Throwing oil and shaving heads

According to recent reports, the amount of crude oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico may be ten times more than was first estimated, or up to 70,000 barrels a day. In spite of this, Tony Hayward, the CEO of BP, the company responsible for the spill, seems to be of the opinion that it’s “relatively tiny.” And I guess, as only one ocean seems to be affected, he may have a point. Then again, I guess the CEO of Union Carbide could have made the case that, since only one methyl isocyanate cloud was released from their Bhopal plant, it was a “relatively tiny” incident. What, after all, are 3,000 human lives, on a planet of over 6 billion?

Relatively tiny or not, word is that Obama is “outraged.” I’m not sure what that actually means, though, in terms of concrete actions. I hear that he’s sending in some wicked smart NASA-type folks to see if they might be able to figure something out, but I haven’t heard him calling for BP to surrender their record earnings, or disregard current liability caps.

Meanwhile, everything that BP has tried to do to stop the flow of oil has failed, and tar balls are beginning to wash up on shore. But, we’re told that BP still has a few tricks up their sleeve. Among other things, the company has begun deploying oil-dispersing chemicals. Of course, they’re toxic. And then there’s the fact that they don’t work so well… Here’s a clip from the New York Times:

BP PLC continues to stockpile and deploy oil-dispersing chemicals manufactured by a company with which it shares close ties, even though other U.S. EPA-approved alternatives have been shown to be far less toxic and, in some cases, nearly twice as effective…..

So far, BP has told federal agencies that it has applied more than 400,000 gallons of a dispersant sold under the trade name Corexit and manufactured by Nalco Co., a company that was once part of Exxon Mobil Corp. and whose current leadership includes executives at both BP and Exxon. And another 805,000 gallons of Corexit are on order, the company said, with the possibility that hundreds of thousands of more gallons may be needed if the well continues spewing oil for weeks or months….

That’s right. There are better products on the market, that are both cleaner and more affective, but BP isn’t in bed with those companies.

So, yeah, we’re fucked.

Oh, and here’s another thing… If hair is the best substance that we’ve got to collect oil, then why in the hell don’t the executive officers of BP, Halliburton, and all the other companies involved in this catastrophe, have shaved heads?

Would it be against the law for us to put bounties out on their locks? I love the idea of men and women, out hunting CEOs, with clippers at the ready. Of course, some folks may get carried away and scalp the offending captains of industry, but I don’t suppose having the scalp attached would negatively impact the hair’s ability to attract oil. It’s something that we might want to look into, though.

Oh, and if you don’t have the stomach for holding men down and shaving their heads as they cry like babies, how about just throwing oil at them? Or, if that’s too much, we could go with the symbolic use of chocolate milk?

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  1. Brackinald Achery
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    The government regulation solution in action.

  2. Knox
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I quite like the idea of using a mesh bag full of their heads to absorb the oil.

  3. Posted May 17, 2010 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Thanks Mark, this situation in the Gulf reminds us that the official estimate usually fall far short of the reality of the devastation. In fact, the better estimates of the death toll from the Bhopal/Union Carbide/Dow disaster are now over 15,000 lives lost (

    From Wikipedia:
    “A total of 36 wards were marked by the authorities as being “gas affected”, affecting a population of 520,000. Of these, 200,000 were below 15 years of age, and 3,000 were pregnant women. In 1991, 3,928 deaths had been certified. Independent organizations recorded 8,000 dead in the first days. Other estimations vary between 10,000 and 30,000. Another 100,000 to 200,000 people are estimated to have permanent injuries of different degrees.”

    Hopefully Congress will take your suggestions about shaving heads seriously.

  4. Steve Swan
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I’ve shaved my balls. Is there a collection point somewhere in Ypsi?

  5. Kim
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Having seen him speak, my guess is that Tony Hayward has lots of experience handling relatively tiny things.

  6. Andrew
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The cast of the Jersey Shore are pretty hairy. Perhaps we could deploy them.

    And I like the idea that all BP employees should shave their heads. Make a poster and I’ll send it around.

  7. Meta
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    The EPA is getting involved, telling BP t o stop using those chemicals.

    News Alert: EPA demands less toxic dispersant from BP to break up oil spill
    09:59 AM EDT Thursday, May 20, 2010

    The Environmental Protection Agency informed BP officials late Wednesday that the company has 24 hours to choose a less toxic form of chemical dispersants to break up its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to government sources familiar with the decision, and must apply the new form of dispersants within 72 hours of submitting the list of alternatives.

    For more information, visit

  8. Sheena Easton
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    The Bhopal site is still leaking and running off into the town every single time it rains.

  9. Peter Larson
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    We don’t need the EPA. The free market will solve everything.

  10. Kim
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure if it’s what Peter is referring too, but Rand Paul is on the record saying that the EPA should be severely curtailed, if not killed altogether.

  11. Robert
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Hey BA, what do the words from the article you posted, “the agency’s inspection frequency on the Deepwater Horizon fell dramatically over the past five years” tell you? That government regulation is a failure or that the erosion of proper government regulation over the past 5 years was an invitation to disaster? Just curious.

  12. Kim
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    7 have been hospitalized after coming in contact with BP’s dispersant.

  13. Meta
    Posted July 1, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    More evidence is out today that BP used Corexit for one sole purpose – to sink the oil from public view.

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