Did the government cause the Gulf spill?

posted at 9:30 am on July 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The generally accepted view of the Deepwater Horizon disaster has focused on the blowout preventer and the non-standard procedures BP conducted just before the explosion and fire.  However, most of the damage and the main source of the spill came from the collapse and sinking of the DH platform rather than the initial explosion.  A new report by the Center for Public Integrity, based on testimony from people on scene and Coast Guard logs, contains evidence that the platform sunk because of a botched response from the Coast Guard, which failed to coordinate firefighting efforts and to get the proper resources to fight the fire:

The Coast Guard has gathered evidence it failed to follow its own firefighting policy during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and is investigating whether the chaotic spraying of tons of salt water by private boats contributed to sinking the ill-fated oil rig, according to interviews and documents.

Coast Guard officials told the Center for Public Integrity that the service does not have the expertise to fight an oil rig fire and that its response to the April 20 explosion may have broken the service’s own rules by failing to ensure a firefighting expert supervised the half-dozen private boats that answered the Deepwater Horizon’s distress call to fight the blaze.

An official maritime investigation led by Coast Guard Capt. Hung M. Nguyen in New Orleans is examining whether the salt water that was sprayed across the burning platform overran the ballast system that kept the rig upright, changing its weight distribution, and causing it to list.

Ocean rigs are massive, tall structures — usually several stories high — that float on the water.  The rig can be lowered or raised by adjusting air and sea water contained in its ballast tanks.  These tanks have seals that were likely damaged by the fire blazing on the rig, which would have allowed the massive amounts of sea water sprayed on the rig to fight the fire to enter the tanks and seriously disturb the rig’s center of gravity.

The main source of the spill was not the blowout preventer, but the riser pipe to the rig.  When the rig collapsed and sank a few days after the blowout, the pipe tore open and began pouring tens of thousands of barrels of oil each day into the Gulf of Mexico.  Had the rig been salvaged, it’s likely that most of the spill would never have occurred.

The Coast Guard is not supposed to participate in firefighting, but instead assign an expert to coordinate the private firefighting efforts of the rig operator and its contractors.  The Coast Guard failed to do so, and the result was an uncoordinated, “general response” effort that mainly relied on salt water to extinguish the fires.  That is not the most effective way to fight rig fires; the best way is to use foam, which apparently wasn’t on hand.  An expert would have known this, but as CPI’s report of the testimony shows, none was assigned:

Kevin Robb, a civilian Coast Guard search and rescue specialist who acted as the first watch commander the night of the accident, testified that there was no attempt by the Coast Guard Command Center in New Orleans to designate a fire marshal to take charge.

“Did you, sir, make any efforts on that first night when you responded to the Command Center to identify a certified fire marshal to oversee the firefighting efforts?” Robb was asked at the hearing on May 11, according to a transcript reviewed by the Center.

“No, sir, I did not,” he answered.

“Are you aware of anyone else at the Coast Guard Command Center that made such an effort?

“No, sir, not to my knowledge.”

“Do you know, if at any point, over the next several days there was ever any designation of an authority, a governmental authority to oversee or coordinate the firefighting effort for this rig?” Robb was asked.

“No, sir, I don’t,” replied Robb.

Rob Bluey notes that the White House has been quiet about this, and has a few ideas why:

These new details raise serious questions for the White House, which has repeatedly pinned the blame on BP. If it turns out the Coast Guard is at fault — either because it didn’t follow proper procedures or couldn’t respond adequately because of a lack of resources — the public has a right to know why we’re just now learning this information 100 days after the disaster began.

The crippling budget cuts President Obama proposed for the Coast Guard also deserve a closer examination. Obama’s spending plan reduced the blue water fleet by a full one-third, slashed 1,000 personnel, five cutters, and several aircraft, including helicopters. According to the Center for Public Integrity, the Coast Guard updated its official maritime rescue manual — advising against firefighting aboard a rig — just seven months before the Deepwater Horizon explosion. That change in policy came at a time when Adm. Thad Allen warned the budget cuts threatened to turn the Coast Guard into a “hollow force.”

