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Old 06-24-2010, 08:03 AM   #541
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... But in all such cases you need on site regulation of some form and you need a corporate safety culture that BP lacks. ....

BPs failed safety culture was the subject of several investigations .....[/url]

The company is simply a disaster waiting to happen
I agree with all that (at least as I understand it from the general reports we have).

But as a US Citizen, I keep asking - If BPs failed safety culture is so well known, and so well documented, and we 'know' that disaster was imminent, why didn't the regulators shut them down to protect the GOM?

I don't recall an answer from you on that in these 500 plus posts to this thread.

Now here's the thing - to some of us, you are appearing to come across as a 'shill' for the US Govt (and/or regulators in general). I hear "BP=BAD" in every other sentence, yet I can't recall a single question or suspicion from you regarding the responsibility/competency of the regulators. Such apparent bias undermines the rest of what you say for many of us.

I'm not saying that as any sort of personal attack or to stir things up or to be disagreeable. I just feel that I can't give your statements much credence when they appear to be so biased.

Perhaps the bias I detect is a product of my own misunderstanding of what I'm reading from you. But it does not appear that I am alone in that regard, so I don't think so. So perhaps you can expand on the role of the regulators for us? Else, I will also choose to stop listening to you, despite what appears to be considerable knowledge/experience in some of these matters.

-ERD50
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:12 AM   #542
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I answered the speech. It was not a question. The fact that we cant get perfection does not ever mean we have to tolerate shitty awful, in class or companies. Companies, countries and industries range from the pretty good to the shitty awful. And yes I have over 35 years experience examining safety regulation in a number of countries all over over the world. I've chaired international conferences on safety regulation. I'm organizing one right now. I teach engineering system failure and how the regulatory system interacts with the design process.
Again, a non-answer only a gasbag Congressman could love. What is so difficult about naming a couple of companies that meet your unique criteria for excellence?

If, after all your self-serving dedicated efforts (Thanks, Rustic, for the summary) there aren't any good companies out there, maybe it's not the companies that need to implement a new program... This smacks of another thread about grading teachers, where the consensus from the educators was that is was impossible to judge their effectivesness. This appears to be another straw-man argumant to support that. Bragging about teaching a curriculum that all corporations are evil and can't be trusted without you there to police them (to a class of wide-eyed liberal college kids eager to change the world); arguing for self-serving regulations and gloating over product recalls of decades-old products; and touting your self-made "safety"credentials in any and every field out there (Food Science, Aviation Design , Construction materials, etc. ) makes me question who is really fleecing who.

Here's a simple question- can you direct us to a source to some of your Congressional testimony? (It's Public Information, anyway) Maybe a quick trip through a transcript or two would enlighten some of us lumpen proles....
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:35 AM   #543
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In case you missed it, I am talking about PREVENTING the spills by improving the inspection process PRIOR to a catastrophe. I'm talking about issuing fines and repercussion for failure to drill in compliance with approved submitted plans. The big complaint people seem to have is that BP took shortcuts that weren't approved in their submitted plans (even though the investigation has not be concluded yet). I'm talking about fining a speeder going 10 over on the highway, and you seem to want to charge the speeder with reckless driving.
What your wrote was:
"The inspector goes out find the blowout preventer is the wrong size for the job it is supposed to do. It takes two weeks to replace the preventer. The inspector gives the company two weeks to get the job done and levys a $5000, $10000, $20000, whatever fine for deviating from the approved plans. The error could simply be an oversight, or it could be intentional. It's called giving people the benefit of the doubt."

I said "what doubt?" There is no doubt in your example that they don't have the right equipment.. In the regulatory world, THAT IS ENOUGH It doesnt matter why. Its a violation right there. Strict liability internalizes the desire to comply rather than the desire to come ups with creative excuses
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:37 AM   #544
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Again, a non-answer only a gasbag Congressman could love. What is so difficult about naming a couple of companies that meet your unique criteria for excellence? ...

Please quote where I not you set this "criteria"

full quote
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:42 AM   #545
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I agree with all that (at least as I understand it from the general reports we have).

But as a US Citizen, I keep asking - If BPs failed safety culture is so well known, and so well documented, and we 'know' that disaster was imminent, why didn't the regulators shut them down to protect the GOM?

I don't recall an answer from you on that in these 500 plus posts to this thread.

Now here's the thing - to some of us, you are appearing to come across as a 'shill' for the US Govt (and/or regulators in general). I hear "BP=BAD" in every other sentence, yet I can't recall a single question or suspicion from you regarding the responsibility/competency of the regulators. Such apparent bias undermines the rest of what you say for many of us.

I'm not saying that as any sort of personal attack or to stir things up or to be disagreeable. I just feel that I can't give your statements much credence when they appear to be so biased.

