Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Did a Boneheaded Decision Cause the BP Spill?

This article in the Wall Street Journal leads me to ask if a boneheaded decision on the part of British Petroleum might have caused the rig explosion, the eleven fatalities and the oil spill. It sounds to this layperson like somebody decided to perform two critical steps in the wrong order.

Of course, the next question is why the blowout preventers (with triple redundancy) did not -- after the questionable sequence of events -- prevent the blowout. Did these blowout preventers simply bump up against the limitations of their capabilities? I have no idea.

I have wondered all along if this could have been a politically motivated sabotage. Honestly, I doubt it. But, the alternative is to believe that at least two people in positions in authority -- one working for BP, one working for MMS -- might have been profoundly unqualified to be directing this operation.

I’m no expert in the engineering associated with deep water drilling. Somebody else will have to figure this one out. Can we trust our Congress to ferret out the truth? Yeah, I’m not really counting on that.

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