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May 7, 2010 - 7:46am

Today's Poll: Should there be a moratorium on new off-shore oil wells until safety issues addressed?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Bea McManis
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Ya gotta love all of the politicians who proclaimed, "drill, baby, drill" at their campaign rallies who are now claiming they didn't say it, or didn't mean it, or it was misconstrued, or the sound bite was taken out of context. Do they think the footage evaporates overnight?
Dave Olsen
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They keep hopin' we are all as stupid as they think, Bea. I'm surprised the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hasn't been used as an excuse to raise gas prices.
Kevin Manne
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Would have been interesting to see the results of a similar off-shore drilling poll before the Gulf incident.
Richard Gahagan
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All the libs seem kinda happy the oil spill happened. Carefull what you wish for. Everyone seems to forget how many successful wells were designed drilled and constructed in the gulf that are pumping around the clock so you nimrods have gas and oil to put in your car. The Gulf of Mexico is responsible for production of 1.73 million barrels a day, accounting for 31% of U.S. production, according to James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics. Take Thunder Horse, for instance, the $5 billion semisubmersible platform 150 miles southeast of New Orleans. It is about 50 percent larger than the next largest such rig in the world and includes more than 100 technical firsts that will enable it to process 250,000 barrels of oil and 200,000 million cubic feet of natural gas per day - enough to supply 6.5 million American homes with energy. Gotta love good old american capitalism, ingenuity, innovation, geophysics, and engineering. The scientists and engineers that explore for and develop these resources are some of the most intelligent individuals in the world. Similar to the scientist at NASA these people develop new technologies, materials, and construction techniques to deal with risks. Why? cause you want gas to drive your car and fuel to heat your house and you also what to know more about outer space.
Gary Spencer
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I still say "Drill, Baby Drill" there are hundreds of off shore wells and this, although very bad, is an isolated incident. I think the lesson is better maintenance of the oil rigs and more preventive measures, also better planning in case something like this does happen.
bud prevost
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There are inherent risks in every aspect of life. As long as we are dependent upon oil, we need to find a way to be as self-sufficient as possible. Was/is this a horrible ordeal. Absolutely. But to suddenly say stop, after knowing all these years that this was a possibility, is just short sighted. What if an airplane carrying top secret biological weapons crashed and caused mass chaos? Do we stop all future flights? How about the trains carrying ammonia? Halt all rail traffic? What about coal mines? I agree with Gary, a lesson needs to be taken from this, and hope it never happens again.
Chris Charvella
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No one is happy about this Rich and if they are, I'll personally take them out to the woodshed. I pretty much agree with Bud here, as long as we're on the oil tit, we're going to want and need oil bad enough to drill offshore. My problem with offshore drilling is pretty basic: It's fundamentally stupid to destroy one natural resource simply to obtain another, and when the solution to a spill problem is setting the ocean on fire well.... I think that says it all.
Stopping all drilling is a knee jerk reaction to a horrible travesty. I agree with Bud and Gary on this. Lessons need to be learned here and BP should accept whatever consequence comes down, but to cease everything? I hope everyone doesn't mind riding a bike to work because not only will we be even more dependent on foriegn oil, but it will get back up to $4 and $5 mark real fast. Bea, This is a fun game that both sides play. It's their idea until it doesn't work, then they were "lied" to or "didn't have all the facts". I wonder how many Dems would be for the Iraq war if they did find WMD? Even though the costs of life and cash has been high. Conversely, I wonder how many Republicans will be sudden Health Care Reform Supporters if it turns out well?
John Roach
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I agree with Phil, Bud and Gary. This is the first time since Neil Armstrong landed on the moon that this has happened, so we stop all new drilling? Note, we didn't stop drilling all ready underway and other countries in the Gulf will continue to drill, and then sell us the same oil. Fix the problem, put the safety stops in the current rigs and move on.
