All of us Little People down here in Louisiana want our lives back. But more importantly, we want to be sure that another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon doesn't happen again. The only chance we have to insure this, is for the deep water drilling moratorium to continue until all equipment is inspected and all processes are verified for safety. With the power of the petroleum lobby, even this will only provide minimal assurance that this won't happen again. This website fully supports the drilling moratorium, as well as the actions of the Obama administration in dealing with the disaster, even though it took a while for them to get a grip on the situation.
The unfortunate result of the moratorium is that a number of people may be unemployed until the moratorium is lifted. The estimates vary from a very few to thousands, depending on whether you talk to experts or listen to our governor who looks and acts like the statues on Easter Island. From all indications seen down here, there are approximately 33 deep water drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. These rigs cost millions to sit idle, so naturally some rigs have been moved on to other foreign locations. Folks down here are saying that this will destroy the oil business permanently, a somewhat doubtful comment, considering how much money is to be made from the deep water drilling in the future.
The media and the politicians made great efforts to publicize the fate of the fishermen and the fishing industry as well as the oil soaked birds and turtles. It was an effective way to create interest in the disaster in other parts of the country, and probably helped sway the politicians to do something other than sit on their fat asses doing nothing. BP started giving out money to fishermen and others who made claims of losses due to the disaster. BP was also giving out money and having the recipients sign forms that they would not sue BP. So far, according to BP, they have doled out about 300 million dollars. Now that the hole has been plugged, the legal battles will begin. With a fat cash cow like BP handing out money, the con artists are coming out as they did with Hurricane Katrina. Some have already been arrested.
Our idiot governor, Bobby Jindal, in an effort to burnish his reputation with Republican conservatives, was constantly being seen in the media attacking the federal government and the Obama administration in particular. Early during the disaster, the federal government authorized the states affected by the disaster to mobilize the National Guard. Ninety-five days later, the governor had not mobilized the National Guard and was still attacking the Feds for doing nothing. In fact, just recently he vetoed legislation to open the administrations files related to the oil disaster. For this and lack successful actions by the governor, many conservatives are now referring to the governor as the idiot that he is. The people of this state turned out Kathleen Blanco, who now, by comparison, seems to have been an effective governor. They then voted in "boy wonder" as he was known. Hopefully, he will be a one-term governor and since his disastrous rebuttal to President Obama's speech to the congress, he will disappear like all other failed politicians.
Louisiana is a one-horse state that has failed in the past to create enough diversity to soften the blows of the petroleum industry. The petroleum industry provides about 80% of the commerce in the state. Texas, which has successfully created diversity in the state's economy, doesn't have to bow down to the petroleum industry the way Louisiana has in the past and continues to do so today. Southern Louisiana contains 40-45% of the wetlands found in the lower 48 states and represents 80% of the land loss. At one time, Louisiana's coastal marshes were the fastest growing land mass in North America. Throughout the 1900s, billions of barrels of oil and saltwater and trillions of cubic feet of gas were removed from subterranean structures in which they had accumulated over millions of years. These structures slowly collapsed and everything above gradually subsided into the Gulf of Mexico. Today the coast is disappearing at the rate of 25 square miles per year. "Louisiana's Coastal Marshes are Melting Away" according to Chris Madson in an article in Wildfowl Magazine. Nature is taking the land back.
In addition to subsidence, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers approved the digging of canals throughout the marshes to accomodate the petroleum industry. The canals became the only way to move the oil rigs into the marshes. There are hundreds of miles of these canals that are causing erosion in addition to subsidence. Many of the Corp of Engineers officers who served in Louisiana, retired from the military and went to work for the oil companies. They were well compensated. They became the go-betweens who obtained the approvals from their buddies at the Corp of Engineers for more canals to be dug.
According to the CIA, in 2009 the top three consumers of oil were:United States 20.7 billion barrels/day (24.3% of world total)
The Energy Department, states that the U.S. produces 4,950,000 barrels of crude oil per day, and imports 66% of what we consume (9,783,000 barrels/day). The majority of our imports come from Canada - 1,956,000 barrels/day. In this country, we consume 19,498,000 barrels/day of which 71% is consumed by transportation (cars/trucks/trains/planes/SUV's/ATV's).
Based on CIA and other statistics the total worldwide oil production is 85,472,000 barrels per day and the consumption was 85,534,000 barrels per day. Proven oil reserves of the top five countries were (in billions of barrels):Saudi Arabia, 262.7 (19.7%)
The United States, with proven reserves of 22.5 billion barrels, ranks 14th. That amount of oil will only supply the U.S. for 1,093 days (just under 3 years). The world is consuming more oil than is being produced.
BP, Shell and Exxon-Mobil are the three largest oil producers. Shell is a Dutch and BP is British. Their huge profits border on immoral. Exxon-Mobil started as Standard Oil of New Jersey headed by John D. Rockefeller. In 1904, the reputation of Standard Oil in suffered badly after the publication of Ida M. Tarbell's book The History of the Standard Oil Company. The Supreme Court of the United States split the company into 34 companies in 1911. One of these companies was Jersey Standard, which operated as Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. Another was Socony (Standard Oil Company of New York), which merged with Vacuum Oil Co, then, in 1955, it became Socony Mobil Oil Company and in 1965, became Mobil Oil Company. Standard Oil's primary brand name was Esso, but in 1919 Standard Oil of New Jersey acquired a 50% stake in Humble Oil and Refining Company. By 1954 Humble was 88% owned by Standard Oil. There was no longer anything humble about the company which changed its name to Exxon in 1972. In 1988 it merged with Mobil Oil Company to become the largest company on the planet. It now produces 3% of the world's petroleum. The financial news is that both Shell and Exxon-Mobil are considering possible bids for BP, which lost value with the Deepwater Horizon disaster. At the rate they are going, the planet will be smaller than Exxon-Mobil-BP.
With the help of the Bush administration, Dick Cheney in particular, these companies have become massive both in size and power. They have successfully corrupted the US Minerals Management Service, which the Obama administration belatedly is trying to reorganize. They reap increasingly obscene profits, paying only a fraction of those profits to the government for the oil, which belongs to all Americans. With the help of oil-influenced members of congress, the petroleum industry is the most heavily subsidized industry in this country. Sooner or later, we will have to develop a comprehensive energy policy to move away from carbon fuel sources such as oil and coal. Unfortunately, the Republicans won't let that happen, and the Democratic members of congress from Louisiana and Texas will help the Republicans in that effort.
The United States has the lowest priced gasoline among the industrialized countries. We have less than 2% of the proven oil reserves and consume over about 25% of the world oil. No other country comes close to what we use. China, realizing that the oil production cannot keep up with consumption, has already invested heavily in green energy. They are 10 years ahead of the U.S. and are now the world's leader in green technology. India is on the same path. If our federal government would add a one dollar per gallon tax on gasoline, in a short time we could pay to rebuild our failing infrastructure, invest in green energy, improve our education system and put one hell of a lot of people back to work.
Update: August 16, 2010: The Obama administration said Monday it would require significantly more environmental review before approving new offshore drilling permits, ending a practice in which government regulators essentially rubber-stamped potentially hazardous deepwater projects like the BP Macondo well. Click Here to Read Entire New York Times Artcle.