Consequences of US oil leak

Discussion in 'Politics' started by dandelion, May 28, 2010.

  1. dandelion

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    I see there is a thread about the oil leak, but it seems to be debating people rather than events. Is this leak serious or a storm in a tea cup?

    Best case scenario seems to be 1billion dollar bill for cleanup. Embarassment all round.

    Worst case, BP goes bankrupt. oil just goes on flowing. For years. destruction of all coastal industries in the area. Total ban on offshore drilling, resulting in worse oil shortages for the US in 10 years time. UK economy gets a good chunk of the pain since uk holdings in BP are wiped out and UK loses 40bn a year in income?

    So where are we on this scale?
     
  2. SilverTrain

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    I'd say we're at 3, barrelling onward, with 10 not out of the question.

    It's a clusterfuck, with a shortage of solution, at the moment. Blame can be cast far and wide. For the moment, I'm focussed on the solutions rather than finger-pointing.

    But aspects of your scenario are manifesting as we speak. One can only hope the problem is arrested, pronto.
     
  3. b.c.

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    Or maybe worst than that: BP goes bankrupt allowing it to duck out of billions of dollars in reparations and payments in fines. Oil goes on flowing, creating "dead zones" in the gulf and affected coastal areas; currents (Gulf Stream, N. Atlantic, and others) pick up millions of gallons of crude. In time oil ends up on shores of Florida Keys, Miami Beach, Coney Island...

    ...Offshore drilling continues with little improvement in the kind of regulatory controls that opponents of such rail against. But that won't keep remaining oil companies from jacking up prices on gas anyway, under the guise of shortages and "the cost of meeting increased governmental regulations".
     
  4. dandelion

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    cost of oil doesnt have much to do with cost of producing it. More to do with futures traders pushing up the price before it gets to the consumer. So maybe there is a silver lining to bankers in that they are imposing the taxes which cut usage that governments dont dare do.

    If Bp goes bankkrupt presumably the US government/creditors would get its assets so I dont see it as ducking payment, just paying to the maximum extent it can. On the other hand, so far it has said it will pay for everything well beyond its legal liability. If it came to a question of bankruptcy, the legal duty of its directors would probably be to reverse this decision and only pay according to strict liability. Doesnt much matter how bad your reputation is if the choice is going out of business.

    Anyone know what the natural ability of sea water to break down oil is? How many square miles of sea are needed to dispose of an ongoing leak of the scale we have got?
     
  5. B_talltpaguy

    B_talltpaguy New Member

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    Say huh? BP's bill will exceed $1 billion by monday... As of friday morning, BP's tab was already $930 million... BP oil spill cleanup costs near $1B

    And of course, there are other costs being incurred by numerous government agencies, and costs being incurred by local/small business that will never be properly tabulated, since that would make for suicidal political consequences (rhetorically speaking).
     
    #5 B_talltpaguy, May 29, 2010
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  6. B_spiker067

    B_spiker067 New Member

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    I vote storm in a tea cup.
    Tea drunk.
    Tea cup slightly damaged (but hand washed from here on out).
    Oil production re-started.
    Green energy online before another decadal leak seen.
     
  7. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    And BP, along with any other company or organization whose incompetence and negligence lead to this disaster should be held financially responsible for the entire thing. I was amazed when some people in Congress were opposed to lifting financial liability caps on oil companies so that they wouldn't have to pay for everything they destroyed.
     
  8. freyasworld

    freyasworld New Member

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    It seems to me, that a lot of people have forgotten the fact that 11 men lost their lives, died horrific deaths, and yes the sea and beaches are polluted, however far less than the damange caused during the iraq war to the gulf coasts.

    Now obviously a lot of peoples businesses are in jeapody and they should be compensated. However there is a cap of what can or cannot be claimed. I believe BP's cap and therefore liability is 75mil. The fed has an emergency fund of 1bil.

    Who is responsible, difficult question to answer, BP have held up their hands and said we are responsible for the clean up. We own the well, we own the oil coming out of it!
    However, the drilling company and owners of the deep water horizon - Transocean own and operate the rig, staff it, man it and have the licences and meet all safety and operational legislation.

    Now if it is proven, that there were some operational annomolies or safety violations then the entire costs will go to BP who will then pass this on to Transocean, already Transocean have filed for protection under the 75mil cap.

    If you buy a burger from McDonalds and finish up with food poisoning, and it is found out through investigation that the meat supplier is at fault, yes of course McDonalds is responsible, but these costs go back to the supplier!

