Fed and Louisiana as guilty as BP

United States
June 3, 2010 4:33pm CST
The International Precautionary Principle prohibits on the high seas activities with possibility of causing significant harm to lives and the environment. The US Environmental Policy Act and the Marine Mammal Protecton Act (all based on the Precautionary Principle) further expand on activities on the high seas on US territory. These laws (as known by coastal US states and coastal nations/countries) are there to protect not only a nation directly affected by any disaster but all coastal nations, seeing it is common knowledge that the oceans are constantly in motion and thus acting as transportation vehicles. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that activities in the Pacific Ocean will, if not immediately contained, affect people of all coastal nations/countries. Of course, these laws are expected to be implemented by individual nations (and/or individual states as in the case of the US). A little research on the BP incident around the Louisianna coast led me to the discovery that the BP oil rig, though on US territory, had some agreement that gave BP immunity from US laws - meaning that, BP was exempted from US inspections. 1). Why did the US government allow a foreign entity to operate on its territory unsupervised? 2). Why did Louisiana agree to have a company engaged in a known risky business with possible extensive consequences to which it had no control over? Yes, BP pointed fingers at Halliburton and Halliburton pointed fingers at Transocean. You must remember that these gang are in the business of making money and often will take, if unchecked, the shortest route possible. And as per liability: I believe that an appropriate lawsuit in this matter will be a lawsuit brought by Lousianians against BP, Halliburton, Transocean, state of Louisiana and Fed. And if Louisianians will not do so, then a lawsuit by Texas or Florida against BP, Halliburton, Transocean, Louisiana and Fed. Or maybe a lawsuit by Mexico and/or all Coastal Nations/Countries against BP, Halliburton, Transocean and US. Meanwhile, I hope that this incident in the Louisiana coast gets us to understand why some Coastal Nations/Countries (used to having toxic wastes and all sorts of pollutants washed up on their shores) often take some desperate actions in attempts to defend and protect their ecosystem. I guess sometimes it has to unfortunately hit home for some of us to finally see and understand the struggles of others.
1 person likes this
3 responses
@TTCCWW (579)
• United States
4 Jun 10
To date, there is no evidence that they were unsupervised. There were some missed inspections but they, BP and the drilling co., were following all the rules we had in place. Were these rules good enough, probably not. Congressional hearings so far find that they were in compliance with all of their contract obligations. Has there been a "too cozy" relationship between the oil company's and the government for the last eighty years, duh. If BP was exempt from any federal laws, which is very unlikely, they were not exersising their exemptions. They have to agree to follow anything the government decides when they sign the lease to drill and they had a US lease so they are not exempt from anything. I have not researched it but I can bet a large amount of money that there is not an oil rig in the world that is flagged as American. The same reason there are no commercial ships flagged in America anymore. They flag their ships in country's that have lax and or no laws controlling how they do business so that it limits their liability. And yes, oil rigs are vessels that have to flag the country that they are registered in. A side note here, since they do not flag their ships here why do they get to deduct the cost of those ships on their taxes in this country? They are also outside state territorial waters but Florida changed their water boarders and that has not gone to the Supreme court yet. This is our fifth major spill over the last fifty years, we are slow to learn. This spill is in the biggest fishery in the world. As bad as this is it has not yet leaked what America uses in oil in one hour. Alaska's fishery has still not recovered from their spill, there are spiecies that have never come back. This is one of the deepest wells ever drilled in the water. We, the American people have been warned for forty years that we are burning up all the opil in the world and we have done nothing about it. CAFE standards were not changed for twenty plus years. Is BP responsible for the spill, sure looks that way. They did have a supervisor that pushed the envelope. Will the US attorney prosecute, that will be hard to do but they will collect damages and fine them. The gulf coast may never recover and for that we have lost one of the most important ecosystems in the world and it was on our watch. I do not drive a fuel cell vehicle, I do have what is considered a highbrid vehicle and I am responsible for that oil spill every time I buy a plastic water bottle, a jug of milk, and everytime I put the key in my car. We, the people, are responsible for this spill. We have yet to spend the cost of one Nuclear power plant on alternative/renewable energy.
• United States
4 Jun 10
TTCCWW, you are probably right in reporting that BP was in compliance with US standards (whatever that standard is). On the other hand, however, I know that International laws prohibit activities on the high seas with possibilities of causing significant harm to lives and the environment. And to have some dangerous machinery with no cut-off safety device is very careless and very thoughtless. If what say is true, then it appears the appropriate lawsuit will have to be brought by Mexico and Coastal Nations/Countries or the International court, since all the parties in this deal were in violation of International laws.
@TTCCWW (579)
• United States
5 Jun 10
One of us is missing something. They had a cutoff valve with redundancies, the million dollar questions are, why when it showed that it had a problem they did not stop drilling and resolve the problem. Two, was the federal inspector privy to the information that the valve had a problem? This information seems to have been kept from the inspector. That would make this a criminal issue if they withheld that information from an inspector. Three, many countrys demand two shutdown devices where as we only require one? Should we be improving our standards' I think the real question here is do we allow anyone anywhere to drill in waters that are this deep and so impossible to get to when problems occur.
• United States
24 Jun 10
TTCCWW, I already told you the requirements of Interbational laws. If these entities were following the provisions of International laws, then we would not be having this discussion. International laws forbid activities with possibility of significant harm to lives and the environment. Therefore, if one is to engage in very risky activities, then one better be sure one has all safety measures, checked and rechecked, in the event of an emergency.
@Taskr36 (13926)
• United States
3 Jun 10
Louisiana really has no culpability in this. The drilling was offshore making it under the SOLE JURISDICTION of the U.S. government. Louisiana had no more authority, jurisdiction, or control over the offshore rig than any other state.
• United States
3 Jun 10
If Louisiana does not have any power over what happens around its coast as you allege, then why does Louisiana not then sue the Fed for failing to protect their state? I know for a fact that Oregon has laws governing activities on the high seas for the portion of the high seas considered its US jurisdiction.
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
3 Jun 10
As far as I know this rig was under federal jurisdiction, not Louisiana's jurisdiction as it is located too far off the coast. It's too early yet to know who will be filing suits against whom.
• United States
3 Jun 10
I however know that coastal US states also have the power to deny or permit offshore drillings within those portions of the high seas considered their US jurisdictions. Below is a link for starters: US offshore drilling legislations - http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?TabId=20367
@laglen (19783)
• United States
4 Jun 10
lol nice segue to Somalia!