An earlier report from Mehta and Solomon also raised important questions that the White House has yet to answer about what Obama knew when. That investigation revealed the White House timeline of events failed to acknowledge an oil leak until four days after the explosion, even though the Coast Guard’s timeline reported a leak one day after the explosion.

That also has a relation to the administration’s insistence on imposing a moratorium on all new drilling in the Gulf.  If the issue was that previous inspections by the MMS couldn’t be trusted, it wouldn’t take a blanket moratorium to fix it.  MMS could reinspect each rig and allow new drilling to proceed on a case-by-case basis.  But if the Coast Guard has inadequate resources to address rig fires thanks to ill-conceived budget cuts, then their fear of expanded drilling makes a little more sense.

The White House needs to come clean on this point.  Certainly BP’s actions created the situation in the Gulf, but if the US response is what made it exponentially worse, we need to know that and take the corrective action necessary to ensure we don’t repeat it.

Update: I changed “have the proper resources” to “get the proper resources” in the first paragraph.  The CG isn’t expected to fight the fires themselves, but to coordinate the response and resources.  “Get” is more accurate.


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Give the man a break. He’s got his hands full, what with the car business, fundraisers, TV exposure, and race issues.

Don’t forget the golfing.

Vancomycin on July 30, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Well, when you’re a Socialist, your social calendar pre-empts the executive calendar.

“Whats on the schedule today…lets see…ah..I can work on ways to reduce my historical trillion dollar defict, or chat with the fat chicks on live TV. Ooooo…thats a toughy…”

BobMbx on July 30, 2010 at 11:37 AM

The Gulf burned while Obama golfed

faraway on July 30, 2010 at 11:45 AM

I’m really to old to believe in conspiracies but there sure has been a lot of explosians at fossil fuel facilities, coal mine, natural gas, refinery, not sure about nuclear, then that second well in the gulf hit by a tug? don’t know how this one is possible since they are capped so far below the water.

This Admin. wants to make us slaves to the world government and he is slowly doing it.

I pray that November is not to late.
God Bless America and my State of Arizona.

concernedsenior on July 30, 2010 at 11:48 AM

The White House needs to come clean on this point.

Hahahahaha!!!!!!!

Yeah, just like they ‘come clean, in Chicago’.

GarandFan on July 30, 2010 at 11:50 AM

To this day, no one has explaint the mystery SWAT team sent out to the site by the feds

entagor on July 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

that’s right, entagor

Also, there was only one article that Drudge linked about the tug boat crashing into a different oil rig owned by the State of Louisiana at the mouth of a marsh estuary.

maverick muse on July 30, 2010 at 12:27 PM

This reminds me of when the EPA complained that the original fire retardant coating on the space shuttle and the exterior tanks was ‘harmful’ to the environment because it contained freon…

So NASA changed it.

… We have two less shuttles as a result.

Seven Percent Solution on July 30, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Slightly OT, but could I ask a simple question: Why is BP closing out a well that is producing crude oil?

Isn’t that the whole point of drilling for oil in the first place?

Colbyjack on July 30, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Colbyjack:

Deepwater drilled and plugged the Tiber Well,at 35,055 feet.

Then went on to the
Well from Hell Macondo Mississippi Canyon Block 252,and
they were suppose to drill it,cap it and move on to another
drilling project!!!
=======================

Tiber Well
———–

http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7055818

canopfor on July 30, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Good question, but the first well drilled into a new suspected field is not normally designed to produce as is. It is normally for exploration to find out the exact geology. Jed Clampett is fiction. Giant is fiction. Everything you have seen from Hollywood is fiction (even the based on a true story stuff).

Kermit on July 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

I have a feeling someone will be pulling out the double-edged sword and trying to use it to hack through conservative voices on this issue.

So I’ll lay it out real clear before they try.

Yes, Conservatives want smaller government. But cutting our defense (the one expenditure that is constitutionally guaranteed) is foolish when we’re awash in entitlement programs.

