It seems like a waste of time to discuss BP these days. What has not already been said? But let me take up my sad refrain one more time. According to this ProPublica piece, in testimony today about the actions on the rig leading up to the blowout, BP pumped fluids into the well in an attempt to effectively “dump” them without normal environmental restrictions.
BP had hundreds of barrels of the two chemicals on hand and needed to dispose of the material, Lindner testified. By first flushing it into the well, the company could take advantage of an exemption in an environmental law that otherwise would have prohibited it from discharging the hazardous waste into the Gulf of Mexico, Lindner said.
The procedure mixed two substances. “It’s not something we’ve ever done before,” Lindner said.
So, someone decided to pump this junk into the well in advance of the clearing of the well bore of drilling mud. It would seem that the flooding of sea water would then have blown this stuff right back out into the ocean?? Or it would seep out at some point? Jerry, can you help on this point? This chemical dump would have to have been either done in accordance with company practices to externalize costs, or would have been the rogue action of an employee. If the rogue action of an employee, which I find unlikely, we should ask what incentives and pressures that employee was under that would cause them to callously contaminate the environment further. Perhaps the contamination of the environment at these sites is already so extreme that it makes no difference. Comments welcome. I suspect that a few hundred barrels of a toxic chemical does make a difference.