It's About Time: Leaking BP Oil Well Finally Plugged
It all started on April 20th, when the Deepwater Horizon oilrig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. A fire raged on for days and the rig eventually sunk into the ocean, but no one really knew what was going to happen from there. The potential for an oil spill was there, but few people were expecting a spill of this magnitude.
The numbers related with this oil spill are astonishing. The amount of oil lost, the amount of coastline affected, and the millions of dollars that BP has spent during the past five months is really mind blowing. To think that a single event could cause 205.8 million gallons of oil to be released into the Gulf of Mexico and cost a company $8 billion is unbelievable.
Was BP really this unprepared? I would think that a company as large as BP would have some sort of plan laid out in advance to deal with a disaster like this. The way BP initially handled the situation was, at best, inadequate. The “solutions” they put forth did relatively nothing to stop the oil from gushing out of the undersea well. But in retrospect, not all blame should be placed on the oil company. Sure it’s easy to blame the company that was responsible for the mess, but our government was slow to act as well. They sat around and waited for BP to do something, and when BP failed, then the government acted. By then it was too late. The spill was already out of control.
When Hollywood star Kevin Costner goes before Congress to pitch an emergency oil spill plan, that is a pretty good sign that something is wrong. The government (along with BP and other oil companies) should have already had a plan in place to deal with something like this. It should not take a disaster for someone to realize that a plan should be developed; there should already be a plan to prevent the disaster.
So we have accepted the fact that both BP and our government had no real idea what they were going to do to prevent the oil spill from getting out of control. But did it really need to take five months for the leak to be stopped? Really? Five months?
Apparently it did. BP officials and the US government said that they did not have the “technology or expertise” to stop the oil leak. That makes sense; so we have the technology to drill into the earth thousands of feet below the ocean surface to get the oil and put a video camera down there so people can watch as millions of gallons of oil is spewed into the Gulf, but we do not have the technology to stop the oil from leaking out? Come on. We live in a world that has seen a man walk on the moon, where we can touch screens on seemingly every electronic device, and where tunnels can go under bodies of water and through mountains, but BP did not have the technology to plug a hole in a pipe that they put at the bottom of the ocean? I find that hard to believe. I’m not saying that BP had to stop the leak immediately after the rig exploded, but it should not have taken them five months to stop the leak.
Hopefully these past five months have taught everyone a little bit about having a plan in case something goes horribly wrong. I kind of always thought that companies like BP would already have some sort of plan in place to not only prevent a disaster like this from even starting, but also have a plan to stop it quickly if it does happen. Now that no more oil is gushing into the Gulf (hopefully) the clean up efforts will continue and the lives of those affected by the spill will eventually return to normal.
Reach Columnist Christopher Steele here
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