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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Baseball team renames ‘BP’ to protest oil spill

In a protest over the Gulf oil spill, a minor league baseball team is changing the name of batting practice so the players will no longer have to utter the letters “BP.”

The Brevard County Manatees of the Florida State League say they will now take “hitting rehearsal.”

This a home run idea until you pass it by human resources.

Gamingboy Posted: June 05, 2010 at 08:53 PM | 366 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues
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   1. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:07 AM (#3551382)
That'll show 'em!
   2. Downtown Bookie Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:25 AM (#3551392)
Now pass me some of them freedom fries while I put some victory cabbage on my hotdog.

DB
   3. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:29 AM (#3551394)
Earlier today, I saw a 4-year-old child in the playground take a nasty spill. To show my empathy for the beleaguered gulf residents, I instead said, "Stop falling down, stupid."
   4. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:29 AM (#3551395)
This a home run idea until you pass it by human resources.

The Manatees could use some home run ideas--they've hit only five all year.
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:36 AM (#3551400)
Why would one "protest" an accident?
   6. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:58 AM (#3551407)
Of course. Because the word that best describes the actions of British Petroleum leading up to the flukish twist of kismet that befell them out of the blue is "oopsie!"
   7. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:07 AM (#3551412)
I still think of Prospectus when I see the digraph BP.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:10 AM (#3551414)
That has to be an Onion agent who's wormed his way into the AP office. This article simply can't be for real. It reminds me too much of a friend of mine who put up an "Elevator Fee" flyer in the Agricultural Department's Beltsville branch during the 1974 gas shortage. Some people fell for that, too, even though it closed by saying "For the time being, there will be no charge for using the stairways."
   9. Ron J Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:16 AM (#3551418)
#5 One doesn't protest an accident. One may not see what's happened as an accident though.

Further, one may protest because of a lack of viable contingency plans, either in terms of stopping the leak or dealing with the consequences of being unable to stop the leak.
   10. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:29 AM (#3551421)
Why would one "protest" an accident?

After seeing this 60 Minutes report, you might call this "accident" the byproduct of a company, which had in place very good safeguards which would have made an accident very unlikely, out of control. BP appears to have neglected every reasonable precaution and caused their own safeguards to fail; and that neglect appears to have caused the blow-out and led to the deaths of 11 people. If what was said in this report is accurate, some BP managers and maybe executives deserve to be charged with manslaughter.

EDIT: It's a bit inaccurate to place all of the bad decisions on BP alone. The decisions seemed to be partly the fault of BP's modus operandi and the rig operator, Trans Ocean's.
   11. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:59 AM (#3551438)
They are going to pay for breaking one of the largest bodies of water in the world that didn't belong to them, right?
   12. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: June 06, 2010 at 04:02 AM (#3551440)
One protests the "accidents" of a company that received 760 "willful" safety violations from OSHA. (The oil company with the next largest number of willful violations had eight.)

One protests the mentality that continues to drill ever-more-dangerous wells in deep water locations rather than transition to a non-oil based energy economy.

One protests an enterprise that siphons off billions upon billions of profits by siphoning up a national natural resource, leverages bought and sold politicians to walk away without paying a cent in corporate taxes, and then leans completely on public funds to clean up and ameliorate the horrific public costs of their greed and laxity.

It's actually not that hard of a question you pose.
   13. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 04:16 AM (#3551447)
That has to be an Onion agent who's wormed his way into the AP office. This article simply can't be for real.

It is indeed real; I have the press release, and it's on the Manatees' site.

I still think of Prospectus when I see the digraph BP.

I don't think "BP" qualifies as a digraph. It's just an abbreviation.
   14. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 06, 2010 at 04:19 AM (#3551449)
One protests the mentality that continues to drill ever-more-dangerous wells in deep water locations rather than transition to a non-oil based energy economy.

Who is this "one"? Mother Jones? It sounds like you're reading off the vanguard of the proletariat manifesto.

I don't think a speech about "a non-oil based energy economy" hits the mark with this specific company and the decisions its managers made. They seem to have been reckless. But the product they produce, whether you like it or not, is indispensible to all the world's economy now, and likely for another 30 years or more. So unless you can provide a better alternative to the 3 billion people driving gas or diesel powered cars, someone has to drill for oil. But that drilling should not be done without regard to safety. And that appears to be what BP did with this rig.
   15. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:34 AM (#3551462)
In other news, Dennis Boyd has dropped his nickname.
   16. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:58 AM (#3551467)
last article I read listed billions of dollars in taxes and government fees for oil companies. Something like 21 billion dollars to the govt and 6 billion to the company.
   17. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 10:33 AM (#3551494)
A big chunk of the blame goes to Halliburton. They did the cement work and it was this that failed six hours later and caused the blow out. Last week another rig in India which Halliburton did the cement work on was shutdown because it wasn't up to standard.

Of all the blame to go round what I've heard on the grapevine is that BP deserves maybe 1/3 of it. With rest going to TransOcean, Halliburton and the regulatory and response organisations.

The BP attack is mostly politically motivated.

And that's before you even get into a debate on the fact that the principle reason why companies do deepwater drilling is because batshit insane environmental policies ban shallow water drilling and oil shale extraction. Both of which is much safer and less likely to lead to accidents.
   18. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 10:50 AM (#3551497)
One protests the mentality that continues to drill ever-more-dangerous wells in deep water locations rather than transition to a non-oil based energy economy.


So magic or going back to living in caves? Because at the present there is no alternative to transition to. Hydrogen economy? Nah, sorry that doesn't work because you still need to make the hydrogren which is very energy intensive and we burn fossil fuels to provide the energy because the same idiot greenies who want rid of the evil hydrocarbon fuels also don't want nuclear power because of Chernobyl or something.

And lets not forget that oil is just not used to make cars go. Plastics, polymers, rubber, solvents, agrichemicals, heat transfer fluids, detergents, iron smelting even some pharmaceuticals are all based around hydrocarbon derivatives.

