Is Deepwater Oil Too Risky?

July 18, 2010

Following up on my previous post about the Gulf oil spill, Normal Accidents?, here is a guest contribution by Charles Perrow, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Yale University, and author of the classic book Normal Accidents. This post is adapted from the preface to the forthcoming paperback edition of Perrow’s 2007 book The Next Catastrophe: [...]

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Normal Accidents?

July 12, 2010

As I write, the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf is once again gushing unchecked as BP tries to install a new cap that could end the spillage. A recurrent theme in the discussion of this massive spill is that we shouldn’t trust “fail-safe” technologies or the experts who reassure us that catastrophes cannot happen. [...]

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Carbon Wars II: The Sequel

August 20, 2009

by David L. Levy
Why is the US oil industry reverting to the tactics of the 1990’s Carbon Wars?
In these sultry, languid days of August, large numbers of Americans are suddenly getting excited about climate change. They are not, however, worried about rising CO2 levels and the impact on sea levels, hurricanes, or glaciers. They are [...]

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Back to Petroleum?

August 13, 2009

by David L. Levy
BP and Shell, the two giant British (and British-Dutch) oil companies, are both making a major strategic retreat from alternative energy and refocusing on their core oil and gas businesses. Ed Crooks has recently provided an insightful analysis of BP’s Back to Petroleum strategy in the Financial Times (also see also The [...]

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