What do former President Bill Clinton and Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Georgia) have in common?
Both Clinton and Gingrey are now on record as suggesting that the navy should take over the operation from BP and blow up the well.
The basic idea seems to be that they could drill one or more shafts parallel to the well shaft and about ten feet away and then fill them with high explosive which when detonated would collapse the actual well shaft inward, sealing itself. These parallel shafts would be only about ten feet deep (in contrast to the 10,000 feet that the relief well is being drilled into the rock as we speak.)
I HOPE the reason this was not done is because whatever Clinton and Gingrey may have said, there are technical problems that make it as daunting or as risky as the methods that have been tried (which is possible, because politicians sometimes have been known to make suggestions about things they really don't understand very well.)
However, a disturbing couple of lines pops up if you read today's article (the one on Clinton endorsing the plan.)
There has been some pressure for BP to simply blow up the well, with critics suggesting the company is forgoing that option out of a desire to get as much oil as possible from the rig.
"If we demolish the well using explosives, the investment's gone," former nuclear submarine officer and a visiting scholar on nuclear policy at Columbia University Christopher Brownfield said in a Fox News interview in May. "They lose hundreds of millions of dollars from the drilling of the well, plus no lawmaker in his right mind would allow BP to drill again in that same spot. So basically, it's an all-or-nothing thing with BP: They either keep the well alive, or they lose their whole investment and all the oil that they could potentially get from that well."
IF that is the reason why this has not been done but in fact explosives could have sealed this well much earlier then we should all be disturbed. Disturbed and outraged. I've assumed that the reason BP hasn't yet stopped the leak is because they tried and failed. But if they could have stopped it and instead failed to do so intentionally purely for the purpose of protecting their 'investment' (at whatever cost to those onshore) then that decision would qualify as a crime and they should be made to pay for it.