An Oil Platform Burns, Blanketing the Gulf With Angst

The mishap sent waves of anxiety along a coast that has just begun to recover from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Comments: 125

  1. Here is yet another reason why we need to greatly increase investment in alternate energy while at the same time breaking up these big oil companies so they can't control the government so much that we see just about no regulation on their dangerous activity.

  2. This just proves it is time to develop and use other sources of energy. It is not in our culture and governmental system to think long-term. Forget about the world running out of oil. Do we really believe that in the long term, maybe as short as five years, we can coerce the Middle East to sell us their energy at cheap prices? The answer is clearly no. We just do not know the exact date when the mid-east uses their oil as ransom again. OUR LEADERS ARE NOT LEADING ON THIS ISSUE. It is their responsibility to lead. We did not elect them to take a poll of the citizenry and do what the majority wishes. Their job is to lead and convince the majority.
    Read More

  3. Here we go again. America never learns.

  4. If it was a non-producing well, it was supposed to be sealed shut. If it was sealed shut, then it couldn't be leaking. If it wasn't sealed shut, why not?

    If it is leaking it could be a bad leak.

  5. There are over 4,000 oil wells off the cost of the US. Most of them are in the Gulf of Mexico. But it only takes one (or now 2) leaking to compromise economies on shore and off.

    We have a regulatory failure on our hands people. We also have a failure to embrace alternative energies. If these sort of events aren't signs of that I don't know what are.

    To embrace alternative energies would help minimize these kinds of accidents. Best of all, thats not pseudo-socialism, just plain common sense.

    Don't let the naysayers bother about the "high price of gas" if we don't "drill our own resources." The electric cars can come too.

  6. Get off oil! Get off oil! We need to break our addiction to all fossil fuels. They are obsolete, outmoded, so outdated.

    They are killing everything, when we could do other things to keep our standard of living.

  7. I have refused to buy any new car until there are greener options available.
    Prius and Hybrids are OK, but nowhere near green enough for my tastes.

  8. "The prospect of a second oil leak would be unnerving." Unnerving is putting it lightly. I've seen photographs of the Gulf, and it is covered with hundreds of oil rigs. It seems to me President Obama should have the entire Gulf researched, one rig at a time, regardless of who they belong to. They are sitting in what used to be one of the most beautiful coastal areas of our country. President Obama needs to assemble a research team. He believes in hard science. We can't live like this, waiting for yet another oil rig to blow up. And I don't see how the Gulf is going to survive another Deepwater Horizon explosion.

  9. Petro-based energy needs to be taxed at a level that allows other energy sources to get some traction. Instead, we basically give away gas, but use taxpayer dollars to provide rebates on energy-efficient autos. Similarly, we under-price home energy, then provide convoluted rebates for insulation and energy star appliances.

    Let's simplify this soup. Apply a petro tax, in conjunction with a payroll tax offset, thus eliminating the 'it's a tax that America can't afford' argument.

    What America can't afford is our current petroleum-based 'energy policy.'

  10. I have been following this story unfolding with horror. There seem to be various conflicting accounts and confusion at present, but coming so soon after the Deep Water Horizon explosion this does appear negligent in the extreme.

    What will happen now, a ban on all off-shore drilling? Or are corporate interests too great?

  11. Deepwater Horizon wasn't producing oil or gas, either.

  12. Other outlets are reporting that "the platform was producing about 58,800 gallons of oil and 900,000 cubic feet of gas per day. The platform can store 4,200 gallons of oil."

  13. please, this has to be a joke. we just got back up, it's time we fell again, right?

  14. God is talking.

  15. How about solar "trees" in every large parking lot and solar panels along interstate highways? How much energy would they produce?

  16. BP said there was no oil leak as well. I hope and pray this sheen is just noting more than the after effects of the explosion and not another leak.

    What is obvious now though is that we have to stop drilling off shore now and reduce our use of oil immediately!

  17. Sure, we the people don't need no regulations for the environment just as we learned in the last couple of years we don't need no regulations for the economy.

    Viva la tea partiers, huh?

  18. "...had been spotted near the damaged production platform on Thursday afternoon. But the platform’s owner said the structure had not been producing at the time of the accident..."

    Can someone explain the difference between a production platform and a drilling rig? Or can someone explain the difference (other than depth of water) between the BP rig and this one? Can a platform/rig alternate between a drilling rig and a production rig depending on demand? Or are the rigs specifically designed to be one or the other?

