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Keeping oil blame away from White House shores

Mark Mardell | 22:01 UK time, Friday, 14 May 2010

Weather forecasts are suggesting that winds may blow the oil slick lurking off the Gulf of Mexico to shore this weekend.

President Barack Obama is doing his best to make sure that the wave of blame that is bound to follow does not lap against the doors of the White House. He has said:

"I saw first-hand the anger and frustration felt by our neighbors in the Gulf. And let me tell you, it is an anger and frustration that I share as president. And I'm not going to rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of the Gulf are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods."

Then, he turned his attention to the companies which were operating the rig, and whose senior staff seemed to blame the accident on failures by others:

"I know BP has committed to pay for the response effort, and we will hold them to their obligation. I have to say, though, I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter. You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else. The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly wasn't."

BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, has responded:

"We absolutely understand and share President Obama's sense of urgency over the length of time this complex task is taking. We want to thank the president and his administration for their ongoing engagement in this effort."
The president did not spare the government. Or, at least, he did not spare the administration of George W Bush.


"For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cosy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill. It seems as if permits were too often issued based on little more than assurances of safety from the oil companies. That cannot and will not happen any more."

The hurt that disasters inflict on the people directly in their path is more important than the harm done to political reputations. But no American political operator can be insensitive to the huge damage done to Mr Bush's reputation by the perception that he was insensitive, tardy and out of touch in dealing with Hurricane Katrina.

President Obama has got in trouble in the past for playing it too cool, reacting pragmatically and intellectually rather than channelling the emotions of his country. Now he is taking no chances. This is a disaster but he is trying to ensure it is not his disaster.

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  • 1. At 10:56pm on 14 May 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    "The president did not spare the government. Or, at least, he did not spare the administration of George W Bush."

    He didn't even address the administration of George W. Bush. The quote from the President that follows this sentence doesn't single out the previous administration at all. Americans know that full well that our government has been in bed with the oil companies for a lot longer than a decade. Heck, the Teapot Dome scandal happened during the Harding administration, in 1920!

    The People haven't shown much interest in seriously regulating the oil companies. I see this as the chickens coming home to roost.

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  • 2. At 11:06pm on 14 May 2010, Lawndart wrote:

    The "Cozy" relationship can't actually end. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Corporate Donations to Candidates cannot be banned, citing "Freedom of Speech" constraints... I hope I am wrong, but I suspect that as long as money buys access, the situation will not change. As long as the money for Campaigns come from Business, it will be a "Pro-Business" Government. One of my favorite Authors once remarked about Politicians that "If they didn't have larceny in their hearts, they would not be feeding at the Public trough in the first place", or something to that effect... I am cynical enough to apply that to all parties.

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  • 3. At 11:21pm on 14 May 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    That's because some people are calling this "Obama's Katrina."

    In many ways, this disaster is worse than Hurricane Katrina, because it is a man-made disaster and could have been prevented.

    I blame Bush for not regulating and I blame Obama for not cleaning it up better and not taking action sooner after it happened.

    In both Hurricane Katrina and the recent oil spill, the govt. was slow to respond.

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  • 4. At 00:00am on 15 May 2010, xpat73 wrote:

    I don't see this as a Republican or Democrat issue.
    You don't get elected in Louisiana unless you take oil money from the companies...period. That's true if you are the Republican Governor Jindal or the Dem Senator Lanrieu.

    This is a classic example of lack of regulation making the oil companies and elected officials "pennywise pound foolish."

    A special cut off valve would have cost $500,000, but was "too expensive." This from oil companies, one of whom recently gave a CEO a $400 million retirement package.

    It's also woth pointing out that just two weeks before the disaster Obama said that he was going to promote more off shore drilling in US waters....and full disclosue...I voted for Obama..but it is a bit rich for him to be getting all Greenpeace right now.

    You need regulation because companies are merely focussing on the next quaters' profits to please Wall Street and not at the big picture. We need good oil companies...but we also need proper regulation.

    By the way, I wonder how many Louisiana residents are wishing they had a bit more "government in their lives" now!

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  • 5. At 00:07am on 15 May 2010, vilma82 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 00:50am on 15 May 2010, enzo11 wrote:

    True that this is not a Democrat or Republican issue, but as always, you can expect both sides of the aisle to behave as if it were. Obama is acting no differently.

    In his case, if people want to cry about lack of regulation and the "cozy" relationship between the regulators and Big Oil, and try to lay the blame solely on Bush, they must remember that Obama has been in office 1 1/2 years now and has had plenty of time to at least start cleaning out the bad apples.

    Instead, he has done nothing.

    Which is pretty much his modus operandi so far 0 stand out of the way, do nothing,and then take all the credit if things go his way.

    Even Slick Willie wasn't this good at dodgin' and duckin' .

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  • 7. At 01:18am on 15 May 2010, S Brennan wrote:

    Some of my friends complained when I mocked Obama on APRIL 1st for, being against offshore drilling during the primaries and then for Offshore drilling* as president. I brought this up again after the spill, where again people defended Obama, almost everybody I know has stated that this BP oil spill wasn't directly his fault...except it turns out, Obama IS DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS OIL SPILL!

    In 2009, the Obama administration intervened to support the reversal of a court order that would have halted offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar**, who has long had close ties to the industry, specifically cited BP’s Deepwater Horizon operation as one that should be allowed to go forward, according to a group involved in the court case.

    A Washington DC Appeals Court ruled in April 2009 that the Bush administration’s five-year plan for offshore oil and gas drilling (covering 2007 to 2012) was not based on a proper review of the environmental impact of the drilling. Only days before the ruling, the Obama administration had granted BP a “categorical exclusion,” exempting it from an environmental impact study for the Deepwater Horizon project.
    The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry trade group, intervened to reverse the court order, and was backed by the administration.

    Kierán Suckling, http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/, involved in the original lawsuit, said that Salazar “filed a special motion asking the court to lift the injunction, and he cited the BP drilling several times by name in the request.”

    *Even since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon less than three weeks ago, the Interior Department’s Minerals Management Services (MMS) has continued to grant “categorical exclusions” to oil and gas companies, allowing them to bypass environmental studies. The administration has publicly announced that no new offshore drilling grants will be issued until a review, to be completed by the end of the month. Nevertheless, at least 27 exemptions have been granted, including one for a BP exploration plan for drilling at more than 4,000 feet. Another exemption was granted to Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for an exploration plan at more than 9,000 feet. The Deepwater Horizon was drilling at about 5,000 feet.

    **The Obama administration’s appointed Salazar as Interior Secretary, as a Senator for Colorado Salazar supported expanded drilling. Salazar received money from BP, and when he became Interior Secretary he brought several BP officials on his staff.

    May 10 at 3:14pm [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 8. At 01:19am on 15 May 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    Obama adminstration spin control tactic #1: blame the Bush adminstration. That one is getting less and less credible each time he uses it.

    He blamed the Bush administration for the big corporate bailouts--then upped the amounts when he was in office.
    He blamed Bush for the Patriot Act--then made it permanent instead of letting the sunset provision take effect.
    He blamed Bush for running an illegal prison camp at Guantanamo which he promised to close--and which is still in operation today.
    He blamed Bush for not effectively engaging the North Koreans and Iranians on the issue of nuclear weapons development--and found that there was very little a president of the United States could do if they didn't want to be engaged on the subject.
    He blamed Bush for ineffective border controls and immigration policies--but his failure to come up with anything better now has individual border states starting to take matters into their own hands.
    He proposes new offshore drilling then blames the Bush adminsistration for lax inspections when the policy blows up in his face--over a year and a half after the Bush administration left office.

    Hello? Mr. President? We're tired of hearing excuses why everything is your predecessor's fault. You are sitting in the big chair in the Oval Office now and as Harry Truman observed, the buck stops at your desk. It's not the Bush administration that the voters will hold accountable for your success or failure in 2012.

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  • 9. At 03:03am on 15 May 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    7. S. Brennan.
    8. Scott

    Notwithstanding S. Brennan's damning commentary, it is still true that:

    Big Oil did its level best to prevent Senator Obama from becoming President. It was not the crowd at the Democratic National Convention that was chanting "drill, baby, drill".

    Second, in terms of the manner in which his campaign was funded, i.e., with an abnormally large number of small donations by individuals over the internet, Senator Obama was, and is, at least arguably less beholden to the oil industry for his election than any of his Presidential predecessors in my lifetime. In the very first few days of his term in office he raised fuel efficiency standards by 60 % to roughly 40 mpg from 25 mpg. Both the auto and oil industries fought against any such increase for over 30 years.

    ------------

    A major objective of the current administration is to do something constructive about climate change. The Oil industry is as opposed to any realistic attempt to address climate change as slave owners were inclined to come to terms with abolitionists in the 1850's.

    In dealing with health care President Obama in essence bribed the health care industry and the insurance industry to try to ring some of his opponents onside. Although his success was limited, and the health care bill is far less than what it ought to be, the critical thing he achieved was to get the issue to move off top dead center.

    His efforts to compromise with big oil seem to reflect a similar strategy, although they make him look hypocritical. He wants a climate change deal, of some kind, to get the ball rolling. So he has tried to offer some carrots to both big oil and the nuclear industry.

    In many ways, this spill unchains him from at least part of those compromises, or shifts the balance point a fair distance. Everybody knows the oil industry already hates him. Everybody knows he agreed to offshore drilling "under duress" in a sense, and now public opinion has moved far enough to permit him to reel that one back a ways, and to insist on far tougher regulation of the industry. For the first time in at least 30 years, there is the possibility that a President may indeed get tough with the oil industry. The public is in a mood for it, too.


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  • 10. At 03:05am on 15 May 2010, mouth_of_the_south wrote:

    Yes, the oil companies are in bed with all the politicians down here in the Gulf South. They have really taken over now that the Republicans have began to dominate. Because big oil provides the kind of money that talks, really talks and makes things happen. Obama has nothing to cover for. The policies have been in place for quite some time. It has been close to impossible to try and challenge the oil industry and the safety of the offshore oil rigs. From the roughnecks on the oil rigs, to the engineers and the geologists, people around here know the dangers. They just haven't wanted to translate that into real possiblities. Because the money is good and no one wants to hear from the "whiney" doomsayers. Please, don't focus on Obama. He seems to be handling the situation just as well as can be expected. Of course he inherited the problem from Bush. I mean, it is no coincidence that the Bush family fortune came from Texas Oil. The real truth is that these types of deep water oil rigs should never be allowed, anywhere. The risk is just too great. In fact, the risks are barely known and it should be plain to see that a solution to such risks has never been worked out. The sobering fact is the rich culture and traditions of South Lousiana may now, finally, be forever lost.

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  • 11. At 03:54am on 15 May 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Secretary Salazar is certainly on hook for this. He's from my home, Colorado. We've had history with MMS:

    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_10431998

    http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2009/01/26/daily56.html

    With regard to the latter, Salazar failed miserably. He should consider resigning.

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  • 12. At 03:57am on 15 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 13. At 04:12am on 15 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    President Obama was not referring to the petroleum industry's relationship with politicians but with civil servants who work in a branch of the Department of the Interior, I think something related to minerals. These are the people who issued permits to the oil companies to allow them to drill without all of the required documentation such as environmental impact statements. There may be corruption but it's not the usual political corruption and it may very well result in criminal prosecutions of these civil servants if it can be proven they received bribes.

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  • 14. At 04:28am on 15 May 2010, Phaedra wrote:

    At least Obama prefers Duff's to Anchor Bar.

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  • 15. At 07:03am on 15 May 2010, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    Obama is a performance artist (sometimes I wish he were a mime, but he can't be silent for a moment). The oil disaster is a distractor, something that is useful in the kind of theatre Obama presents. With Obama if he feints left, watch for the jab.

    Obama has just doubled the size of the MMS and the argument that permit granting and inspection should be SEPARATE can be applied to MANY government agencies, so don't expect it to stop with the Dept. of the Interior. Folks we just got ourselves a whole lot more overpaid, underworked federal employees, and gosh, Ken Salazar will need some more deputies, and staff and throw in some private jets. Congress can sit down and write a bunch of new laws and regulations and billions of dollars will be spent. Why? Because there was corruption and collusion in Ken Salazar's department...or was it indiffernce, and complacency? If it's just another badly managed government department, then doubling its size is not a solution.

    Obama is going to use this disaster to promote a FOUL Carbon Tax. These wells were being drilled and capped. They weren't going to send that oil to our refineries (who magically find that they have too much capacity)...big oil and OBAMA are hand in hand working to keep the price of energy sky high and drive it HIGHER STILL will windmills that cannot produce power economically, by Carbon tax which will come out of your utility bills, by this mandating green energy. And at every step of the way, government grows...and government is EXPENSIVE.

