Big oil, big denial

What are oil dispersants? – CNN.com.

Every week there seems to be a new idea, and new untried measure to deal with the oil spill. I have a vision of a room somewhere, full of young engineers, throwing out ideas, and trying them in turn. Untested, first time ever, unknown effects, lesser of two evils; this last the apologia for unprecedented use of dispersants. What their effect on the evironment will be, apparently no one knows. Now they wish to use them underwater, to spread through the ocean itself. What will be the effect on the ecology of the Gulf, and the fisheries?

The question is: why didn’t the companies, or the regulators have plans in place to deal with this sort of catastrophe? Our government is assuring us that drilling won’t be done without safeguards. But what is the culture within these companies? As long as it is profit at all costs, I don’t think we can trust them to take appropriate safety measures.

The eleven people died in this disaster  seem to have been forgotten. Does the profit at all cost culture include skimping on worker safety as well?

And does the blame lie not just with the companies and the regulators, but with ourselves, and our desire for cheap oil?

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