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David Byrnes

Neither a Donkey nor Elephant

This blog might offend some. I'm not the most politically correct guy, but hopefully you will see eye-to-eye with me. Bottom line is I will take a look at today's problems, stories, politics, news and put a realistic take on it - not one bought, or one that is from the left or right - but one that will help all of us see through the arguments and fix what's wrong with our country.

Transocean Ltd

How many people have heard the Transocean Ltd name thrown around with the BP oil spill, if I had to guess, not many. Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor, provides the most versatile fleet of mobile offshore drilling units to all the different oil companies. Truth be told, it could have been anyone leasing this rig, but it happened to be BP when the failure occurred.

Many columns, blogs, TV shows etc are playing the blame game, seems if you listen to the media this disaster can be blamed on Bush or Obama, depending on what side of the fence you’re on. But let’s face it; we have a big problem on our hands. Placing blame on anyone at this point is ridiculous and a waste of resources.

I lived in the Gulf region for awhile, in fact I used to frequent some of the beaches that are now in danger, (all I can say is if Surfside beach gets ruined, I will fly off the handle). The one thing that always crossed my mind when watching these huge rigs were - how do they work? I have supplied maintenance material to companies similar to Transocean and had the opportunity to see what is involved in such a huge vessel. For those who don’t know, basically eight 7375 horsepower props along with GPS keep the floating rig over the well at all times. When I learned this, the first thing that crossed my mind was, seems like a ton of things have to go right for success and just a few things need to go wrong for failure. I’m not an engineer, but this kind of reminds me of the mentality of The White Star Company with the lack of life boats on the Titanic. I believe P.A.S. Franklin said “We place absolute confidence in the Titanic. We believe the boat is unsinkable.” But I did ask what happens during a hurricane? The response was we disconnect and move the rig to a safe place, but then I asked, what happens if it has to be done quickly, the response this time was, how quick?

I know we can’t engineer for every scenario, for every failure, but where and who decides when where we stop? We need oil right now, I know in a perfect world we would have alternatives to oil, but right now we don’t, to stop drilling would make no sense, our economy revolves around oil, but what we need to do know is first stop the oil being released into the gulf and try to come up with solutions so this does not happen again. As I’m sitting here writing this, I have read many articles and opinions on who’s fault this is, but I am hard-pressed to find anyone offering solutions or suggestions to keep this from happening again. Let’s try to figure out what to do next and leave the blame game to the attorneys. To boycott BP or any other oil company just does not make sense, don’t be a pawn in a game you don’t understand.

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