To head it off at the pass before it even gets mentioned wind, wave and solar don't work or, more accurately, in the case of the last one just isn't practical. Wind and wave because it doesn't generate continuously which makes it impossible to forward plan for peak demands (can't have a rolling standby wind farm).

The fact is that in the short to medium term there is not a viable alternative, or rather, a politically acceptable one. So either you live with deep water drilling, let companies drill in less risky but less politicall acceptable areas or stick your head between your cheeks and wish it away.
   19. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2010 at 11:43 AM (#3551504)
The BP attack is mostly politically motivated.


The theory is that if you have someone to blame and blame them loud enough nobody will notice that your actual policy is running around like a headless chicken.
   20. Craig in MN Posted: June 06, 2010 at 12:10 PM (#3551509)
Of all the blame to go round what I've heard on the grapevine is that BP deserves maybe 1/3 of it. With rest going to TransOcean, Halliburton and the regulatory and response organisations.

The BP attack is mostly politically motivated.


Isn't BP in charge? They hired Halliburton and TransOcean and should have a pretty good idea on what they want their contractors doing for them. If they wanted their contractors to have high standards and not cause a catastrophe, they could have made some different choices. "Regulatory" deserves a huge chunk of blame too, but in the end, that is "us".
   21. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 12:49 PM (#3551513)
Isn't BP in charge? They hired Halliburton and TransOcean and should have a pretty good idea on what they want their contractors doing for them. If they wanted their contractors to have high standards and not cause a catastrophe, they could have made some different choices. "Regulatory" deserves a huge chunk of blame too, but in the end, that is "us".


Yes. That's why they have liability. But simply being made liable isn't what's happening. What's happening is scapecoating. By and large in the media TransOcean and Halliburton are deflecting all blame to BP and being allowed to get away with it because it's not convenient for the media or political narrative and the undercurrent of Foreign Companies = Bad

With the regulatory bodies there are two things going on which they deserve different levels of blame for. "Before" and "After".

In the "before" the regulatory authorities allowed and actually formented a very incestuous relationship with the various operating companies (not just BP) that was only just on the right side of line marked "blatant corruption".

In the "After" phase the response was completely mismanaged and lead to the environmental impact being potentially much greater than it ever should have been. Their own response plans called for ten booms to be in place within 24 hrs of an event in reality they managed three booms within one week!!

As a side note to this, the only organisation which appears to be making any effort to stop the spill is BP. Everybody else is so concerned with appearance that they are just shouting from the sidelines like a load of armchair GM's proclaiming "you're doing it wrong!!" without actually offering any solutions themselves.

Now saying all this I have heard some rumours (so pinch of salt and all that) that places somewhat more blame on BP. To give a bit of background as to how these rigs usually work (remember they were test drilling, it wasn't a production rig) is that they hire the rig from one company (TransOcean), hire another company to run it (Halliburton) and yet another company to do the safety checks (Schlumberger). BP will only usually have a few personnel on a rig that are actual BP employees, one of whom will be the guy who is the guy in charge.

What I heard is that some number of hours before the explosion Schlumberger informed the BP guy that they had concerns that something was wrong and reccomended shutting down the rig, the BP man decided not to follow this advice because BP HQ staff were due to visit and he didn't want to look bad infront of his bosses or something. The Schlumberger people then called up a helicopter and left because they did not want to be on that rig.

If this is true then that BP man should face criminal prosecution, but it's also not a "BP" organisational problem but a stupid moron in charge problem, or as it's more commonly known "human error".
   22. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:01 PM (#3551514)
stick your head between your cheeks and wish it away
Finally, an energy policy we can all support.

I'm hopeful that the White Sox will change their nickname, to protest the rising cost of detergent.
   23. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:02 PM (#3551515)
RayDiPerna Posted: June 05, 2010 at 10:36 PM (#3551400)
Why would one "protest" an accident?


Ray Ray, they aren't going to hire you no matter how many times you send them your resume.
   24. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:27 PM (#3551519)
The theory is that if you have someone to blame and blame them loud enough nobody will notice that your actual policy is running around like a headless chicken.
No, the theory is that people and corporations are responsible for the effects of their actions. When these effects include disasters of grand scale, it is important to allocate responsibility and punishment.

The fact that, for example, our country's justice system is riddled with inequities and incompetence, in no way excuses larceny or makes punishing thieves a cynical attempt to throw blame.
   25. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:30 PM (#3551520)
If this is true then that BP man should face criminal prosecution, but it's also not a "BP" organisational problem but a stupid moron in charge problem, or as it's more commonly known "human error".
I mean, I get this, but corporations either get to be considered people, or they don't. If BP wants all the good stuff that comes with being considered a person, they have to face the consequences as well The "human error" is BP error.
   26. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:31 PM (#3551521)
I spent most of the last two months working with a close relative of one of the executive VPs (can we still use that abbreviation?) at BP.

So I'm really at the height of the possible empathy I could have for those who work at the company.

I listened carefully to him describe his loved one as literally the most amazing person he knows and the sole reason that he is the man he is today.

That being said, he said he was completely stumped as to why there was no plan for this contingency.

There is no reason a company should EVER, ever, ever never proceed with the kind of drilling that BP was doing without a whole toolbox of potential solutions that they have practiced endlessly to the possible scenario they are now dealing with.

It's just stupid and negligent and both.

I am a short sighted, foolish man. I have little compassion for animals though I ought to have more. So the hundredth picture I see of oil festooned sea creatures has no more impact on me than the first, and I have little interest.

I do however, care deeply about people and the impact that our interactions with the world have on ourselves and each other. I care about those killed and lives horribly impacted by people who chose to view life-guarding regulations as obstacles to profit that must be breezed through or ignored. And I care about those whose quality of meaningful human existence has been so very compromised that they could justify making such despicable decisions.

We all deserve better than that. But they as individuals even deserve better than to live like that.

I don't believe in the death penalty. I don't even believe in punitive justice. But I also don't believe that finances and political clout should determine right and wrong.

