I took these two pictures in 2009, when I went on a tour of the Long Beach oil islands before that year’s TED conference. The four man-made islands sit right off the shore and were once the focal point for what used to be known as THUMS (Texaco, Humble, Union, Mobil and Shell’s joint effort to develop and produce oil from underneath Long Beach.) Now owned by Occidental Petroleum, the plant consists of 1500 wells, whose tentacles stretch underneath the California mainland.
At the time, I mainly loved these images for their retro graphic quality (You can read my original BusinessWeek blog post about the tour here.) Now, the recent, awful events in the Gulf of Mexico lend them a more ominous tone. “No Pollution Not Any”? We wish.