Whose job should it be to stop the Gulf oil spill?

Officials have acknowledged that the government may have to take over the effort to plug the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Today’s Question: Whose job should it be to stop the Gulf oil spill?

  • Steve

    It is nature’s job and she can do a better job then BP or the government, so we should just let her alone to do it.

    I don’t understand why all the fuss about this. In 2008 all over the country, including in the gulf states, people were screaming “drill, baby, drill.” We got what we wanted. Stop wasting our time on collateral damage.

    When will they start rebuilding the platform? CHEAP GAS NOW!

  • Joseph Creed

    BP can cap this well and could have within the first week. The spill is coming from a steel pipe only and gushing into the sea.

    A solid rock or slab could be dropped onto the pipe where the leak exists and cap it but that would be almost perminant because sand at the oceans floor would rush in which is heavier than oil would even push all the way to the bottom. It would take years to drill a new well and large amounts of money so they (Brittish Petrolium) would rather destroy our Entire gulf coast and All its wildlife than to loose their one land claim worth Billions but The dammage to our coast line would and is perminant. BP must be forced to cap the well as you know and replace all lost wild and plant life in the evergades all the way to Louisiana!

  • DMox

    I like your sentiment, Steve….we should take it one step further. Piggybacking Bill Maher’s idea, we should allow everyone with a ‘Drill Baby Drill’ t-shirt free & compulsory passage to the Gulf to help with clean-up.

    Given the nature of the problem, I believe that the Gov’t should come out today – TODAY – & give BP a deadline for capping the well & clean up. At the very instant that they stray off course, the Gov’t should step in, with all it’s resources at its disposal, and clean up the mess. Then bill BP via a tax that doesn’t allow them to operate in the U.S. with a profit until all dollars spent on clean up are paid back. Yes, it’s harsh, as it should be. It should also send a clear message to the other oil companies that their disregard for safety & environmental concern is a gamble & not to be taken frivolously.

  • I’m agnostic as to who actually stops it. On the other hand, BP should *pay* for the cleanup. They benefit from the enormous profits they get from oil drilling; they should be held responsible for the costs when things go horribly wrong.

  • Shane

    It should primarily be BP and Haliburton, but they need to show that (they already have, but in the wrong way) they need help in this effort.

    Perhaps Captain Planet could help…

  • KEL

    I agree that BP pays for it no matter who stops it. The point is that BP guaranteed safety and thus they have the liability. Business seems to think they can say anything and then walk away.

    Apparently BP had only one solution, the blowout preventer. Not very brilliant.

    All this said, I am willing to admit that BP is not just walking away. They are showing some honor and responsibility.

  • Matt

    I would like to say Dick Cheney, but that is not totally fair. The fact here is that if one chooses to take on the risk of operating a deep water well with no remote / emergency safety valve because it “costs too much”, then what you are saying is: “Hey, we know the risk (to you) and have weighed the potential cost of that risk against the cost of the safety measures (to us), and decided that the potential for a problem is too low to warrant the expense – we accept that risk and take responsibility for that decision and any potential consequences”. In short, they bet and lost. And they never actually said: “Hey, we know the risks, but we also know that someone else (local/state/federal government) will step in and clean up our mess if it occurs”. So the real quesion is, how is this really a serious question in the first place? Re-worded, this question is actually… Under what conditions is it okay for corporations to knowingly profit at the expense of our society & environment, expect our society & environment to pay the price(s), and then also expect society to clean up the damage caused by ill effects of known risks they chose to ignore? I can’t think of any. If someone has some such rational situations to share, then I admit I am wrong and this is in fact, at least, a question worth debating. Would this have even been debated by the framers of the Constitution, or would they simply have looked at whomever posed the question, looked around the room and said something like: “What??”

  • Lawrence

    It is my understanding that various governmental agencies may compel businesses and corporations to clean up pollution when there is overwhelming evidence that the company has polluted an environment and the pollution has in fact caused harm to the environment, wildlife, and people. And because companies will say and do anything to avoid or minimize responsibility, the more neutral government should oversee pollution control. Surely, we all remember Erin Brokavich, a movie based on a true story about a company that did everything to cover up the pollution that caused harmful effects to a small community within the vicinity of the toxic dump. The problem here is the broken oil line is so deep, it is difficult for any one to stop it. But, it should be a joint effort and BP should pay the cost for the clean up.

  • Daniel Jones

    It is BP’s responsibility to clean up the spill, and pay all associated costs and damages. The critical problem, however, is that the focus has not been on stopping the spill. It has been on stopping the spill while preserving BP’s well. Until BP adjusts its focus, the spill will continue. Meanwhile…if you’re feeling powerless or without a platform for registering your frustration, how boycotting BP gas stations until they get this stopped? Please join me in getting this idea rolling.

  • James

    Chance Buckham.


