# Drill Baby Drill!!!

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I think environmentalists should be careful what they wish for. This oil spill could be the biggest boost nuclear power has seen in decades.

And as a real environmentalist, I wholeheartedly support nuclear power, and would like to see them replace coal power plants as quickly as possible.

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He stepped right into it, and it was very wet and squishy.

Might you explain how Obama "stepped right into it"?

"Today we’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration – but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources," Obama said in his prepared remarks.

.....

The president noted that his steps were sure to displease many, but the move was a compromise plan to boost domestic energy production in the interim before renewable energy was widely available, while creating jobs and still protecting the environment.

I really don't think compromise is "stepping into it".

Unless you meant something different...

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Sure. It's c'est la vie. You make a policy announcement, and then something smacks you out of the blue in a manner that looks like you opened the door and invited madame Hubris in for tea. Like canceling SETI two days before aliens show up from Alpha Centauri. That's just politics for you; it can be an unpredictable beast.

Which is not to say that nobody could have predicted the spill -- had to happen sooner or later. But I'm sure the White House would have preferred that it not happen two weeks after announcing the expansion of offshore drilling.

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Sure. It's c'est la vie. You make a policy announcement, and then something smacks you out of the blue in a manner that looks like you opened the door and invited madame Hubris in for tea. Like canceling SETI two days before aliens show up from Alpha Centauri. That's just politics for you; it can be an unpredictable beast.

I noticed you left out the compromise part.

Which is not to say that nobody could have predicted the spill -- had to happen sooner or later. But I'm sure the White House would have preferred that it not happen two weeks after announcing the expansion of offshore drilling.

Might it be fair to say he could've made the announcement not because he enjoys the offshore drilling idea, but as a token of compromise to Republicans and oil?

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I noticed you left out the compromise part.

I didn't leave anything out. You asked me what I meant by "stepping into it". I haven't made a statement critical of his compromise on energy policy, so I'm not sure why you're berating me with sarcasm here.

Might it be fair to say he could've made the announcement not because he enjoys the offshore drilling idea, but as a token of compromise to Republicans and oil?

I'm not sure why "fair" is being sought here, because as far as I can tell President Obama hasn't done anything wrong. Are people so hung up on the blame game that they can't recognize an accident when they see one? And if it happens again, why will it be important to find blame then? Will it really matter why the policy is in place?

The country needs to either accept the risks inherent with its energy use or not. Jumping up and down and blaming the other guys for all that ails the country gets us NOWHERE.

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It would have been much worse for Obama had this been one of the wells drilled after Obama gave the go-ahead, one of the ones that are "a compromise plan to boost domestic energy production in the interim before renewable energy was widely available, while creating jobs and still protecting the environment. "

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This is interesting...

http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USN0121519420100502

"Let me be clear: BP is responsible for this leak. BP will be paying the bill," said Obama as he visited the area and pledged a "fully coordinated, relentless relief effort" in the region where the coastlines of four Gulf states are being menaced.

I suppose it's not unexpected... Exxon paid to clean up the Valdez oil spill. Glad to see Obama taking a stand on this.

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I suppose it's not unexpected... Exxon paid to clean up the Valdez oil spill. Glad to see Obama taking a stand on this. [/Quote]