Perhaps the bias I detect is a product of my own misunderstanding of what I'm reading from you. But it does not appear that I am alone in that regard, so I don't think so. So perhaps you can expand on the role of the regulators for us? Else, I will also choose to stop listening to you, despite what appears to be considerable knowledge/experience in some of these matters.

-ERD50
Regulators fail routinely . The World Trade center was a disaster waiting to happen. The FAA screws up regularly . The operational design of the minerals management service was a disaster and its performance fell below any standard of care.. The British Board of trades regulation of the TITANIC was a disgrace.

my point is that these failures are not relevant to the failure by the industry, who by law have a non delegable duty to comply with the safety regulations and to avoid harming people property or the environment. failure by the policeman does not mitigate the action of the lawbreaker
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:31 AM   #546
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Regulators fail routinely .

... The operational design of the minerals management service was a disaster and its performance fell below any standard of care..
At last - Thank you!

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my point is that these failures are not relevant to the failure by the industry, who by law have a non delegable duty to comply with the safety regulations and to avoid harming people property or the environment. failure by the policeman does not mitigate the action of the lawbreaker
This is where you go into la-la land for me.

I agree that BP has to take responsibility, I never said other-wise. But the way you state this, I can't imagine why we have inspectors at all. You say the company is just supposed to do the 'right thing'.

I'm not saying failure of the regulators relieves BP of any responsibility, but I am saying that if I had beach property in the GOM, I would also be upset that the regulators did not shut down BP before the mess, considering all the supposed evidence of their incompetence and impending disaster.

So, action should be taken against BP. But, what action should be taken regarding the regulators for their poor operational design and its 'performance below any standard of care..'?

And I don't mean some show like replacing the head of MMS, I mean punitive and structural changes. They screwed up by not shutting down BP.

-ERD50
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:45 AM   #547
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I said "what doubt?" There is no doubt in your example that they don't have the right equipment.. In the regulatory world, THAT IS ENOUGH It doesnt matter why. Its a violation right there. Strict liability internalizes the desire to comply rather than the desire to come ups with creative excuses
I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall (edited to remove inflammatory language). You want to shut the rig down completely for something that could be a simple mistake. That is heavy handed. I can see doing it your way, if the company routinely makes the same mistake, then a pattern can be established. That would mean there is no mistake and they are attempting to get a way with substandard building. The fact that they don't have the correct equipment is handled thorough the fining process, NOT shutting down operations. One is corrective the other is punitive.

To tell you how many simple errors companies make, I currently work in an area the has high regulatory requirements. We can fine for something as simple as incorrect paperwork. We have roughly 10-15 sets of paperwork come to our office every week. We write fines for mistakes about once a month. The same five or six companies submit paperwork week in and week out. Yet we are still able to fine about one company per month for not having the paperwork correct. This does not mean they are trying to get away with something, it's just simple mistakes. A close friend builds houses to be used as rental properties he owns. He has a list of stuff that he needs to have placed in his houses. About every two or three weeks he has to return something because the wrong item was delivered. Often it is discovered because my friend is the person ordering and installing the supplies. When working on a large projects often the engineer does not order or install the widgets needed to build. Similarly the ordering agent does not come up with the list of required equipment or install anything. The person installing the equipment most likely does not know what the engineer called for or what the ordering clerk was supposed to order. With so many disconnects it is very difficult to prove an intent large enough to completely shut down an operation. A company's self inspection should catch these errors, but it isn't very smart to have a company's self regulation as the only means of keeping them in compliance.
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:52 AM   #548
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At last - Thank you!



This is where you go into la-la land for me.

I agree that BP has to take responsibility, I never said other-wise. But the way you state this, I can't imagine why we have inspectors at all. You say the company is just supposed to do the 'right thing'.

I'm not saying failure of the regulators relieves BP of any responsibility, but I am saying that if I had beach property in the GOM, I would also be upset that the regulators did not shut down BP before the mess, considering all the supposed evidence of their incompetence and impending disaster.

So, action should be taken against BP. But, what action should be taken regarding the regulators for their poor operational design and its 'performance below any standard of care..'?

And I don't mean some show like replacing the head of MMS, I mean punitive and structural changes. They screwed up by not shutting down BP.

-ERD50
Of course we have to fix both regulators and regulations. But taxpayers have to decide if they want to pay what it cost to have first class regulatory systems. In general they don't
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Old 06-24-2010, 09:54 AM   #549
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I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall (edited to remove inflammatory language). You want to shut the rig down completely for something that could be a simple mistake..
If a hospital is crawling with infection you take action \NOW

Whatever it takes.
IT DOESNT MATTER WHY
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:06 AM   #550
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If a hospital is crawling with infection you take action \NOW

Whatever it takes.
IT DOESNT MATTER WHY
If a hospital is crawling with infection it is too late to prevent it (the blowout preventer has failed).
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:22 AM   #551
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This thread is crawling with infection.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:17 AM   #552
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Of course we have to fix both regulators and regulations. But taxpayers have to decide if they want to pay what it cost to have first class regulatory systems. In general they don't
It doesn't seem to work that way. I didn't want to pay for Cash for Clunkers, or most of the energy rebates or subsidies that our Govt enacts, but they did them anyway.