Those responsible for this disaster on the highest level--whether they be from BP, haliburton, or Trans Ocean--must be removed from their current trajectory and rehabilitated. And we must never allow anything like this to ever happen again.
   27. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:34 PM (#3551522)
No, the theory is that people and corporations are responsible for the effects of their actions. When these effects include disasters of grand scale, it is important to allocate responsibility and punishment.


So why isn't Obama being questioned for the fact the regulatory authorities are FUBAR and that they had no possibility of following their own response plans due to lack of equipment and piss poor organisation?

Never mind the complete lack of accountability to the involved American companies (not legal accountability but actual quality of work and record). Halliburton in particular are a right bunch of (politcally connected) chancers.

There is no reason a company should EVER, ever, ever never proceed with the kind of drilling that BP was doing without a whole toolbox of potential solutions that they have practiced endlessly to the possible scenario they are now dealing with.


Unfortunately it's not that simple. With deep water drilling pretty much everything is preventative aimed at putting the risk of an accident to the absolute minimum and building in redundancy, unfortunately in this case pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong. When that happens there is not actually alot you can do to stop it and options are limited because of the difficulties of working at depth.

Principally these are minimising the effects of the spill at the surface through the use of booms and dispersing agents, which as I've already said the regulatory and response organisations seriously dropped the ball on. If that doesn't work you can try and remove the oil at source before it reaches the surface, which they've tried with mixed success, and you will get lots of hydrate problems (which they did).

The actual solution is relatively long term, on the order of months. You sink another well diagonally into the first well and divert the flow of oil so it can be safely removed.
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:38 PM (#3551525)
I recommend editing your first sentence for word choice. (Recall the American context.)

Obviously the government which failed to regulate BP deserves blame. I haven't suggested otherwise, I know of no one who has. But it seems pretty clear that the party that was actually responsible for building and operating and maintaining the rig is the party which should bear the brunt of responsibility and punishment.

The government, in my view, is often in part at fault in cases of theft, for not helping to produce a better education for the thief, for not helping to enable stronger communities and families which may have prevented the thief from turning to crime, and so on. But the person actually responsible for the theft, who deserves punishment, is obviously the thief.
   29. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:39 PM (#3551526)
So why isn't Obama being lynched for the fact the regulatory authorities are FUBAR and that they had no possibility of following their own response plans due to lack of equipment and piss poor organisation?


Oh, Jesus. Not a good choice my friend. But to get to your main point.

Obama's not being attacked because he was following up a president who had no interest in enforcing anything of the sort and appointed foxes to guard the henhouses.

When he came in, he brought in a ton of competent people and set to fix all of the broken systems left in Bush's wake.

Or to give a shorter answer, he was too busy destroying the health and educational systems to devote the bulk of his energy to energy policy.
   30. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:44 PM (#3551528)
So why isn't Obama being lynched for the fact the regulatory authorities are FUBAR and that they had no possibility of following their own response plans due to lack of equipment and piss poor organisation?

Never mind the complete lack of accountability to the involved American companies (not legal accountability but actual quality of work and record). Halliburton in particular are a right bunch of (politcally connected) chancers.


Yeah, on Jan 21 2009 Obama personally dismantled the strong regulatory juggernaut left over from the GWB years.

Come on, you gotta troll harder than that.
   31. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:46 PM (#3551529)
But it seems pretty clear that the party that was actually responsible for building and operating and maintaining the rig is the party which should bear the brunt of responsibility and punishment.
The rig was build by Hyundai Heavy Industries. It was operated and maintained by Transocean. So these are the parties you want to blame, not BP. Fine.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:48 PM (#3551530)
So why isn't Obama being lynched for the fact the regulatory authorities are FUBAR and that they had no possibility of following their own response plans due to lack of equipment and piss poor organisation?

Your point is well taken, but part of the answer lies in the decades-long corporate-funded drive to strip regulatory agencies of any teeth. Obama at least has tried to correct this with first rate appointments in a few agencies, and of course for this he's met with the usual cries of "socialist." But until there's a general consensus that "deregulation" isn't the Key to the Kingdom, and until corporations learn to see beyond the limited horizon of short-term profit, nothing is really going to change.
   33. walt williams bobblehead Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:49 PM (#3551531)
the only organisation which appears to be making any effort to stop the spill is BP

Maybe if you think really, really hard you can figure out why this is so.
   34. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:50 PM (#3551532)
Oh, Jesus. Not a good choice my friend. But to get to your main point.


Not American, so kind of missed the context, sorry. I've edited it now.

Obama's not being attacked because he was following up a president who had no interest in enforcing anything of the sort and appointed foxes to guard the henhouses.


I get there is degree of this going on and I'm not meaning to imply it is his responsability, it's too far down the chain. However as the visible man in charge you would expect questions, but it just seems that the bigger reason is that it doesn't fit the narrative of Big Evil Oil Companies.

And the reason I'm homing in on this point is that if the focus stays on BP then the other responsible parties will get a pass and their business practices will not improve and no lessons will be learnt or the wrong lessons will be learnt.
   35. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:51 PM (#3551533)
It is not clear at all. Transocean seems to have been following instructions from BP and Haliburton did the cementing.
What is clear is that BP is doing a dance where they seem to be trying to limit their liability. Which is their right to do of course.

I am also struck by the irony of the same folks who are decrying Obama's expansion of government regarding healthcare and Wall Street regulation slamming him for not getting the government more involved with BP. Sure, when things are going well for private business you want government out of the way but when things get ###### up you want government to bail your asses out. There is a word for that.
   36. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:53 PM (#3551536)
Your point is well taken, but part of the answer lies in the decades-long corporate-funded drive to strip regulatory agencies of any teeth. Obama at least has tried to correct this with first rate appointments in a few agencies, and of course for this he's met with the usual cries of "socialist." But until there's a general consensus that "deregulation" isn't the Key to the Kingdom, and until corporations learn to see beyond the limited horizon of short-term profit, nothing is really going to change.


The teeth are already there, they just weren't being enforced. It's a top down management problem.

Maybe if you think really, really hard you can figure out why this is so.


Read the rest of the sentence, it adds to the context of the first part.

