My BP Oil-spill Rant

Today is the 70th day since the explosion that ruptured the well pipe of BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. And there is the usual clamor of the environmentalists using this high-profile catastrophe as a rallying point to shut down all drilling, and to concentrate our efforts on developing renewable sources of energy that don’t come from “fossil fuels.” If they had their way, there would be no more drilling for oil or mining for coal. That leaves us with windmills, solar panels, nuclear power plants and fuel cells, and hydro-electric power plants to provide our electric power.
You can plug your electric car into an outlet all night to charge its battery, and you’ll have power for lights and to run your appliances–as long as the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, and the nuclear power plants don’t overheat and shut down from the demand. But the demand would far exceed our capacity to provide from non-fossil fuel sources all the electric power this country needs. Some of us would have to go back to muscle power, candles, and wood-burning stoves and fireplaces. Some machines would run on ethanol from corn, but the tractor that plows the cornfield needs diesel, and the refinery needs power to make the ethanol. It needs to be transported to the service stations and the pumps that deliver it to your car or truck need power to operate.
Most people think that we need petroleum only to put gasoline into our cars and trucks. But there are airplanes, trains, ships, and many industrial machines that will not run well–or very long– on battery power. We also would not be able to replace our communications satellites when they get old and fail. Think where that would leave us!

The truth is that petroleum products so pervade our lives that it would be extremely difficult to name one thing in the American household that is not made of, treated with, or requires a petroleum product in its manufacture, processing, or growing/transporting/preserving, in the case of food. I challenge you to think of one!!

Without petroleum, we would eventually be back to the time before oil was discovered, wearing homespun cotton, linen, and wool clothing, leather or canvas shoes, heavy glass spectacles, wooden or ceramic dentures, using glass, metal, and pottery containers, walking a lot, bathing with soap made from rendered lard, and too tired to use the free time we had.

I say let them drill for oil and gas in the places where it isn’t so hard to reach, like that small area in ANWAR and the closer offshore sites that are now being exploited by foreign drilling companies because we Americans were not allowed to despoil the pristine view. Do you prefer seeing the Chinese and Russians building their platforms in our waters? Then selling the oil to us?


Author: b4i4get

I am a 68-yo retired Physical Therapist Asst. living in Texas. Currently I have ~5 dozen webpages, including 3 homepages, an e-novel, and 1 blog. I love cats, writing, and thinking about the big questions. I am also a singer-songwriter, though no one has heard of me--yet.

6 thoughts on “My BP Oil-spill Rant”

    1. Must admit, this is not the way I would have liked to bring the oil …;-(
      Most people who had anything to say about this post just sent me emails. I wish more of them would comment on the site, so it would look like someone had actually read it. Thanks.

  1. Hi Kaye
    Good article, but I doubt we have to worry about the big oil companies giving up on searching and drilling for oil. Lori

  2. In my opinion, oil is part of the cycle of life, and it is always going to be produced from decomposing organic material. I think it should be made use of. We can do it without upsetting the balance of nature if oil companies are allowed to drill or otherwise process oil-bearing minerals where they can easily contol the safety hazards. Of course, there is human greed and insensitivity in any enterprise (or government that wants to control it.)
    If I had land with oil under it, I wouldn’t mind having a “donkey” or two pumping on it. I understand, from what I have read, that the area where BP had been drilling was part of an enormous deposit of oil that would last decades, if not centuries. The only trouble is that it is miles deep under the ocean.

  3. Ah….you live in Texas…land of the oil tycoons. I advocate the sun and the wind, they are non polluting. Also I do not like supporting the middle east, their treatment of women is horrible, they have an elite class and a no class citizenship. Our oceans are becoming terribly polluted due to the plastics we make with oil. Oil may be the cycle of life, but greed has made it a necessary evil. And like BP, the cheaper you can get it the more money they make.

  4. Oil is practically useless without refineries and industries to make use of petroleum products. The middle eastern countries discovered that they had vast reserves of oil that they had no way to use, but the rest of the world–much of it, anyway–does have ways to use it and are willing to pay for it. This way, the Middle East can keep their oppressive government and culture, while the theocratic state leaders get the money to run it from selling the oil. And they don’t mind if there are oil derricks all over the desert. They can drive cars, trucks, and motorbikes made in China, Japan, Europe, and even the United States, but they don’t have to produce them.
    I am saying that we need to exploit our own resources, which we still have, but no one wants to get their hands dirty or be politically incorrect by spoiling the view or disturbing a few animals in an otherwise useless piece of land.

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