The Great Invisible (2014) Movie Script

Here's my desk.
Here's a console where I
monitor and control the rig.
Right there's what's going on
above the rig floor right now.
They're going down the well
right now with some pipe.
I got two engines running,
two broke down,
and two on standby.
All's I gotta do is push that
little red button right there,
emergency transfer to backup,
and I'll be in control
of the rig.
But I'll tell you what,
I'll have a lot of people come
in here real quick.
And I probably wouldn't
have a job after that.
How do you know where
to pick a spot out, man?
It's everywhere.
I think it's moving,
like, north, northeast
compared to where
we were at this morning.
Oh, man, it's thick.
It happened more than 50 miles
out in the Gulf of Mexico.
126 workers were believed to be
on the Deepwater Horizon rig
when it erupted in flames.
Straight ahead,
Bart, on a 330...
Flaps up.
We're able to see
quite a bit still
where the oil's creeping
Yeah, every day,
it's a different flight.
Every day they're just trying
to get a picture
of where it is
and where it's going.
OK, we're past,
shouldn't be a problem.
We're gonna climb up and
do a strip search
with our Selex radar,
get a good picture
of where the oil's
creeping northbound.
The oil spill, drifting
toward the Louisiana Coast,
is 80 miles long.
It's about the size
of Rhode Island.
This oil rig
was kind of like the Titanic.
It was this marvel
of engineering.
As the chief executive of BP,
can you please tell
the American people
what specifically
you take responsibility for?
I take full responsibility
to eliminate the leak
as fast as we can
and clean up the oil.
Well, this is
the mother lode right here.
Yeah. Yeah, we're on it here.
All right, sounds good.
Thanks, guys.
Because there's never been
a leak this size at this depth,
we need to know the facts
before we allow deepwater
drilling to continue.
What they've
got us doing right now,
this is our normal doors,
the doors here, the nets.
It's what we use
to catch shrimp with.
What they're trying to do
with this,
all this underneath the surface
that you can't see,
they're wanting us
to set our nets and drag them
to see if we can locate it,
spot the oil.
Personally, I don't think we're gonna be able
to retrieve the oil with the nets, you know?
I mean, you know,
they're designed
for water
to go through the nets.
I mean, they catch fish,
shrimp, sea life,
but you're not gonna hold oil
in them.
Sir? Hold on. Hey.
Oh, I didn't sign that.
All right.
I just got word from Bob.
We ain't supposed
to be talking to y'all.
- I didn't know that.
- So, yeah.
Uh, let's see...
Here we go, "all"? Okay.
I'm supposed to be monitoring
the cement job here.
There it is, that
stairway right up there.
That was the one that
we went up to escape.
All that behind it was
completely blown away.
There was nothing there.
That's our lifeboat.
That's number three.
That's number four.
And those are some inflatable
emergency rafts.
There's the mighty,
mighty derrick.
Doug Brown, what's up?
What's up, homie?
I'm making a movie for home.
This is Tom,
my buddy electrician,
working on a water-tight door.
What's up, Douglas?
The rig was all ours.
Or I should say
all Transocean's.
She was assembled in Korea.
When I arrived there,
it was still in pieces
in a shipyard.
I was there to spank it,
bring it to life.
I knew that thing
like the back of my hand.
It was the newest generation,
state-of-the-art rig.
We drilled the deepest
oil hole in the world.
It was an outstanding rig
because of the crew
that was on it.
They knew what they were doing.
So it was like we didn't even
have to talk to each other.
And it worked.
Oh, shoot, here comes a storm.
It's blowing pretty darn good
out here right now.
We just got an upgraded
weather report,
condition red for thunder,
lightning, and water spouts.
I knew my job was dangerous.
That was one reason
why I took the job.
I always thought, "Wow,
that's cool, you know?"
And, I like hurricanes...
I was always like,
uh, Lieutenant Dan,
you know,
at the top of the mast.
is that all you got?"
Because of the safety
that was involved with this,
visitors and family
were never allowed out there.
Basically, a lot of us lived
in a secret world.
OK, I'm right above
the drill floor now.
Let's try to sneak up
so we can look down.
Shh, be quiet.
Don't say anything.
People forget that it was
a very prestigious job
to work on
the Deepwater Horizon.
The last well that they drilled,
Gordon said for weeks,
they told them,
"Dry hole, dry hole,
this is a dry hole."
And they kept drilling,
and found the second biggest
oil reserve
in the history
of the United States.
Gordon was on the rig
when they hit that.
It was a lot of fun.
He said when they find oil
on the rig you're working on,
everybody gets a bonus,
You got snow in your hair, kid.
We were proud of him
for doing so much so soon.
I bragged about
getting Gordon that job.
I'm gonna throw it at Mom.
You ready?
Ow, shit!
But then when that job
cost him his life...
I had to stop bragging and...
...and feel responsible.
I'm sorry,
I know this is not a good time,
but this is the two minutes our
child will have of his birthday.
I'll give you the ultimate
bittersweet experience.
It's having a new grandson
whose daddy just died.
And this was a time
of such happiness,
and we just hugged
and cried and cried.
And it was just
so emotionally wrenching
for us to see that Gordon...
Not there, to be there.
