Former President Bill Clinton: “Blow Up the Oil Well”

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


In a panel discussion in South Africa, former President Bill Clinton articulated what many of us have thought all along. It may become necessary to blow up BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well that continues to spew oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

Said Clinton:

“Unless we send the Navy down deep to blow up the well and cover the leak with piles and piles and piles of rock and debris, which may become necessary – you don’t have to use a nuclear weapon by the way, I’ve seen all that stuff, just blow it up – unless we’re going to do that, we are dependent on the technical expertise of these people from BP.”

But critics suggest the company is forgoing that option out of a desire to get as much oil as possible from the rig.

Columbia University Christopher Brownfield said:

“If we demolish the well using explosives, [BP’s] investment’s gone. They lose hundreds of millions of dollars from the drilling of the well, plus no lawmaker in his right mind would allow BP to drill again in that same spot. So basically, it’s an all-or-nothing thing with BP: They either keep the well alive, or they lose their whole investment and all the oil that they could potentially get from that well.”

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) agrees with Bill Clinton:

“For the life of me, I can’t understand why BP couldn’t go into the ocean floor, maybe 10 feet lateral to the — around the periphery, drill a few holes and put a little ammonium nitrate, some dynamite, in those holes and detonate that dynamite and seal that leak. And seal it permanently.”

If the relief wells currently being drilled on either side of the damaged well won’t be expected to reach their target until mid-to-late August at the earliest. Weather (and BP) permitting.

This entry was posted in Bill Clinton, BP, Gulf Oil Spill, International News, News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Former President Bill Clinton: “Blow Up the Oil Well”

  1. feminazi says:

    It’s times like this that I miss Bill Clinton. If the BP oil rig explosion had happened on his watch, he would be down there in the Gulf states once a week and corralling the opinions of experts every day. But sadly, for the people in the region and animals, we have a new president who is learning on the job and so far, Mr. Obama’s leadership is sorely lacking.

  2. Stephan Iversonn says:

    I read Prof. Christopher Brownfield’s piece in the New York Times. He argues persuasively that BP is very much “in charge” of the repair and clean-up effort in the Gulf of Mexico.

    He also posits that the Obama administration has, with a wink and a nod, agreed to let BP salvage as much oil as possible from barging before any decision is made to blow up the well either with conventional or nuclear weapons.

    But Rep. Phil Gingrey is mistaken because neither ammonium nitrate, or dynamite, would achieve the needed heat level to melt the surrounding rock under the Gulf waters. This would require atomic weaponry to achieve such heat.

    So we wait and let the political theater starring BP and the Obama administration drag on till late August. If the well casing is damaged as many now believe, the relief wells won’t work. I hate to be all gloomy here but anxious Americans need to get ready for Plan B,

  3. Greg Equality Lengkong says:

    What we need to accept is, BP is clueless about how to go about capping the oil well. They didn’t have any plan in-place for such a disaster and the Federal government didn’t require one from them before the leases were granted.

  4. Rachel says:

    I’m still hung-up on the fact that over a month ago, seventeen nations with oil drilling expertise offered to help the USA cap the well and clean up the oil. But BP nixed fourteen of these nations only allowing the help of Canada, Mexico and Norway. Meanwhile, the president claims “every decision BP makes goes through my administration.” So, if this is true, this means the Obama administration passed on the help of fourteen nations. The question I have is, why?

  5. Bee says:

    I gotta say it: Clinton speaks as if this has happened before. I have to wonder…

  6. Prairiedog says:

    This scenario has happened in Russia at least 5 times.

    The Russians had stubborn oil and natural gas well leaks and nothing conventional they tried worked so they used the nuclear option.

    In all 5 instances, it worked. If the U.S. goes nuclear I would hope we consult Russia for their knowledge even if Tony Hayward disagrees.

  7. Gleneagle says:

    Even BP claims in today’s New York Times that they are readying a back-up plan in the event the relief wells fail to work.

    This is an unprecedented event and we need to get treat the oil geyser like a foreign invading army.

  8. bradfrmphnx says:

    This is a nightmare. How it will play out, and how the environment will be harmed is going to be the most important thing Obama will face. If I were him I would pay attention to Bubba. To hell with BP’s profit margin.

  9. Joe says:

    Why isn’t Obama making this suggestion?
    Could he be in the pockets of the oil industry?

  10. fran says:

    Well~ I’m no geophysicist or underwater explosives expert by any means, and neither is Clinton or Georgia Republican Gingrey.
    I have to think there is a very real possibility that trying to blow it up to seal it could cause it to be even worse.

    My understanding about letting BP be in charge is if the Feds take over then they pay for it, if BP is in charge it is all theirs to pay for in it’s entirety.

    The whole thing is such a total debacle.
    BP is already trying to cut $$ corners.
    and the wildlife death toll is increasing dramatically.

    Collected dead:
    1165 birds (40 more in just 2 days!)
    436 turtles (6 in 2 days)
    51 mammals, includes dolphins

    Even the 6 month deep well moratorium was challenged in court & some Reagan appointed judge with a fat big oil 401k/stock portfolio
    overruled in favor of big oil.

    He wants to drill baby drill before this deadly gusher is even under control!

    Apparently common sense vanished from the equation.
    Still the EPA or the Coast Guard shout shut down new permit in the gulf entirely.

    This is not just our tragedy & screw up, this is international as the black billowing clouds ruin the planet’s atmosphere, and the funky water will travel beyond the gulf.

  11. kenny says:

    I love all these replies from people.I think all of you are right on this one and i also think obama is digging in someones pocket.Oh and he’s not?? yea right..Great Job..

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