April 22, 2010 was Earth Day. But it was not a very good day for the earth – or for that matter, for BP. That’s the day the an explosion toppled over BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and the blowout preventer failed, causing the earth to begin leaking thousands of gallons of oil from 5000 feet below the surface of the Gulf. In a bit of irony, the original Earth Day was April 22, 1970, thirty years ago to the day of this year’s spill, begun in large measure in response to another oil spill caused from a blowout of a deep sea drill off the coast of Santa Barbara, California.

Last week, the Gulf oil spill disaster surpassed the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill as the worst environmental disaster in American history. BP (the initials, which formerly stood for British Petroleum, have been changed to stand for “Best Polluter”) has taken full and complete responsibility for the oil spill. And by “full and complete responsibility”, BP CEO Tony Hayward went on to clarify that the Deepwater oil rig was owned and operated by Transocean, which, he went on to say was responsible for the safety on the oil rig. According to The London Telegraph, Hayward further clarified BP’s full and complete responsibility by saying, “This was not our accident. This was not our drilling rig. This was not our equipment. It was not our people, our systems or our processes. This was Transocean’s rig. Their systems. Their people. Their equipment.”

The CEO of Transocean, Stuart Newman, then replied by saying, “Well, Halliburton was responsible for cementing the drill into place in the deepwater. And the blowout happened just 20 hours after they finished cementing the goddamn drill into place. So, HELLO??? If anybody screwed up, it was those bastards. Come on, folks. We’re talking Halliburton, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Satan himself. Who are you going to believe here? I mean seriously.” In response to Transocean’s comments, Halliburton Chief Executive David J. Lesar issued a brief written statement, stating, and I quote: “Hey, Transocean. Bite me.”

Who’s really to blame may take years to sort out. But BP has wasted no time in coming up with innovative names  for each of their failed efforts. First there was the Top Hat; then came the Junk Shot; and most recently the Top Kill – each of which have been unable to stop the oil from bleeding into the gulf. They are not sure what the ultimate solution will be but they are almost certain it will require a combination of two one-syllable words with an adjective followed by a noun.

You might not know that I am (hardly) a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist. Using some laid off BP oil executives and whistle blower contacts deep within BP, I’ve uncovered insider information about a series of other maneuvers BP plans to attempt if the upcoming Junk Kill, Shot Hat, Kill Top and Hat Junk ploys all fail. BP, which shortly after I began writing this week’s post officially changed the letters to stand for Back-up Plan, has come up with several even bolder back-up strategies. My sources have leaked to me the details of some of BP’s crude preliminary plans. Drill down into the following paragraphs to read about some of the bold back-up plans which will be launched in the coming months until a solution finally takes hold:

Ice Landing: The Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in southern Iceland, which first erupted on April 14th, continues to spew. This plan would entail constructing a 20-foot wide floating pipeline from the top of the Iceland volcano, running 3,892 miles, to the blowout preventer, to pipe in ash, rock and glacial debris from the volcano until it plugs the leak, thus solving two environmental disasters at the same time. And if that doesn’t work…..

Amazon.Comb: Working in collaboration with Halliburton Lumber Ltd, as it nears completion of its humanitarian deforestation efforts deep in the Amazon rain forest, this plan would entail clear-cutting 7.5 million additional acres of irreplaceable old growth forest and building a 50-foot tall wooden wall along the entire Gulf coast to block the oil (and the view). Periscopes would be installed for beachgoers to see over the wall. (Four quarters buys you five minutes of viewing time. 10% of the proceeds from periscope viewing would go to fight the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest.) And if that doesn’t work…


Fan Tastic: Using more than 10,000 giant 100-foot tall General Electric fans, this plan would arrange a line of mega-blowers from Galveston, Texas to Key West, FL. Thinking patriotically, BP would ensure that the fans pointed their trajectory so that all the oil would be blown straight to Cuba, thus creating a decades-long oil clean-up project sure to bankrupt the poor Communist island nation and provide a Win-Win for the Gulf coast and for democracy-loving people the world over. BP engineers are currently hard at work trying to make the world’s longest extension cord. And if that doesn’t work…


Black Fish: This plan would involve genetically engineering a new species of fish that thrives on crude oil as its primary food staple. They would harvest millions of these oil-gobbling fish and unleash them into the Gulf to literally eat up the remaining oil spill. The best part is that fishermen could also catch these fish and sell them as a delicacy, thus restoring their seafaring livelihood. BP, ever the consumer protection advocate, has recommended that when sold in grocery stores these fish come with a warning label: “Caution: Highly flammable. Keep fish away from barbeques and deep fryers.” And if that didn’t work…

Spills & Thrills: This plan would convert the Gulf Coast spill area into the world’s largest water theme park. Tentatively named “BP’s Magic Oil Spill World”, the park would let kids of all ages enjoy thrilling rides like the Texacoaster and the Oil Soaked Fun House. It would also include the always popular arcade section, complete with the classic Shell Game and the fun Tanker Toss (can you make the Tanker sink?). Try to put out the oil rig fire from your very own Junior Fireman fireboat. Good luck! Younger kids will love the Slick ‘n Slide or the popular sea birds petting & oil-removal zoo. And don’t miss the brand new baby Otters ‘n Oil habitat exhibit. And if that doesn’t work…

Oil’s Pill: The health benefits of fish oil have been known years. And Petroleum Jelly has been used on babies’ bottoms for more than a century. So clearly petroleum and oil are already established to be beneficial for our bodies, not just for our cars’ gas tanks. This plan would involve working clo$ely with member$ of the Food and Drug Admini$tration to convince them to $ee the obvious health benefit$ of crude oil in our daily diet. While the research has not been completed (or started) into the benefits of ingesting petroleum, BP researchers now believe that soon the food pyramid will be modified to include at least two servings of crude oil in our daily diet. Does wonders for stiff joints. And if that didn’t work…

Alien-Nation: If they simply can’t stop the leaks through any other means, this plan would let the oil leak keep flooding into the gulf until it fills up the entire Gulf of Mexico, displacing the water and all forms of wildlife. With no water or fish to preserve anymore, then BP would hire Halliburton (those guys are into everything, don’t you know) to pave it over. The US Congress would then recognize this region as the 51st state (and a wholly-owned subsidiary of BP). The President would issue an executive order that all illegal aliens trying to sneak into AZ, TX and CA be re-settled to this newest state, to plant trees, pick fruit and do janitorial work at Oil Spill World. Working name for new state: Petrolvania. (Previously rejected names: Crud-e-stan and Spillaska.)

I have to hand it to those guys at BP. As soon as one ill-fated idea implodes, they waste no time implementing another ingenious, doomed-to-fail, two-word plan. And don’t think that these fella’s aren’t highly motivated to solve the problem. BP secretly plans to hand out seven-figure bonuses to all their senior level executives if they can ensure that the oil leaks are moderately contained no later than the year 2014. Admittedly, a tight deadline, but I’m confident these oil executives will find a way to earn their well-deserved bonuses.

BP is even reaching out to the public as well for ideas. In fact, in the upcoming season of America’s Got Talent, BP has purchased all rights to the show. Contestants this year will compete not by performing songs, dances or magic acts but by seeing who can come up with the best solution to stopping the oil leak and cleaning up the mess. The season finale winner will win a lifetime’s supply of free BP gasoline and a lifetime family pass to Oil Spill World. (Employees of Halliburton and Transocean not eligible.)

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011

Share This