    We've spent millions of dollars flying Obama and just about every government official who wants a junket down to New Orleans for an Oyster Po'boy down there to...what exactly? Show the flag?

    While the media focuses on the oil spill, the heat is off Goldman Sachs...the civil suit isn't going anywhere..the criminal investigation, forget that...a cozy and slimy deal is being worked out with Wall Street, and hey, guess what, a GIGANTIC NEW GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRACY will be born...a screaming billion dollar baby filled with overpaid, underworked government employees who will probably "telecommute" to their non-jobs keeping consumers safe.

    While the media focuses on the oil spill, things aren't looking so good in Iraq. While the media focuses on the oil spill things aren't looking so good in Afghanistan. Obama is making the most of this disaster...workin' the crowds.

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  • 16. At 07:14am on 15 May 2010, S Brennan wrote:

    Interestedforeigner,

    In spite of what you wrote [see below] Obama was BP's biggest recipient. In the US, politicians are bought and paid for..or shot.

    "Notwithstanding S. Brennan's damning commentary, it is still true that:Big Oil did its level best to prevent Senator Obama from becoming President. It was not the crowd at the Democratic National Convention that was chanting "drill, baby, drill"."

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  • 17. At 11:10am on 15 May 2010, TheInvisibleGnome wrote:

    Why doesn't the United States admit that its addiction to oil is the real problem? Are the highs worth the risks? They need to accept that they have a problem and work out how to wean themselves off it. The oil companies are just meeting a demand.

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  • 18. At 11:19am on 15 May 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    Ref #17

    I agree addiction to big il is a problem, especially foriegn sources.

    But alot of the critics don't want to do anything but encourage people to use less. Note that is the common people, Al gore the Kennedys still and the U.N climate head can have as big a carbon foot print as poossible.

    But they want no nuclear, no wind power and no safe hoil or exploitation of the oil sands.

    To the people of Israel: Happy Independence Day

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  • 19. At 11:35am on 15 May 2010, unwise wrote:

    Health & Safety, never mind the oil what about the eleven lost lives and their families.

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  • 20. At 12:27pm on 15 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 18, Magic

    "But alot of the critics don't want to do anything but encourage people to use less. Note that is the common people, Al gore the Kennedys still and the U.N climate head can have as big a carbon foot print as poossible."

    The problem is not the people that advocate greater efficiencies in vehicles and houses, which is part of the solution, but the ones that are determined to protect and expand the interests of oil companies.

    Energy independence can not be achieved while we insist on driving gas guzzlers, neglect and/or reject public transportation, drive when we could easily walk to the corner grocery store, or put up impediments to research for alternative energy sources to ensure the status quo is sustained as long as there is a drop of petroleum underground.

    Wind and solar are, indeed, part of the solution and they would reduce our dependence on oil, but they not going to make us energy independent and neither is nuclear power. We, the consumers, have to change the way we behave or we are bound to depend on foreign oil for decades to come.

    Politicians can propose or oppose alternatives, and give advice, but until we change our habits and become more concerned about the environment we live in and the state of our economy nothing will ever change. I'll end by saying that blaming those who have defended the environment and championed energy independence for years does not add anything positive and, if anything, it accentuates our refusal to consider even the mildest solutions.

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  • 21. At 1:15pm on 15 May 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    Quote: "I saw first-hand the anger and frustration felt by our neighbors in the Gulf. And let me tell you, it is an anger and frustration that I share as president….”
    Wow, that's powerful stuff!
    I might even believe it except: The Deepwater Horizon explosion is the result of decades of “deregulation,” which proclaimed that the “free market” could best regulate itself. Beginning in the late 1970s, the US government, under both Democratic & Republican administrations, has worked to systematically eliminate all constraints on corporate profit-making...just as both parties did with banking regulation.
    I don't know where the leadership of United States of America is going, but it isn't towards the American People and sure won't lift their boat.
    Quote: "I have to say, though, I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter…”
    More powerful stuff!
    May I repeat: The Deepwater Horizon explosion is the result of decades of “deregulation,” which proclaimed that the “free market” could best regulate itself. Beginning in the late 1970s, the US government, under both Democratic & Republican administrations, has worked to systematically eliminate all constraints on corporate profit-making...just as both parties did with banking regulation.
    BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, has responded:
    "We absolutely understand and share President Obama's sense of urgency over the length of time this complex task is taking. We want to thank the president and his administration for their ongoing engagement in this effort."
    The President and his administration have been enjoying an incestuous relationship with MMS and the oil industry. Obama was in fact the top recipient of BP “employee donations” in the 2008 election cycle, and the company has mobilized tens of millions in a massive lobbying campaign that has brought on board such powerful political insiders as Democratic Party Kingmaker John Podesta. Current CIA director Leon Panetta has also served on BP’s “external advisory council.”
    On going relationship, not quite.
    On going incestuous relationship, exactly!
    In buisness after business, the plot is the same - tried & true e.g. oil drilling, mining and of course, the finance industry.
    Indeed, the eruption of toxic oil from the bottom of the sea has its parallel in the eruption of toxic assets that set off a financial crisis in 2008. Led by the Obama Administration, national governments responded to this disaster, by bailing out those responsible — the financial elite.
    Quote: "President Obama has got in trouble in the past for playing it too cool, reacting pragmatically and intellectually rather than channelling the emotions of his country."
    President Obama has got in trouble in the past for not demonstrating that he gives a damn; so, this time he's really over the top, being slick!

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  • 22. At 1:27pm on 15 May 2010, crash wrote:

    A few weeks ago the president was pushing to expand drilling in the gulf and off the coast of the Carolinas and in the face of this he is against drilling and of course it's George Bushes fault ? Is this guy ever going to be honest about anything.He has saddled our children and childrens children through his massive bailout schemes,hopefully before long we can get this dope out of office and go back to being a free country.

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  • 23. At 1:28pm on 15 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 9, InterestedForeigner

    "For the first time in at least 30 years, there is the possibility that a President may indeed get tough with the oil industry. The public is in a mood for it, too."

    I agree with everything you said, except for the last phrase. The horrible oil spill in the Gulf has increased our level of awareness and made a lot of people consider the consequences of offshore drilling, but I doubt people will rally behind President Obama if he proposes real - and enforceable - regulation to minimize risk in the future.

    The drill baby drill crowd may be silent at the moment but they have not changed their mind on this issue. Most importantly, the GOP has concluded that the best way to regain control of Congress is to oppose anything President Obama proposes and this is certainly not going to be an exception to that rule.

    Healthcare reform, such as it was, is an albatross hanging around Democrats necks, the compromises being reached to get Republican support on energy reform will make it equally meaningless, financial reform is likely to end up the same way, and the only compromise the deregulation crowd would accept is less not more regulation...regardless of how many oil spills we have or how many unscrupulous deals take place in Wall Street.

    Yes, President Obama has raised the bar and made some inroads, but progress has been tenuous and, even worse, it may all be for not if President Obama takes the bait and pursues immigration reform. If he does he will be a one term President.

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  • 24. At 1:34pm on 15 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 3, Lucy

    "In both Hurricane Katrina and the recent oil spill, the govt. was slow to respond"

    The government responded immediately to the oil spill, the problem is that the equipment and techniques being used are inadequate for a spill of this magnitude. We simply don't have the resources or knowledge to prevent the damage it is causing.

    Hopefully the drill baby drill folks will take their blinders off and consider the consequences of what they are advocating, and hopefully President Obama will show more backbone and oppose new offshore drilling the way he did during the presidential campaign and his first year in office.

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  • 25. At 2:16pm on 15 May 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #24
    Hopefully the drill baby drill folks will take their blinders off and consider the consequences of what they are advocating, and hopefully President Obama will show more backbone and oppose new offshore drilling the way he did during the presidential campaign and his first year in office.
    __________________

    we should not panic and let the evironmentalists who lived in ivory tower dictate energy policy.

    Drilling is going to continue in the Gulf even if the U.S puts a moratorium on it.

    So drill baby drill!

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  • 26. At 2:33pm on 15 May 2010, bossmj wrote:

    One of the first things that the president has to do, is to start to restore a sense of confidence in the United States of America. Not just in America but the world over.
    With respect to the World, I think Obama is making tangible progress. Back in the States, for any number or reasons why his message is dismissed without digestion, he hasn't made any headway, at least amongst the peasantry [used to having pre-digested ideas shoved down them] to make any sort of impact.
    nb. I say peasantry not in a derogatory fashion.
    A chemical engineer trained in the UK, worked for Barclays then Transco then over to the States - where investment in research is more viable than in Europe [+ attendant remuneration is considerably higher and, it has better weather], I was on the 'midnight train to Georgia' in the late 90's. The dot com years. When, with a bit of an education [preferably European] you wrote your own cheque.
    A dizzying experience to start with. Never could figure out why the natives weren't so lucky. Slowly but surely, the lights have come on and the 'sight' is less than pleasant. The collective conscious is in dire need of 'mind defibrillator' intervention. People don't think. They just spout unconsidered statements with no foundation in reality. Some choice 'contributions' are:
    *Obama is a performance artist (sometimes I wish he were a mime, but he can't be silent for a moment)…
    *Obama is going to use this disaster to promote a FOUL Carbon Tax
    *His efforts to compromise with big oil seem to reflect a similar strategy, although they make him look hypocritical. He wants a climate change deal, of some kind, to get the ball rolling. So he has tried to offer some carrots to both big oil and the nuclear industry. etc
    These 'experts' have no first hand experience on what's going on in the Whitehouse nor what the spill is all about. For people that have never met with the President, let alone are not privy to the machinations of government, astounding how cocksure [1 : feeling perfect assurance sometimes on inadequate grounds 2 : marked by overconfidence or presumptuousness : cocky.] they are in their conclusions.
    Pop quiz for those violently opposed to the statement;
    Define what your understanding of the accident is. Considering that the sunken rig caused the problem, conceptualise your understanding of what went wrong?
    This problem cannot be fixed if we don't know what the problem is. Why don't you tell us what we are in to?
    Of special humiliation for me is that people in the middle east have a better concept of what's going on. My people [duo] I don't know what's wrong with my people. It came as a shock to learn that 85% of the population didn't know what 'BP' stood for. {Not the worst because, someone once asked me if Europe was a 'State' in 'England'}
    I cannot post a link here but anyone willing to can find an animation in 'everyday speak' that would put paid to most of the statements contributed here. I'm sure the founding Fathers, when they legislated the First amendment, were not proposing dissemination of nonsense.
    This business {to use rather indelicate phrasing, is akin to kicking the can down the road}
    Just because you can get online does not mean you have to 'contribute'. Allegorically, just because you can touch the keys of a piano does not mean you can play the Piano!
    Stop the manure/vitriol about POTUS and let's leave the problem and solution to the real experts. There is no conspiracy involving the white house. These spills happen when operators make mistakes. Last I looked, Obama has no degree in engineering nor does he have vested interest in the oil trade.
    This current spill, the rig collapsed to the bottom of the ocean taking the riser {visualise a pipe connected to the bottom of a rig (a rig is that platform that is visible above water) which is used to draw oil to the surface - to the rig} The issue now is that when the rig fell to the ocean bed, the riser DID NOT detach as designed. Instead, it collapsed in a series of bends and twists. These are the cause of the oil spill!

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  • 27. At 2:33pm on 15 May 2010, McJakome wrote:

    22. At 1:27pm on 15 May 2010, crash wrote:
    “A few weeks ago the president was pushing to expand drilling in the gulf and off the coast of the Carolinas…get this dope out of office and go back to being a free country.”

    What, by electing a brainless bimbo whose slogan is, “Drill, baby drill?” Not to mention the bimbo’s party and its’ most recent presidents were and are completely big oil.
    My evaluation grade for post #22 is:
    Intelligence level 0 [F]
    Logic 0 [F]
    Fairness 0 [F]
    Rationality 0 [F]
    Education level [kindergarden]

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  • 28. At 2:43pm on 15 May 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    16. At 07:14am on 15 May 2010, S Brennan.

    What remarkable irony.

    Even though that be true, I still say that Senator Obama was not the Oil Industry's choice for President.

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  • 29. At 2:45pm on 15 May 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    22. At 1:27pm on 15 May 2010, crash wrote:

    "... hopefully before long we can get this dope out of office and go back to being a free country."

    ____________

    How is America any less a free country today than it was on November 3, 2007 ?

    What rights did you as a citizen of the United States have on November 3, 2007 that you do not have today?

