like an online media machine. I’d just bet America has been enviably good to dirty`ol George these last 2 panic stricken year$.

  52. bob paglee says:

    What took them so long to drag out the whitewash bucket?

  53. mikelorrey says:

    David says:
    July 26, 2010 at 6:54 am (Edit)

    “Am I missing something here.

    What an appalling argument that people are better off working cleaning up an oil spill than working in their normal jobs whether it be tourism or fishing.”

    Well, you misread it. The argument isn’t that people are better off cleaning up the oil spill rather than working their normal jobs. The argument is that at least they have work to do (it remains unreported and undocumented whether these people were as gainfully employed in the current economy prior to the spill) while oil workers have no work to do during a moratorium. Which is the lesser evil?

  54. Paddy says:

    The Obama administration has already fired two inspector generals without comply with the law. Since then other IGs have issued critical opinions about law and policy violations by Obama that have been ignored.

    Obama is above the law on such matters. If the DOI IG concludes that skulduggery occurred, his opinion will be ignored. If he goes public he will be fired. So, expectation of a whitewash is reasonable unless the IG is both ethical and brave.

  55. Paddy says:

    The Obama administration has already fired two inspector generals without complying with the law. Since then other IGs have issued critical opinions about law and policy violations by Obama that have been ignored.

    Obama is above the law on such matters. If the DOI IG concludes that skulduggery occurred, his opinion will be ignored. If he goes public he will be fired. So, expectation of a whitewash is reasonable unless the IG is both ethical and brave.

  56. Davet916 says:

    Here is an excellent article that sheds light on why all the effort to bring out the truth gets little headway or seems to not matter.

    Davet

    http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/americas-ruling-class-and-the/1

    a quote from the lead-in article:

    “Members of the two classes do not like one another. In particular, the ruling class views the rest of the population as composed of ignoramuses who are vicious, violent, racist, religious, irrational, unscientific, backward, generally ill-behaved, and incapable of living well without constant, detailed direction by our betters; and it views itself as perfectly qualified and entitled to pound us into better shape by the generous application of laws, taxes, subsidies, regulations, and unceasing declarations of its dedication to bringing the country – and indeed the entire world – out of its present darkness and into the light of the Brave New World it is busily engineering.

    This class divide has little to do with rich versus poor or Democrat versus Republican. At its core, it has to do with the division between, on the one hand, those whose attitudes are attuned to the views endorsed by the ruling class (especially “political correctness”) and whose fortunes are linked directly or indirectly with government programs and, on the other hand, those whose outlooks and interests derive from and focus on private affairs, especially the traditional family, religion, and genuine private enterprise. Above all, as Codevilla makes plain, “for our ruling class, identity always trumps.” These people know they are superior in every way, and they are not shy about letting us know that they are. Arrogance might as well be their middle name.”

    It is a long read, but worth it. Light gets shed on many areas. I printed it – 22 pages.

  57. Jim G says:

    Alan F says:
    July 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm
    Jim G,

    “Well done for seeing through the fog where others fail to see their own feet. George Soros’ playground has been shrinking dramatically with China being the last to focus in on his actions within their market. In France I would guess a car accident in a tunnel somewhere isn’t off the table for the man handing out allowances to America’s far left. Just imagine how much $$$ you could make on fear alone if only you also had a method of delivering “doom and gloom” to the masses like an online media machine. I’d just bet America has been enviably good to dirty`ol George these last 2 panic stricken year$.”

    One can usually follow the money to the answers to most of the issues we discuss here on WUWT. Research fuding grants, political donations, government favors, etc. The media bias is the one that does not compute for me as most of the liberal media are losing audience to the conservative media? Less audience = Less ad $$$. Any ideas there? Is old George popping them $$ under the table?

  58. wws says:

    Son of Mulder: the root cause of the disaster is actually pretty mundane, and would have easily been avoided if BP had simply followed the SOP for deep well casing design that everyone else in the industry follows. Btw, I did oilfield work for quite a few years and have been onsite for more cement jobs than I can count or remember now.