    So personally I think that the only people to benefit from this are the teams of lawyers, who will tie everything up in court for the next 100 years!

    As much political posturing by Obama, is just going to piss off a lot of people, has the rig been raised, has it been inspected, no of course not, but already Obama saying BP is to blame, ok maybe they are, maybe BP are on solid ground here and say look yes we own the well, the oil, we are responsible for capping the well, and the clean up - they could say (obviously through their lawyers in a 100 years time) how can we be held responsible for the accident, we do not own the rig, we do not operate the rig, we do not have the licenses and approval to drill - Transocean has this BP just leases this! It is going to be interesting.

    I do commend BP though for getting on and doing all it can to fix this problem and try to protect the coast lines and peoples businesses.

    Also the depth and the environment they are working in, is beyond belief, it would be easier to put a man on the moon, then to go down there, no military vessel can go that deep!

    So really Obama should shut his mouth and let the professionals get on with it, afterwards then a thorough investigation can be held and blame apportioned, if any afterall it might have been an accident!
     
  9. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    And, of course, if Obama said nothing and let the professionals do it people would be saying that he doesn't care enough about the issue. Plus, as the days progress we find out more and more how BP CEOs and other professionals intentionally cut corners and used riskier procedures and materials in an attempt to save money. This, after all of the record gains oil companies have made over the last few years. Politically, he had to say something. It would have been detrimental to his presidency if he stayed silent. As long as he chooses his words carefully, he should be fine.

    Even if this is an accident this may have been preventable if these oil companies took proper precautions and didn't have an extensive history of putting profit over safety. Then again, knowing that scientists have never been able to thoroughly test out drilling & safety conditions in areas that are miles underwater and cannot sustain the mass majority of life on this planet we shouldn't have been down there in the first place. Alas, when you desperately need to make that money nothing is out of bounds...

    Not saying this directly to you of course. :redface:
     
  10. b.c.

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    Well, eventually someone comes along who tries to defuse a legitimate concern by minimizing it through faulty logic and deflection of issues.

    Yes, 11 men lost their lives, and we here in the region count that loss (just as importantly) as the other ongoing losses that have occurred, and are yet to come.

    Though I'd agree with one point to which you allude: BP and their partners will manage somehow once again to shift blame and elude financial responsibility by way of legal maneuverings and laws that cap damages and allow them to continue with their practices of gross negligence.

    As for President Obama "shutting his mouth" you over there in the U.K. should know that he responded to the invitations and requests from local officials here to step in, speak out, and assist.

    He himself also reiterated that the U.S. Government is not in the oil business, and that those who are must be heavily relied upon to handle THEIR responsibilities.
     
  11. freyasworld

    freyasworld New Member

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    Of course Obama has to say something, he has to appear to be incharge and not totally impotent!

    We just don't know yet what caused it, or if indeed anyone is responsible. Until we do know he should shut his mouth! Support the effort, support local communities affected by the spill and assist with the clean up. Afterall that is why the oil companies and the Fed Gov't have emergency funds put aside. Unless of course he blew that fund bailing out the banks!

    Everyone is pointing fingers at BP and maybe they are responsible for the spill 100%. Maybe they did cut corners, maybe they did not do enough. But why would a CEO risk his career, his freedom, the company he works for, the shareholders money? The rig was leased, the company that owned the rig were paid by BP to drill a series of holes, cap it and pipe the oil ashore or to waiting ships. For that service, BP paid them. This company applied for licences, were inspected and were given approval for their processes and proceedures by the Fed Gov't.

    I really don't know, and as I say I don't think we'll find out the truth in our lifetime after the lawyers have gotten in on the act. This is a lottery win for them!

    The genuine people that are suffering can go to hell!

    When all is done and dusted and the courts have declared who is responsible, the tax payer picks up the bill! In the meantime, guess what the tax payer is paying one way or another. The rig must be insured, they will have gotten this insurance based upon the inspection reports from the Gov't. The insurance companies are owned by shareholders, tax payers, pension holders etc.etc.

    The rig is at the bottom of the ocean, the people operating it are still on it, what forensics are there to prove one way or another that safety proceedures were not followed, that substandard equipment and machinery was been used? Until that rig is back on dry land and inspected we will not know.

    I for one do not want to point fingers at the men operating it who are not here to defend themselves.
     
