Oil FAIL: Question of the day
Why is the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill an Information Dead Zone?
It seems utterly implausible that BP does not have a well informed idea as to how much oil is coming out of its well. ... BP refuses to put measurement equipment near the leak, arguing it might interfere with remediation efforts. ... [T]he only reason for BP NOT to want to have this information is that:
1. Its remediation efforts to date have some reasonable odds of success only if the outflow is not that much above its 5000 barrel a day estimate
2. Higher outflows and pretty much zilch odds of success of current public-placating dorking around would lead to much greater pressure to Do Something Now.
3. The effective Do Something Now options (like the radical one of using a nuclear weapon to collapse the ocean floor into the leak) would likely also result in making it difficult for BP to ever get oil from that site
4. The BP strategy is thus very likely all about trying to maximize oil extraction by minimizing the appearance of damage and buying time while it drills a relief well.
Now let us get to part 2: why is Team Obama enabling this nonsense? I come up with two possibilities:
And a Pony isn't on the list, unfortunately:
1. Team Obama believes the BP BS
2. Obama does not want to look impotent. Revealing that the leak is really bad and not having a quick solution is an Obama PR disaster. Obama has to work through BP unless he can implement an action plan using only government resources or by working with another oil company with deep ocean expertise. Given the lead times for government contracting, this would take quite a while.
If the leak is as serious as I fear, this is environmental equivalent of the Iran hostage crisis. Team Obama recognizes this, and therefore wants to create the impression as long as possible that everything that could possibly be done is being done. Note that the Administration is behaving with BP exactly as it did vis as vis the banksters in early 2009: believing that the problem is too complex and scary for them to assert control, casting its lot in with the people who caused the problem in the first place (while calling them bad names often enough to create plausible deniability). And enabling BP’s coverup of how bad the leak means, as Obama did with the financial services industry, of having to support, or at least not undermine too much, its PR efforts.
It's the playbook, which also has sections for Katrina and Chernyobl.
Now of course, as information keeps surfacing (no pun intended) that the leak is probably much worse than the BP [and Versailles] party line.
Yves fucking nails it.
NOTE And speaking of information dead zones, nothing could show the newsgathering and analytical (and moral) bankruptcy of the party line access bloggers and the so-called "netroots" more clearly than the fact that you've got to go to an econoblogger to get this kind of old school coverage and analysis. Kos: Nada. FDL: Nada. OL: Nada. Eschaton: Nada. Sure, you've got posts on the spill, maybe some outrage on the dispersants, but as far as an evidence- and reason-based critique of the Administration's performance? Forget about it! It's like there's some kind of plan for planetary dieback, and nobody's noticing, let alone our "progressive" tribunes of the people.