    Don’t know if everyone is familiar with how wells are completed after they’re drilled – the wellbore is kept from collapsing in on itself by putting steel pipe (casing) in place immediately after the borehole is drilled, and then pumping cement down through a valve and the bottom of the casing and back up through the “annulus”, the gap between the steel pipe and the formation. Once this is in place the wellbore is safe and solid, and nothing can move out of the formation until zones of interest are perforated with explosive charges – and even after that the rest is still sealed off.

    Really deep wells need multiple strings of casing, one inside the other. (not going into the engineering reasons why this is so, but trust me, it is) Good practices dicate that the smaller diameter casings overlap extensively with the outer casing, manytimes all the way back to the wellhead, and the gap in between the casings is also cemented shut. No room left for fluids to migrate anywhere in between the strings.

    Also, when cement is pumped, it’s best practice to pump cement until the entire annulus is filled – a bit more expensive than may be absolutely necessary, but in the overall scheme of drilling a well a minor cost increase in exchange for absolute safety downhole.

    BP screwed up *Every* *Single* *Stage* of this operation, from the design right through the implementation. First, from the start they planned on doing the cheapest possible casing design they could get away with, with multiple strings but little overlap in between them. Stupid on a well with anticipated pressures like this! And to add to the problems, they pumped the bare minimum of cement they thought they could get away with on *every* cementing stage. (I think there were 5) resulting in a half-assed, hole and void filled cement job all the way from top to bottom of the wellbore. THEN they didn’t even bother to properly test the last stage before taking all the heavy pressure controlling mud out of the well!

    *Every* part of this well design was intended to cut financial corners as much as they thought they could away with, and they ended up a disaster directly because of their idiotic well design and idiotic decisions.

    The final insult – the afternoon before the explosion, multiple men on that rig heard the driller having a screaming phone conversation with the execs back in Houston. He was telling them that if they pulled the heavy fluid out now and replaced it with seawater, the whole damned rig was likely to blow up. They told him that THEY knew best, not him, and that he was being paid to shut up and do what he was told to do. So he shut up and did what he was told.

    3 hours later the rig blew up.

  59. David says:

    mikelorrey says:
    July 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm
    David says:
    July 26, 2010 at 6:54 am (Edit)

    “Am I missing something here.

    What an appalling argument that people are better off working cleaning up an oil spill than working in their normal jobs whether it be tourism or fishing.”

    Well, you misread it. The argument isn’t that people are better off cleaning up the oil spill rather than working their normal jobs. The argument is that at least they have work to do (it remains unreported and undocumented whether these people were as gainfully employed in the current economy prior to the spill) while oil workers have no work to do during a moratorium. Which is the lesser evil?

    The argument is whether peoples livelihoods are at stake. Since their livelihoods are not cleaning up oil I think its fair to say that they are.
    Once the main clean up is finished many of these people may well still be out of a job. Any way you look at it its an appalling argument.
    They ground planes in some cases whilst investigating the cause of an accident. I don’t see why they cant do it for oil drilling.

  60. son of mulder says:

    ” wws says:
    July 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Son of Mulder: the root cause of the disaster is actually pretty mundane, and would have easily been avoided if BP had simply followed the SOP for deep well casing design that everyone else in the industry follows. Btw, I did oilfield work for quite a few years and have been onsite for more cement jobs than I can count or remember now……………………………………….”

    Thanks wws. Taking on board all the points you have made was it the removal of the heavy mud that allowed the blowout or did the well integrity below surface actually fail? As I understand it at present the blowout preventer has essentially been ‘capped’ and oil is no longer escaping which sounds to me (as a layman) that the well integrity below surface maybe OK though not ideal.

  61. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    “claims of economic harm from the ongoing oil leak are difficult to assess”

    Specific claims may be hard to assess but general claims could be estimated if anyone bothered to look at history.

    Ixtoc-1 blowout was remarkably similar – 3Mba blowout of light crude over 9 months, 50 km offshore – on the other side of the Gulf, so similar a climatological locale (unlike Exxon Valdez).

    I see little or no reference to this piece of history in the hyseria so far. Fortunately the environmental damage seems not to have been that bad, but surely there are learnings for what the true economic damage was, and to which sectors of the economy (so compensation can go to those who aren’t rent seekers).

