by Michael dEstries
Categories: People
Tags: .

Over the more than 40 days the oil spill disaster has been depressing our world, BP has received a mountain of suggestions on how best to clean up the mess. Of those, only a few have made it past the suggestion box, frustrating many who claim (and some who probably do) to have genuinely innovative solutions to offer.

Needless to say, it’s been a select group making it through. Even James MotherF–king Cameron expressed his anger at being shot down — probably the one time since Avatar hit the scene that the director hasn’t been ushered to the front of the line.

So you have to wonder how Kevin Costner, an actor most memorable for his movie bombs as much as his successes, managed to soar above the fray and actually attract support from BP for his oil filtration device. According to a little investigating by Business Weekly, it had less to do with his celebrity (though the name dropping probably helped a bit) and more with his business acumen, foresight, and industry connections.

First off, Costner’s involvement in oil filtration technology is not something he’s casually dabbled in. Ever since he bought the design for his centrifuge system from the Department of Energy some 15 years ago, he’s been working to perfect it. At the time, the DOE’s device just wasn’t working and Costner, inspired to create something that could help avoid the mess caused by the Exxon-Valdez, offered to take it to the next level. Together with his brother Dan, Costner started CINC (Costner Industries Nevada Corp) to develop the technology; spending some $26 million of his own money in the process to make it a reality. They later launched Ocean Therapy Solutions to front the tech.

Over the course of the last decade, the actor presented his technology at oil industry-related conferences; most notably the Offshore Technology Conference somewhere around 2000. It was at that presentation that a number of BP employees witnessed Costner’s centrifuge demo; leading to the “oh yea, I remember that…” moment last month when the company was angling for ideas.

But first they needed a bit of reminding, which is where Costner scored big in Billy Nunngesser, president of Plaquemines Parish, a governmental district in coastal Louisiana. John Houghtaling, CEO of Ocean Therapy Solutions contacted Nunngesser, who remembered the presentation, and then sent a letter on Costner’s behalf to Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production. The rest is history — and now Costner and his team are preparing to deploy his large centrifuges in deep water with the help of BP — and hopefully, to the benefit of the ecosystem.

The only hitch is that Costner’s tech has not been certified by United States Coast Guard regulations, as its purity levels for the discharge of water are apparently high above legal requirements. Time will tell if the rules are bent in an effort to clean up the water sooner than later.

via Business Weekly

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Patrick Scullin

    Biting satire about the BP spill @
    If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry.

  • Whoever…

    This is a simple, cheap, quick (and already used in the 80’s in the USA) way to clean up the oil spill:

    BP and other ‘powers that be’ don’t want to clean up the mess, don’t you get it!?

    • Guido B

      Bad Daddy Obama wants to make this as nasty as possible so he can shut down drilling. Then shut down coal. Then we can go back to sticks and campfires……lovely! See if you can run your house with a windmill. Either way it’s going to be a LOT more expensive. And you thought you were already getting kinda broke……….

      • gb

        Guido B
        you know that can’t happen. The greenies have already shown that buring wood creates a larger carbon footprint. We will have to heat ourselves with soy and tofu

      • KillerK

        Nice SWAK (simpleton with a keyboard) attack, Guido!
        Drill, baby, drill! Now, that’s using the ole noggin, eh, Scarecrow?

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  • JamaicaJoe

    Hey Coast Guard, get some common sense the water coming out is 99% purer than what is going in!

    “The only hitch is that Costner’s tech has not been certified by United States Coast Guard regulations, as its purity levels for the discharge of water are apparently high above legal requirements.”

  • Pingback: Costner’s Oil Filtration Tech Clogs In First Test With BP « :: the latest in green gossip()

  • gb

    As a Floridian who cares about the Gulf waters, I applaud Mr Costner’s time and exspense that he has comitted to cleaning up this type of disaster “spending some $26 million of his own money”, not government stimulus money. I too hope that the Coast Guard and other government run agencies will not block this effort to contain the spill.

  • Daniel


    well, first burning oil and burning coal isn’t much more advanced than campfires…and since we will run out them shortly, why bother fighting for them?

    Mr. Costner has invested a lot of money into a technology, done a lot of futile marketing over the years and now has his chance…

    that’s the way humans work…Moses had his people stay in the desert for 40 years…because it was so far away?

    No, because those bred in slavery where gone, so that new minds could build a new country…

    to stick to old stuff is human, and buying IBM even though it isn’t the best technology around saves your job, even if it doesn’t work

    I am sure Mr. Costner only gets the chance because Lousiana will be hit the hardest and BP cannot afford being accused of not having tried everything

    So: I am not religious, but even here from Europe this catastrophe seems to be getting completely out of control…so my prayers and best wishes to this technology, to the Gulf-ecosystem and to the innovative and inventive American people


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