bascule; Technically the investors in Exxon, paid for the Valdez oil spill, in lost dividends and the average consumer to a lesser degree in higher fuel cost, as BP/customers will in this case. They have 3.1B shares outstanding and have paid $3.36 in the past year in dividends. I'm not sure what all permits were involved (Federal/States) but would suspect there was some reciprocal agreements involvement between Government(s), as to where the crude was refined and distributed to, BP being a British Based Company. http://moneycentral.msn.com/companyreport?Symbol=BP It would be hard to imagine, the Federal taking much part in either attacking the current or developing problems and between BP, Halliburton or the many contractors surely involved would be the only places Government could turn. I'm afraid Obama's continuous comments on this are political rhetoric and there is little that the US could do to force BP to do anything they are already motivated to do (public relations). Talk about shorts selling (Bonds/Stocks), their (BP) is going to take a big hit... ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites It's much easier to blame a policy in retrospect for a random accident than to predict the outcomes of said policy. In other words... this isn't Obama's fault. Katrina was a disaster not because of the hurricane (we knew that was coming) but how the fallout and the Levy breaks was handled. If this oil spilled could be handled better than it currently is, please explain. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites And as a real environmentalist, I wholeheartedly support nuclear power, and would like to see them replace coal power plants as quickly as possible. I agree, the benefits of nuclear power over coal far outweigh the possible negatives. I'm not sure why "fair" is being sought here' date=' because as far as I can tell President Obama hasn't done anything wrong. Are people so hung up on the blame game that they can't recognize an accident when they see one? And if it happens again, why will it be important to find blame then? Will it really matter why the policy is in place? The country needs to either accept the risks inherent with its energy use or not. Jumping up and down and blaming the other guys for all that ails the country gets us NOWHERE.[/quote'] Agreed, although I think it is necessary to establish who is at fault in such situations (if there is someone at fault). Obviously in this case BP and Haliburton seem to share some blame, however, right now there are thousands of gallons of raw crude being pumped into the Gulf of Mexico. There is a time for evaluation after the problem has been solved. Containing the problem should be the primary focus of everyone at this time, not blaming Obama, BP, or anyone else. But I guess that is politics like you mentioned earlier Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged bascule; Technically the investors in Exxon, paid for the Valdez oil spill, in lost dividends and the average consumer to a lesser degree in higher fuel cost, as BP/customers will in this case. They have 3.1B shares outstanding and have paid$3.36 in the past year in dividends. I'm not sure what all permits were involved (Federal/States) but would suspect there was some reciprocal agreements involvement between Government(s), as to where the crude was refined and distributed to, BP being a British Based Company.[/Quote]

Well if you want to get technical,

In the case of Baker v. Exxon, an Anchorage jury awarded $287 million for actual damages and$5 billion for punitive damages. The punitive damages amount was equal to a single year's profit by Exxon at that time. To protect itself in case the judgment was affirmed, Exxon obtained a $4.8 billion credit line from J.P. Morgan & Co. This in turn gave J.P. Morgan the opportunity to create the first modern credit default swap in 1994, so that J.P. Morgan would not have to hold so much money in reserve (8% of the loan under Basel I) against the risk of Exxon's default. Exxon recovered a significant portion of clean-up and legal expenses through insurance claims associated with the grounding of the Exxon Valdez.[23][24] Also, in 1991, Exxon made a quiet, separate financial settlement of damages with a group of seafood producers known as the Seattle Seven for the disaster's effect on the Alaskan seafood industry. The agreement granted$63.75 million to the Seattle Seven, but stipulated that the seafood companies would have to repay almost all of any punitive damages awarded in other civil proceedings. The $5 billion in punitive damages was awarded later, and the Seattle Seven's share could have been as high as$750 million if the damages award had held. Other plaintiffs have objected to this secret arrangement,[25] and when it came to light, Judge Holland ruled that Exxon should have told the jury at the start that an agreement had already been made, so the jury would know exactly how much Exxon would have to pay.[26]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill#cite_note-10K-23

According to the State of Alaska,

Exxon says it spent about $2.1 billion on the cleanup effort. http://www.evostc.state.ak.us/facts/qanda.cfm So Exxon spent 2.1 billion on the cleanup, 500 million on litigation. However, they took out a 4.8 billion dollar credit line from JP Morgan, and they had insurance claims on top of that. Merged post follows: Consecutive posts merged I'm afraid Obama's continuous comments on this are political rhetoric and there is little that the US could do to force BP to do anything they are already motivated to do (public relations). Talk about shorts selling (Bonds/Stocks), their (BP) is going to take a big hit... The United States is currently forcing BP to pay under the Authority of the Oil Pollution Act. This isn't just rhetoric, making BP pay, it is the law. §1002(a) Provides that the responsible party for a vessel or facility from which oil is discharged, or which poses a substantial threat of a discharge, is liable for: (1) certain specified damages resulting from the discharged oil; and (2) removal costs incurred in a manner consistent with the National Contingency Plan (NCP). http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/lawsregs/opaover.htm BP is spending$6 million a day to contain the oil spill; the federal Oil Pollution Act requires BP to pay the cost of any cleanup work done by government agencies such as the Coast Guard and Homeland Security. But the real costs will come later, when BP starts paying for damage to wildlife, coastal businesses and tourism.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050303823.html