ButterflyDragon on July 30, 2010 at 1:31 PM

Well, let’s see. I just read that the Coast Guards responsibility in well fires is to oversee the companies doing the actual work guided by an expert.
I think I can remember that. Why didn’t anybody at the WH know this? OK. Improper question when there is no answer. Nobody in this administration seems to have any answers to anything outside of saving their own wretched hides and scaring up votes.

LarryG on July 30, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Has the whole media been out on vacation with Bob Schieffer? Does anybody do any investigative journalism anymore? You would think there would be Pulitzers out there for some intrepid young reporters.

PatMac on July 30, 2010 at 1:53 PM

(quote)

The crippling budget cuts President Obama proposed for the Coast Guard also deserve a closer examination. Obama’s spending plan reduced the blue water fleet by a full one-third, slashed 1,000 personnel, five cutters, and several aircraft, including helicopters.

(end quote)

Ya think THESE jobs could be “saved”, as well as the cutters and aircraft, with Porkulus money? Isn’t this what the Federal Government is SUPPOSED to be doing?

Couldn’t we have a cutter or two floating around the Gulf (or anywhere else with offshore drilling) ready to spray enough foam to put out a burning oil rig? It would surely be cheaper than cleaning up Louisiana marshes and bailing out the shrimp industry…

Steve Z on July 30, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Does anybody do any investigative journalism anymore? You would think there would be Pulitzers out there for some intrepid young reporters.

PatMac on July 30, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Pulitzers are only given for the Right Sort Of Stories. Embarrassing Democrats means it’s the Wrong Kind Of Story.

This is Reality 101 stuff, you should know this by now.

Merovign on July 30, 2010 at 2:21 PM

he suddenly had a good excuse to put a stop to it.

Obama to expand offshore oil drilling
Tim Varga | April 13, 2010
http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/offshore-drilling

JellyToast on July 30, 2010 at 10:37 AM

JellyToast: Yup!!:)

canopfor on July 30, 2010 at 2:26 PM

canopfor on July 30, 2010 at 10:33 AM
====================
Good question, but the first well drilled into a new suspected field is not normally designed to produce as is. It is normally for exploration to find out the exact geology. Jed Clampett is fiction. Giant is fiction. Everything you have seen from Hollywood is fiction (even the based on a true story stuff).

Kermit on July 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Kermit: Ah,got it!!:):)

canopfor on July 30, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Has the whole media been out on vacation with Bob Schieffer? Does anybody do any investigative journalism anymore? You would think there would be Pulitzers out there for some intrepid young reporters.

PatMac on July 30, 2010 at 1:53 PM

If “investigative journalists” still existed, O’bama would never have been elected.

Del Dolemonte on July 30, 2010 at 2:40 PM

These new details raise serious questions for the White House, which has repeatedly pinned the blame on BP. If it turns out the Coast Guard is at fault — either because it didn’t follow proper procedures or couldn’t respond adequately because of a lack of resources — the public has a right to know why we’re just now learning this information 100 days after the disaster began.

The crippling budget cuts President Obama proposed for the Coast Guard also deserve a closer examination. Obama’s spending plan reduced the blue water fleet by a full one-third, slashed 1,000 personnel, five cutters, and several aircraft, including helicopters. According to the Center for Public Integrity, the Coast Guard updated its official maritime rescue manual — advising against firefighting aboard a rig — just seven months before the Deepwater Horizon explosion. That change in policy came at a time when Adm. Thad Allen warned the budget cuts threatened to turn the Coast Guard into a “hollow force.”

Mark Levin was talking about this mere days after the spill.

Rae on July 30, 2010 at 3:23 PM

one article that Drudge linked about the tug boat crashing into a different oil rig owned by the State of Louisiana at the mouth of a marsh estuary.

The article didn’t say whose tugboat it was, and there’s been no follow up on the story.

