More BP Oil Spill Reflections: Could Another Similar Disaster Happen? "Absolutely"

oil spill anniversary deepwater horizon

Last week, Joe Romm did a nice little round-up of recent articles about the BP oil spill disaster — on what we’ve learned (or not learned) and where things are today. Following up on my post earlier today on that, here are a number of great quotes from around that I’m cribbing from Joe’s piece (emphasis added)….

From The Hill:

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Tuesday slammed House GOP bills that would mandate much wider offshore drilling and faster development, alleging they reflect “amnesia” about the catastrophic BP well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico that’s a week shy of its one-year anniversary.

“When you have gone through a horrific national crisis, which the Deepwater Horizon was, it’s important that you learn the lessons from the Deepwater Horizon, and that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past, and much of the legislation that I have seen bandied around – especially with the House Republicans – is almost as if the Deepwater Horizon-Macondo well incident never happened,” Salazar told reporters at Interior headquarters.

“We can’t afford to take that approach to the future of the nation’s energy security,” Salazar added. He said another blowout akin to the uncontained rupture of BP’s Macondo well without the capacity to contain it “would probably mean death to oil-and-gas development in America’s oceans.”

From the AP:

With everything Big Oil and the government have learned in the year since the Gulf of Mexico disaster, could it happen again? Absolutely, according to an Associated Press examination of the industry and interviews with experts on the perils of deep-sea drilling.

The government has given the OK for oil exploration in treacherously deep waters to resume, saying it is confident such drilling can be done safely. The industry has given similar assurances. But there are still serious questions in some quarters about whether the lessons of the BP oil spill have been applied.

The industry “is ill-prepared at the least,” said Charles Perrow, a Yale University professor specializing in accidents involving high-risk technologies. “I have seen no evidence that they have marshaled containment efforts that are sufficient to deal with another major spill. I don’t think they have found ways to change the corporate culture sufficiently to prevent future accidents.”

He added: “There are so many opportunities for things to go wrong that major spills are unavoidable.”

From CBS:

Oil & gas industry spills happen “all the time”

Next week marks the anniversary of the beginning of the BP oil disaster. It should have been a wake-up call for the industry and the federal government. Instead, spills, leaks and explosions still happen every day.   A six month CBS News investigation found that spills of crude oil and toxic chemicals last year alone were three times the amount of the Exxon Valdez spill….

“Everyday there’s numerous releases happening throughout just this country,” said oil and gas safety expert Mike Sawyer. “Sometimes every couple of hours there’s a new incident.”

From the Miami Herald:

The effects of the BP oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico and the animals that live in it will take place over years, if not decades, a new report by a prominent environmental group says. The National Wildlife Federation said it is much too soon to make snap judgments about how much harm has been done. “Other oil spill disasters have taken years to reveal their full effects and often recovery is still not complete after decades,” the report said.

And, apparently, Rachel Maddow has reported that the “blowout preventers used in ALL deep water drilling are ‘fundamentally flawed by design.‘”

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