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June 15, 2010

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Except for you quoting the person who said, "You don't ground all airplanes because one crashes," I pretty much agree with you. People do expect government to solve nearly everything, but as Thomas Jefferson said, "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is also big enough to take everything you have."

However, an oil spill is not like a plane crash. A crash of a single jet airplane is usually not going to kill countless species of plants and wildlife, pollute beaches and marshes -- perhaps for decades -- and destroy the livelihoods of thousands of people.

This environmental catastophe should signal the death knell of deep water drilling.

Allison,

I, like the oil companies, hope that deep sea drilling is dead! We'd love to be drilling in shallow water where all the problems we're running into the deep sea don't exist.

Too bad obtaining oil in a safe efficient manner is illegal.

Nice job, Dave. Let's compare the oil spill with Katrina. In other words; something we knew was coming to something that we had no idea was coming.

Furthermore, since the BP disaster was caused in large part by corporate negligence borne of lax oversight by the MMS (for which Obama and Bush are both to blame) and Katrina was a true natural disaster, your attempted analogy breaks down even further.

I tend to agree with you, though, that Obama should NEVER have taken any responsibility for this other than having had appointed Ken Salazar, a guy who was obviously in bed with Big Oil.

But here's a question for you: Do you think the Federal Government should be tasked with providing oversight and regulation on things like mandatory protection against BOV failures? Or should that be the purview of the states - and if so, how does that work?

Mike,

I'll go ahead and answer the question about the state by state regulation.

I do think each state should have control over the standards of drilling and pumping oil in their state. After all, we have 50 states with 50 different standards of engineering.

For example, California's standards are set for the fact that they have frequent earthquakes. Those standards don't makes sense in places where earthquakes are less likely to occur.

I think each state would know best what conditions in their borders exist and what specific measures are needed to protect the public.

When it comes to off shore drilling in the gulf, I think the standards should be set by the states bordering the body of water since any problems could damage any one of the states in the area.

I do believe that corporations are naturally and inherently interested in not letting these types of accidents occur. It's not that they care about the people living near their working areas, it's the profits they care about. Explosions and spills don't equal profits.

Believe it or not, obtaining oil and gas from the earth is a very dangerous endeavor. Most all of the standards adopted by our federal government were first used by the industry to protect their profits. Accidents do happen and much is learned from each one.

I truly believe that any government inspector is inadequately trained to monitor these operations. I very rarely run into inspectors at any level who are as proficient in my work as I am. I figure that would be the case in a much more complicated operation like deep sea drilling as well. We're simply left to the reality that anybody who is an expert on these activities are already probably working for the oil companies for more money than they can make from the government.

I think the BOV has become what everyone thinks is the central solution to any drilling problem. That's simply not the case. It's an integral part of the safety system, but it has equals all through the process. The whole process has room for massive failures and I hope technology helps to reduce number of parts capable of critical failure.

Then again, I don't drill for oil for a living... Solutions may be out there that haven't been implemented.

As I type this 10's of thousands of engineers,IT and others in the field of science are losing their jobs in Texas,Alabama and Florida while at the same time the oil industry is about to collapse due to a drilling moratorium and tourism in the Gulf States is in serious danger of collapse. We have our President to thank for this.

And we have BP to thank for the thousands of dead animals and plant life, the loss of thousands of jobs that were once held by fisherman, loss of tourism as people cancel their trips to the Gulf.

And Obama is NOT to blame for that.

OF course he is. He sat on his hands before doing a single thing. He refused help from other nations. He messed up the process by introducing politics into it.
He simply failed to lead.

Just curious what everyone thinks about BP being ordered by The President to establish and fund a reserve for paying damages.

Personally, I think that power traditionally belongs to a congressionally established regulatory body, or our judicial system following a civil trial.

While I agree with the end result - was this done properly within the structure of our political system.

http:\\www.collinsforcongress2010.com

It's completely ridiculous to say that Obama is responsible for anything here - other than, again, staffing the MMS with a bunch of oil industry cronies like Ken Salazar.

I do believe that corporations are naturally and inherently interested in not letting these types of accidents occur. It's not that they care about the people living near their working areas, it's the profits they care about. Explosions and spills don't equal profits.

Dave, I think you're right on about the profit motive, but you miss the point in that this is an industry (among others, more later) that has proven time and again that it is willing to play the averages knowing that the occasional spill is likely to be small or, even if catastrophic, likely to be in an area of the world where there is little to no likelihood of being publicized or penalized (see Nigeria).

I see this as a failure of the baby boomer generation that reared its head in the financial crisis as well. What we have are C-level folks who have been conditioned to take the quick profit at the expense of the future health of the company, the financial 'environment' and, of course, the natural environment.

We're simply left to the reality that anybody who is an expert on these activities are already probably working for the oil companies for more money than they can make from the government.

Well, sort of. What you really have is an unhealthy melding of government and industry (crony capitalism, if you will) which manifests itself in systemic failure to enact or enforce regulations, not to become a broken record, but just like we saw in the financial crisis.

Where we seem to differ, Dave is that you tend to give the benefit of the doubt to these corporations even when they're guilty of the most egregious risky behavior and you blame the government when, in reality, industry has so infiltrated the regulatory function that it is hamstrung to the point of irrelevance.

A few points of fact:

1) Obama is not "forcing" BP to set up the escrow account. He can't. It was strongly encouraged after they suggested it. Tim Collins is disingenuous for repeating that false talking point.

2) Lisa T needs to back her allegations that help from other countries was refused by Obama. Sounds like another falsehood and I've yet to see her provide any proof. Besides did he sit on his hands or introduce politics into it? How would he do both? That's just silly.

3) The ridiculous assertion that there are TENS OF THOUSANDS of people losing their jobs based on a drilling moratorium is also a canard. Sure, people will be affected, but MMS needs to be cleaned up/out and once a proper regulatory function is established - drill, baby drill.

4) BP was negligent. The events of the days leading up to the explosion have been chronicled and you can bet your ass that someone is going down on criminal charges. Who is politicizing this?

Mike
I was neither repeating a talking point, nor being disingenuous. I am a student of US History and asked the question in all seriousness after reflecting upon the facts as reported in the news.

How was the $20 billion figure derived?

Does the establishment of this fund preclude further claims beyong this amount?

If you have the answers let me know

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