The recent events in the Gulf after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, reminds us again that offshore oil drilling is too dangerous for marine ecosystems and coastal communities and economies, I think it should not be allowed. Much less in such a corporative culture where there is no ethics, responsibility neither serious accountability. Neither effective technological strategies to deal with accidents. I think we should focus on alternative energy sources which are friendlier or less harmful to the natural resources instead of digging a hole everywhere to search for crude. Corporate culture -particularly nowadays- makes me even more wary about deep ocean and offshore drilling.
What do you think?
As an offshore worker I suppose I have a vested interest in the continuation of offshore drilling.
It is not only dangerous to the enviroment but also to human life as the latest tragedy claimed 11 lives.
"It is not only dangerous to the enviroment but also to human life as the latest tragedy claimed 11 lives."
Yes, it also put at risk many lives of workers and hardships to their families as well, along with the lives in the coastal communities who lives from the products of the sea.
Thanks for posting your comment.
Coal mining is dangerous, nuclear plants can be dangerous. Getting/creating energy is dangerous and we are not going to power our nation and the world with little windmills in the garden or solar panels. We need to always work to improve safety and minimize the effects of getting/making energy but unfortunately there will always be accidents and realistically we are not going to fuel the world on puppy dog kisses any time soon.
EVERYTHING is energy!
I cant be convinced that oil is the best commodity that can BE used to satisfy our energy needs.
We are slaves to the oil cabal!
There is more natural gas available than oil!
Automobiles can be converted to using natural gas. Many natural gas companies have done it and use it.
Since the 60's, politicians have said we should be free from use of foreign oil! What have they done about it? Not a damned thing!
The oil industry i.e. money controls politics!
"Absolute power corrupts...absolutely!"
Very true, and we can go a lot farther to improve motor vehicle fuel efficiency. Too many Americans are driving grossly overweight cars and trucks to the grocery store and PTA meetings. (Not to mention that too many Americans are grossly overweight themselves!)
http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Reduce-C … r-Vehicles
Watch it Ralph, your starting to advocate personal responsibility!
Americans can no longer afford overweight and inefficient cars nowadays, obviously because of the economy. But the government bailed out the motor companies and kept them in the business so they could continue their Union-backed wages and their non-Market-competitive products, such as over weight and inefficient cars.
If the government let them be, the Japanese and Chinese could have bought the assets of those motors companies and reorganize them into more sufficient business models and produce better and cheaper cars.
1. Understand that I live on the Gulf Coast ... this is not a theoretical question for me or my neighbors.
2. The people around here have a lot more respect for the local ecosystems than the news folks give 'em credit for.
3. The petro-chemical industry is a major employer. Furthermore, the shrimp boats etc. need fuel. You can't just make the oil go away.
All that having been said, there are ways to make it work. This includes increased security. Sabotage as a root cause has not been excluded, though it is looking increasingly less likely.
Sadly, the disaster is being used more for political gain, and those who should be helping are busying themselves to try to advance their political agenda.
My personal favorite alternate energy idea is bio-mass generated methane. It requires the least generalized retooling and can be made to be compatible with existing natural gas lines and delivery systems.
But ... there will need to be drilling for the foreseeable future.
BTW, your slam on "corporate culture" shows a sad lack of understanding of true corporate culture.
I think from an economic standpoint, it is necessary until we are able to tap into a viable alternative form of energy. While I understand that this is not a popular view, the fact remains that we have allowed ourselves to become an oil driven economy.
What I think is that most on hub pages are far left liberal types with no real stake or positive interest in the USA or its future. Most opinions I have read on this hub are without merit or even a base understanding of offshore deepwater project developments or the current government regulatory involvement via the DOI MMS.
Guys I worked for BP earlier and have friends that work their now on THESE exact type of projects. One is even on the 3,500 man team tasked with plugging and mitigating this specific issue.
The news media, even the right wingers, have not gotten the full story. Yes, that includes the large political contributions by certain firms to certain political parties, etc, etc as well as the real issues or the past 5 years that resulted in the breakdown of quality and safety in this case seen on the drill rig..Both liberals and conservatives are wrong in some of their allegations and thoughts..espeacially on issues related to future deepwater drilling in the GOM.