Gordon's supposed to be there.
There's me. Yeah.
"Even a cave man can do it."
There's a crane operator,
Heavy D.
His name was Dwayne,
but we called him Heavy D
because he was a big guy.
This is Jason Anderson,
this is one of the guys that got
killed out there.
But he was always making funny
faces in the meetings. So...
We were all inside,
up on the front here,
when everything happened.
So that's why I was so close
to the, the lifeboats.
Luckily I was, being asleep,
I was right there at it.
And then all these guys
working were, like,
up here in the center and stuff,
and this crane here
on the other side,
that's the one that Dale was in,
when it came out,
when he got blew out.
There's me.
See, this is a crane pedestal.
So that crane
that I was showing you,
this is what it's sitting on.
And that's, you know,
that's probably
like a 50-foot drop at least.
Ah, I found it.
See? That was my room, 338.
This is the one I grabbed
and wore out of the rig,
something that I wanted.
I felt that, you know, if they
were gonna get mad
for me stealing a life jacket,
then, oh, well
at that point, you know?
Come on you guys, answer.
There we go.
Hey, John.
Yeah, I'm gonna take
control back here, I think, OK?
For some reason,
Transocean started saying,
"We don't need that many people
to properly maintain the rig,"
so they started
eliminating positions.
At first, it seemed OK because,
you know, equipment's new.
It doesn't break down
very much when it's new.
But pretty soon,
started getting too much
for us to keep up with.
The accident
aboard the drilling platform,
you've made clear
that that was the fault
of that drilling company, but
it was your oil
that was coming out here and is
now poisoning the Gulf of Mexico.
What kind of oversight did you
have on that drilling operation?
We can review the issues
around that in the future.
Our focus today
is responding to the incident.
We're focused on
eliminating the leak,
and we're focused
on defending the shoreline.
I'm pleased to announce
that BP has agreed
to set aside $20 billion
to pay claims
for damages resulting
from this spill.
It is my great pleasure
to introduce
the person known as
"the $20 billion man,"
the man selected to handle
the $20-billion fund,
Mr. Kenneth Feinberg.
BP decided we do not want to go
the Exxon Valdez
litigation route.
The Exxon Valdez spill
is now more than 20 years old.
They're still litigating.
Let's just front the money.
The President wants us to do it.
There's political pressure.
We'll do it.
BP's only got 10 or
15 percent of that oil floating.
The rest of it is on the bottom
of that Gulf and in our bay.
Are y'all gonna eat
any of them crabs?
You gotta eat the whole crab.
I don't know whether I'm gonna
eat the whole crab or not.
Let me ask you a question.
You're an expert.
How long do you think it will be
before you'll be able
to harvest those crabs
again at the bottom of the Gulf?
Over 30 years!
Well, then you've
got a total loss!
I think
I've been chosen to do this
because... of credibility.
I've done it before,
going back to the 1980s
with Vietnam veterans
and Agent Orange.
It worked.
9/11. It worked.
If you think this is a trick,
you can go file a lawsuit.
But my friends, I'm telling you,
you'll litigate for years.
You may not win.
You gotta pay a lawyer.
I suggest to you
that the program
I am setting up
is absolutely the way to go.
Take the money. It's a gift!
Here's a box of yogurt.
OK, Alex. This one's ready.
If you'll just sit right there,
we'll take care of you, sir.
How you doing?
I got enough,
give me some yogurt!
I got that...
Give me some yogurt.
Not around here.
These is coming out of
We was working seven days a week
before the oil spill.
But not now.
We're not working
but three days a week,
and we out of here
by 10:00, 10:30.
Today's the longest day
we've had in I don't know when.
But they gave me
the emergency money,
and gave me for so much a week.
But after that,
they hadn't paid me nothing.
They hadn't paid me
my four times the amount.
And I don't know why they won't,
because I have
all my documentation
that they asked for,
where I file my taxes.
Everything they asked for,
they got it.
They offered me $1,500.
It look like somebody's home
over there today.
We'll go over there.
What's going on with ya?
I gotta box of bananas
back there.
You want some of 'em?
You want some of these bananas?
I have a lawyer
fighting these BP people
'cause I got two checks,
and that's it.
And that was only 2,000.
And that's how I bought
my mom's trailer,
just so my kids
would have a home.
I've been shucking oysters
since I was six years old.
And my husband,
he was an oyster catcher.
He's a shrimper. He does both.
I hope we get
something out of it,
me and my husband both
because we deserve it.
But right now, the...
the shrimp boats
really ain't doing that good,
you know?
They ain't really doing
that good at all.
Been junking.
But that's done fade away, too,
'cause we done cleaned
this whole area up down here.
People let us have their junk
in their yard.
Cleaned up this whole place
down here, but my hus...
That's what my husband's
out doing right now
is cutting up a big old frame
so we can pay our light bill
when it comes in.
Go in Fire River.
You know where Fire River at,
don't ya?
Go in there where
them black folk live at
and see what they got
in their yard.
I sure will.
They're all my folks.
Tell them you know Roosevelt
and Roosevelt sent you down here
to get, so that you get some,
some junk from these houses.
And tell em you ain't got
no money to give 'em.
"Just give me the junk."
