Cavnar, a veteran of the energy industry (including early work on oil rigs and pipeline construction), does a more-than-admirable job of clarifying deepwater drilling, specifically the corporate interests behind it and the mechanics and risks associated with it. Cavnar approaches his subject like a muckraking reporter, pointing fingers and wringing hands and, though he doesn't spare BP, he argues that their hands were tied. Regarding their lowball estimates of oil spilled in the early days, Cavnar states that "liability is based on the amount of oil released into the environment"; though BP officials "probably had calculated the actual flow rate to within a few percent," releasing those figures would have meant owning up to a much greater liability. Especially chilling is Cavnar's assertion that other disasters will follow Deepwater Horizon, since 27% of domestic production comes from deepwater drilling and a 2009 study of subsea Blow Out Protectors showed a failure rate of 45%. Even if the US were to regulate or ban all offshore drilling, multinational companies would set up deepwater rigs near more lenient nations to sidestep the problem. Ultimately Cavnar issues a call to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels; only this, he suggest, will spare us ecological catastrophe.
Cavnar captures all the drama of the disaster with an oilman's expertise. This book not only explains what happened on the well on April 20th, but all the decisions made in the past that led up to that fateful night. In the process, Cavnar hasn't just delivered a riveting story, but a political call to arms.
—Mimi Swartz, Executive Editor of Texas Monthly and co-author of Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron
Because of Bob Cavnar's extensive experince in the oil and gas drilling business<—>which includes being the victim of a drilling-related explosion himself<—>his book brings alive the BP disaster in ways no other account has done. Cavnar lets the reader understand how the disaster really happened, and who bears responsibility. Not surprisingly, he also shows what happened during the Bush administration to make this tragedy more likely.
—Howard Dean, former DNC Chair and Vermont governor; author of Howard Dean's Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform
A clear-eyed look at what really happened on the Deepwater Horizon, and a dissection of the toxic regulatory system that made it possible, Disaster on the Horizon packs a powerful one-two punch<—>all the more devastating because it's delivered by an industry insider.
—Arianna Huffington, Cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post
Brilliant. A must read to understand what happened—and why.
—Bruce Babbitt, formerÂ U.S. secretary of the Interior and governor of Arizona; author of Cities in the Wilderness
Bob Cavnar, with thirty years of oil patch experience, has written the definitive story of the blowout in the Gulf. It is a gripping and deadly tale—one that takes the reader to the rig site, where he makes you feel the blast and heat from the explosion, and gives you an unrivaled look at what actually went on in the blowout and in the months that followed it, the lives tragically lost, and the lessons to be learned. A must read for everyone concerned about the oil industry, the effectiveness of government regulation, and America's energy future.