My thought when the article surfaced was that no one could ACCIDENTALLY ram down an oil rig in their tugboat, providing evidence of a concerted effort to literally destroy the oil industry with no care for the environment, supposedly the destroyers’ sacred cow, only sacred when convenient to use/abuse for show.

maverick muse on July 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Just because Kevin Robb, a civilian S&R specialist on the scene, didn’t know if anyone at HQ on shore was trying to scare up a marine firefighting expert, does not mean that no one was.

It’s also not clear whether the CG has any responsibility to do so. Their mission in a marine disaster is rescuing people not putting out fires. The article states that firefighting is the responsibility of the vessel owner.

skydaddy on July 30, 2010 at 3:33 PM

he suddenly had a good excuse to put a stop to it.

Obama to expand offshore oil drilling
Tim Varga | April 13, 2010

That announcement provided a fabricated blatant cover up, as if it convinced anyone that Obama’s agenda wasn’t behind his disengagement from the oil gusher.

Re: propaganda that there really wasn’t that much oil released from the earth’s surface under the Gulf. OBAMA ENDORSED DISPERSANT CHEMICALS. Now the oil is below the surface and coating the ocean floor while compounding the death toll to all marine life killing microbes and plankton, the basis of the food chain.

maverick muse on July 30, 2010 at 3:41 PM

skydaddy on July 30, 2010 at 3:33 PM

If anything, the Coast Guard was to appoint professionals and then assist. But the Coast Guard did not call on any oil rig firefighter organization. And Obama dragged his heels, as in Arizona with the illegal immigration invasion, telling everyone to wait and see while also admonishing with punitive action anyone with the initiative like Jindal.

To avoid disappointment, expect the worst.

BP has always been an advocate for cap and trade, in Obama’s pocket. That sets the stage. It also proves the hypocrisy of those demanding more arbitrary rules to apply to everyone but themselves–they FAILED to comply with regulations, just like Tim Geithner KNOWINGLY refused to pay his taxes. There’s screwy horror stories going on there. Don’t put it past the mastermind global-bank holding BP loans to be on schedule. Though this particular company will suffer, the BP scapegoat is well and good, leading to the global-bank objective to control ALL industry (energy) according to their own whims, literally leaving us in dhimmiwit serfdom.

maverick muse on July 30, 2010 at 3:54 PM

If they failed to have foam around–I believe it is called TFFF, made from pig’s blood—then that is unsatisfactory. That stuff is vitally necessary to fighting fire at-sea where fuels/oils/liquids are usually the primary fuel for the fire. The TFFF stuff works very well at smothering those fires. If only seawater was used, then that is an ineffective approach.

ted c on July 30, 2010 at 4:57 PM

my bad— AFFF is the stuff.

ted c on July 30, 2010 at 4:59 PM

one article that Drudge linked about the tug boat crashing into a different oil rig owned by the State of Louisiana at the mouth of a marsh estuary.

The article didn’t say whose tugboat it was, and there’s been no follow up on the story.

My thought when the article surfaced was that no one could ACCIDENTALLY ram down an oil rig in their tugboat, providing evidence of a concerted effort to literally destroy the oil industry with no care for the environment, supposedly the destroyers’ sacred cow, only sacred when convenient to use/abuse for show.

maverick muse on July 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM

First, public knowledge via the state’s database. The Wellhead (no it is not a rig) was located about 10 miles inlands from Grand Isle above the top of Barataria Bay in Mud Lake. It is not (and never has been) off the coast. It was abandoned by a small company located in Houston. The last time that field even produced was in 2008 and all 6 wells produced a little over 8,000 bbls/month.

The well had protective pilings around it.

The tugboat and barge were hired by and under the direction the USCG.

Yes the news media doesn’t know cr@p, print, air, or internet. It really doesn’t matter. They are all quite dumb.

Kermit on July 30, 2010 at 5:29 PM

One last thing about the teeny tiny spill. It is approximately 30 bbls per day.

Kermit on July 30, 2010 at 5:30 PM

While BP is far from blameless, (drilling an exploration well with only single wall drill pipe, only one Blowout Preventer when the law required multiple…) the fire, and spewing oil would have been quickly contained with a competent Coast Guard response. The lack of which is the direct result of ObaMao’s actions.