C. M. Barons
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This is not a mistake without global repercussions. Impact on the current fishing season is in the billions of dollars. Using Alaska as a guide, who knows when the affected areas will recover. The Valdez spill in Alaska occurred two decades ago. Oil still lingers on the beaches. The herring population crashed following the Exxon-Valdez spill and never recovered to this day. All ocean fish populations are currently approaching severe collapse- perhaps as soon as 2030, the result of over fishing. Coastal areas are not only fragile ecosystems, they are critical spawning areas. Additionally, many of North America's migratory birds stopover in the Mississippi Gulf marshes. The area is integral to nesting- especially now. During the Alaskan waterfowl rescue attempt, about 1,600 oil-soaked birds were rescued compared to at least 500,000 that died. The detergents used to mask the current spill may do more harm than good. By forcing the oil and water to mix, the toxic effects of the spill will penetrate deeper water. This is a gamble, the payoff being cosmetic not practical. Discussing the Gulf waters as if this tragedy might prove valuable lesson to oil drillers is the blindest sort of spin-doctoring imaginable. Economies depend on fishing these waters. People depend on this region for food. The Gulf ecosystem is a critical link in sustaining species on two continents. To blow this off as an "Oops- guess we'll do better next time," can't even be excused as black humor. Regarding this as an opportunity for reveling in "I told you so," is equally inappropriate. The oil-drillers knew that the blow-out prevention hardware didn't work. They've been subverting the mechanisms for years to avoid slowing oil production. As to the cause of the explosion- it appears to be a combination of venting natural gas and oil related to the "cementing process." This process is supposed to prevent oil and natural gas from escaping by filling gaps between the outside of the well pipe and the inside of the hole bored into the ocean floor with cement. This process has become controversial due to past failures. Guess who provided cementing services for the Deepwater Horizon? Halliburton Company.
John Roach
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The irony here is that without oil/fuel for their boats, there is no fishing industry. It's a no win for them.
Bea McManis
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I for one am not thrilled that we are suffering through another oil spill. I spent years writing S.O.Ps to make sure things like this didn't happen. To even suggest that the spill would make me happy is absurd. C.M is right. To say that there are lessons to be learned may placate some, but the results of this 'lesson' are far reaching and may be with us for far too many years. I only commented on the fact that those who were proclaiming, "drill, baby, drill" are now back pedaling.
Richard Gahagan
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Stop demonizing the "evil oil companies", unless you don't own a car and use wood or cow dung to heat your house. So what's wrong with Halliburtion? They educate the world on how to develop oil reserves.
Karen Miconi
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In my opinion, ALL drilling should be stopped, until better emergency responce to spills like this, are in place. Whats oil well is next? We will all be in trouble, if this happens to another well in the Gulf. The US doesn't even use this oil. We get it from Saudi Arabia now. How selfish are BP and other American oil companies, sucking the Middle East dry first, then using the wells in the Gulf. The real tragedy now (after speaking with my friend Jill at the Pine Island Fire Dept. in Fla.), is the Turtles. Because of this spill, fishermen took to the Gulf asap, to pull all the shrimp and fish out they could before they were killed. They didn't use the devices that allow the Sea Turtles, and Dolphin to escape. They drown and can be found floating in the water. Such a Catostrophic Tragedy for the Marine Life..... How much more can the Gulf take before it is ruined forever?
Richard Gahagan
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Hope you plan on doing alot of walking Karen. Stop with the doom and gloom bleeding heart stuff sea turtles have been around for 300 million years and have survived far worst naturally occurring marine oil releases than this.
John Roach
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Karen, In the US we get oil from Mexico, Canada, here and other places also. Gas is already at $3/gallon today and expected to hit $4/gallon again this year. And that was before this spill. When people start paying that high a price, remember you wanted all drilling stopped. On the other hand, without gasoline, walking will be more popular again and obesity should drop. Then they'll leave my fast food alone.