    If you ignore history you’re condemned to repeat it.

  62. Flask says:

    son of mulder says:
    July 26, 2010 at 11:54 am
    ” Andrew30 says:
    July 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

    The Big Bang,

    OK let me rephrase

    Was the root cause a known possibility that wasn’t managed according to known best engineering practice?

    Thank you wws for replying so succinctly. No thanks to Andrew30.

    From what I have read, the engineers planning or supervising the drilling and completion operation on the well failed to follow known best practice. Best practice would have controlled the well with very little problem, however BP’s operations engineers apparently did the opposite of best engineering practice.
    In the face of advice from interested parties, including Halliburton and the driller quoted by wws, they cut corners to save money and to finish the well quickly. This backfired so horribly that eleven lives were lost. Additionally, these smart-ass engineers crippled their employer, costing BP and others billions of dollars, put thousands of people out of work, and perpetrated an environmental disaster.

    There is a silver lining, oil companies and drilling companies will review their own operating procedures and initiate greater adherence to best practice, hopefully permanently, even as the US government will impose more regulation on offshore drilling. Consciousness of safety is a learned attitude, and requires using independent thought.
    Too many large companies impose or give lip-service to tiresome, redundant safety regulations but have a culture of cost control that tends to neutralize the effect.

  63. David44 says:

    Anthony –

    I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that you posted this as is. The Interior Department engineers controversy is appropriate esp. as it might relate to EPA shenanigans, but the last few paragraphs seem to descend into just partisan politics. It may all be truthy, but it just cheapens your website IMHO.

  64. Pete Hayes says:

    David says:
    July 26, 2010 at 6:54 am (Edit)
    “The argument is that at least they have work to do (it remains unreported and undocumented whether these people were as gainfully employed in the current economy prior to the spill) while oil workers have no work to do during a moratorium. Which is the lesser evil?”

    Actually David, there is another point that no one seems to cover. Does Obama expect the companies owning the various rigs, that earn millions per day, are just going to sit them in the Gulf until the moratorium is ended? I have not checked for a while (I will try to get the time today) but I wonder how many of those rigs are now under tow to new work in other parts of the world? It may take quite some time to get them back!

  65. Gail Combs says:

    #
    #
    James Sexton says:
    July 26, 2010 at 4:08 am

    I’m beginning to think this administration either doesn’t know what makes an economy grow or doesn’t want our economy to grow. I’ll be generous and say they’re horribly ignorant on how economies grow….
    ___________________________________________________
    This administration doesn’t want our economy to grow…EVER

    Obama’s “Science Czar” Advocates De-Developing the US to World of Zero Growth

    “John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and President Barack Obama’s top science adviser,… has co-authored works in the past that called for a campaign to “de-develop the United States” and said people need to eventually face up to a “world of zero net physical growth.”

    …In their 1973 book “Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions,” Holdren and co-authors Paul and Anne Ehrlich wrote:

    “A massive campaign [Global Warming] must be launched to restore a high-quality environment in North America and to de-develop the United States. De-devolopment means bringing our economic system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the realities of ecology and the global resource situation. Resources and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries.”

    “The need for de-development presents our economists with a major challenge,” they wrote. “They must design a stable, low-consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth than the present one. [Agenda 21] Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.”

    In 1995, Holdren co-authored a chapter with Paul Ehrlich and Gretchen Daily—“The Meaning of Sustainability: Biogeophysical Aspects”–that was included in a book published by the World Bank….

    The World bank has major investments in coal and oil but was given “effective control of climate change finance.” by the Danish Text.

    “The so-called Danish text was devised by individuals who comprise a group called the “circle of commitment,” which, if you think about it, sounds either creepily Orwellian or like a motivational chart at a Mary Kay seminar. The text essentially ditches the hair shirt handed to the West by the Kyoto protocol, gives the World Bank “effective control of climate change finance,” according to the Guardian, and makes the third world responsible for cleaning up its own act. “ ‘Danish Text’ Another Leak in Global Warming Balloon

    The Ultimate Goal??? UN REFORM – Restructuring for Global Governance

  66. alan says:

    Commentary on this site often questions whether Obama, and those around him, are acting out of incompetence or out of deliberate malevolence toward the country. Many here seem to favor incompetence. I guess “deliberate malevolence” is just too scary to contemplate.

