Drill spill kills bill?

In the greatest of ironies, it appears the BP oil drilling spill may kill the chances for the Kerry-Lieberman sans Graham (pick one:climate, energy, jobs, flavor of the minute) bill they say they will unveil on May 12th.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in flames - click for slideshow

Excerpt from the New York Times:

Graham Says Energy Legislation ‘Impossible’ for Now

WASHINGTON — Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the chief sponsors of a nascent plan to address energy and climate change in the Senate, said Friday that the proposal had no chance of passage in the near term and called for a “pause” in consideration of the issue.

Mr. Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had heightened concern about expanded offshore drilling, which he considers a central component of any energy legislation. Mr. Graham also said that Democratic insistence on taking up immigration policy before energy had chilled his enthusiasm for any global warming measure.

Mr. Graham said it had become politically “impossible” to consider such a difficult subject in the current environment.

Without the support of Mr. Graham and at least a handful of Republicans, the measure is most likely dead for the year. But two other sponsors, Senators John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, vowed to press forward and said they planned to unveil some version of their climate change and energy plan next week.

Mr. Graham said he would not be part of it.

Excerpt from the Associated Press report:

To win over Republicans, the bill calls for expansion of offshore drilling, which some Democrats have said they now oppose because of the Gulf spill.

“Some believe the oil spill has enhanced the chances energy legislation will succeed. I do not share their view,” Graham said. While he respects the positions of Democrats who don’t want to see more offshore drilling, he said he still believes that it’s needed for the country to become energy independent.

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May 7, 2010 11:49 am

My mind, it boggles at the irony.

May 7, 2010 12:09 pm

If Graham has anything to do with it, then it needs to be torpedoed.
Drilling still matters, though it makes sense to mandate better valving and that the operator keep containment equipment on hand.

May 7, 2010 12:10 pm

Hey buddies! Who among you said the oil was about to be exhausted?, just go to the gulf and tell the people about it!
A trillion SUVS needed to burn all that damned oil!

May 7, 2010 12:13 pm

As David Rockefeller stated on Sept. 23, 1994 – “This present window of opportunity, during which a truly peaceful and interdependent world order might be built, will not be open for too long… We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis, and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
My take: “Keep passing the open windows”

Doug in Seattle
May 7, 2010 12:13 pm

Regardless of which way this goes, both sides will blame the other for either being too radical or too cautious. Politics is, as usual, predictable.

May 7, 2010 12:20 pm

..my forcast for next year – Kill Bill: Vol. 2

May 7, 2010 12:25 pm

Erik : Funny, perphaps that “window of opportunity”, that gap in the developing octave of world events, has opened but for the contrary.
♫♫♫ Spinning wheel…gotta go round…♫♫♫

Jeff L
May 7, 2010 12:34 pm

The other irony here is that by killing the bill & this acreage, the Gulf spill could provide a net economic benefit to the country. Why? Because what was being offered up in terms of offshore lease has a really small reserve potential & virtually no net present value (NPV) to the economy. I believe the MMS quotes the reserve potential at several billion barrels of oil equivalent (certainly less than 5 billion). So, lets size this up – at $60 net/bbl (after taxes & investment expenses), that would be a maximum of $300 billion in net revenue (using 5 billion in reserves) – distributed over the next 30 years or so, with no revenue for probably 10 years minimum. Do a NPV calculation on that – it would be lucky to be $100 billion to the economy, depending on assumptions. Compare that to the cost of a cap & trade bill to the economy – it would be multiples of this by anyone’s account. So, if the Gulf spill kills this bill & removes this offshore acreage from the equation, it is probably a net economic benefit to the country.
FWIW, I have been talking more with engineers that have got pretty good info on the sequence of events that led to the blowout & what is becoming clear is that no amount of regulations would have prevented this tragedy. This was a one chance in a million sequence of events & appears that it will fall into the category of “things that people make will break from time to time, no matter how well you design them”. It falls into the category of there is no such thing as “fail proof” and that everything we do in life has risk, whether you perceive it or not. Any new legislation that comes out to prevent future failures (although they will be exceedingly rare, regardless) will be do nothing to prevent this type of event but only punished the industry for a legislative problem in perception – the perception that oil & gas production should be without risk (which it never will be). It also says that abandoning the current energy legislation is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction – an emotional reaction, which may have a positive net effect, but for all the wrong reasons.

May 7, 2010 12:35 pm

As I told in the other post today: Politicians have an hiper developed sensitivity for sensing the “environment”, they will be the first ones to change, leaving all “climate scientists” hanging up in the air, like its beloved CO2. Hope them, as CO2, will lose their heat up above the clouds.

