Enough is enough. We're now at day 52, and it is absolutely, positively clear that BP has been completely overrun and it's management is in full retreat. Their stock is being pummeled, the blowout well is flowing far more than even now they admit, and the facilities they have in place are already at capacity with thousands of barrels of crude still roaring into the Gulf on a daily basis. Every BP exec on television is simply deer-in-the-headlights, still in major denial that this nightmare actually isn't a nightmare. It's real.
I came to the conclusion last night that it's time to tell BP to sit down, shut up, and open its wallet. It's time for a new sheriff in town. Here's my plan:
- Militarize all surface operations. The US government should put the US Coast Guard in command, utilizing their assets, along with the US Navy's, to take charge of the entire surface operation, including wildlife rescue. The National Guard in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida should be fully mobilized. All private contractors, both onshore and in the water, should be put under the authority of a joint command of these forces. All BP personnel should be removed and sent home. All of them.
- Officially remove BP as operator of this federal lease. Replace them with an operations committee (the Get the Well Killed Committee) composed of every deepwater operator in the Gulf, including Shell, Exxon, Anadarko, Cobalt, ATP, Chevron, Statoil, Noble, Marathon, Eni, Noble, LLOG, Walter, Murphy, and, oh, BP, as a non-voting member. Why would these operators do this? That's easy...they have a very real threat of losing their entire investment in the deepwater if this is not fixed and soon. The committee would be chaired by the Coast Guard, with representatives from Interior, EPA, and MMS. They would be given full authority to kill this well, and to back hand any BP executive who gets in the way.
- Provide an independent set of ROVs to the press to go where they want, when they want, videoing all sea floor operations, coordinated by the Coast Guard for safety, and only for safety.
- BP opens a bank account, funded initially with $1billion, replenished on demand from the US government.
The only way this is going to get fixed is if every public and private resource is thrown at it with a very clear, directed mission. Get this well stopped, and get the Gulf cleaned up. It's time for all the other deepwater operators to stop sitting back, relieved that they're not BP, and get them in the game, right in front of the public eye. The offshore, as are all federal lands, are our resource that belongs to us. Every company who profits from exploiting this resource owes a duty to the American people and the environment we live in to do it safely and responsibly. It's time they put it on the line.
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