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FEATURE

Silver Linings in the Muck





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It seems insensitive to talk about silver linings in the middle of the life-killing oil spill in the Gulf. But in fact, there are a couple we should recognize and act upon now.

There’s hope, for example, that the spill is proving the folly of trying to extract every last drop of a finite resource by invading ever more difficult and sensitive places. The past safety record of offshore drilling, cited by President Obama when he announced he was opening up more ocean to oil companies, means nothing when those companies are moving into uncharted waters, technically speaking.

As BP has tried each new trick to stop the hemorrhage on the ocean floor, it has made clear these techniques have never been attempted at that depth – a public admission that one of the world’s largest oil companies, using the industry’s most advanced extraction technologies, doesn’t have the experience or tools to drill safely in these new places. Continued...


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