It is not clear at all. Transocean seems to have been following instructions from BP and Haliburton did the cementing.
What is clear is that BP is doing a dance where they seem to be trying to limit their liability. Which is their right to do of course.


That part in bold is absolutely true, but the narrative has already been written and that worries me.

And I'm not sure if the rest was directed at me but I don't think I've ever commented on healthcare or wall street?
   37. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 01:57 PM (#3551538)
Whoever is writing the big checks assumes ultimate responsibility.
   38. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:00 PM (#3551540)
My comments about Heathcare and Wall Street were directed towards no one in particular. Well maybe the GOP, the teabaggers and the libertarians.
   39. Blackadder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:02 PM (#3551541)
I am also struck by the irony of the same folks who are decrying Obama's expansion of government regarding healthcare and Wall Street regulation slamming him for not getting the government more involved with BP.


I was in an airport lounge the other day, and a copy of the Wall Street Journal was sitting there, so I figured what the hell. As I recall, Peggy Noonan's argument was something along the lines of, if only the government got out of health care, education, etc. it could focus on the important things like this. Totally unconvincing, of course, but that's the argument, I think.
   40. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:04 PM (#3551543)
The rig was build by Hyundai Heavy Industries. It was operated and maintained by Transocean. So these are the parties you want to blame, not BP. Fine.
I have absolutely no problem with considering those parties liable and punishable and whatnot.

I said "parties responsible for", which was meant to focus on how BP holds ultimate responsibility for what happens on their rig.
   41. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:07 PM (#3551545)
I will be 40 in December. I fully expect to be retired before all the lawsuits coming out of this are resolved and BP is forced to pay a dime and take responsibility. Sure they are trying to pay off fishermen and shrimpers now, and paying private security to keep the press off the beaches and out of the marshes now but that is just so the full extent of the damage is not seen. Also the alleged containment, lets see the pictures of the oil flowing into the tankers. I don;t trust BP at all.
   42. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:10 PM (#3551546)
I will be 40 in December. I fully expect to be retired before all the lawsuits coming out of this are resolved and BP is forced to pay a dime.


For sure. The legal wrangles for responsibility will go on for years and benefite nobody but Lawyers.

Also the alleged containment, lets see the pictures of the oil flowing into the tankers. I don;t trust BP at all.


If I had to make an educated professional guess (so take it FWIW) my guess is that they are containing only a relatively small proportion of the oil and that there will be no meaningfull impact on the contamination until they are able to drill a second well.

It's all PR, the need to look to be doing something without concern for whether the "something" achieves anything being important.
   43. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:13 PM (#3551548)
Also I predict a rebranding of BP's US gas stations by the end of the year.
   44. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:18 PM (#3551552)
   45. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:19 PM (#3551553)
They will be known as BBTF stations?
   46. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:21 PM (#3551555)
Probably something innocuous like Accenture or Xe.
   47. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:29 PM (#3551558)
I said "parties responsible for", which was meant to focus on how BP holds ultimate responsibility for what happens on their rig.
I know you were trying to focus responsibility on BP. But it's not their rig, it belongs to Transocean. Now I know, I know, you're going to say that although they may not own the rig, it's really their rig because they're responsible for it. They're responsible for it because it's their rig, and it's their rig because they're responsible for it. Beautifully circular.

Look, the situation goes like this:

The US government owns the oil rights...

Which they contract out to BP...

Which contracts out much of the actual exploration.

You're saying that BP is responsible for its contractors, but you refuse to hold the US government responsible for its contractors. You're saying responsibility must go up the food chain... but then magically stop at BP. It's madness.

EDIT: I am not saying BP is innocent here. Far from it. What I'm saying is that primary responsibility should be borne by the primary wrongdoer**, not some weird theory of "ultimate responsibility." As far as I'm aware, BP subcontracted to proper companies who it could expect to do a decent job. Whoever didn't do their job right (be that BP, or Transocean, or whoever) should be punished, and have to pay out.

**Which will presumably only be determined after full enquiry etc.
   48. bobm Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:38 PM (#3551561)
[43] - How about "Amoco"?
   49. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:39 PM (#3551562)
Well it seems that most of the "evidence" is 5000 feet down. How much you want to bet the BOP never comes up from the bottom of the ocean? Also BP sure did seem eager to shoot a bunch of #### into the BOP in order to stop the flow, which, I believe they had no confidence in working. Perhaps the mud and "junk shot" were used to maybe hide or destroy any evidence of a blown seal or malfunction that they knew about before the rig blew up.
   50. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:42 PM (#3551563)
I'm not sure I'd be that cynical, I would tend to think it was an honest attempt of the "oh ####\" last ditch variety.

If they new something I think it will come out (see Schlumberger rumour, which I think may actually prove true).
   51. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:43 PM (#3551565)
Also I predict a rebranding of BP's US gas stations by the end of the year.

If they wanted to play the nostalgia card, they could always go back to what they were before 1969. (Note the 15 cent "gas war" price.)
   52. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 02:46 PM (#3551566)
I would go back to the regional brands before the merger. Sohio in Ohio for instance.
   53. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:04 PM (#3551571)
they could always go back to what they were before 1969.


Ah -- "Dinosaur Gas," as I called that company as a kid. How I loved to see those signs, though I don't recall that we ever stopped there on road trips (no such stations operated close to my hometown).

I've seen plenty of Sinclair stations since '69, though not in a few years. Some sort of corporate divestitures must've been in play.
   54. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:13 PM (#3551573)
If they wanted to play the nostalgia card, they could always go back to what they were before 1969

where I grew up it was this
   55. Swedish Chef Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:46 PM (#3551585)
No, the theory is that people and corporations are responsible for the effects of their actions. When these effects include disasters of grand scale, it is important to allocate responsibility and punishment.