    I suggest that Obama and the Marxists around him are committed “globalists”, and that a strong, sovereign America stands in their way. Destruction of NASA, weakening of the military, the collapse of the banking system, destruction of the energy grid, and increased racial strife are all part of a well-crafted plan to destroy America as we have known it and subjugate its people to a new one-world socialist order controlled by them. The Anthropogenic Global Warming scare is certainly a part of this design.

  67. DirkH says:

    Pete Hayes says:
    July 26, 2010 at 5:11 pm
    “[...]Actually David, there is another point that no one seems to cover. Does Obama expect the companies owning the various rigs, that earn millions per day, are just going to sit them in the Gulf until the moratorium is ended? [...]”

    WSJ says only 2 rigs have left; 31 are still there and not planning to leave.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704723604575379332167380458.html

  68. agimarc says:

    In response to the question about what happened on the Deepwater Horizon to lead to the blowout: The WSJ ran an excellent article from the President of Sampson Oil & Gas on June 11 describing the human failures leading to the blowout. It is pretty good. URL follows:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703303904575293270746496824.html?KEYWORDS=%22terry+barr%22

    Article follows:

    In response to Tony Hayward’s June 4 op-ed “What BP Is Doing about the Gulf Gusher”: It is time that the publicity spin that BP is putting on this disaster is put into perspective. What is alarming about the content of the article is not so much what it says, but what it does not say.

    Mr. Haywood, chief executive officer of British Petroleum, asks, “How could this happen?” The answer has largely to do with BP’s inability to follow its existing well-construction policies and those of the industry generally.

    The BP testimony to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 25 says it all, but perhaps that material needs to be explained. From looking at that evidence, this is what we know:

    [snip: rest of the entire article. It's all in the link. ~dbs, mod]

  69. Jack Simmons says:

    wws says:
    July 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    They told him that THEY knew best, not him, and that he was being paid to shut up and do what he was told to do. So he shut up and did what he was told.

    3 hours later the rig blew up.

    Who told the execs in Houston they were being paid to shut up and do what they were told to do?

  70. Mike D. says:

    Politics aside, the issue in the courts is whether this Administration or any Administration can discard, or worse falsify, the findings of “experts”.

    It is matter of law. The Government is required under various laws to seek out expert advice. NEPA is a good example of a law that mandates a “process” wherein expert analysis must be obtained and RELIED UPON. The nuance under NEPA is that the Government may rely on its own experts — it need not rely on outside experts nor necessarily on any experts who submit findings, but it must rely on some experts of its choosing.

    One can see how sticky the wicket can become, choosing this expert over that one, but the Government must make some sort of rational and seemingly unbiased choice. If there is perception of “tampering”, or if no expertise at all is obtained, the Government can be found negligent and in violation of “due process”.

    In many ways, scientists or other experts are thus placed in an important position. The law requires that they be consulted, and requires that the expert findings be relied upon.

    In this case the Government “tampered” and is obviously (IMHO) negligent. Whether that effectively negates the moratorium remains to be seen. But a larger issue is at stake: the extent to which “experts” control Governmental actions.

    Another related case are the various appeals of the EPA’s carbon endangerment finding. The EPA relied on certain expert opinions and not others. They can legally do so, but only if there was no “tampering”. But it seems there has been significant tampering — evidenced by the EPA’s squelching of internal expert dissenting opinions.

    Our legal system is a funny thing. It has its own internal logic, which may not be logical in a broader context, and may be poor policy. Nonetheless, it is what our legislatures and courts have made it to be. Bottom line: science is intimately woven into our laws, and scientists have been given considerable power — more power than say religious leaders, “laymen”, elected or appointed officials, or voters.

    When authorities hold disproportionate power, the result is authoritarianism. That is true whether the authorities are wise or stupid, honest or dishonest, of impeccable integrity or corrupt.

