Actor and film producer Kevin Costner has become an unlikely hero of the Gulf oil leak disaster. Costner has a company that produces machines that separate oil from water using a centrifuge system. BP has purchased 32 of the machines.
Three of the machines are expected to be deployed and working this weekend, with the rest in operation within the next sixty days. The machines, built by Costner’s company Ocean Therapy Inc, are designed to purify two hundred thousand gallons of water each day of operation. Costner spent seventeen years and twenty million dollars of his own money developing the water purification machines.
It is strangely refreshing to find a Hollywood player actually offering something constructive in regards to the environment. The MO of most Hollywood actors when confronted by something like the BP Gulf oil leak disaster is to demand government action to end fossil fuels, promote politically correct energy sources, and demand that the hoi polloi cut back on their energy usage before heading back to the airport in their limos and then jetting away in their Lear Jets.
Kevin Costner has decided on a different, more entrepreneurial approach. Costner has actually invested money, hired scientists, and has developed machines that actually clean up the ocean from oil spills.
The result could have been the plot of a Hollywood movie, if such were to celebrate the efforts of entrepreneurs. First, Kevin Costner had to persuade BP that his machines would work. After ten days of testing, BP was satisfied enough in the utility of the water cleaning machines and agreed to purchase them for use.
But BP was eminently reasonable compared to the federal government. The federal bureaucracy, which has been so adroit at making the BP Gulf oil leak disaster worse, at first balked at approving the Costner oil cleaning machines for use. The reason was that the purified water, while safe to drink, still slightly exceeded EPA regulations for the amount of oil per gallon of water.
John Nolte, writing for Big Hollywood, expressed the absurdity best.
“Anyone who understands how ineffective and outright stupid our bloated federal government is will not be surprised to learn that one of the reasons/excuses the oil industry used to ignore Costner’s invention was due to the entrepreneur’s inability to obtain federal approval for his invention because – get this – though wildly effective, the trace amounts of oil left in the water processed by Costner’s invention exceed federal regulations. In other words, better the water stay 100% contaminated than give the okay to an amazing idea that doesn’t turn it into Perrier-“
Kevin Costner, the star of such hit films as “Silverado”, “No Way Out”, “Dances With Wolves”, and “Thirteen Days”, as well as expensive bombs like “Waterworld” and “The Postman”, thus found himself in the middle of a David vs. Goliath struggle that could have come to any movie epic. And, in the true Hollywood ending fashion, Kevin Costner won and now his machines are helping to do something that the federal regulators has so far failed to do, clean up the soiled waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Source: Hero of the Gulf: The Feds Fought Costner and Costner Won, John Nolte, Big Hollywood, June 26th, 2010