Good Reason Why We Shouldn’t Be Drilling Off Our Shores: The Oil Spill Off The Louisiana Coast

by Ben Hoffman

NEW ORLEANS — Coast Guard officials said Monday afternoon that the oil spill near Louisiana was now covering an area in the Gulf of Mexico of 48 miles by 39 miles at its widest points, and they have been unable to engage a mechanism that could shut off the well thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface.

The flow of oil from the leaks is about 42,000 gallons of oil a day.

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37 Comments to “Good Reason Why We Shouldn’t Be Drilling Off Our Shores: The Oil Spill Off The Louisiana Coast”

  1. Good Reason Why We Shouldn’t Be Drilling Off Our Shores: The Oil Spill Off The Louisiana Coast

    Given you live no where near the ocean, maybe you should acquiesce to those of us who do?

    Elon, N.C. — Despite a fatal explosion on an offshore drilling platform last week that led to an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the majority of North Carolina residents continue to favor drilling for oil and gas off the state’s coast, according to a poll released Monday.

  2. Living near the ocean myself, it seems to me that those who are in favor of off-shore drilling are being incredibly shortsighted. Oil is not going to last forever, and the environmental damage caused by off-shore drilling, like what we’ve just seen in Louisiana, is simply not worth the small gains we make. We should be putting the majority of our resources into renewable energy sources…nothing else will solve this problem.

  3. Oil is not going to last forever

    We will never use it all.

    As a matter of fact, we aren’t even close to running out. If we were, people would begin to hard it and the prices would rise dramatically due to supply being in danger.

    We should be putting the majority of our resources into renewable energy sources

    Have you started yet? A small solar system costing less than $400 can be installed and will repay itself in less than 2 years.

    • While it’s true that we have lots of oil left, we’ve already extracted all the stuff that’s easy and cheap to obtain and process. Lite crude is rarer and rarer. The new technologies for extracting are going to get more expensive and so will the oil. Which is yet another reason to turn our attention to alternates and really new technology.

      Anyway, I live on the west coast of Florida and people here aren’t any too crazy about off shore drilling. Tourism is our life blood. Oil on the beach would destroy our economy.

      And now with the flow direction of the water in the Gulf – – I’m so so glad I’m almost done iwth my pool.

    • No, I live in a rented duplex. All my power comes from renewable, hydro-electric power from dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

      • All my power comes from renewable, hydro-electric power from dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

        I doubt that. PSE is the energy supplier in the Seattle area. PSE is an awfully big user of coal power for it’s energy.

  4. The new technologies for extracting are going to get more expensive and so will the oil.

    At the point it s cheaper to power your house using the sun versus oil, you will do it.

    I’m guessing that you still use AC to cool your house?

    • Pino – advocating for renewable energy doesn’t mean you have to go off the grid to be sincere.

      And let’s never forget, that we never see the real cost of oil – the price of endless wars in the Middle East is not reflected at my gas pump, but that is what our oil costs us. Even though we only get about 20% from there, as the largest users on the planet we need to keep the entire market stable. And without our little wars, that wouldn’t happen.

      Have the tea partiers stopped paying taxes and stopped using libraries and roads and . . .? Well, you know the list.

      • Pino – advocating for renewable energy doesn’t mean you have to go off the grid to be sincere.

        No, you are right, you don’t have to. But before you ask me to change the manner in which I live it might strengthen your case if you would first change the manner in which you live.

        Have the tea partiers stopped paying taxes

        I suspect many many would like to.

      • Pino – You read me (and others I think) wrong when you say ‘before you ask me’. I’m not asking anyone to change their way of life on an individual basis. I advocate that my government pursue different policies and subsidize different technologies. That’s not preaching. It’s democracy.

        And by the way, I live a very small, very soft stepping life. I always have, not because I think it’ll ‘save the planet’ but because I’ve always hated waste and careless use of resources.

        I don’t even have a clothes dryer!

  5. [nevermind the name change…I got tired of being so sleepy]

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the majority of all marine life exists in the shallow waters off the coasts of the planet’s continents. What is the cost, then, of extracting oil in these waters? At what point do we say, “Enough”? Aside from the fact that it is very short-sighted to keep drilling for oil in these places and not devote more time and energy to renewable energy sources, the cost to the ecosystems that exist in these waters will be catastrophic. We have a moral duty to protect our planet, not destroy it because of our addiction to oil.

    • I think we also have a moral duty not to be gluttons. When I drive at night and see every parking lot bathed in lights, I need to grit my teeth.

      There’s even a road near here that is a State road and it runs through a City. The road has double the usual number of streetlights – both the State type and the City’s own type. They were apparently unable to work that out between themselves.

