The Exxon Valdez is going to pale in comparison

farley3k wrote:

Their new argument will be that there are "new completely safe ways to drill!"

Come on, people still argue after Chernobyl that nuclear power is can be completely safe!

Nuclear power is, in most important ways, far safer than drilling for oil or for that matter burning coal for power generation.

Paleocon wrote:
farley3k wrote:

Their new argument will be that there are "new completely safe ways to drill!"

Come on, people still argue after Chernobyl that nuclear power is can be completely safe!

Nuclear power is, in most important ways, far safer than drilling for oil or for that matter burning coal for power generation.

They'd be wrong if they argued that using that reactor design could be completely safe.

farley3k wrote:

Their new argument will be that there are "new completely safe ways to drill!"

Come on, people still argue after Chernobyl that nuclear power is can be completely safe!

To be fair, it's easy to make the argument that it "can be" safe. Its entirely another issue to actually make it safe.

On a similar note, I hope the government puts a lock on gas prices. You know the oil companies are going to use this as an excuse to gouge the f*ck out of us.

Bear wrote:

On a similar note, I hope the government puts a lock on gas prices. You know the oil companies are going to use this as an excuse to gouge the f*ck out of us.

I actually hope they do -- short term financial pain right now, heaped on top of what I can only imagine will be an environmental disaster, would really, really go a long ways toward moving us off oil.

Bear wrote:
farley3k wrote:

Their new argument will be that there are "new completely safe ways to drill!"

Come on, people still argue after Chernobyl that nuclear power is can be completely safe!

To be fair, it's easy to make the argument that it "can be" safe. Its entirely another issue to actually make it safe.

On a similar note, I hope the government puts a lock on gas prices. You know the oil companies are going to use this as an excuse to gouge the f*ck out of us.

Sorry, but it's logically absurd to make an argument that anything is completely safe.

Safety is a relative term, not an absolute. 'Acceptable level of risk' is about as safe as you can get.

[ /engineering ]

LeapingGnome wrote:
Tkyl wrote:
Funkenpants wrote:

At least this will stop anyone pushing for more offshore oil drilling from arguing that there's no risk to the environment involved.

No, they'll still argue that there is has no risk to the environment.

What?

farley3k wrote:

Their new argument will be that there are "new completely safe ways to drill!"

Come on, people still argue after Chernobyl that nuclear power is can be completely safe!

They can always paint this as a fluke, or better still say they've learned what went wrong and will implement new designs and procedures to make sure it never happens again. And the thing is, they're right. Most oil platforms do not explode and the technology will improve.

The bottom line is that the platform was there because there was oil there. That was reason enough for them to drill and reason enough for them to continue drilling. They're oil companies. It's what they do. It might be unsustainable and harmful but it is simply what they do.

Seth wrote:
Bear wrote:

On a similar note, I hope the government puts a lock on gas prices. You know the oil companies are going to use this as an excuse to gouge the f*ck out of us.

I actually hope they do -- short term financial pain right now, heaped on top of what I can only imagine will be an environmental disaster, would really, really go a long ways toward moving us off oil.

The price spike a few years back hit aviation pretty hard as it suddenly became a lot more expensive to fly large fleets. The reaction was not to develop new fuel sources (which they had been and continue to do anyway). It was to develop more efficient systems.

LobsterMobster wrote:

The price spike a few years back hit aviation pretty hard as it suddenly became a lot more expensive to fly large fleets. The reaction was not to develop new fuel sources (which they had been and continue to do anyway). It was to develop more efficient systems.

Trust me - more efficiency in aviation is not a response to a recent price spike. It's an ongoing process driven more by maximising profit and minimising costs than as a direct response to market fluctuations. Engine companies have been working on next-gen quantum-leap technologies for the last decade. For instance, I give you the geared turbofan, which according to Wikipedia, has been in development since 1998, long before the gas price crises of the last few years.

