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Perfectly safe

Happy Earth Day.

Eleven people are missing and a 1-mile-by-5-mile sheen of crude oil mix has spread across an area of the Gulf of Mexico where an oil rig exploded and sank late Tuesday. The deepwater oil platform, the Deepwater Horizon, could release over 300,000 gallons of crude oil each day, into the Gulf. (Note added April 26, 2010: The oil slick is now 700 mi², and choppy seas are frustrating containment. The rate of leakage is estimated at 42,000 gallons/day. The search for the 11 missing has been suspended.)

CNN quotes BP Vice President David Rainey as saying, “it certainly has the potential to be a major spill.” BP PLC operates the license on which the rig was drilling. The mobile rig was about 52 miles southeast of Venice, Lousiana when the explosion occurred, with 126 people on board. Of the 115 workers who have been accounted for, 17 injured were evacuated by helicopter, 94 were taken to shore with no major injuries, and four were transferred to another vessel, according to the Coast Guard.

A federal lawsuit was filed yesterday on behalf of the 11 missing workers.

Senior Chief Petty Officer Michael O’Berry said that up to 336,000 gallons of oil could spill into the Gulf of Mexico (EACH DAY), and Coast Guard Petty Officer Ashley Butler said that up to 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel could also leak.

Meanwhile, offshore oil drilling off the California Coast CONTINUES to be discussed. There had been effectively a moratorium on new drilling since the disastrous Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969, in which an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 BARRELS of crude oil spilled into the channel and onto Santa Barbara area beaches. Of course Newt and the gang changed the rules prohibiting drilling, by holding the financing of the federal government hostage. Greed, like stupidity, has no limits.

“President Obama’s decision to block the Bush administration’s plan to expand drilling off the California coast,” Senator Barbara Boxer said in a statement, “recognizes the importance of protecting our state’s $23-billion coastal economy, thousands of jobs and the beauty of our state.”

However, the LATimes editorial goes on to say that the Obama plan, while protecting California, Oregon, and Washington coastlines would inflict “those same burdens on other states as part of a package that would exacerbate climate change, deliver negligible economic benefits and double down on America’s destructive dependence on fossil fuels.”

The political debate rages on.

No doubt, we shall once again hear from Big Oil that the technology is perfectly safe.

Tell that to the families of the 11 missing.

“Drill, baby, drill.

(Note added April 26, 2010: Although a CNN article makes it look as though progress is being made with oil leakage [42,000 gallons/day] after the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, California TV news reports that the oil slick now measures 700 mi² and that choppy seas are frustrating efforts to contain the oil, which threatens marine and aquatic life and fishing industries. In addition, major storms are headed to the Gulf, which gives workers only a short window. As of Sunday, only about 1,143 barrels or 48,000 gallons [a little more than a DAY’s worth of leakage] has been collected. The tragic accident with the loss of 11 lives looks like a timely warning with regard to offshore drilling.)

-Bill at

Cheshire Cat Photo™ – “Your Guide to California’s Wonderland™”

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©2010 William F. Hackett. All Rights Reserved.

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