May 2nd, 2010
09:09 AM ET

Salazar: Oil spill 'massive' and a potential catastrophe

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Sunday called the Gulf of Mexico oil spill from a destroyed rig "massive" and a potential catastrophe.

"It potentially is catastrophic," Salazar said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "I think we have to prepare for the worst." Salazar said later in the program that "it is indeed a massive oil spill."

Asked what happened, Salazar said there was a failure in the technology that is intended to prevent a so-called blowout.

"There is no doubt at all here that that what has happened is the blowout prevention mechanism at the bottom of the well ... is defective," Salazar said.

"While there have been blowouts in the past, we have never seen anything that has been quite of this magnitude."

The Obama administration has ordered inspections of "blowout preventers" on other Gulf rigs, Salazar said. He noted that BP, which operated the destroyed rig, is legally responsible for the spill and any resulting damage.

"So our job is to keep the boot on the neck of" BP to ensure it meets its obligations, Salazar said.


Filed under: Gulf Coast Oil Spill
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. jlsjmg

    Gizmo...And what about the tsunami that might ensue as well by using a nuke???. Any wave would send existing oily waves far into the coastline. Please be real !

    May 3, 2010 at 3:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Gizmo Fester

    @jlsjmg: We're not talking about hypotheticals here, we've done the experiment. A 50 kiloton device, detonated 5000 feet down and 50 miles offshore, would produce a tsunami of ~6 INCHES as measured at the La shoreline closest to the destroyed drilling rig. Look up the plowshares program dude. We did lots of work with using atomics in oil and gas fields to try to enhance production. We know what a 50 kiloton device would do to the wellhead. I sense in your tone a great revulsion at the prospect of using a thermonuclear bomb as a tool but what would you prefer; destruction of the gulf coast ecology or a patch of radioactive sediment buried 50 miles offshore and a mile down?

    May 3, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. B Roth

    Gizmo. Have you accoutet that a 50KT nuclear explosion, interesting as it is, will possibly contaminate the entire foodchain of the gulf longer than the oilspill?

    May 3, 2010 at 4:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Gizmo Fester

    @ B Roth: The wellhead is 5000 feet down. Heavy metal (actinide) fallout will be quite localized. What little isn't buried will be swept away and diluted to undetctable levels by the gulfstream within weeks.

    May 3, 2010 at 5:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jeff

    CNN, PLEASE INVITE DISCUSSIONS AND REPORT ON ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO COLLECT AS MUCH OIL AS POSSIBLE---NOT ENOUGH IS BEING DONE BY BP AND THE GOVERNMENT!!!!!! THERE NEED TO BE MORE DESIGNS READY TO BE EMPLOYED. WE ARE NOT HEARING ABOUT ANY OF THEM. THE NATIONAL MEDIA MUST DO MORE THAN SIMPLY REPORT. THEY NEED TO STEP UP AND FACILITATE DISCUSSION TO DESIGN WAYS FORWARD. IF ANY READER AGREES WITH THIS PLEASE MAKE SIMILAR COMMENTS TO THIS MEDIA WEBSITE AND OTHER NATIONAL MEDIA WEBSITES.

    For instance, BP has lowered pipes from a ship to spread dispersant near the plumes of oil from the leak. Why don't they have additional ships/tankers/vessels with piping that can be extended near the leaks to suck up some of the oil as it is leaving the pipe. This wouldn't collect all the oil like the dome technology is designed to do. But at least it will collect some of the oil, and it will collect the oil at the point of greatest concentration. Perhaps a few hundred thousand gallons of oil could be collected before the domes are lowered in place. Another estimated 1 million gallons of oil will gush out into the Gulf before the domes are lowered. At least collect some of the oil until that time!!!!!

    CNN, please invite experts and technologists to your program to expedite discussions on how to collect as much oil as possible to reduce the magnitude of the damage. You have tremendous power to force these discussions and help solve the problem. Now is the time for the nation news programs to step up and help design a way forward during this time of national tragedy. Simply reporting what BP and the government is doing is gravely underutilizing your power, at a time when the Gulf coast and teh nation needs you to do more. Please use your power to ensure that as many designs as possible are being discussed to reduce the damage!!!!!!!!!!

    May 4, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Tony

    I believe the tactical nuke idea would work by sealing the leak. However, it could not be an airburst or even a waterburst. Instead, a hole would have to be drilled into the seabed as close as possible to the leak, maybe several hundred ft deep, and the device lowered into the hole and covered. (I know that the water is about a mile deep there but I don't know how deep the oil and therefore the well is into the seabed--hopefully very deep to minimize the chances of the device releasing more oil)

    Anyone who has ever seen tv films of old pre test-ban underground explosions will know that they cause the ground to fuse and create an implosion crater without releasing any radiation into the air- or in this case- the water. I believe this fusing of the seabed would seal the leak.

    Certainly, this would be a much easier drilling feat than the one that was done on the asteroid in the movies lol.

    Seriously, I hope the powers that be in the Government are at least considering this option and not necessarily as a last resort.

    May 6, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Tony

    CNN-–**********PLEASE HELP ************

    Hopefully you monitor these blogs and have access to top government officials that the rest of us dont have.

    If this is the case, the next time you interview one of them, either on or off camera, on or off the record, please ask them about my suggestion in post 22

    May 7, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Joseph Scamporino

    These problemsa are nothing more than a warning that Our creator will shortly bring to ruin those ruining his earth Revelation 11: 18

    May 8, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Joseph Scamporino

    We need a Govermewnt governed by our Creator not man Jeremiah 10:23

    May 8, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tony

    @Joe

    Hmmmmm-– Why do we need a warning if it'is predestined to happen anyway? Does your creator enjoy teasing us or showing off his power?

    May 8, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joseph Scamporino

      Hi Tony. Our creator is not teasing us. There is an issue here. Who has the right to rule man or our creator. Just like any court case time is needed to prove that man cannot rule himself. Go to http://www.watchtower.org and request this book "What Does The Bible Really Teach" there is no charge. . This publication acts like a pair of glasses. It will help you see what is in the Bible clearer. If you would like to discuss it further please contact me you have my email in a previous message.

      Joe

      November 1, 2010 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Rev. Daniel W. Blair

    As we enter one of the most aggressive hurricane seasons on record, I cannot even imagine what a hurricane would do with oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Dealing with oil on the beach is one thing, but what if we had to deal with it in our streets, in our businesses, in our homes? What if we had to rescue humans covered in oil? What if this is no longer isolated to just the Gulf Coast but found its way up the great rivers to our inner cities? Now imagine if you will, the dispersants mixed with oil which could possibly cause untold diseases and catastrophic health hazards of a biblical proportion. It staggers the imagination, or is it prophetic? What if we are dealing with the wrath of God? See my web site at http://www.revelation-truth.org

    June 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joseph Scamporino

      The wrath of God amongst this twisted generation will begin with the outbreak of the great tribulation mentioned at Matthew 24: 21, 22. A repeat of what happened to Jerusalem in the year 70 CE but on a much larger scale. The whole earth will be encompassed by it.

      November 1, 2010 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
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