The article didn’t say whose tugboat it was, and there’s been no follow up on the story.

My thought when the article surfaced was that no one could ACCIDENTALLY ram down an oil rig in their tugboat, providing evidence of a concerted effort to literally destroy the oil industry with no care for the environment, supposedly the destroyers’ sacred cow, only sacred when convenient to use/abuse for show.

maverick muse on July 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM

The surveyors stood on top of off the shelf stepladders, set on the seabed, when the were laying out the shallow water wells. The capped well can not be that deep.

Slowburn on July 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Well this certainly answers the question about some of the big boys selling their stock just before the accident. Without sounding too crazy, I would not put it past this administration, I mean to them lives are expendable as long as they get what they want. They think Bush blew up the towers, so I’m sure to them, if they did it, it’s just tit for tat. I tell you what though, if this points back to them, and it looks as though they allowed this to happen, I want them hung.

nwpammy on July 30, 2010 at 6:13 PM

While BP is far from blameless, (drilling an exploration well with only single wall drill pipe, only one Blowout Preventer when the law required multiple…) the fire, and spewing oil would have been quickly contained with a competent Coast Guard response. The lack of which is the direct result of ObaMao’s actions.

Slowburn on July 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM

“a competent Coast Guard response” is impossible to define here, simply because the Coast Guard had never had to deal with this type of oil rig problem before.

It’s not their fault at all. All O’bama’s fault works for me just fine!

Del Dolemonte on July 30, 2010 at 6:45 PM

It’s not their fault at all. All O’bama’s fault works for me just fine!

Del Dolemonte on July 30, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Racist. /

CWforFreedom on July 30, 2010 at 6:50 PM

ted c on July 30, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Can you say spread the fire. Water is not very effective on organic fuel based fires.

chemman on July 30, 2010 at 6:59 PM

The crippling budget cuts President Obama proposed for the Coast Guard also deserve a closer examination.

I don’t even know where to start with this…

Count to 10 on July 30, 2010 at 7:02 PM

Seriously … Bluey and Morrisey really think these proposed cuts – proposed, not yet implemented – resulted in the USCG not being able to designate a fire marshal?

Under the Coast Guard’s 2011 spending plan, its funding and active-duty personnel would drop about 3 percent, to $10.1 billion and 41,984, respectively.

To trim roughly 1,112 military personnel, the service will decommission the [66 year old] Acushnet and four other of its oldest and largest cutters — whose average service life is 41 years, compared with the Navy average of 14 years. The Coast Guard also plans to retire four HU-25 Falcon medium-range surveillance jet aircraft and five HH-65 Dolphin search-and-rescue helicopters, and dissolve five of 12 90-person marine safety and security teams.

The savings will pay for more capable replacements, including two top-of-the-line National Security Cutters and a new HC-144A Ocean Sentry patrol aircraft. Also planned are four new 154-foot Fast Response Cutters and 10 medium response boats.

And USCG policy has always specified that USCG personnel do not normally engage in independent firefighting activities on any vessels but their own. The updated manual reiterates that traditional role and clarifies the USCG support role:

2009 Addendum to USCG Search and Rescue Manual (screens 229-230)

Notice there is no requirement for the USCG to “assign an expert to coordinate the private firefighting efforts” but merely to work in support of a firefighting agency under the supervision of a qualified fire officer if they engage in firefighting activities; in addition, they are encouraged (but not required – note the precatory “should”) to set up a firefighting group beforehand if they are working within an ICS structure.

So maybe Ed can tell us exactly where such a requirement appears in any of the USCG manuals? Really, I’m interested in knowing.

Oh and BTW, the USCG incident logs did NOT report a leak from the well one day after the explosion, but four days later, after the rig sank:

[From the April 21 incident log] “Potential environmental threat is 700,000 gallons of diesel on board the Deepwater Horizon and estimated potential of 8,000 barrels per day of crude oil, if the well were to completely blowout. Most of the current pollution has been mitigated by the fire. There is some surface sheening extending up to 2 miles from the source [along with two floating oil containers].”