  71. Baa Humbug says:

    A Justice Department attorney, Brian Collins, argued in the case before Judge Martin Feldman that the government was justified in acting because the potential environmental and economic harm that would come from the risk of a second rig disaster would far outweigh the costs of the moratorium.

    I would find it impossible to keep a straight face when trying to argue anything in front of judge Marty Feldman
    Here he is “weighing-up” the evidence.

  72. Jack Simmons says:

    Mike D. says:
    July 27, 2010 at 1:25 am

    Politics aside, the issue in the courts is whether this Administration or any Administration can discard, or worse falsify, the findings of “experts”.

    All we have to do then is find an expert on experts.

  73. Gail Combs says:

    wws says:
    July 26, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Son of Mulder: the root cause of the disaster is actually pretty mundane, and would have easily been avoided if BP had simply followed the SOP for deep well casing design that everyone else in the industry follows….

    The final insult – the afternoon before the explosion, multiple men on that rig heard the driller having a screaming phone conversation with the execs back in Houston. He was telling them that if they pulled the heavy fluid out now and replaced it with seawater, the whole damned rig was likely to blow up….
    ________________________________________________
    I think the idiots responsible for giving the orders for a cheap well design and the guys responsible for telling them that to pull the heavy fluid out now and replaced it with seawater should be facing criminal manslaugher charges

    I too have seen upper execs make the decision to ignore the guy with the knowledge and order unsafe practices because it was cheaper than doing it right. In both cases an industrial process blew up and people were injured or killed.
    [snip]
    [reply:]We get your point without the need for this extra amplification. RT-mod

  74. Gail Combs says:

    wws says:
    July 26, 2010 at 5:06 am

    What astounds me most is that not only is this moratorium economically insane, it’s also politically insane! Remember we’re barely 100 days away from a major election, and no voting group strongly support this while many bitterly oppose it…. Maybe it’s not a huge state, but Obama has just tossed this state and all it’s voters in the political trashcan, and for no advantage at all!

    And then you take the Arizona situation – leave aside the merits (or not) of that situation, and focus on how 70% of that state is outraged that the Feds are suing them. Same thing coming – wipeout in November. That’s why I said this is truly insane – I have never in my life (and I’ve been watching since Nixon) seen a President and a Party just casually throw away entire states leading up to a major election. I’m at a loss to explain what sure looks like a death wish in their policy making.
    __________________________________________________________

    Remember Obama was a community organizer (read agitator) I sometimes think he was put in office (not elected) to agitate the US population into a rage. Between the immigration issue, Obamacare, and the bills for Cap and Trade and very strict farming regulations about to be passed he is pressing the American people hard. Sooner or later someone is going to set off the spark. The farming community, a bunch of independent cusses, has already been well primed with the decade long fight over Livestock tag tracking and the trashing of the Constitution that goes with it.

    If we get violence then we get marshal law and possibly occupation by UN troops who have already been training on US soil.

    Posse Comitatus Act is dead. as of 2006 a US Army unit is now training for domestic operations under the control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. “An initial news report in the Army Times newspaper last month noted, in addition to emergency response, the force “may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.”

    In a political move that received little if any attention by the American news media, the United States and Canada entered into a military agreement on February 14, 2008, allowing the armed forces from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a domestic civil emergency, even one that does not involve a cross-border crisis, according to a police commander involved in homeland security planning and implementation.

    The Origins of the Posse Comitatus

    And then there is the Habeas Corpus (unlawful detention) mess.
    No Habeas Corpus for “Any Person”

    Obama wins the right to detain people with no habeas review

    An example of violation of Habeas Corpus in the USA Henshaw Incident

  75. Taphonomic says:

    Feldman stuck it to the DOJ attorneys and their bogus claims about the experts’ findings when he wrote: “The court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium”

    And as for Reid taking cap and trade off the schedule for the remainder of the term; he may still try some sleight of hand after the elections, in the lame duck sessions until January when the new congress is sworn in.

  76. Smokey says:

    Gail Combs,

    The links you provided seem somewhat contradictory. Habeas Corpus has been upheld by the SCOTUS, but a lower Appeals Court had a different opinion, so the issue is in limbo for now.

