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Author's Opinion

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010 01:11

Kevin Costner, Ocean Therapy Solution: Hope but Frustration

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Actor Kevin Costner has provided British Petroleum with his oil separation machines to help clean up the Gulf of Mexico. It is all over the news. The invention is hope in a sea of sadness with respect to the lack of disaster preparedness from the U.S. government and the oil industry, specifically BP.

Yes, deep offshore oil spills do not happen very often. They are infrequent at best.

Check out the 'Largest oil spills' about half-way down the page on the Wikipedia website 'Oil Spills.'

However, shouldn't all technologies be evaluated, tested, and made ready in case an oil spill does happen, like in the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill out in the Gulf of Mexico?

American actor Kevin Costner (he's gone from "Field of Dreams" to "Ocean of Dreams") has been developing an oil separation/centrifugal technology for over fifteen years to help out in offshore oil spills. His attempt to 'be prepared' could be right out of the Boy Scouts' motto.

Learn more about Kevin Costner's work over the past 15 years to make sure we are prepared to deal with oil spill disasters. Read the June 14, 2010 ABC News article 'Exclusive: Kevin Costner on Oil Spill Device: 'I've Got a Life Preserver'.

Costner was disgusted with the Exxon Valdez tragedy that played out off the coast of Alaska. He decided to do something about it. And, Ocean Therapy Solutions (OTS) resulted.

Its website states, 'Sadly, our company was born out of tragedy. Millions of gallons of oil threatened the Gulf coast and eastern seaboard when New Orleans businessman John Houghtaling met acclaimed actor Kevin Costner. Houghtaling was looking for a solution and Costner spent the past 15 years investing in a centrifuge technology that would make it possible for the petroleum industry to operate safely, without threatening the environment with oil spills.'

Page two continues with 12 years of frustration on the part of Kevin Costner in his dealings with the U.S. government and the oil industry.

 



However, on page two of another ABC News article 'BP 'Excited' Over Kevin Costner's Oil Cleanup Machine, Purchases 32' it states, 'Costner is confident the oil separator can make a difference, but says for the past 12 years he's been frustrated by the government's and oil companies' lack of interest in his and other technologies.'

Let me repeat this statement: "he's been frustrated by the government's and oil companies' lack of interest in his and other technologies."

In other words, this technology, and other such technologies, has been available for at least the last 12 years but the government and the oil industry was not interested in them. Oh, until now, that is.

Isn't this just typical of government and industry. Just ignore the fact that problems will someday occur. Don't be prepared with as many solutions as possible BEFORE the problem occurs.

Instead, wait until after the problem occurs and then scramble about trying to fix the problem without even knowing about all of the available technology available to help.

The government and the oil industry knew about Costner's invention and, as ABC News states, he was frustrated with their lack of interest in his technology and other related technologies'”for over 12 years.

In my opinion, the government is here to make sure problems do not occur. However, when problems do occur, the government is here to be ready to solve them, along with the business or industry that caused the problem. They are never going to be perfect in preventing problems and dealing with problems. But, they could be better.

And, if companies want to do business in the United States, they should also be able and ready to solve problems when they occur. Also, the government should be inspecting these businesses on a regular basis to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and have solutions in place when accidents happen. Again, they'll never be perfect, but they could be better.

And, inspectors and business officials shouldn't be 'in bed' together. Inspectors should be acting independently and without influence from the people, structures, devices they are inspecting.

Page three concludes with thoughts on 'being prepared.'



I think we could learn much from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. But, then again how much do we really learn. We don't have enough inspectors so our roads, bridges, tunnels, and buildings aren't properly inspected.

So, a bridge falls down and we find out it hadn't been inspected in 20 years. We have an accident and we find out the government and business isn't ready to solve the problem.

For instance, the space shuttle program had known problems (other problems also exist in other sectors of our society), and NASA thinks it can sneak by without these problems (remember O-rings and thermal tiles?) becoming major catastrophes.

But, they do become major catastrophes, and we have to scramble again to try to patch up problems that should have been fixed long ago. The patch costs many times more than if the problem had been solved in the first place, or if the structure had been built properly (under the supervision of independent inspectors and according to the recommendations of independent experts).

The Boy Scouts had it right with their motto: "Be Prepared." Are we? No. Could we be better prepared? Yes, and we should be!


 

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