Not to make excuses, but this is why stopping the oil is hard.

I subscribe to R Bloggers, a nifty service that aggregates blog posts that have to do with R. The top post just now was The Deepwater Horizon, in context which shows an infographic of the scale of the Earth from Mt. Everest to the Mariana trench. The Deepwater Horizon Rig covers a good chunk of the span from sea level downwards.

What the graph made clear is that the name Deepwater Horizon isn’t a poetic name, it is a description. We are dealing with oil gushing from a point as far below the ocean as Denver is above sea-level. I wonder if the regulators who approved the project had a sense of how remote the “top” of the well was. I have great faith in the ability of engineers to eventually stop the flow, but that BP was “exempted in 2008 from filing a plan on how they would clean up a major spill” seem laughable given the context.

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