Paper 2 and haiku (blog 8)

Deep trouble after Deepwater

Were they malprepared?

Not capping the well brought hell

Why did this happen?

For paper two I want to write about the ethical and environmental issues that surround bp, with the use of Deepwater Horizon as proof that the company was not prepared for the spill, which thus shows how they are not concentrated on the environment or other issues but rather just money and shareholders. I believe a case for deontology can be made as well—let the means justify the end. It seems like with how long it took the company to contain the spill, as well as other stories of the company cutting corners and costs to save money and give shareholders more money.
One main issue many people have with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is how long it took bp to contain the spill. In the article, one expert explains that, “The well could have been capped in seven days if the company had invested in a source control plan, Ziegler said. “They spent zero dollars on source control” Bp ultimately took 87 to finally cap the well. He says that if they hadn’t misestimated the size of the spill, it could have been fixed much more quickly, or if they even invested some money the situation could have been resolved with much less damage to both the company, environment, and everyone affected.
Many people also wonder why capping the well wasn’t the first thing bp tried to do. While bp says it’s because the size of the spill was too big to cap, others think differently. “BP kept changing plans to stanch the Macondo well and even changed drilling ships as staging areas, Ziegler testified. “By the time they capped the well in mid-July it was their sixth different plan.” The fact that bp had no secure plan in the first place is a red flag. And the fact that they didn’t execute and try one single plan fully shows how unprepared they really were. Having to try six different plans—shouldn’t they have had one to begin with in their disaster relief plans?
Going along with the last question just posed, after reading the article it seems as though bp never had a very adequate plan to handle a blowout in the first place. One witness explains that, “It looks like they were all written by the same group using cut-and-paste technology…the industry seemed to handle blowouts on a “case-by-case basis.” It looks like instead of really caring and planning ahead to have a truly effective blowout plan in place, bp just went with the flow, probably hoping for the best that nothing ever blew up—unfortunately something did. What seems like bp’s negligence to even have a true plan is a real problem. Leaving such a huge thing like a blowout with no true plan is dangerous and reckless. The amount of people, animals, livelihood’s, etc., the oil spill caused is obscene. What makes it all worse is that it’s been years and it’s still a problem amongst us with oil still in the ocean and people and animals still in trouble. What’s also sad is that it seems like the spill could have been prevented if the right measures were just taken.

7 thoughts on “Deep trouble after Deepwater

  1. Pingback: Oil Spill Response Limited – ‘The Cap Story’ – YouTube | oceanNRG

  2. This will be a great topic, one I really considered. In large companies, trying to save save save to earn earn earn, who is to blame. The CEO, the plan makers, the men who followed orders, or simply everyone who didn’t care to ask enough questions and think for themselves.

  3. I think you may want to focus either on the safety culture pre-spill or in how it handled the spill. There is a wealth of info here and you can get swamped or blown out ( 🙂 ).

    The end justifies the means, is what deontology is CRITICAL of, so we are clear. There must be ends unto themselves in deontology.

    You might look for articles linking Kantian or deontological ethics to some aspect of this.

    • For example, I put deepwater and deontology in

      There was this…

      Konopka, A. (2013). Public, Ecological and Normative Goods: The Case of Deepwater Horizon. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 16(2), 188–207. doi:10.1080/21550085.2013.801205


      This paper identifies the duty to care for the public interest in the commonly valued ecological goods of the Gulf as one of the basic essential features of the moral significance of the federal policies that govern the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. I argue that the Clean Water Act and the Oil Protection Act implicitly provide for a communitarian interpretation of the public and ecological goods of this event that warrants a virtue ethical account of normativity that is ultimately expressed in the duty to care, a duty that is one of the central moral principles that underlies the punitive damages doctrine.

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