  12. TomCat84

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    Really? You have that much faith in the CEOs of major corporations? Surely, they would never risk their careers by cutting corners, just to make a few extra bucks in profit! :rolleyes: What SHOULD have happened is the US government should have immediately taken control of the situation- gotten together the best team of engineers and scientists, plugged this hole up, and drill a reief well. Then, to help pay for the costs, revoke BP's corporate charter in the US, and liquidate their assets. This is a disaster of major proportions, folks. This isn't simply a minor plane crash or a little oopsie daisy, or even a nuclear meltdown, where the effects can be managed. There is NO way to stop the flow of all this oil through major ocean currents. BP cannot be allowed to get away with this crap....and I dont give a shit whether the UK is going to get stuck with the bill. I hope BP gets sued for every last dime they have.
     
  13. B_VinylBoy

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    Well, to be honest Haliburton's name has been mentioned a few times during earlier investigations. So the list of suspects may actually grow over time. One thing is for certain is that BP's name is written all over this, which is why they are getting the most of it.

    If shareholders make more money, CEOs benefit at the end of the year through bonuses. When the priority is immediate profit, as it is with many corporations these days, the first things that get cut is funding that benefits the workers and better safety precautions.

    Apparently, a lot of the organizations that were appointed to regulate and assure the safety of these rigs were also corrupt, as reported by a number of news sources. Will provide some linkage to some more notable ones later.

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that. I was in New Orleans the week that the disaster started and there was definitely concern displayed for the 11 people who died and for all of the people who lived off the coast who barely have their lives back in order from Katrina. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtCp-2oInig&feature=related

    There's also talk in certain news sectors about whether or not BP can be brought up on manslaughter or murder charges, although I think it would never get to the level of murder. Criminal negligence is a given.

    That's the understatement of the year thus far.

    I would never blame it on the operator since it shouldn't have happened in the first place. Even if the oil companies went by the book and did everything to their best ability to ensure safety, there's still a chance something freaky could happen and bring forth a disaster. While it's possible that it could have been the fault of the people operating the rig, we also know that BP hasn't been playing by the rules and have cut a lot of corners in the process. On a personal level, I agree that we shouldn't be passing blame. But from the angle of these corporations, I don't think anyone should be holding back their fury.
     
  14. dandelion

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    Were you? why? The US government has as much money as it needs to employ experts on the risks of drilling and the strategic need for new oil reserves. One would assume it made a careful decision about the need to develop new oil feeds and made careful regulations to govern how this would be done. BP accepted the contract to do the exploration on the terms set by the US government. One of those terms was a liability limit of $75 million.

    Having done the deal on those terms, some people have now decided they should have made different terms and want to change them retrospectively. Well if the US government can do so, so can BP. They could say, on those new terms we would not have taken the contract, so its null and void. You are repudiating the contract, thats unfair, you deal with it. Maybe the US made a bad deal, maybe it didnt, but it cant change the rules now.

    As I understand it, the US government specifically has a thing called the Price Anderson indemnity Act, which underwrites losses due to any nuclear accident. The US government has decided that it ought to pay the bill in the event of a nuclear accident, but you reckon in this case, which you say is worse, it should not? The reason for the PAA was because no company was willing to build reactors without the government formally accepting liability for accidents. This logic applies equally to oilfield development. Thats why there is a $75 million liability limit. It is a very important part of the contract. The US is now bellyaching that it decided not to pay for insurance before all this happened.
     
  15. unabear09

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    I really do wish the people from the UK posting here would shut up. It wasn't your men killed on that platform. It's not your beaches, wildlife, and jobs that will/are being destroyed. I'm sure you would feel a hell of a lot differently if say....it were a US oil company whose platform blew up in the Irish Sea or North Sea. You'd all be in the same position the people in the US (primarily the Gulf Coast states) and you would be more than slightly offended by posting bullshit garbage trying to take up for the oil excutives. I am more than offended by the comments above, and I would suggest that instead of bashing the US, you would offer a bit more sympathy to those of us who live in the effected area.
     
  16. dandelion

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    I for one wasnt bashing the US. Just observing some economic realities. We have had drilling rigs explode in the north sea, though no major leaks. The Piper Alpha platform belonging to the US occidental petroleum company exploded killing 167 men in 1988. wikipedia is costing that accident at $3 billion. If the US did not make proper precautions for drilling operations in its own back yard, I don't know who else is to blame.

    I am sorry for the personal tragedies of the families of those who died, but people dying on big construction jobs is normal. Always happens. Just as an example I had a quick google and it said 10 people died building the channel tunnel between england and France. I remember at the time hearing an interview where the builders were very pleased it was not more, which they had expected.