. . .

That [USCG] timeline first mentions a leak on April 24, four days after the explosion, when undersea robots discovered a plume of oil coming from the riser on the sea floor.

skylark on July 30, 2010 at 7:25 PM

I suppose one could say that everything had a “cause” that came before the one before it…Therefore, First Cause is the reason for everything. If that doesn’t work for ya, do what the libtards do…blame Bush.

Nalea on July 30, 2010 at 7:28 PM

Link for second blockquote here:

Center for Public Integrity

skylark on July 30, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Means

motive

opportunity

I remember obamma talikg about expanding drilling

sure

with all the money the Feds get they didn’t have the slightest inkling of a plan for the most obvious threat

they sure did make sure the rig went to the bottom though by flooding the thing

The left would have no problem with costing the lives of millions in Iraq

Why would we think this would press the moral button

Sonosam on July 30, 2010 at 7:36 PM

You do have to string some assumptions together to literally make the leak the “government’s fault,” and in particular to lay blame explicitly at Obama’s door. I doubt that’s the most useful theme to pursue in analyzing all this.

The industry has been unanimous that BP went cheap and fluffed regulatory requirements, in some of its measures and practices with this particular rig. That assessment is not going to go away, nor should it.

But the information that the rig might have been saved with more competent firefighting, and hence the massive gushing leak prevented, is very significant. It matters tremendously to the true risk of this whole enterprise. It reinforces the fact that a drilling moratorium is an unjustifiable overreaction. And assuming Congress raises the roof dramatically for its liability cap for offshore drillers, highlighting the crucial role of competent firefighting will help insurers and risk analysts get the right handle on where the vulnerabilities are.

Obama’s fault lies in his dawdling, uninterested response to the problem that was his to address — containing the oil surging toward shore — rather than in the prior creation of a poor professional climate for the Coast Guard on-scene. But the firefighting missteps are good to know about. This is certainly something Congress, regulators, and the industries involved should take to heart.

J.E. Dyer on July 30, 2010 at 7:58 PM

People in Michigan have a chance to send President Obama a message August 3rd!

President Obama is trying to knock down Michigan’s best chance at finally having a conservative governor, but we can’t let Obama win! The stakes of this election are simply too high!

dnlchisholm on July 30, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Don’t forget the golfing.
Vancomycin on July 30, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Or making arrangements for privet jet for Bo the Whitehouse dog.

DSchoen on July 30, 2010 at 8:27 PM

While BP is far from blameless, (drilling an exploration well with only single wall drill pipe, only one Blowout Preventer when the law required multiple…) the fire, and spewing oil would have been quickly contained with a competent Coast Guard response. The lack of which is the direct result of ObaMao’s actions.

The article didn’t say whose tugboat it was, and there’s been no follow up on the story.

My thought when the article surfaced was that no one could ACCIDENTALLY ram down an oil rig in their tugboat, providing evidence of a concerted effort to literally destroy the oil industry with no care for the environment, supposedly the destroyers’ sacred cow, only sacred when convenient to use/abuse for show.

maverick muse on July 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM

The surveyors stood on top of off the shelf stepladders, set on the seabed, when the were laying out the shallow water wells. The capped well can not be that deep.

Slowburn on July 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM

It was not a capped well but an abandoned one! It was 10 miles inland!

Kermit on July 30, 2010 at 8:35 PM

This all isn’t rocket science (its pretty simple). BP was cutting corners. The CG responded badly. Obama was not interested enough to care. The overall result was a major disaster instead of a minor one. At this point, the finger pointing should stop and we should improve procedures to avoid a repeat of the problem. We should also drop the gulf drilling ban which is the start of a long term disaster.

duff65 on July 30, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Talking about media….now that everything is nice and digital package, the gov’t has a kill switch for it now. See, they couldnt stop all the reporters and papers, now they can. Isnt the digital age nice? Now they can shut your car down, monitor everything…run cross checks… do whatever they want. Right where they want us.

johnnyU on July 30, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Let’s also remember that according to the ’94 Spill Response plan, the oil companies paid into a fund to purchase equipment to manage and fight a spill. The money was collected, but the equipment was never bought and prepositioned. When BP called for the equipment to manage the spill, they were told “No” because the equipment simply wasn’t there.

