(Video) Obama Blasted For Lying About Offshore Oil Drilling Safety Changes
I really couldn’t believe my ears as I listened to Rachel Maddow absolutely tear the Obama into pieces over lying to the public about changes in Offshore Oil Drilling Regulations.
First Obama says new rules and regulations assure us that we will not face another BP Gulf Oil Spill. Then Rachel then tears him apart for lying and points out everything that has changed… ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. And that’s after she sets the record straight on the propaganda that the US produces its own oil, when in fact all the oil that the US produces is sold onto the Global market which is where the US buys it from – which means no much how much oil we produce we still by it from our “enemies”.
She also tells of a government study conducted by a Norwegian firm that was released last week that shows that blow out preventors don’t work, period. In short they fail even when used as directed and the government study recommends that all blowout preventors need to be redesigned period. She uses the analogy that blow out preventors are lead parachutes. and no matter how much you buff them, they aren’t going to work if you try to use them to jump out of an airplane.
Maddow also points out how a new permits are being issued at records rates, even permits using pre BP oil spill response plans. In case you don’t remember we all found out during the BP Gulf Oil Spill that all of the oil companies are absolute bullshit. Every single oil company executive admitted during testimony before congress. To make matters worse Rachel tops it all off by pointing out that the latest permit issued allows a well to be drilled will be using the same exact blowout preventor that was found to be at fault for the BP Gulf Oil spill, the worse accidental oil spill in history.
Here are both video segments:
Facts Don’t Support Obama’s Assurances On Drilling Safety
March 30: Rachel Maddow expresses skepticism about President Obama’s insistence that deepwater drilling safety has been improved given revelations of flaws in blowout preventer design and emergency response plans that have not been updated since 2009.
Will add them when they become available
Maddow goes on to discuss the implications with Bob Cavnar.
Complacency overcoming safety on new drilling permits
March 30: Bob Cavnar, oil and gas industry veteran and author of “Disaster on the Horizon,” talks with Rachel Maddow about the lessons not learned from the Deepwater Horizon disaster as new deepwater drilling permits are being issued.
after the bp oil disaster prompt a moratorium on more deepwater drilling in the u.s., the obama administration last month started handing out permits again. today was a new permit for shell oil off the coast of louisiana. last friday they approved state oil for drilling a new well in the gulf. a week before that, bhp bill i ton getting approved to drill in the gulf. they hired transocean to do the drilling on that well, yes, you remember transocean. this drill ship with an unpronounceable name as you see here had been doing the drilling prior to the moratorium, according to the latest available information from interior department’s website, transocean is still the driller of record. why should you care about that particular drill ship drilling in your particular gulf of mexico? because according to a 30-year veteran of the oil industry with whom we consulted today, that drill ship is equipped with the same blowout preventer used by deepwater horizon. same one that caused the worst oil spill in united states history. all that happy talk about how much safer everything is now, they are using the same equipment used in the bp disaster. happy talk or not. joining us now, former oil industry executive bob cavnar, that 30 year veteran that we consulted with today. currently coe of a company in the natural gas industry. before that, he was president and ceo of an oil and gas drilling exploration firm. he is author of the book disaster on the horizon. the story behind the deepwater horizon blowout. thanks for being here.
>> happy to be here.
>> what do we know about the transocean drill ship blowout preventer compared with deepwater horizon?
>> this drill ship was built about the same time as deepwater horizon was, so the blowout preventer had that same one around 2000. it is essentially identical to deepwater horizon preventer. has the same preventers, cameron ones on top and bottom. only difference it has one more ram for a little more redundancy than the deepwater horizon.
>> one change. other than that, pretty much the same.
>> control system is the same, everything else is the same.
>> do we know anything about this drill ship’s safety record?
>> it is interesting. this drill ship received mms, predecessor to bme, mre safety in 2005. we found it had emergency reiser disconnects three times, once in 2002, once in 2004, and again in 2007. the 2002 and 2004 incidents were caused by weather. this is a dynamically positioned ship held in place by gps and thrusters. in severe weather can be pushed off location. that happened twice in those years. in 2007, it was operator error.
>> operator error.
>> the operator who runs the dynamic positioning system actually inputted the wrong data, had corrupted data and pushed it off location.
>> are there upgrades? department of interior is bragging there have been safety upgrades. you and i have talked about whether or not you can do better inspections of your lead parachute, as i put it before. but are there upgrades that could be made to a blowout preventer like this one that would make it less like the deepwater horizon, that would make it more likely to five the blowout that deep sixed that preventer?
