I was watching the news the other night when it was announced that John “I’m Not a Snob” Kerry and Joe “Droopy-Dog” Lieberman teamed up to unveil the American Power Act. Lindsey Graham was also working with them on the bill, but backed out because there are Mexicans in Arizona. I’m not sure what one has to do with the other, but then I’ve never understood GOP logic, so I won’t comment about that here.
The purpose of the new proposal (which will likely die a slow death in Congress with little or no GOP support) is to change the direction of our energy policies. There is much good in the bill, but what bothers me, is that it was reported that the bill is packed full of subsidies for Big Oil and Big Coal.
Those oil guys sure know how to squeeze the juice out of a Senator. I mean really. As a gaping hole in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico caused by the negligence of BP (a.k.a. Bend over People) is spewing tens-of-thousands of gallons of crude per day into vital fishing grounds and a delicate marine habitat, these two guys are ready to hand over more money we don’t have to these multi-billion-dollar titans who have more than they can ever use.
That takes some stones to offer up something like that to the American public in the middle of an environmental oil spill of Biblical proportion and still keep a straight face.
Never mind that BP (a.k.a. Big Pork) may have destroyed the livelihoods of millions of hard-working people that depend on the gulf to make a living with their latest careless blunder. Big Oil needs more of our money. Now the American taxpayer is supposed to pony up to help these environmental slayers pay to clean up their industry? Why are these special interest people allowed to sit in with our Congressmen and help write these bills? I thought Obama was supposed to put an end to crap like that.
How is it that the oil is “ours”, but our government leases the mineral rights to these industry giants (with little or no oversight), then they take the oil and sell it on the world market, while paying a pittance in royalties and leases (approx. $14 billion per annum)? BP (a.k.a. Big Profits) alone nets that much in profits every year. "We the people" assume the environmental risks and they walk off with all of the coin. Who comes up with this garbage? I want to renegotiate.
It's news like this that makes me want to run off to Crazyville, join the tea-baggers and give a swift boot to most of these so called “leaders” on both sides of the political aisle. If they no longer want to work for the American people, fine. They can take two years off and become a lobbyist. It will still be unethical work, but at least they can then be honest about who they really work for.
Anyway, I did a little digging and it seems this isn’t the first time there has been a huge spill in the Gulf of Mexico, though the powers in power would like us to think something like this has never happened before in the Gulf.
According to NOAA:
On June 3, 1979, the 2 mile deep exploratory well, IXTOC I, blew out in the Bahia de Campeche, 600 miles south of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. The IXTOC I was being drilled by the SEDCO 135, a semi-submersible platform on lease to Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). A loss of drilling mud circulation caused the blowout to occur. http://www.incidentnews.gov/incident/6250
This little incident is a near-mirror image of what has happened on the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe only on a smaller scale. The expanding gases escaped, exploded and sank the rig, only in much shallower water than the Deepwater Horizon sank in.
Their blowout preventer also failed and when they finally got it closed after sitting on the bottom for a couple of weeks, it almost ruptured so they had to open it again and let it free flow. They also tried the junk-shot (sounds dirty), trying to fill the blowout enhancer, (I mean blowout preventer) with lead and scrap metal. That idea also failed, though it did slow the flow.
Oil raced toward the surface of the Gulf for nine months at a rate of 10,000-30,000 barrels per day until two relief wells were eventually drilled, allowing them to cap the primary well. Sound familiar?
An estimated 4 million barrels eventually spewed into the Gulf. That was with a nine inch well head. The Deepwater Horizon used a twenty-one inch well head. In three weeks this spill has already surpassed that 1979 disaster. Wrap your mind around that for a moment.
It took two months for the oil from the Ixtoc I to finally reach Texas, but reach Texas it did and caused ruin to wildlife, tourism and livelihoods alike. Tourism dropped by sixty percent with untold damage to the environment and the economy. I fear the worst of this present spill is yet to come.
The Mexican Government refused to pay for the damage or the clean up, much like the response I expect from BP (a.k.a. Broken Pipes), regardless of what fodder they may be promising the cameras.
If history is any gauge, they will fight tooth and nail before they offer up anything of real substance to cover the damage. BP (a.k.a. Bend over Peons) has already tried to convince some shrimpers to sign waivers not to sue in exchange for a paltry sum and many of the families of the eleven that lost their lives in the disaster have been approached with pay-offs. It seems BP (a.k.a. Big Phonies) is big on oil, small on ethics.
I hope and pray that they get this thing plugged in a hurry, but judging by the above information, and the fact that this blowout will be exponentially more difficult to stop…well, let’s just say I’m not getting a fuzzy feeling that they’ve learned much about stopping underwater blowouts since the Intoc I debacle.
And we’ve been no help in that regard, either. Our government has turned their backs on regulating the industry for as long as these people have been poking holes in the sea floor with no idea of how to plug them when they blow. And we keep driving our land yachts like the oil is going to last forever and there are no consequences, so we must all share a portion of the blame. We have met the enemy and they are us.
If we only reap $14 billion per year through lease and royalty agreements, then subsidize the oil industry, what do we actually gain? Three or four cents per gallon if anything? That hardly seems worth the effort when a gallon of gas is three dollars.
We need to start thinking about why we are drilling in the gulf at all. The U.S. has only two percent of the world’s oil supply and we use about twenty-five percent of the world’s oil. The argument that we can drill our way out of a future energy shortage is ludicrous at best.
Gulf oil goes on the world markets the same as all oil goes on the world market. The oil is then sold to the highest bidder. In reality, we don’t know where our oil actually goes to or where it comes from and it makes no difference. We only need to know that we are contributing very little oil to the overall equation.
“Drill Baby, Drill” becomes a moot point when all of our oil is sold on a market we have little control over. We just turn around and buy it back at a marked up rate. We purchase from a pool and we have the biggest straw, so anyone who claims that we are funding Middle Eastern Nations that want to do us harm, by not drilling in off-shore waters, should understand that argument is hollow and pointless.
The only way we will ever get off the dinosaur tit and stop making harmful nations rich is to develop alternative energy sources. Period. We already have the technology; all we need is the will and a sweeping change in attitude.
Which brings me to my final point, I know that off-shore drilling generates jobs and we need jobs desperately, but why do we continue to kick all of these other industries (local fisheries, tourism, etc.) to the curb or destroy them, so that Big Oil can profit at the expense of all other livelihoods and our environment?
It is well past time that we rethink our position and develop energy policies that make sense for all Americans and not just the oil and coal industries. It will be difficult and we will have to make great sacrifices for that to happen, but those sacrifices will pale in comparison to what we will lose if we lose the Gulf of Mexico.
Is the seriousness of this event being downplayed? I believe it is. To get an idea of what we are not being shown and get a feel for the real scope of this catastrophe, view these photos from the Boston Globe. They are haunting. http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/05/disaster_unfolds_slowly_in_the.html