Edited by toastywombel
Consecutive posts merged.
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Katrina was a disaster not because of the hurricane (we knew that was coming) but how the fallout and the Levy breaks was handled.

Perhaps one difference with Katrina is that the inadequate construction of the levees and their potential to fail if a Category 3+ hurricane hit New Orleans was extremely well known.

The consequence assessment for Hurricane Pam indicated that more than one million people would be displaced and that 600,000 buildings would be damaged, with some completely destroyed. The report on the simulation, TIME reported, warned that transportation would be a major problem in any storm situation paralleling the fictional "Hurricane Pam."

Unfortunately, the study did not drum up enough attention to get the problems addressed in time for Katrina.

I suppose you could make the same argument for offshore drilling platforms and consider them all ticking time bombs for ecological disaster.

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Well granted, the couple of days between a hurricane being predicted to hit a city and the time it hits, isn't the best time to be strengthening levees, but could it have been done?

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BP's CEO says they will "absolutely be paying" for the cleanup:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126468782&ft=1&f=1001

Merged post follows:

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WTF:

XLiqvZOP8TY

The reason they can't stop the oil is because they can't figure out how to shut a value? And they're trying to shut the valve with a robotic submarine?

Seriously?

Shouldn't there be some kind of failsafe system? Like a wire that runs down the length of the "riser" and needs to receive some sort of periodic signal from the rig or otherwise it trips an emergency cutoff valve?

Edited by bascule
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Unfortunately, the study did not drum up enough attention to get the problems addressed in time for Katrina.

That's what I'm saying, Bascule. The CIA also 'knew' about the possibility of terrorist attacks against the world trade center and pentagon.

You can point fingers all day about who knew what and who didn't do enough, but how many of these types of reports to officials file every week? How many of these potential disasters fail to hit, even though problems don't get fixed?

You can either spend a shit ton of money tightening every screw, or recognize that some problems we'll just going to have to deal with after the fact. Pointing fingers ex post is fun, but it doesn't solve problems.

Beating the same old dead partisan horse isn't going to get you very far either.

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Well if you want to get technical [/Quote]

toasty; Well. I hadn't wanted to get technical, but...

The first to lose, when any Publicly owned Company runs into trouble, is going to be the investor and an awful lot of people worldwide own those 3.1B Shares.

The cost to rent or own a drilling/working platform can be very expensive, it has reached a daily cost of near 200k$, currently closer to 60-80k$ and if owned (doubt) your talking well into the hundreds of millions, for a 6-700 foot item and it sank.

There may be a hundred of more contractors involved, especially, when you get involved with 'Deep Sea', exploration, drilling, maintenance and shutdown of an operation'. All of these contractors are insured, in this case probably the Insurers themselves carrying 'Reinsurance', that will be used to settle claims and loss of equipment. Since your LAW has caps for liability or responsibility all the available insurance, will no doubt cover many times those caps, possible even the entire amount, if this doesn't get out of hand, HOWEVER what ever Mr. Obama is spouting as "what will be" is utter rhetoric and he nor his administration can go beyond the law and most important can do nothing to more than what's already being done.

The United States is currently forcing BP to pay under the Authority of the Oil Pollution Act. This isn't just rhetoric, making BP pay, it is the law.[/Quote]

The US, can only use the law to enforce anything, please explain which completed court CASE is FORCING anything or MAKING BP do anything. BP and those 100 others involved are out there trying to solve problems, get things done, prevent further problems, while Obama and CONGRESS are playing politics...what a great sign of leadership.