Exactly, it's good to have someone to blame. That's the important part. Doing something about the environmental disaster? Why, we already have a scapegoat!
   56. jwb Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:48 PM (#3551587)
Yup, don't trust BP
Hmm. Googling "oil spill gulf of mexico 2010", I get hits from the Houston Chronicle, the Huffington Post, something called blog.al.com, some youtube videos, the New York Times, the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the AP, the Mobile Press-Register, ABC, and Fox. So that ain't working so good for them, either.
   57. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:51 PM (#3551589)
Exactly, it's good to have someone to blame. That's the important part. Doing something about the environmental disaster? Why, we already have a scapegoat!
Certainly, to continue the analogy, prosecuting criminals doesn't constitute a complete strategy for fighting crime. But it's an absolutely essential part, and in no way is analogous to searching for a scapegoat. What happened to personal responsibility?
   58. jwb Posted: June 06, 2010 at 03:54 PM (#3551592)
What happened to personal responsibility?
They incorporated.
   59. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 06, 2010 at 04:08 PM (#3551599)
Yes. Blame is not a useful tool. I'm not even 1% interested in blame. I'm interested in two things:
1) Those responsible take responsibility in both effort and resources for restitution.
2) A strategic plan to ensure this doesn't continue to happen because many major industries appear to be a disaster waiting to happen.
   60. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: June 06, 2010 at 04:10 PM (#3551600)
As usual, positions are being taken on each side of an argument while the truth lies in the middle. BP can both be scapegoated and need to be held accountable.

Equally as galling as Horwitz saying he'd like to have his life back is Obama saying his mistake was believing that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios. He'll take the blame, kinda. It's still the oil company's fault.

And anyone who thinks that if only given some more time on the job, Obama would have gotten everything fixed that GWB ###### up with the regulatory agencies is delusional.
   61. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:05 PM (#3551633)
That has to be an Onion agent who's wormed his way into the AP office. This article simply can't be for real. It reminds me too much of a friend of mine who put up an "Elevator Fee" flyer in the Agricultural Department's Beltsville branch during the 1974 gas shortage. Some people fell for that, too, even though it closed by saying "For the time being, there will be no charge for using the stairways."
Of course it's not "for real." This is a minor league team. It's a publicity stunt. The Manatees have now gotten more coverage and more attention than in the last ten years combined.

As for assessing responsibility, I love how millions of Americans who two months ago knew nothing more about oil than that it makes their cars go are suddenly experts on not just deep sea oil drilling in general, but also on the specifics of what happened on this particular oil rig. They know exactly which parts failed, why they failed, and who's responsible. They just know for a fact that, in fact, this was reasonably preventable, that it was the result of negligence rather than a fluke accident, that BP just had to do a couple of specific things and it wouldn't have happened, and that this was the result of a corporate decision from the top rather than an individual error on the ground.

Apparently the only lefty here who realizes the problem is Bernal, and so he has spun a conspiracy theory in #49 about how the predicted lack of evidence is part of a cover-up.
   62. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:16 PM (#3551642)
If this is true then that BP man should face criminal prosecution, but it's also not a "BP" organisational problem but a stupid moron in charge problem, or as it's more commonly known "human error".

In my experience human error generally happnes because the system that human operates in is broken. Something like someone at the top mandates a cost cut of 20%. He gives that order to his regional veep. The regional veep then tells his GMs. The GM tells his department directors who they then tell their managers. The managers then tell their supervisors and such and cut labor to the bone. So then these low level guys who are getting paid like #### and worked like dogs are making decisions that they should never be making and everybody above them don't really care as long as the 20% cut happens. And then oopsie, 5 years later we discover that they were simply dumping toxins in the water or ignoring safeguards or whatever. Bad stuff doesn't happen if the people at the top understand and respect the need for safety and not simply care about profits.
   63. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:17 PM (#3551643)
And where is this overwhelming evidence that it was just a "fluke accident". Oh wait, you are pulling it out of your ass just like I am. Send them your resume Davey, maybe you can make lots of money defending BP.
   64. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:18 PM (#3551644)
EDIT: I am not saying BP is innocent here. Far from it. What I'm saying is that primary responsibility should be borne by the primary wrongdoer**, not some weird theory of "ultimate responsibility." As far as I'm aware, BP subcontracted to proper companies who it could expect to do a decent job. Whoever didn't do their job right (be that BP, or Transocean, or whoever) should be punished, and have to pay out.
Exactly. BP might still be responsible if these companies were negligent; perhaps it failed to instruct them properly or supervise them properly. But it's also possible that these companies lied to BP, told them that something was safe enough when it wasn't, and then cut corners. The mere fact that BP is at the top of the corporate food chain on this particular rig doesn't mean BP was negligent.

----

A big chunk of the blame goes to Halliburton. They did the cement work and it was this that failed six hours later and caused the blow out. Last week another rig in India which Halliburton did the cement work on was shutdown because it wasn't up to standard.
Or maybe their cement supplier lied about the quality of the cement; perhaps it was substandard in some non-obvious way and Halliburton didn't realize it. As with BP, I'm not trying to excuse Halliburton; I'm saying that the facts aren't in.

Look, we could have a complete strict liability legal system, where you have to pay for everything that happens that you were involved in even if you weren't careless in any way. Maybe that would even be better. But even if we did, it wouldn't make it right to blame people based on strict liability. Blame implies fault, not mere proximity. These companies are only to blame if they did something carelessly/negligently/recklessly/deliberately, not just because something bad happened when they were there.
   65. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:18 PM (#3551646)
Davey, is there any topic you are not an expert in? I guess we can now add petroleum engineer to your long list of titles.
   66. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:22 PM (#3551653)
I love how millions of Americans who two months ago knew nothing more about oil than that it makes their cars go are suddenly experts on not just deep sea oil drilling in general, but also on the specifics of what happened on this particular oil rig.

Yeah, it isn't like something happened a couple of months back that would make people interested in deep sea oil drilling and it isn't like the media has put out a ton of info since then on deep sea oil drilling. where do these people get the nerve? Don't they know they should stay ignorant so that experts like Nieporent can always appear to be the one true expert in everything?
   67. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:22 PM (#3551654)
And where is this overwhelming evidence that it was just a "fluke accident". Oh wait, you are pulling it out of your ass just like I am.
Stay out of my ass, please.