    That issue will be decided eventually. What is almost as disturbing is the UN’s typical Big Government position against the free market. From the link:

    Frenzy of Increasingly Destructive Trade Agreements

    The Oxfam [Oxfam = UN] report, “Signing Away the Future,” reveals that the US and European Union (EU) are vigorously pursuing increasingly destructive regional and bilateral trade and investment agreements outside the auspices of the WTO. These agreements are requiring enormous irreversible concessions from developing countries, while offering almost nothing in return. Faster and deeper, the US and EU are demanding unprecedented tariff reductions, sometimes to nothing…

    The UN is flat wrong. Zero tariffs benefit the citizens of the countries that eliminate tariffs, which are nothing but a protection racket for a special interest group at the direct expense of everyone else. Tariffs should be permanently and completely abolished.

    In 1987 Harley-Davidson petitioned the ITC for termination of the tariff on imported motorcycles, and their sales skyrocketed. Harley’s management realized that when a company is coddled by protective tariffs, they become fat and lazy. They are no longer hungry. That hurts consumers, so clearly tariffs are against the public interest.

    Now we have the ultimate special interest tariff laid on the American taxpayer: Obama’s takeover of Chrysler and General Motors. By an arbitrary decree Mr Obama replaced the CEO, and several members of the Board of Directors. These companies are being kept afloat with billions of taxpayer dollars which, despite the propaganda issuing from the NY Times and the Administration, will never be repaid. Never. When the inevitable extinction or downsizing through bankruptcy finally occurs, repayment of those $billions will be the first thing to be repudiated.

    In the past we have seen the extinction of car companies like Nash, American Motors, Hudson, Fisher and many others. They went out of business because they could not adequately compete with more innovative, less expensive, higher quality competitors. That is Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction,” which benefits consumers. Its antithesis is government ownership and control of the means of production — and that never benefits the general public. It only benefits the government; the ultimate self-serving special interest.

    It is clear that Oxfam [--> UN] is 100% in favor of tariffs, and is fiercely opposed to the consumer-friendly free market, which has kept prices so cheap in the U.S. That opposition is not surprising, coming from the bloated, protected and completely unaccountable UN kleptocrats who are living high off US taxpayers — while working directly against our best interests.

  77. Keith Battye says:

    The arguments about the casing design may be true but the remaining fact is that the well has been sealed at the top and is holding pressure under current conditions.

    The fact is the BOP failed to prevent the explosion and fire at the platform even though it is SOP and all other drilling companies say that their process is the same as the one BP used. The BOP failed and allowed a large bubble of high pressure methane to get through to the platform.

    Tragically the platform sank killing 11 working stiffs . When it sank it broke the riser pipe above the BOP and that allowed oil and gas to escape from the well into the ocean.

    From out here in Africa the xenophobic attacks on BP from the White House on down seemed completely out of proportion. Furthermore the unrestrained attack on “Big Business” by the White House seemed to be socialist political opportunism following the earlier nationalization of banks and auto manufacturers.

    The characterization of BP as “Greedy and uncaring” is very shallow. All companies are made up of individuals who generally are trying to do their jobs in the best possible way after all these people chose their careers and I am certain they take great pride in their abilities. That goes all the way to the top and doubly so in high risk hi-tech operations where skill levels are high and well paid. Nobody wants to get it wrong, especially not deliberately .

    These type of accidents happen from time to time. Aircraft crash, chemical plants gas towns, dams burst, ships sink and these events always lead to improvements in design and use as will be the case with this failure and as no doubt happened after the Brazilian offshore well failed.

    I have worked in engineering all my adult life ( I am now 62 ) and failures happen without involving malevolence and/or greed. Some happen because of human inadequacies or because of as yet unrevealed modes of failure but to ascribe this to some BP “suit” choosing profit over safety and so over-riding strong technical advice is stretching credibility.

    On the other hand I can see a group of “pols” sitting around deciding to “never let a good crisis go to waste” and using this as theater . The MSM love a tale like this because it just runs and runs in a form like sport only running over months. Choose your team and follow the action every day. The media coverage of the actual spill that we have seen out here doesn’t show much more than some dead pelicans and a couple of stretches of black beach and today the question seems to be “where has the oil gone?”.