>> it required a complete redesign, they talked about that all through the report, redesigning the rams. the only thing they can do to existing devices is redundancy. if you have two sheer rams that cut the pipe, hopefully one of those will work. just having one on the deepwater horizon, obviously even that failed, it was complete failure. short of that, you have to redesign the entire device.
>> seems like the federal government is much more focused at this point on making sure oil companies can contain an oil spill if it happens, rather than talking about preventing an oil spill from happening in the first place. is that a way of not focusing on the bleeout preventer design flaw? is that a way of essentially giving that away, saying we will just clean it up if that happens?
>> absolutely. that’s what i’ve been talking about the past several weeks. everyone talks about what happens when the blowout preventer fails. i think we should focus on keeping it from failing in the first place, maintaining well control where you don’t have to use it. if you keep well control solid and you have a reliable device, you don’t need sub sea well containment. it is good to have that in case everything else goes wrong, but you really have to work on design of the blowout preventer where it does not fail when you have to activate it.
>> when it does not fail because of the thing that requires it in the first place. that’s the thing that makes me crazy about this. have you seen post deepwater horizon safety improvements that should make people feel reassured enough to feel comfortable at the permits coming out at a rate of one every four days?
>> usually after one of these events, like the exxon valdez, they focus a couple of years, make sure the safety reports are filled out, everybody is trained and everybody is working according to the procedures. but success breeds complacency. over a period of time, you have this — slip into the same complacency where history could very well repeat itself if we don’t improve the devices themselves.
>> bob cavnar, author of disaster on the horizon. 30 year veteran of the oil industry. i should note for viewers we tried to contact bhp bulletin and transocean, nobody was available to answer questions. we will keep trying tirelessly. thanks very much.
>> you bet.
>>> after that super heavy duty news, for the next segment, we have come up with an excuse to play a clip from the michael j.fox movie, back to the future. fox movie, back to the
More than 3 Mile Island
March 30: Rachel Maddow reviews a litany of malfunctions and safety problems at American nuclear facilities that are not part of common pubic knowledge and offers suggestions for bolstering the back-up systems of America’s nuclear plants.
And as an added bonus… Rachel gives a partial list of nuclear incidents and meltdowns in the US which are rarely talked about.
>>> it was a nightmare scenario when it happened. it is still a nightmare sen yar oh today. a nuclear plant getting into trouble because of an equipment accident inside the nuclear plant. the radioactive fuel rods began heating up at a dangerous rate. there was a partial nuclear reactor core meltdown, which caused the immediate shutdown of that nuclear power plant. was that three mile island? no, it was on the shores of lake erie. it went through a partial core meltdown. how about this one, a u.s. nuclear power plant in pennsylvania, just outside harrisburg. forced to shut down after one of its reactors suffered two different mal functions in the span of nine days, forcing a leak of radiation into the air. was that three mile island? no. that was peach bottom nuclear station. how about on the eastern seaboard suffering a catastrophic failure of its emergency shutdown system. the system in place to prevent a mu clear meltdown. the system failed and then the backup to the shut down system failed. and a day later three systems fail again. that was in southern new jersey. a nuclear plant employee carrying a lit candle accidently causes a fire just below the plant’s control room. that fire manages to take out the plant’s primary and emergency cooling systems causing the shut down of ultimately two reactors. that’s the browns ferry nuclear plant in athens, alabama. a power plant suffers severe malfunctions over the course of two days. releasing 600,000 gallons of boiling radioactive steam into the air. is that three mile island? no. that’s the indian point nuclear plant just north of new york city. how about a different u.s. nuclear power plant losing its main power source, forcing workers into an allout scramble to keep the radioactive fuel rods cool. three mile island? no, the station in carroll township, ohio, on the shores of lake erie. and a catastrophic human and mechanical failures, the fuel rods begin to melt down. radioactive gases released into the air, nearly 200,000 americans are forced to flee their homes. that was three mile island. this week, 32 years ago, on march 30th, 1979, featured this lead story on n”nbc nightly news” news.”
>> good evening, there was serious trouble today at the three mile island nuclear plant in pennsylvania. trouble serious enough to cause the evacuation of small children and pregnant women from a five-mile area around the endangered nuclear plant. the problem is, that it is more difficult than had been thought to cool the radioactive nuclear fuel inside the power plant. and until it’s cooled, it is very dangerous.
