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X Prize To Offer Millions For Gulf Oil Cleanup Solution

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  • by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @12:42PM (#33057858)
    Can't see how we can repair untold environmental damage, merely cover up some of the more obvious scars - but we sure can prevent it from happening again. Prosecute AND JAIL top executives... then keep going right up into the political appointee's whose job it is to police them. Then maybe we might have a chance of not seeing them happen again in 50 years or so.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You only prosecute and jail if something illegal was done, not to prove a point. I'm not saying they didn't do anything illegal, they very well might have. If they didn't though, it's purely a civil matter and should not end in jail time.

      • by wizardforce (1005805) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @12:57PM (#33058116) Journal

        Their company knowingly violated over 700 safety regulations and they knowingly ignored their own engineers in order to rush the project, Why shouldn't they be held accountable? The 11 deaths that resulted from the explosion alone are a good enough reason to lock these guys in prison let alone the billions of dollars in jobs and the ecosystem they destroyed through negligence.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Their company knowingly violated over 700 safety regulations and they knowingly ignored their own engineers in order to rush the project

          They should be charges with negligent homicide. That's what you're charged with if you break the regulation against driving drunk and someone dies; twelve workers died when it exploded.

          But in the US, a rich and powerfull man only goes to prison if a richer and more powerful man wants him there. Prisons are mostly for poor people.

        • is going to be hard.

          Or do we just arbitrarily punish people based on job title? Maybe we can just zing the ones with high salaries!

          Get them where it hurts, the pocketbook. Nice large fines to be used to better the safety of the industry as a whole. Set it equal to the costs to clean up the mess plus at least a quarter's or more profit. Stock holders won't take kindly to a board that allows this to go on long.

          Jailing executives over decisions underlings performed would be great, but damn why not start wi

        • by khallow (566160)

          Their company knowingly violated over 700 safety regulations

          Did they? Then why was the well allowed in the first place? And how many of those regulations need to be violated in order to run an oil drilling business in the US? My view here is that you can go to any industrial facility in the US and find a few dozen safety regulation violations, if the inspector is willing to be hard-nosed about it. BP would have been subject to a lot of hard-nosed inspections of a lot of facilities in the wake of a media event like Deepwater Horizon. That's just the nature of the bur

      • You only prosecute and jail if something illegal was done, not to prove a point. I'm not saying they didn't do anything illegal, they very well might have. If they didn't though, it's purely a civil matter and should not end in jail time.

        You aren't making any sense. We prosecute to prove the point that someone needs to go to jail. If it looks as though someone, say, willfully violated safety regulations over 760 times in a three year period where the next most egregious offender had all of nine willful violations, I'd say that is enough evidence to warrant a thorough, crawl up their ass with a microscope sort of criminal investigation.

      • by cgenman (325138)

        If I knowingly let my car rot to the point where a wheel falls off on the freeway and kills a bystander, I'm liable for manslaughter. If there are 700 violations of safety regulations that someone approved of, which let an oil platform rot to the point where it exploded killing 10, why are they not liable for manslaughter?

        • by ultranova (717540)

          If there are 700 violations of safety regulations that someone approved of, which let an oil platform rot to the point where it exploded killing 10, why are they not liable for manslaughter?

          Because they are rich enough to own an oil platform.

          Everyone is equal before the law, but some are more equal than others.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jellomizer (103300)

      Yes Executives Must Pay with Jail TIme. Because they Micromanage Everything to such a detail level that they know about Everything that is going on at all times. Usually at the Executive Level for Large Corporations they are just looking at the final set of numbers... Unit Produced Revenue earned... The Real people responsible are the Middle Managers who are trying to fight their way up to the top cut safety just to get the impressive numbers to make the CEO happy. That isn't to say the CEO isn't respons

      • by Surt (22457)

        If they aren't taking responsibility for having safety-first policies that put profits second, then yes, they are indeed responsible for a failure of management that should land them in jail. Setting a direction is their job. Choosing to go for short term profits at the expense of safety is a direction that they determine. Send them to jail for life. The next guy in the job will be much more likely not to take those chances.

      • I don't buy it.

        Mistakes happen, sure, but disregarding 700 safety regulations is a "mistake"? If not outright bribing, encouraging widespread ethics violations by throwing parties with gov't regulators is a mistake? This was policy and corporations don't make policy, people do, specifically those at the top.

        The result of those policies is 11 people dead and billions of dollars in damage to people living on the Gulf Coast. That's nice that you think intent is more important than results here. But I wan
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by russ1337 (938915)
        I learned that lesson during my Officer training. It was my final 'lead' assessment, and we were on a patrol against hostile forces. My team had been briefed twice that day on the Rules of Engagement (ROE) by me, and my 2IC was briefed by me a third time as well as he had to give the brief to another group. I'd then checked understanding of the ROE with the group after he'd done so. We went on patrol and encountered enemy. We had one of the enemy guys cornered and he 'surrendered' walking toward my squad w
    • by erroneus (253617)

      Part of prevention is having a cure. Personally, I think all such activities should be halted until such time that a working and tested plan is in place for every similar disaster such as this. People have already been screaming that it would do this and that to the economy and literally ban offshore drilling forever. But this is pretty normal for lots of other industries. You can't even have a building to work in without loads of fire prevention and contingency devices. We still have buildings. We ha

  • Tough problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GrumblyStuff (870046) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @12:46PM (#33057948)

    Oil on the surface is just a sheen. Oil below is mixed with water and dispersants. Oil on the beaches is mixed into marshes and sand.

    That's a lot of stuff to churn and in doing so, greatly affects everything living in it.

