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Where’s the backup?

In regards to the ongoing Deepwater Horizon leak off the coast of Louisiana – what I don’t get is why there isn’t (wasn’t) a backup blowout preventer. Sure, they’re expensive, but so is paying off all the parties that BP is likely to be paying off now. All it takes is once – and I’m sure with all the money BP has lost already you could buy a LOT of blowout preventers.

I work in computers and even for the most lousy insignificant low risk application we shove in backup hardware. It honestly is unfathomable to me with something of such high liability that the parent company, much less the government, would leave themselves to a single point of failure like this. This is particularly true when you’re operating at inhuman depths and in seas that are notoriously fickle (moreover with flammable materials).

I really just don’t get it. Backup hardware is a business standard these days. We shouldn’t be saying “it” failed, instead we should be saying “they” failed before we see a disaster of this type.

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