Virtual Front Page, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Running a bit late, here are the top stories this evening:

  1. Obama Reaffirms Afghan Commitment (WSJ) — “But on the sidelines of the summit, advisers to both governments raised concerns that the administration still has yet to put together a coherent civilian strategy to match the military campaign now being executed by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the allied war commander.”
  2. House overrides cig tax veto, 90 to 29 ( — Now, it’s up to the Senate, which has shown in the past it is fully capable of blowing such an opportunity.
  3. Hydraulic Leak Cited as Possible Cause of Spill (NYT) — And the crude keeps gushing into the Gulf, for the fourth week.
  4. Cameron and Clegg: We are united (BBC) — So say the heads of Britain’s first coalition government in decades.
  5. U.S. Probes Morgan Stanley (WSJ) — Just the gummint’s little way of saying, Goldman, you ain’t so special.
  6. Minorities Frisked More but Arrested at Same Rate (NYT) — OK, it’s just a local New York story, but I found it interesting.

One thought on “Virtual Front Page, Wednesday, May 12, 2010

  1. Mark Stewart

    I think the thing about the spill in the Gulf that is so unsettling to contemplate is that the mechanical device that I was only vaguely aware of – a BOP to provide an emergency shut-off capability on the sea-floor in an emergency – is apparently designed with almost no real redundancy protections, just some different funcionality features. The fact that most other undersea drilling sites use the same structure provides zero comfort that this event is unlikely to happen again absent significant re-engineering and rebuilding at depth. Given the number of deep-sea wells, this feels like a decades long project spanning the globe.

    I’d say what we have here is a systemic problem. There may be specific issues and accusations that arise out of the handling of this well’s explosion that I will never be able to technically grasp, but it is painfully obvious that everyone involved needs to go back to the drawing boards here. And the fix isn’t likely to be as simple as mandating double hulled tanker ships as after the Exxon Valdez spill.

    Deep-sea drilling doesn’t seem to be beyond our technological abilities, but it does seem apparent that it will need to be done in a much nore conservative manner more like what the nuclear industry (I hope) practices. At 5,000 feet of ocean depth, complete emergency shut-off redundancy just seems like an essential design component.

Comments are closed.