We all wish that the tragedy of Deepwater Horizon never took place. The environmental disaster in the aftermath of the explosion is unprecedented and its effect on the Gulf region will be felt for many years to come.
But, it did happen, and I for one am appreciative of how BP has stepped up to everything that has been asked of them and more. We could only hope that our own government was as accountable.
Can you imagine performing your job while under extreme duress and being watched live by millions of people while millions of gallons of crude oil fouled pristine waters. Many of us shudder at even one person watching over our shoulder while we work. It becomes even more complicated when supposed supporting agencies unintentionally get in the way in their efforts to help. Others want to help, and in their conscience should, but are enjoying watching BP squirm. Not a great work environment to say the least.
Watching the underwater feed in silence as robotic arms maneuver massive pieces of equipment (the lastest being 18 feet high and weighing 150,000 lbs) in an effort to cap the leak reminds me of the challenges faced with Apollo 13. It is in these moments of extreme emergency when man is at their best. The collective intelligence needed to fix a problem of this magnitude that has never before been encountered depends on the ingenuity of thousands. It gives us hope and better prepares us for the future.
The attempts to cap the well have required newly engineered and sophisticated equipment. The process goes something like this – what do we have, engineer a fix, machine it, build it, install it. If it doesn’t work, restart. We are on the fourth or fifth iteration of attempts to cap the well and it appears BP is close to a solution. I can guarantee you that some of the brightest minds on the planet have been involved in this process.
So, to BP I say, you will find that this event could have been prevented, but I applaud your dedicated efforts since the accident. To the thousands of employees of BP who have been involved in this effort 24/7 for the past 84 days I say thank you.