.... 14 years later ...
Somewhere between 1,000 and 71,000 gallons have been leaking per day.
> Taylor Energy has disputed every outside assessment of oil flowing from the site.
Welp hopefully now that there is proof, they will get to pay for their externalities.
>Taylor Energy Company LLC sold its oil and gas assets in 2008 and ceased all drilling and production operations. Taylor Energy exists today solely to respond to the MC-20 incident.
Okay nevermind. Socialize the losses, concentrate the profits, the American dream.
Otherwise it's completely unfair to other technologies that don't yield similar environmental and social impact when they fail catastrophically.
Even Fukushima was quite clean and it was a total compounded disaster... Three Miles Island is ancient already and limited in impact.
I can look and find examples of improper dust and ash disposal, mining accidents, incorrect filter operations daily, on the other hand. Sometimes fatalities too, every some years.
I'm not sure how to implement this, especially in a way that's fair, but if the company is unable to cover the environmental damage itself I think those profits out to be paying for the damage before taxpayers.
US healthcare is a great example of insurance companies causing so much complexity that people willingly chose death over going bankrupt.
For the proper incentive structure, you have to treat the money the way we treat all proceeds of crime - it's forfeit. If you buy a stolen bike, you don't get to keep it when the police come knocking. Ignorance of the crime doesn't earn you the item - it simply means you don't go to jail.
Of course the CEO won't go to prison, as he has too much power for that.
I don’t understand and perhaps I missed it... it’s only 450 feet below. Why can’t anyone stop the leak?
As a note this is a report hosted by mc20response.com, which is essentially all Taylor Energy is today. It has data reported from a few different government agencies, and overall this trust is pretty much just a pile of money to go towards cleaning up the mess. Feel free to take its findings with however big of a grain of salt as you'd like.
A friend of mine living in Santa Barabara has said there's a lot of 100% all-natural tar on the beaches there.
and another one recently - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugio_oil_spill
A fair bit of that tar wound up there because of human activity.
100 to 150 barrels worth of liquid petroleum per day. 36,500 to 54,750 per year. It leaks about as much as the 1969 oil spill every 2 years. Or about as much as the Refugio oil spill every month.
I would assume the sudden influx of oil has a hugely adverse affect on wildlife, which still makes them problematic. And 2 years worth of leaks in 10 days sounds catastrophic to the local wildlife. But long term it doesn't seem like either of these spills would be a major contributor to the tar you find on beaches in the region today.
Also, if you need to get tar off your feet after a walk on the beach, baby oil works well :)
An oil company even has a cap over one of the bigger natural leaks to capture the oil that would otherwise be entering the ocean.
I wonder if there are any statistics on human vs. natural oil spill pollution over the last few centuries.
There seems to be basically no limit to how much damage the "America is open for business!!!" cheerleaders will support as long as
1. Someone is making a profit off of it.
2. It's happening in someone else's backyard (This one is sometimes optional, see the entire state of Louisiana  or flammable tap water in Pennsylvania and NY )
Blaming the individual is missing the forest for the trees IMHO.
> they struggle plenty in their day-to-day lives that they have no bandwidth to form an opinion about or, heck, even _learn about_ such things
It reminded me of Chomsky's anecdote about listening to the radio and hearing random people calling into the station during a sports discussion program and arguing at length with paid experts, suggesting average people are perfectly capable of doing research and building nuanced opinions on complex topics, they just choose to do that for sports/cars/technology/consumption rather than politics. Or rather, are bombarded by marketing until they forget they can choose.
I'd rather read youtube comments than listen to sports talk back.
Edit: rereading the comments I think you may not have been trying to be contrary at all—my apologies for implying you were.
It may very well be that the conclusions people reach starting from the facts are emotionally charged, but I'd say it's better than how it happens with politics at the moment: people start from ignorance or falsehoods, and then make emotionally charged conclusions based on that.
Yep. Here is some data:
76% of Americans say corporations have too much power
In 1950, 60% of Americans had a favorable opinion of big business. In 2017, that number is 21%.
IOW, the original poster is no longer an outsider when they rag on big business. They are in the overwhelming majority. They would have been an outsider in 1950, but not today.