I'll write a new hub carefully exposing some of this soon. Assuming you want or can handle the truth, feel free to read.
There is quite a good article in this morning's NY Times
Ralph, thanks for posting the link. I'll add it to one of my hubs.
here's another informative article if you didn't catch it on another thread.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/ne … how_page=0
Why would you say that "most on hub pages are far left liberal types with no real stake or positive interest in the USA or its future?" Seems to me that there's a pretty good mix of right wing-nuts, moderates along with a few far left liberals who most certainly have a real stake and a positive interest in the USA and it's future. There view of what the future should be and how to get there be may be different from yours, but it's not accurate at all to say they have no interest in the country's future. That prejudiced statement reveals a lot about where you are coming from.
That's a good question which I've wondered about myself. Why not use oil from Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela first before drilling in deep water in our own waters? Let these other countries exhaust their oil and while we conserve our oil against the day when we have no other alternatives sources. I don't see the benefit of "energy independence" which entails using up our own hard and costly to get oil reserves rather than buying easy to get oil from other countries. Instead we should be pouring our money into alternative energy research and sources. Moreover, from what I've read the amount of oil we stand to get from new offshore drilling sites is not enough to make much of a difference to our energy independence. It's just a drop in the bucket on the world oil market. Conservation and alternative energy sources in the long run are what is needed.
The issue of the US conserving its own oil while exhausting sources outside the us may be more of what was behind Iraq and the aggressive pressure on the middle east than anything else.
If you want to go for world domination it would be easier if your troops had the only oil left I guess ?
"If you want to go for world domination it would be easier if your troops had the only oil left I guess ?"
Wow - gone so long and straight back with empty comments - there has been so much intelligent debate since you have been gone.
Note: The US is not some silly movie villian twirling our collective mustache and bent on world domination.
Additional note: To imagine that by the time (a highly theoretical time in a very vague and distant future) there were literally no oil reserves other than those held by the US that there would not have, of necessity, developed viable alternatives is sort of ridiculous.
I had forgotten just how tedious you were.
Please refrain from personal insults. Thank you.
This is not a personal insult - it is just a common observation of fact, these forums have been full of useful and well put debate, then you pop up again with the same old meaningless one line useless comments that just get in the way of discussion - tedious is a reserved and polite description I would say.
World domination is not a goal of the U.S., in my opinion, but more of a by product of the profit at-all-costs goal of the major international oil companies and other multinationals.
I would agree. Further, its China and Russia that has benefitted most from the Iraqi situation. Just as it will be China and Russia that benefits from the suspension of drilling in the gulf.
You'd think someone 'elite' might have thought of that before making the decision, but no...
Well, to me it's not that simple. I agree that if oil wasn't in Iraq we would have never gone there. However since we paid the price, why not get the oil. No sense in being dishonest about our intentions......At the very least we should have insisted that the cost be defrayed by Iraq, based on their oil revenues...
" I agree that if oil wasn't in Iraq we would have never gone there. "
I believe that even posing that question is pointlessly simplistic.
I believe it was a statement not a question. As to yours:
"I believe that even posing that question is pointlessly simplistic"
I would agree with your own analysis in regards to pointless....
"Much less in such a corporative culture where there is no ethics, responsibility neither serious accountability. Neither effective technological strategies to deal with accidents."
Same can be said about governments. How do you determine which one to trust?
For me, as long as the corporations and governments aren't "partner" and remain really mutually exclusive they are fine. Sadly, BP is one of the providers to US military.
And many governments are major obstacle to alternative energy too.
I think despite the enormous problems involved with offshore drilling, they can get into deeper underground pockets offshore than they can on land.
The Earth's crust is roughly 10 miles deep, and shallower over the oceans. It's not that the crust is shallower, just that the depth of sea combined with the bedrock is more or less the same depth as the bedrock on land.
So if you drill for oil offshore, once you get over the hurdle of actually getting down to the sea bed you have less distance to go to reach oil, if it's there.
Alternative energy is all very well, but none have been proven yet to be as effective as oil, with the exception of radium and nuclear power, which before we start thinking of as a great alternative, we should remember Chernobyl and the devastation to life on Earth in event of an accident.