  19. Is it just me or does this seem to be way too big of a coincidence? One cannot help but wonder if terrorism is involved, and with a very different president at the helm, if even more of the cannons are going to be pointed at the citizens of the US this time. Under Obama, everything is the fault of the end user. Who gets what I'm implying?

  20. Is this event statistically possible? Two rigs in one year? This is an industry that probably hates the goverment, and cries socialism when it can't place its own people in either the Oval office or the VP's office. I don't trust the American oil companies at all anymore.

    I'd like to know what the standards are for "inactive" wells. After months of learning about oil industry recklessness and greed, I'd like to know what sort of auditing or monitoring we do of the deep sea bed in the gulf after drills. As someone else mentioned, there are 4,000 wells. Are we allowing oil companies to get away with some 'minimum seepage' after the oil is supposedly sealed? I'm going to assume we do.

  21. Drill, baby, drill...

  22. How are these oil companies able to get variances on cut-off valves for these rigs?


    In truth, we just don't know who are leaders are. We're in fact being led around by a ring in the nose, pulled by the Republican naysayers on energy reform and the oil companies (who got that wholly manufactured Summer of 2008 $4.80/gallon parting-gift from Bush) and the drill-baby-drill set who think our environment has virtually limitless resources. Our real leaders are doing their job quite well -- mainly because we so willingly follow.

    Stay stupid, America. There's always still time for a deathbed conversion.

  24. once again...

    "How many times can a man turn his head
    And pretend that he just doesn't see
    The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
    The answer is blowing in the wind"

  25. The dark legacy of Dick Cheney re-emerges in the Gulf.

  26. I am missing Mr. Obama' s request for a Multi-Billion USDollar Fund to cover all the damages, etc like in the BP case.
    Or is the "patriotic" duty to pay only valid for Foreigners and not Texas Owners?
    The world is watching!

  27. I saw this and thought it must be referring to something that went wrong with the opening of the cap. Nope, it's just repeating the same nightmare. This is ridiculous- how did any of those lobbyist/Congressmen have a straight face two months ago when they demanded that the Obama administration lift tighter restrictions on drilling? Wake up America- it's time to stop this practice, and guess what, you will have to pay more for your gas while using less of it.

  28. Better luck next Gulf.

  29. One of the hallmarks of failing (and flailing) empires is lack of attention to infrastructure and environmental impact. A visitor to the defunct Soviet Union in the first months of its demise could not help but notice that the "worker's paradise" had taken on all the trappings of rust belt decay. Not only was there an absence of state-of-the-art industry, not surprisingly, eye-burning pollution was everywhere. If squeezing resources and profits begins to eclipse all other considerations, it is only a matter of time--and not a lot of time at that--before the house of cards begins to teeter.

    One would think that everyone involved it the off-shore drilling business would be particularly fastidious right now. The aspect of business as usual in this incident is amazing and troubling.

  30. Some general comments:

    1. Those who argue "Time to end all oil subsidies and tax exemptions and drilling - and use the money we wasted on that in building - in the US - more wind, tidal, solar, geothermal and other energy sources."
    Studies show that the subsidy in the last 30 years per KW of capacity for wind and solar dwarfs anything coal, nuke power, gas, and hydro electric production ever got. Let alone oil.

    2. Geothermal and tidal are very limited in supply and location. Yes, every little bit is nice..but a tiny supply...almost statistically ignorable in terms of the vast energy needs of the US.

    3. Anyone who thinks wind or solar electricity substitutes for oil is ignorant. Oil is not used for electricity generation anymore except in very remote locations or for emergency generators. Magically tripling the amount of greenie-socialists "Wondrous Wind and Blessed Solar" would have no impact on oil demand.
    Not unless they believe we are on the verge of commercially viable planes, trains, trucks, cars powered by batteries and the petrochamical industry can run off electricity as the feedstock material.

    4. Voters I think "get" the present situation. They 1st and foremost want to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and conservation is only part of the equation. We must locate and develop domestic sources of oil, create synthetic alternatives from coal, nat gas, oil shales. Electricity from any source does not substitute for what we use oil for in transportation, petrochemicals.

    5. In the present economic situation, voters are more and more coming to believe "Green!" is shorthand for a faction of America's Ruling Elite who wish to sacrifice jobs and standard of living for an ideology.