This also goes in cycles. Teddy Roosevelt was wildly popular when he engaged in the busting up the hated Trusts. I think what we are seeing now is a return to that era, especially after all the outsourcing, low taxes paid, etc. It does seem like big business isn't really holding up its end of the social contract.
In fact, corporations have become such a boogeyman that everything is blamed on them. If you want to see true catastrophic environment devastation, take a look at Eastern Europe before the fall. It was horrific. Everyone knew -- back then -- that the west, with it's capitalism, had much cleaner air and took better care of nature than the socialist east. I often wondered about whether that was really true, or just one of those fashions that comes and goes.
What I think now is that what matters is power. The reason why the USSR and Eastern Europe were so awfully polluted compared to the U.S. and Western Europe was that when the state said "We need to increase steel production", then that's what they did and no one could stop them. They were absolutely single minded. They burned brown coal, dumped waste into lakes. No one could question them or stop them. Some bureaucrat said, "clear this forest" -- and it was cleared. That's why the air is unbreathable in China. Some well connected official said "Build a factory here" and they did, and no one can sue them or even challenge them.
Today, the situation is different in the west. The air is cleaner, the water is cleaner. The most polluted areas would be the overpopulated areas of China and India. 90% of the plastics flowing into the ocean come from 10 rivers in China and India. These are the places with the worst air quality. 1/3 of San Francisco's air pollution comes from China. I think, before that can really change, you'll need to empower local citizens to sue and demand improved conditions. It may be hard to sue a corporation, but it's even harder to sue a state owned enterprise, or the state as well. Empowering the individual is key. Here in the west, a bit of anti-trust would help, IMO. Make these beasts smaller and less powerful.
You are going to elect a person from some industry, after all, unless you plan to elect someone with no skills or employment history. The time of electing generals like Eisenhower is past.
But the fact that, say, people elected Trump has nothing to do with people really favoring the real estate industry -- that's a very odd interpretation of what elections signify, and does not refute the survey data about people's opinions of Big Business.
I am sorry that you are not party of the enlightened minority, but a normal person would be happy that the vast majority of the public share one of their beliefs, so maybe be thankful. Alternately, you can adopt a new minority belief if needed.
For me personally nothing sums up our collective lack of accomplishing anything moreso than Kony 2012 .
So when it comes to affecting change that goes against the grain, I'm just not really all that surprised anymore.
EITC, SNAP, Section 8 housing, SSI, TANF, WIC, Medicaid, etc.
This site estimates over $700 billion per year spent on these programs: http://federalsafetynet.com/safety-net-programs.html
Also, it's not about how much is spent but how much people actually get. I read somewhere not too long ago that if you divided the amount of money spend on welfare programs by the number of recipients a family of three would be getting $60,000 a year. This is not the case. Welfare administration eats up the difference.
I'm well aware of the myriad of flaws in the existing programs. I certainly wasn't claiming that the $700 billion was being spent wisely but apparently that is what a number of people assumed.
Unemployment - Screwed around and "lost" the request in the system. I didn't have unemployment, which I am forced to pay into, for 8 weeks. Good thing I was able to get food stamps. I spent most of the time online leeching free internet, since I couldn't afford gas to drive aimlessly to places that would say 'apply online' anyways.
EITC - Once a year, during tax season. Not much of a help.
SNAP - food stamps. Yes, I was on them back in 2012 when I couldn't get any jobs. It meant that I had food.
Section 8 housing - 2 year wait minimum. I put my name on the list, and was summarily told of the homeless shelters.
SSI - I tried for disability, because my right arm is permanently injured. Rejected. Rejected. Rejected. All over a course of 8 months.
TANF - I have no children. Doesn't apply.
WIC - Women, infants, children. I'm none of those, and have no children.
Medicaid - Tried and was refused. Told to apply to HIP Healthy Indiana Plan. Wanted $$$$.
Long story short. In the US, if you aren't independently wealthy, and you lose your job, you're pretty much fucked. You'll lose your residence, cant afford gas for too much transportation, lose needed services to regain a job, your health benefits, and more.
