"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
Gulf Oil Spill
It's time I addressed the all-out destruction of the Gulf of Mexico by reckless drilling practices and a lack of meaningful oversight by federal regulators.
I've read some gibberish recently from ideologically stunted people who feel they must defend the indefensible and attack those who would call for reason, logic, common sense and justice. Don't forget the justice.
But first let's take note of something I saw in Home Depot the other day, a remarkable invention in aisle eight. There were entire baskets of these things in various sizes, and they were relatively cheap given what they can do. You see you install them between two sections of pipe, any size pipe at all. And if you need to turn off the flow inside the pipe, these miraculous machines swivel into place and stop the flow right then and there. They're called valves.
I noticed a valve on the pipe that brought water into my house. And further back, at the street, another valve. Once inside, the pipes ended on all sorts of valves in the kitchen and bathroom. Yes, I'm being facetious
For some reason there's no working kill valve on this pipe that is destroying the southern coast of the United States of America.
What reason could that be?
Perhaps the valves that can handle the extremes of pressure cost a bit more than the Home Depot variety. Yes, I imagine they cost quite a penny, and these pennies would have come out of the profit margin column over at the oil exploitation conglomerate.
How many of these short cuts are permitted these days, placing at risk entire seas? The water supplies of cities? The air we breathe? The food we eat?
This catastrophe is the direct result of gutting the regulatory agencies and handcuffing those who are charged with protecting the public interest. Some claim that no one could have foreseen this latest leaky pipe disaster, and they say so with a straight face.
There are entire industries, sectors of the economy whose function is to "foresee" these types of problems.
A pipe never leaked oil into the ocean before? Are you serious? Did you actually just claim this in public?
Nearly every house in America has a piped-in water supply that incorporates:
- Valves, to stop the flow when needed.
- Redundancy, in case of failures.
Where was all this supposed intelligence prior to the pipe failing?
Now the oil industry is in its infancy, really. It's only been drilling under water since the 1890's. Let them destroy a few gulfs, a few seas. It's part of the learning curve, no?
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