Yeah, just give me the junk,
and I'll clean your yard.
- Clean your yard, that's all you tell 'em.
- That's right.
The actual offshore oil
and gas industry
started here in Morgan City
in 1947,
when a group went from
Morgan City out into the Gulf,
built a platform,
put a land rig on the platform,
drilled a well,
couldn't see land.
So they were offshore.
This is the first
movable rig ever built.
- Really?
- Mm-hmm.
So it went to work in 1954.
This is how they lived,
this is the living quarters.
So when this quarters was built,
it was built for all men.
So community bathroom,
community shower room, and...
You mean my dad might sleep
in one of these beds?
This is how he lives
when he's offshore.
This is the type of room
he stays in.
All right,
this is the drill floor.
So this is where all the
drilling activity takes place.
This is the whole reason we built
the rig is for this drill floor.
So oil is made from the earth?
One of the theories is that
oil, it comes from fossils.
- Yeah, fossil fuel!
- Fossil fuels.
- But is it a fossil fuel?
- I don't believe so.
You don't believe so?
No, 'cause it's just a theory.
Now I'll give you
the theory I live by.
God created the earth
to sustain life.
So he gives us wind,
he gives us solar,
thermal, nuclear,
coal, oil, gas.
All of these things
are all created by God.
The White House
is putting a hold
on any new offshore oil
projects until safeguards...
to drill at these depths
without knowing what happened,
does not make any sense.
That's why
I've issued a moratorium
on deepwater drilling.
260-1870 is the number.
Have you been affected
by the moratorium?
Has your company had
to start laying off people?
Have you lost your job
because of it?
I have read estimates
from upwards of 400,000 jobs,
9,000 jobs here immediately
on the Gulf Coast,
with upwards to 23,000.
I mean, exactly
what are we talking about?
Larry, up in Avondale, what's
happening, Larry? How you making?
I'm getting there, Bubba.
What you think about all this?
All right, thanks for the call.
Hope you know
what you're getting into.
Hello, hello.
Can I get your name?
Latham Smith.
What company you with?
Smith Maritime.
And where you headed to, sir?
For the barge, uh, BB1-10.
- All right.
- That's my barge.
Catch it. Catch it right in that
loop like you did before.
Real short. Run it right
through the loop back to you.
We have done
miscellaneous contracts
for the Transocean people,
and just about everybody
in the oil field.
Anybody that builds an oil rig
that needs it picked up,
we drive over and reach over
on the land and pick it up.
This is a big pipe-lay rig here.
This is a typical thing that we
would tow with one of our tugs.
But we're going through
a serious rethink
on the whole industry in the Gulf
of Mexico since the big BP spill.
One of the big issues is now that they're
just simply not issuing permits to drill.
In normal times, you'd see several
hundred people working in these yards.
Now they're down
to skeleton crews.
This conglomeration was drifting
around the Gulf of Mexico
two miles offshore Mobile Bay.
You'll see water boiling
out of this
if you get it a little hot.
It's slippery. It slides.
Its consistency's considerably
stiffer than that of peanut butter.
It probably would stick
to the roof of your mouth
and not go down your throat.
And handling it
is a bit of an art form.
Chocolate mousse, somebody says.
But it's not chocolate mousse.
It's heavier than that,
and it tastes a bit different.
For years I had this theory
that if you didn't get thrown
out before the end of the night,
you weren't having a good time.
That's what I thought, too.
I guess I been living wrong.
I've never been to jail.
Honey, you never been to jail?
- Donnie has, I'm sure.
- - Three times.
I threw a railroad tie through
the back window of a suburban.
Y'all a bunch of degenerates.
I was wanted in Venezuela
for about 15 years.
How many? 15?
About 15,
years I was wanted in Venezuela.
I go to these oil conventions
in Texas or wherever,
and the Chinese
are real big in this.
And the Chinese are building
oil rigs cheaper and faster
and better than we are.
Houston used to be
the epicenter of oil,
and China's taken over that.
People don't even want a car
that they can't drive
at 2:00 in the morning.
They want a car they can drive
any damn time they want to,
they want a light bulb they can
turn on any time they want to.
They want an air conditioner
they can turn on when it's hot,
not just when the wind blows.
- Right.
- And it's coal and diesel fuel
that transports everything
that makes everything.
And the, uh, the idea that...
The idea that civilization
can last three hours without oil
is ridiculous at this stage.
You see the enormity
of the oil that got spilled
by the blowout
at the Deepwater Horizon,
and realize that there
are hundreds of rigs out there,
and I just started noticing
how many cars there are
out all the time
burning gasoline.
And how insatiable
our thirst is for gasoline.
I think that everybody
on the Gulf Coast
kind of knows what side
of their bread is buttered on,
and they don't want that
to change.
What are these people gonna do
if they got no oil?
Once you go into it,
it gets in your blood.
I know of nobody that went
into the oil business
and stayed two years
and has ever left it.
Kind of think of it
as a job most of the time,
but every once in a while,
we start really thinking
why we're out here.
It's... A lot of it's
for the money.
A lot of it's
for the excitement.
A lot of it's for the challenge.
But then again, a lot of it's
for your kids, too.
