Re " 'A confluence of unfortunate events,' " May 23
"A single flaw in [the cement] seal, perhaps a crack the size of a human hair, can be enough to unleash a volcano of petroleum"?
And how many offshore wells do we have?
And how many deepwater wells, which may "involve risks that no technology can anticipate"?
And now we want to drill in the Arctic?
Are we nuts?
Why doesn't the United States government have the capacity to stop an oil leak?
BP's response to the current crisis is clear evidence that we should have a backup plan to protect our environment.
It could be the Navy, the Coast Guard or the Environmental Protection Agency — someone has to have this clear mandate and responsibility so we do not have to rely solely on the business sector.
Since it is apparent that neither the oil companies nor the government have a way of safely drilling deep wells, dealing with problems if they occur or even determining the extent of the oil spill, why is drilling being allowed at all?
Re "Great minds, no time," Column One, May 22
The Times compares the BP oil leak to Apollo 13.
It is true that both disasters occurred in hostile environments and were time-critical. However, NASA successfully resolved the mechanical problems on Apollo 13 and brought the astronauts home safely.
With a problem closer to home, BP has not yet been successful, resulting in great harm to the ocean and coastline.
Why do so many people think private businesses are more successful and efficient than government?