  • Pete

    It’s too late to lay blame – we are ALL responsible for this now! We need to get the Navy, the Coast Guard, and Robert Ballad from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute down there to stop that leak! We need to levy HUGE fines on BP and we need to all pay to get this disaster stopped and cleaned up! Spend all our tax money if need be! We need to setup a national volunteer service to get citizens from all over the US down there to help clean up. And we need to exempt citizens who volunteer to help clean up from one week of work.

  • Philip

    It is BP’s primary responsibility. However, if the government must take over and clean up the spill, then BP must pay for all the services and then taken out to the wood shed so they can’t sit for a week!

  • Carrie

    BP is ultimately responsible and unfortunately the government has no choice but to rely on them to stop the leak and clean it up. However, I do agree with Steve in that we did ask for it with our constant cry for cheap gas. Ironically now we all have to “pay the price” for the “drill baby drill” mentality. When will we ever learn……..

  • Joe Schaedler

    First and foremost it should be BP’s job to stop the spill, as they started it.

    However, the government should not be willing to sit back if BP fails to stop the spill quickly (which is the actual case).

    In the interests of protecting our natural and social resources in the gulf & Atlantic, the government should step in and partner with BP to to determine and implement some way to stop the spill.

  • Steve ‘s ‘CHEAP GAS NOW!’ pretty much sums up how we got where we are today.

    Why PAY a recycler to take oil drained from cars & lawnmowers if ‘nature’ can take care of it, eh?

    I wonder what he would think if neighbors poured waste oil onto Steve’s front yard?

  • jessica Sundheim

    I am an Obama supporter. However, he lost me on his energy policy long ago. He is responsible, along with every other president and politician who led our country deeper into this addiction. They pay by losing their political capitol. (The only leader I admire in this area is Carter.)

    BP and the other companies like Haliburton are directly responsible for cost. They’ve already recieved subsidies from the government (people of US), and we shouldn’t give their irresponsible, lazy, and reckless execs any more corporate welfare. They need to Pay, baby! Pay!

    That said, the sad bit is that these people will never bear the life changing/ending costs in these “accidents”. The people and animals who pay are those who have lost their culture, livelihoods, homes, backyards, businesses, lives, habitats, food, water, and air. I think that we forget the costs that these people, places, and lives are bearing while we try to “fix” things by laying blame in a sickening waste of time and available resources.

    Because of the scope of this disaster, no one gets to cop out. In 100 years, who will care which entity was responsible for the clean up if irreplaceable islands are lost in the blame battle? Every single person and government and business should be doing what they can to recognize the loss, donate, sacrifice, volunteer… in short to collectively carry this burden and come to a solution.

  • judy

    Liability issues: if the government takes over the clean-up and etc.

    1. Does BP get a pass on any and all liabilties?

    2. US then responsible for all clean-up and any detrimental cost – lost jobs, lost houses, health issues, enviroment, and it goes on, etc?

    US should be the watch dog they grossly neglected to do to date, fire the staff at MMS, and raise the liability limits to an infinite amount and track all cost and etc.

    Thank you

  • Steve the Cynic

    What we really need is a fault-finding investigation, so we can pin the blame on someone, or even better, on a faceless entity or two (BP, Haliburton, etc). That way the rest of us can avoid taking moral responsibility for the consequences of our collective (in)decisions over the years. The origin of this disaster is very similar to the banking crisis of a couple of years ago: unregulated greed in search of exorbitant profits regardless of the effect on society or the environment. We need the government (that is to say, us) to protect us, not from ourselves, but from each other. The government (that is to say, we, through our elected officials) failed to do that. But of course, if we admit that it would mean admitting that there’s something flawed with the American system, and since it’s “unpatriotic” to point that out, we can’t go there. That’s why we need a fault-finding investigation, so we can scapegoat Someone Else.

  • Robert

    I believe that BP is responsible, but assessing responsibility right now is like refusing to get off the Titanic until you know for certain why it’s sinking.

    BP is moving too slowly, so the US government should use whatever resources it can (including military/Coast Guard manpower) to assist in clean-up and containment, and send the bill to BP when the problem is fixed. The US governemnt may not have experience in containing an oil leak at 5000′, but neither does BP, and while we wait for BP to figure it out, more and more of the environment (and consequently our economic self-sufficiency) is being destroyed.

  • David

    If BP was facing a substantial and increasing fine for everyday that the oil flows, they would be motivated to get the job done. BP should pay for all clean-up, all the economic impact and punitive damages as well. BP can go after Halliburton or whoever else was involved through the courts.

    Sadly, I am afraid that BP will “rent” enough of our congress through the elections this fall that they will get off with minimal financial damage (or maybe even a bailout for lost revenues and repair and recovery costs from us!). I’d also bet that any executives of BP that lose their jobs over this will get a nice going away package…

  • Raphael

    At this point it is the Government’s job to clean it up because it threatens the land and resources of the People. This should not be confused with whose responsibility it is to pay for this mess, that should be BP and any other corporation that directly profited from the platform.