A lot of the work, especially
on the drilling rig floor,
can be very, very dangerous.
Everything's heavy.
Things are moving fast.
It's kind of a macho world.
When I was running four
drilling rigs at one time,
I was running 24 hours a day,
not realizing that
I was probably
the most unsafe guy
in the field.
But that is what,
in the industry,
is kind of the culture.
If people were more involved
with how much energy they use,
if they'd realize the danger
involved in providing
that gasoline for their car,
then I think that they would
demand more accountability.
I worked for the crane,
so I was the guy
down on the deck
that would tie the ropes to it
and hook it up to the crane
and, you know, stabilize it
while he was picking it up,
and then help him set it down.
is the name of the job,
and that's your main focus of
that job is to do that,
but basically, you do
whatever they want you to.
I never had anybody say like,
"Oh, you can't go get
a drink of water,"
but there's definitely,
like, you say,
"Hey, I'm going in to
get something to drink
because I think I'm getting
there's gonna be ramifications
for that.
I've had them tell me not to
use safety as a crutch.
The senior toolpusher told me that.
And I told him, I said,
"Well, we're out here for 12 hours, and
it's like 100-something degrees outside."
I was like, there's gotta be a certain
pace you have to assign yourself
"to make it through the day
BP had in place
a policy on every rig,
before the Deepwater Horizon
blew out.
If anybody on the rig,
BP employee or not,
anybody on the rig submitted
an idea that saved BP money,
they'd get a bonus.
Transocean is growing
quite large.
It's the largest offshore
drilling company in the world.
And I think they may have overreached
themselves, because they were building
all these new rigs
that they had to finance.
I think there was definitely
some tension out there.
Like, people were...
people were aware
that things weren't going
properly, you know?
But we were a little bit
behind schedule.
So it was starting
to cost them a lot of money.
That's when the caution was starting
to get smaller and smaller.
BP brought a company
called Schlumberger out
to do a pressure test
on the hole.
But instead of doing that,
they just turned around
and sent them home.
And I thought,
"That's... that's kind of odd."
But I figured, well, OK,
they're the experts.
They know what they're doing.
Then the one morning
before everything happened,
in a safety meeting
that we all have to attend,
the BP managers were saying,
"OK, well,
we're going to be doing
this and this and this."
And my bosses
on the Transocean side
were saying, "We can't do that."
No, that's against the rules."
The BP guy's saying, "Well, I'm
But that's the way it is.
That's it, bottom line. Tough."
And, well,
the day went on normally.
9:40, 9:45,
we started hearing
extremely loud hissing noise.
I called back to Brent,
I asked him, you know,
"Why don't you go ahead
and call the bridge
and ask them
if everything's OK?"
They told him that we were
under a well-control situation.
But that's not really abnormal. We have
well-control situations all the time.
The two engines
that we had running,
engine three and six,
both of them
started increasing their RPMS.
They just kept going up
higher and higher and higher.
Which is impossible.
Then the lights went out, bang.
Light bulbs blew up
over our heads.
Computer consoles went "pfft,"
and they're dead.
We were in the dark.
It was quiet, nothing.
I only had enough time to tell
my guys that, "We're in trouble."
Something's wrong, guys.
We are in trouble."
And then the first explosion
hit us.
It picked me up and flung me
and flipped me through the air
like I was nothing
but a ragdoll.
I couldn't move.
Alls I can hear was screaming...
screamings of pain...
"...screaming," I'm dying.
I'm hurt.
Somebody help me."
Someone crawled, screaming,
over the top of me.
I fought my way through,
and I worked my way
out of the wreckage.
People were totally...
losing it.
They were screaming
that we had to get off the rig,
that it was sinking.
The fire was coming
and we were gonna burn.
I saw men just completely
lose control
and run to the side of the rig
and jump overboard.
I'm getting in the lifeboat,
it was almost like
it's like a dream,
you know,
it's like I wasn't even there.
And then, you know,
it's like you remember
just the waves rocking you
back to the world, you know?
At that point the panic is starting
to calm down a little bit.
We were starting to realize,
OK, we made it out.
We survived it, we're gonna live
through this, hopefully.
And then, you know,
you started to realize
that some of these guys didn't
get off, you know?
There were 26 separate
and distinct things
that were done
on or off the rig,
that made it
more likely to blow out,
and that were done to save
money or to save time,
which, on an oil rig,
certainly is money.
Nobody meant
for a blowout to happen.
Nobody thought a blowout
was gonna happen.
Everybody knew that they were
doing things in a way
that, little by little,
took away all these redundant
protections that exist
to make a blowout so unlikely:
Mechanical devices,
procedures, tests,
fluids, cement.
They were cast aside,
one by one.
They knew
when the decision was made
to cut corners to finish
that job a day or two earlier.
They knew the cement hadn't cured.
They knew they didn't have
enough centralizers on there. They
knew that the blowout preventer
may not prevent a blowout because
the hydraulics weren't working.
They knew all kinds of problems. They
knew that there was rubber in the mud
that was coming back up. You're
not drilling through rubber tires
in the bottom of the ocean. If
you've got rubber in the mud,
it came from the blowout
That tells you something.
They're still told
to keep going.
When the gas is kicking back,
they're told to keep going.