  31. I am afraid as more and more drilling ban approaches, these companies will start drilling places near countries which have less regulations like India, Africa etc. If a developed countries like America can not control these companies, just imagine the plight of these developing countries would be. I am hoping our Govts are not as corrupt as we think they are and at least resist these companies ill adventures. I believe another Bhopal is somewhere there in the horizon..

  32. Send Glenn Beck and the tea people to the site to do the cleanup. They believe they can do things better than government. let them clean up the muck for us.

  33. I wonder if Palin still wants to "drill, baby, drill!!" ??

    End the foreign military crusades and put that money into alternative energies. It's the lynchpin to all of America's problems ... just do it!!

  34. 'More pollution, with no solutions, on Obama's watch. All you have to do is look at his campaign donations to understand why

  35. Clearly we're never gonna learn. As long as Big Oil has a stranglehold on our government and regulation is lax or nonexistent and alternate energy sources get no support we'll just see more of the same.

  36. When conservatives preach get the government off our backs the are just doing the bidding of the wealthy multi national corporations. It is time for Americans to wake up. The problem isn't government regulations any more, it is the totally sold out nature of American elected officials using the conservative ideology as a smoke screen.

  37. I am also confused about this inactive, non-producing platform/well that suddenly went KA-BOOM. Also to take into account: what were these 13 workers doing there if it was not productive? Possible answer: they were putting it back on line (or one of the seven wells connected to the platform) when something bad happend.

    According to initial reports the workers had to jump off deck and were swimming in the water in imersion suits. Later they were able to get onto a raft. Now, how fast has an accident to happen that you can't "abandon ship" but have to jump for your very life? I would suspect there to be warning signs, alarms, countermeasures, the closing of vents, fire extinguishing operations and so on. But these guys just barely made it with the skin on their backs. That's a systemic failure if i ever seen one.

    I really would like to learn more about what happend, on a technological level. And i really, really would like these kind of things not to happen again anytime soon. I guess we all had enough of oil and gas and explosions for quite some time...

  38. cjm: All attempts at a moratorium have been knocked down by a Louisiana judge who had ties to Big Oil. Big Oil is too big, it practically owns Louisiana and Mississippi outright. The residents depend on Big Oil for jobs and the rigs serve as artificial reefs for fishermen. Win win? Never mind that it's destroying the coastline, polluting the environment and contaminating the food supply. The modest six month moratorium was called a jobs killer (debatable) even before the first well was capped. Presidents have been trying to get us off of oil for decades and it will never happen as long as oil is cheap, Special Interests have millions to throw around and our economy is trapped in the fossil fuel age.

  39. Moratorium? Who needs a moratorium?

  40. So? Come on, didn't the bacteria eat up 90% of the last oil spill? Although I don't like the idea of an oil spill, what is the big worry? Just fix it and move on.

  41. Oh sure, now you liberal NYT guys are going to jump all over this as some sort of reason to regulate off shore oil drilling! BP and Halliburton CEOs have families too, ya know! I say you get three strikes before you're out. (

    With tongue firmly in cheek, and heartbroken over this mess. I just wanted to anticipate some of the incipid comments we can look forward to.

  42. We are assuming, I believe, either poor planning, poor maintenance,and/or poor judgment but, in both the BP event and this one, has (or can) sabotage been ruled out? Are the platforms in the Gulf adequately protected ,,, underwater?

  43. And so begins the desensitization of America towards coastline oil spills. Soon they'll happen and won't even make the news.

  44. I suppose that this is another Obama plot to take over America.

  45. Jeez cjhsa, the oil companies are the terrorists, go check out how they operate in Nigeria. Your attack on the president for being half white is ludicrous, get what I'm implying?

  46. The respect I held for oil and drilling companies is now gone.

  47. "It's like deja vu all over again." What a disaster all fossil fuel driven economies are!

  48. Drill Baby drill!
    And people keep voting for deregulators......America keeps hurting itself to irrelevance and oblivion......

  49. De-regulation is the answer- regardless of the question. Unleash capitalism without restrictions and it will make all our lives better, provide jobs etc. Can't you see how well it's working now? Let big business regulate itself, pollute, not pay taxes, lay off workers, be anti-family and maybe the fat board members will throw you some crumbs. The chickens are coming home to roost on the Reagan Revolution- the middle-class is in the crosshairs and are an endangered species. The multi-national rich gleefully thin the herd every day. The former middle-class likes it- and will vote overwhelmingly for more in November. "Some of them want to abuse you (the rich), some of them want to be abused (the former middle-class)"

  50. America,

    What does it take for people to wake up?

