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29 January 2022
The Only Answer for Counteracting the Gulf Oil Gusher PDF Print E-mail
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by Jan Lundberg, oil industry analyst   
30 May 2010
News Release
For immediate release

Washington, D.C. - If 100,000 barrels a day of crude oil are gushing out of the damaged sea-floor well underneath where BP’s offshore oil rig used to perch, what can be done to offset this pollution immediately? Time is of the essence for the global ecosystem, not just for a part of the Gulf.

The gusher is not abating, for Mother Nature has more power than men can comprehend -- look at the power of an earthquake or a tsunami, or the global climate’s increasing distortion. When out-of-control industrial activity pursues profit at the expense of humanity and nature itself, Mother Earth can get out of control too.

Therefore, all people can do under the circumstances is to stop the flow of oil that actually can be controlled. This means stopping a significant amount of oil extraction and refining anywhere on the planet -- as the ecosystem is all one interconnected closed system -- to the tune of 100,000 barrels a day, or whatever the best estimate of ongoing damage is in the Gulf. BP cannot be trusted to estimate the flow, as it falsely claimed that only 5,000 barrels a day were spewing from the well.

Additionally, the cut back in voluntary oil usage must be large enough to make up for what has already been spewing into the environment in the Gulf disaster. For almost a month and a half the gusher has raged out of control. As failure has dogged the incompetent, irresponsible and criminal BP, with the pro-oil U.S. government refusing to manage the situation or clean up the mess with supertankers vacuuming up the oil, mitigation is clearly overdue. Therefore, the cut back must be significantly over 100,000 barrels of petroleum a day around the world. Arguing about who must cut now, and who does not have to, would be a tragic waste of time. Boycotting BP is wrong-headed if the same amount of oil is purchased overall, for all extracted and refined oil is eventually burned or spilled (except that dumped as solids, such as asphalt, and plastics -- which do not biodegrade and end up in minute amounts in our bodies).

Some oil wells are easier to cap than others, and some capped wells can be brought back into production more easily than others. Enhanced oil recovery and injection of water mean wells are past their prime, so these are the logical candidates for closure. Additionally, some refineries can be closed. Shutting down other BP wells and some of the corporation's refineries first is the right move.

To ease this orderly cutback of supply, consumers must use less oil, such as ceasing car use one day a week. Large cars guzzling fuel must be retired anyway. All plastic (a petroleum product) offered at retail outlets can be refused, both as packaging and content of polluting products. All these measures help people to recognize also that the global peak of oil extraction must be dealt with.

We demand a response to this proposal from President Obama and Congressional leaders. If none is forthcoming immediately, we must take matters into our own hands. We can hear Obama or any other puppet of industry intone, “We mustn’t harm the economy.” However, unabated pollution (going on since the oil industry cranked up a century ago, and coal before that), is the real long-term threat to economic survival. Has Obama and his circle heard of James Lovelock's book Revenge of Gaia?

The oil industry workers in Louisiana who demand continued oil activity for the sake of their jobs, despite the clear damage going on at the disaster site, seem to care not for the welfare of people elsewhere or for the health of nature. A similar mindset has existed with timber workers clear-cutting the few remaining ancient trees. How long must this be accommodated for the sake of "jobs"?

Short-term thinking is the philosophy of extractive industries and polluters. Connected to Wall Street, the big banks and capitalism in general, the forces of private enrichment and greed are stealing from their own offspring and descendants. Policy change from the two-party Big Business game is hopeless, but system change is not. Extractive capitalism is a far cry from acting in such a way to protect the interests of the Seventh Generation, as the Iroquois Nation consciously did for centuries before the European invasion.

Whatever we do anywhere in the ecosystem affects us everywhere. It is not just the Nigerians’ problem when Shell Oil’s facilities poison tribal villages, or Indians’ problem when Chevron-Texaco’s toxic oil waste in the Amazon kills natives and wildlife. The “over there” that U.S. consumers want to forget about is knocking at their door now.


Note: this press release was revised as of May 31.

# # #

Jan Lundberg is a former oil industry analyst who, among other functions, formally studied offshore oil drilling's potential for California on behalf of the oil industry -- resulting in Congress's immediate lifting of the moratorium there in the mid 1980s. He ran Lundberg Survey which published the Lundberg Letter, then known widely as “the bible of the oil industry.”

Further reading:

Oil Gusher in Gulf: Energy Gluttony, not Oil Addiction, is Greater Challenge

No Offshore Oil Drilling: Committee Against Oil Exploration (CAOE)

Ecological Denial on the Gulf Oil Disaster: U.S. Policies Continue Toward Collapse:

Jan Lundberg, oil industry analyst
Culture Change:
(215) 243-3144, voice mail and fax
email: jan "at"

Comments (2)Add Comment
"Have your cake, and eat it too", Is this really an answer? "There comes a time in a man's life that he must decide; just as there comes a time in humanity, that he must also decide". So are we holding on to ideas that all lead to the same terrible place like what is seen in our Gulf (or many other places these same companies pollute). But we can not just push our cars into the ocean, can we? Is that not what the two quotes say above?

An assessment must be made, to what cost are we willing to pay for an idea that endangers the health of our planet, and the wars we each pay for. Just how much is a gallon of gas? When this becomes not about making money; then we will have a solution. But if we were to learn this lesson, then we would have also solved "class, race, a learning education system, medical care, belief systems, government, foreign policy, and so on".

Distracting ourselves from what has been happening, or try to discredit the content, or blame another; in the end, we are only fooling ourselves. So lets push the cars into the sea.
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The fact that this article hasn't reached e.g. The Washington Post by now means that this obvious truth is only dawning slowly.
You say: "We demand a response to this proposal from President Obama and Congressional leaders. If none is forthcoming immediately, we must take matters into our own hands." This call must be made loudly. All the sustainable energy technology that could never get backing - that time has come. And if not through government or business, still fixated on power, then in our own back yards.
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