National Oil Spill Commission Begins Public Meetings
While BP hopes its latest containment cap will at least greatly reduce the amount of oil gushing from its ruptured well, the government’s National Oil Spill Commission will begin its task of investigating the causes of the BP oil spill and whether offshore drilling is even a viable process.
Yesterday, the presidential commission held the first of many public meetings. The biggest question is why an oil company such as BP with the resources to develop deepwater drilling technology wasn’t also able to develop effective oil spill response technology.
One National Oil Spill Commission co-chairman points out that the problems currently encountered trying to clean up the BP oil spill are the same as those for the Exxon Valdez oil spill 20 years ago. These include skimmers and booms not designed to work in open ocean, and dispersants so toxic it’s a crap shoot whether to use them at all.
The National Oil Spill Commission has six-months to come up with answers to why the BP oil spill happened. One answer is clear, though. BP gambled that their profitable safety short-cuts would not affect the well’s performance. Obviously, they lost that bet. And so did the Gulf ecosystems.