Lost at Sea

Sydney Bright
Dr. Worthington
ENGL   1101 Report Essay
24 October 2010

A Man-Made Disaster in the Gulf:
A Look Inside the Anxiety Leaking from the Deepwater Horizon

The Gulf Oil Spill has devastated the coast economically and environmentally.   The full impact to the environment will not be known for years to come. On the 20th of June an explosion occurred on BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, located 52 miles South-east of the Louisiana Port of Venice (Oil Spill Timeline). The explosion killed 11 men, and opened a pipeline directly into the waters of the Gulf. The aftermath was an epic disaster for the American populace and our natural environment along the entire Gulf Coast. It is important for future generations to know how this catastrophic event came to be, the effort to rectify the damages, and how we are trying to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.  
The spill was a result of corporate negligence, poor regulation, and the overlooking of details. Time Magazine said, “Indeed, the uncontrolled corruption of the spill — the failure of government, business and technology to manage an essential, if archaic, resource — beggared all human pretense” (Klein). The oil spill could most easily be blamed on the failings of the blowout preventer, the preventer is used to seal the well shut and to test the pressure and integrity of the well, and in case of a blowout is the crews only hope. But who was in charge of making sure these operations were in sound and working order? Transocean, the drilling company that owned the rig, released a 2010 document which identified 260 separate ways that the blowout preventer could have failed. At least one battery used in a critical part of the emergency valve was dead (Alan, EPA). According to an interview conducted by 60 Minutes with Mike Williams, there was an unreported incident four weeks before the explosion. While technicians were conducting a test they had to close the rubber gasket...