The Deepwater Horizon Disaster:
Changing the World Forever
“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”
-Richard P. Feynman
The United Sates has an insatiable thirst for petroleum. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, the U.S. consumed 6.99 billion barrels of refined petroleum products in 2010 or roughly 19.14 million barrels per day (U.S. Energy, How much 1). With only 4.5 percent of the world’s population, the United States consumed 25 percent of the oil produced (Cunningham 293). Besides the obvious usage in automobiles, petroleum products are inexplicitly interwoven figuratively and literally in the everyday life of Americans.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “petroleum products include transportation fuels, fuel oils for heating and electricity generation, asphalt and road oil, and the feedstocks used to make chemicals, plastics, and synthetic materials found in nearly everything we use today” (U.S. Energy Frequently Asked 1). The United States and the industrialized countries of the world, and more recently the developing countries, have created a prolific market for oil with an incredible profit potential for the companies producing it.
Add to this dilemma is the reluctance of the auto industry, politicians, and consumers to demand a higher MPG automobile. Equally important has been the slow acceptance of renewable forms of energy which could conserve fuel and contribute to diminishing the impact of global warming and burning fossil fuels.
A “Perfect Storm” was created April 2010, when a powerful and very wealthy, politically connected, and corrupt corporation- British Petroleum or BP, virtually ignored fundamental safety precautions on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Forcing the rig’s crew to meet a deadline, to add a few...