And, perhaps, take a class in English. Did I say that there was "overwhelming evidence" that it was a fluke accident? Did I say that there was any evidence that it was a fluke accident? As with Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, et al., I'm smart enough to know not to make judgments when we don't have the evidence. For some reason, you're not.
Send them your resume Davey, maybe you can make lots of money defending BP.
Perhaps this sort of faux "logic" could get you a gig on talk radio -- well, Air America failed, but Pacifica is still on the air, I think -- but in a forum where you don't control the microphone and people can point out how dumb your arguments are, it's sort of a big fail.
   68. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:23 PM (#3551655)
Now BP is saying they are capturing 10500 barrels of oil a day. After telling us that the flow was only 5000 barrels of oil a day. Sure, we can totally trust them. Fluke accident, nothing more to see, please move along.

Explain the private security at the La. beaches and the $50 million PR campaign for the "fluke accident" Yup, nothing to hide at all.


Folks on the rig have been saying that BP was pressuring Transocean to speed up the process. I suppose they are lying to cover Transocean's ass and the BP folks are telling the truth though.
   69. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:24 PM (#3551658)
Davey, what do you think the federal government's role in this fiasco should be? Sit back and let the invisible hand of the free market clean it all up? Seems to me the invisible hand of the free market is giving the finger to the shrimpers and fishermen in the gulf.
   70. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:26 PM (#3551663)
I don't see David making any claims of expertise here. Nor do I see him make any claims as to who (if anyone) is responsible. He is saying (quite reasonably IMHO) that we should wait for the experts to examine the evidence and make their determinations, rather than simply blame BP regardless. Waiting for the facts to come out is going to take time, which is inconvenient for those who wish to rush to judgement, but there you go.
   71. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:27 PM (#3551664)
But at least they can't see it since it is invisible.
   72. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:28 PM (#3551665)
There are 4 entities at fault here:

BP
Transocean
Halliburton
Everyone who voted for GWB.
   73. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:36 PM (#3551673)
Yeah, it isn't like something happened a couple of months back that would make people interested in deep sea oil drilling and it isn't like the media has put out a ton of info since then on deep sea oil drilling. where do these people get the nerve?
Oh. I didn't realize that reading a few newspaper stories for a month and looking at pictures of oil-soaked birds could substitute for a degree in engineering. My bad. (I also didn't realize that expertise -- even real expertise, rather than the faux expertise that comes from reading a few media stories -- was a substitute for actually examining the evidence.)
Don't they know they should stay ignorant so that experts like Nieporent can always appear to be the one true expert in everything?
Are you as dumb as Bernal? Did I claim to be an expert? Did I claim to have an opinion on who's responsible? BFFB did use the right word originally; there is a lynch mob mentality here, from a few of the usual suspects. I'll explain this to you using small words: keeping an open mind when X is accused of guilt is not the same thing as declaring X to be innocent. (Not sure if those words were small enough for you.)

Here's what I said: We don't yet know whether BP did something negligent.
Here's apparently what you heard: BP didn't do anything wrong.

I don't know how to solve that mental problem of yours which causes you to equate those two.
   74. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:39 PM (#3551677)
Did I claim to be an expert?


Not yet, we stole your thunder on that one. Your reputation as a blowhard and corporate shill proceeds you Davey.
   75. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:44 PM (#3551684)
I'll explain this to you using small words: keeping an open mind when X is accused of guilt is not the same thing as declaring X to be innocent.


You mean like when we were told Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but you warned us to wait till all the facts were in?

Lynch mob mentality, indeed.
   76. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:47 PM (#3551690)
Explain the private security at the La. beaches and the $50 million PR campaign for the "fluke accident" Yup, nothing to hide at all.
I see. Defending yourself is proof of guilt! But, wait, your fellow traveler Andy has said in the past that refusing to defend oneself is also proof of guilt! I guess we should just get out pitchforks and torches right now.

Folks on the rig have been saying that BP was pressuring Transocean to speed up the process. I suppose they are lying to cover Transocean's ass and the BP folks are telling the truth though.
No, that can't be. We've already established that BP was guilty. Therefore, any "folks" who accuse BP of something bad must be telling the truth. And, after all, since BP is guilty, we know Transocean must be innocent, because if Transocean were guilty, then maybe BP wouldn't be. So since Transocean is innocent, nobody at Transocean has any incentive to lie and point fingers elsewhere.
   77. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:49 PM (#3551693)
Did I claim to be an expert?

Not yet
Ah. So you were lying when you claimed I did. Now that we've established what you are.
   78. Ron J Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:49 PM (#3551694)
But it seems pretty clear that the party that was actually responsible for building and operating and maintaining the rig is the party which should bear the brunt of responsibility and punishment.


I was listening to an interview with a guy from Safety Boss (Mike Miller). He was particularly critical of the way the Coast Guard fought the fire (and eventually sunk the rig -- I particularly recall him saying almost word for word that the first rule is that you don't sink the rig in fighting the fire. In the long run the better the condition the pipe is in the easier it's going to be for you to deal with the aftermath.)

"You have to hit these fires with overwhelming force. They're not like a forest fire where you fight them for days at a time. Why they went on with that was just beyond me."
   79. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:50 PM (#3551695)
Did you read #72 Davey or are you suffering from the same mental condition you like to accuse your detractors of having?
   80. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:53 PM (#3551697)
Sweet, so now it is the USCG's fault. Awesome.
   81. McCoy Posted: June 06, 2010 at 05:55 PM (#3551699)
You mean like when we were told Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, but you warned us to wait till all the facts were in?

Lynch mob mentality, indeed.


That was exactly what I was thinking. David telling people to wait until the facts are in and how people don't really know what is going on is just plain ironic.
   82. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:08 PM (#3551709)
I was listening to an interview with a guy from Safety Boss (Mike Miller). He was particularly critical of the way the Coast Guard fought the fire (and eventually sunk the rig -- I particularly recall him saying almost word for word that the first rule is that you don't sink the rig in fighting the fire. In the long run the better the condition the pipe is in the easier it's going to be for you to deal with the aftermath.)

