published Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Drill Baby Drill

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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AndrewLohr said...

Do you drive a car?

Check out Jerry Pournelle's blog, topic "Civil Defense." In 1967 Pournelle advised Governor Ronald Reagan of California to drill off the coast, AND to charge drillers a fee with which to maintain a coast guard ready to respond quickly and locally to spills.

<p>www.lohr84.com (me, not Pournelle)

May 6, 2010 at 5:55 a.m.
woody said...

Andrew, hindsight has always been and will always be 20-20. It's too bad God didn't give man the ability to see his future failings.

As it is, and as someone once said, "...you win some,you lose some, and some get rained out, but you still have to dress for the game...."

The only sensible action at this juncture is give those in charge the time and space needed to right this wrong. Second-guessing never accomplished anything.

Doing some dishes now, Woody

May 6, 2010 at 6:08 a.m.
librul said...

This is the legacy of the petro-polluted administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It is well established that had this well been equipped with an acoustic shutoff valve the billions in devastation could have been prevented. It is also well established that Cheney's former employer, Halliburton, performed work at this well just days before the blowout - a similar event happened at another well they serviced elsewhere.

In his "behind closed doors" meetings on American energy policy, Cheney was determined to give the oil industry whatever it wanted - the people be damned. The required use of acoustic shutoffs, instituted under Clinton, was dropped as "too expensive." Well, Dick, come out of your bunker and tell that to hundreds of citizens who stands to lose their livlihoods, hundreds of sensitive species driven closer to extinction and the Gulf's regional tourism industry which spans four states and will lose billions as a result of your greed.

May 6, 2010 at 10:33 a.m.
memphisexile said...

Excellent cartoon Clay. The drill baby drill cries look even more silly now that realize the oil prices were so high during that election due to , gasp, speculators on Wall Street! Say it ain't so, greedy investors on Wall Street screw the American people with high energy prices to make a buck? The reason people oppose offshore drilling is because things like this happen. Oil companies care about nothing other than making as much money as possible. Who cares if an oil rig blows up and ruins the environment along with eliminating any job on the gulf coast that has to do with fishing or tourism (I assume people don't want to swim in 10-W-30 or eat fish that have). Hopefully they can get this all cleaned up and instead of letting the oil companies run roughshod over the American people there will be a little regulation.

May 6, 2010 at 12:10 p.m.
Clara said...

Librul, I certainly don't know anything about oil drilling engineering, so I have to ask how an acoustic shut-off valve works. Is it the sound that the rushing oil makes as it escapes that triggers the shut-off?

I was never happy with Cheney, either.

memphisexile, I imagine Cheney was also in cahoots with the oil empires.

I'm not very knowledgeable about the politics, but we are now all aware of the results. How sad!

May 6, 2010 at 3:11 p.m.
nucanuck said...

As the world pushes toward energy descent,pressure will grow to extract/produce energy from ever more difficult locations. This BP Gulf of Mexico eco-disaster will not be the last. Blame both the consumers and lax regulation,but the damage is done.

We will consume far less energy per capita in the future,but not without an earth wrecking battle on the down curve of energy consumption.

Personally,I and my family are implementing energy saving strategies and making plans for a time when energy is rationed. We hope to smooth out the transition to the degree possible.

May 6, 2010 at 3:13 p.m.
Jhenry said...

Anyone know how much oil naturally seeps into the Gulf every year? Anyone...Anyone...About 20 million gallons. Don't believe, though. You can find this information published by NASA and The National Academy of Science for starters. So, in typical Clay fashion, we confronted by typical liberal BS.

May 6, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.
nucanuck said...

jhenry,how do you explain the reaction to this spill in light of the NASA information? Have the liberals manufactured a non-event crisis all based on BS?

I don't think liberals have that kind of clout.

I'd say Clay does a pretty good job of making us think,whatever our personal political perspective.

May 6, 2010 at 4:16 p.m.
librul said...

Clara - Wall Street Journal article on acoustic triggers can be seen at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704423504575212031417936798.html

May 6, 2010 at 5:37 p.m.
Sailorman said...

After working on a rig for a couple years and three years with Cameron Iron Works , the maker of the blowout preventer in question, I do know something about them.

