If you have been following my posts on my hopes for the future of clean energy on this planet, you know that I dream of the day that we can halt our addiction to petro chemicals. I was upset with the Obama administrations decision to open the shoreline of America to off shore drilling, but I realize that it was part of a multi prong plan to make America less dependant on foreign oil.
The disaster off the coast of Louisiana, which is evidently becoming the worst oil spill in history could make the administration radically rethink its strategy. Off shore drilling is not safe and government regulations are a good thing.
But, the conservative media's attempt to portray this as Obama's Katrina is purely manipulative and cynically dishonest. It is the administration which has reacted and also revealed the true scope of this disaster. The leakage rate is 5 times the amount that BP reported.
Limbaugh,Buchanan and every other right wing hack has jumped on the bandwagon to portray this as the failure of the Obama administration.
Problem is, it's just not true. The Wall Street Journal has some interesting facts to contradict this set of Frank Luntz/Karl Rove talking points.
Halliburton is directly linked to the failure causing the spill and explosion.
In the case of the Deepwater Horizon, workers had finished pumping cement to fill the space between the pipe and the sides of the hole and had begun temporarily plugging the well with cement; it isn't known whether they had completed the plugging process before the blast.
Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force. When cement develops cracks or doesn't set properly, oil and gas can escape, ultimately flowing out of control. The gas is highly combustible and prone to ignite, as it appears to have done aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which was leased by BP PLC, the British oil giant.
Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.
The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. The disaster, which killed 11, has left a gusher of oil streaming into the Gulf from a mile under the surface.
It's not the first time for Halliburton, either.
Halliburton also was the cementer on a well that suffered a big blowout last August in the Timor Sea, off Australia. The rig there caught fire and a well leaked tens of thousands of barrels of oil over 10 weeks before it was shut down. The investigation is continuing; Halliburton declined to comment on it.
Meanwhile, the devastation spreads.
Offshore, cleanup workers struggled to contain an oily sheen spreading from a well ruptured by the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon exploration platform. Coast Guard officials estimate that some 42,000 gallons of crude continue to leak into the Gulf of Mexico each day. Remote submersibles have so far failed in an effort to close the shattered well's blowout valve, which should have shut off automatically. Boom crews plan to begin burning collected oil on the Gulf's surface as early as Wednesday.
The failed blowout valve? It was manufactured by Cameron International. One look at Cameron's board should tell you all you need to know. They're all Bush/Cheney contractor cronies, here and around the world.
Offshore drilling has been put forward by the Obama administration as one prong of a multi-prong approach to ending our foreign oil dependence. With thousands of barrels of oil spilling offshore, perhaps it's time for the administration to reconsider opening more wells to companies willing to overlook consistent records of failure like Halliburton's.
Natural disasters like Katrina are devastating and unpreventable. The best we can do is be prepared to deal with the fallout. This disaster is a man-made mess engineered by corporate interests. It isn't anyone's Katrina. It's just chapter two of the war waged on our coasts by Bush, Cheney, and their gang of corporate cronies.