The latest oil disaster is horrendous. Hopefully man will learn from this when they finally stop the flow, and put measures in place to ensure it never happens again.
Izzy thanks for your well articulated comment.
You said: "Alternative energy is all very well, but none have been proven yet to be as effective as oil" I think that is because oil and other fossil energy sources are more profitable now than alternative strategies, so there is not much corporate and governmental investment to speed up research and the development of new technologies. On the other hand, why to keep investing in the exploitation of a non-renewable and finite source such as oil?
BTW, for now I just oppose offshore and deep ocean drilling because of the environmental and economic problems it causes.
On the other hand, you very well stated:"The latest oil disaster is horrendous. Hopefully man will learn from this when they finally stop the flow, and put measures in place to ensure it never happens again."
I do hope that too, yet this is not the first time and every new oil spill disaster get worst than the preceding one. How can this be explained?
I share your sentiments. the lack of accountability between companies involved is reason enough for me to realize there will be no safe off-shore drilling in areas so close to important eco-systems. if the breeze is coming from that area of the Gulf, we can smell the oil. it's a terrible disaster in so many ways.
I've been watching the news and as yet have not heard very much about the 1l lives that were lost.
We don't need governmental investment. We just need them to step away from the productive entrepreneurs who want to invest in new energies.
Corporations that sell old energies are in the same bed with the governments, and they have been trying to prevent competitors by manipulating the governments.
Central planning economy (Government controlled market) is the major problem.
Affordable alternative source of energy are still a long ways off. We will need to rely on oil for at least the next 50 years. The recent accident wasn't just rooted in corporate greed. There were failures by the government to enforce existing regulations. There was also human error on the platform and a blow out valve malfunction probably due to design related issues in drilling at that depth. Unless Americans and the other big users of energy are willing to change their lifestyle, drilling must continue. We have the power to stop it, if we stop driving, and drastically cut our use of electricity. Cutting demand for fossil fuels will lower prices and make drilling in deep water too expensive to pursue, so it really is up to all of us.
"The recent accident wasn't just rooted in corporate greed. There were failures by the government to enforce existing regulations. "
Totally agree with you! I also believe that government has a fearful, insecure and a tinny hand to seriously enforce and expand regulations on oil corporations because of the economic and political power of oil companies. Also, because the concubinage of politicians with corporate money.
Well yes, that and the social unrest that can be unleashed if anything is done that would make prices rise significantly. The price of just about everything is tied to oil. It's in everyobdy's interests to maintain cheap energy prices.
I can agree with a lot of what you have to say here, especially the "power is in our hands" bit...but I'm not so sure the situation is as drastic as you claim, i.e., I don't think we need to completely quit driving and "drastically" cut electricity.
I think that just like a stock portfolio, our energy sources need to be diversified. There are some things that only oil can do, and I get that, but it's not near as many as most people think. So, we need to drastically reduce our OIL consumption. There are all sorts of methods of producing energy: Solar energy has gotten cheaper to create, bio-fuels are not as difficult to make as some would like you to think, and believe it or not FORD HIMSELF intended for vehicles to run on them - I assure you, we've had the technology to do that, and do it well, for a very long time. We need to make investments in wind energy and water energy...all kinds of things we can do that I think are probably more affordable than certain rich interests would like us to think. It helps when gov'ts put incentives in place to help the average consumer do this stuff. It wouldn't take many solar-equipped houses to be sending energy back to the grid for a whole neighborhood!
In the meantime, of course, those things will take time to implement. I think that if we could all commit to certain small changes, it would result in drastic differences. For instance, there's been a global blackout moment happening for a couple of years now...What if we all agreed to cut off electronics (not the fridge and all the lights, but say, tvs, dvd players, computers, games...most of the lights...etc) in our homes at night for two hours per week...Whenever we want, as long as it's in the evening...around the whole world, or even just in America...each family, two hours a week, ...Can you imagine the change in consumption? Can you imagine if we could do it for a whole day?
I'm sure there are even more options that are available that I'm not even seeing...and that's just the point! We are far too dependent on electricity and oil - it wasn't that long ago that people lived according to when it got dark...I'm not saying we need to go back to those times...but I'm saying we might not need all the powered stuff quite as much as we think do...we need to get creative! LOL
Good thread...sorry for my ramblings.