One of the most startling thigs about this entire event is that it seems there was almost no plan in place for dealing with this type of situation. Neither the business community nor the governmental leaders seemed to have a had a reasonable response in place for what was a remarkably foreseeable event.

I have no idea if the fire-fighting efforts were appropriate, but if they weren't particularly well thought out, they'd be of a piece with almost everything else I've seen.
   83. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:18 PM (#3551715)
ALOU, did you watch the 60 Minutes piece which I linked to (#10) above? If you watch that, I really think you will change your mind about BP. Every critical bad decision which led to this disaster was made by BP. That does not absolve TO and Haliburton. However, those companies were following the directions of BP's managers, who themselves were recklessly disregarding their own safety measures (for more than one month before the accident).
   84. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:29 PM (#3551725)
One of the most startling thigs about this entire event is that it seems there was almost no plan in place for dealing with this type of situation. Neither the business community nor the governmental leaders seemed to have a had a reasonable response in place for what was a remarkably foreseeable event.


I've already mentioned this. There were plans in place, they just weren't followed because the correct equipment wasn't available and what action you take beforehand is almost entirely preventative, once it's happened there isn't a whole lot of options.

Oh. I didn't realize that reading a few newspaper stories for a month and looking at pictures of oil-soaked birds could substitute for a degree in engineering.


Full disclosure I'm a chemical engineer and most of my work is offshore Oil & Gas associated with the North Sea, principally Gas Processing if anyone cares.

I don't see David making any claims of expertise here. Nor do I see him make any claims as to who (if anyone) is responsible. He is saying (quite reasonably IMHO) that we should wait for the experts to examine the evidence and make their determinations, rather than simply blame BP regardless. Waiting for the facts to come out is going to take time, which is inconvenient for those who wish to rush to judgement, but there you go.


I agree with this. Legal liability is with BP, though they will wrangle with attempting to assign it to others. But blame in so far as who made what errors that caused it too happen, well there will be enough to spread around to everybody; corporation and government entities alike.
   85. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:30 PM (#3551726)
Imagine if Osama bin Laden had accomplished a second attack 10% as successful as this.
   86. CrosbyBird Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:35 PM (#3551732)
This article is an interesting read. While the article certainly doesn't make BP look like some sort of innocent scapegoat, it indicates that at least some of the blame must be allocated to the government, which provided exceptions to safety regulations that contributed to the incident and/or increased its impact.

...when BP officials first set their sights on extracting the oily riches under what is known as Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the Gulf of Mexico, they asked for and received permission from federal regulators to exempt the drilling project from federal law that requires a rigorous type of environmental review, internal documents and federal records indicate.


...when company officials wanted to test the blowout preventer, a crucial fail-safe mechanism on the pipe near the ocean floor, at a lower pressure than was federally required, regulators granted an exception...


Of course, this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise:

The Minerals Management Service, which regulates offshore drilling, went along with these requests partly because the agency has for years had a dual role of both fostering and policing the industry — collecting royalty payments from the drilling companies while also levying fines on them for violations of law.


I'm sure Halliburton isn't a complete innocent either, but they did at least warn BP that some of their decisions went against best practices.
   87. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:37 PM (#3551735)
However, those companies were following the directions of BP's managers, who themselves were recklessly disregarding their own safety measures (for more than one month before the accident).

If TO was failing to observe proper safety procedures, the fact that BP was requesting such is a pretty lousy defense of TO. TO is drilling the hole, it's thier job to make sure it's safe.

Handling customer requests that would demand unsafe practices is pretty standard in many areas of business. Utilizing unsafe practices in response to those requests is, unfortunately, far too common. But when you go down that road, except in a very few circumstances, you're responsble for your own conduct.
   88. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:42 PM (#3551742)
Ahh yes, the evil government forcing the well meaning corporations to cut corners. And then when the thing blows up the government makes it worse.

Will that be the defense?
   89. Francoeur Sans Gages (AlouGoodbye) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:45 PM (#3551746)
ALOU, did you watch the 60 Minutes piece which I linked to (#10) above? If you watch that, I really think you will change your mind about BP.
I have not watched that piece, no. As for "changing my mind about BP", my mind is open. What we have seen is furious attempts (on all sides) to divert blame, while much of what went on is unknown. As far as I can tell, there are now 4 separate governmental enquiries into what went on, and there is (no doubt) going to be extensive litigation. Not only is the truth going to come out in elaborate and painstaking detail, but there are going to be so many hearings about the spill that we'll all be sick of it. Given that, I'm very comfortable reserving judgement until we know more.
   90. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:46 PM (#3551747)
There were plans in place, they just weren't followed because the correct equipment wasn't available and what action you take beforehand is almost entirely preventative, once it's happened there isn't a whole lot of options.

A plan that is contingent on equipment that isn't available isn't much of a plan.

As far as the latter point, that certainly seems reasonable as far as the well itself. I've got some concerns there, but my main issue is with the complete lack of a compreshensive mitigation effort. It almost seems like nobody was prepared to deal with an oil spill in the gulf. That seems like poor planning to me.
   91. Ron J Posted: June 06, 2010 at 06:57 PM (#3551751)
#80 The USCG comes in for a share of the blame, but if fighting a rig fire is a specialist task, somebody made the decision not to use the specialists -- and as Miller notes there are plenty of them (with all of the equipment required) in the general area.

Still, rig sinking is not precisely an event that couldn't happen.

And to get to one point David made, I recall reading some place (the Economist IIRC) that there were 34 failures (severity not reported, forget the time frame) to cap wells using concrete (I guess the incident reported in the thread could cont as another) and there doesn't seem to have been any plan in place to deal with this.
   92. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 07:05 PM (#3551755)
That was exactly what I was thinking. David telling people to wait until the facts are in and how people don't really know what is going on is just plain ironic.
I don't understand the argument about irony; does that mean that if I didn't wait for the facts to come in then, I shouldn't wait for the facts to come in now? (But how is is it "ironic," in any case? Inconsistency (*) and irony are not the same thing.) And if it is ironic, so does that mean that it's also ironic that people who told us to wait for the facts to come in in that situation are now refusing to wait for the facts to come in?



