What caused the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that led to the deaths of 11 workers and a catastrophic gush of oil that continues unabated to this day?
According to a thorough examination by The New York Times, it wasn’t a single event but a combination of things. Regulatory agencies granted exceptions to rules, risks accumulated with anyone addressing them and the interests of companies operating on the rig conflicted, so the person with the most clout got the final say, even if the decision made the situation more dangerous.
One of the more amazing lapses was the government’s response when, more than five weeks before the explosion, the rig experienced “kicks” – sudden pulsations of gas.
What did federal regulators do? Did they demand a halt to the operation? Oh, no. They allowed BP to delay a safety test of the blowout preventer. Really.
Here are some of the specific things that went wrong, according to the Times:
– Deepwater drilling procedures are really procedures designed for shallow water that have been jury-rigged over the years;
– Federal regulators gave permission to BP to exempt the Deepwater Horizon project from a rigorous environmental review;
– BP managers gave engineers permission to use equipment that deviated from the company’s own design and safety policies;
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Posted in Activism, Energy, Environment, tagged BP, Deepwater Horizon, Energy, Energy blog, gulf of mexico, Halliburton, Minerals Management Service, MMS, offshore drilling, oil spill, Transocean on May 20, 2010|
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Happy anniversary, BP.
It has been exactly one month since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig started a full-force environmental crisis. And yet, officials still have no effective solution to stop the oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, and we are no closer to an organization (whether it be BP, Transocean, Halliburton or the Minerals Management Service) owning up to the responsibility of the spill.
To learn what we have learned during this month, check out Public Citizen Energy Program’s blog, and especially Tyson Slocum’s post today on the one-month anniversary.
As an anniversary gift, how about a solution? No need for a gift receipt.
If we don’t get a solution, BP can consider itself sleeping on the couch, as we gain support in our boycott against the oil company. Sign the petition. Join the Facebook group. Tell a friend.
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Posted in Activism, Energy, tagged BP, Deepwater Horizon, gulf of mexico, Halliburton, Joe Newman, Jon Stewart, oil spill, petition, The Daily Show, Transocean on May 14, 2010|
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Nobody can say it quite like Jon Stewart. The man has a gift for pointing out the absurd and capitalizing on it, granted, sometimes for a cheap laugh.
The absurdity he highlighted in last night’s episode focused on the oil spill in the Gulf — discussing plans to stop the oil from pouring into the water, and trying to pinpoint who is responsible for the spill and the aftermath. (WARNING: Stewart’s humor is a bit risque in this clip.)
Here are the plans to stop the oil geyser: Top hat. Hot tap. Are these solutions or anagrams, Stewart asked. Next up, the junk shot. (You can use your imagination on Stewart’s take of the solution.) But yeah, let’s throw golf balls, debris and other waste at the well, hoping to clog it up. Seriously.
As for accountability, was it BP? No, they only leased the rig. Was it Transocean? No, concrete blocks failed, not them. Who made the concrete blocks? Halliburton. The list goes on and on.
Now, it’s We, the People’s turn to hold BP accountable. Public Citizen urges drivers to boycott BP and fill up elsewhere. Join the Facebook group, sign the petition and tell your friends!
(Full disclosure: Joe Newman promised me a penny for every person who joins the Facebook group, 1,000,000 Strong to Boycott BP. That means if a million people join, I get $10,000. If you don’t do it for the environment, do it for me!)
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Thanks to help from activists like you, lawmakers passed Sen. Al Franken’s (D-Minn.) amendment to bar defense contractors from forcing employees with sexual assault and discrimination claims into arbitration. But now, as the House and Senate negotiate a final version of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act (DOD Appropriations bill, H.R. 3326), Senate leaders are considering weakening the amendment by leaving discrimination victims unprotected.
Stand up to corporate defense contractors on behalf of victims of discrimination and assault! Call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) TODAY and tell him the final DOD Appropriations bill MUST include the Franken Amendment, S.A. 2588.
No one — especially a victim of a heinous, violent crime — should be denied access to a judge and jury because of a binding mandatory arbitration clause in a contract. Please help ensure that this important amendment is passed and this abuse of power by government defense contractors ends.
Call Sen. Reid today and tell him not to strip out or water down the Franken Amendment! You’ll find instructions and talking points on our Web site. Please don’t forget to let us know what you hear!
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