Jason Coleman on July 30, 2010 at 9:18 PM

So it really is Obama’s Katrina.

Incompetent-In-Chief.

profitsbeard on July 30, 2010 at 9:48 PM

Let’s also remember that according to the ‘94 Spill Response plan, the oil companies paid into a fund to purchase equipment to manage and fight a spill. The money was collected, but the equipment was never bought and prepositioned. When BP called for the equipment to manage the spill, they were told “No” because the equipment simply wasn’t there.

Jason Coleman on July 30, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Haver you heard of MSRP???

Kermit on July 30, 2010 at 10:13 PM

That also has a relation to the administration’s insistence on imposing a moratorium on all new drilling in the Gulf. If the issue was that previous inspections by the MMS couldn’t be trusted, it wouldn’t take a blanket moratorium to fix it.

Ed, Didn’t the Interior Dept send Swat Teams to inspect each rig, after the explosion? I don’t think they found anything major that would warrant imposing a moratorium. We’ve heard very little about the Swat Team, why is that?

TN Mom on July 30, 2010 at 11:39 PM

I have a question- does the Coast Guard/MMS etc have their own floating rig to be more intimate/project force into the Gulf or do they only have land based operations?

Would it help if they did- have a rig with offices, fire fighting equipment and a small helo pad. Maybe it could be funded by having some rooms that the scientific community/tourists could rent out?

That way they could fly over/snap photos/ come in for surprise inspections etc etc. And the fire fighting equipment would be closer to the actual drilling rigs?

Just an idea.

journeyintothewhirlwind on July 30, 2010 at 11:46 PM

Obama was in charge on DAY ONE.

The rig sank on DAY FOUR.

Why are we blaming BP again?

faraway on July 31, 2010 at 12:30 AM

OT: IMF Says U.S. Financial System May Need $76 Billion in Capital

The U.S. financial system remains fragile and banks subjected to additional economic stress might need as much as $76 billion in capital, according to the results of International Monetary Fund stress tests.

Fortunately they can just write a check for it. We hear that China is good for it.

Dasher on July 31, 2010 at 1:03 AM

I have a question- does the Coast Guard/MMS etc have their own floating rig to be more intimate/project force into the Gulf or do they only have land based operations?

Would it help if they did- have a rig with offices, fire fighting equipment and a small helo pad. Maybe it could be funded by having some rooms that the scientific community/tourists could rent out?

That way they could fly over/snap photos/ come in for surprise inspections etc etc. And the fire fighting equipment would be closer to the actual drilling rigs?

Just an idea.

journeyintothewhirlwind on July 30, 2010 at 11:46 PM

The Coast Guard does have plenty of those little things … what are they.. oh yeah — Ships, and they also have helicopters and airplanes. They just don’t have any oil rigs.

BTW oil rigs are like floating cities. They are upwards of 300 ft x 400 ft and cost $600 million or more.

Dasher on July 31, 2010 at 1:09 AM

What???? I thought it was Bush’s fault!

Mr Purple on July 31, 2010 at 1:58 AM

This all isn’t rocket science (its pretty simple). BP was cutting corners. The CG responded badly. Obama was not interested enough to care. The overall result was a major disaster instead of a minor one. At this point, the finger pointing should stop and we should improve procedures to avoid a repeat of the problem. We should also drop the gulf drilling ban which is the start of a long term disaster.

duff65 on July 30, 2010 at 8:51

You cant improve procedures if you don’t know what happened. A cold sober review of all the facts involved are vital. Sounds like there is light being shined on the situation.

itsspideyman on July 31, 2010 at 4:54 AM

Should we really be blaming the Coast Guard here? What exactly could they have done that would have prevented the rig from sinking?

SoulGlo on July 31, 2010 at 5:54 AM

Until and unless the GOP takes over one House of Congress, we may never know. Like all communist regimes, they never tell the truth about themselves.