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  • 30. At 2:57pm on 15 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 25, Magic

    "Drilling is going to continue in the Gulf even if the U.S puts a moratorium on it.

    So drill baby drill"

    There should be greater focus on efforts to save our environment and preserve our national treasures. If the USA puts in place a moratorium on NEW offshore drilling in our territorial waters I can assure you that none will take place. The Coast Guard will make sure that does not happen.

    The moratorium does not affect our ability to extract oil from existing wells. It was declared shortly after this latest environmental disaster took place to assess the situation, determine the exact cause (s) of the spillage, and ensure adequate safety precautions are in place to minimize the probability of a reccurrence.

    You are in good company. Your hero, Sarah Palin, reiterated her support for offshore drilling a couple of days after this disaster took place and showed little to no concern over the horrible damage done to our environment, fauna and flora; or the economic calamity it represents for fishermen, the tourist industry, and residents in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Are you aware of the fact that there are large oil deposits in the Midwest that, if tapped, would pose minimal danger to our environment? IMHO, our focus should be on less consumption and investment in alternative sources of energy rather than making more cheap oil available to preserve our wasteful habits.

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  • 31. At 3:08pm on 15 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 27, JMM

    Cynicism is almost a requirement to be a member of the GOP. Unfortunately, a lot of people buy the immature and deceitful rhetoric we hear from right wing politicians and conservative media and actually believe Bush's TARP (bank bailout) was instigated by President Obama, they blame him for the stimulus package even though it - the TARP and the Fed - prevented a second great Depression, and excuse the person most responsible for the mess we are in from blame.

    Judging by what is happening throughout the country there is a good chance that Congress may fall in the hands of the most radical members of the Republican party. Even moderate Republicans are losing and being replaced with far right candidates endorsed by the Tea Party. God help the USA.

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  • 32. At 3:19pm on 15 May 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #30
    There should be greater focus on efforts to save our environment and preserve our national treasures. If the USA puts in place a moratorium on NEW offshore drilling in our territorial waters I can assure you that none will take place. The Coast Guard will make sure that does not happen.

    (Right now China and Mexico are drilling in the gulf. Territorial waters are irrelevant if there is a spill it could still reach the gulf coast)

    The moratorium does not affect our ability to extract oil from existing wells. It was declared shortly after this latest environmental disaster took place to assess the situation, determine the exact cause (s) of the spillage, and ensure adequate safety precautions are in place to minimize the probability of a reccurrence.

    You are in good company. Your hero, Sarah Palin, reiterated her support for offshore drilling a couple of days after this disaster took place and showed little to no concern over the horrible damage done to our environment, fauna and flora; or the economic calamity it represents for fishermen, the tourist industry, and residents in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Are you aware of the fact that there are large oil deposits in the Midwest that, if tapped, would pose minimal danger to our environment? IMHO, our focus should be on less consumption and investment in alternative sources of energy rather than making more cheap oil available to preserve our wasteful habits.

    (First Sarah Palin is not my hero but she would be doing a far better job than the clueless buffon at 1600 Penn, we are not going to cosume less that is a reality. I would like to see it but it is not going to happen. So every avenue has to be explored offshore drilling, building nuclear plants green technology etc)

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  • 33. At 3:33pm on 15 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    President Obama has said that BP will pay for every cent of the cleanup. The law which extends the liability from 75 million to 10 billion I think will have no problem passing Congress and I believe the Supreme Court will rule it is not an ex-post-facto law which is one that is retroactive but merely a modification to an existing law. Fair or not, I think that law will stand and BP will in fact bear the full brunt of the finances. I heard some clips of the oil company executives testimony in front of congress and the oil executive for BP seemed to draw the line at lost state tax revenues resuling from the impact on business. Anyone want to bet who will win? I don't think BP has a single friend in the United States right now aprart from its employees and shareholders. Personally, if I held their stock I'd sell it now.

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  • 34. At 3:56pm on 15 May 2010, bossmj wrote:

    @MagicKirin,

    Charming. I usually steer clear of ad hominem driven comments but seeing you lay into someone for their opinion, still have a long way to go. One a week should be alright.

    Albeit your contributions appear complete in thought and construction and are cognizant of fundamental structure [paragraphs], the thinking underlying your ideas is cause for alarm. Hearkens back to the last administration.

    'Planificate, plan some more, "greater focus on process and efforts" avoid, at all costs any execution as long as 'we have a plan'.

    Create a committee to plan the analysis of the plan for the "planification"

    IN YOUR OWN WORDS - "assess the situation, determine the exact cause (s) of the spillage, and ensure adequate safety precautions are in place to minimize the probability of a reccurrence".

    Assess the assesment of the plan and the planification... do you see the point i'm making? ...and you'd have the gall to call POTUS a buffoon? (sp) You'd consider replacing him with the nincompoop that's a g'mother before 50?

    Tell me, but for his hue would these still be your sentiments given how far we've come down the road to recovery? {The process will then become that, we look at the author, any factors that could impeach his/her report, extent of their research - before jumping online and evangelising it as gospel truth} Nothing is EVER what it seems.


    YOUR WORDS: Are you aware of the fact that there are large oil deposits in the Midwest that, if tapped, would pose minimal danger to our environment? IMHO, our focus should be on less consumption and investment in alternative sources of energy rather than making more cheap oil available to preserve our wasteful habits.
    -Kindly provide the source of your information. Actually, i'm a little embarassed at that one - alternative sources of energy from mid-west. Clearly you do not have a basic understanding of what it would take to make something a source of energy. Suffice it to note, it wouldn't happen in your generation. The process is a little more involved and complicated than what Palin and fixed noise regurgitate.


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  • 35. At 4:04pm on 15 May 2010, dhearn135 wrote:

    President Obama has been in office less than 1 1/2 years. Historically, there has always been a cozy relationship between big oil and big governemt. I think its a bit much to expect a President to overcome in 1 1/2 years what has been going on for decades - particularly the decades of George Senior and George Junior, who both are Texas oil businessman. I think our President has been a bit busy dealing with the financial meltdown, the economic recession, and two wars. A little perspective always helps.

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  • 36. At 4:52pm on 15 May 2010, terrrob2 wrote:

    Ms Palin, is Tony Hayward a friend of yours?
    At least we, the portion of the public who can think for ourselves, have been spared Ms Palin's quips of, "Drill, baby drill" of late. Her camp has been noticeably silent. I, for one, have been very happy and am enjoying life much more fully without having her ridiculous, tacky, and highly moronic comments not constantly in my face from the media.

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  • 37. At 5:07pm on 15 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    BBC doesn't like printing anything which suggests that negligence in this disaster might rise to the level of criminal culpability with possible prosecution but I'll bet dollars to donuts that the Attorney Generals in the affected states will be very interested in the investigation of how the accident happened and whether indifference to the potential consequences contributed to this event, even making it inevitable that it would happen sooner or later. At least one individual, a whistle blower has come forward and said he'd warned of this quite some time ago. I'll also bet that no matter how hard the oil companies try to shift the blame to the regulators who should have stopped them or known better, it will be decided probably by a court that ultimately the responsibility for this accident if it was predictable will fall on the oil companies, not on the MMS (Mineral Management Service) that failed to enforce regulations. Should a court decide on criminal prosecutions and succeed, even more civil penalties and fines could be imposed as it is easier to win a judgement in civil court after a criminal conviction. I'd sell BP now for whatever I could get for it. It looks to have a very troubled future in the aftermath. I wonder if the court will allow all of BPs past transgressions and accidents into testimony as part of a pattern of flagrant disregard for life and property in an effort to maximize profits.

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  • 38. At 5:08pm on 15 May 2010, S Brennan wrote:

    at 3:33pm on 15 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "President Obama has said that BP will pay for every cent of the cleanup. The law which extends the liability from 75 million to 10 billion I think will have no problem passing Congress and I believe the Supreme Court will rule it is not an ex-post-facto law which is one that is retroactive but merely a modification to an existing law. Fair or not, I think that law will stand and BP will in fact bear the full brunt of the finances."

    Uhmmm...The bill has already been defeated...

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  • 39. At 5:10pm on 15 May 2010, Truthfairy wrote:

    Obviously Mark didn't view Congress' session questioning the representatives of all three oil companies accusing each other, with not a single executive, in the face of such criminal negligence & abject incompetence, stepping up to take responsibility. It was disgusting to watch. Obama has never once uttered Bush's name, but I will:

    1.Deepwater Horizon rig was launched into the Gulf in 2002 - Obama was a state senator at the time.

    2.Deepwater Horizon was under BP management since then & Coast Guard records show a history of spills,equipment failure, pollution, accidents, 6 warnings, a civil penalty & violation. In 2005 there was a fire on the rig. BP is on probation for several safety violations.

    3.The rig was under 6 years of Bush administration, run by 2 Texas oilmen, that drilling policies & safety habits were in place for this rig & its operators. Don't think Obama signed the permit

    4.In 2000 the fed govt (Clinton)issued a safety alert calling for operators to have multi-layered backup, including the acoustic system, "an essential component of a deepwater drilling system", to prevent a spill. In ‘03 in response to BIG OIL pushback, the new fed govt (Bush)reversed course & ruled additional safety measures were no longer needed & acoustic system at $500,000 was “too costly” .

    http://www.bilerico.com/2010/05/oil_spill_-_a_gift_of_bushcheney_-_to_foul_entire.php

    5.A 2002 NRDC investigation found that a secretive “behind closed doors” relationship between BIG OIL & Cheney Energy Task Force resulted in GOP Energy Policy “calling for billions of dollars in corporate subsidies and the wholesale elimination of key health and environmental safeguards” http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/020327.asp

    6.The MSM became a cesspool of corruption under 8 years of Bush & Cheney Energy Policy, not Obama. Bush/Cheney enabled the corruption & lax performance habits, Obama inherited the issue to fix, and many others...including a very similar issue with mining deregulation, cozy govt relationships & safety/environmental pollution issues!

    7.It is the responsibility of the oil companies/rig operator to maintain the operation in excellent working order, ensure the safety of structure, lives, environmental safeguards & safety protocols, as well be ready with swift remedial measures in the case of a spill.

    8.An inspection conducted 6 hrs before the explosion that killed 11 declared "dangerous conditions"; gas leaking into the drill pipe & Congress uncovered several unconscionable blowout preventer equipment issues.

    9.BP was criminally unprepared, incompetent & had no idea how to stop the oil gushing out & no methodology ready. Negligence combined with insufficient government regulation & oversight enabled a preventable disaster.

    10. The law capping non-cleanup damages @ $75 mil, screwing the real victims, was GOP/GHW Bush.GOP Senators are still protecting BP & blocking Demo efforts to pass legislation to raise it.

    11. Since Day 1 Obama administration was mobilized, with Coast Guard, govt & independent scientists but the govt does not have expertise in oil drilling at 5,000 ft. Also BP kept giving false information

    12.None of 3 oil companies pay US taxes, but use Bush tax loopholes & benefit from Bush Big Oil subsidies, yet they farmed US oil & have destroyed US coastline, economy & livelihoods of US citizens.

    13. Hopefully Obama will make drastic changes, including ending $39 billion in Bush subsidies & tax cuts to Big Oil that avoids paying US tax!

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  • 40. At 5:15pm on 15 May 2010, hypocrisykiller wrote:

    I have a better solution than the oilco plan of inserting a catheter into the ruptured pipe in the hopes of retrieving the 50,000 Bbl.day gushing into the USGulf. If you can insert a pipe into the larger pipe, why not just use it to pour cement into the larger pipe until the pipe and borehole are completely plugged and the spill stopped. Isn't that what makes sense? Isn't that what Haliburton has the know-how to do?

    TWH MIT73 Chemical Engineer stardate 0515.2010

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  • 41. At 5:28pm on 15 May 2010, bossmj wrote:

    @MarcusAureliusII
    BBC doesn't like printing anything which suggests... and you have this on what authority?

    Whatever happened to thought? What's this perpetual reasoning from the general to the particular?

    You wouldn't be an 'ambulance chaser' would you? I didn't think so.

    ..."At least one individual, a whistle blower has come forward and said he'd warned of this quite some time ago"


    A first year european Chemical Process engineeering student knows this. It is called - "hazards and operability' A huge portion in the course addresses issues such as these. It's a way of life for engineers.

    Kindly speak of ONLY that which you have personal experience with. YOU FAIL,

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  • 42. At 5:34pm on 15 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    SB;

    "Uhmmm...The bill has already been defeated..."

    Before or since the spill? I don't think it will be defeated again. I don't think anyone in Congress is stupid enough to risk any chance they still have for a political career by sticking 10 billion dollars in cleanup costs to the American taxpayer instead of putting on the shoulders of a foreign oil company. Oil companies are this year's bad guys just like banks were last year's.