These are things that everybody
knows are wrong
and know that it's putting them
at increased risk.
Yet everybody just puts their
head down and keeps swimming.
And the problem is that
with that type of attitude
that's rewarded by the company,
it induces that behavior.
The oil companies
before us today amassed
nearly $289 billion in profits
over the last three years.
Yet the average investment
for safety, accident prevention,
and spill response was less than
one-tenth of one percent
of their profits.
Mr. McKay,
as the president of US BP,
were you aware of any of these
concerns or problems
that existed with this well
prior to it blowing?
No, I was not.
The committee asked each
of the five major oil companies
for their oil-spill
response plans.
But what they show
is that Exxon-Mobil, Chevron,
ConocoPhillips and Shell
are no better prepared
to deal with a major oil spill
than BP.
Mr. Tillerson, like BP,
on page 11-6 of your plan,
"Exxon Mobil's Gulf of Mexico
Oil Spill Response Plan"
lists walruses under sensitive
biological and human resources.
As I am sure you know, there aren't
any walruses in the Gulf of Mexico,
and there have not been
for 3 million years.
It's unfortunate that walruses
were included,
and it's... it's an embarrassment
that they were included.
But that's part of a larger
marine mammal study
that is used in...
that's used in preparing
regional response plans.
Mr. Mulva,
uh, your plan as well
includes walruses.
You got the call on April 20th.
"Your well just blew." What
would you have done?
We, we would activate our
Spill Response plan.
That's about five pages, I
think, in your proposal, right?
- Yes, sir.
- To remove the oil?
Your plan is written by
the same contractor that BP is.
BP relied on Marine Spill
Response Corporation
to provide response equipment,
and so does your plan.
So if you can't handle 40,000,
how are you gonna handle 166,000
per day as you indicate?
The answer to that
is when these things happen,
we are not well-equipped
to deal with them.
So when these things happen,
these worst-case scenarios,
we can't handle them, correct?
We are not well-equipped
to handle them.
There will be impacts,
as we are seeing.
Houston is the center
of the universe
for the oil and gas business.
A lot of the companies
are still downtown.
Some have moved out
to big campuses.
Like BP has a large campus
on the west side,
but downtown is still kinda
the center for energy.
For instance,
if you look at this,
the large silver building here,
this is the second Enron
Enron actually never moved in.
They went bankrupt
and had the criminal charges
before they ever moved in.
Advanced generation
system frequency control.
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What we've got here is a sub-sea
separation and boosting system.
You've got gas in green
going out the top.
You've got oil and water,
yellow and blue,
going down the bottom
into the baffle arrangement
and into the Caisson
gravity separation system.
You hook up
all three reservoirs.
Then you've got a very, very
good return on your investment.
This is where the "B" s are.
We don't seem to have you,
I'm afraid.
If you're not here,
then you can go down to the end.
The thing about
the oil and gas industry
is that these aren't bad people.
It's just that the industry
thinks that regulations
get in the way of innovation.
And we'd like to thank
our major sponsor this year, BP.
In this room, you have most of the
major oil company executives,
you have most of
the major energy providers.
We're discussing things like the
regulatory environment, which obviously
is changing very rapidly here in the
US after the Macondo event last year.
People beginning to think even about the
arctic, what will it take to get up there?
And, you know, even though our policies
have a diverse range of energy,
oil and gas is gonna be
the staple for decades to come.
Saddam Hussein was wearing a 45.
He took his 45,
put it on the table,
and he threw it across
the table, and he goes,
"Oscar Wyatt,
you've been a friend"
of this country for many,
many years.
I trust what you say is true.
I trust what you say
that I'm not doing is correct.
"Your plane
will not go back empty."
My father said,
"Thank you, Mr. President."
They went and all...
the plane was filled
with Texas and Oklahoma
oil field workers.
Within 30 minutes
of him taking off,
Saddam Hussein released
the other 3,000 hostages.
Your father got up
and made a short speech,
and he was very, very emotional.
I think President Bush
was a little bit upset,
but what upset everybody so much
is in January 21 of 1991,
even though the hostages
were released,
President Bush ordered
the bombing.
Remember that?
Everybody at this table
has been a part
of the golden era
of the oil industry
back in the late 70's
and 80's which...
You had no faxes.
You did everything by phone.
Your word was your bond.
Everybody made a lot of money.
Everybody got spoiled.
Houston got big.
Everybody had Texas Longhorns
on their Cadillac
driving around.
Everybody hammers big oil.
What is Google?
Google earns billions.
Yet big oil gets the hammer.
They get all the bad press.
Where I think we should be
thanking our lucky stars
that we should have
four dollar gas.
When you have...
When you pay for...
- In Europe it's...
- It's ten dollars a gallon.
I agree, Hal. I'm starving.
Let's fucking eat.
The memory
of the 2010 Gulf oil spill
is still pretty fresh
for families in the Gulf Coast.
Sheila Hagler noticed her
students needed an outlet,
a way for them to talk about what
their families are going through.
And since today
is the 23rd anniversary
of the Exxon Valdez,
we wanted to partner with kids
who were kids back then
in Alaska
with our kids here today.
I wanted to introduce
our two Skype scientists.
