Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Seven-year moratorium on Gulf oil drilling an unwise decision

14.12.2010
The Obama administration's decision to maintain a ban on oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico and off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts is a mistake, according to a University of Illinois expert who wrote a six-volume book series on marine pollution.

"It's a ridiculous decision on the part of the Interior Department," said John W. Kindt, a professor of business and legal policy at Illinois. "The previous 180-day moratorium really hurt a lot of businesses. Well, a seven-year ban is going to sting even more."

Kindt says giving the oil companies a public spanking through a seven-year ban isn't going to solve our energy problems, and that unreasonably prohibiting offshore drilling will not only exacerbate the region's economic woes, it also will strengthen U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

"Our motto should be 'Drill, Baby, Drill' but 'Safely, Baby, Safely,' " he said. "We have two wars in the Middle East, and while we do need alternate sources of energy, in the interim we still need to safely develop our off-shore resources. That means we need to open up both the East Coast and California for drilling, although California is not going to like that. But we've got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time."

According to Kindt, the author of "Marine Pollution and the Law of the Sea," a six-volume series that examines protecting the world's oceans while encouraging development of essential resources, the real villain in the new contretemps is not BP (formerly British Petroleum), but the Department of the Interior, with the recently announced seven-year moratorium serving as yet another example of what he says is the department's shortsightedness and incompetence.

"The real issue is the Interior Department, which is the most scandal-ridden agency in American history," he said. "Along with an inability to regulate, the entire department is rife with conflicts of interest, which came to light during the BP fiasco when Interior Secretary (Ken) Salazar was making statements to the effect of, 'We've got our heel on the throat of BP.' Statements like that were just a way to divert attention away from their own inadequacy."

Kindt argues the Interior Department is just as culpable as BP for the disaster in the Gulf yet has somehow avoided any real scrutiny in the court of public opinion.

"The regulators at Interior didn't just have a cozy relationship with the people they're supposed to be regulating, they had outright conflicts of interest," he said. "I fault the regulators at Interior for not doing what they should have been doing."

But that's not to say that BP should be given a free pass, Kindt says. BP is guilty of managerial arrogance, and "not looking out for the public interest."

"BP's management needs to be much more focused on emergency action and safety concerns," he said. "For years we've been talking about the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which resulted in billions of dollars of liabilities for Exxon. That's going to be dwarfed by whatever BP is going to have to pay, when all is said and done. So from a strategic management perspective, safety pays. We've been saying for years that the oil companies should have learned from the Valdez debacle after Exxon had allowed the safety mechanisms to lapse as part of a cost-cutting measure."

When firms get rid of their internal independent safety and monitoring mechanisms, huge problems inevitably develop, Kindt says.

"The classic example is Enron and Arthur Andersen," he said. "About five years before the Enron-Arthur Andersen debacle, Arthur Andersen eliminated its own best internal monitoring practices and people as a cost-saving measure. Obviously, that didn't work out too well for them. The bottom line isn't always the dollar. You need a responsible management team in place, because the pressure is always going to be to grab the fast buck."

Editor's note: To contact John Kindt, call 217-333-6018; e-mail jkindt@illinois.edu

Phil Ciciora | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht 100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?
15.06.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht What the size distribution of organisms tells us about the energetic efficiency of a lake
05.06.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>