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  • 43. At 5:36pm on 15 May 2010, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    This in no way compares to Katrina, where people were dying by the hour and getting no aid for more than a week, while right wing opportunists were crowing about now having the chance to turn New Orleans "vanilla". Much good it did them, the city without its vibrant black population is as boring as a theme park playing canned music on all the rides.

    The human cost of Katrina was communicated early and often to the nation, and is rightly considered a shameful episode in our history. The BP oil spill is a disaster, but hundreds will not die from a loss of income, or missed opportunities to go to the beach. Americans, in general, can tell the difference, by the way. We are not glued to our screens watching scenes of people on rooftops waving banners with cries for help and praying that they get it - quickly - then weeping when that help came too late.

    Obama has been in power for only a year and a half. And while there is no excuse for any administration to get lax on oversight, there is the explanation that he has been rather busy cleaning up messes made by others. Or should I say, cleaning up all the other messes made by his predecessor?

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  • 44. At 6:14pm on 15 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    MJNB;

    "BBC doesn't like printing anything which suggests... and you have this on what authority?"

    From the experience of having had all prior postings suggesting it referred to the moderators and then deleted. You flunk too MJNB. Cause and effect is usually understood by six year olds in the first grade here. Also learning from experience.

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  • 45. At 6:47pm on 15 May 2010, S Brennan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 6:58pm on 15 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Of course historic pervasive corruption in NO. and Louisiana as a whole, as well as proverbially corrupted and inept Democratic rulers of both the Big Easy and L. had nothing to do with post-Katrina fiasco? ;)

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  • 47. At 7:42pm on 15 May 2010, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 46, powermeerkat:

    "Of course historic pervasive corruption in NO. and Louisiana as a whole, as well as proverbially corrupted and inept Democratic rulers of both the Big Easy and L. had nothing to do with post-Katrina fiasco? ;)"

    The Republicans haven't done any better. The People are as rule not well served by their government down there, and it's their fault, too.

    And, yes, certainly the corruption of all of NOLA's governments (state and local) was a huge factor in the glacial speed with which NOLA is recovering. That said, some of this has to do with Louisiana's use of the Napoleonic Code instead of English Common Law (which is a big hindrance), and NOLA was badly damaged in the storm.

    We've had the Katrina response, the financial meltdown and now this oil spill in rapid succession. I think the competence of American political leadership has to be questioned regardless of party.

    I've had enough hearings, tearful apologies, and contrite press conferences. Just do the job right from the start!

    Jeez!

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  • 48. At 9:46pm on 15 May 2010, sean56z wrote:

    Petroleum is not a real issue. Sales of hydrogen fuel solves the energy crisis. The super-collider experiment reveals significant methods for burning hydrogen. Corporations would sell the fuel for automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, aircraft, and space ships.

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  • 49. At 10:34pm on 15 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 47, Andy

    "Just do the job right from the start!"

    The USA has some of the greatest scientists and engineers in the world, and the resources to develop new energy sources that are safe, efficient, and cost effective. The problem is not our ability to develop alternatives to our wasteful ways, we can do that, what is almost impossible to overcome is the pervasive influence of big business on government and policy and our tendency to give big business so much latitude that disasters like the one in the Gilf of Mexico, ENRON, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bernie Madoff and others are becoming commonplace.

    The achievements and contributions of each generation are defined by the legacy they leave behind. Thus far ours can take pride in some of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind, unfortunately we are also responsible for some of the greatest disasters.

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  • 50. At 11:18pm on 15 May 2010, carldobbins wrote:

    Obama's upfront assertion that BP will pay for everything really means that Obama does not want it to be his problem. So much for leadership.

    BP filed a drilling plan as required by law, followed the plan and I don't see why they should be responsible for anything else.

    The big picture is whether this will damage the Gulf as a food source. Take the Gulf out of the world's food garden and a lot more people will eat lower quality or no quality food.

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  • 51. At 11:31pm on 15 May 2010, shigeru wrote:

    This is not at all Obama's Katrina. It could have been if he had the same attitudes as Bush, but he does not - he is a leader. What has been sickening in this episode is the BP CEO's response and UK aristocratic behavior. It is almost as if he still believes we are colonies.

    Unfortunately for us we adopted UK corporate law as the basis of our corporate governance and then made it even more extreme. We cannot, without difficulty, do much to make this arrogant man accountable.

    IMHO it is well past time for the US to nationalize the oil and coal industries.

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  • 52. At 00:19am on 16 May 2010, S Brennan wrote:

    42. At 5:34pm on 15 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote: "Before or since the spill? I don't think it will be defeated again. I don't think anyone in Congress is stupid enough to risk any chance they still have for a political career by sticking 10 billion dollars in cleanup costs to the American taxpayer instead of putting on the shoulders of a foreign oil company. Oil companies are this year's bad guys just like banks were last year's." to the comment "Uhmmm...The bill has already been defeated..."

    "Effort to Raise Oil-Spill Liability Fails in Senate (Update1)
    May 14, 2010, 3:14 PM EDT http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-14/effort-to-raise-oil-spill-liability-fails-in-senate-update1-.html

    “We want to be careful before we change any of these laws that we don’t jeopardize the operations of an ongoing industry, because there are 4,000 other wells in the Gulf that have to go on,” Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democratic, told reporters last week...Transocean, owner and operator of the oil rig that was leased to BP, asked a U.S. judge in a Houston federal court to limit its liability to $26.7 million yesterday.

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  • 53. At 00:32am on 16 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    sean zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    "Sales of hydrogen fuel solves the energy crisis."

    It takse more energy to obtain hydrogen from electrolysis of water than you get back when you use it no matter how it's done...unless you build a hydrogen bomb with it.

    "The super-collider experiment reveals significant methods for burning hydrogen."

    No the super-collider experiment reveals significant methods for burning money.

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  • 54. At 00:39am on 16 May 2010, HabitualHero wrote:

    #18 "To the people of Israel: Happy Independence Day"


    And to the Palestinians; "happy" Nakba Day.

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  • 55. At 00:44am on 16 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 50, carldobbins

    "Obama's upfront assertion that BP will pay for everything really means that Obama does not want it to be his problem."

    His problem, if there is one, would be our problem. Why should we accept responsibility for corporate neglicence?

    Ref 51, shigeru

    "What has been sickening in this episode is the BP CEO's response and UK aristocratic behavior"

    You are right. When he downplayed the impact of the oil spill by pointing out that it was not a big deal considering the size of the Caribbean Sea he showed a level of arrogance and insensitivity that should not be forgotten any time soon. If that is what BP stands for, and the comment made by their CEO represents the policies and the attitude of that corporation, they should not be allowed to drill anywhere near our shores.

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  • 56. At 01:00am on 16 May 2010, fatfox wrote:

    #42
    "I don't think anyone in Congress is stupid enough to risk any chance they still have for a political career by sticking 10 billion dollars in cleanup costs to the American taxpayer instead of putting on the shoulders of a foreign oil company."

    Yes, 'foreign' is always a big help. One thing you can rely on with the US public is that they will always leap to put the blame on those damned foreigners, or increase their support for any president who takes that line. That, of course, accounts for Obama putting the screws on BP not to pass any of the blame to other parties involved in this disaster. Translation: Let's make sure the whole tab is picked up by the evil foreign companies and none of it shared by the American ones.

    After all that election sloganising about Change, how ironic is it that one of the first things that springs to the president's mind when disaster strikes is protecting the interests of Hallibuton shareholders? As 'change' from Bush and Cheney goes, it all looks awfully familiar.

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  • 57. At 01:11am on 16 May 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII (#53) "It takes more energy to obtain hydrogen from electrolysis of water than you get back when you use it ..."

    Electrolysis of water is not the principal method of obtaining pure hydrogen:

    http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/production.html

    There are energy losses in any method employed. Whether the process is economic depends on the cost and availability of the energy input and the value of the product. If you have an abundance of low-cost energy, it can be economic to use it to store energy in other form for use later, even though there is a net energy loss.

    An example is Banks Lake at Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State. When there is a surplus of electric generating capacity, electric pumps are used to raise water into Banks Lake above the dam. This water is released later to drive generators when demand peaks. There is a net loss of energy in the process, but it is nevertheless economic.

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  • 58. At 01:30am on 16 May 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:

    Mr Mardell the second paragraph of your piece said it all.
    "President Barack Obama is doing his best to make sure that the wave of blame that is bound to follow does not lap against the doors of the White House."
    He is not doing his best to stop the leak,
    He is not doing his best getting BP the money and materials they need to stop the leak.
    He is not doing his best asking the big oil field services companies for their ideas to stop the leak.
    A real President, a real Chief Executive would have had BP, Shell, and Exxon in his office day one followed by Halliburton Shlumberger and then by his National Security team.
    Mardell, have you wondered where his Energy Secretary is in all this? Norman Chu a clueless Research Physicist who cannot plug in his own toaster.
    Take no Questions. Accept no responsability. Blame others. The story of Obama's life.

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  • 59. At 01:38am on 16 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    We'll see whether or not these other sources can be ramped up to an industrial scale. Most of them are laboratory demonstration experiments, industrial scale production is another matter. Breaking hydrogen's bonds with carbon will take almost as much energy as you get back from combining it with oxygen. Pardon me if I'm skeptical but I believe it when I see it.

    I think pinning the cost of this oil spill on a foreign company is good economics, good politics, and a good warning to the rest of the industry to shape up and get their act together. We could hardly have been luckier than to have BP be the ones we can stick it to. I like it. Let's see if Obama pushes as hard for this legislation as he did for health care reform. Now is the time for some congressional arm twisting Mr. President.

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  • 60. At 02:17am on 16 May 2010, rparker2757 wrote:

    ...don't you have an election, or euro crises to worry about?

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  • 61. At 03:08am on 16 May 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    57. At 01:11am on 16 May 2010, GH1618 wrote:

    "An example is Banks Lake at Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State. When there is a surplus of electric generating capacity, electric pumps are used to raise water into Banks Lake above the dam. This water is released later to drive generators when demand peaks. There is a net loss of energy in the process, but it is nevertheless economic."

    ____________

    Which is precisely the advantage of pairing wind farms with hydro installations. (I know, Marcus, it's all foolishness in your view)

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  • 62. At 03:38am on 16 May 2010, fatfox wrote:

    #60
    No, we're not one of those countries that spends 18 months election campaigning, then another three months installing the new administration (optionally spending two of those months investigating which side took part in the most electoral fraud).

    We started our election campaign five weeks ago, voted 10 days ago, found no one had won outright, did some horse trading, formed a coalition, took over the offices of the old administration and got to work. Our equivalent of the US Secretary of State has already flown to Washington, and met with Hillary Clinton yesterday.

    In short, no, we don't have an election to worry about. And we are not part of the euro, we have our own currency. And in any case, Mark Mardell is the BBC's North American Editor, so talking about the United States rather than Europe is what he does. But apart from all of those things, you are bang on the money. ;-)

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  • 63. At 04:02am on 16 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    IF, I am well aware of pump storage and probably was before you were born. That is different. The water was going to fall anyway. It makes sense to use it instead of entirely lose it even though it is inefficient especially when there is no demand for it on the grid. Any power available from wind farms would be better used tied directly into the grid to reduce consumption of fossil fuels which are in constant use. The grids are much more interconnected now and there is constant demand. Therefore if wind energy is used to separate hydrogen, somewhere else carbon based fuel is being used to generate power for another purpose that could have been served by the wind turbines instead.

    Hydrogen is merely a means for storing energy and making it portable. It is not inherently a clean technology becuase somewhere dirty fuel must be expended to obtain it.

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  • 64. At 05:22am on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 57 GH1618-

    "An example is Banks Lake at Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State. When there is a surplus of electric generating capacity, electric pumps are used to raise water into Banks Lake above the dam. This water is released later to drive generators when demand peaks. There is a net loss of energy in the process, but it is nevertheless economic."

    There are a couple of environmental costs that come with Pumped Storage Power (PSP). Drawing water from the source also draws fish and other aquatic life that is mangled on the return trip as they pass through the turbines. The trip to the reservoir is none too healthy for the flora and fauna as well. The Ludington (MI) Pumped Storage Power Plant on Lake Michigan has a 2.5 mile net put in place during ice-free season. There is still considerable losses to fish stocks. The net only keeps fish larger than 5 inches from entering the suction area. Smaller species,hatch-lings and fry easily pass through the net to become subject to the turbulence and mechanisms.

