Rick MacPherson succinctly sums up the Congressional hearings on the oil spill. As with most disasters, cascading human and technical failures led to the blowout.
Stupak focused on all the problems with the blowout preventer whose job it was to shut off the pipe in the event something went wrong. Suffice it to say, there appears to have been many. The problems ranged from a dead battery, to equipment that was improperly wired, to other equipment that was too underpowered to seal off the pipe.
Many words will likely come to the minds of those who hear the details of all the things that went wrong. “Competence” probably won’t be one of them.
Meanwhile, a video was released of oil and gas streaming from the pipe on the sea floor.
The Boston Globe’s Big Picture has stunning and depressing photos of the oil spill.
Bradford Plumer at the New Republic argues that the press is undercovering the spill because there are not enough heart-wrenching photos of dead animals, crediting the use of dispersants. Nature has a feature on the science of dispersants:
In the longer term, the Deepwater Horizon accident response has begun what is, to all intents and purposes, a giant experiment on dispersant use.