    We desperately need to GET OFF OIL.

  51. Anyone for a swim?

  52. The operator said "the structure had not been producing oil at that time".

    Now, reconcile that with..

    In a statement, Mariner said that during the last week of August, the platform had produced about 9.2 million cubic feet of natural gas a day and 1,400 barrels of oil and condensate.

    It is only the second of September! So saying it is a non-producing well is like saying all smokers are same as non-smokers between cigarettes. Actually, it is more like even in between puffs.

    The slimy judge who lifted the ban should be ordered to lick this spill clean.

  53. When will the GOP-blocked Senate join the 21st century and authorize the energy bill and CO2 cap & trade or a Carbon tax? When can no longer afford to squander the natural capital of our only planet on unsustainable, natural capital destroying oil, coal, tar sands, etc. When will we grow up and act responsibly, and stop destroying our children's and our children's children's life support system. It is deeply unethical to destroy the ability of our descendants to live decent lives on Earth.

    It is time.

  54. We need to do whatever we can to improve our relations with the Middle East oil producing countries so that we can improve our access to their sources of oil. We must stop risking American lives and American environmental treasure in searching for oil in risky locations such as the Gulf. We must improve our dialogue with the Muslim world.

  55. Remember how conservatives railed against "activist" judges who they felt interfered in the proper functioning of the government. On the same day of this second incident, US District Court Judge Martin Feldman (a Reagan appointee) again overturned the moratorium on deep-water drilling ( He substituted his judgment for the Secretary of the Interior, who is actually responsible for overseeing drilling. Perhaps he feels that he learned everything he needs to know from the Exxon and BP annual reports that he received as a shareholder. (He sold his holdings on the day of his first ruling because it was such an obvious conflict of interest.) But the real question is why conservatives aren't as upset about judicial activism when it furthers their own agenda at the expense of our national treasures and environment.

  56. Given that today's 'spill' is further west than Deepwater Horizon, one presumes fishing grounds that were unaffected by the first disaster will be by this one. But mark my words, Mama Bear Palin, Fixed News and its lackeys, regional governors, et. al. will continue to beat the drums for continued drilling in the Gulf and elsewhere. We can't have it both ways, as is being borne out time and again. Either we continue on the toxic path first laid out in the late 19th century, plundering every last scrap of every last resource we can find no matter how inaccessible and harmful, or else the republic (intentional lower-case "r"!) wakes out of its torpor and demands, by vote or other means, that safe, reproducible alternatives are developed. Pull DOD's and NASA's budgets completely if need be, but this warrants every plug nickel that can be directed toward it.

  57. Lesson learned from BP, Obama administration and all media? Don't believe a word you read or hear. It is leaking and is likely leaking oil big time. The recent tag line that if we don't drill for oil domestically, then drilling will only be outsourced to a place like Nigeria, well I'm guessing that Nigeria has more environmental and safety standards than the US does at this point.

  58. Regulation? We don't need no d--n regulation. And once again, I can see that stupid grin as the words come out of his mouth, "What are the worst words that we can hear in America. Hah, hah, hah. (Cue the stupid grin.) I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

    And once again, be it oil leaks, bank failures, mining disasters, egg contamination, etc etc, deregulation strikes again.

  59. Why are we hearing about it now if it happened last Thursday? Didn't anybody notice, or was there some sort of cover up? Clearly, offshore oil drilling is not conducive to the health of either our environment or our economy. I'm more concerned, frankly, about our environment and the creatures that depend on the water and shorelands to live, more than the economic impact, which is still concerning.

  60. We want government to get out of the way until stuff like this happens, and then everyone yells "Why isn't the government doing more"? We are so dumb, we don't even know when we contradict ourselves. This truly is an idiocracy.

  61. Lest we forget:


    - coined by current GOP Chairman Michael Steele at the 2008 REPUBLICAN National Convention, and since championed and repeated (ad nauseum) by SARAH PALIN.

    Along with the cute cliches comes the responsibility; I am waiting to see whether "Mama Grizzly" is still going to keep plugging (excuse the pun) for her position on this issue and if so, her "rationale".

  62. they drilled paradise, put up a rig, fouled the water and air, killed the wildlife first and then the people by toxic sickness later.

