The Deep Horizons ultra-deepwater dynamic positioned semi-submersible oil drilling rig, lying upside down a mile below sea level, was built and owned by Transocean Limited of Vernier, Switzerland. This rig was the most technologically advanced drilling machine on earth, designed to tap oil reserves miles below the ocean’s surface. It was completed in 2001 by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea. British Petroleum was leasing the rig at a cost of one-half million dollars per day to exploit oil and gas trapped under tremendous pressure miles below.
Just as Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara thought that advanced technology would allow U.S. weaponry to defeat the people of Vietnam in the 1970s, the Wall Street banks now believe that current ‘advanced technology’ will allow them to tap unknown forces of nature…at a profit.
They justify this endeavor with the argument that exploiting natural resources always involves some endemic risk and that they are insured to protect their investors. Wall Street and their oil industry allies believe that, as in the past, disasters are a cost of business and that once the cleanup is done there will be a return to profitability.
Profits from deepwater drilling, as well as the fracking of the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and New York, are projected to be enormous, to create dazzling new fortunes for those who are bold, hardy, and carefree enough to get there first. These expectations of great wealth from expensive and refractory resources are based on the knowledge that the world, but especially the United States, is rapidly using up, and to a great degree wasting, petroleum and gas reserves. As the reserves shrink and become more expensive to exploit, the push to find and exploit them intensifies.
Nelson requests Senate investigation into oil safety claims
BY LESLEY CLARK – Herald Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — Seizing on the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, Sen. Bill Nelson asked Monday for a rare joint Senate committee investigation into safety claims made by the oil industry.
The request — made along with New Jersey Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Bob Menendez, who like Nelson oppose oil and gas drilling off their states’ coast — comes as authorities monitored the Gulf spill and tried to use underwater equipment to cap the leak.
Obama praises lost miners, vows safety improvements
Monday, April 26, 2010
By Michael A. Fuoco, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
President Barack Obama delivers the eulogy during Sunday’s service.
A somber yet passionate President Barack Obama was enthusiastically cheered for his eulogy here Sunday in which he honored the 29 coal miners killed in the Upper Big Branch mine explosion on April 5 and vowed to try to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.
“These miners lived and died in pursuit of the American dream. … We cannot bring back those 29 miners we lost. They are with the Lord in heaven.
“Our task here on earth is to keep lives from being lost again,” Mr. Obama said during his 15-minute eulogy at the “Hope and Healing” memorial service held in the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
The partnership is an intermunicipal group composed of Dallas, Franklin, Jackson, Kingston and Lehman townships and Dallas borough.
Attorney Jeffrey Malak, who is solicitor of the group, explained it would be better for each municipality to enact its own ordinances rather than to pass joint partnership ordinances because each municipality has its own unique needs.
Malak provided an example of an ordinance, created by the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors and the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Solicitors, which addresses height regulations of equipment, setbacks, access roads, wells, tanks and storage.
He also furnished sample dust, noise and light pollution ordinances and a sample road bond agreement. In addition, he provided a copy of Dallas’ zoning ordinance, which restricts drilling to certain areas of the borough and deals with screening and buffering and outdoor lighting issues.
State Decision Blocks Drilling for Gas in Catskills
By MIREYA NAVARRO
Published: April 21, 2010
New York state environmental officials announced Friday that they would impose far stricter regulations for a new type of natural gas drilling in the state’s only two unfiltered water supplies, making it highly unlikely that any drilling will be done in the Catskills watershed that supplies drinking water to New York City.