    Displacement of water for PSP's and other water storage uses, along with fresh water for municipal needs deplete mean water levels even in the such massive bodies of water that make up the Great Lakes. This depletion of the mean level of water takes away prime breading habitat for fish and other aquatic life. Marshlands are a natural water-purification system. Loss of marshland caused by lower mean water levels contributes to pollution to the natural water system. More demands for fresh water are created every day, continuing the reduction of mean water levels to water systems.

    PSP may provide a 'storage battery' to meet peek electrical demands; but at the expense of habitat. You can eat fish. Can you eat electricity?

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  • 65. At 05:23am on 16 May 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    63. At 04:02am on 16 May 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "Hydrogen is merely a means for storing energy and making it portable. It is not inherently a clean technology becuase somewhere dirty fuel must be expended to obtain it."
    ____________

    And that's both the classic electricity problem, and the beauty of gasoline. Gasoline is difficult to beat as a convenient means of storing portable energy in a small space.

    People want to use hydrogen in cars as a portable fuel, and to me that seems problematic. Hydrogen is a dangerous, highly corrosive fuel that presents significant storage problems.

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  • 66. At 05:32am on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 63 MarcusAurelliusII-

    "Any power available from wind farms would be better used tied directly into the grid to reduce consumption of fossil fuels which are in constant use."

    I agree with you on this point. Pumped Storage Power is not a good use of wind power. It requires a large land area be converted into a reservoir, further disrupting land-based habitat. The reservoir cannot be used for recreation, nor even scenery because it is constantly filling and draining. The dangers created by this cycle makes it imperative that the entire surrounding area be fenced for safety.

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  • 67. At 07:51am on 16 May 2010, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    58. At 01:30am on 16 May 2010, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:

    Mr Mardell the second paragraph of your piece said it all.
    "President Barack Obama is doing his best to make sure that the wave of blame that is bound to follow does not lap against the doors of the White House."
    He is not doing his best to stop the leak,
    He is not doing his best getting BP the money and materials they need to stop the leak.
    He is not doing his best asking the big oil field services companies for their ideas to stop the leak.
    A real President, a real Chief Executive would have had BP, Shell, and Exxon in his office day one followed by Halliburton Shlumberger and then by his National Security team.
    Mardell, have you wondered where his Energy Secretary is in all this? Norman Chu a clueless Research Physicist who cannot plug in his own toaster.
    Take no Questions. Accept no responsability. Blame others. The story of Obama's life.
    ______________________________

    One sick puppy is a good name.

    Obama is and has been doing his best - the best that a President can do - to stop the leak. The best experts in the world are working around the clock to stop it.

    He is giving BP all he resources they need - BP has plenty of money and has the most powerful of incentives to do it ASAP - the future of their industry and BP's survival are at stake. The finest resources in the world already belong to BP.

    He does not need to 'ask' other oil field service companies to get involved - they are already in all hands in mode for the reason cited above: the future of the industry (deep water off shore extraction) is about to become an international pariah if this isn't handled quickly and convincingly.

    A real President would have hired Halibuton to fix it - but BP already has - they were on the scene when it happened. What technical advice would the national security advisers have to offer? How is this an international incident? It is a supremely technical problem. The only appropriate job for a President is to address any failures of the administration that might have contributed to the technical failure - this Pres. Obama has done and is doing.

    It seems that your purpose is to blindly attack the President using this tragedy as your bludgeon. I call your attack blind only because it is ignorant of the nature and causes of the problem. So, while we now understand that you don't like the President, can we also infer that your dislike is similarly blind to facts?

    KScurmudgeon
    wary of ignorance blended with nonsense

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  • 68. At 08:58am on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #10 "The sobering fact is the rich culture and traditions of South Lousiana may now, finally, be forever lost."



    If you're referring to tradional corruption and ineptness of Democratic administrations of both Louisiana, and New Orleans - you're mistaken.


    Nothing and no-one can possibly destroy that noble tradition.

    [re-read "All King's Men", please]

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  • 69. At 09:13am on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: "Salazar failed miserably. He should consider resigning."



    Antonio Salazar was most certainly not a failure.

    On the contrary, during his reign Portugal registered a very fast economic growth, and had he been still alive and his policies (rather than those of Socialists) still in place that country would not have faced bankruptcy today, just like Greece.

    Unless, of course, you're talking about Salazar of completely different political affiliation. :)

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  • 70. At 09:34am on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #69

    I guess you were referring to Kenneth Salazar(D).


    Who in 2005 voted against increasing fuel-efficiency standards (CAFE) for cars and trucks and against an amendment to repeal tax breaks for ExxonMobil and other major petroleum companies.

    And who in 2006 voted to end protections that limit offshore oil drilling in Florida's Gulf Coast.

    And in 2007 against a bill that would require the United States Army Corps of Engineers to consider global warming when planning water projects.


    And who last year was made by pres. Obama his Secretary of Interior.

    Am I right?

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  • 71. At 09:55am on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Ref. AndyPost's comment on traditional corruption in Louisiana and NO.
    negatively impacting post-Katrina rescue and recovery efforts.




    If you're saying that Democrats have no franchise on corruption you're absolutely correct. [corruption knows no ideology).

    And you're right: historic and cultural tradition has something to do with a level of general corruption (not only among politicians).



    And now, where have I put those $70,000.00 I need for Sunday shopping?

    Let me check my fridge.

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  • 72. At 10:04am on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re # 70 and #71. Addendum:


    “We want to be careful before we change any of these laws that we don’t jeopardize the operations of an ongoing industry, because there are 4,000 other wells in the Gulf that have to go on,” Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democratic, told reporters last week."



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  • 73. At 10:34am on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: BP already using "the finest resources"...




    'In its latest fix attempt, BP is planning a "junk shot," a method to clog the leak in which scientists send a massive stream of odd debris—from golf balls to knotted rope—into the well's blowout preventer. If the stream of items succeeds in blocking it, a layer of heavy mud and then cement would be pumped in next to seal the hole permanently.'

    [news wires]




    State-of-the art technology in action, indeed.

    So, here's mud in BP's eye!

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  • 74. At 11:53am on 16 May 2010, Steve Castle wrote:

    If BP takes as long to clear up the mess as the US did following th Bhopal disaster the US coast, its fisherman, tourists etc are in for a long wait.

    Yet another example of US hypocrisy. The US wants oil for the gas guzzling autos. Occasionally there will be accidents. Live with it.
    The US has repeatdly withheld its signature on climate and pollution bills. The US people need to accept they are not the only people on this planet. They are not in a position to demand anything.


    Any americans can feel free to let us know when they will have some consideration for the rest of the world. Until we see a change in US policy and sabre rattling stop whinging.
    I will buy shares in BP. Good company.
    There is a price to pay for everything.

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  • 75. At 12:37pm on 16 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 74, Steve

    "They are not in a position to demand anything."

    We, like every other sovereign country in the world, have the right to demand adherence to our laws from foreign companies operating in our country and territorial waters. The problem is that our business laws are so ineffective, and our commitment to enforce them so laxed, that they encourage companies to cut corners and take unnecessary risks to increase profit margins.

    The Bhopal disaster was not the first or the most devastating. Chemical companies operating in the USA use to dump chemicals in our lakes, rivers and ocean to the point that they were declared hazardous to life. It took many years for them to change their ways and clean up the mess they made.

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  • 76. At 12:53pm on 16 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 74, Steve

    Addendum to post 73

    While I believe it is premature to pass judgment and assign blame, everything I have heard and read thus far suggests this was not an accident. It looks like this mess was caused by a system failure that may have been precipitated by human error and aggravated by a deliberate corporate decision to ignore safety standards to reduce cost and increase profits.

    If that is the case, BP must bear the brunt of cleanup operations and damages...regardless of how big the Caribbean Sea may be. Hopefully, inspections of all operating wells will take place to ensure they all meet current safety standards and, most importantly, I hope our safety standards are reaassessed to ensure they are adequate.


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  • 77. At 1:13pm on 16 May 2010, ann arbor wrote:

    Re: #15, shiveringofforgottenenemies

    Your post was well thought out and well presented.

    Thanks

    Benefit without risk is an ideal that simply does not exist. The gulf is technically difficult, subject to weather, but oil rich and politically stable.

    With regards to a political position on this event, I have decided "BHO" is the acronym for the "Blame and Hype Orator".

    It is most unfortunate the only contribution of BHO from this situation is even more government.

    BHO has contributed nothing for mitigating the situation or providing a mitigation strategy now that we understand this situation may occur and will probably occur again.

    We must appreciate that the United States is not the only country drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. US regulation means nothing to them. In fact, UN regulation means nothing to some of them.

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  • 78. At 1:25pm on 16 May 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    66. At 05:32am on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Publius:

    The reservoirs I am talking about already exist; they are huge; they are miles from nowhere; and the sit either in or close to extremely dense wind energy regions. The power corridors already exist, so there isn't an issue of land acquisition, and for the first while the existing transmission lines would be sufficient. There is no need to build new reservoirs, or new dams, although we might be able to install additional turbines in the existing ones. And the whole complex is already tied into the grid (from which Quebec already exports power to Ontario and the NE.

    The best example is the Smallwood reservoir above Churchill Falls. It is roughly 1/3 the size of Lake Ontario, and is quite a bit larger than Lake Nipigon. It sits at the southern end of a 200 mile zone that is the mother lode of wind energy density in North America. The energy density is typically double or triple anything found on the Great Lakes.

    There are other huge, remote reservoirs - Lac Manicougan, Lac Caniapiscau, the reservoirs on La Grande, and so on, that are also located in or adjacent to very large areas of high wind energy density.

    The generating stations in these projects are also huge. The existing installed generating capacity at the main generating station on La Grande is three times the capacity of Niagara Falls, for example.

    These are the locations at which very large scale wind power developments would stand a better chance of being economic, and where the presence of these gargantuan reservoirs goes a long way to addressing the time-demand power availability mismatch problem.

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  • 79. At 2:07pm on 16 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 77, ann arbor

    "BHO has contributed nothing for mitigating the situation or providing a mitigation strategy now that we understand this situation may occur and will probably occur again."

    President Obama ordered a moratorium on new drilling until the causes of the latest disaster are determined and measures to prevent a reccurrence are developed. At the moment, that is the only mitigation strategy available, other than shutting down every operational well in the Gulf.

    "We must appreciate that the United States is not the only country drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. US regulation means nothing to them. In fact, UN regulation means nothing to some of them."

    Indeed, but we only have jurisdiction over US territorial waters. The BP well was in US waters and operating in accordance with US laws, such as they are. We simply do not have the authority to tell other countries what to do in their own waters or land, or even in international waters.

    Bear in mind that offshore oil drilling has been going on for many decades, since long before President was born, and that this is not the first spill in history. This is the price we, the people, have to pay for allowing or encouraging our politicians to put in place policies conducive to better employment opportunities, a higher tax base, and to maintain the standard of living we are accustomed to.

    When Gov. Landrieu, Palin and others chant drill baby drill, support lumber companies that are destroying our forests, support strip mining, and support polluting power plants they don't do it because they are evil minions in the pockets of big business, they do it because that's what their followers want to hear.

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  • 80. At 3:01pm on 16 May 2010, Thumper3181 wrote:

    DRILL BABY DRILL. This is the first oil spill related to offshore drilling of any consequence in 35 years. Obama is playing a game. He intends to put so much regulation and cost in place there wont be any more offshore drilling. Too bad I guess he likes importing oil and having his constituents pay 5 buck a gallon for gas. That's a shame and so unnecessary.

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  • 81. At 3:57pm on 16 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 80, Thumper

    "DRILL BABY DRILL"

    I would prefer calls for less consumption, and greater investment to develop alternative sources of energy and more efficient vehicles, but I certainly don't object to drilling SAFELY in the interim. Unfortunately, the deregulation and policy changes that took place when former President George W. Bush lifted the offshore drilling ban put in place by his Dad, and the appointment of two Halliburton executives to top MMS positions, did not help matters.

    Yes, we have no choice but to drill to satisfy our thirst for oil, reduce our out of control trade deficits, and mitigate the vulnerabilities of depending on imports from unstabled countries, but that doesn't mean we should take a shoot from the hip approach to the way business ought to be conducted.

    The exact causes of this disaster must be determined, and safety precautions must be put in place before new leases are issued. We should also tell all offshore oil drilling operators that already have leases but decided to postpone drilling until oil prices go up that those leases are use or lose.

    "Obama is playing a game. He intends to put so much regulation and cost in place there wont be any more offshore drilling"

    Oil prices were lower during the George H. W. Bush administration, when an offshore drilling ban was in place, than during the George W. Bush administration when they peaked at over $4 a gallon.