  63. Time to list all the legislators that fought the moratorium on drilling. Anyone who thinks that ANY politician, right/left, blue/red has the interest of this country first and foremost is delusional. Personally I would like to see every one of them marched out of the Capitol and bussed off to summer camp; one that lasts for about 50 years...

  64. If I didn't live here in the US, I'd be able to shake my head at this country's bondage by corporate interests, and feel grateful. Instead I feel a combination of rage, shame, and hopelessness.

  65. Actually there have been 3 'accidents' of this type in the past 6 mos. Don't forget the barge that rammed the oil rig. It seems very suspicious that we have never in the history of the USA had accidents of this type happen, and all of a sudden we have 3 on Obama's looks very much like sabotage that is intended to further the administration's agenda and to cause us to ignore Mr. O's incompetance.

  66. Any relation to Charlie?

  67. Let's get some under water cameras down there fast.

  68. Can you say "Energy Policy Reform"? How much longer do we have to wait??!!

  69. Chatter on squirrels, left and right. It makes no difference what you think. From anger to blame, from salient insights to bald ignorance - we do not matter.

  70. Spill, baby, spill.

  71. Guess Obama will now ban all drilling in the Gulf and really destroy some jobs. How about upping compliance with safety regs? Things can be done safely if there is the desire to do so.

  72. Why didn't BP think of this sooner?!?!

    They must have hired a new PR hit man recently who thought up this idea to distract attention.. and it is already working wonderfully.

  73. Business as usual.

  74. Welcome to America's future. Since Reagan, the country has been unable to plan virtually anything for the long term, which is why also this issue will not be resolved. America's political system cannot deliver a solution to oil addiction like other countries can. America cannot produce rational solutions to any larger problem anymore. Pollution, crumbling infrastructure, lack of competitiveness with the rest of the world, a school system down the drain... Where is this leading, and why isn't anyone doing anything about it?

  75. "Pouring oil on troubles waters": the new way to keep down swells during storms in the Gulf?

    You say there are no storms in Gulf at the moment? Oh, well maybe its a rehearsal...

  76. Fight back personally, every day, by using less petroleum. There is no other way to reduce the environmental threat posed by offshore oil production than to reduce demand substantially and permanently. The Gulf contains thousands of drill sites. It is beyond the government's regulatory capability and apparently, its will, to manage them all.

  77. Is this an Onion headline? Please tell me it is.

  78. I'd like to correct Chris Ford who states: "Oil is not used for electricity generation anymore except in very remote locations or for emergency generators". According to the latest estimates by the US Energy Information Administration, 1.44 Billion Megawatts of energy were generated in the US using oil, in May of this year alone.

  79. if the government would get off the payoffs from the lobbyists and concentrate on serving the citizen the United States could actually become a leader in alternative energy.
    Just think of becoming oil free and energy efficient with the manufacture of solar vehicles bringing manufacturing back to the US and breaking the backs of oil and cheep useless manufacture from other countries. Put the United States citizens back to work with solar.

  80. We were aggressively pursuing alternative energy reform in the 1970's, and then St. Ronald Reagan came into office and derisively tore off the solar panels atop the White House West Wing, and laughingly gutted the rest of Our Nation's progressive energy policies. I wonder where we would be today if that had not happened, not only in energy, but in our Greatness as a nation. And to think, with the spineless "leader" we have today in the White House, the likes of Mrs. Sarah Palin will be elected to the Presidency in 2012. But, you people willingly elected him.

    Thank you.

  81. I'm sure Republicans and the tea party are busy drafting the wording of upcoming sound bites to blame Obama for the ongoing gulf oil disasters and then offer their sincere apologies to the the oil and rig companies for anyone who might try to hold the oil industry responsible. And how dare Obama not drop everthing right now and get down there to fix it!

  82. The facts aren't all in on this one yet, but as I wondered after the BP spill: is it so hard for oil and mining companies to simply follow the rules? Like the company whose mine killed many workers earlier this year, they seem to spend as much time and energy trying to avoid safety measures as they'd spend meeting them.

    Save a few pennies now - pay later in lives, environmental damage, and terrible P.R. Is that what they teach in U.S. business schools?

  83. This disgusts me.

    But perhaps we need a more feasible solution than to simply shout, "Get off oil." Almost everything is a product of oil--the computers we use to comment, our pens, our furniture, our bicycles, our shoes. Without oil for to grease machines, and such, almost nothing can be manufactured.