Kara works at the Prince William
Sound Science Center,
and Scott works at
the Oil Spill Recovery Institute
figuring out how we can deal
with recovering
from an oil spill.
Did anyone lose jobs
or businesses get shut down
because of the oil spill
like what happened to us?
The economy's changed here.
You know, the biggest one is the
loss of the herring fishery,
which for us would mean
that the boats
would be starting to work
right about now.
Now they don't start till
mid-May instead of mid-March.
And so that means that we don't
have the fishermen in town
bringing in the revenue,
which affects
all the businesses.
I don't know if they
would risk extinction.
Definitely local depletions
are possible.
Do you feel like you understood what
was going on with the oil spill?
Does anyone think that they should have
talked about it a little bit more in school?
I think they should have talked about
it more because it was like...
I'm pretty sure it wasn't
important to, like,
the northern states,
but it was important to us.
And how we grew up here
and the businesses
down in the Bayou and stuff, so.
The culture shock
in Mobile wasn't that bad.
The culture shock in the
bayous, Bayou La Batre,
that's where
I met Debruce Nelson,
one of the, um, claimants, who,
when I asked him
for his tax returns, said,
"We do things
with a handshake down here."
Big problem. Big problem.
Peggy, I need ice on my tray!
BP says they're gonna
responsible for everything.
But now, look like they
kinda back out of it, you know?
They're not doing what they say they
gonna do or back us up or anything.
We'll still, you know,
try to manage without them,
you know,
but it couldn't get worse.
We need to see,
um, what's his name?
Kenneth Feinberg?
I need him to come out here,
stay for a couple hours,
sit on this stool,
see how it feels like.
Nobody had had lunch yet today.
Everybody trying to catch on.
You know,
trying to work out what we got.
You know, without seafood,
we don't know what else to do
because most people
don't even speak English.
It's hard for them
to make a living.
I got two girls.
I got a 15-year-old and
an 8-year-old.
My 15-year-old,
she come help me on weekends.
She want to be a doctor, but,
you know, you never know.
We was fine, everybody was fine
before the oil spill.
Now you can see people,
you know, fighting,
fussing, begging for some stuff.
I mean, it's just not
Bayou La Batre anymore.
You hear me run my mouth.
I'm behind, so far behind now.
Yes, you do,
you got a little bit.
You got a little bit.
My mom wants me to be a model.
My cousin's supposed
to come work down here
at the Waffle House,
and I might get a job with her.
What could you say, baby?
That's a lot of children!
- OK, I appreciate it.
- I appreciate you.
- Thank you.
- And thank you, ma'am.
Be for real.
- Be for real when you talk to him.
- I know.
You have to get real
with these people.
- You got to get real, to be.
- Yep.
I'm used to seeing dirt,
sand, something like that.
But I ain't never seen
no kind of black,
like a black...
like a black oily look.
I just caught these shrimp.
Look how they look.
These shrimp, see the black
in them and stuff?
See? That's a subversant
came out of the water.
That came out of that shrimp.
While that shrimp
was in the freezer freezing,
- that's what came out of the shrimp.
- Ew.
Why, why is this gulf open?
People don't want to talk
to people
because they scared it's gonna
hurt the Gulf.
But it's best for the Gulf
they shut it down.
Let the... Send somebody to clean it all
up, get that subversants out of that water.
All right, all right, well,
see, you just come down,
and you tell the lawyer
what happened to you.
Oh, yeah. It ain't just me.
It's the whole community.
All right, all right, well, you
could tell about yourself.
The cultural
barriers, the skepticism,
the suspicion of workers,
concern about their family.
Important barriers
that I think probably precluded
some people from filing.
But we did our best to encourage
them to file a claim.
116,000 of the 331,560
claims processed
have been refused payment.
Are you stating that those
that have been refused payment
are because of fraud?
No, not at all.
If we have refused claims,
it can be
for a number of reasons.
No documentation,
insufficient documentation,
Moratorium claims,
unfortunately, are eligible.
There are all sorts of reasons
that we...
that we, either deny claims
or deem claims to be deficient.
Be very careful
when vulnerable people
are expecting compensation.
Be very careful about
over-promising, which I did.
I made a mistake
by telling them,
"You'll be paid in a couple of
days, you'll be paid in a week."
It turned out
that calculating damages
and looking at proof
took longer.
And people got frustrated
and angry.
Despite the Gulf oil spill,
executives with the company
that own the Deepwater Horizon
rig recently got big bonuses.
Transocean says, quote,
the tragic loss of life"
in the Gulf of Mexico,
"we achieved an exemplary
statistical safety record."
Uh, you know,
we're doing all right.
I mean, we're not doing great,
but slowly trying
to pay down some debt
and get back in school
and do something, you know,
besides just
kind of sitting here.
We sent in the stuff
with the Gulf Coast Fund,
like, twice, and they denied it
for, you know, state taxes,
which Texas doesn't have
state taxes so...
it seems like they were
just kicking the can
down the road until it
pretty much dissolved itself,
and we just got stuck
out of the loop.
Got some Nietzsche up here,
Animal Farm,
Plato, Five Dialogues.
A lot of Hemingway,
short stories.