Michael D Smith
May 7, 2010 12:39 pm

“Mr. Graham said it had become politically “impossible” to consider such a difficult subject in the current environment.”
Now we just need to elect people who are smart enough to never allow consideration of such criminal enterprises as any of the recent “climate” bills.

May 7, 2010 1:09 pm

BTW: You americans have a lot of oil ! however no news about Big Oil. Some generous grants would be welcomed.

John Galt
May 7, 2010 1:10 pm

The “climate change” bill was going to have provisions for expanded off-shore drilling? Really? Does Graham have any idea what is alleged to be causing climate change and if so, why would he want to increase the supply of oil?
Makes you think controlling climate change wasn’t really the purpose of the bill, doesn’t it?

Robin Kool
May 7, 2010 1:20 pm

“Enneagram says:
May 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm
As I told in the other post today: Politicians have a hyper developed sensitivity for sensing the “environment”, they will be the first ones to change, leaving all “climate scientists” hanging up in the air […].”
Thank you for a serious ray of hope.
After seeing with desperation politicians and scientists cynically jump on the Gore-powered money train, I now find myself happy at the thought that with the same cynicism they will jump off as soon as they see profit in that.
Kind of happy, not broad-smile-happy.

Henry chance
May 7, 2010 2:00 pm

All the hand waving is creating heat. How about that heavy snow for Minnesota today?
Goldman Sachs needs Money. They have their carbon trading schemes ready to launch. The carbon trading in Europa seems to be a little stale.

May 7, 2010 2:09 pm

My forecast: There won’t be any windmills, but rest assured that you will have a beautiful 20% VAT and a sexy 50% oil tax (plus VAT). This is the “model” applied in every other country and, best of all: You’ll accept them as they are the only way out from bankruptcy, the only other choice would be to suffer what the argentinians suffered several years ago: Wages to a fitfth of its value in just 24 hours. These are the only two solutions economists have for this “scenarios”, as they used to call them.

Robin Kool
May 7, 2010 2:44 pm

There are natural underwater oil and natural gas seeps.
Worldwide these seeps are probably vast, many times what humans spill – it seems that little is known about them. They continue day after day, as they have done for millions of years.
Obviously microorganisms have developed the capacity to eat this resource of energy – which is what microorganisms do.
In this article about the ‘Coal Oil Point Seep Field’ in the Santa Barbara Channel, Bruce Luyendyk, a professor of marine geophysics says: “More hydrocarbons have leaked out of the earth than are in the earth. It’s happening all over the planet. It’s not a trivial phenomenon.”
In this article researchers tell that most of the oil that seeps out into the Santa Barbara Channel disappears, only a little bit sinks down to the bottom of the ocean:
“The oil that remained in the sediments represents what was not removed by “weathering” — dissolving into the water, evaporating into the air, or being degraded by microbes. Next steps for this research team involve investigating why microbes consume most, but not all, of the compounds in the oil.”
Oil spills are a natural, everyday phenomenon.
Hey, it’s annoying if you are a sea otter and you suddenly find yourself swimming in oil – sadly, even deadly. Of course I love sea otters – how can you not love those funny, lively, playful creatures -, but the sea itself cleans the oil spill efficiently and speedily.
Here is a well-researched, pre-global warming hysteria example of an oil spill: the Shetland Islands spill of 1993, then the 12th largest spill in history.
A year later, in 1994 I read in a Dutch newspaper that divers hadn’t been able to see any damage anymore.
Here is a report from the Trade and Environment Database (TED) of the American University in Washington DC from 1994.
“A year after the incident occurred there is no glaring sign that the oil spill even happened. Except for shellfish in a very limited area, all official restrictions on seafood originating from the Shetlands have been removed.”
I particularly love this comment:
“”The official death tolls – the number of carcasses recovered – included 1,542 seabirds, several thousand pounds of commercially farmed salmon, 10 gray seals, and 4 otters. Two of the otters were run over by a camera crew covering the spill, however, and the other two probably died of old age” (Ibid.).”
Doesn’t this sound pre-global warming hysteria?
Not even a call for more research.

May 7, 2010 2:49 pm

I think the Senator just read the poll returns from his state .. And found out that “he ain’t winnin’ the race” by supporting democrat/socialist politics.

