Just How Deep is the Deepwater Horizon Gusher?

Illustration for article titled Just How Deep is the Deepwater Horizon Gusher?

The ocean is a deep, deep place. And the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, it turns out, its pretty damn deep as well. Just check out this great infographic from Our Amazing Planet. [Our Amazing Planet via The Daily What]

DISCUSSION

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Daft Robot

It is high time someone explained to the ignorant Americans exactly who is really to blame for Gulf oil spill and why the rhetoric emanating from America is so infuriating to most people in Britain.

The rig that had the accident was owned and operated by Transocean, and American company (which has since paid out a substantial dividend to its own shareholders). The American press initially referred to the accident in terms of it being Transocean’s rig, and only switched to using BP’s name when the extent of the oil spill became apparent.

Survivors of the rig fire have claimed they were held incommunicado by Transocean heavies and lawyers on a boat until they signed forms absolving Transocean of any blame or causing any harm. They weren’t even allowed to let their families know they were alive until they signed that form.

The head of Transocean has had a working holiday in India since the oil spill and has been filmed on stage in a song and dance routine with half naked Indian actresses as part of a celebration of Transocean’s safety record.

The company has also sought to limit its liability exposure to just $27 million.

I challenge even an American lawyer to find fault with the notion that if you are the owner and the operator of a piece of equipment that fails catastrophically and causes tremendous damage and loss of life then the very same owner and operator is responsible both legally and morally. I have yet to hear Barack Obama make any mention of these facts. The same applies to the American press and in fact Americans period.

The whole disaster is the fault of Transocean, with possible joint liability of Cameron, another American firm, for providing equipment that failed to prevent an accident becoming a disaster.

Barack Obama has indulged in shameless partisan attacks on a foreign company for the sole purpose of boosting his popularity ahead of crucial elections due to be held in a few months time. The American press, which is notorious for its complete inability to conduct meaningful, impartial research has gone along with Obama. American oil firms are encouraging these attacks in the hope of gaining business contracts currently held by BP and perhaps even taking over the company.

Put this in contrast with British treatment of the American oil company Occidental which was responsible for 167 deaths on an oil rig in the North Sea and Americans might begin to understand British anger at their hypocrisy.

If that is not enough, consider American responsibilities and actions regarding the Union Carbide disaster at Bhopal, India. In the first decade after the cyanide gas was released, 25,000 deaths were attributed to the accident and 300,000 were made sick and/or homeless. That was in 1984 and today most of the victims are still waiting for compensation or even a meaningful apology.

To the fool who says shame on Britain, I hope you are reading this. You – and Americans like you -have royally cheessed off the only real friends you ever had.