Salon: Since Deepwater Horizon, ‘we have voted to do nothing’

Salon.com’s Andrew O’Hehir has a thought-provoking post on the new documentary “The Great Invisible,” about the 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig.

O’Hehir makes the point that the film doesn’t demonize BP and other oil companies for the spill, because of our “larger relationship to oil,” as the film’s director, Margaret Brown, put it. She goes on:

“Why don’t we understand our connection to this thing that we use every day, but we never see, as it travels from sometimes miles beneath the surface of the ocean into the tank of our car, and then back out into the atmosphere?” As the oil trader mentioned above observes, we have defined our standard of living by the ability to drive anywhere we want and buy any kind of product, at any hour of the day or night. That simply isn’t possible without a constant, uninterrupted and ever-increasing supply of oil …”

The film also interviews many of the survivors of the accident, in which 11 men were killed. A post by Rachel Guillory of Ocean Conservancy delves into this angle, which includes the many safety lapses associated with the rig:

“There were 26 different mistakes made,” said Keith Jones, father of Gordon Jones—a drilling engineer who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion. The cement hadn’t cured, he said, there was rubber in the drilling mud and the hydraulics for the blow-out preventer were not working. These stories from staff aboard the Deepwater Horizon support the presidential oil spill commission’s conclusion that the BP oil disaster was caused by a culture of complacency, rather than a culture of safety.

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