    • What is the cost, then, of extracting oil in these waters?

      What is the cost of NOT drilling for oil? Do you understand how much improved the quality of life for hundreds of millions of human beings has improved thanks to oil?

      • Of course I understand how immensely important oil has been in developing the world we have – and how immensely important it will continue to be.

        But it’s time to begin embracing the new and plan for moving on, because – unlike earlier generations – we now have begun to understand the true price we’ve been paying.

        We went from horse power to wind power to steam power to coal to oil and they’ve brought us to where we are.

        Stopping at this point – the oil point – is not in our nature! We need to keep inventing and finding newer – and BETTER – ways of doing things like powering our lives.

  6. Green technologies as they are now do not work economically . I am not against developing them . I am against deploying them . There is no such thing as free money . I know that is heresy to you Democrats . From Ethanol, to Solar Farms, to Wind Farms, it is all a colossal waste of money . The money has to be stolen from somewhere else . And in a country like ours that our heroic President has run in to debt, we cannot afford it .

    As far as this big spill, I won’t minimize it . But looking at the “big” picture, drilling is safer than importing the same oil in tankers . You innocents believe that shutting down domestic production will decrease our oil usage, it won’t . You believe that shutting down domestic production makes our coast lines safer, it does not . You believe that siphoning off capital to be thrown down the “green energy ” Black Hole will improve our lives and the environment, it won’t .

    It’s kind of funny . This economic recession has had many wonderful benefits for you liberals. Number one, it is the reason Obama and the Democrats were able to take control. Number two, decreased energy use, way less green house gasses . I feel it getting cooler already . Number three, more people dependent on Government handouts . Number four, more poor people makes it easier to bash Wall Street and play class envy .

    I can see why you guys like green energy . It helps keep the recession going . Why would you want it to end ? It’s been bery bery good to you .

    Oh and if you want to see our future with the new entitlements and debt that the man you folks put in the White House, has enacted, take a look at the big Greece fire over in Europe that is spreading to Italy, Portugal, and Spain . Remember Spain and it’s solar fiasco ? Bet they wish they had all of that money now, instead of sending it down the “green rat hole” .

    At some point people “economics” matter .

    • [You innocents believe that shutting down domestic production will decrease our oil usage]

      Alan – we can always count on you to come up with these amazing statements.

      I have never ever ever heard anyone anywhere anytime say that shutting down domestic production will decrease oil usage. Ever.

  7. Ms. Holland,

    ” I have never ever ever heard anyone anywhere anytime say that shutting down domestic production will decrease oil usage. Ever. ”

    That is an amazing statement . Be honest and ask yourself what the planned result is of strangling Domestic offshore drilling . And actually in a sick way you guys do decrease oil use . A country permanently in a depression does not use as much oil . You guys have proven that . You will be happy to know that by keeping millions of Americans unemployed and the rest of us drastically underemployed you are saving millions of barrels of oil .

    It must give you a warm feeling killing all of those beautiful baby seals . Oh didn’t you know polar bears eat cute baby seals for breakfast ? But then seals eat fish, so the fishermen are happy .

    Oh, and I know you will love this cause I know how you liberals hate all oil companies . Valero the big refinery company that was making big bucks a few years ago is now losing money in the US . Not really good for America but, good for Obama .

    • Honestly, you seem to only recognize a parody of liberal positions. I guess that’s easier than doing a little due diligence and finding out what liberals are really about. Greenpeace and Tim Robbins are not the mainstream liberal voice.

  8. This rig was roughly 50 miles offshore. Those of you who are so against our drilling should take comfort in the fact that you may have Chinese or Indian rigs drilling roughly the same distance from southern FL in Cuban waters. Perhaps you can advocate for buying oil from them in an effort to block domestic drilling.
    Bob A.

    • We currently buy 60% of the oil we use from overseas and we also sell sell oil to other nations. Oil is oil. It’s fungible.

      Laws re offshore drilling etc should not be written only by the countries whose boundries the rig falls within.

      Once in an ocean or a watershed, oil does not recognize borders.

  9. Ms. Holland,

    ” Honestly, you seem to only recognize a parody of liberal positions. I guess that’s easier than doing a little due diligence and finding out what liberals are really about. Greenpeace and Tim Robbins are not the mainstream liberal voice. ”

    What difference does any of that make ? I look at the big picture . You all look and sound alike where it counts . All of you voted Obama in . All of you are against what ever I am for . All of you bought into the Demonization of George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Tea Party People, and the citizens of Arizona .

    What else do I got to know ?

    • Sorry Alan – your ‘list’ doesn’t even begin to qualify as the big picture. Big picture has to include things like foreign, domestic and economic policy. has to include wars and education and food sources and ya da ya da ya da ya da. It’s not all about the political celebrity culture.