    "Too bad I guess he likes importing oil and having his constituents pay 5 buck a gallon for gas."

    The closest we ever came to $5 a gallon was in W's days. Gas is selling for considerably less than that today. Perhaps you should send BHO a thank you note.

    "That's a shame and so unnecessary."

    What is a real shame is all the distortions and hyperbole that dominate every political debate in the USA today. While exaggerations have been commonplace in American politics since the earliest days of the Republic I believe we have reached new levels of cynicism. We no longer bother to focus on nebulous issues that could be interpreted either way, we now try to tell each other that what happened in the recent past was a chimera and that the best we could do is rely on astrologers to predict the future and on corporate executives for our well being. Chucks, maybe Nancy had the right idea after all...

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  • 82. At 3:58pm on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 78 Interestedforeigner-

    "The reservoirs I am talking about already exist; they are huge; they are miles from nowhere; and the sit either in or close to extremely dense wind energy regions."

    Not quite sure if I am following your line of thought on using Pumped Storage Power [PSP] at the reservoir sites you note. Are they not already producing hydroelectricity from their containment dams? What would be the advantage of Pumped Storage Power?

    I can see, from wind maps, that building wind turbines in the vicinity would add to total generating output. I just don't see where a PSP system would enhance the water storage capacity without building reservoirs specifically for PSP. There does not appear to be any deficiencies from the natural watershed feeding those reservoirs.

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  • 83. At 4:25pm on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 80 Thumper3181-

    "DRILL BABY DRILL. This is the first oil spill related to offshore drilling of any consequence in 35 years."

    This is the long anticipated, catastrophic oil spill related to offshore drilling which has been compounded by the extreme depth of the wellhead. It continues unstemmed as it poisons a huge ecosystem that produces great quantities of food and livelyhood. The longer it spews crude oil into the Gulf, the more habitat it destroys. The potential for this epic event recurring at other drill sites should be evident. There is obviously nothing available for containment when another methane bubble is encountered during drilling. Something not uncommon during drilling operations.

    Picture in your mind a vast, dead, oozing sea. No fish. No shrimp. No waterfowl. Just miles upon miles of poisoned sea. A sea that is but a part of a much larger ecosystem. The Gulf of Mexico is a great waterpump to a massive, natural irrigation system. The rains from the Gulf of Mexico water millions of square acres of land from the Great Plains, to beyond the Great Lakes, then on to the Atlantic Ocean. The evaporating waters of the Gulf will now carry hydrocarbon chemicals that will polute the farmlands, forests, and watershed of the entire weather region. The more crude escaping in the Gulf; the greater the concentrations of toxic chemicals in the rains.

    We are looking at a huge problem that is only getting worse each hour.

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  • 84. At 4:42pm on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    SaintDominick points out:

    "we only have jurisdiction over US territorial waters."



    Indeed, that's why there's not much we can do about comrade Chavez's grand drilling schemes, which have resulted just a few days ago in a collapse and sinking of one of Venezuela's platforms in the Caribbean.

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  • 85. At 4:54pm on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re:Nuclear fusion and pertinent confusion...

    The feasibility of creating a controlled and sustained nuclear fusion in the Eart's environment has never been proven. Nay, a single experimental fusion reactor capable of conducting most rudimentary tests in that area hasn't even been built yet.


    And of course ecoterrorists and their ignorant aficionados have effectively prevented a construction of any new atomic power plants in the U.S. (based on fission reactors) in the last quarter of a century.


    So what can one say to those windbags?

    "Mill, baby, mill!" [in your windmills].

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  • 86. At 5:00pm on 16 May 2010, McJakome wrote:

    80. At 3:01pm on 16 May 2010, Thumper3181 wrote:
    "DRILL BABY DRILL. This is the first oil spill related to offshore drilling of any consequence in 35 years. Obama is playing a game. He intends to put so much regulation and cost in place there wont be any more offshore drilling. Too bad I guess he likes importing oil and having his constituents pay 5 buck a gallon for gas. That's a shame and so unnecessary."

    My grade for post #80 [F]
    Intelligence level Low [F]
    Argumentation Illogical [F]
    Coherence Nil [F]
    Compassion near 0 [F]
    Blame the victim Typical [F]
    Selfishness Very high [F]
    Spelling & Grammar Poor [D+]

    Drill Baby Drill is the GOP/Sarah Palin slogan and President Obama is being blamed for it, or for the emergency or for trying to prevent a repeat? The thinking [!] is irrational and incoherent. Almost immediately, despite the magnitude of the disaster, it is implied that drilling is good and Obama's interference with it is bad.

    Nice logic, that nobody should interfere with oil companies or offshore drilling. There is no compassion for the Gulf Coast people from Texas to Florida who will be hurt, no sorrow for the harm to wildlife, no worry about non-oil industry job and income losses, and of course no consciousness of potential widespread damage to any industry connected with Gulf fishing.

    Most importantly the poster is unwilling to admit why it happened and what would be necessary to prevent a repeat. Perhaps people should just keep repeating a dumb slogan, like "Drill, baby, drill" while driving that gas guzzler around! And don't insist on safeguards or reparations or cleanup costs that might cost the poor oil companies a few bucks.

    This could have been written by a conscienceless BP representative, or Rush, or Sarah.

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  • 87. At 5:56pm on 16 May 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 69 powermeerkat wrote:

    "Antonio Salazar was most certainly not a failure.

    On the contrary, during his reign Portugal registered a very fast economic growth, and had he been still alive and his policies (rather than those of Socialists) still in place that country would not have faced bankruptcy today, just like Greece."

    He was also, was he not, a dictator?

    [But a right wing dictator - so presumably that makes it alright?]

    And perhaps he made the trains run on time?

    I knew you were right wing - I just hadn't grasped quite how right wing.

    [The snide remarks about Obama's middle name and his 'terrorist fist bump' now make rather more sense.]

    Put it this way.

    It was obvious you were no Democrat [big 'D'].

    However, I had naively assumed you were a democrat [small 'd'].

    [In case you feel he wasn’t a dictator, the following is from The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition | 2008 |, link here - http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Antonio_de_Oliveira_Salazar.aspx

    “As premier after 1932, Salazar was generally considered a dictator. He introduced (1933) a new constitution that established a corporative and authoritarian state. Political opposition was effectively suppressed.”]

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  • 88. At 6:47pm on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 89. At 7:00pm on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #88 Post scriptum...

    Yes, Salazar WAS a dictator. So was Pinochet.

    Both have left their countries in much better shape than they found them.


    Which is much more than can be said about any LEFT-wing dictator:

    be that Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Kim Il-sung, Ho Chi-minh, Pol Pot, Mengistu Haile Mariam, Nicolae Ceausescu, Enver Hoxa, Janos Kadar, Walter Ulbricht, Todor Zhivkov, etc.

    Who were simply mass-murderers.

    On top of ruinning countries their regimes subjugated.

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  • 90. At 8:05pm on 16 May 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 91. At 8:25pm on 16 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Man from Dublin.


    Are you a Spelling Bee contests' judge?

    Which seems to be your native shtick?

    [safer too than making ad hominem comments here and getting ejected like quite a few before you]

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  • 92. At 8:39pm on 16 May 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 91 powermeerkat wrote:

    "Man from Dublin.


    Are you a Spelling Bee contests' judge?

    Which seems to be your native shtick?

    [safer too than making ad hominem comments here and getting ejected like quite a few before you]"

    [a] No - but it sounds like fun. And reading your and MK's contributions here would certainly be good practice

    [b] I regard your threat with the contempt it deserves but

    [c] You ignore my questions and factual evidence countering your assertions. So who's 'ad hominem' here?

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  • 93. At 9:55pm on 16 May 2010, enzo11 wrote:

    Looks like the "discourse" has predictably devolved into the usual US haters and the Left vs. the ( fill in your choice here)!

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  • 94. At 10:23pm on 16 May 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    82. At 3:58pm on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Not quite sure if I am following your line of thought on using Pumped Storage Power [PSP] at the reservoir sites you note. Are they not already producing hydroelectricity from their containment dams? What would be the advantage of Pumped Storage Power?

    I can see, from wind maps, that building wind turbines in the vicinity would add to total generating output. I just don't see where a PSP system would enhance the water storage capacity without building reservoirs specifically for PSP. There does not appear to be any deficiencies from the natural watershed feeding those reservoirs.

    ____________

    Well, maybe I have misunderstood then.

    It seems to me that it would work this way -

    When the wind is blowing, and there is lots of demand, the generated power is sent down the transmission lines in the normal way (they already exist).

    When the wind isn't blowing, we run the water turbines in the usual way.

    When the wind is blowing, but demand isn't great, we throttle down the water flow through the turbines.

    When the wind is blowing and there is very little demand, we pump water back into the reservoir. There is always some small demand, and it is necessary that the water never stop flowing completely.

    This ought to result in higher average volume contained in the reservoir, which ought also to mean that at times of peak demand when wind energy is not fully available water can be released more quickly than previously - i.e., drive a larger number of turbines than currently installed.

    The point is that for practical purposes the huge reservoirs approximate nearly infinite surge capacity to deal with the mis-match in power availability from the wind turbines.

    Shouldn't that work?

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  • 95. At 10:47pm on 16 May 2010, Philip Tortora wrote:

    As this environmental disaster of epic proportions drags on – with the dire consequences yet to be fully determined and realized – the U.S. government needs to take a more urgent and heavy-handed approach to the clean up. And not publicly designate a company already being accused by many as grossly negligent and incompetent as the primary organization responsible for saving the environment.

    Sure, some of this is posturing and our government is letting BP know it has a lot of liability in the matter.

    But this oil spill has already spun way too far out of control, and it’s starting to seem like nobody knows what to do or how to stop it.


    http://philiptortora.blogspot.com/2010/05/shouldnt-us-government-have-more.html

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  • 96. At 11:11pm on 16 May 2010, crash wrote:

    JMM you were no doubt one of the demo's jumping up and down like a fishing cork when obama got elected,i doubt very much you will be jumping up and down when taxes finally catch up with the spending.
    Iterestedforiegner one freedom i have lost is the ability to pick my own insurance or the the right to carry no insurance,i grew up in southern England and have first hand experience with government run health care.This is just the thin end of the wedge in Europe now governments are dictating what type of car people drive through taxation and believe me the demos want to turn the US into big government version of gutless europe.

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  • 97. At 11:14pm on 16 May 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 86 JMM

    "This could have been written by a conscienceless BP representative, or Rush, or Sarah."

    Nonsense!

    As if Sarah could write...

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  • 98. At 11:14pm on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 94 Interestedforeigner-

    "The point is that for practical purposes the huge reservoirs approximate nearly infinite surge capacity to deal with the mis-match in power availability from the wind turbines."

    Watershed containment, and flow, is not usually a problem unless the watershed area is affected by an extended period of sever drought. The bathtub is continuously refreshed as it is emptying. More often the situation is that there is too much water in containment and must be released through floodgates.

    Even in the deserts of Arizona, containment water is released through the flood gates during the night off-peak time to keep the reservoir from overflowing. I've boat-camped on the Salt River in Arizona. One had to make certain to moor the boat in deeper water during the evening because the floodgates would be opened at night to reduce the surplus containment. The boat would be left high and dry in the morning if moored in too shallow of water. One would have to wait for the water to rise in the containment lake to re-float the boat.

    Not sure that additional generating turbines can be retro-fitted into an existing containment structure so that a higher average volume of water in containment could be of any advantage.

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  • 99. At 11:26pm on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 95 Phillip Tortora-

    "...the U.S. government needs to take a more urgent and heavy-handed approach to the clean up."

    The problem is that nobody knows what to do to stop the erupting crude pouring into the Gulf. Not the Government, nor private industry. If they did, the flow would be stopped and focus could be given to clean-up; which is another epic problem that must be addressed.

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  • 100. At 01:02am on 17 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 96, crash

    ",,,,i doubt very much you will be jumping up and down when taxes finally catch up with the spending."

    Taxes have not gone up since President Obama was elected, they have gone down.

    "...one freedom i have lost is the ability to pick my own insurance..."

    There is nothing in the healthcare reform legislation that prevents you from buying whichever healthcare insurance package suits your needs. The only "freedom" it prevents you from exercising is denying those who can not afford to pay insurance premiums from getting one.

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  • 101. At 01:46am on 17 May 2010, enzo11 wrote:

    "Taxes have not gone up since President Obama was elected, they have gone down."

    And in short order they will have to go up, waaaaaay up, to cover the massive increase deficit spending.

    You don't get something for nothing, in spite of what the Left wants you to believe!