>> three mile island is usually thought of america’s only big nuclear accident. that’s because we tend to forget that 13 years before three mile island was 1966, the browns ferry accident, the beach bottom accident in pennsylvania 1980, and new jersey 1983, and the indian point nuclear accident in new york was in 2000. the davis bessie accident in 2002. that’s not an exclusive list. i could go on, right? three mile island gets all the glory, but it is in very crowded company when it comes to the nuclear accidents over the last five decades. today in japan the iaea found radiation levels high enough to trigger evacuation, 40 kilometers away from the fukushima reactors. to keep that in perspective, so far the evacuation order around that plant extends to 20 kilometers. the government has advised a voluntary evacuation to 30 kilometers, but in this town, 40 kilometers away, well beyond even the voluntary evacuation zone, the agency found radiation levels twice as high as the level at which that agency recommends that people evacuate. you may remember that on friday, on this show, we hosted a distinguished nuclear scientist from princeton university. dr. von hippel described in our interview mapping of high radiation readings in japan that had been done by our department of energy. we posted this on our blog. you can see the bright red line there, it goes northwest from the reactor. that’s what was measured in japan as of a week ago. check this out. the town that the iaea says today showed dang rossly high radiation levels, 40 kilometers from the plant, that town is here. so that red line showed the extent of highest levels of radiation emanating from the plant last wednesday. the town where today the u.n. said radiation levels are twice what should prompt an evacuation. that town is just about right in line with where we have been able to see that radiation traveling across japan. all of this time. i generally think that learning more about something is a way to alleviate your fear about it, but in this case when i asked the producer on this show to put those maps together, and this is what he came up with, it did not make me feel better, it made me feel bad about what is going on there. the united states congress has convened hearings on how safe our nuclear reactors are here. putting the nuclear energy industry in the not all that hot but still a little hot seat.
>> one thing i can say going forward is that our industry, our hallmark is learning from operating experience. we learned a lot from tmi in terms of operator training, as well as design enhancements, and we will enhance safety as a result of fukushima. we will get these lessons learned.
>> we will get these lessons learned. i have a suggested lesson already. the simple point. remember how at fukushima when the power went out the backup power was the diesel generators? but it also knocked out the generators? they needed a backup system for their backup system. the backup back jum they had at fukushima was battery powered. it was powered by batteries that could fuel the cooling system at that plant for eight hours. and after that eight hours was up, and the batteries went dead, then the catastrophe really began. america has about twice as many nuclear plants as japan does. we have the same kind of backups and backup backup systems here as they do in japan. except frankly, on average, japan’s are better. of america’s 104 nuclear plants, we have 11 plants that have the same eight-hour batteries that were not enough in japan. the other 93 are even worse. the other 93 reactors we’ve got have only got four hours worth of battery power. congressman ed markey is sponsoring legislation to require 72 hours of power at these reactors. that seems like a start. in addition, any blindingly obvious and very upsetting new lessons to be learned from fukushima disaster, in addition to those, there are also a lot of old lessons still waiting to be learned. one day before the nuclear disaster in japan, one day, u.s. officials signed off on a 20-year license extension for the vermont yankee nuclear plant. look familiar at all? the reactor shares the exact same design as the now crippled fukushima reactors. a ge-made reactor whose design flaws have resurfaced over the last few weeks. you may only hear about the three mile island accident when you hear about u.s. nuclear safety issues. but an abc news review of nuclear regulatory records turned up 56 separate safety violations at u.s. nuclear power plants in the last four years alone. everything from mishandled radioactive material to backup generators that don’t work. california’s diablo canyon nuclear plant now seeing one of its reactors shut down, the result of a failed pump that was supposed to be supplying water to the steam generators. a majority of the county’s supervisors where it’s located are now asking the owner of that reactor to withdraw its license renewal contract until earthquake studies can be done. in voicing the concerns about the accident-prone nuclear reactors, even though they don’t start from an anti-nuclear position at all. 250 miles south of diablo, another california nuclear plant will go through testing. on the same day that a former manager at that facility filed a lawsuit saying he was fired by the plant’s owner for reporting safety concerns. the obama administration has brought a new high-profile bipartisan cast to support for nuclear energy, support that used to be disproportionately republican. everybody gets nuclear power is better than fossil fuels in terms of carbon emissions and climate change, but making that case is not the same as reassuring the country that nuclear power is safe. how long after a power outage could the battery packs hold off a nuclear meltdown at the reactor nearest where you live. there is an 11% chance those batteries would hold out exactly as long as the batteries that failed at fukushima. there is an 89% chance they would only hold out half that