Arturo Keller Addresses Gulf Oil Spill on Public Radio

Arturo Keller

Earlier today, Bren School professor of environmental biogeochemistry Arturo Keller joined a four-person radio panel discussing the Gulf oil spill on public radio station KQED in San Francisco.

Speaking on "Forum," hosted by Michael Krasny, Keller discussed the various methods being employed to stop the spill, including using a dome to cap the oil at the source of the flow and drilling a second well from the side. He said that those technologies are unproven and may or may not work at the depths in question, depending on a range of variables including the pressure at which the oil is flowing and the effect currents may have on moving the cap once it's in place.

While addressing the overall safety of offshore oil rigs, Keller suggested that if it is not cost-effective to put in place adequate safeguards to prevent such spills in the first place or to deal with them much more effectively than is currently possible once they occur, then we should be moving away from investing in oil and toward alternative fuels and energies.

The other guests on the broadcast were Aaron Viles, campaign director for the New Orleans-based environmental group Gulf Restoration Network; Erik Milito, director of upstream and industry operations for the oil-industry trade group American Petroleum Institute; and Lisa Margonelli, director of the Energy Policy Initiative at the New America Foundation and author of Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank.

Listen to the program. (Professor Keller begins speaking about the engineering involved in attempting to stop the flow of oil at 13.25. He responds to a question about overall safety of oil rigs at 47.55.)