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  • 102. At 02:00am on 17 May 2010, Thumper3181 wrote:

    83. At 4:25pm on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    “This is the long anticipated, catastrophic oil spill related to offshore drilling which has been compounded by the extreme depth of the wellhead. It continues unstemmed as it poisons a huge ecosystem that produces great quantities of food and livelyhood. The longer it spews crude oil into the Gulf, the more habitat it destroys. The potential for this epic event recurring at other drill sites should be evident.”

    What a spew of factually challenged ecodrivel. “Long anticipated”? “Extreme depth”? “Unstemmed as it poisons a huge ecosystem”? “Potential for this epic (snicker snicker) event recurring”?

    Are you serious? It was about as long anticipated as we global cooling in the 70s. Sure accidents happen …. With EVERYTHING. So what. But once every 35 years? I will take those odds any day.
    Extreme depth? What is extreme? It was at 5000 feet. Not particularly deep considering the 100s of deeper wells throughout the world. I suspect that for someone like you any well is too deep.
    Unstemmed, well read the BBC lately? Much of it is already being siphoned and more is to follow.
    The epic event was the best though. Two thousand barrels of oil get loose 50 miles offshore and a mile deep. It’s controlled in a matter of weeks and there has not been one example of oil coming ashore in quantity yet. They have found “giant” underwater plumes of crude. Well guess what there are bigger plumes of far more noxious content in the ocean and they are all naturally occurring.

    “Picture in your mind a vast, dead, oozing sea. No fish. No shrimp. No waterfowl.”

    Too bad that’s still only in some environmental wacko’s wishful and fertile imagination. Sorry but we haven’t and will not see that with this one even if it where 10 times its size and it went on for months. It’s too far out at sea and too deep. Wind, wave and current is dispersing most of the spill.

    86. At 5:00pm on 16 May 2010, JMM wrote:

    And your post? Do you have anything useful in it? No. Worse than F for content. No content.

    “Nice logic, that nobody should interfere with oil companies or offshore drilling.”

    Have you been reading the news lately??? It seems the government, the Obama administration to be exact DID NOT enforce the rules and regulations already in place. Lets work on them first before we start adding more.

    81. At 3:57pm on 16 May 2010, SaintDominick wrote:

    “Oil prices were lower during the George H. W. Bush administration, when an offshore drilling ban was in place, than during the George W. Bush administration when they peaked at over $4 a gallon.”

    Oh really?
    http://zfacts.com/p/35.html

    So as I say – DRILL BABY DRILL
    Why should we needlessly hobble ourselves economically? If offshore drilling is so dangerous then every other operator of deep water drilling would have stopped already. We may foolishly hobble ourselves because of the undue and unscientific influence of the environmental wacko brigade but rest assured the Brazilians, Mexicans, Venezuelans, and others will not.


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  • 103. At 02:02am on 17 May 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    98. At 11:14pm on 16 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    "Not sure that additional generating turbines can be retro-fitted into an existing containment structure so that a higher average volume of water in containment could be of any advantage."
    ____________

    I just don't know the answer to this, but I think what it means is that you can on average, release more water during the day than otherwise, when there is a greater demand for power, in the knowledge that, most nights, you will be keeping it more full.

    In the Smallwood Reservoir I would expect overall seasonal variation might be a concern, but I would have thought daily variation would be small - it is a huge reservoir. Second largest in the world?

    All it has to be able to do is function as a very large physical capacitor that can accept a depth variation corresponding to the largest probable period of calm that the wind array is likely to see. In that part of the world, that shouldn't be much - it is windy nearly 365 days a year.

    Need to do a little numerical modeling to get this straight, but it ought to work. I have the idea that it ought also to permit the wind field to be larger than otherwise. Maybe that's an illusion.

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  • 104. At 03:27am on 17 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 102 Thumper3181-

    "The epic event was the best though. Two thousand barrels of oil get loose 50 miles offshore and a mile deep."

    NOAA estimates that 5,000 barrels of oil per day have escaped since the accident occurred on 20 APR 2010. That would bring the current total to 130,000 barrels of crude polluting the Gulf from this spill. Not the 2,000 barrels you state. BP has just announced today that they are "slowly" beginning to siphon "some" of the oil from the well. They would not give specific amounts of how much is still escaping, nor how much they are capturing from the main leak. There is a smaller leak still flowing freely.

    This siphoning is not a cap. It is only pumping "some" of the escaping crude. More crude continues escaping.

    "Sorry but we haven’t and will not see that with this one even if it where 10 times its size and it went on for months. It’s too far out at sea and too deep. Wind, wave and current is dispersing most of the spill."

    You obviously are a landlubber and know little, if nothing, about the currents in the Gulf of Mexico. Water currents that are the source of the Gulf Stream are beginning to pick up the oil spill. There is now a threat to the coral reefs of the Florida Keys. The crude will kill the living coral if contaminated by the spill.

    Perhaps you are selective in what news you do read. A very large, deep-water pool of crude has been discovered today. Estimated to be 10 miles long. Since the 5,000 barrel per day estimates of release are based upon surface observations of the spill, this discovery of deep-water crude indicates that the rate of release has been much higher.

    The well is still spewing crude. Each day the oil spill continues growing. BP estimates that some time this week they may be able to plug the main leak with mud and cement. "May" be able. Let's hope it works better than their attempt to put a dome over the leak.

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  • 105. At 06:16am on 17 May 2010, Thumper3181 wrote:

    104. At 03:27am on 17 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Sorry Chicken Little but its around 2000 barrels a day and that amount is now decreasing due to siphoning. Care to hazard a guess as yo how much oil was spilled during WWII due to naval action. Hint - far more than 2000 barrels a day. Got any idea of just how diluted the oil will be if it ever reaches shore in quantity? Hint the Gulf contains about 5,300,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water. If you had an ounce of sense or intellectual honesty you would realize that while the spill is serious and must be stopped it is by no means the ecological catastrophe that environmental wackos like you try to make it out to be. The last one like this happened 35 years ago and it was far larger.

    "A very large, deep-water pool of crude has been discovered today. Estimated to be 10 miles long. Since the 5,000 barrel per day estimates of release are based upon surface observations of the spill, this discovery of deep-water crude indicates that the rate of release has been much higher."

    No, the 2000 barrels a day is based on remote observations at the well head. The discovery of the deep water crude is yet another red herring. Its supposed to be under water, on its way to the bottom. That's what the dispersal chemicals do.

    Educate yourself:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8664684.stm

    DRILL BABY DRILL

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  • 106. At 06:45am on 17 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re# #105

    Some posters could do worse than check how many thousands barrels of oil were released intentionally into the sea by Saddam Hussein.


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  • 107. At 06:53am on 17 May 2010, NDesai wrote:

    Companies got universal, unquestionable, untold right to make money out of public resources, mother nature and from public. Come on this is the free market era. Companies can make money as much they want. It is common people's responsibility to find ways to breath. As long as people will not die the system is safe else it is minor issue. They will fix it during next budget. This time money is not allocated enough to fix the known issue. Let them make more money this time so they can enjoy big bonus, when return, they do something. The CEO's will not accept single penny less from their bonus, so let them drill more. Otherwise tax payers will be held responsible to bailout them.

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  • 108. At 07:20am on 17 May 2010, Thumper3181 wrote:

    106. At 06:45am on 17 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re# #105

    Some posters could do worse than check how many thousands barrels of oil were released intentionally into the sea by Saddam Hussein.

    But that would be an inconvenient truth.

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  • 109. At 10:59am on 17 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re Incovenient truth (#108)


    Well, an inventor of Internet, Al Gore, should be pleased. :)

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  • 110. At 2:49pm on 17 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 105 Thumper3181-

    "No, the 2000 barrels a day is based on remote observations at the well head. The discovery of the deep water crude is yet another red herring. Its supposed to be under water, on its way to the bottom. That's what the dispersal chemicals do."

    The article you linked [dated 7 May 2010] even states that the initial estimates were wrong and adjusted those rates upward to a level of 5,000 barrels per day since the spill began. You invalidate your own argument with the link you have provided; yet you still cling to your invalidated information.

    Furthermore; this article is printed prior to the more recent discovery of the large, deep-water mass accumulating unseen until now which will cause the estimates to be adjusted upwards once again. The overall estimate of oil leaked into the Gulf that appears in the dated article of your link needs updating as well, since oil has continued to spew at a, currently, estimated rate of 5,000 barrels a day for an additional 10 days; and is still adding to that figure. The flow has not yet been stopped.

    The article points out that it took 9 months to cap the Ixtoc1 blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico. As long as this well keeps spewing oil; you are premature in your victory dance.

    As for your assertion that oil is not coming ashore see this Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries announcement and map of the habitat now closed to both recreational and commercial fishing. Oil does not have to reach shore before it causes destruction to the seafood habitat. The oil contamination is already killing flora and fauna in the waters of the Gulf itself; and has been since the blow-out occurred.

    Since you bring up the oil purposely spilled into the Persian Gulf during the Persian Gulf War; you will find that the environmental destruction this event caused is still having very adverse effects on the ecosystem throughout the Persian Gulf region. Same goes for the area contaminated by the Exxon Valdez spill 21 years after the event.

    Obviously you have no care about the condition of the Earth you leave behind for your children, nor the children of the world, as long as you can have all the gasoline you want.


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  • 111. At 3:35pm on 17 May 2010, aarepinej wrote:

    Aggressive you say? Try valiant. This president inherits the results of last 20 years of the dollar buying every corrupt privilege imaginable in government. For you, Mark Mardell to suggest in this disaster is that the president's biggest concern is the White House image shows me how you choose to inflame and sensationalize while ignoring the real issue of accountability that off shore drillers fully own. It is so obvious that BP was ill prepared for this inevitable failure. Are other companies nervous? Well does the shoe fit?

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  • 112. At 4:10pm on 17 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Saddam Hussein is dead (just like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Che, Pol Pot, Mengistu Haile Mariam, etc.) - so its hard to blame him for the condition of the Earth he left behind.

    However, Hugo Chavez is still with us, so perhaps his typically capitalist greed should be blamed for a recent collapse of a Venezuelan platform and ensuing ecological problems?

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  • 113. At 4:23pm on 17 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re GM

    General Motors sees first quarterly profit since 2007
    Dramatic cost-cutting and strong sales of new models helped it make $865m (£600m) in the first three months of 2010, it said.

    This compares with a $6bn loss in the same period a year earlier. [BBC]

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  • 114. At 4:24pm on 17 May 2010, Bogdan wrote:

    Ref 100, SaintDominick wrote
    "There is nothing in the healthcare reform legislation that prevents you from buying whichever healthcare insurance package suits your needs. The only "freedom" it prevents you from exercising is denying those who can not afford to pay insurance premiums from getting one."

    I do not wish to make this about healthcare and divert the discussion from the issue at hand but...This sort of confusion about the bill (now law) is what leaves me dumbfounded every time someone either deliberately misstates its effects or leaves out the most important part of it simply due to selective hearing.
    The positives aside (limits and all that), although their benefit remains debatable, how can one ignore the mandate on purchase of coverage? How can such lack of independence of thought and lack of desire to be responsible for one's actions exist in a human being?
    Essentially, one now has to pay a tax to live a life. With the new regulation every individual that is not covered by a company plan (and many smaller companies don't offer coverage) will have to purchase a plan or be subject to a fine. In other words the power to control my life and make decisions about my life and health is taken away from me. If I am young and healthy and decide to take the risk and not buy health coverage, I am not expecting a government bailout and am prepared to pay for medical expenses if such should arise. Meanwhile I do not have to spend $300-400 a month on something I don't need. But this is no longer the case, someone decided that I have to buy a product and is fining me for not doing so. What is next? Mandate on foods purchased, mandate on places to live and not live? This to me is taking away my fundamental right to decide what to do with my health and my life.

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  • 115. At 5:17pm on 17 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #114 "If I am young and healthy and decide to take the risk and not buy health coverage, I am not expecting a government bailout and am prepared to pay for medical expenses if such should arise. Meanwhile I do not have to spend $300-400 a month on something I don't need. But this is no longer the case, someone decided that I have to buy a product and is fining me for not doing so."


    Bogdan, you don't get it, do ya?


    The central goverment knows what's good for you, and it's going to cram its goodness down your throat, whether you like it or not.


    I vividly recall Ronald Reagans's words:

    "The most horrifying words in English language are: 'I'm from the government and I've come to help you'."


    But we have a different president now and he's going to help us.

    And claims that we should not be horrified by the prospect.

    Au contraire: we should be eternally grateful.

    So be a sport and show your gratitude in November 2010, and again two years later, will ya?

