CSI: Macondo

    Remember back when BP severed the riser, so they could install the cap, the one that finally controlled the spill? Here is a photo taken by an ROV just after the severing was completed. The photo shows the outer shell of the riser, at one time a 21-inch cylinder, collapsed like a Coke can by the severing tool. Inside the collapsed riser are what appear | Read More »

    The Pro-Environment Anti-Environmentalist

    As oil stopped flowing in the Gulf, we’ve seen a flurry of “Where Did The Oil Go?” stories from the USA Today, Tom Friedman at the New York Times, and others. A new TIME Magazine article begrudgingly admits that “obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh” may have been right when he asserted that the BP oil spill was something less than “the worst environmental disaster America has | Read More »

    The Pro-Environment Anti-Environmentalist

    As oil stopped flowing in the Gulf, we’ve seen a flurry of “Where Did The Oil Go?” stories from the USA Today, Tom Friedman at the New York Times, and others. A new TIME Magazine article begrudgingly admits that “obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh” may have been right when he asserted that the BP oil spill was something less than “the worst environmental disaster America has | Read More »

    Poll: 72% Disagree With Obama Oil Spill Policy

    According to a new Bloomberg poll, American public opinion on the BP oil spill reflects common sense and a rejection of the Obama Administration’s legalistic overreaction.   While public objections to a drilling ban echo the views of Republican leaders such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the sentiment is strong regardless of political leaning: 85 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 65 percent | Read More »

    Poll: 72% Disagree With Obama Oil Spill Policy

    According to a new Bloomberg poll, American public opinion on the BP oil spill reflects common sense and a rejection of the Obama Administration’s legalistic overreaction.   While public objections to a drilling ban echo the views of Republican leaders such as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, the sentiment is strong regardless of political leaning: 85 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of independents and 65 percent | Read More »

    All Offshore Wells Are Not Created Equal

    Environmentalists and the Obama Administration consider all offshore wells to be equally risky, but it’s important to recognize the relative risk of grossly dissimilar types of wells. Congress is considering a proposal to remove liability limits for all offshore well operators. That provision would effectively limit offshore operations to those companies big enough to self-insure: BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, maybe ConocoPhillips, and the foreign national | Read More »

    All Offshore Wells Are Not Created Equal

    Environmentalists and the Obama Administration consider all offshore wells to be equally risky, but it’s important to recognize the relative risk of grossly dissimilar types of wells. Congress is considering a proposal to remove liability limits for all offshore well operators. That provision would effectively limit offshore operations to those companies big enough to self-insure: BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, maybe ConocoPhillips, and the foreign national | Read More »

    The BP Spill as a Black Swan Event

    For context in understanding the oil spill, and to help answer the question “How could it possibly be this bad?”, I recommend a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. The BP spill is a textbook example of what Taleb calls a Black Swan Event. The event is a surprise (to the observer). The event has a major | Read More »

    The BP Spill as a Black Swan Event

    For context in understanding the oil spill, and to help answer the question “How could it possibly be this bad?”, I recommend a book by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable. The BP spill is a textbook example of what Taleb calls a Black Swan Event. The event is a surprise (to the observer). The event has a major | Read More »

    A Little Perspective on the BP Spill

    The New Orleans Superdome is pretty big. According to an article this week in the Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, LA), the amount of oil spilled from the BP Macondo well so far would fill up one-seventh (1/7th) of the volume of the Superdome. Here’s a view of the Superdome from the air, at a scale of 1:2,500. Note the bar for scale. (First four images from | Read More »

    A Little Perspective on the BP Spill

    The New Orleans Superdome is pretty big. According to an article this week in the Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, LA), the amount of oil spilled from the BP Macondo well so far would fill up one-seventh (1/7th) of the volume of the Superdome. Here’s a view of the Superdome from the air, at a scale of 1:2,500. Note the bar for scale. (First four images from | Read More »

    BP: Observations and Ruminations

    I’m no apologist for Big Oil. As a resident of South Louisiana, I’ve seen the mess that was left behind when they left for greener pastures. The simmering animosity between the “majors” and us “independents” goes back generations. They also have enough dough to carry their own water; they don’t need the help of a small fish blogger like me. That being said, the press | Read More »

    BP: Observations and Ruminations

    I’m no apologist for Big Oil. As a resident of South Louisiana, I’ve seen the mess that was left behind when they left for greener pastures. The simmering animosity between the “majors” and us “independents” goes back generations. They also have enough dough to carry their own water; they don’t need the help of a small fish blogger like me. That being said, the press | Read More »

    Mr. Maley Goes to Washington

    Colleague and occasional RS diarist Steve Maley testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on Thursday. The topic of the hearing was “The Deepwater Horizon Incident: Are the Minerals Management Service Regulations Doing the Job?” Full video of the hearing (over four hours) is available here. It featured testimony from the acting head of the MMS and the Interior Department’s Inspector General | Read More »

    Mr. Maley Goes to Washington

    Colleague and occasional RS diarist Steve Maley testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources on Thursday. The topic of the hearing was “The Deepwater Horizon Incident: Are the Minerals Management Service Regulations Doing the Job?” Full video of the hearing (over four hours) is available here. It featured testimony from the acting head of the MMS and the Interior Department’s Inspector General | Read More »