I found this story from the New York Times by way of MSNBC. I have been reading about the situation over in the Niger Delta for a couple of years now and it has only gotten grimmer with time. Exxon and Shell are the major players there but it makes you wonder how accurate their testimony before Congress was when they tried to paint themselves as entirely different beasts from BP. Especially when they all presented virtually identical emergency management plans which included the same dead scientist's contact info and provided for protecting the same endangered species that don't live in the gulf.
This Mother Jones story came to me by way of Russ's Filtered News. The author makes some very carefully balanced points that we should keep in mind. It raised a question or two that has rattled around in my brain for some time now. Who do you trust in this modern world of ours? Years ago the question surfaced (in my consciousness--older people may have similar memories that go back further) in the controversies over the health effects of DDT and cigarettes. For every study showing the harm in these, and later, products the industries produced other studies showing the opposite. For years we have been bombarded with the studies showing the harm, or lack of harm, in red meat, high cholesterol, coffee, eggs, sugar, sugar substitutes with experts on both sides of the issue. Which expert do you believe and to what extent? And you can't really trust statistics either. To say that deepwater drilling hasn't had a blowout in 30 years is nice. It may even be an enviable safety record that bodes well for the future. Deepwater Horizon shows, however, that the past may not be as sure fire an indicator of the future and that when the 'unlikely' disaster does happen it can be totally catastrophic.