We got the Bible, and we got Richard
Dawkins, The God Delusion,
Christopher Hitchens
and Sam Harris.
There is one book, though.
The Razor's Edge.
I read this book
when I was younger.
And it really moved me,
but it's about a guy
who has post-traumatic
stress disorder, really,
and his understanding
of how he changes
and how it clashes
with what his life used to be.
I've always thought it was a
beautiful story, but now it's just
vibing with me on a
different level, you know?
Let's see, this is Sheila Clark.
She's the wife of Donald Clark,
who died on the rig.
This is from when
she was hearing testimony
about the Deepwater Horizon.
And I just saw just
such a sadness in her.
So this is Chris Jones.
He is the brother
of Gordon Jones.
We sat in the same room
when his father started
And I just saw his...
I saw Chris just, like,
literally close down...
...and try to hold it together.
For me, this is what
Stephen looked like
for almost two years.
He was just inflated.
I think he just questions
why he wasn't one of them.
It's scary to me, like,
I scared myself quite a bit
'cause... I can't remember.
I think I had to call
the bank or something,
and it just turned out
to be a disaster.
Before I realized what was happening,
I took a pair of scissors,
and you can't really
see them now,
but I had sliced up my arm quite
a bit with a pair of scissors.
I don't even think
I realized I was doing it.
I think I just wanted to see if
I'd feel it, you know?
And I did, I felt it.
That was, uh...
That was one of the
tougher days, you know?
I'm looking for our bi-monthly
check from Transocean,
and it's not here.
Doug went from six figures
to less than $1,000 a month.
This is my therapy bill
that I can't pay.
After the accident,
nobody from his company called
to say, "How are you doing?"
We've had to fight to get him
medical care.
There's a lot of anger
involved with that,
that my husband did
such a great job
and was so dedicated
and went out there extra
when, you know,
they needed shifts to cover,
and he worked really hard
and then for them to seem
to abandon him?
There's a lot of anger.
I can smell that night now.
I can smell...
I can smell smoke...
They had to cut it off of me
'cause I was having
extreme difficulty moving.
Having all this Transocean
stuff around and BP stuff,
manuals and pictures
incorporated in our daily life,
it really was affecting Doug.
So I removed everything
out of our house.
And Doug would kinda sneak out
and look at the stuff,
and this is ultimately
where he was planning a suicide
was... around all this crap.
It's like he felt
this magnetism towards it.
He had to see it.
He had to know it was his.
It was like
a constant reminder to him
of so many accomplishments
that he did in his life
and his career
that he was so proud of.
I, um... I've constantly thought
if I should just get rid
of all of this stuff.
Why haven't you yet?
What is it about it?
I still think that there's a lot
of positivity with this stuff.
Somehow Doug feels
that this stuff defines him.
Doug had three prescriptions
before this accident.
It's OK.
It makes me feel guilty
'cause I played along.
A lot of things that
I was doing I knew were wrong.
That is not going
to be on the film.
Because you didn't do
anything wrong.
Yeah, I feel really guilty
for working for them.
I feel really guilty
for working for BP.
Members of the committee,
you cannot allow BP
and Transocean
to continue
to conduct business this way.
I hope that my testimony here
today leads to changes
that make drilling rigs
safer places to work,
so that a tragedy like this
never happens again.
I had a statement I prepared,
and I was really nervous.
You know,
I was kind of on autopilot.
I was... The doctors had me
on some medication.
So I was pretty heavily
and you know, still drinking
a lot at that time.
So, you know, I just wasn't
feeling very well.
But, you know,
I recognize that it was important,
so I wanted to go do that.
When we first went to
work on the Deepwater Horizon,
we had a fully manned
engine room
which consisted of six people.
Over the years, after Transocean
began lessening the crew,
I and others complained
that we need more help.
They just kept telling us that
they would see what they could do.
We have heard over and over
that the value
of BP's stock has fallen.
But BP is selling
for about the same price it was
a year ago today.
So BP, Transocean, Halliburton,
and any other company
will be back because
they have the infrastructure
and economic might
to make more money.
But Gordon'll never be back.
And neither will any of the ten
good men who died with him.
Yes, I'm heading down
towards Morgan City.
You can go in front of me
if you want to.
You see that giant thing
with the yellow cranes on top?
That didn't exist
six months ago.
The moratorium on drilling
and permitting
in the Gulf is over.
Price of oil
has stabilized very high.
Money is coming in,
and it is being spent.
A few days ago,
somebody lit a torch
and blew up an oil platform,
and a couple of guys died.
I suppose I don't know
who else, what,
but when you're doing this,
it can happen.
Oil is the prize.
Gold, in past lives,
might have been the prize,
but right now,
energy is a currency.
You can buy it with whatever,
dollar or euro
or whatever you want,
but it is great wealth.
And people fight
and die over great wealth.
They have forever.
We have more oil rigs
operating now than ever.
That's a fact.
We've approved dozens
of new pipelines
to move oil across the country.
So do not tell me
that we're not drilling.
We're drilling
all over this country.
It's the
first oil and gas lease sale
in the Central Gulf
since the Deepwater Horizon
exploded more than
two years ago.
