Inderscience Publishers

The BP oil spill and the adherence to reductionist principles: moving toward a precautionary tomorrow

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The ability to successfully extract fossil fuels and mitigate the potential for social, economic, ecological and health–related impacts is of great importance. In April of 2010, the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill occurred in the Gulf of Mexico with 11 known fatalities. The disaster left the USA pressed to find a solution to solve the community health and safety issues associated with the offshore petroleum extraction industry in a policy and regulatory environment based on the reductionist perspective. However, in order to begin to address these issues, the regulatory environment must change their perspective to a precautionary one. This paper uses the BP oil spill as an example of what can happen when society continues to hold to reductionist principles, and advocates for a shift in thinking toward the precautionary perspective.

Keywords: Deepwater Horizon, oil spills, BP oil spill, oil disasters, Gulf of Mexico, Macondo blowout, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, USA, United States, petroleum industry, British Petroleum, reductionist perspectives, precautionary perspectives, fossil fuels, social impacts, economic impacts, ecological impacts, health–related impacts, community health, community safety, offshore extraction, petroleum extraction, regulatory environments, disaster management, emergency management, health and safety issues

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