So BP’s latest attempt to reduce the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico is once again a containment dome. But like a young lover who first failed to fit the condom BP has returned with a new and improved containment dome. This one has ventilated ribs for the gulf’s pleasure! Ok, so technically we have the first set up all over again, except this time they used the ROV’s to cut the pipe so that the cap would fit better and additionally have vented the dome so that there would be some pressure release. The pressure being released keeps frozen hydrates from forming and clogging the line to the ship on the surface. Definitely a technical improvement over the last failed attempt use of a containment dome but as BP has admitted, will at best siphon off 20-30% of the flow leaving hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico each day until the relief wells are finished. The oil will continue to flow into the ocean currents, fish feeding and breeding grounds, and now onto the shores and the marshes of some of our most productive economic and ecologically important shores.
Like any lover who realizes his condom has leaked, the new “most hated man in America”, BP CEO Tony Hayward has become incredibly apologetic, he feels terrible about his leak and has promised to take care of all of the consequences. In the meantime, BP has pumped a hundred million dollars in ad time onto TV, which honestly may give us a break in California from having to see Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman ads every four seconds.
We are now seeing the oil come ashore into the wetlands and onto the beaches of the gulf, pictures are starting to emerge of oil covered birds and large fish kills. Folks, this is about to get very ugly and no amount of ad time is going to help BP out of this mess, it will take years for people to forgive and somewhat forget, but unfortunately we will, I mean when is the last time you heard about an Exxon boycott because of what happened with the Valdez disaster.
So we sit mesmerized by the live footage of the spill and watch the horror unfolding for the people, plants and animals of the gulf and wait to see what new hell hurricane season can bring them. We’ve got three months before the relief wells are finished, and that’s assuming they are delay free, meaning that no hurricanes make them suspend operations for a time, good luck with that one.