Rather than kneejerk reactions, I'll wait for the post-mortem on the preventer. I'm very interested in the cause of the failure. They are stupid simple devices and use what's basically a deadman trigger among others. I would bet money the acoustic trigger, as stated by the WSJ expensive, unproven technology btw, wouldn't have done a thing to cause the BOP to close.

Halliburton was the contractor responsible for cementing the casing. They've been doing it for years and are the best in the world at it. The cementing process is not without its occasional problems but it is truly the nature of the beast. When it does fail, it usually involves allowing gas to reach the rig floor which could very well cause the explosion. To assume some conspiracy because Cheney used to run it is silly at best.

May 6, 2010 at 6:11 p.m.
alprova said...

Librul wrote: "This is the legacy of the petro-polluted administration of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It is well established that had this well been equipped with an acoustic shutoff valve the billions in devastation could have been prevented. It is also well established that Cheney's former employer, Halliburton, performed work at this well just days before the blowout - a similar event happened at another well they serviced elsewhere."


Permit me to clarify some of what you have stated. First of all, as much as I detest Dick Cheney, I have to defend him partially against part of these oft repeated charges over the past week or so.

Beginning shortly after he took office as Vice President, he had only retirement benefits in place, and no longer had any say-so in Halliburton's affairs. Halliburton does provide the technology that you speak of (the acoustic valves), but they sell them to the oil companies. The oil companies are responsible for the well heads and how they are protected.

The suspected cause of this explosion as well as the one off the coast of Australia that you refer to, was possibly a faulty concrete job performed by Halliburton.

Blaming Cheney and Bush for this is stretching things a little too far.


"In his "behind closed doors" meetings on American energy policy, Cheney was determined to give the oil industry whatever it wanted - the people be damned. The required use of acoustic shutoffs, instituted under Clinton, was dropped as "too expensive."


Bill Clinton's Administration did not institute any such requirement that acoustic valves be installed on so much as one well head. His administration sat on their hands and for probably one good reason. Gas prices. Adding a cost to pump oil at $500,000 a pop for each and every well head was indeed costly at the time, but cheap compared to what they are dealing with now.

Americans do like their cheap gas.


"Well, Dick, come out of your bunker and tell that to hundreds of citizens who stands to lose their livlihoods, hundreds of sensitive species driven closer to extinction and the Gulf's regional tourism industry which spans four states and will lose billions as a result of your greed."


Blaming Dick Cheney is not really fair. Blame BP Petroleum for the spill. They knew the technology existed. They chose to forgo the costs associated with purchasing those acoustic valves.

Blame Halliburton for faulty work, if investigation turns out to confirm that theory. We will eventually know what happened.

BP will lose millions if not billions over this. In retrospect, I'm sure they are kicking their own rear ends over trying to save a few bucks, compared to what they are losing now.

I'm equally sure they never intended to allow this disaster to take place. Halliburton, if found liable for any deficiency in their concrete work, will lose big time as well.

May 6, 2010 at 6:51 p.m.
Clara said...

The article also stated that Transocean Ltd. is the actual owner and in charge of its construction. BP only leased it.

Aren't they also to be held responsible?

May 6, 2010 at 7:13 p.m.
Clara said...

Al,

I'm glad you posted that. I was trying to write something similar but it got wiped out.

$500,000 a rig? How much will it cost to recover from the mess.

May 6, 2010 at 7:23 p.m.
Sailorman said...

I'll say it one more time; The ASSUMPTION that acoustic valves would have saved the day is completely without foundation. They are unproven unless you count a few tests. Nor do we know WHY the BOP failed to operate.

Yeah 500k is a lot of money but it's a drop in the bucket compared to the total operating cost of a deepwater rig over the length of the drilling process - but easily a waste of money especially if it's effectiveness is questionable.

Al said (among some other correct stuff)

"I'm equally sure they never intended to allow this disaster to take place. Halliburton, if found liable for any deficiency in their concrete work, will lose big time as well."

Exactly right.

May 6, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.

As usual, facts AND experience shut up the lame Left, with the exception of the fawning fool who followed, copying statement by statement pretty well what Sailor expounded on. Figures. Nothing original again.

