Monday, July 19, 2010

In the Gulf Today...

Don't get me wrong - I'm glad the cap is holding in the Gulf, but I'm scared to death about it, too.  The consequences should there actually be a leak somewhere else are terrible.

Reports today are that seepage "a distance from the busted oil well" has been detected and there is a difference of opinion between BP and Team Obama as to what to do with the whole mess.

As of now, BP wants to keep the well capped while Team Obama's plan, "however, is to eventually pipe oil to the surface, which would ease pressure on the fragile well but would require up to three more days of oil spilling into the Gulf."  Via Fox8News:

Scientists still aren't sure whether the pressure readings mean a leak elsewhere in the well bore, possibly deep down in bedrock, which could make the seabed unstable. 

The two camps differ in their approach to this problem; Fox 8 reports

"I can see why they're pushing for keeping the cap on and shut in until the relief well is in place," said Daniel Keeney, president of a Dallas-based public relations firm. The government wants to eliminate any chance of making matters worse, while BP is loath to lose the momentum it gained the moment it finally halted the leak, Keeney said. "They want to project being on the same team, but they have different end results that benefit each," he said. Oil would have to be released under Allen's plan, which would ease concerns that the capped reservoir might force its way out through another route. Those concerns stem from pressure readings in the cap that have been lower than expected.

The consequences of a bad call here are potentially devastating.   The only thing anybody seems to agree on is that nobody wants more oil spilling into the Gulf.  Their reasons for wanting that, however, vary, but in the end, we can all get to the same place.  If oil starts leaking through the sea floor this will be a much harder problem to solve.

Meanwhile, other oil spill issues continue to arise.  Kenneth Feinberg has aroused anger by reporting that cleanup pay will be deducted from any claims filed by unemployed workers.  These fishermen are out of work because of the disaster, have been using their own boats to help clean up the mess and have been receiving pay for that work. They are not happy about the news that the pay they receive will affect any future claim.

Houma Today has that story:

“It’s a double-edged sword. Yes, you are working, but working with hazardous materials cleaning up their mess. Once they leave there is no telling what’s going to happen. You are working and doing their work for them. But for the fact that they blew the well I wouldn’t have to be doing hazardous work.”

Senator David Vitter is worried that the administration is going to neglect the Gulf coast area.  On Fox News Sunday, Senator Vitter pointed out Obama has not visited the area since June 4 which he sees as a political move to keep the story off the front pages. 

Senator Vitter also commented on the moratorium:

"Chris, it already has been a huge job-killer. If it continues for six months or more, it will kill more jobs than the oil ever would," Vitter said. "I’m really, really concerned about this moratorium issue." He estimated the drilling ban could end up causing jobs losses of 140,000 or more. Vitter said he has sponsored legislation to end the moratorium and has been in talks with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and other administration officials on what safety measures offshore operators can put in place now to get up and running again.

There's no question that the moratorium is killing the Louisiana economy; it has been pointed out a thousand times: it's not just rig jobs that are affected.  I'll post more on this later.

Right now the issue is the cap.  The Coast Guard is tentatively allowing it to stay in place and continue monitoring for one more day, but the next step is still unclear.  What would be helpful, however, is for everyone to get on the same page, put their personal agendas aside, and do what's best for the people of the Gulf region.

1 comment:

10ksnooker said...

The removal of the cap can hydro-shock an obviously crippled well, and the results are totally unpredictable.

Unless you want to risk a bigger problem, which I think Obama wants, then you leave the cap where it is and proceed with the relief wells.