The "social net" really isn't, except for the worst of the worst. My wife cares for them as in-home non-medical care. And then, they're on the skin of their teeth, with even a $10/mo raise in a bill causing less food budget. It terrorized many section8 housing people with the earlier shutdown precisely because the fed cuts the check to the state who cuts to the landlord. With no fed money, rents weren't being paid...
Ironic that people seem to think that those programs are worthless, but I gather want to arrange for a lot more money to be distributed by the same organization that can't seem to do anything useful with the money it is already distributing.
I'm not a fan of the affordable care act, but it seems completely obvious to me that we need to decouple health insurance from employment. I really don't understand why that wasn't a key element of health care reform.
Quite a lot of that funding is just compensating for some of centuries of theft, from slaveowners of the 19th century to predatory rural banks of the 20th Century to coordinated corporate wage depression of the 21st century.
It's not like groups on the other side, such as Sea Shepherd, which has actual giant boats sailing around the world to combat whaling or ASPCA which operates hospitals, shelters, has large stocks of medicine, a staff of veterinarians, 24-hour crisis lines, etc.
The business groups don't really do anything other than spinning and framing things to persuade the public. It's not like they're operating say, shelters for downtrodden wayward billionaires. All their money goes into campaigns for the public perception.
Besides, it's not surprising that organizations who defend wealth and property rights have out-sized power and influence in a world where legislation has made wealth and property rights the primary source of power and influence.
That's why structuring and understanding how rights, responsibilities and privileges are allocated in a society is really important.
The fear of Armageddon is less now, but the defense mechanism takes far longer to wear off.
There were pension liquidity fears at the time due to the costs that it needed to pay. BP provides a large percentage of dividend payments on the the London Stock Exchange which pension funds rely on for paying out pensions.
The wikipedia page is quite clear on how much BP paid in damages and they were not insignificant - $42Billion had been paid into a trust fund.
To say no effect is incorrect.
I worked in Houston just after the spill and heard BP was in shambles at the time.
Weren't there some $63B in cleanup efforts?
Once something bad happens the public kind of already knows there will be a fine but none of the board/shareholders will ever really be held responsible.
I do wonder if the backlash would've been less if it was an American company though. Or at least a less obviously "foreign" company. There did seem to also be plenty of blame to go around with local contractors etc, but they seem to have escaped the backlash - or at least had a public narrative absolving them.
If it were property, it could have a price, and compensation of damage to it could be sought. But not everything is easy to price in a market: e.g. a national park.
Anyway, if damage is real, or a risk is real, a court could look at it. If not people themselves, an insurance company could, in some cases.
Related reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_Alley
If you build an oil platform in a known hurricane area, well, you're responsible for cleaning up when a hurricane hits your (shocker!) insufficiently prepared oil platform.
(I vaguely remember there's also a children's story about people building with the cheapest shit and not wanting to take responsibility - "Three little pigs")
I don't agree, and neither does centuries of established moral legal arguments adopted by developed nations.
>We're letting companies profit off of the environment without being responsible for cleaning up after themselves when shit goes sideways.
That is just a hyperbole and is not grounded in reality. Ironically, in this case, the company lost the oil, lost the 'money', wasn't able to profit, and went out of business. Looks like you got what you wanted. :)
They caused the hole in the oil bed that the oil is gushing out of.
You are aware that this is not a 100% plan for staying healthy ?
There are few industries that break down binary "free market or bust" logic. This happens to be one of them and you cannot apply some global, arbitrarily defined, rule of responsibility when the real world is more nuanced than that.
Vegas never seems concerned I thought the other team was going to win.
"Although the company called the event an “act of God” that was unprecedented, the study said a similar event happened during Hurricane Camille in 1969. Eleven years later, a report commissioned by the Interior Department identified areas in the gulf that were susceptible to mudslides. Mississippi Canyon 20, the site of Taylor Energy’s platform, was one of those areas."
So they chose to build in an area susceptible to mudslides, and then their platform was knocked down by a mudslide. No morality here, just a factual observation.