Mike Weaver
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Of course you won't have your fast food (or frutis and veggies out of season in the grocery stores too) if you stop all drilling now. Karen, I hope you weren't planning to purchase anything with rotating/moving parts or made of plastic in the near future if you got your wish. Stopping all drilling, heck, just stopping offshore drilling would put another knife into our already fragile economy. Let's not do something rash.
Karen Miconi
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Its called Reality Rich. Hello... The turtles are a Protected Species in Fla. and Texas, and not for nothing. I will say what I like, as you do, and be a woman with a (as you say) bleeding heart, because I can, and I am proud of my compasion for Mother Earth. You, like ALWAYS will make it a personal attack again, but you dont intimidate me. John as for the Obesity joke, to each his or her own., If you want to eat fat, sodium, and sugar filled garbage, go for it. I however want better for my body. The price of gas rising, is all bullsh**. Smoke and Mirrors to suck us all dry as well. There is NO good reason for these increases, but to fill the pockets of the oil tycoons. I was born at night, but not last night. And yes we do get a majority of our oil from Saudi Arabia. Do a little Research before you open your mouth's and insert you foot... Im just saying.....
Richard Gahagan
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OK Karen save the turtles and stop using oil.
Gabor Deutsch
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Just a bit of Information about Oil Imports. The top ten countries that the U.S. imports from: 1. Canada 2. Mexico 3. Saudi Arabia 4. Venezuela 5. Nigeria 6. Angola 7. Iraq 8. Algeria 9. United Kingdom 10. Brazil
Dave Olsen
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The wake up call for this country came in 1973, when the Arab embargo happened. Since then, we should have been working on finding other sources to fuel vehicles, like natural gas. Wind and solar power could have been making electricity long ago, safe nuclear power too. But instead, here we are, still dependent on oil. By the way, BP imports very little from the middle east. I make it a point to buy gas from BP, Hess, Sunoco, or Kwik Fill, because I know it's American crude (Kwik Fill is mostly PA Oil). The Indians are OK, because that's Canadian Crude. I will only buy Exxon, Mobil, Shell if I have to.
Karen Miconi
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Like I said, we DON"T even utilize the OIL WELLS in the Gulf. Why?? Now that we all see the risks involved, can we afford to drill by the seat of our pants, and not change the procedures, and stop the drilling, even for just a while, until there are better safety measures in place? Rick stop putting your own words in MY posts. I never ONCE said stop using oil. Get it right, and dont sensationalize so much. Cant we have a productive conversation, with everyones imput heard, understood and respected? I'm signing off now, as I DO have a life aside from this. P.S. Charlie, I see O'Malley at 2pm I'll find out the date 2day Yikes!!
Gabor Deutsch
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Here is a website with some information on where the oil comes from when you buy gas. http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=gasoline_where
John Roach
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Karen, Just for the record. We do use the Gulf oil. It's US oil, like from Texas or PA. Gabor list other countries we get oil from. The Gulf is not "another country".
Dave Olsen
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Thanks for the link, Gabor. When I'm wrong (rare) I'll say so. Apparently my info is dated, BP does in fact import quite a bit of oil from the Middle East, and actually is drilling in Kuwait, Jordan and other places. Kwik Fill uses some Canadian oil, but all refining is done in PA. Hess & Sunoco, I stand by the above. My little bit of gasoline doesn't make much difference, but it makes me feel better.
Gabor Deutsch
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The link to the website I posted is a bit more updated then my previous post listing the top 10 countries we import oil from. I was just trying to show that the middle east is not our primary supplier. "February 2010 Import Highlights: April 29, 2010 Monthly data on the origins of crude oil imports in February 2010 has been released and it shows that one country exported more than 1.00 million barrels per day to the United States (see table below). The top five exporting countries accounted for 64 percent of United States crude oil imports in February while the top ten sources accounted for approximately 85 percent of all U.S. crude oil imports. The top five sources of US crude oil imports for February were Canada (1.897 million barrels per day), Mexico (0.996 million barrels per day), Venezuela (0.913 million barrels per day), Nigeria (0.896 million barrels per day), and Saudi Arabia (0.881 million barrels per day)". (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/). I know that we use the oil that we pump out of the gulf and in other areas as well.
