Today I wanted to share with you a blog from colleague and fellow Texas Aggie Alumni Dick Ghiselin:

A one-act play – setting the scene

In the countryside, a beautiful home is engulfed in flames. Firefighters are making every effort to save the structure and its contents from total destruction. The distraught owner is watching and trying to help in any way he can.

(A television crew rushes up.)

Reporter (to firefighter): ‘What happened?’

Firefighter: ‘I don’t know. We’ll investigate as soon as we get this extinguished.’

Reporter (to owner): ‘What caused this?’

Owner (a bit preoccupied): ‘I don’t know. I woke up and fire was everywhere.’

Reporter: ‘Was it bad wiring? Did you leave the stove on? Were the kids playing with matches? Did you check your fire extinguisher beforehand?’

Owner: ‘I don’t know. Please … my family … my home …’

Reporter (to camera): ‘Behind me, a luxurious home is in flames. Nobody claims to know anything. Responsible individuals have refused to comment.’

(A car drives up – a county official emerges.)

County official (to owner): ‘We’ve convened a council meeting. We’re conducting an investigation on this. Come with me, right now!’

Owner: ‘But…’

County official: ‘No buts. We want to know what you did that caused this, how you’re going to pay for it, what led up to it, who’s going to clean up this mess, who’s at fault here?”

There is no sense continuing this farce, you get the point.

We are watching a classic cart-before-the horse scenario at the highest level. The president is issuing edicts, Congressional representatives are falling over themselves vying for camera time to get their comments out there, and everyone is demanding answers that will not exist until a thorough investigation by experienced oilfield professionals has been conducted. The television is full of the “speculation du jour” sandwiched between interviews with doomsday scenario enthusiasts. One nut case actually opined that the whole affair was a government plot, perpetrated by the wind and solar contingent. The venerable Houston Chronicle, in its zeal to explain what may have happened, resorted to interviewing an engineer from a small independent operator in Shreveport, La. What were they thinking?

Three fine gentlemen, two of whom I know personally, have been subjected to a shameful grilling by a panel who asked naïve questions, then interrupted when the answer was being provided. Clearly, the panel did not care about the answer; they just wanted to have their sound byte on the evening news. Welcome to America.

Our leaders have shown their true colors. They have turned a horrible accident into a media circus. Politicians to the end, P.T. Barnum could not have done better.

What about the future?

Let us get our priorities straight. The blowout will be killed. The beaches and marshes will be remediated, and a new rig will be built. But one thing will never be the same. I dedicate this column to the 11 who will not be on the six o’clock crew boat; who will never watch another incredible Gulf of Mexico sunset; whose story is all but forgotten in the cacophony of the circus.

Softly call the roll, will someone answer, “Here?”

Jason Anderson

Aaron Dale Burkeen

Donald Clark

Stephen Curtis

Gordon Jones

Roy Kemp

Karl Kleppinger

Blair Manuel

Dewey Revette

Shane Roshto

Adam Weise

Dick Ghiselin is a senior editor for E&P magazine.