May 6, 2010 at 7:39 p.m.
Clara said...

So, was Haliburton a subsidiary or just contractor for Transocean Ltd. or is it the other way around? This kind of stuff gets confusing in the higher echelons of corporate bureaucracy. Who owns who? What is the pyramid?

May 6, 2010 at 9:36 p.m.
Sailorman said...

Halliburton is an oilfield services company. They were most likely subcontracted by Transocean who is under contract with BP

You can find out more about Transocean at their website - not a small outfit

http://www.deepwater.com/fw/main/Home-1.html

here's Halliburton

http://www.halliburton.com/

May 6, 2010 at 10:06 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

"

As usual, facts AND experience shut up the lame Left, with the exception of the fawning fool who followed, copying statement by statement pretty well what Sailor expounded on. Figures. Nothing original again."

As usual, another incoherent comment from canary that doesn't address specific claims. Nothing original again.

May 6, 2010 at 10:42 p.m.
Clara said...

I love the way Halliburton describes the tragedy as an "incident." Thanks Sailor!

lkeithlu, I don't think she's read the last few posts in the "Nashville" cartoon.

Sigh!

May 6, 2010 at 10:56 p.m.
alprova said...

Canary wrote: "As usual, facts AND experience shut up the lame Left, with the exception of the fawning fool who followed, copying statement by statement pretty well what Sailor expounded on. Figures. Nothing original again."


I had not read Sailorman's contribution before I responded to Librul's post. If Sailorman feels I mimicked his post in any way, I absolutely apologize for it. It was totally unintentional.

Shouldn't you be off pouting in the corner somewhere?

May 6, 2010 at 11:16 p.m.
Sailorman said...

Al

I may be a raging far right wingnut but I'm not that sensitive :)

May 7, 2010 at 7:02 a.m.
whoknows said...

Clara: "This kind of stuff gets confusing in the higher echelons of corporate bureaucracy. Who owns who? What is the pyramid?" That's the truth. That's why some people (as one did above) find it easier just to say it's Bush and Cheney's fault. Thankfully, people like Sailorman and Alprova know more than the rest of us on this one and can shed the light.
But you are right about the corporate bureaucracy! On this one, I wait until the report comes out as I know no better...

May 7, 2010 at 8:49 a.m.
Shock said...

Wow, Canary - great input into the discussion sarcastic tone dripping from my keyboard. . . . I'm an independent so agree and disagree pretty equally with the opinions on this forum and love reading it. I think most everyone will concur that posting things with some SUBSTANCE and not just knee-jerk insults is the intelligent adult thing to do. There are plenty of truly partisan sites to visit if you want to bash the right or left without opening your mind to both sides of the story.

Now, to follow my own advice: Between the Wall Street capers and this oil spill, I've been thinking a lot lately about how much regulation ought to result from both tragedies. I like letting the market dictate solutions over government, as a rule. In these instances, I think Wall Street needs better government regulations, but not necessarily the oil companies in the spill instance. The costs of the accident in terms of money, future drilling opportunities being closed, and public opinion will be enough that oil companies will implement the safety solutions necessary to minimize future instances.

Thoughts?

May 7, 2010 at 10:19 a.m.
Clara said...

Another good artical from today's Wall St. Journal with illustrations...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704370704575227812615975390.html?mod=ITPWSJ-1

May 7, 2010 at 12:03 p.m.
Clara said...

Oh rotten potatoe peels... article, article,article, article,article, article,article, article,article, article,article, article,article, article,article, article,

I knew THAT, and I caught it immediately. C:-)

Obviously, I'm a phonetic speller.

May 7, 2010 at 12:10 p.m.
Clara said...

This is an illustration of the oil spill on May 5th.

There may be a later one but I haven't found it.

It may not come up as I went through a lot to find it.

I'll have to test it from this site.

http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/oilspill/#news

May 7, 2010 at 12:49 p.m.
Clara said...

Sorry! It didn't translate. You'll have to deal with the sidebar yourselves. It's taking my dial up forever.

May 7, 2010 at 1:12 p.m.
Clara said...

This will probably be my last post for a few hours.

Aren't you glad?

