Archive for May 27th, 2010

Wanker Of The Day

John Kerry, Environmental Champion:

File this one under not at all helpful:

Stopping offshore drilling is not a realistic option, the senator said.

“Now we are not going to stop drilling in the Gulf tomorrow, folks. Let’s be realistic. There are 48,000 wells out there. One of them went sour. About 30 percent of our transportation fuel comes from the Gulf. You think Americans are going to suddenly stop driving to work tomorrow? Do you think people are going to stop driving the trucks to deliver the goods to the department stores? Not going to happen,” said the Massachusetts Democrat.

This goes beyond the strictly political argument I’ve heard from staffers, which says that drilling is part of Senator Kerry’s energy legislation only because it may help pick up Republican support.  It remains to be seen whether that political calculation will pay dividends or end up costing the bill more support than it gains.

The bit about halting drilling ‘tomorrow’ is a straw-man designed to make opponents of offshore drilling seem extreme.  While some groups are calling for a pause on new permits, and others may be advocating taking steps to shut down currently operating offshore rigs, I haven’t seen anyone argue that we should stop drilling ‘tomorrow.’

Thanks, Big John.  Way to be a fierce advocate for the environment and brand the Democrats as the let’s-not-destroy-any-more-ecosystems party.

May 27th, 2010 at 06:25pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Energy,Environment,Politics,Wankers

Liberty For White Guys!

Yes, it is kinda ironic that the teabaggers are suddenly so up in arms about government infringing on personal freedom, yet don’t seem at all bothered by Arizona’s show-me-your-papers law.  I’m pretty sure their passion for freedom only applies to white people – after all, it’s not like the teabaggers were up in arms about Bush/Cheney’s warrantless wiretapping, indefinite detentions, or torture of Teh Scary Muslims.

May 27th, 2010 at 11:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Immigration,Racism,Republicans,Wankers

What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

Inconceivable!

When it approved BP’s 2009 plan to start an exploratory well 50 miles off the Louisiana coast — the same well that is now spewing millions of gallons of crude into the Gulf — the federal agency that oversees oil drilling assumed there would be little risk of a well blowout and likely no death to marine life if an accident were to happen.

BP estimated that in the worst case, a blowout at the well would spew out 162,000 barrels of oil every day, a massive figure that far exceeds any estimate of what is coming out now.

But in its exploration plan in March 2009, BP assured the federal Minerals Management Service that a well blowout was so unlikely that “a blowout scenario … is not required for the operations proposed.”

MMS then granted BP a “categorical exclusion” from a public review of the potential environmental impact of the drilling.

That was in line with the general view of MMS that a blowout was nothing to be feared. Before the lease of the oilfields in 2008, the MMS wrote a generic Environmental Impact Statement for the entire northern and western Gulf of Mexico that made the catastrophic well blowout that happened April 20 seem like a near impossibility.

MMS produced its blanket Environmental Impact Statement for 11 proposed leases, mostly off the Louisiana and Texas coasts. One of those planned sales was Lease Sale 206, which gave BP the right to drill at what is known as Mississippi Canyon 252 with a Transocean oil rig called Deepwater Horizon.

The MMS assessed everything from the possible impact of noise on marine life to the specific vulnerabilities of sea turtles and sturgeon, but through it all, the agency assumed any oil that might be spilled would be minimal and any leak would be quickly shut off.

(…)

When it comes to the type of oil well blowout that happened April 20, MMS was downright dismissive. The agency determined that fewer than six of every 10,000 wells would have a blowout that caused any oil to spill. Blowouts are “rare events of short duration,” the study stated, and “the infrequent subsurface blowout that may occur on the Gulf OCS (Outer Continental Shelf) would have a negligible effect on commercial fishing.”

That paved the way for BP to assert that its plans for drilling in Lease Sale 206 posed no real dangers.

After stating that 162,000 barrels a day is the worst-case scenario from a blowout of the well, BP certifies that it “has the capability to respond, to the maximum extent practicable, to a worst-case discharge.” Elsewhere in the document, the company states it could deal with a loss of well control by drilling a relief well, but states a “further discussion of response to an oil spill resulting from the activities proposed in this plan is not required for this Exploration Plan.”

I mean, how could anyone possibly expect that there might be an uncontrollable blowout in a well a mile underwater?  Why, that’s just crazy talk!

May 27th, 2010 at 07:13am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Environment,Wankers


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