Henry chance
May 7, 2010 2:49 pm

When algore said the temps are a couple million degrees a couple kilometers down, this well was below that. If drill depth was 18,000 feet, that is 4 kilometers down. Couple million degrees. He was wrong again. From the engineering side, it seems we learned a lot about the unique problems an malfunctions from this incident. There is less to lrn from routine drilling without such an incident.

May 7, 2010 3:22 pm

Best headline since “Big Boned in Berlin” by http://www.thelocal.de

EOR for CO2
May 7, 2010 4:25 pm

John Galt says: The “climate change” bill was going to have provisions for expanded off-shore drilling? Really? Does Graham have any idea what is alleged to be causing climate change and if so, why would he want to increase the supply of oil? Makes you think controlling climate change wasn’t really the purpose of the bill, doesn’t it?
Newt Gingrich (April 2009):
“Green coal and carbon sequestration is the most important single breakthrough we can make… Enhanced oil recovery – as a component of carbon sequestration – could lead to up to a 100 billion barrels of additional oil coming out of existing fields.”


L Nettles
May 7, 2010 5:11 pm

I do not trust my Senator. He still thinks CO2 is pollution.

May 7, 2010 5:24 pm

A 2000 article from NASA described over 600 oil seeps in the Gulf of Mexico leaking an estimated 22 million gallons a year. Yes the Horizon accident is a big mess, but life in the Gulf of Mexico and around it has learned how to clean it up and live with it. Relevant URLs are listed below. Obama’s delay in dealing with the accident and cleanup are intended to make this mess as bad as possible so that congress and the greens have yet another reason to shut off oil and natural gas exploration offshore (and everywhere else, for that matter). Cheers –

May 7, 2010 6:13 pm

Love the rhyming headline! It would be fantastic if some good emerged from this accident.
Is it my imagination, or has more stuff happened this year than is normal? – just generally, what with numerous earthquakes, volcanoes erupting, Greek economic meltdown, Gulf oil well explosions, hung Parliament in UK, etc. Or is it the way we respond to things and the way that they are reported that makes it seem this way?

May 7, 2010 7:56 pm

I am VERY unsettled when I hear that any of Obama’s pet bills are “dead,” or “impossible.” Remember when the health care reform bill was “dead” after Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts? Then, suddenly it was on the front burner and passed. I’m not sure the administration doesn’t float these rumors of the demise of unpopular bills just to keep us off balance. Remain vigilant!

May 7, 2010 8:44 pm

Lindsey Graham gets what criticism or comeuppance he deserves for even trusting Democrats of any stripe on this issue. I hope it is not too late for him to learn that climate/energy bills of the sort he was working on are nothing but a bill of goods for the American economy.

April E. Coggins
May 7, 2010 8:57 pm

Our Brit friends will have to chime in but I wonder if the American commies lost a major ally when Great Britain seemed to reject the Labour Party? Great Britain’s method of election and numerous parties leaves me baffled, but as far as I can tell the Brit equivalent of Republicans (Torries) won the balance of power and the Brit equivalent of Democrats (Labour) lost. The minor parties now hold all the power, they can withhold or give the voting majority to the big two.
Someone needs to draw a political cartoon of Gordon Brown with the caption, “I was Prime Minister of Great Britain and all I got was this lousy American DVD set. Gordon Brown sold out his country to support a celebrity studded, big world government and now he is looks stupid and abandoned.

Martin Brumby
May 8, 2010 12:19 am

@April E. Coggins May 7, 2010 at 8:57 pm
Sorry to disappoint.
The Tory leader (“Dave Boy” Cameron) is another AGW enthusiast and very little different from Brown on the majority of policy issues. The Dims (under Cap’n Clegg) are even dafter and, for the Tories to form any kind of government they have to get the Dims’ support.
The official Election Manifesto energy policy from the Dims includes such gems as:-
No nuclear energy
100% carbon free energy by 2050
A law to limit temperature rise to 1.7 degrees.
I will offer a small prize to anyone suggesting on here how they will do that.
Brown was useless.
But compared to Cameron & Clegg he looks quite believable.
God help us. We are way up the creek with no paddle.

May 8, 2010 1:16 am

@DirkH says:
May 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm
Best headline since “Big Boned in Berlin” by http://www.thelocal.de
Wrong link, here you go:

May 8, 2010 1:45 am

The bill is dead, not because of the oil spill, but because gas prices are @ $3/gallon and going up. Even the dummycrats aren’t stupid enough to raise gas prices 5 months before a major election.

May 8, 2010 1:52 am

Enneagram says:
May 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm
“Hey buddies! Who among you said the oil was about to be exhausted?, just go to the gulf and tell the people about it!
A trillion SUVS needed to burn all that damned oil!”
at 5 billion barrels, the total reserve is only 1/6 of 1 years global consumption.

