Yesterday, Bob Dudley, BP director and new CEO of the company's new Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, sat for a live online interview with Ray Suarez of PBS. He didn't give much new information, and, even though he is a much better public face than Tony Hayward, based on his answers, it is brutally apparent that BP was totally unprepared for a disaster of this scale and remains completely overwhelmed. Throughout the interview, Dudley continued to say "We've never seen this before," and "It's not well known why this happened." He even implicitly supported the deepwater drilling moratorium, saying that they "have no choice" but to "re-engineer" BOPs (blowout preventers) to make them "more failsafe," and that this disaster will change offshore drilling forever. Surely he can't support continuing to drill deepwater with technology that must be re-engineered. Have a look at the interview:
It's clear that BP is stretched beyond its own capability to respond to this massive catastrophe. I continue to believe that the company should be removed from the surface effort and that it be militarized. In that public and private lands, as well as economies and millions of jobs are threatened, this is not just a cleanup effort; it is a national security issue. A private corporation, especially a foreign owned one, has no business directing an effort of this scale, especially after the damage that they've caused. The Gulf States must activate their National Guard units, the Coast Guard must take authority, and BP must stand down after turning over its wallet to pay for the mess that they created.
In the meantime, rather than fight new regulations and the deepwater moratorium, the industry should be undertaking a massive effort to, as Dudley asserts, re-engineer the subsea control equipment used in deepwater drilling, as well as rethink how this risky undertaking is managed.
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