Sunday, May 30, 2010

Your Depressing Fact for the Day

According to a CNN interview with Louisiana's Senator David Vitter, there are 5,000 oil wells operating in the Gulf of Mexico.

Five thousand.

I've been unable to find out how many are operated by BP, but evidence is mounting that none of them should be. BP's safety record over time indicates that they should clean up their mess as best they can, fold up the tent, and liquidate their business. Undoubtedly, there are individuals in the company that should either be criminally prosecuted or should never be permitted to work in the oil industry again—or both.

Anyone taking bets on the odds of those things happening?


Idna said...

Now why do you suppose there are 5,000 oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico? And why the heck are they drilling in 5,000 feet of water?? Charles Krauthammer had a great article recently asking these same questions. I will paraphrase some of them.

He talks about the environmental chic which has driven us out there. As the "safer" 1,000 feet deep wells dry up, oil companies have to go deeper & deeper. The safer depth areas in the Pacific and Atlantic coasts have been off-limits to oil production. And in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

There will always be a chance of oil spills. Where would you rather have one: in the Gulf of Mexico, upon which thousands depend for their livelihood, or in the Arctic, where there are practically no people? Why have we pushed the drilling from the barren to the populated, from the remote wilderness to a center of fishing, shipping, tourism and recreation?

Consider the irony that laws supposedly "saving" the environment may have been a major cause of this environmental disaster.

Our arrogant, fearless leader who just two years ago declared that history will mark his ascent to the presidency as the moment when "our planet began to heal" and "the rise of the oceans began to slow," along with all other finger- pointing politicians, should admit that it is because of government regulation that a company is forced to drill in an unprecedented, ultra deep technological frontier.

Citizen Jane said...

Hi, Idna,

Yes, there are very few people in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That's why they call it a wildlife refuge.

And speaking of presidents, why is it that there was virtually NO progress in the U.S. on clean energy alternatives during the 1st decade of this century, while countries like China, Germany, and Denmark made huge advancements.

Oh--yeah--never mind. That was during the GWB administration--Mr. oil man himself and all his cronies.

Just follow the money.

Idna said...

Well actually, Jane, there was quite a bit of progress made during the first decade of this century under President Bush's watch. In fact, more than any other decade.

Do you not remember him talking time and time again about our addiction to oil and the need to find alternative sources of energy? Selective memory, maybe?

Here are a few words to jar the memory ... ethanol, biomass, wind turbines, hybrid cars, biofuels from "cellulose", wood chips, sawgrass, lithium-ion batteries, solar for home and commercial use, etc. Google it sometime and you'll see just how many new things were researched during that first decade.

Just because the next perfect energy source has not been discovered yet, you can't say that there was NO attempt during the Bush administration.

Six said...

Uh CJ - they are both oil men. Follow the money indeed... no, really, follow it. Put aside your Rachel Maddow esq love-affair Obama and look at it objectively and stop trying to blame a man who has not been in office for nearly two years and didn't have any real authority/leverage for the last several years of his presidency.

Citizen Jane said...

"Both oil men"? I'm puzzled by that remark, Six. What does Obama have to do with oil?

Sometimes a person is little more than a label--as in "just a politician." (John McCain falls into that category, in my opinion. The man seems to have no integrity whatever apart from his desire to get elected.) But there are others who are people first and for whom being a "politician" is a means to an end.

I think both Bush and Obama are men first--very different kinds of people--who happen to use political office as a means to achieve very different ends.

Six said...

Do a little digging CJ - President Obama recieved more than a little from oil companies... many of his top contributors were presidents/chairmen of oil companies. BP donated - err... employees of BO donated more to Obama than any other candidate over the last couple of decades. If you don't think he is a little influenced by it, go back and read his announcement right before the PR nightmare explosion about Obama expanding oil exploration/drilling. I think Obama and Bush are more alike than you are willing to admit.

Citizen Jane said...

Six, I'm not talking about political contributions--although that's certainly a topic worth pursuing. (What ever happened to the John McCain who was once in favor of campaign finance reform?)

Rather, I'm talking about a former administration composed of millionaires whose extraordinary family wealth came from oil (Bush's from Texas oil, Cheney's from Wyoming wells). Both men and many of their closest "advisors" were absolute slaves to the interests of big money and, especially, big oil.

Here's a story from early in the administration that alludes to some of those connections:,8599,320735,00.html

Idna said...

Well, as usual with many topics on this blog, the discussion has degenerated to Bush bashing ... and in this case, throw in Cheney and Mc Cain bashing too, for good measure.

Why is it so difficult to stay on track when discussing a topic without resorting to nasty liberal talking points?

I was almost tempted to refute your attempts to again demonize Bush & Cheney for having been successful businessmen. But what's the point? I'd much rather have someone who actually understands business be in the White House, than our current, clueless community organizer with his Chicago thug friends.

BTW ... Cheney made his fortune in Wyoming oil? Where did you find that info? He had been in government since the 60's with a few years here and there in private business. Being Halliburton CEO, during the Clinton years, brought him most of his money.

But why are we talking about the biographies of a past Pres. & VP when the topic was BP and the oil spill TODAY ... real time?

Citizen Jane said...

Hello, Idna,

Well first, I alluded to Bush and Cheney's well-known and well-documented ties to big oil. I'm not sure that's "bashing." Since he took the trouble to defend them today, I think it's safe to say that Bush stands by his policies of waging aggressive war and torture. I believe his position and his actions, in these and other areas, were and are contemptible. These are facts, however, not "nasty liberal talking points."

As for McCain's habit of flip-flopping, let me count the ways . . .:

(Pardon the liberal source, but they actually took the time to list many of McCain's habitual--and often inexplicable--policy shifts.)

Calling names, on the other hand, is "bashing."

Here's the link to an article about Bush's remarks today: