A Real Joe the Plumber Plugs BP Well

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July 20, 2010

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bp oil spill capJessica DuLong, a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed merchant marine officer who happens to be one of the world’s only female fireboat engineers, points us to an article published last week in the Christian Science Monitor.  Acording to the report, the design of the new cap system that appears to be stopping the flow of oil from the blown out BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is remarkably similar to a design offered anonymously by a plumber, ironically named Joe:

Six weeks ago, Robert Bea, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, received a late-night call from an apologetic “mystery plumber.” The caller said he had a sketch for how to solve the problem at the bottom of the Gulf. It was a design for a containment cap that would fit snugly over the top of the failed blowout preventer at the heart of the Gulf oil spill.

Professor Bea, a former Shell executive and well-regarded researcher, thought the idea looked good and sent the sketches directly to the US Coast Guard and to a clearinghouse set up to glean ideas from outside sources for how to cap the stubborn Macondo well. >Keep Reading

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