Sep 21, 2010

BP oil spill: The hits keep coming

by ETHAN MASSEY

 

As the United States continues its war on marine life, the Vermillion 380 platform has become yet another casualty in the Gulf of Mexico.

An explosion rocked the Mariner Energy-owned oil platform Thursday, Sept. 2, leaving 13 wet workers, more than a few raised eyebrows, but no sign of a leak, according to ABC News. 

Vermillion 380 marks the second explosion aboard an oil vessel in the United States in the past six months. Though this does not spell certain doom for Mariner Energy, it does come at a most inopportune time for oil companies.

Despite the fluffy television spots and misleading Internet campaign, it is safe to say that the majority of Americans want to submit BP executives to Chinese water torture. Under numerous allegations of ignoring safety protocols, overworking employees and understaffing their oil rigs, BP has put themselves on the corporate chopping block. 

As any media-aware American knows, BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sunk in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, resulting in the largest oil spill in United States history. This disaster, estimated at a size of 205.8 million gallons of oil, has dwarfed the 1989 Exxon Valdez Spill by nearly 2000 percent, according to CNN.

No matter how they try, BP simply cannot dance around the mess they have created — it is just too big.

Yet another strike against the company-that-can-do-no-good has been levied by its own employees. Survivors of the Deepwater Horizon incident have begun to speak out about repeatedly breached safety protocols aboard the BP rig, including shortcuts ordered on the day of the blast.

BP told workers on April 20 that they were going to replace the mud being used to keep down well pressure with seawater so they could lower costs and make up time, according to CNN. Despite concerns expressed from chief mechanic Doug Brown and chief driller Dewey Revette, who was one of the 11 workers killed, a BP official told them they had no say in the matter. 

“He basically said, ‘Well this is how it’s gonna be,’” Brown told CNN.

Besides the plethora of financial and ethical concerns stemming from the spill, a great deal of ecological distress has been voiced as well. 

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is a group avidly speaking out against the chemical dispersants used by BP to clean the oil spill. 

While the group does agree with the use of oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico, they do take issue with the cut-rate chemicals being used there.

In the running of 18 different oil dispersants tested by the EPA, the two Corexit dispersants currently being used on the Macondo oil spill have ranked “13th and 16th in effectiveness, 15th and 18th in fish toxicity, and 7th and 10th in shrimp toxicity,” according to EDF blogger Dr. Richard Denison.

BP’s blatant disregard for both safety and morality flies in the face of everything it has said it stands for.  It is beyond doubt that this corrupt corporation needs to be held responsible for its actions to the utmost extent. In fact, that water torture is sounding pretty good right about now.


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