    So where are the answers? Politicians and corporations don't have them. I don't have them. And judging by the lack of substance in these comments, we seem to lack them collectively, as well.

  84. Sarah Palin says that the liberals were responsible for the BP spill because we forced the energy companies to drill so far off shore. If the oil companies had only been allowed to drill in shallow water where it was safe, the BP spill would never have happened. To turn that spill around and make it the liberals fault required some pretty creative thinking. I can't wait to see how she twists this one. Do you still think that that "drilly, spilly" thing is working out for us?

  85. This explosion underscores the USA's need to revamp its energy policy.

    There are two ways to go:

    1) The Charles and David Koch option of unregulated, unrestricted drilling without an accompanying oil tax to price in true cost of oil, environmentally and politically. (Honestly, would we have invaded Iraq if there were no oil there?)

    2) An energy policy that accounts for the high cost of drilling for oil and prices that cost into the marketplace with taxes so alternative fuels can be competitive.

    The time for energy change is now. Will Obama lead on this issue or will he drift politically as he passively searches for a middle ground with an opposition that has no interest in compromise?

  86. In the present economic situation, voters are more and more coming to believe "Green!" is shorthand for a faction of America's Ruling Elite who wish to sacrifice jobs and standard of living for an abstract ideology.

    Oil is not used to generate electricity.
    As of today, just as in the last 30 years of feverishly working on battery powered substitute for oil - there are no widely if at all - commercially viable planes, trains, trucks, autos that use battery electricity instead of hydrocarbons.

    In November, voters who 1st and foremost want a better economy and jobs - will render their verdict in part on rejection of those who wish to destroy the traditional energy industry by regulating it to death. Their vote will also reflect their feelings for an Elite that has embraced Green hysteria.

  87. Oil Firms have no fear of Governmentregulators. Fines, etc. are one half charades and one half accepted cost of business.Or better I put it this way: if any government regulator were to close down an oil rig on grounds of safety,what do you think that at some later date he or a member of his family would be given a high powered executive position at that or any oil company?

  88. Shut up, Americans, and keep spending a billion bucks a day for oil.
    Everyone knows Al Gore and Soros hired a North Korean submarine to torpedo this rig!
    Gotta go. Glenn Beck is on...

  89. It is not known yet what exactly happened in this reported case. No investigation has been undertaken. Until a third-party investigation is concluded, if appropriate (not news reports or government judgments) no conclusions can be drawn, nor any policy or other response be coherently made.

    The only response that is relevant immediately, is an environmental one, if necessary.

    What chain of events, or what numerous externalities and/or parties may be causal, is not known.

  90. Note to #7. No problem staying with your current set of wheels. The problem, as I see it for you, will be a long wait. In the meantime,not too many options available for you. Bike it, hike it, or take public transportation. Very viable options whether it be in Manhattan, NY or Manhattan, KS. PS Don't kow what type of short you drive but be sure to change your oil and rotate your tires at a mimimum of 5,000 miles and wait for the new one down the road that adheres to your current standards.

  91. thanks cheney for the loose safety regulations for the oil companies.some people connecting obama to this problem?gimmie a break,take it over to faux news.

  92. Breaking up the oil companies is a great fantasy that will never happen. However, as a people, we can demand of our government, tighter regulations, closer monitoring, and meaningful fines levied on the real culprits. What else can you or I do?

  93. So much for the deepwater horizon being an "anomaly", as some claimed.

    A previous poster- cjhsa #19 - suggested that this is too much of a coincidence, terror involved, something about Obama... Look, it's clear that the deepwater horizon accident was a result of multiple occasions of cutting corners to save money with a flagrant disregard for safety, from a company with a history of such behavior and overseen by an office with too little manpower and too much history of lax enforcement - no conspiracy there except for greed and nonchalance. As for this event, we'll have to wait for some preliminary information to get some idea of what happened. Be responsible citizens and recognize what the evidence shows rather than going off on paranoid baseless rants.

    BTW: This article says the platform was in 340 feet of water but a previous article (below) says 2500 feet. Which is it?

  94. Where is the Republican and Right Wing anger with this. They all must be playing Golf and having refreshments with John Boehner at the Country Club.

  95. Please don't use the phrase "touching off" four times in a single article. Twice would really be more than enough.

  96. Obama may have to come back from his jaunt to israel, and eat some fresh gulf coast seafood to calm the public's nerves.

