The Oil Spill & the Blame Game

May 11

The Oil Spill & the Blame Game

Another round of the blame game is going on…this time it’s the big wigs behind the oil spill in the Gulf…with BP, Transocean and Halliburton pointing fingers at one another before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today. BP officials pointed to Transocean’s valve, or blowout preventer, that was supposed to cut off the oil after the accident; but it failed. Meanwhile, Transocean blames BP and subcontractor Halliburton, which encased the well in cement. Halliburton is also denying culpability and says the focus should be on Transocean and BP.  Can’t people ‘man up’ and take responsibility? Shame on them all.

Did you know that so far the BP oil leak totals 105,000 barrels based on the eyeball estimate of 5,000 barrels a day? That’s 4.4 million gallons and counting.


  1. Ron Williams /

    You know, the impact that these accidents have on the environment, our food supplies and the birds and other animals caught in the muck and the mire are just the surface of the dire consequences we face. This dependency on oil has gone far enough! The Federal Government, and that means the sitting President (who I, by the way, staunchly support) has to set certain restrictions and impose a most severe fine, if he is to get his message across to these indignant venturists.

    The time has come for us to apply accountability to these culprits and ensure, truly ensure, that these types of disasters become “a thing of the past.”

  2. Mike Smith /

    I fully agree with Ron but what really boggles my mind is that the oil was resting peacefully beneath the sea for 300 million years until we poked a hole in it.

  3. So much for “Drill baby, drill!” Yes, we’ve reached the point in the oil disaster where everyone is busy pointing accusatory fingers at each other. Guess it’s only a matter of time until some BP executive tearfully announces his or her failure to react successfully stems from being abused as a child (isn’t that what Jesse James is offering up these days?). My question is, why didn’t BP already have a solid, verified risk management/disaster plan in place to deploy the instant the accident occurred? I can’t believe that a corporation could operate such a complicated, inherently dangerous endeavor without a vast amount of mitigation plans in the event of a catastrophe. Thus far the containment efforts seems like a bunch of Three Stooges tactics, what with old golf balls, mud, cement, old tires, and whatever else they’ve thrown in the water to attempt to staunch the oil flow. In the meantime, I’m a little incredulous at seeing the ads about the cute little sea otter habitat now open at The Aquarium of the Pacific, sponsored by…wait for it… BP! Talk about irony levels worthy of an O. Henry story.

  4. Annie George /

    In response to Denise’s comment questioning why BP didn’t have verified risk management/disaster plan in place…today’s WSJ article covers what Congress calls a “cookie cutter spill response” plan by five of the major oil companies”:

    Rep. Edward Markey (D., Mass.) said a review of oil companies’ response plans found that, like BP PLC, three other companies had made references in plans to protecting walruses, “which have not called the Gulf of Mexico home for three million years.” He added that two other plans “are such dead ringers for BP’s that they list a phone number for the same long-dead expert.”

    Mr. Markey didn’t identify the companies or the deceased expert. He also said the oil companies had spent an average of $20 million a year on research for safety, accident prevention and oil-spill response plans—an amount he called paltry, compared with the $39 billion they had spent over the past three years to explore for oil and gas.

    “The oil companies may think it’s fine to produce carbon copies of their safety plans, but the American people expect and deserve more,” Mr. Markey said.

    He called for significantly raising the cap on oil companies’ legal liability for spills and legislation that would mandate safety requirements for companies that drill offshore.

    Separately, Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) presented an excerpt of BP’s spill-response plan that is virtually identical to one filed by Exxon Mobil Corp. He said Exxon Mobil, Chevron Corp. Conoco Phillips and Royal Dutch Shell PLC are “no better prepared to deal with a major oil spill than BP” and said the companies had relied on the same company—the Response Group—to write their plans. The Response Group described those plans to congressional investigators as cookie-cutter plans, Mr. Waxman said.

    Senior House Democrats accused oil executives of relying on “cookie cutter” spill-response plans. Stephen Power discusses.

    “When you look at the details, it becomes evident these plans are just paper exercises,” Mr. Waxman said. “BP failed miserably when confronted with a real leak, and Exxon Mobil and the other companies would do no better.”

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