From LEWIS SEILER & DAN HAMBURG
1. Why was BP allowed to drill in this location? Both the MMS and BP geologists cautioned against drilling in the location of the Deepwater Horizon due to evidence of a highly volatile methane bubble beneath the seabed. They warned that if this bubble was disturbed and exploded, it could cause a 200 foot tsunami that would virtually wipe out six Gulf states! In spite of all this, MMS waived environmental impact studies for the rig and well.
2. Why aren’t all oil companies exploiting the land and seas of the United States, required to drill relief wells and to have equipment at the ready to deal with accidents?
3. Why aren’t the perpetrators of this disaster being charged for negligence, manslaughter, or worse? Whistleblowers pointed out before the explosion that the last several hundred feet of the well borehole lacked protective cement casing, a dangerous situation that increased the chances for an explosive event to occur. Just five hours before the rig went up in flames, an expert who’d worked with the US Army extinguishing oil fires in Iraq was flown to the rig for consultation. He informed BP that if they continued to pump saltwater into the hole it would blow. He then demanded immediate evacuation for himself and his men. The Transocean Corporation, whose blowout preventer failed to operate on April 20, advised BP to stop drilling after receiving negative pressure test results. Despite these warnings BP did nothing, allowing eleven men to die, and inflicting incalculable damage on the lives of Gulf coast residents, the environment and economy that will take decades, if not centuries to recover.