    The BOP failed , that’s the real problem because they are used on every underwater well in the world no matter who drills it. To me considering the immense engineering task , and the financial call paid entirely by BP, was done very fast and very effectively. The relief well was always going to be the absolute cure and that kill starts on August 2nd, ahead of projections and done totally without drama while the world watches.

    The BOP failed.

  78. son of mulder says:

    “Keith Battye says:
    July 27, 2010 at 9:59 am
    …………………………… The BOP failed.”

    I may be misunderstanding but are you implying that because there is an ultimate fallback, the BOP, then actions can be taken under legitimately the SOP that may result in need to use the BOP, with an assumption that the BOP will work. In this particular case had the BOP been suitably tested?

  79. Keith Battye says:

    son of mulder says:
    July 27, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Sorry I may not have been clear.

    What I am saying is that the well and casing are holding up even though the wellhead has been closed by an alternative to the BOP which indicates to me that the methods used to drill and line the well seem to be up to the task. The problem as I see it is that the BOP was overwhelmed by something coming up the well resulting in the sinking of the platform, the death of 11 men and the resultant outpouring of oil and gas into the Gulf.

    I have not read the testing procedure for the BOP, nor if it was followed .

    The inability of the BOP to control the situation is the uppermost question in my mind and the BOP is used everywhere there is an underwater well. It is supposed to be the final backup in the chain and it didn’t work. That seems to be unrelated to anything else.

    Perhaps it’s just a “hope and pray” thing in which case something better needs to be evolved. That’s what I am saying.

  80. Bill Tuttle says:

    David: July 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm
    They ground planes in some cases whilst investigating the cause of an accident. I don’t see why they cant do it for oil drilling.

    They only ground aircraft during a preliminary accident investigation when the investigators suspect a systemic malfunction as the cause. In this case, the cause is known — it was human error, in the form of willful and knowing violations of established operating and safety procedures.

  81. Flask says:

    Keith Battye says:
    July 27, 2010 at 11:10 am
    son of mulder says:
    July 27, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Sorry I may not have been clear.

    What I am saying is that the well and casing are holding up even though the wellhead has been closed by an alternative to the BOP which indicates to me that the methods used to drill and line the well seem to be up to the task. The problem as I see it is that the BOP was overwhelmed by something coming up the well resulting in the sinking of the platform, the death of 11 men and the resultant outpouring of oil and gas into the Gulf.`

    Yes, the BOP failed, but in drilling operations, you really never want to depend on the BOP. you want to have control of the well with the combination of casing strings and fluid in the hole.
    So the latest cap`s ability to contain the pressure indicates that the wellhead and outside string(s) of casing are competent. The fact that there was a blowout indicates that the last casing string and cement job failed somehow. If BP just ran a fifth of the centralizers that were recommended by Halliburton, and didn`t lock down the last casing string securely, or bring it high enough into the pre-existing casing, a high-pressure zone could force a way up into the well, causing the blowout. Thankfully, the previously cemented strings of casing have held.
    Returning to the original post about the misrepresentation of engineering reports by the Interior Secretariat, it seems that the Administration is determined to enact a moratorium, no matter what. The safety recommendations in the report including more BOP redundancy and inspections before deployment should be enough to prevent a similar disaster. To require every deepwater drilling operation to comply as soon as it was safe to install them would have been enough.
    That a disaster occurs tends to concentrate the mind and make others super safety conscious is a normal thing.
    It seems that the Secretary of the Interior thinks deepwater drilling is something that is inherently unsafe, while this is the first serious blowout in quite some time.

  82. Bill Tuttle says:

    Flask: July 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm
    It seems that the Secretary of the Interior thinks deepwater drilling is something that is inherently unsafe, while this is the first serious blowout in quite some time.

    He’s just advancing the agenda, and the agenda is “No more drilling in the US — anywhere.”

    If you want to see a greenie turn bright red, ask him how that fits in with “Reducing our dependence on *foreign* oil.”

  83. Pascvaks says:

    The only thing more variable than the weather is politics.

    PS: And politics has ‘climate’ too;-)

Comments are closed.