Well granted, the couple of days between a hurricane being predicted to hit a city and the time it hits, isn't the best time to be strengthening levees, but could it have been done? [/Quote]

Skeptic; It was more than a couple days, that Katrina was predicted to be Cat 5, if it headed toward NO. The worry then was the levees were built for Cat 3 (Rain and WIND driven inland waters), and it would have taken months to reinforce. The thought for some time, they had escaped the bullet, not forcibly evacuation or other measures.

BP's CEO says they will "absolutely be paying" for the cleanup: [/Quote]

bascule; BP has a very large US Investment in the US and a somewhat loyal customer/investor base. I'm sure it's in their interest to keep this base, but keep in mind their are going to be thousands of fraudulent or over estimated claims, they will contest and the ONLY ones you will hear about. I suspect, even if they stop the potential problems today, we're probably talking years of litigation, lawyer fees and if potential turns into reality, decades...Think what potential would mean if an early hurricane develops, picking up that mess and spreads into several States with anything that can and would be used for legal action.

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The US, can only use the law to enforce anything, please explain which completed court CASE is FORCING anything or MAKING BP do anything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause#Significance_.E2.80.93_federal_rights_in_navigable_waters

US v. Rands

FPC v. Niagara Mohawk Power Corp

US v. Chicago, M., St. P. & P. R. Co

Gibson v. US

South Carolina v. Georgia

Scranton v. Wheeler

US v. Commodore Park, Inc

Short answer, if you f*** up the navigable waters controlled by the federal government (ownership was divided between the state and federal governments in United States v. States of Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida), you're going to pay.

bascule; BP has a very large US Investment in the US and a somewhat loyal customer/investor base. I'm sure it's in their interest to keep this base, but keep in mind their are going to be thousands of fraudulent or over estimated claims, they will contest and the ONLY ones you will hear about. I suspect, even if they stop the potential problems today, we're probably talking years of litigation, lawyer fees and if potential turns into reality, decades...Think what potential would mean if an early hurricane develops, picking up that mess and spreads into several States with anything that can and would be used for legal action.

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The LIBERAL (rofl) New York Times reports: suddenly the Republicans are a bit gun shy about drill baby drill!

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/us/politics/09memo.html

WASHINGTON — Two years ago, feisty Republicans commandeered the darkened House chamber during the summer recess to loudly demand that oil companies be allowed to “drill here and drill now.”

Now, with an ominous oil slick threatening the Gulf Coast from a deep-well blowout, Republican cries for more offshore oil production have grown quieter. But they have not ceased.

“The American people want to see our country develop our domestic resources in an environmentally responsible way, and they know we can,” Representative Mike Pence of Indiana, the No. 3 House Republican and a ringleader of the 2008 uprising on the House floor, said Thursday.

.

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Ideology appears to be getting in the way of practical solutions now as the EPA is rejecting the offer by the Dutch to provide oil skimmers that are designed to perform clean ups like this on the grounds that they leave behind some oil residue.

Article

Doesn't it make sense to get most of the oil into barges now while the leak is still occurring? Isn't it better to worry about the residue effects on the environment rather than ALL OF THE OIL's effect on the environment?

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I think they need to modify their rule: you may not pump oily water into the ocean, unless it is less oily than the water you removed from the ocean.

Indeed.

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On ABC News last night a reporter stated that the Mississippi River pumps out three times as much volume as the oil spill, and directly into its path, which is (he said) one reason why it hasn't come ashore yet. I'm not sure what's more impressive about that statistic (if it's true) -- the awesome power of the Mississippi River, or the fact that the spill is all of a third of that figure.

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That sounds like a poor use of comparisons.

It certainly is beneficial to have the Mississippi supplying counter pressure to the tide that is trying to push the spill ashore, though.

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I have now lost all confidence in our ability to manage and mitigate offshore drilling disaster in the future. I think BP is trying harder than they are given credit for here, which is partly why I even further reject that this is a reasonable risk for the gain. I don't see it. There's no way they can truly "correct" this event. The cost to the environment is unrecoverable.

I do wonder if BP will now roll out acoustic switches, or other fail safes on their own or if they will actually require government coersion to do it.

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