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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Blocking The Oil Leak: Or, What Would Rube Goldberg Do?

Would I sound like a know-it-all jerk if I said that I didn't think that this "plan" to lower a concrete and steel box over the oil leak would work? I mean, I'm not an engineer or physicist or anything, but that didn't seem like a very smart or doable solution; they come up with bolder and smarter things in movies. Is this endemic to the kinds of "minds" that we have working in the oil industry today? Are they really this stupid, or are they just pretending they are for some strange reason?

Has anyone seen the video yet?

BP lowered something called a "cofferdam" over the oil leak via a robot arm. Turns out that the pressure of the leak is so great that the oil is just shooting out of the sides of the thing. It seems counter-intuitive anyway, because the purpose of the cofferdam is to create an enclosure underwater that can eventually be drained. And with the oil and natural gas pressure being as strong as it is, it doesn't seem like there's an effective pump that can drain the cofferdam fast enough to prevent it from leaking. But again, I'm no expert.

So what now? They spent all this time and energy (and MORE money) to do this thing, and it hasn't worked. Is the only alternative to drill another well to intercept the leak? This is the "back up" plan that will apparently take 3 months to complete.  So basically, by August or so. Can you imagine what all of that oil and gas is going to do to the environment? All that marine life-- all that seafood...! Not to mention the coasts that will be effected. The people that will be out of work. And the BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars in clean-up. ALL OF THIS could have been avoided for a $500,000 remote control shut-off switch. Makes you sick, doesn't it?

Maybe these dumb-asses can do what the Bush Administration did after 9/11-- they hired a bunch of screenwriters and novelists to come up with terrorist scenarios and they brainstormed about ways to stop them. Maybe, just maybe, they need to hire people smarter and more creative than they are to solve this problem; start thinking outside of the cofferdam.

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