  10. I was reading a little about the blast that caused the oil spill . I admit I don’t understand much of what I read . Before the event they poured concrete into the well to keep oil and gas out . This supposedly was inspected by Haliburton and it passed . I’m still not clear on what and why they did all of this .

    Also you’d think they would have some fail safe measure in place to handle a worst case .

  11. Mr. Hoffman,

    There is an article in today’s Wall Street Journal. BP has a history of subcontracting and problems . They had leaks in their Alaskan pipeline . Some people were killed at one of their refineries a few years ago . In 05 their Thunderhorse Platform tilted 20 degrees .

    After the Exxon Valdiz spill, now Exxon actually is considered the Gold Standard for safety .

    • This one is going to leave Exxon Valdez in the dust. That was a tanker with a limited and known amount of oil aboard. The damage was so severe because it was in an enclosed area where all the oil went to the shores.

      This one is a friggin’ WELL. It’s pumping and pumping. And from what I’m hearing, the most skilled and experienced of the people involved are terrified – they’ve really never had one like this. How do you cap a well that’s a mile down in the ocean?

      The cement work by the way? That was Halliburton; those fine folks who electrocuted the soldiers in the shower in Iraq.

  12. Ms. Holland,

    Leaving out the fact that this event was a Godsend to environmentalists and that we really do not know who is to blame other than BP and it’s partner Transocean, imagine if this had taken place while Bush was still President . Not only would he have been blamed for being an advocate of offshore drilling but, as he was blamed after Katrina, he would be blamed for the inadequate response by the Federal Government .

    The first response by the Obama Administration was not good . Granted, they relied on bad information from BP . The Bush Administration also got bad local information during Katrina .

    I am not just taking news from Obama hating FoxNews . I offer the following .

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/01/us/01gulf.html?hpw

    ” The Department of Homeland Security waited until Thursday to declare that the incident was “a spill of national significance,” and then set up a second command center in Mobile. The actions came only after the estimate of the size of the spill was increased fivefold to 5,000 barrels a day.

    The delay meant that the Homeland Security Department waited until late this week to formally request a more robust response from the Department of Defense, with Ms. Napolitano acknowledging even as late as Thursday afternoon that she did not know if the Defense Department even had equipment that might be helpful. ”

    Since we are playing the blame game , I just threw all of this in . I mean we don’t know if Haliburton did anything wrong . They may have, or their tests may have met the standards for the concrete that some other engineering firm set . Those standards may not have been correct for this depth .

    • From what I’ve read, the risk was initially downplayed by BP the first few days. But considering it’s going to take at least three months to shut off the flow, a few days isn’t going to matter much anyway.

      • It seems to be that the Administration took too quickly the word of their buddies at BP. Even still, I don’t blame the Administration but there’s always something to be learned.

      • Vern – “buddies at BP” is the sad truth. At BP and at Goldman – going for a perfect record.

        And by the way (Alan), that doesn’t mean I blame the current administration for either; perhaps it was just the fairly normal case of corps reading the tea leaves and investing with who they thought would be the winner. Which, oh so sadly, is the way we do things in this country.

    • [Leaving out the fact that this event was a Godsend to environmentalist]

      You’re getting way out there Alan – that’s really an unconscionable thing to even be thinking while this is happening to those people, but you put it right out there.

      And, but the way, it’s utter nonsense.

    • [Since we are playing the blame game , I just threw all of this in . I mean we don’t know if Haliburton did anything wrong . They may have, or their tests may have met the standards for the concrete that some other engineering firm set . Those standards may not have been correct for this depth .]

      I refer you to an article in the Wall Street Journal online:
      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703572504575214593564769072.html

      In the article they note:
      “The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week. ”

      So, you are correct in saying we don’t yet know if they are complicit, but the article points out a very similar instance where Halliburton was the culprit on the cement issue.They were famous in Iraq for using substandard materials. Old dogs and all that.

      This is not the ‘blame game’, not yet. But given their history, I’m going with Halliburton. AND the fact that this well seems to fall into the category of “too big to fail”.

      If we don’t know how to deal with a spill at that depth, we shouldn’t be allowed to drill at that depth.

  13. Ms. Holland,

    ” AND the fact that this well seems to fall into the category of “too big to fail”. ”

    Your logic does not make sense . Too big to fail, as in Fannie, Freddie, AIG, Chrysler and GM . The well did fail . Now if Obama bails out BP or Transocean, which I do not foresee only because an oil company is not as much fun to run as a bank or car company, then your “too big to fail” comment will make some sense .

    • Bet you drove your mother nuts! I can just picture her trying to reason with you that it was in fact time for you to go to bed.

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