So I think I'll give up at this point, as your "shill for the US Govt" side is showing strong again. You finally admitted the regulators have faults, but now it is not their fault that they have faults. It's the taxpayers fault. The Govt can do no wrong, I guess.

I know a brick wall the 99th time I've run into it.

I think I've been reminded of how the term "Ivory Tower" came to be applied to academics.

-ERD50
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:29 AM   #553
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It doesn't seem to work that way. I didn't want to pay for Cash for Clunkers, or most of the energy rebates or subsidies that our Govt enacts, but they did them anyway.

So I think I'll give up at this point, as your "shill for the US Govt" side is showing strong again. You finally admitted the regulators have faults, but now it is not their fault that they have faults. It's the taxpayers fault. The Govt can do no wrong, I guess.

I know a brick wall the 99th time I've run into it.

I think I've been reminded of how the term "Ivory Tower" came to be applied to academics.

-ERD50
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:30 PM   #554
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+1, and I'm out of popcorn. Still have beer left.


A practical question to any chemists. What is the fuel (caloric or btu) value of the semi-dried oil blobs found on the beach? I know heating oil is about 134000 btu/gal. Are they any good fer setting beach bonfires?

Not really interested in the legal liability, malpractice or EPA issues of burning said blobs. Though I'm sure for some those are non-negotiable points. Can we say cheap fuel free for the taking?

Yeah, I know there would be transportation costs, and the precursor cost of having drilled the well.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:34 PM   #555
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This thread is crawling with infection.
That is an understatement.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:01 PM   #556
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What we need to do now is shift the 411,000 Census Workers who will be unemployed soon over to tar-ball collection duty; it would clean up the beaches and create an another additional 411,000 jobs, if I follow the new Administration match correctly. BP can take credit for solving the unemployment crisis! We could offer them subsidies for each job created, they might end up making money on the deal, after all, their project truly is shovel-ready.

Thread jack over. We now return to the "Big Government=Good, Big Industry=Bad, and I told You So" blog-athon..
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:14 PM   #557
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It doesn't seem to work that way. I didn't want to pay for Cash for Clunkers, or most of the energy rebates or subsidies that our Govt enacts, but they did them anyway.

So I think I'll give up at this point, as your "shill for the US Govt" side is showing strong again. You finally admitted the regulators have faults, but now it is not their fault that they have faults. It's the taxpayers fault. The Govt can do no wrong, I guess.

I know a brick wall the 99th time I've run into it.

I think I've been reminded of how the term "Ivory Tower" came to be applied to academics.

-ERD50
Of course regulators have faults. The FDA and Plan B was a demonstration of regulatory failure in the face of a politically powerful religious right . We also hire too few of them, and pay them too little, and put political hacks in charge. In many cases it's worse at the state level.
The programs you mention are not regulatory. They are part of the government trough that exists in most cases to funnnel unearned money to well connected corporations. You can add agricultural subsidies to the list.
Military procurement is another example of government waste.

I was not asked my opinion on what was screwed up in the US government.

I'll be happy to give lots of examples.






.


We have a Republican form of government.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:24 PM   #558
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I was not asked my opinion on what was screwed up in the US government. I'll be happy to give lots of examples.
Please enlighten us.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:25 PM   #559
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+1, and I'm out of popcorn. Still have beer left.


A practical question to any chemists. What is the fuel (caloric or btu) value of the semi-dried oil blobs found on the beach? I know heating oil is about 134000 btu/gal. Are they any good fer setting beach bonfires?
.
You need to separate the calorific value from the ignitability. Almost all hydrocarbons have a very narrow range of calorific value
Calorific values of solid, liquid and gaseous fuels 3.11.4
Raw oil is a mix of heavy and light components. Tar balls tend to be high in heavy oil, which has plenty of caloric value but almost nothing that evaporates easily. So you can add them to your bonfire, but not start your bonfire with it. What burned in the Mt Blanc tunnel fire was margarine. It took a truck fire to get the margarine going. The most amazing stuff will burn very nicely once you have a fire around to get it started.. When you try to burn an oil spill you have to do it early before the volatiles evaporate.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:49 PM   #560
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Please enlighten us.
There is probably more money wasted in military procurement than anywhere else, simply because they have more to spend on buying stuff that you don't have to prove can work. While the medical side of the VA is amazingly improved, the benefits side is stuck in the dark ages. "Gaming" of the Social security disability system is constant. The entire government hiring process is ludicrous. In some regulatory agencies the focus on real science died years ago. Anyone who wants to see a government that is dysfunctional at all levels should only look at the ongoing air force tanker procurement. The response to Katrina was a national disgrace and nothing absolutely nothing has really changed
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