  97. So what else is new? In an all powerful oil industry which tells the US government what to do, this latest explosion is not at all surprising. Until we develop viable alternative forms of energy which will create jobs, the amoral and totally venal oilmen will continue to rule.

  98. Whats really going on in the Gulf of Mexico is the question. Smell like lack of regulations and greedy oil companies providing the bare minimum amount of safety on these off shore rigs so they can pump as much oil out of the gulf and spend the least amount of money. Greed Greed and more Greed.

  99. This latest incident tells me two things:

    (1) The environmental regulation and enforcement of energy producers inadequate. This did not happen overnight - it takes years of lax oversight to result in repeated failures like this. The system of rules that was so systematically dismantled by the Bush administration needs to be rebuilt.

    (2) All the easy to reach fossil fuels are gone. We are now taking extreme risks to maintain an energy production level dictated by our complete dependence on fossil fuels.

    This must change. If we continue down this path, we will ever more dramatic ecological disaster, some of which may have a not solution; we got lucky with the Deep Water Horizon.

    The fix is to reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence of fossil fuels for energy. Are the replacement technologies ready? No. They are in their infancy, but we must accelerate their development. The easiest way is to subsidize them by taxing fossil fuels. Use the present dependence to pay for the transition.

    Will any one technology - solar, geo-thermal, wind, tidal, nuclear - solve the problem? No. We will need a diverse patchwork of energy sources and storage modalities. It is not impossible, or even especially difficult. We just have to believe we can do it and want to do it. The rest is an engineering problem.

    And in response to those that say hybrid and electric cars are not part of solution, remember that most of the petroleum we pump out of these wells is used to fuel passenger cars. Reducing the amount of crude oil they use (hybrids) or shifting them to more efficient, cleaner sources of energy (grid electric cars) is key to reducing the need for riskier sources of petroleum.

    We can make the change today, before the the next disaster and while we have time to grow the technology.

  100. The party of "Drill Baby, Drill!" is responsible for the lax regulations that paved the way for Deepwater Horizon and this latest disaster.

  101. Drill Baby Drill!
    Stay stupid America, they love you that way.

  102. Once again, not surprisingly, all commenters to the NYT are singing from the same hymn book. Despite knowing very little about what has happened, most are just wringing their hands like Chicken Little "the sky is falling, the sky is falling". Jack at comment 73 makes some sense; he calls for energy policy reform. If the US ever gets its act together sufficiently to adopt a comprehensive energy policy, the hand wringers may find they have traded the risk of gulf oil spills for the risk of nuclear reactor accidents.

  103. Where is the CEO of the company responsible for this platform?, let Congress hunt him down until he resigns, we have the same treatment for everyone, don't we?

  104. Nuclear is the only practical answer at this point in time, as France has taken advantage of.
    The same nut cases who are dissing oil are the ones who destroyed the nuclear industry in the US, much to our detriment.
    Wind and solar are non-starters and these same tree huggers would protest against the noise wind power makes and the blight solar panels cause. So we freeze in the dark??

  105. Something similar happened here in Chicago, but so far no one has reported on it. (I am originally from the Bay Area. They had some problems with an oil spill up near Concord a while back, but their real worry is earthquakes!) Locally, we have very, very few large oil rigs out in the lake. Whatever we are doing here seems to be working. I cannot remember the last time I heard about a rig exploding on the Great Lakes. The lesson? Let's model the drilling program in the Gulf of Mexico on the one we are using up here for Lake Michigan. It does not seem that hard. I feel like the decision makers are more interested in mandication than in problem solving. Chester Henry, who has been called the Dean of Drilling for the Great Lakes put it well. "Hand in hand with the water."

  106. Comment #37 hit the nail on the head.

    The U.S. military serves the interest of the oil companies, its mission being to "secure" Mideast sources of oil. So we are at war with the Muslim world. They attack our embassies or pull off a 9/11, we invade them, they blow themselves up trying to get us to leave. All those dead children, all those dead Americans, all those dead civilians, all those dead fighters on the other side. And all that wasted money. Trillions poured down a rat hole so we can keep on burning oil, destroying the atmosphere of our planet in the process. And all we have to do to correct this situation is implement technologies that exist today, right now, no pie-in-the-sky technological fix that no one has conceived of yet.

    Did you know that American auto manufacturers sell cars in Europe that get 80 miles a gallon? And that all of the efficiencies they have engineered into the internal combustion engine are used to haul bigger and bigger SUV's with more acceleration in the U.S.A.?