The "greenest " source of energy that's commercially available today is nuclear and it takes about thirty years to build a nuclear plant, mainly because of regulation. Bio-energy isn't all it's cracked up to be and creates quite a large carbon footprint. There are many problems with bio-fuels not the least of which are water and land use. Same with wind. It would take about 186,000 wind mills just to supply 20% of the current grid. Solar is off the table. It's just not commercially viable without government subsidies, in other words taxes on you and me. The key is cutting consumption and we're just not going to change our lifestyles significantly enough over a short period of time to make a difference. As Obama has said, 'energy prices will necessarily have to rise significantly' in order to provide the motivation to the masses to cut consumption and to raise revenues to subsidize the expensive alternatives. The trick is to do so gradually enough that it doesn't upset the economy or create social unrest.
I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but it sounds skewed by someone with an interest in nuclear power; while it may be "green" on the surface, it is quite dangerous and not the way we ought to go.
I think if you will re-read my post you will see I mentioned the importance of diversifying, i.e., using multiple kinds of energy...combining wind, water, solar, oil, etc...which would deal with the problem of needing so many windmills (or so many of anything). I believe you have been misinformed about the difficulties of bio-fuels (which have been exaggerated) as well the role of solar energy, which is most certainly NOT off the table...look at some of the energy initiatives going on in places that aren't the U.S. and you'll see what I mean.
Solar remain expensive and it's only used on a small scale and even at that only because it's subsidized. It remains highly inefficient. The best panels, used by NASA are only 40% efficient and an investment in such panels by an individual could never be recaptured over their useful life. There is some promise in the solar field on the horizon but that's perhaps ten years away.
I stand by my comments regarding bio-fuels. Any substantial increase in production will require expanded use of land and water resources which as we have already seen can raise food prices by diverting land normally used for food supply towards energy production. You have to look at the whole production chain with bio-fuels to see the "savings" isn't all that great. Sure on a small scale it can make a contribution.
Nuclear still remains the best alternative because there is zero emissions in the production of electricity. I understand there is an issue with the radioactive waste, but much of that can be resolved by recycling now.
Solar energy could be mass produced if we get serious about developing proper sources of storage. That needs investment to speed up technological innovation. Remember when personal computers only had about 10MB of hard disk memory? I think we can improve solar storage systems.
About the issue of bio-fuels...The U.S. could produce tremendous amounts of bio-mass to make alcohol or bio-diesel for fuel without using food lands.
On the other hand, the U.S. has one the largest reserves of coal and oil shale on earth and new technologies have been developed to get it out of the ground without environmental damage.
Or income has to drop significantly, and this is I think what is likely to happen.
Alternative power could be made a lot better and a lot cheaper but the desire isn't there to do it, because of corporate greed. There is not enough continuing profit in for the rich elite.
Did it happen or was it a movie ? where someone invented tyres than never needed replaced, and it was promptly bought up by the big companies, then buried, because it would destroy their ongoing industry. No doubt cars can run on water but it'll never be allowed to happen.
One day oil may very well run out, even though I was told 30 years ago that there was only 30 years supply left. Now 30 years later, there is only 50 years supply left! <don't ask!>
When it goes, the money will go into something else, but it won't be wind and water power unless they are built to be replaced every few years - like cars. In fact, there is absolutely no need to build cars that cost thousands and don't last any length of time. For the price they charge they should last a lifetime.
The recent disaster in the Gulf is what happens when risk is calculated against greed. The government is egregiously offensive in its' regulatory duties in many areas but it only comes to rear its' ugly head when there are disasters to exemplify it.
The US is a bottom line country. When there are problems they have to be the worst before we change our attitude and behavior. The Walmart/Home Depot mentality is a crowning example of this mindset in our country. We buy the cheap goods we want from these chains that are counter to our job security and trade deficit. The bottom line is we want to pay less no matter the consequences.
We will not convert from fossil fuels while the cost is cheaper and easier to get but costs us our enviornmental and monetary security.
