Another Oil Rig Explodes: Is It BP All Over Again?

Cynthia Dermody

oil rigFive months after the worst oil spill in United State's history, another oil production rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico this morning forcing 13 workers into the chilly water but ... and here's where we all breathe a big sigh of relief ... no oil was spilled into the already jeopardized waters.

All that is really good news, but it still doesn't take away from WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON DOWN THERE WITH ALL THESE FAULTY OIL RIGS?! THIS IS SOME SCARY STUFF PEOPLE!!!

Because, really, this was another very close call. Unlike the BP well, which was underwater deep in the ocean, the Mariner Energy rig was an above the water oil platform (similar to the one pictured), a large structure used to house workers and machinery needed to drill wells in the ocean bed, extract oil and natural gas, process the produced fluids, and ship or pipe them to shore.

Oh, something like this can still do damage, but it has less potential to do so than the blown-out BP well. For one, the platform rested about 340 feet above the ocean floor, a lot less than the 5,000 feet in the case of the BP well.

President Obama was informed of the accident this morning, but no official announcement from him is forthcoming as of yet. Things seem under control there, all 13 men who had to jump into the water with protective suits and wait to be helicoptered to safety are okay, so what would he say except express relief?

Obama has been slammed for his mishandling of the BP oil spill and hampering cleanup efforts, including turning down offers from foreign companies to help clean up the spill to protect American unions, taking actions that prevented Louisiana from protecting its shoreline, among other bad choices tied to political motivations. It's not like I'm glued to the TV or monitoring CNN all day long, so I'm not sure how his administration is planning to deal with situations like this in the future, but so far I haven't heard much. If there are preventative measures in the works, I wish he -- and his media puppies -- would be a lot more vocal about them.

In our town, when we have more than a handful of car accidents on a particular street in a given period of time, the police take note and get the patrols out there, or they get the highway department to install more signs or fix the road or something.

The Houston-based Mariner Energy platform explosion today was a near-miss, but it was also a sign and a wake-up call. It's time we start hearing some serious solutions and preventative measures coming out of Washington pretty darn fast, because next time, we all might not be so lucky.


Image via kenhodge13/Flickr

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