    Read "Green Gone Wrong" by Heather Rogers for more.

    My point is: the financial power of big oil has bought policies that serve big oil's interest at the expense of the security and prosperity of the United States as a whole.

  107. The comments in this thread that illuminate the American public's sheer ignorance of the magnitude of the BP oil spill as the environmental catastrophe it is, is perfect evidence of how our mainstream media, including the NYT times, gives us information that only ever skims the top of things.
    If the storms come to the gulf next season and lift that oil up, blanket it on the marshes/wetlands, destroying them and their wildlife, even potentially making the air deadly to breath maybe then people will wake up and start to learn a thing or two.

  108. I've said enough to the car industry some years ago. It's the minimum I can do to tone down my dependency on oil. I still take bus and metro, but I mainly ride a very nice mountain bike (made in usa btw).

  109. "Drill baby drill!"

    -- Sarah Palin and John McCain

  110. No offshore drilling any more under any circumstances.

  111. When I was a kid in the 40s the usual way for lost cost comedies to end was to loop around to events in the beginning of the film that had started the mayhem that had just run its course. Us kids loved to say then "Here we go again!"

  112. How many environmental disasters will it take to convince Republicans that oil is not our future?

  113. I'm suspicious by nature and I don't believe in "coincidences" but I'll wait for the investigation. Sabotage?

  114. Can we at least get that moratorium now? Obviously the companies operating in the Gulf aren't doing so responsibly.

  115. Okay yes ban all drilling and dependence on oil but let's not forget folks that fuel isn't necessarily the largest use of oil. Do you have any idea how many products we use daily that are made from oil? Let's just name one: plastic. Things aren't as black and white as they seem. Letting go of oil doesn't just mean changing what car you drive, it means changing everything we do.

  116. It's most frustrating to see an unending chain of disasters on a global scale. Now, another offshore oil platform exploding. What are we going to do?

    I can't take too much more, so I'm going to fill up my tank and drive around for a few hours to clear my head...

  117. This buzz phrase 'alternate energy' sounds great but is hollow. Physics and science tell us that even if a huge percentage of these alternative sources could be harnessed, they cannot provide but a miniscule % of our energy needs. It is not a matter of technology, it is a matter of pure physics.
    So the greenies can spout off all they want, but how about some real alternatives?

  118. I'm all for reducing our dependence on oil, but the Times needs to be careful about exaggerating the situation to further its anti-drill agenda. While the original headline and the current first sentence state that "an oil platform exploded," it would appear that a more accurate statement would be that there was an explosion on an oil platform.

  119. All these people spouting their anonymous nonsense- so tiresome. There's a problem here and I am not talking about regulators or lack of regulators or "liberal" or "conservative"- all of that insipid dreck is meaningless. There is a fundamental problem in this country- decay- break down. And I don't know the answers and I am sick of people approaching every event from their little ideological written programs on their brains. Something is wrong- deeply wrong- that is all I know for sure.

  120. A note about petroleum usage: In the US, about 2/3 of all crude is used for transportation. Of that, 2/3 is used in passenger cars. Therefore, about 40% of the total US crude consumption goes into passenger vehicles.

    Only about 25% of all crude is used for industrial purposes.


    So if we want to reduce our dependence on oil, reducing the amount used by passenger cars is the logical place to start.

  121. Bottom line, we all use too much oil in our personal lives. Gas for our cars, buses etc. Plastic garbage and shopping bags. Plastic food and drink containers. The list goes on and on. If we eliminate some of the uses, we can cut the costs of transportation.

    In the long term, we need to find alternative sources and hold the producers of oil to higher standards. Allowing oil companies to self regulate is like asking a shark to be the security guard in a meat packing house -- it ain't gonna happen!

  122. I'm confused. In July Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued new suspensions of deepwater drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, while investigators continued to research the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. So what is this oil rig doing there? President Obama wanted a moratorium on deepwater drilling, despite the fact that his original moratorium was overturned twice by the federal courts. President Obama went ahead anyway. So the question still remains, what is this oil rig doing there?

  123. Of course, first drilling for all the oil on land and in shallow water would make too much sense.

  124. We apologize to the oil company yet?

  125. Judging by the last disaster, in which Republican residents of states like Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi reaffirmed their support for politicians calling for more offshore drilling, this latest accident will likely convince the remaining residents of those states to rally around Perry, Jindal and Barbour.