Monday, August 2, 2010

It's an oil well, what could happen?

So, there was this oil well that sprung a leak a couple months ago due to an explosion. The explosion killed 11 men (and injured 17 others), so it was a tragedy immediately. What led up to this was a series of completely preventable mistakes that were motivated by wanting to get the job done as quickly, easily, and cheaply as possible. OK, people can be greedy and irresponsible and mistakes can be made.
Most of the early news-reporting on this catastrophe focused on people figuring out how they were going to fix the leak and when they would be able to put the next plan into action. Wait, what? How could they not have had a plan in place before they even started drilling. This oil rig and hundreds of others like it are out in the oceans, drilling into the Earth, with no plan in place about how to fix a well if it blows and begins gushing oil into the ocean. How can this be when every one of them has to have a permit and inspections and all that other annoying yet necessary bureaucratic stuff? How ever professional these people are, they are somehow allowed to set up a drilling operation and just drill away without knowing how they are going to react if the worst happens.
The worst part of all this is that I never once heard or saw this angle of the crisis addressed in the news. How is this not a major issue for people?

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