Mike Weaver
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Stop confusing the issue with facts and research you've done yourself. LOL
Gabor Deutsch
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I am sorry, what was the original question ? ;P
Tim Howe
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You all are missing the biggest possible tragedy of all. This better not affect "The Deadliest Catch" in any way, shape, or form :)
E. S. Sherman
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Tim I love your post. I do think that when we have something like this happen people do jump on it to make sure we stop drilling. What would really happen if we used less oil???? Oh thats right all of our farms use oil products to produce our food. Then I guess as some one said there were be no obesity. Well then I guess we could import all of our food and see how well that goes. Oh yea about the same way the rest of our wonderful China imports are going. I say keep on drilling.
Jeff Allen
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I am disgusted by both sides politicizing this tragedy. The left continues to use the opportunity to to demonize the oil industry and curtail the future of US oil drilling while the right jumps all over the adminstration for their slow response and labelling it Obama's Katrina. The sad fact that has been lost is that 11 Americans lost thier lives in a terrible accident and yet their loss was so quickly overshadowed by politics. In his proclamation of the National Day of Prayer, president Obama completely failed to mention the Americans lost in the oil rig explosion but did urge us to remember Haiti and Chili. Fortunately he did remember to mention the West Virginia miners but then failed to honor the 29+ victims of the floods in Tennesee. If I were a family member of one the oil rig vicitms, I'd be livid at the response.
C. M. Barons
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Thirty years of deferred energy management is wholly political. There is no need for "the left" to demonize big oil. Big oil has repeatedly proven capable of reversing its own credibility. The price-gouging and profiteering that came on the heals of the 70s Oil Embargo speaks for itself. Our continued dependency on oil is predicated on three factors: 1) few affordable alternative-fuel options have been put into production, 2) the government allowed post-embargo fuel efficiency standards to languish for decades & 3) big oil pushed production to amass huge profits regardless of projections on depleting finite supplies of crude. It has been understood for decades that crude oil supplies cannot survive current depletion rates beyond 2020 (worst case scenario, 2015, most optimistic 2045). The optimistic projection is based on a yet to be realized leveling of demand. Once the down slide begins, cost of crude will increase to an unaffordable level. The reasonable question is NOT where do we find more oil? The reasonable question is when do we begin the transition to a post-oil-based transportation plan? As many have astutely pointed out, petroleum's pervasive role in the global scheme is not limited to energy. Yet it is evident that our disinterest in conservation measures, failure to reduce dependency on personal transportation and/or dearth of alternatively-fueled vehicles will hasten our arrival at the brink. If the expansion of off-shore drilling was a stop-gap transition plan, critics would be more accepting of it. On the contrary, there is no plan to transition to. Off-shore drilling is aimed at increasing production and extending profits. For those who believe that U. S. off-shore drilling offsets imported oil- think again. Our domestic production is sold to countries like Japan, who pay more per barrel than U. S. refineries. There is no trade-off for the extreme environmental cost to be realized in the Gulf spill. This is not about a few birds. The Gulf accounts for over 50% of U. S. continental wetlands- 5,000,000 acres. All 650,000 acres of U. S. mangrove habitat, primarily occurring in Florida, are found in the Gulf. 95% of all commercial and recreational finfish and shellfish depend on such habitat during a portion of their life cycle. Gulf estuaries comprise 24% of U. S. estuaries by area, produce 85% of the total shrimp harvest, 60% of all oysters and over half of saltwater sport fish. The Gulf's annual seafood yield of 1.3 billion pounds is greater than the combined finfish, shrimp and shellfish take from the south-Atlantic, mid-Atlantic, Chesapeake and New England. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/us/08agency.html

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