Lets face it, the US doesn't move towards uncomfortable change but has to be dragged kicking and screaming towards the door with dire consequences as the impetus.
Besides there will be no let up by big oil to demand us to buy oil as long as there is a profitable drop left in the ground.
While I can agree that chasing the bottom line can easily be described as "GREED". I'm not sure how much more could have been done to prevent this horrible accident. The bottom line to me is that government regulation contributed more to the sequence of events than any thing else. After all it was regulations that put the rig in that location...so far out, so deep. It was known at the time that these "blow out valves" are not relieable at those depths. In order to obtain the lease the MMI requires a disaster plan from the company wishing to drill. BP's plan was to burn the oil. This was never implimented on the scale it should have. Further I'm not so sure it was a great idea to begin with. However soot in the sky seems better than entire estuaries destroyed. The governments idea that if no one can see it and its not on land, the effects will never bee seen or felt has now been proven false.
Oil companies have to go along with rediculous regs in order to get what they are after...oil. Oil companies have been paying a tax to cover disasters since the 20's...where is the money? You can blame it on "Corporate Greed" but who is the second largest profiteer of the oil industry...yep you guessed it the government. The Fed is in bed with the "evil oil barrons"
I agree with TheGlassSpider that energy resources must be diversified in order to cut the dependence on oil, therefore more economic resources should be invested in alternative strategies. In addition, we must reduce consumption. How can we do it? One alternative is to invest in technological innovation of efficient and low consuming vehicles and appliances. And another, transforming the culture of consumption.
You have to see the movie, Who Killed The Electric Car .
It blew my mind! Check it out!
I'm currently reading a book about organic housekeeping (I know, sounds boring, but it's not) and she emphasizes how we need to recycle everything that we can, reuse what we can and compost our food wastes.
did you know that making paper from recycled paper uses 60 to 70% less energy and 55% less water than converting virgin pulp to paper?
only 5% of the worlds population lives in the United States, but we use 25% of its resources.
RebekahE You provided a very good info, it stresses the relevance of creativity and innovation in order to cut dependence on oil and also re-education and transformation of our consumption habits.
Thanks for your post... so you think offshore drilling is unnecessary?
I think offshore drilling in the Gulf near such important eco-systems and coastal areas is too risky and unnecessary. this recent spill has already affected our coastal communities economically and the oil hasn't reached our area. just the slogan, drill baby drill, makes me ill.
Here's an idea, and it may or may not work.
There should be a mandatory oil containment crew, at every offshore rig, preparing for an oil spill. They should have containment supplies and skimmers ready to go at any moment.
Just as fire departments and the military prepare for pending disaster. What about having a mile perimeter around each rig of oil spill barriers put in place before a spill happens?
It seems to me, that with all the billions these oil companies are making, they can put more security into what they are doing.
It sometimes makes me wonder if they are doing this kind of stuff on purpose, so they can continue to keep the price of oil high.
Just as some farms destroy their abundant crops to keep the prices of produce at a premium.
You would think that they would have figured this out by now.
Another thing they could do, is have a spill barrier that goes to the surface on all the pipes that they lay, then that way they would know where to contain any spill, and possibly save what is getting to the surface. At least that would keep it from
I am all for drilling now and I hope I can explain why to you with out sounding like an idiot.
This spill should have us thinking sure, but to stop drilling, NO way. BP and the Trans??? company failed to have the proper controls and failed to maintain those controls they did have for shutting down the rig. But our government also failed. Part of the emergency plan, was to have the necessary tools to combat a leak and not only did we not have them ready, we did not even have them at all. We had to call other countries for the fire bombs.
The oil is there, if we don't use, it someone else will eventually take it. Right now in the gulf, Brazil and other countries have leases to drill for that oil. We can not control what they do there and we are not getting any of the oil. They are tapping into reserves that connect to American oil reserves. Someone will get the oil, why shouldn't it be us? That way, we control the safety and regulations.
There is more oil seeping naturally, every year off the coast of California than was spilled in the Valdez. The state of California could see a profit of upwards of 4 billion a year if they would tap into that oil. And Lord knows they need it.
Jobs would be created all over the country. From the rigs that pump it to the refineries and to the industry around each location, jobs would spring up. Good paying blue collar and white collar jobs.