Jack Simmons
May 8, 2010 3:24 am

I couldn’t drop the question from my mind a few days ago, so went ahead with the following analysis:
How many birds are killed per year by wind turbines?
The National Research Council in its publication “Environmental Impacts of Wind-Energy Projects” states wind turbines kill 100,000 birds per year.
It is estimated oil production in the US kills 2,000,000 birds per year. See US Fish and Wildlife Service publication “Migratory Bird Mortality”.
Wind turbines, if we assume the wind blows all day, produces 22.8 giga BTUs per year.
The US consumes 37,000,000 giga BTUs in oil per year.
Do the math and one finds the following:
Wind turbines kill 4,385 birds per million BTUs produced.
Oil kills 0.053 birds per million BTUs produced.
Birds are much safer when we get our energy from oil over wind.
It’s funny what pops out when you do a little math.

Jack Simmons
May 8, 2010 3:27 am

I thought the entire region from the mouth of the Mississippi to Texas is already dead.
Isn’t most of the area threatened by this spill part of the infamous ‘dead zone’?
If true, what damages will BP be responsible for, exactly?
Isn’t the ‘dead zone’ the result of all of the over application of fertilizers in the Mid-West?
If that is true, why aren’t all the farming communities upstream held legally responsible for all the damage they have caused?
After all the hysteria about this great disaster, so far we’ve counted two gannets.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard confirmed that the oil hit the Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana’s southeast tip on Thursday, and the state said two gannets, a type of large seabird, had been found dead, covered in oil.
We have to conclude that one of the greatest of environmental disasters in oil patch history has killed two birds.
Certainly this compares favorably with the hundreds of thousands of birds killed by wind turbines.
I wonder how many birds are killed per BTU of each respective energy technology?
You have to love this quote from the above NYT article:
“The possibility remains that the BP oil spill could turn into an unprecedented environmental disaster,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on a visit to Biloxi, Miss. “The possibility remains that it will be somewhat less.”
I could say the possibility remains I could be involved in a fiery, head on collision on my way to work this morning. Nonetheless, I will get into my car and drive to work.
It’s a meaningless statement. No matter what happens, Janet Napolitano has cover.
I want to know how the Times Square bomber got through all that security at JFK.
Maybe Janet could help us out there and quit worrying about the Gulf.

May 8, 2010 4:25 am

I am somewhat OT, but this oil spill , stirs a memory , of having sometime way back in the last century read an interview in some gloosy US magazine (omni perhaps or playboy) with John Isacs who was then one of the top figures at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla , and in a a part of that interview he was voicing his indignation over two ecology researchers wording of a conclusion of a report they had gotten a grant to write once a year for a the prior decade.
It had to do with a study they had ongoing on the effects on nature of a oil spills, a small tanker had gone to ground in a cove or a bay that offered some kind of barrier to a 10000 tons (or maybe it was gallons i do not have the article at hand) oil spill so it mostly sank to the bottom ( heavy crude probably) and did not spread out much, and those circumstances were used to take advantage of ( rightfully in my opinion) a that accidentally created “natural laboratory”, to study possible long term effects of such accidents, especially as there was an older study of this particular site already in existence, so there would be good data to compare with. Isacs gripe with the report he was fuming about , was that the conclusion really said noting about how things really were at the site under study , he had had to dig deep in their field data , to find out that some of microorganism found there had been able to take advantage of all that “free and easy” hydrocarbon windfall coming their way and had in reality over the years digested it and multiplied furiosly , with a knock on effect up the whole local food chain and plant life , so that the biomass in the area was 4-5 times it´s size prior to the accident, and was thriving.
The scientists in question had presented that in their conclusions as ” the state of the biology in the area is definitely abnormal compared to its state prior to the spill, and needs to be monitored carefully” or something to that effect , but not a word about what had really happened and, he said the whole thing was presented in such away as to give the impression that the area was mostly devoid of live , and stone dead.He had only taken a closer look because some friend of his told him this exact area was the best fishing ground along the coastline for 500 miles. His opinion was that the report authors were more concerned with their fund grant than with honest science.

May 8, 2010 7:44 am

Erik says:
May 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm
..my forcast for next year – Kill Bill: Vol. 2
The second one was actually kinda interesting. The first one was just bloody and shallow.