    Perhaps we could keep in mind that "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

  • SpongeZilla (Score:5, Funny)

    by Major Downtime (1840554) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @12:48PM (#33057976)
    SpongeBob and Godzilla should have children, so we can dip an enormous SpongeBob into the spill.
  • by Cloud K (125581) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @12:49PM (#33058002)

    When I first glanced at "mapping genomes" I thought it said "mopping gnomes" and had this RPG inspired vision of gnomes on boats (clockwork/steampunk) using these special oil-soaking mops.

    You have become better at Oil Mopping! (28)

    • by daveime (1253762)

      1. Collect underpants
      2. Mop up oil spill
      3. Profit !

      Yes, finally, a working business plan for Underpants Gnomes

  • according to some reports. If by chance it does dissipate to a degree that a gulf oil cleanup solution beyond what is already being done isn't necessary, I hereby claim that idea as mine and will await X Prize's communications requesting a destination US bank account.

  • So, where can I collect my money?
  • by Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @01:01PM (#33058206)
    This is not the first oil spill in the world. There are companies who do ocean oil cleanup all the time, but can't do it in the U.S. because of EPA regulations. You see, according to the EPA, any water dumped INTO the gulf can't have > 15ppm of oil. A skimmer will suck up oil and water, separate them, then discharge the water. If they can get 90% of the oil out, that's good, right? In the rest of the world, yes. In the world controlled by the EPA, no - they'd rather leave 100% of the oil in the water, rather than allow a skimmer to get most of it.

    If you suck dirty water out of the gulf, and put back not-so-dirty water, isn't that better than leaving ALL the dirty water there? Hello, EPA? How long did it take them to waive this STUPID regulation?
  • Does the winner... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Peet42 (904274) <Peet42.Netscape@net> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @01:07PM (#33058266)
    ...get to keep all the oil they collect?
  • WHY? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by retech (1228598) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @01:17PM (#33058406)
    Why is someone OTHER than BP paying for this? This is just like asking for volunteers to help clean the waterfowl etc. To clean this up the BP board should be hauled in (with a gun to their head if needed) and forced to clean it up with their own fucking money and their own hands. WHY tax payers and any other private source is putting one cent into this is beyond me.

    They wanted the profit, they can accept the consequences.
    • by tool462 (677306)

      Pragmatism. While BP absolutely should be shouldering the full cost of this cleanup--and no doubt the gov't will seek recompense for the public money spent--in the time it takes for BP to comply, destruction of the environment and the livelihoods of those who work and live there continues. That needs to be fixed first before you worry too much exactly who is paying for it.

      There's a blind intersection in a strip mall parking lot near my house that has a stop sign going in one direction, but not the other.

    • Someone other than BP is paying for this because while BP does whatever it is that it's doing, there are some organizations in this world that actually do recognize a shitfest when they see it and, despite it not being their fault, those same organizations recognize that after the shit has hit the fan, the responsible thing to do is to clean up all the shit, not stand around and point fingers at each other saying, "It was YOU that threw the shit balloon at the fan!"

      I, for one, am glad that there are at l
    • by khallow (566160)

      To clean this up the BP board should be hauled in (with a gun to their head if needed) and forced to clean it up with their own fucking money and their own hands.

      Whoa, we have achieved Internet Tough Guy. Last I checked BP is already spending a considerable bit of its money cleaning up the mess and probably will end spending more. This also doesn't address the issue of why BP was allowed to get away with a seriously off-regulation well. In other words, BP is already being punished, while other parties (the ones that should have been regulating BP) are not. So at the least, your rant seems terribly misguided.

  • The Dutch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Thelasko (1196535)
    Apparently, the Dutch have developed the technology to clean up the oil spill long ago. [publicradio.org] Unfortunately, for various [wikipedia.org] reasons, [wikipedia.org] they aren't allowed to use it.
    • by Thelasko (1196535)
      Forgive me for the bad link above. My browser had issues and I couldn't check it before I submitted. One of those links should be to the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. [wikipedia.org]
    • the article mentions two private companies with some suggestions for how they can make money off the oil spill.

      first guy says "buy my sweeper arms" and "don't use dispersant". Even the article admits that they are using his sweeper arms now. the EPA must have given them a waiver! who would have thought they could do that? the utility of dispersants a mile below sea level is a huge question mark. it might turn out to be the best thing BP did. it might turn out to be a huge environmental disaster.

      the sec

    • Re:The Dutch (Score:5, Informative)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @03:35PM (#33060562) Homepage

      Apparently, the Dutch have developed the technology to clean up the oil spill long ago. Unfortunately, for various reasons, they aren't allowed to use it.

      Actually, if you bother to read the article you linked to - they are using it in the Gulf. But rant away, it's linkage that makes you look cool and informative - not the contents of the link.

  • Involves taking chickens... ok, i see i got your attention there, putting them in the gulf. Then selling their remains to kfc. Not only is this totally green but profitable but extremely tasty.

  • Kevin Costner. He has the answer.

  • 1 - Design a cheap "cleanup kit" that almost anyone can afford, or a small range of cleanup kits.
    2 - Design a process for turning the gunk harvested by the above "cleanup kits" into usable oil.
    3 - Pay people to bring in barrels of the gunk, sell the oil back into the supply chain. ...
    5a - Profit!!
    5b - Cleanup!!

    This is a combination jest/serious. Probably the biggest problem would be making step 2 cheap enough that you can pay people for barrels of gunk, yet still sell the oil back into the supply chain.

The person who's taking you to lunch has no intention of paying.

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