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  • 116. At 7:48pm on 17 May 2010, d_m wrote:

    #114 Bogdan:

    All of these people who whine about their rights or loss of them, relative to the new health insurance law, are also quite prepared to let me and everyone else pay for their medical care. Faced with the fact of needing care or not getting it, these same people are more than willing to spend every last dollor the rest of us have to save their own miserable, greedy, self-serving little souls.

    How pathetic. I want all of the benefits of health insurance just none of the expense. So I say, fine, sign a contract that you are prepared to forgo health care that you can't personally pay for as the price for not purcahsing insurance and you are off the hook as far as I'm concerned.

    But you don't get to change your mind. If you find out later that you've got some dread disease, don't come running to the insurance exchange expecting to get last minute coverage. Nope, don't do that. Suck it up and live with your disease and your decision as long as your're able.

    I doubt very many of you would be prepared to do that.

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  • 117. At 8:05pm on 17 May 2010, Bogdan wrote:

    "So I say, fine, sign a contract that you are prepared to forgo health care that you can't personally pay for as the price for not purcahsing insurance and you are off the hook as far as I'm concerned."

    If you read my post attentively you would have understood that was exactly my point. I will sign that contract in a minute. So that people like our POTUS and obviosuly the likes of you stay out of my personal life.
    Unlike many who stand behind government like sheep, I am able and willing to take responsibility and any suffering for my OWN personal decisions.

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  • 118. At 8:10pm on 17 May 2010, Bogdan wrote:


    In addition, your reasoning or lack thereof shows just the reasoning dems used to put this legislation together. No thought, no options, just mandate.

    In fact what you have is quite the opposite, people like me who suddenly have to pay for loosers like you who didn't save and plan enough to prepare for contingencies.

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  • 119. At 8:59pm on 17 May 2010, d_m wrote:

    #'s 117,118 Bogdan:

    LOL.

    I pay for my own insurance. In excess of 20,000 dollars a year. Perhaps that why I think it's time for the government to do something. Besides, health coverage and private health insurance conpanies are mutually incompatible. You should read the history of health insurance in the US. The first true health coverage in the US (that wasn't loss of income insurance) was a blue cross cooperative in Texas. Private insurance companies didn't think there was any mnoey in health insurance. But when they did get into it they immediately began finding ways to deny converage and or payment. They had hardly gotten into it before the developed actuarial methods they use today to deny and cancel coverage. Private companies simply can't do insurance.

    It selfish losers like you who get their insurance through their employer who don't care about those who can't get coverage because they can't afford it or have a pre-existing condition. What would the world be like filled with people like you? But I'll let it go at that...

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  • 120. At 10:34pm on 17 May 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    In ref. to Andy Post: "That said, some of this has to do with Louisiana's use of the Napoleonic Code instead of English Common Law (which is a big hindrance"

    The current civil law code in Louisiana is certainly not a hindrance to my state's governance and legal system; the two main differences between the Louisiana Civil Law Code and US Common Law are the legal terms, and where precedent comes from. There is no substantiated evidence that the code affected Louisiana's ability to recover from Katrina or deal with the BP oil spill.

    The responsibility for political failures and for the kind of corruption mentioned elsewhere lies with individual politicians and the ignoramuses that vote those politicians back into office. And, don't pretend this doesn't happen elsewhere in the US and the UK.

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  • 121. At 11:10pm on 17 May 2010, Thumper3181 wrote:

    110. At 2:49pm on 17 May 2010, publiusdetroit

    The siphon is supposed to capture about half of that and they hope to have the leak plugged altogether in a few days. The gulf has suffered far greater insults than this and has recovered just fine. You and people like you clearly have an agenda. Frankly I think fools like you should not be given the time of day but our politicians seem to feed on ignorance.

    In fact maybe you should take a good look at the article. There have been but two spills in the last 30 years attributed to blowouts. How many accidents and how many gallons have been attributed to tanker accidents? It would seem that anyone with half a brain could deduce that it is far more dangerous to ship oil by sea than to drill locally. Oh and what about that other spill attributed to a rig blow out 30 years ago. Notice how big it was. It dwarfs this one. Do you happen to know where it happened. Surprise, Gulf of Mexico. Look at that no long term effects.

    Like I said, people with an idiotically green agenda that has no roots in reason are blowing this unfortunate accident way out of proportion.


    ooh 5000 barrels. what a calamity!

    DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!! No more foreign oil. Yes to energy independence and prosperity. Time for an energy policy based on facts, reason and sound economics.

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  • 122. At 11:20pm on 17 May 2010, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    Gavrielle_LaPoste, I totally agree with you that the comparison of the oil spill to Hurricane Katrina is not a fair comparison given the danger that hurricanes pose to human life, but the oil spill is certainly an economic and ecological disaster that frankly reduces Louisiana's ability to ride out the tail end of the recession.

    As for that "vanilla" city comment, I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, but if you had said that on the street in Louisiana you'd likely get laughed at right to your face considering former-mayor Nagin's very public "Chocolate City" comment.

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  • 123. At 00:40am on 18 May 2010, Bogdan wrote:

    Ref 119

    So aside from the fact that you do not understand the main issue with the mandate you also don't seem to be a person of sound motives (ad hominem aside).

    Since you are paying whatever you are paying it's probably because you chose or must have for whatever reason an expensive self insured plan. And since the new reform says nothing about lowering self-insured plans costs or even keeping them at existing levels you are going to keep paying what you are paying now. In addition with removal of preexisting conditions the costs for the ins. companies will likely increase and these increases will be passed right back to you. The additional 20 -30 mil. customers mandated into plans won't compensate for expenses.

    So then the only reason I can see for your so fervently advocating the law is because you want equal misery for all. You must be so disgruntled, either because you are unemployable, and can't find the company to pick up the health tab or because you drove yourself into poor financial situation.

    But another flaw in your argument (if you can call it that) is that all financial issues and possible benefits aside the government takes upon itself the right and duty to meddle in your life and make decisions about what is best for you. Perhaps, your limited cranium can't manage looking far enough in the future, or back into history, to see that these things don't end with mandates that only suit your purposes. Eventually the government that gave you things will take other things away. And next mandate will be regarding something that you won't feel as peachy about.

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  • 124. At 00:59am on 18 May 2010, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 121 Thumper3181-

    "In fact maybe you should take a good look at the article. There have been but two spills in the last 30 years attributed to blowouts."

    I did read the article carefully. The Ixtoc1 was the largest of the spills listed in the article. Almost twice as large as the next largest spill noted in the report. [1979; 287,000 tonnes for tanker Atlantic Express, 1979; 476,000 tonnes for Ixtoc1] A tanker has a limited potential of oil it can leak if not controlled. An oil well blow-out has a far, far greater potential of oil it can leak if not controlled. Especially when there is no effective way, in place, to stop the flow of contaminating oil. Nonetheless; both oil spills causes long term environmental damage. Each contributes to the death of the planet.

    You read the same article, then came back to argue that there are only 2,000 barrels per day escaping from the current oil well blow-out in the Gulf of Mexico, even though the article clearly states that the current estimate (as of 7 MAY 2010) is 5,000 barrels. You distorted the facts of the article.

    Ref 121 Thumper3181-

    "Oh and what about that other spill attributed to a rig blow out 30 years ago. Notice how big it was. It dwarfs this one. Do you happen to know where it happened. Surprise, Gulf of Mexico. Look at that no long term effects."

    Do you have any facts to back up your claim that there were no long term [environmental] effects from the Ixtoc1 oil well blow-out? Or are you just fabricating an unsupported opinion once again?

    Furthermore; there is evidence that the 5,000 barrel a day estimate is incorrect. There are now reports stating that the estimate is 70,000 barrels per day. These latest estimates come from review of output at the source during the attempt to place a dome over the blow-out last week.

    BP has been, effectively, cloaking the amount of outflow through the use of Corexit dispersant at the outflow. This keeps oil from rising to the surface. Since NOAA uses mapping of surface contamination to create their estimates of outflow, this amounts to hiding the actual amount of oil released. Thus, the 10 mile long, 3 mile wide deep-water plume of blow-out oil very recently discovered.

    Keep in mind that the blow-out keeps adding more contamination each day.

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  • 125. At 03:38am on 18 May 2010, d_m wrote:

    #119 Bogdan:

    You will probably find this difficult to accept, but your main issue is not my main issue.

    Not everyone who doesn't have or can't afford helath insurance is a loser, but I can see where it must be comforting for you to look at that way. After all, you do have to live with yourself and at some level that must be pretty tough to do.

    I support health care coverage for the simple reason that I believe it's the right thing to do. Cost not withstanding. I also believe that having 30 to 40 million people without health care coverage in the United States is something we should be embarrassed to let continue.

    As for the government meddling, excuse me, but I am the government. Well, approiximately one three hundred millionth of it anyway. And this is just exactly what I wanted the government to do. Remember this is a democracy with majority rule. You don't always get to have your own way. Sometimes you have to compromise.




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  • 126. At 07:51am on 18 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re $120 Bienvenue in Louisiana

    "And, don't pretend this doesn't happen elsewhere in the US and the UK."



    If you're saying that Louisiana and Big Easy have no franchise on corruption - I fully agree.

    Just visit the great state of Illinois and its Windy City.

    [I still remember mayor Daley sr.(D) encouraging his crowd in 1960:

    "Vote early, vote often" (for JFK)]
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Beware of politicans hailing from Chicago and bringing you free health insurance!

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  • 127. At 07:59am on 18 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #124

    I agree that 'a tanker has a limited potential of oil it can leak if not controlled.'



    In case of a big tanker limited to merely 500,000 tons of oil.

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  • 128. At 08:53am on 18 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re "keeping blame away fom the White House"



    Pres. Obama, on his tax return, has valued his Portuguese water dog at US$1600.00.

    [I know that prices in Portugal have skyrocketted, but only recently]

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  • 129. At 09:27am on 18 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: corruption and dishonesty of US politicians:



    Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat who is running for the United
    States Senate from Connecticut, never served in Vietnam,
    despite statements to the contrary. The Times has found that
    he obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to
    1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going
    to war. [news wires]



    "We don't need another hero".[with regards to Tina Turner]

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  • 130. At 11:25am on 18 May 2010, lancelot83 wrote:

    "I have to say, though, I did not appreciate what I considered to be a ridiculous spectacle during the congressional hearings into this matter. You had executives of BP and Transocean and Halliburton falling over each other to point the finger of blame at somebody else. The American people could not have been impressed with that display, and I certainly wasn't." Good point. Drop the finger pointing and focus on solutions. (Hey...wasn't Dick Cheney a top executive at Haliburton?)

    Yet...

    "For too long, for a decade or more, there has been a cosy relationship between the oil companies and the federal agency that permits them to drill." Hmmm...Very slick (no pun intended). One simply has to read between the lines.

    Just fix it and spare us the manufactured anger to dodge your own inaction and subliminal jab at the Bush administration Mr. President.

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  • 131. At 12:31pm on 18 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #130


    So mill, Barack, mill!

    [Cervantes already knew than wind mills are it. ;)]

    There's plenty of wind to pass.

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  • 132. At 4:24pm on 18 May 2010, Fluidly Unsure wrote:

    I am not an Obama follower, and I am not an Obama hater.

    Obama is being attacked unfairly sometimes. There is plenty to disagree with his policies and we don't need to make private attacks.

    That being said, I can't help but wonder if this was set-up so Americans would support his policies. But until more evidence comes in it is only speculation.

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  • 133. At 5:16pm on 18 May 2010, sean56z wrote:

    This rig probably was damaged during Hurricane Katrina. The Bush Admin should take responsibility. How many more incidents will occur? Too much of the August 2005 disaster was not repaired.

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  • 134. At 06:30am on 19 May 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re: keeping blame away from the White House...


    Saint Dominick, it seems some of your Cassandra predictions were right.


    The Tea Party's Rand Paul has defeated Republican establishment favourite Trey Grayson in the GOP Senate primary poll in Kentucky.

    and in Pennsylvania, Democratic Senator Arlen Specter lost his bid for a sixth term, falling to Joe Sestak.


    A BBC correspondent writes that 'it casts doubts over the White House's political judgment - they backed Specter from the start."

    And that "many voters are concerned that the federal government is doing too little to foster economic recovery and cut wasteful spending".

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  • 135. At 07:45am on 24 May 2010, vhukile wrote:

    We all want the well to be sealed.I would want to know how deep is this well from the floor of the gulf.Geologist please advise .This is issue is only known by those who are working at the rig and we need to know the families of those who were killed at the rig,Even the coal miners we did not even see the families on TV I wonder why?? Someone please help .LA Attorney General should file for arrest warrant for the rig boss ,for the death of 14 rig workers.

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