Blowout in the Gulf: The BP Oil Spill Disaster and the Future of Energy in America

William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling, MIT, $18.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-262-01583-7
In this intelligent and refreshingly readable--if inevitably depressing--expose, Freudenburg and Gramling, professors of environmental studies and sociology respectively, and longtime collaborators and observers of the oil industry, analyze the origins of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and its aftermath, concluding that we may be facing a "technological Peter Principle": we may have elevated "the societal significance of our technology up to, and perhaps beyond, the point where it can actually do what we expect it to do." The authors revisit our history of "hyperdependency" on fossil fuels, from the 19th-century discovery of ground-level oil seeps as whales, the prevailing oil providers, were being hunted out of existence, through increasingly deeper and more remote drilling and the U.S.'s loss of oil dominance in the 1950s to the present day, where corruption is pervasive both in the industry and oversight agencies. Readers interested in energy crisis, peak oil, environmental and climate change issues will appreciate the straightforward analysis and will hope this important book finds its way into the hands of policy makers. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/18/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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