And most importantly, we would not be dependent on foreign oil. That is how it is worded, but what it really means, is that we are sending billions and billions of dollars ever year to the Middle East to countries that hate us. They in turn are helping to fund our enemies. We are in actuality, funding both sides of the war over there. Wouldn't it be great to not give them that ind of money? Wouldn't it be great to use that money here in America?
So I say, make it safe. Keep it safe, and drill.
Most alternative fuels are decades at least, away from being feasible. Natural gas I think is the ticket for now. If you want to effect immediate change from supporting terrorist nations.
that's quite an assumption and is so grossly false.
I would hardly consider that most hubbers who post in the forums are 'far' left. there are many who are far right and rather far out.
Solar panels have already been discounted as simply not being powerful enough, unless we build a massive array of solar panels in space and beam the energy via high intensity lasers. Although, again, if something goes wrong there we would be looking at another kind of disaster.
I agree with Sab Oh, all kinds of energy creation are dangerous, and the ones that are not dangerous just don't create enough power.
You might also want to remember that solar energy (actual solar cells which turn water in to electricity, not solar water heaters) create more toxic waste than nuclear power if you compare both the creation of the units and the resulting waste. Wind turbines have shown to have an adverse affect on the patterns of wild animals, especially bats.
The oil spill may have been caused by a whole host of things, but the truth of the matter is that there is no American legal jurisdiction in those waters, and a lot of people have simply been using the disaster to further their own political image. Maybe some international drilling standards should be tightened, but all the fuss created over oil companies donations to political parties doesn't really make a difference when the drilling occurs out in international waters, where most of the taxes/donations paid are to gain access to the mineral rights which the US owns.
I don't see a problem with offshore oil-drilling except for the lack of creating and implementing a disaster plan. There should have been a plan A, plan B, and at least a plan C before any offshore oil-rigs were set up.
Why are these oil companies making so much money if they can't properly analyze the dangers and be creative enough to discover several possible solutions prior to a real disaster?? If they did the disaster results wouldn't be as damaging as they are.
It is official, BP's Gulf oil spill is already the worst US oil spill ever, far worst than Exxon Valdez. Yet many people still defend OFFSHORE oil drilling, which is the topic of this thread.
thisisoli, your comment is very welcome. The issue with alternative energy technology is that it needs more resources (human and material capital) in order to encourage and develop new artifacts with better efficiency. Also it needs a market. Every new technology have its own sort of deficiencies, but only continuos intellectual and investment efforts makes them more efficient and cheaper. If serious resources have been put in place back in the 1970's (in the context of the oil crisis), the story would have been different by now.
Think about all the technological innovations and transformations that have occurred in the past four decades...
Let me put in my two cents.
I believe another huge energy reservoir was discovered by BP and there are forces which are not going to let it be produced.
Boone Pickens has been trying to get the U.S. to switch to natural gas as a base fuel. It is a very clean fue The Mississippi Canyon 252 well has an estimated reserve of 8 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
I believe the value behind the American dollar is crude oil. We have a lot of it in the United States that could be produced cheaply and safely. We also have enough coal and natural gas to make the U.S. energy independent for the next 200 years. So why make it so hard to use it? The value of the dollar!
I predict the offshore rigs will leave the Gulf of Mexico and it won't be long before refineries will be forced to cutback radically and perhaps close.
I hope we are able to clean up the Spill and revitalize the ecosystem because fishing and tourism is all the Gulf will have left if President Obama gets his way.
If we think that limiting the US drilling will decrease chances of oil spills we are naive at best. The amount of ocean in our control is tiny compared to what is out there.
Not only that, but far more polution comes from run-off from large cities etc. But that is not as news worthy..slow death doesnt make a good picture.
Also, do you think we as a country would do well with $6 a gallon gas and $1000 heating bills? I think not.
This is a good point, as an underwater engineer for many years I saw the seabed around many coasts change from highly populated underwater forests and grass plains to muddy deserts with little life. I always thought this was due mainly to the millions of tons of bleach that advertisers persuade us to poor uselessly down the toilet, and the chemicals in detergents that are not removed prior to being pumped into everypart of every coast.
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