I would prefer Taylor Energy to participate in the cleanup of this spill, and provide some reassurance they are working to prevent future spills, because they are willing to do so. If they are unwilling, maybe there is some other way to get the same result. I've always thought that the U.S. could just start bribing these companies to take a long vacation: just send everyone home and keep paying for them to have the quality of life they desire, without releasing toxic material into the world ocean. I think such an endeavor would be worthwhile because the photosynthesizing organisms at the ocean surface provide two thirds of the oxygen we breathe and oxygen is something everyone requires to sustain life. The industrial chemical activities in the gulf and other places have created massive dead-zones where nothing can live, let alone produce the oxygen which we all need to live. Again, no morality here, just factual, concrete observations.
If way make a policy of forcing oil companies to pay for damage due to leaks caused by hurricanes, then they will choose not to build oil platforms for which the expected damage caused by such leaks exceeds the expected value of using the oil.
What is the consequence exactly?
In any case, it would be interesting to see if the data shows that the level of fortification that was used was not sufficient compared to what other oil platforms in similar situations do.
> Although the company called the event an “act of God” that was unprecedented, the study said a similar event happened during Hurricane Camille in 1969. Eleven years later, a report commissioned by the Interior Department identified areas in the gulf that were susceptible to mudslides. Mississippi Canyon 20, the site of Taylor Energy’s platform, was one of those areas.
Your comments here purporting legitimate uncertainty about whether this is an externality Taylor Energy is responsible for read very much like unnecessary FUD. This is as clear a case you can get of privatized gains and publicized losses.
I did not find a comparative analysis of the various oil rigs w.r.t engineering and safety. Link?
>Your comments here purporting legitimate uncertainty about whether this is an externality Taylor Energy is responsible for read very much like unnecessary FUD.
I have an open mind, unlike some. Also you can either hurl accusations, or have a dialogue and be respectful of others opinions. Pick one.
You can't just put a barbecue pit in an apartment living room, burn down the building, and then throw up your arms and proclaim it was impossible to do safely so you're absolved of responsibility.
And let me be clear. I really don't mean to say regulation is enough. My point is that no matter the regulation the responsibility is theirs. If that bankrupts the company, so be it.
If the concern is cost of the outlier accident, then that seems exactly like the problem insurance companies solve.
But they don't have to do that. They can take the rig profits, install the minimum protections under the law and know they won't have to carry the full cost of cleanup.
How much are YOU going to pay ME because of “negative externalities”?
Seriously, your comment is incendiary by making Americans look like greedy monsters.
> Seriously, your comment is incendiary by making Americans look like greedy monsters.
The people involved in these decisions, and in supporting them, look like greedy monsters because that's precisely what they are. That, or ignorant stooges.
“Hurricane Ivan caused 80-foot waves that led to the walls of the canyon giving way, resulting in a mudslide that chopped down Taylor Energy’s oil platform in 2004. The event buried the broken wells under more than 100 feet of sediment.”
So, you’re smart enough to mitigate not one, but multiple 80-foot waves AND determine that the waves will cause a landslide a full 20 years AFTER you put it into production? Damn, you’re fucking brilliant - which Nobel prize winner are you?
Think before you type up a comment like that.
> the study said a similar event happened during Hurricane Camille in 1969. Eleven years later, a report commissioned by the Interior Department identified areas in the gulf that were susceptible to mudslides. Mississippi Canyon 20, the site of Taylor Energy’s platform, was one of those areas.
That was years before construction of the Taylor Energy MC-20 platform began.
So, no "brilliance" is needed, just paying attention to the known information about the area, which any responsible oil company should be doing.
Taylor Energy clearly doesn't fit that category, because it hid this oil spill for six years, tried to clean it up secretly, and once discovered, repeatedly lied about the extent of the spill.
If you needed more evidence of the "greedy monster" characterization, that's it right there.
As I said, "the people involved in these decisions, and in supporting them, look like greedy monsters because that's precisely what they are. That, or ignorant stooges."
> Think before you type up a comment like that.
I'm curious what's motivating you to support such unacceptable behavior. Perhaps you react badly to the "monster" characterization because you feel attacked by it? If so, you might want to start listening to that voice of conscience, for your own mental health.
> "up to" 4,500 gallons per day. The two new estimates in the article are 378-1974 gallons per day and 798-4536 gallons per day. A total of 10.5k-29.4k gallons of oil per day might be flowing into the Gulf from various sources, so this is a significant fraction but not a majority.