Summary of Blowout in the Gulf

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Blowout in the Gulf book summary
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Rating

9

Qualities

  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening
  • Overview

Recommendation

Authors William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling are college teachers, and if you have a chance to take their classes, enroll right away. Professors of environmental studies and sociology, respectively, they are very informative, and they base their conclusions on well-reported facts. Their book links US energy policy to oil politics, corporate performance, risk management, and the technological and geological problems that led to the US’s largest peacetime offshore oil spill. The professors cover the oil industry’s history and the energy debate in a single, tightly packed volume, including significant accidents, their causes and the paltry penalties companies – especially British Petroleum – paid. The book contends that oil companies wield too much power over prices, policy and the environment. getAbstract considers this vivid story about these tremendously powerful, hugely profitable companies to be essential reading.

About the Authors

William R. Freudenburg is an environmental studies professor at the University of California. Robert Gramling is a sociology professor at the University of Louisiana.

 

Summary

Destroying Oil

Contemporary oil drilling began in the United States in 1859 and the nation provided more than half of the world’s oil supply until 1953 when legislation first permitted ocean drilling.. Over time, finding and retrieving oil became increasingly challenging. Offshore platforms must drill for oil very precisely, sometimes going miles below the ocean’s surface before penetrating the seabed itself. Oil companies go to extraordinary lengths to meet the insatiable demand for oil. But by the 21st century, the US – which holds only 2% of proven oil reserves – was consuming oil faster than any other nation, though it has only 5% of the globe’s population. Oil companies perpetuated the myth that they could find more crude oil and kept exploring increasingly remote, inhospitable places, including building the Alaska oil pipeline and expanding offshore exploration into deeper waters. Across the globe, engineers are pushing the boundaries of safety and technology to seek more oil.

Politicians in the US continue to call mistakenly for “energy independence,” an impossible goal. Even though the US must rely on oil reserves from other nations, every president since Richard...


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