(*) They're not exactly inconsistent, in any case; the situations aren't analogous. Iraq was prospective, whereas this is retrospective. (Also, there was a decent argument that the facts simply wouldn't come in wrt Iraq at all unless the U.S. took action.)
   93. CrosbyBird Posted: June 06, 2010 at 07:08 PM (#3551756)
Ahh yes, the evil government forcing the well meaning corporations to cut corners. And then when the thing blows up the government makes it worse.

Will that be the defense?


I struggle to see how I'm defending BP at all. The corporation is clearly a bad actor here, but it is far from the only bad actor. The government didn't force BP to spill oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It enabled BP to drill without appropriate safeguards. If I'm going to sacrifice some of my personal liberties for safety, the government damn well better be making me safer, not deciding to ignore my safety when someone buys their way around compliance.

A corrupt government allowed profit-motivated corporations to cut corners for its own financial gain. What is the purpose of regulation if it can be opted out of with a large enough financial influence?

If the government is going put itself forward as a moral authority and guardian of safety, then it deserves to be held accountable when it acts immorally and against the interests of safety. That is entirely orthogonal to BP's responsibility.
   94. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 07:20 PM (#3551763)
I have not watched that piece, no. As for "changing my mind about BP", my mind is open. What we have seen is furious attempts (on all sides) to divert blame, while much of what went on is unknown. As far as I can tell, there are now 4 separate governmental enquiries into what went on, and there is (no doubt) going to be extensive litigation. Not only is the truth going to come out in elaborate and painstaking detail, but there are going to be so many hearings about the spill that we'll all be sick of it. Given that, I'm very comfortable reserving judgement until we know more.
Agreed. Also, 60 minutes is not a courtroom; anybody can say anything on 60 minutes. It's not perjury to lie on 60 minutes, and hearsay is not inadmissible on 60 minutes. The most one can say is that if what was said on 60 minutes was correct, then BP is to blame.

-----

Full disclosure I'm a chemical engineer and most of my work is offshore Oil & Gas associated with the North Sea, principally Gas Processing if anyone cares.
I thought only lawyers were allowed to post on BBTF. Anyway, sounds like, unlike most of us, you might have some insight that goes beyond the media, then.
   95. Bernal Diaz has an angel on his shoulder Posted: June 06, 2010 at 07:23 PM (#3551766)

And to get to one point David made, I recall reading some place (the Economist IIRC) that there were 34 failures (severity not reported, forget the time frame) to cap wells using concrete (I guess the incident reported in the thread could cont as another) and there doesn't seem to have been any plan in place to deal with this.


One would think that after the 20th or 21st failure the invisible hand of the free market would have corrected the problem.
   96. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 06, 2010 at 07:36 PM (#3551780)
does that mean that if I didn't wait for the facts to come in then, I shouldn't wait for the facts to come in now?


It means that if the people who now hold BP responsible turn out to be wrong, they can just do like you and say, "Yeah, I sure showed spectacularly bad judgment on that one. But please take me seriously next time I opine on matters of public interest, OK?"

And at least they won't have had a hand in stealing a trillion dollars from the American taxpayer and causing the deaths of thousands of Americans.
   97. Rich Rifkin Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3551817)
"The most one can say is that if what was said on 60 minutes was correct, then BP is to blame."

I agree. Though I would conclude, "... then BP is in large part to blame." I don't think the claims made by Mike Williams absolve TransOcean (his company), Haliburton or the US government. If Williams's story is correct, I think it's fair to say that this accident was primarily the result of BP's direct orders to not follow their own standard operating procedures. (The story also mentions someone accidentally pressing a joystick which caused a problem. So unavoidable human error is a part of the picture, too.)

I don't agree with those who say the lax regulations were at the heart of the problem. The regulations seemed to be adequate. But BP did not seem to care about following them. If someone crashes his car driving 85 mph around a sharp curve where the posted limit is 55 mph, it's pointless to argue that if the speed limit had been 45 mph accidents like that would not occur. No matter what standards the government sets, people who throw all caution to the wind (which ultimately is against their own best interests) will wreck. It's just a matter of time. The management style of BP -- as shown in the Texas City Refinery explosion, as well -- was what needs to change, if Mike Williams's story holds up.
   98. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:06 PM (#3551822)
When he came in, he brought in a ton of competent people and set to fix all of the broken systems left in Bush's wake.


Unfortunately for your argument, he brought in Ken Salazar for Secretary of the Interior.
   99. BFFB Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:13 PM (#3551833)
I thought only lawyers were allowed to post on BBTF. Anyway, sounds like, unlike most of us, you might have some insight that goes beyond the media, then.


Only what I've picked up through the grapevine and from the few well engineers I've spoken to.

I've heard from one (mentioned earlier) which made BP look quite bad and from another (who works for Halliburton) as near enough say that they made some pretty big foul ups as well.

And the contractor operating the rig can say "no" to the client, I've done so myself when designing something for a client because according to the company I work for design rules it is deemed unsafe. Although this may be an EU/UK legal specific as the services or equipment supplier can be held liable for unsafe practices or designs irrespective of contractual obligations.
   100. CrosbyBird Posted: June 06, 2010 at 08:14 PM (#3551835)
The regulations seemed to be adequate. But BP did not seem to care about following them. If someone crashes his car driving 85 mph around a sharp curve where the posted limit is 55 mph, it's pointless to argue that if the speed limit had been 45 mph accidents like that would not occur. No matter what standards the government sets, people who throw all caution to the wind (which ultimately is against their own best interests) will wreck.

More accurately: BP specifically requested the freedom to act outside the regulations, and the government granted license to ignore them.

If someone petitions the government (with substantial financial incentive, no less) to drive at 85 mph around a sharp curve, and the government grants an exception even though it clearly is unsafe, is the government really behaving responsibly?

I don't see how you could find the government blameless here. And as noted, some of these exemptions were granted by Ken Salazar, an Obama appointee.
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