Getting airplanes running on biofuels - now there's a direct response to the volatiliity in fuel prices.

I'd just like to throw out that Henry Ford designed his first car to run on gas, diesel or ETHANOL. Not using petroleum is not exactly ground breaking.

Oil is big big big money and a lot of people are paid a LOT of money to make sure it stays that way.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday directed that no new offshore oil drilling leases be issued unless rigs have new safeguards to prevent a repeat of the explosion that unleashed the massive spill threatening the Gulf Coast with major environmental damage.

Now he's concerned about the risk of drilling explosions. Sort of like announcing a need for more protections for miners right after a mine explosion. Can we get him to call for the need for some new safety measures in an industry before an explosion occurs?

Funkenpants wrote:

Now he's concerned about the risk of drilling explosions. Sort of like announcing a need for more protections for miners right after a mine explosion. Can we get him to call for the need for some new safety measures in an industry before an explosion occurs?

But that would be Communism/Socialism/Fascism!

Drill baby drill!

The reaction was not to develop new fuel sources (which they had been and continue to do anyway). It was to develop more efficient systems.

I thought the reaction was to charge us extortion rates for both our check in and carry on baggage?

fangblackbone wrote:
The reaction was not to develop new fuel sources (which they had been and continue to do anyway). It was to develop more efficient systems.

I thought the reaction was to charge us extortion rates for both our check in and carry on baggage?

That was my impression, as well.

My ex and I actually worked helping to clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill. I was spraying beaches, not actually scrubbing wildlife. Beaches I'd dug clams on and been fishing off since I was little. It was heartbreaking. But it also wasn't the end of the world. And I'm not sure there's much meaningful comparison between the two situations.

It sucked hard for those living right then and there for humans as well as wildlife. The local economy was S.O.L. for quite a while with the impacts on both it's main industries - tourism and fishing. But for the most part the environment compensated with a little time and careful management and so did the people of the region. They have a lot worse problems from people intercepting fish stocks and overfishing them in international waters.

Due to the remediation work, and also due to the local environment, the impact wasn't NEARLY what they said it would be. Cook Inlet is not a deadzone with the bottom of it coated in a layer of smothering asphalt. Fisheries were in better shape by the next year, and with careful management they didn't even get the nasty gaps they thought they'd get in the fisheries with the longer life cycles (salmon spend four years after they are born out in the ocean before they come back to be fished).

But a lot of that was luck. It had to do with the type of oil the ship was carrying (came from a source known for being thick and heavy so it sank faster and didn't spread as far), and also the vagaries of the local environment (seasonal weather, cold, currents, underwater geography, types of wildlife in the region), and the type of fishing (we don't have huge underwater farms - it's wild caught). I don't know how much of that kind of help we can hope for here.

Anyone got any links to any thought on this?

Quoted from the BP website:

"By this weekend the Transocean Development Driller III is scheduled to spud a relief well intended to secure the existing well. Drilling of this well is expected to take two to three months.

Preliminary estimates indicate that current efforts to contain the spill and secure the well are costing the MC252 owners about $6 million per day. This figure is expected to rise as activity increases. It is too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident. "

This is BP's work of art and if I read of any "government bailout" to help finance any of the cleanup my head is going to assplode. BP has to bear the full financial price tag. I'm also looking forward to oil companies using this cluster f_ck as an excuse to raise the price we pay at the pump.

BP is financially responsible, but it's likely there is an insurer on the hook someplace. Scratch that- not just one insurance company, but many insurance companies. So the cost will be spread among a number of different parties.

From what I've read, it sounded like BP had little, if anything, to do with the mechanics of the accident. The work was contracted out to Transocean, a company that calls itself the "world's largest offshore drilling operator." So we're not talking cut rate operation. Further, the suspicion is that the accident was caused by the failure of a part/system supplied by yet another company. let the lawsuits begin!

They are a business. When their costs go up their prices go up. That isn't gouging, that isn't illegal or even too immoral.

