Thursday, April 29, 2010

Now what do we do?

So, you may have heard, there is a pipe, 5000 ft under the surface of the water in the Gulf of Mexico, 40 miles off the coast of Lousiana, spewing 200,000 gallons of oil a day toward the surface and in time, toward 10 Wildlife Management areas and the beaches of the Gulf Coast.
Can you say "Loss of livelihood?"

Let me repeat, 200,000 gallons of oil...A DAY!
And they don't know, at this point, how they're going to stop it. Incredible.
I guess no one thought to ask themselves, "Hey, what do we do if we have some kind of catastrophic failure on the oil rig? How will we stop the oil from gushing out of the ground."
It seems like a logical question to me.

And, not to pat myself on the back, but,
over the years when we would be heading to Louisiana on our boat at night, the first thing you would notice on the horizon would be all these lights. If you didn't know any better, you would have thought you were approaching a city.
What we were seeing is the lights from the hundreds, maybe thousands of oil rigs that are scattered in the oil rich Gulf waters.

These rigs are huge. Like small towns on stilts that are thousands of feet long and sit in water that is frequented by hurricanes.
"What if" is a question that was asked by us in the industry many times. We just figured some one had these answers.
Obviously, they were just winging it.

From the satellite footage of that huge oil slick, I'd say "winging it" is not a good plan.
Remember, 200,000 gals of oil a day and they think it will take at least 3 months to get the gear in place to stop it. 3 months!
Way to go BP. Great contingency plan you had.
Let me guarantee one thing.
Having worked in the waters of Alaska just prior to the Exxon Valdez disaster, I am maybe more interested in that entire story than the average person. I have read everything, watched every documentary, and just recently worked with a guy on a tug, whose previous job was a fisherman in the Alaskan waters, before and after the Exxon Valdez.

Thousands of peoples lives were ruined in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez.
Exxon settled with the fisherman of Alaska after a court fight that lasted almost 30 years.
My friend, the fisherman, had his own boat. This is what he did for a living.
He lost his job because you can't fish if most of the fish are dead.
His settlement check from Exxon...$850.
Anyway, he's 52 years old and starting over as a deckhand on a tug.
He said that oil spill wiped out 100% of some species of fish. Imagine that, for hundreds of years, men fished those waters.
A big oil tanker rips a gash in her side, and some species of fish..NO LONGER EXIST!
I bring this up because the experts are saying before they get this oil rig spill stopped, it will be a bigger disaster than the Exxon Valdez.

Right now, they don't know how to stop the oil from gushing out.


slommler said...

I know!! This is so awful! And 3 months??? Devastating! And you are so right...where was the plan?? They will ruin peoples lives and kill off the wildlife and they don't have a clue!!??!! I am heart sick!

beth said... what do we do....what do they do ?

with you being on the water all the time, i thought of you today with my post....

Marilyn said...

Contingency plan? Now who thinks of things like that? This is very sad and irresponsible I would say. They should be required to have a contingency plan, don't you think? Thanks for your thoughts on this.

dcpeg said...

You hit the nail on the head, Mark. This is a natural disaster from which we may never recover.

I wonder how the "Drill, baby drill!" people are feeling now!!