    We require multiple safeguards for the gas pump that dispenses fuel, yet there was not one safeguard at the source of that fuel. I’d say idiotic, but that doesn’t sum up the plain out greed that dictated that no fail safe would exist on this (or other) platforms.

  • Lee Ann

    I think it should be BP, but at this point I think that the gov. should be helping too…because the situation is catastrophic. I also think that any oil well that doesn’t have emergency turn off valves at various depths, should be shut down until they do.

  • Craig The Bigger Cynic

    Get Guv’mint intrusion out of capitalistic, free-market enterprises!! If the government would leave BP alone, this thing would be taken care of in no time. And, by the way, Bobby Jindall, as guv’nor of Louisana, is part of the Guv’mint and should back off too!

  • Steve the Cynic

    You’re being sarcastic, right Craig? You can’t seriously believe, “If the government would leave BP alone, this thing would be taken care of in no time.” I’m much too cynical to believe that an enormous multinational corporation is guided by anything but the amoral pursuit of profit.

  • Alice Cowley

    Greed for the ‘GOD’ almighty dollar has caused this environmental tragedy.

    I agree with Jessica in her praise for President Carter. When Reagan was elected president, he undid all the good that Carter had started and done in small ways to help the environment. Such as suggesting for us Americans to turn down the heat a little and put on a sweater.

    Will we ever learn? We continue to rape our mother earth, pollute our air, waters and continue to wonder, why should I care?

    A Cree proverb states wisely:

    “Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisened and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can’t eat money.”

  • Tom

    BP should incur all the costs of clean up as they get the profits when things go according to plan. If they aren’t doing a good job, then the feds have a responsibility to step in, but BP still needs to foot the bill. It’s a shame it takes a catastrophe to have us consider that these things do fail, they always will fail and so perhaps we should use sources of energy that require less extreme (and dangerous) methods to acquire them.

  • A Ventini

    It shouldn’t be only BP who has to clean up the spill, rather the entire oil industry as a whole, certainly not the government. The industry should responsible for paying for it and not be allowed to pass the cost to consumers. Even though BP may own the well, all the other oil companies are guilty of this crime against humanity and nature by virtue that they all have paid off the Republicans to do their bidding and let them pollute the environment with reckless abandon and fleece the public.

    Not only should Big Oil be responsible but also the Republicans are equal to blame. Starting with Reagan, who gutted the EPA and de-regulated every aspect of oil production and Big-Oil Bush/Cheny who allowed the oil industry to be the foxes guarding the hen house. All Republicans at every level of government from the Dog Catcher to the President should hang their heads in shame that they allowed this to happen.

  • vjacobsen

    I had to think all day about this.

    It’s everyone’s job. The government needs to oversee everything. They need to put EVERY SINGLE qualified person on the job. And every single oil company should be working on this. Maybe say that until this is fixed, no new drilling. Ask that other companies show that they could fix a similar tragedy. And, finally fix the moral lapses NOW that will prevent something like this from happening in the future.

  • Dimitri Drekonja

    The question is who should stop the spill, not who should clean the mess, pay, etc. And I have to say, it’s a pretty irresponsible question. How about first doing some research on who CAN even attempt to work in 5000 feet of water, let alone stop a gusher of oil? Ask engineers, other oil companies, academics, and government employees– if they all say (as the coast gaurd did) “we have never tried anything like this, and don’t have any equipment for it, and have no idea how to operate BP’s equipment”, well, then as much as we don’t like it, we’re stuck with the only people who have developed the technology to work in this extreme environment.

    The failure here was years ago, when BP said “hey, we have a great idea to drill a well 5000 feet under the ocean,” and no one (internally or externally) came back with “great idea, let’s make sure we have plans to deal with a leak, especially a really big one.”

  • jane

    Steve in response to your post….we do have the cheapest gas right now and lets keep it that way.

    Check out driveeasy.org

    I believe there have many mistakes made in the process as always. Regulations are weak and before any act of harvesting the Earths natural reaources there should be a solution for the possibilities.

    I forwarded my suggestion to the WH to vaccum the mess even if it ment thinning with solvents. Use the technology to seperte and harvest the oil.

    Definately BP”s reapondsibility with Big Brother standing over him…..VACCUM and keep VACCUMING!!!!! It will work until it is dry!

  • Nell

    BP screwed this drilling up -they should be made to fix it. Whatever it takes to stop it needs to be done, even if the goverment has to step in to do it -but stop it! Then deal with BP or the idiots who made this contraption!

    For heavens sake -it’s killing our wildlife, or marshes, and the livelyhood of our fisherman

    has gone down the tubes! Plus they want to drop more toxic crap over the oil-isn’t enough the oil is there?Nevermind toxic material that will make it disappear-disappear my foot! nell