May 8, 2010 7:48 am

Nothing is going to stop Obama. If Washington won’t move with him then he’ll go through the EPA like he is already doing. He will get his way. He is a spoiled child.
So, the only way to deal with it is after he is out of office elect people that will completely undo what the child did. 🙂

May 8, 2010 10:24 am

Florida Power & Light Company recently put the DeSoto Next Generation solar energy plant on-line. The construction cost was more than $150,000,000. It provides part-time (daylight hours) electricity for about 3,000 homes and businesses. The cost, per actual customer, was more than $50,000 per each.
If this cost were amortized over 50 years, and completely paid for by the customers actually getting the use of this electricity, the cost would be about $282 per month per user. And this for part-time electricity. This monthly cost does not include maintenance and operational costs over the 50 year period, nor does it include profit for FPL. The user monthly electric bill would well more than double for having the “benefit” of using solar power.
Money thus spent would be money not spent in other sectors of the economy.
Anyone who thinks that widespread construction of this sort of electrical generating plant would be a good idea is plain nuts. Our economy would be completely destroyed, and when great numbers of citizens become engulfed in poverty, the results aren’t pretty.
We simply can’t afford this sort of nonsense.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
May 8, 2010 12:17 pm

Amino Acids in Meteorites said on May 8, 2010 at 7:48 am:

Nothing is going to stop Obama. If Washington won’t move with him then he’ll go through the EPA like he is already doing. He will get his way. He is a spoiled child.
So, the only way to deal with it is after he is out of office elect people that will completely undo what the child did. 🙂

You can take the screw out of the wood, but the hole is still there, needs to be patched, and the wood still isn’t as it used to be.
However, I do think America is long overdue for The Great Unscrewing.

May 8, 2010 12:40 pm

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
There’s always new trees to get new wood from. 🙂

CRS, Dr.P.H.
May 8, 2010 12:55 pm

Al Gore weighs in on the Gulf spill:
I enjoyed this: “One important difference between the oil spill and the CO2 spill is that petroleum is visible on the surface of the sea and carries a distinctive odor now filling the nostrils of people on shore.
Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is invisible, odorless, tasteless, and has no price tag.”
OK, Al, nice pitch for your business model! What am I offered for this ton of carbon dioxide? Going once, going twice…

April E. Coggins
May 8, 2010 8:54 pm

Martin Brumby Thank you for your reply, depressing as it is. I am truly hoping that our salvation from this madness comes from a modern day Churchill. I am disturbed to no end that it may have been Margaret Thatcher who inadvertently released the global warming demons. Obama and our current crop of whack jobs look to Europe for their justification, and sure enough they find it.

May 9, 2010 12:04 pm

from –
” CO2 Casino: Real pollutors Real winners
Chapter 11 of NAFTA
Two major clarification :
1- Environmental Laws as Expropriation under NAFTA
2- Corruption led to illegal policies and regulations
As we know now that CO2 is not involved in Climate Change
this will allow any investor to claim damage to the NAFTA tribunal alleging fraud.
All restrictions imposed on existing businesses will be treated as
Expropriation and submit to NAFTA 1110-2 clause: Compensation
shall be equivalent to the fair market value of the expropriated
investment immediately before the expropriation took place.
Dont panic Cultists! Quebec already passed a Carbon Casino bill
and had a solution for that.
The State is now able to emit and GIVE for free its Carbon Emission
Certificate to Whom will bribe them or whom will claim damage under NAFTA Chapter 11
So Pollutors will be given free emission rights credits to trade
and you and me will have to pay for it.
. . .
Excellent document on CO2 capture for extracting petroleum
(up to 40% more) and the need to carry the cost on the general public using CO2/AGW scam!
“…A significant amount of CO2 could be captured
from Alberta supply sources (most likely in Fort
McMurray, Fort Saskatchewan and Red Deer).
However, the costs to generate this benefit are
significant. Preliminary estimates indicate these
costs are greater than the potential offsetting
revenue stream from CO2 sales to the EOR
market and the anticipated value of CO2 offset
credits. Companies making CCS investments
face significant capital cost exposure. Industry
is prepared to step up and contribute to the
significant up-front costs, but it can’t be expected
to bear the burden alone. As a result, there is an
important role for government to play…”

R. de Haan
May 10, 2010 5:47 pm
R. de Haan
May 10, 2010 6:45 pm

In the mean time: EPA to stifle shale gas industry!

May 10, 2010 7:16 pm

The Australian website Business Spectator has a cute graphic to size this crisis.

May 11, 2010 4:57 am

Let us hope that the people in every state of the Union are as smart as those in Utah. Tea anyone?

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