Exxon CEO: Oil Industry is "Not Well Equipped" to Deal With Spills


Image via Newsweek

I don't get it. I really don't. Both Democratic and Republican politicians are up in arms about the offshore drilling moratorium, attacking the president for suspending further operations in deep waters. They insist that the BP Gulf spill was some kind of one-in-a-million accident, an "act of God" according to one Governor, and that we shouldn't be too worried about it happening again. And yet, here, in front of the nation on live television, the CEO of the biggest private oil company of them all, Exxon, admits frankly that the entire industry is "not well equipped to prevent any and all damage" from such oil spills. His words. Just watch: Via Think Progress:

Woops. And make no mistake, that was no slip of the tongue -- Exxon CEO Rex Tillerman repeated the sentiment three times. He basically admitted that once the cat's out of the bag, it's -- well, you know. And with hundreds of other oil rigs drilling at comparable depths at this very moment, that means if there is another explosion or rupture, we're going to see the same thing all over again.

So, to recap: the head of the largest private oil company in the world says that there's really no way to contain a spill of this size should one occur again; no way to prevent it from inflicting untold damage on the US economy, individual livelihoods, and natural ecosystems.

And yet oil-friendly politicians are insisting that such drilling is safe, and should be resumed today. It makes me sick.

Until these oil companies can prove that they can cap a ruptured well in the event of an accident, and display a rock solid plan to contain such a spill if it should occur -- if that's even possible -- none of them should be allowed to drill at such depths. Period.

More on the BP Gulf Spill
BP CEO's Infuriating Congressional Testimony in 4 Minutes (Video)
Rare Pancake Batfish Battered by BP Spill, May Not Make It

Related Content on Treehugger.com