This is from the NY Times on Health Danger from the oil spill.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/05/07/us/AP-US-Gulf-Oil-Spill-Health-Effects.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

May 7, 2010 at 1:45 p.m.
temp_employee said...

He should have bought an epson printer. The ink doesn't smear as noticably as HP.

May 7, 2010 at 3:28 p.m.
moonpie said...

Jhenry,

While 20 million gallons a year in seepage seems like a lot, it's really not a huge amount because of the way it occurs - slowly and over time.

There are an estimated 530,000,000,000,000,000,000 gallons of water in the Gulf. If, over the course of a year, 20,000,000 gallons are released that is still very dilute:

1 in 26,500,000,000,000 parts per million. That's hardly enough to coat anything.

The problem with oil spills is the concentration of oil.

Think about it in military terms. If we had used a diluted force during the invasion of Normandy, D-Day would have failed. Sending a handful of soldiers to storm a beach would not have been devastating to the German positions. Even if we did it everyday. However, a mass influx of soldiers all at once.... well, that's different.


Thanks for the insightful and informed posts, Sailorman.

May 7, 2010 at 3:53 p.m.
alprova said...

A debate over the theories as to what happened on the oil rig would not be complete without a word or two from Rush Limbaugh. On his April 29 radio show, he had some interesting thoughts regarding the mess down there:

"Environmental whackos may have blown up oil rig to head off more oil drilling. Lest we forget ... the cap and trade bill was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist whackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants. What better way to head off more oil drilling and nuclear plants then by blowing up a rig? I'm just, I'm just noting the timing here."

You do survive these things. I'm not advocating don't care about it hitting the shore or coast and whatever you can do to keep it out of there is fine and dandy, but the ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and was left out there. It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is.

Well, the turtles may take a hit for a while, but so what? So do we! Just give it a pain pill! Why not? That's what they had for us, and we don't even launch ourselves into the windshields of fire trucks."


Leave it to Rush to politicize anything at all, and to insert enough insensitivity to cause another explosion.

I tend to believe that if the oil were left alone, it would eventually degenerate over time, but it sure wouldn't happen overnight, and the oil is going to hit land at some point, making an awful mess.

I read an article last night on how Alaska is still experiencing problems as a result of the Exxon Valdez spill, 20 years later.

Fishing is still sparse with several species having never returned to the area. Most of those who did make their living in the fishing industry, have left the area.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida are really going to take a hit, and what little that will be paid by those responsible will not come close to compensating those who will be hurt now and for years in the future. I dare say that Louisiana fishermen don't make what they do up in Alaska. So their backs will break a lot quicker.

It's not really something to make jokes about, regardless of how one feels about the situation. Rush isn't going to be directly affected by this unless the slick makes it's way around to his home on the east side of Florida, which may well happen.

His home is right next to the beach. If by chance it does make it around there, I'm sure it's not going to smell very good, and he may get a closeup look as to just how bad it can be and how long it will take to go away.

May 7, 2010 at 6:33 p.m.
Clara said...

Al,

I never listened to him after one broadcast some years ago.

Incredible arrogance. He can't run, sail, or fly to Cuba, either, because the indications are the gulf stream, and its noxious content will hit that island, too.

Since the current that contains the oil will reach England eventually, that coast line, if the oil doesn't dissapate, will also be affected. I wonder who England will sue.

May 7, 2010 at 7:46 p.m.
Clara said...

The Washington Post has an excellent slide show of 137 pictures from early on until May 5th.

Unfortunately the latest ones come first, and for me I couldn't look at all of them. but jumped through to the end.

It was well worth the trouble!

I can't say "enjoy" as that would be unspeakable. I've learned a lot today.

Thanks Sailorman for starting me off for enlighenment.

May 7, 2010 at 9:20 p.m.
Clara said...

Well, I'm not completely dopey from sickness and medications, but I'm close to it, for sure.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/04/22/GA2010042204557.html?hpid=artslot

May 7, 2010 at 9:23 p.m.
carlosshane1477 said...

If you want to use the printer with multiple computers using a wireless connection, a wireless printer is right for you. They are also very reducing clutter and have black ink cartridge. However, they are more expensive.

November 20, 2011 at 11:26 p.m.
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