This is BP's work of art and if I read of any "government bailout" to help finance any of the cleanup my head is going to assplode.

NPR reported in one of their articles that BP had asked about Federal assistance and was told to pound sand. Apparently, the government had been convinced by industry over months of meetings that all the government studies that were done on platform safety meant that due diligence had been done. They are reportedly rethinking that conclusion...

Robear wrote:

NPR reported in one of their articles that BP had asked about Federal assistance and was told to pound sand.

What if BP told the government that the oil was spilled because the drilling rig was being used to trade derivatives and one of the trades blew up? That sort of excuse seems to work well on the Obama administration .

And the Bush Administration, for that matter.

That would matter to me if Bush was still the president. Though it's hard to imagine an oil company having to pretend to be from Wall Street to get his help.

Does anyone really thing BP will pay? Exxon still hasn't paid their fines for the Valdez.

I, actually, think it would be a good thing for gas prices to go up sharply and stay there for a prolonged period. If gas goes to $4.50/gallon and stays there, maybe people will start making saner decisions regarding the cars they drive.

Paleocon wrote:

I, actually, think it would be a good thing for gas prices to go up sharply and stay there for a prolonged period. If gas goes to $4.50/gallon and stays there, maybe people will start making saner decisions regarding the cars they drive.

The price has to be paid. Even if I have to pay it along with the knuckle-draggers who were yelling "Drill Baby Drill" in 2008.

Actually, with the second downed oil rig I think I might have to consider becoming a 9-11 "truther". This is the third major man-made catastrophe in the last decade that's going to involve significant govt. financial intervention on behalf of the wealthy along with drastic changes in govt. control over our lives. Hmmm...

Edwin wrote:

Does anyone really thing BP will pay? Exxon still hasn't paid their fines for the Valdez.

I think there is going to be greater public pressure to make BP pay for the cleanup than there was with Exxon. It's a foreign company and conservatives don't want this derailing the drill, baby, drill ideology. It seems to me they won't have a problem throwing them under the bus for this as long as it doesn't result in substantive long term changes in safety and environmental protections.

Paleocon wrote:

I, actually, think it would be a good thing for gas prices to go up sharply and stay there for a prolonged period. If gas goes to $4.50/gallon and stays there, maybe people will start making saner decisions regarding the cars they drive.

My decision to drive an old Jeep was perfectly sane considering Insurance, Gas and repair costs. What they need to do is internalize the externalities of the gas cost.

What the government needs to do is pave the way to make it insanely lucrative to develop a non-petroleum based alternative that's practical and affordable.

ie the first automaker to develop a "plug in" car en masse that sells for $20k and doesn't kill people won't have to pay taxes for 10 years.

The second rig was an old, small "inland mobile drilling rig", which was being towed to a scrap yard. Nothing like the big blowout.

farley3k wrote:

They are a business. When their costs go up their prices go up. That isn't gouging, that isn't illegal or even too immoral.

It is when their prices go up because they f***ed up. I didn't f*** up. Why should I have to pay the cost of fixing their mistake that they made on the way to maximizing profits?

Bear wrote:

What the government needs to do is pave the way to make it insanely lucrative to develop a non-petroleum based alternative that's practical and affordable.

ie the first automaker to develop a "plug in" car en masse that sells for $20k and doesn't kill people won't have to pay taxes for 10 years.

Electricity doesn't come from nowhere. An electric economy is a nuclear economy.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Electricity doesn't come from nowhere. An electric economy is a nuclear economy.

Windmills, solar, hydro etc. There are non nuclear alternatives to producing electricity.

We need to stop making excuses and start finding solutions.

Bear wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:

Electricity doesn't come from nowhere. An electric economy is a nuclear economy.

Windmills, solar, hydro etc. There are non nuclear alternatives to producing electricity.

We need to stop making excuses and start finding solutions.

There's nothing wrong with nuclear.