Here’s something to fuel your nightmares if the economy and the price of gas aren’t enough: BP placed and won bids on 43 leases to drill in the same area that was the site of one of the worst oil spills in history.
Yes, you read that correctly. BP is extremely proud of themselves as well. “As the largest leaseholder in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, we remain committed to continuing investment in this important U.S. energy source,” Scott Dean, a BP spokesman, said less than ten days ago. Pressured to boost domestic oil production, the Obama administration auctioned off tracts that lie off the coasts of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi and BP placed the winning bid.
While the need for a domestic oil program is clear, to allow BP to drill again so soon after the last disaster can be nothing less than folly. Twenty seven months after what was arguably the biggest disaster for the coastal states in term of revenue and jobs, BP will once again be allowed to drill. Two years is hardly enough time for all the OSHA reforms to be implemented and BP isn’t known for their safety record in the first place.
The long term effects on the Gulf, its wildlife and sea creatures is still unknown, and the oil eating operation is still being studied for its effects as well. In a phone interview held on the same day as the bids were awarded, Jacqueline Savitz has said what most all are thinking, and that is if the drilling continues, there will be more oil spills. The Deepwater Horizon spill could very well be just the first in a long line of accidents that happen because the dollar has become more important than the environment.
Yes, we need the jobs, yes, we need the oil, but we need our oceans to survive as well. Without them, there will be no earth. Even with re-vamped rules and regulations written by the Department of the Interior, even with the new standards for well design and sub-sea oil spill containment systems, there is still no real ‘eyes on’ oversight committee in place to make sure these rules are followed.
Yes, a non-profit group has been commissioned and has stated that U.S. inspectors need to be allowed to live on the proposed oil rigs with the workers, observing their procedures. The question is, will it be allowed? And if it is allowed, will their recommendations be followed?
With BP, any safety recommendations could and most likely would be ignored if it will interfere with the bottom line. Long known to be tight fisted when it comes to safety, if not their commercials, or their executive’s perks, BP has been handed a license to drill and with it comes the renewed fear that once again, the Gulf is in danger.