environment Politics: Big Oil corporate irresponsibility denialists
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As terrible as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was, one element worked in the favor of rescuers and cleanup personnel: location. The Gulf of Mexico is the nerve center of the U.S. offshore oil industry, which made it that much easier for BP and the federal government to respond quickly to the spill. The warm Gulf environment also simplified operations and accelerated the natural dispersal of the oil. As one environmentalist noted at the time, having an oil spill in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico was like having a heart attack in the middle of a hospital. It’s still a heart attack, but at least you won’t have to wait long for treatment.
Now imagine the opposite — a heart attack far, far away from the closest medical care. That’s what’s unfolding this week in Alaska, where a Shell drilling rig called the Kulluk broke free from a tow ship in stormy seas on New Year’s Eve before running aground on the southeast coast of Sitkalidak Island, near the larger island of Kodiak. It’s not clear yet how much if any of the rig’s more than 150,000 gal. of diesel fuel and lubricants might have spilled into the freezing cold waters. And because the ship was in transit rather than actively drilling, there’s no danger of a major oil blowout similar to the Deepwater Horizon spill. But the accident and the struggles that Shell and the U.S. Coast Guard have already experienced trying to save the rig underscores just how difficult and dangerous drilling in Arctic waters will be — which should be worrying since the oil industry and the Obama Administration are counting on the bounty promised in the far north.
Fucking delusional idiots. Sent January 3:
Einstein’s definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result,” is perfectly applied to Shell Oil’s current Arctic debacle. For decades Shell and its Big Oil peers have botched every aspect of their business: exploration and extraction leave gaping wounds on the Earth’s surface; transportation spills toxic crude in oceans and aquifers, devastating local and regional ecosystems; refineries waste huge quantities of raw material as pollution. Meanwhile oil’s business practices enrich a small coterie of executive while feeding at the public trough and fostering a culture of dependency among consumers; oil’s geopolitics leads us into war after war at an immeasurable cost; oil’s PR funds the denial of science and muddies the national conversation on climate change, the gravest crisis in humankind’s history.
Perhaps entrusting the future of our energy economy to demonstrably incompetent and untrustworthy corporations wasn’t such a good idea after all.