39 million acres of potential
oil and gas drilling
are up for grabs
in the Central Gulf of Mexico,
a massive sale,
with 48 companies
submitting bids
on hundreds of tracts.
Anywhere from three miles
to more than 230 miles
off the Louisiana coast.
One bid,
Exxon Mobil Corporation:
Lot 822, one bid...
The oil concessions
that are granted offshore
belong to the government,
and in order for BP
or anyone else to drill,
they have to submit
an application and bid
and get a permit,
and then they're given
a lease to extract that oil
that belongs to our government.
Our government then gets paid
by whoever produces that oil
as a royalty interest.
So our government is
encouraging companies to go out
and exploit these oils because
our government gets paid.
It is a bit disingenuous
for a US Agency
to be issuing permits
and then receiving
huge revenues from that,
but yet then politicians
beating up
on those very same companies for
their activities in the Gulf.
Generally it takes some
kind of a traumatic event
to change people's behavior.
I'd hoped
that the Deepwater Horizon
was gonna raise everyone's
consciousness, but it didn't.
We had a moment in time
where everybody was paying
very close attention,
where we could
actually change the way
we think about burning
hydrocarbons in this country.
And the political pressures
from the Congress,
from the Senate,
and in the White House
pushed those issues to the side
and voted to stay status quo.
When BP made
a commitment to the Gulf,
we knew it would take time,
but we were determined
to see it through.
I'm glad to report all beaches
and waters are open
for everyone to enjoy.
I hate the commercials.
I hate that they can spend
all this money
and tell everybody
how great things are down here.
I guess if it wasn't having
a good effect for them,
they wouldn't still run the commercials,
'cause they've been doing it
for a year and half at least.
And they've really picked it up
now that the trial's going on.
The trial that's going on is the biggest
civil-damage trial there's ever been.
Maybe there'll ever be,
for all I know.
Now, I'm not on the trial team,
so I don't need to be here.
But nothing... going on in the world...
...that's more important to me.
I want to hear all the evidence.
I want to be there
when the world finds out
what these people have to say.
In this trial, the fine may be
many billions of dollars.
This is money we're talking
about that runs countries.
That's the kind of money that strongly
affects the United States budget.
I certainly think
that the people
who have the most stock,
that being an awful lot
of executives at BP,
that means that they would
really feel it.
And somebody with BP ought
to start feeling something.
Sometimes somebody
ought to feel something...
...other than...
Production in the US Gulf
is probably three years
behind schedule
because of the Macondo well.
But that's also
the next frontier, too,
the US Gulf, in terms of,
for production and discoveries.
It's unbelievable really.
The renaissance in United States
drilling is unbelievable.
What people don't realize
on energy is that effectively,
energy has been cheap in the
United States from day one.
I really believe
the US economic advantage
for the last 100 years
has been cheap energy.
Yeah. And it's gonna turn
to that again.
It's turning right now.
What about
the impact of shale gas?
- Exactly.
- - And oil. Both.
Coal. Coal.
We have enough
coal to last 150 years.
We're the Saudi Arabia of coal.
It's too dirty,
but the engineers...
- You know, between carbon sequestration...
- They're shutting them down.
You know where
the dirty coal's going?
Going to China
because they don't care,
and they're going to
burn it all.
If it's the cheapest BTU,
China takes it.
Bill Richardson was
at this hotel the other night,
giving a talk, they said,
"Mr. Secretary,
what do you feel about
the future for solar and wind?"
And he said, "Well,
let me tell you this."
The sun don't always shine,
and the wind don't always blow."
So natural gas is our future.
And I agree with that.
In the next 10 to 20 years,
I agree with that totally.
I think longer term,
solar will have a place.
At the end of the day, people are
concerned about the environment.
And what plays into gas is
we had an explosion in the Gulf.
We had the nuclear meltdown
in Japan.
- Which is scary.
- Which is scary, so...
- Wanna pay more for that?
- So what's your poison?
- Like, Al Gore once...
- Let's not say poison. Let's say, what's...
- What's your preference?
- What's your cost tolerance?
What's your cost tolerance
for something you think
is politically acceptable?
Yeah, but why is it
that the oil industry
doesn't do a better job
of educating the public
when we're the most high-profile
industry out there and yet...
Led by the big international
majors, Exxon, Shell, and BP,
they didn't think they have
to answer to anybody.
They thought it was going to be
beholden to the legislators
to be open and transparent.
They didn't want
to talk to anybody.
There was an arrogance
there, too, was a problem.
There's a huge arrogance. Why
should we have one dollar gasoline?
Or two dollar gasoline or three
dollar? Why should we have that?
I think we should tax
the living hell out of gasoline,
I think we should...
That's a political statement,
not an energy statement.
OK, but in general, if you want to curb
emissions, right, curb energy use...
People will be looking for cars
that drive 30 miles a gallon.
Do you really want to?
I don't know.
Do you really want to?
Is it a false god
we're trying to worship?
Americans in general believe
they should have cheap gasoline.
- Gasoline should be cheap.
- Americans in general believe that.
Well, why should we have
cheap products?
They love their cars,
and they like to drive.
They think it's our birthright.
I don't think people realize
how lucky we are.
You don't get burned.
You need four?
Lord, hear our prayers.