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Deregulation is the real (underlying) reason / cause behind the US oil spill by British Petroleum (BP) in 2010 off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Deregulation coupled with lax government oversight (lackies appointed by Dick Cheney at the helm) lead to the omission of key safety features and protocols, a free pass for drilling licenses, emphasis on profit over safety, and absolutely NO PLAN for containment of blowouts.
For example, George W Bush and Dick Cheney helped block a 2002/03 Bill that would have required the use of acoustic switches to activate the blowout preventer (BOP). When the rig blew up, they had to MANUALLY activate the switch by sending robotic submersibles. This was all but impossible since the rig was in flames and the priority was putting it out and saving lives; this was easily foreseen.
In addition, BP did not want to lose an oil well (by activating the BOP); this would have cost them future profit in addition to the costs for exploration and preparation of the well. Eventually the rig collapsed and sank to the ocean floor. Because the rig was STILL ATTACHED to the well head / BOP, it bent or damaged the BOP making it unusable. Again, this is something that could have been foreseen; i.e. the need to activate the BOP immediately in the case of catastrophic rig failure, to avoid potential damage to the BOP. Profit wins over safety; BP must avoid activating the BOP at all costs.
An acoustic switch would have allowed them to IMMEDIATELY stop the well head (activate the BOP) as soon as the explosion happened. The BOP would not have been at risk for failure (due to rig collapsing); but, the lack of a remote switch and need to save the well (for profit and avoidance of loss) meant that they delayed trying to activate it. By that time the damage to the BOP had been done.
Lastly, all of the post-blowout efforts have been focused on SAVING the well; i.e. it was only after more than a month before BP attempted the TOPKILL method, which would have sealed the well. Attempts before that were about slowing the flow of oil or collecting it. Why did BP not try the TOPKILL method right away?
Originally posted by baddmove
Thought you would all like to see this sign at a BP gas station...