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Demonstration Effects

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The Gulf oil spill has a way of putting in perspective our other troubles.  Suppose the first few shards of evidence hold up – that BP engineers were under some pressure to cut costs by electing cheaper safety methods against the possibility of a blowout? What would be the cost, going forward, of increasing tenfold the precautionary apparatus installed at every undersea well-head around the world? Fifty cents a barrel?  A dollar?  That’s not much in a world of $75/bbl oil – surely not much more than a penny a gallon at the pump.  That the costs of enhanced safety