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About Matt Bruce
Matt Bruce is a 2-time combat wounded U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran and has a son currently serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. He also is a retired 25 year Fire-Rescue Captain and recipient of the Fire Department's Highest Award For Heroism, 'The Medal of Valor'. Now he is the Managing Editor & Publisher of News Sarasota.com and host of the popular "The Captain's AMERICA" Radio Show  heard nationally syndicated weekends on the Phoenix Broadcasting Network via satellite and broadcast around the World on the Internet...

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Past Articles
Deepwater Horizon: Incident Protocol Not Followed
The Progressive Left Agenda for America
The Gift Dems & President Obama Keep Giving
The Fundamental Transformation of America
Afghanistan v. Chicago
May We Never Forget The Reason.

Matt Bruce
Deepwater Horizon: Incident Protocol Was Not Followed
May 10, 2010

Everyone saw what happened on April 20, 2010 when the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded and caught fire with the loss of 11 lives.

First of all, we want to know who was working on that rig. To date we have no idea as to whether or not there were any Foreign Nationals working aboard that oil rig, something that many see as what could point to espionage or terrorism. Until we know for sure who was working on that rig and what their background was, we can not rule out either as a possible cause.

BP has been quick to say it was an accident describing it as an "equipment failure” even though at least 1 of the oil rig workers has gone public saying they had "no warning” of anything wrong with what they were doing.

Have you noticed the information coming from the oil rig workers has stopped???

What we’ve seen happen since then has experts scratching their heads wondering why the established Federal Plan called the "In-Situ Burn” plan which was produced in 1994 by Federal Agencies responsible for handling and event like a major Gulf oil spill weren’t followed.

That plan would have brought a Hydro-Fire Boom System directly to the scene being pulled by 2 boats which would have completely surrounded the oil rig keeping the oil in the immediate area of the rig.

This wasn’t done.

Now let’s take a look at why water was dumped on the fire for 3 days straight instead of the use of foam.

With the explosion it was obvious to fire units, including the Coast Guard, there was the presence of gas at the well. It is a normal practice to use water first and then try and approach the source, in this case the rig, and attempt to shut any and all valves off. The water is used to shield the gas and firefighters who would them attempt to shut the valves off on the oil rig.

The problem with the water was with any chemical fire, water helps to spread the chemical, in this case oil, further away from the fire.

What could and should have been used to immediately smother the fire was foam. In the fire service foam has been used in all conditions including on the water to smother oil, gas and chemical fires before along with use of a fire boom to keep it where it is.

When Federal officials called, Elastec/American Marine shipped the only boom it had in stock, according to CFO Jeff Bohleber. Then at Federal official’s request they began calling customers in other Countries asking if the U.S. Government could borrow their fire booms.

Once again, I repeat, this goes against the established Government Protocol that was put in place back in 1994 where Hydro-Fire Boom Systems were supposed to be stored in the Gulf available for just such an emergency. Obviously that wasn’t the case.

The deadly blowout of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before exploding, according to interviews with rig workers conducted during BP's internal investigation.

While the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, the sequence of events described in the interviews provides the most detailed account of the April 20 blast that killed 11 workers and touched off the underwater gusher that has poured more than 3 million gallons of crude into the Gulf

Portions of the interviews, two written and one taped, were described in detail to an Associated Press reporter by Robert Bea, a University of California Berkeley engineering professor who serves on a National Academy of Engineering panel on oil pipeline safety and worked for BP PLC as a risk assessment consultant during the 1990s. He received them from industry friends seeking his expert opinion.

A group of BP executives were on board the Deepwater Horizon rig celebrating the project's safety record, according to the transcripts. Meanwhile, far below, the rig was being converted from an exploration well to a production well.

Based on the interviews, Bea believes that the workers set and then tested a cement seal at the bottom of the well. Then they reduced the pressure in the drill column and attempted to set a second seal below the sea floor. A chemical reaction caused by the setting cement created heat and a gas bubble which destroyed the seal.

Deep beneath the seafloor, methane is in a slushy, crystalline form. Deep sea oil drillers often encounter pockets of methane crystals as they dig into the earth.

And then came the accusations revealing that BP had contributed millions of dollars in 2007 and 2008 to the Democratic Party for the 2008 Elections. They also received some "special exemptions" from the Federal Government. Special exemptions for what? We need to know if it was because of the 'money' that these exemptions were granted.

So, who dropped the ball???

Let’s start with the Department of the Interior whose Under Secretary on call for just such an emergency was white river rafting with his wife in the Grand Canyon. It’s still not clear if this person was notified and chose to remain on his trip or just couldn’t be reached.

Then there was BP telling everyone for the first 96 hours "we have everything under control.” Nothing, in fact, could have been further from the truth as we all now know.

After the oil rig collapsed into the Gulf of Mexico, the answer now lies at the bottom of the Gulf in 5,000 feet of water.

Now because BP was providing information to both the Coast Guard, DOE and EPA which proved to be inaccurate, those Agencies just seemed to follow along until it was realized some 5 days later the information just wasn’t correct.

We then found out there were 3 oil leaks at the floor of the Gulf spurred by the oil rig explosion, fire and then collapse.

So with the Federal Government scrambling to say "Units were immediately deployed,” the Federal response teams had to sit and wait for their equipment to show up so they could spring into action. Meanwhile we started to hear statements like "this could take a while,” or "it could be 30 to 90 days to stop the flow of oil.”

Again I point to the earlier Oil Rig Fire Protocol plan that had been instituted back in 1994 which was NOT followed.

If that plan and the equipment to conduct had of been in place, as it was supposed to be, we would NOT be looking at this huge Gulf oil spill today nor would we be talking about "who did what, when.”

I submit to you, the readers, that mistakes were made, starting with the Federal Government not following their own plan they had in place along with taking the word of BP, who obviously had no clue what they were talking about merely hoping for the best which never came.

What we need now is a thorough and complete investigation by Congress, the U.S. Coast Guard and even an Independent Panel of experts to find out what mistakes and made and make sure they NEVER happen again.

In the Fire Service and Emergency Management Services all across the Country we prepare for all types of disasters and our response to them. We have planners who do nothing but write disaster response plans for everything ranging from Hurricanes, Wildfires, Terrorist Attacks, Floods, Earthquakes, Avalanches, Hazardous Material Explosions and even Oil Rig Fires both on land and water.

There was a plan in place to deal with the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig, "In-Situ Burn” Plan, which was never followed and we need to find out why and make sure an event like this NEVER happens again.

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