Blow Out Preventer On BP Rig Would Have Cost 1/2 Million

Blow Out Preventer On BP Rig Would Have Cost 1/2 Million

That’s right folks. According to the Houston Chronicle, a blow out preventer on the rig would half cost an astronomical 1/2 million dollars. Oh the horror! I can see the giant multi national corporation British Petroleum teetering into bankruptcy and, God knows, what do you think?, $300 dollars a barrel for oil and gasoline so precious we have to trade pure gold for it?

A half mil doesn’t even come close to an executive bonus. A half million is chicken feed, chump change, pocket money, etc. and they wouldn’t spend it.

In 2003, the Department of Interior’s Mineral Managements Service reversed a Clinton era decision to require the preventers. All Hail! Hosanna to the free market. We all know that companies confronted by the real world will do what’s best for the public because it’s in their interest.Isn’t that the Friedman doctrine? A perfect world run by perfectly coordinated self interest. Don’t you love it? It works perfectly. In the financial world, in coal mines, with baby cribs and now with off shore drilling we find that impersonal market forces drive the highly intelligent, hard working corporate boardroom elites toward the best possible decisions.

Or it could be such total blithering nonsense that only a self interested business buffoon could take it seriously. Just maybe?

Now, a fairly large proportion of America’s sea coast is being or about to be struck by an oil slick larger than an average European nation. I’m thrilled.

I don’t know if a half million dollar preventer would have averted the crisis, but I do wish someone had tried it.

James Pilant

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