Exhibit Fannie and Freddie. If they had been stopped in 2005, there may have never been a financial meltdown. And surely if there had never been a CRA 1977, the pursuit of the mythical red-line, it assuredly would have never happened.

So it follows if the Coast Guard had called on a FLOATING oil rig firefighting expert, as their regulations state, they would have deployed foam, and the sinking or the drill rig by the firefighters and leaking oil may have never happened. It was the sinking of the rig that caused the problem, turned a fire into a giant oil spill catastrophe.

If it were my billion dollar rig, you can bet I would get to the bottom of it.

tarpon on July 31, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Dasher on July 31, 2010 at 1:09 AM

I know they have ships but do they have ships dedicated just to the oil rigs? And it would also have offices/rooms for the other agencies that inspect the rigs also. They wouldn’t be “in New Orleans” partying it up and forgetting to do their jobs.

600 million- it would be quite an investment- but could a scaled down version be built for less and like I said funded partly by having the scientific community and tourists who like to rough it?

And it would have all the fire fighting equipment/ oil containment equipment there, not on paper, not in some “imaginary” warehouse, but physically present.

journeyintothewhirlwind on July 31, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Cutting the Coast Guard budget and force at a time when drug smuggling is getting higher does not make sense unless you want to help out your buddy in Venezuela. Not building a fence to stop drugs from Mexico helps the current crook there as does suing AZ to stop border enforcement. This regime is nothing but drug pushers with a really big corner.

Kissmygrits on July 31, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Da white house knew about the Lockerbie case and apparently did not dispute the release of a beast.

Da white house ain`t doing nothing right, unless left is right (which it is not).

Heck, we can`t even get Polanski`s butt back over here to face the sweet music.

Shall I be a conspiracy theorist and submit to you that da white house knew about the wiki leaks thing much earlier than we thought? Or perhaps knew and took no action? I guess not. But I guessed wrong about this regime several times as my tongue dropped at the regime`s sheer perfidious perfidity.

One thing. We need a proper Constitutional mechanism to remove fawlty prezdents.

The amendment would merely require the president to adhere to the Constitution on occasion. Or perhaps not have terrorist friends or be buddies with folks who want our Democracy turned into socialisme. Or someone who adheres to free market principles or even a semblance of capitalism. Or someone who writes?? a book describing his fun with a variety of drugs . . . .

Maybe I am asking too much?

Sherman1864 on July 31, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Drudge has a Washington Post article up about the use of dispersants that is quite interesting:

Approval to use dispersants granted 74 times over 54 days.

Obama and BP were getting hammered about oil on shore and they wanted it to go away but they didn’t want the enviromentalists to know how much dispersant was being used so they say they are “restricting its use”. Oil goes away. Now they get to hold their breath and see what, if any, damage the dispersant does to the gulf region short/long term.

Should be interesting.

journeyintothewhirlwind on July 31, 2010 at 8:43 PM

It would not come as a surprise if we find that Obama had something to do with this explosion on this oil rig. Obama and the democrats are capable of anything to further their socialist agenda. It also would not be a surprise if we find that Obama conspired with the Muslim oil producing Countries to keep the US depending on them for our oil supply. Remember how he bowed down to the Muslim leadership. He fitted right in on The View. He was in his world. No wonder the Europeans have lost all respect for the US.

flintstone on July 31, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Remember in 2008, when the democrats told us oil would take 10 years to get from Alaska to the lower 48 so they put the stop to offshore drilling? Then they changed their minds just before the election to allow drilling, then quickly reversed course to stop it again.

One question: How much oil leaked from ONE FRIGGIN WELL in the gulf in 100 days?

With production ramped up in Alaska and offshore, not 5 miles offshore, along our coastlines, we could be energy free from the middle east TODAY except for these liberal idiots playing politics with our energy policies. We should have hundreds of nuclear plants under construction right now to power these stupid smart cars they are forcing on us.

dthorny on July 31, 2010 at 9:58 PM

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