    An oil slick may be an immediate and obvious demonstration of the damage done by oil extraction, but even if everything goes perfectly the end result is the steady destruction of the planet as we know it. Accidents are inevitable in every human enterprise and we generally only learn how to do things more safely by seeing them go wrong. There will be a worse accident in the future, I promise. In the meanwhile we continue to choose to burn more oil every year and the US is just about the worlds worst offender.
     
    #16 dandelion, May 29, 2010
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  17. Bbucko

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    Actually, I think they are providing a necessary (and fascinating) counterbalance. If you've never lived abroad, you'll never know to what extent your news and information are biased on a national level. A British perspective which hasn't been fed full of US media is worthy of consideration and reflection even if ultimately you cannot agree with it.

    Also- I've paid close attention to this thread, and at no time are the execs for BP being held as paragons of anything except astute businessmen. To blame BP for the entirety of this disaster simply isn't appropriate. There were plenty of fuck-ups all around.

    In my dream world, the Gulf Spill would be a wake-up call to abandon fossil fuels entirely within ten years: but that's obviously a dream. If nothing else, I hope that the Spill brings people back into recognizing the need for effective governmental oversight, but, I'm not holding my breath here either.
     
  18. midlifebear

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    Dear Dandelion: Imagine the entire English channel and 3/4s of your little island kingdom's shoreline being killed off by an oil spill, and then taking 50 years to begin to recover enough that the affected fisheries can produce a small, safe percent of oysters, cod, clams, flounder -- all types of sea life. The Gulf of Mexico is just that -- a gulf. It has only one outlet and one major current that brings new water from the northern Caribbean and circulates water north along the Gulf shores from Mexico to Florida out into the Atlantic Ocean.

    If you've never been to the USA (as most Europeans have not) you really don't understand how big the place is. This oil spill is a major world catastrophe. I guarantee you that it will affect the UK and Europe, and not just financially. The most insidious aspect of oil spills is the resulting effect on wildlife and in the case of the Gulf of Mexico, the major estuaries that are the beating heart and nest for wildlife throughout the gulf. This is going to impact all sea and bird life for more than "just a few decades." It's not when it will occur, it has already happened and continues to happen.

    Fly from Cancun, MX to Atlanta, Georgia, some time in a window seat. The crystal clear blue waters of the Carribbean quickly change to brown muddy ocean as you fly north to the USA. The Gulf of Mexico has been raped by oil companies from all over the world, not just US oil companies, and the sludge left from all the drilling has left the Gulf on the cusp of an eco disaster for several decades. This current oil tragedy will not be taken care of until August, regardless of what BP and the USA says. It will push the eco disaster beyond the delicate "cusp." It won't be long before the entire coasts and inland marshes of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and the Florida Keys are destroyed. This is a collective land mass larger than the entire UK. It's exactly like pouring gas on every living thing in the water and the beaches and marshes. It kills everything. And even when things finally seem to have returned to normal in about 50 years, the wetlands will still be saturated with all of the carcinogens that make up crude oil.

    For those who think I'm making this up, revisit how well Prince Albert Souind has recovered, begin reading: Gulf oil spill: Greater than Valdez, oil ashore is tip of iceberg, environmental catastrophe (video)

    And then you can revisit the current status of the Exxon Valdez disaster that happened in 1989 at: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council -


    Spiker thinks it is just a tea cup issue? Well, he's not terribly gifted when it comes to general intelligence or human compassion. You don't have to trust me that the current oil spill in the Gulf is a major world disaster. It just is.
     
    #18 midlifebear, May 29, 2010
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  19. TomCat84

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    One good thing about this oil spill: I can finally watch a few hours of TV without those inane pro BP "oh we're so environmentally conscious and here are some regular Joe Shmo citizens calling for ALL sources of fuel to be used" commercials. Getting on my last nerve
     
  20. TomCat84

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    Whether BP is fully respnsible or not legally is irrelevant. Was the US government not doing its job in inspecting the rigs? Absolutely. But, I'm sorry, BP MUST be held 100% responsible for costs- and they can sue whoever they want to sue to recoup what costs they incurred as a result of whatever subcontractors or whoever. BBucko is right- this should be a wake up call to the American people and the rest of the world: we need a Manhattan Project for alternative energy. Fusion, solar, wind, geothermal, dams, nuclear, whatever. The only reason the US government didnt come down hard is that its infested with corporate rats, and a belief that a tough governmental regulatory bosy is soooooo the end of the world. I'm gonna get off my soapbox
     
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