Monday, May 31, 2010

A restraining order against BP

from
CNN dot com



John Wunstell Jr., is asking BP to give the workers masks and not harass workers who publicly voice their health concerns.

Wunstell, a shrimper, said he was paid by BP to use his boat, Ramie's Wish, to clean up oil that has been gushing into the Gulf since an oil rig sank about 40 miles off the Louisiana coast, gushing an estimated 19,000 barrels (798, 000 gallons) of crude a day.

In an affidavit, Wunstell wrote he started experiencing severe headaches and nasal irritation on May 24. Over the next few days, he also developed nosebleeds, an upset stomach, and aches.

On Friday, Wunstell was airlifted to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, Louisiana, where he remained hospitalized Sunday.

Eight other workers were brought to the hospital this week and were all released.

"We need to start protecting these guys," said Jim Klick, Wunstell's lawyer.

In his affidavit, Wunstell described his experience at the hospital.

"At West Jefferson, there were tents set up outside the hospital, where I was stripped of my clothing, washed with water and several showers, before I was allowed into the hospital," Wunstell said. "When I asked for my clothing, I was told that BP had confiscated all of my clothing and it would not be returned."

The restraining order requests that BP refrain from "altering, testing or destroying clothing or any other evidence or potential evidence" when workers become ill.

Graham MacEwen, a spokesman for BP, said he could not comment on the restraining order, or on allegations that BP confiscated clothing.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Remembering Ixtoc

By Chris Hawley, USA TODAY
COATZACOALCOS, Mexico — Here on Mexico's Gulf Coast, the Deepwater Horizon disaster has revived memories of the world's worst accidental oil spill, a 1979 blowout that spewed oil for nine months, devastated marine life and covered the Texas and Mexican coasts with gobs of crude.

Now, people here are worried they may be in for a repeat of that disaster as ocean currents begin to catch oil from the Deepwater Horizon well and the Atlantic hurricane season gets underway June 1.

There are strong parallels between the two spills. Like the Deepwater Horizon spill, the Ixtoc 1 spill on June 3, 1979, involved the failure of a blowout preventer device, a kind of emergency shutoff valve. In both cases, metal domes put over the well failed to stop the leaks.

And in both cases, crews turned to something called relief wells dug horizontally through the seafloor to stop the spills, a technique that can take months.

The Ixtoc I was an exploratory well being drilled in 160 feet of water about 60 miles northwest of Ciudad del Carmen on Mexico's Gulf coast. By comparison, the Deepwater Horizon well is 5,000 feet deep. The Ixtoc 1 well was owned by Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexico's state oil company, known as Pemex. But it was being drilled by Sedco, a predecessor to Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

At about 3 a.m. that 1979 day, the drill bit hit a high-pressure pocket of gas and oil. The drill pipe bent, the blowout preventer failed, and an oil geyser shot 150 feet before bursting into flames.

Armando Rodriguez was a deckhand on a ship that was laying pipe for the Ixtoc 1 well. He was standing watch when the drilling platform exploded, shooting a pillar of blue flame into the night sky.

"The tower bent in half and went down in sparks," Rodríguez said. "We pulled out all the survivors. Then the oil started getting sucked into the engines, and the captain ordered us to back away."

All 63 crewmembers were rescued without injury. In the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, 11 died.

The Ixtoc spill wiped out fishing along the Mexican coast for nearly two years, said fisherman Agapito Quintana Gomez, 73.

Reaching under a boat behind the offices of the Miguel Aleman Fisherman's Cooperative in Coatzacoalcos, Quintana pulled out what looked like a lump of rubber: hardened sludge from a more recent oil spill. Inside, it was glossy black and smelled like especially pungent tar. "This stuff is poison," Quintana said. "It's going to go everywhere. We saw this happen in '79."

Pemex and a series of U.S. contractors struggled for months to stop that leak. One company managed to close the well casing, but the oil broke through below the seal and caused another blowout. Another contractor built a dome for the well that it called the "Sombrero," Spanish for "hat," but oil continued to seep from cracks in the seafloor.

In August 1979, balls of sticky tar began washing up on the hotel beaches of South Padre Island in Texas. Crews scraped them up with construction equipment and giant vacuum cleaners, and the Coast Guard stretched a net across the Port Mansfield inlet to catch submerged tar balls.

Pemex began drilling two horizontal relief wells soon after the spill in June 1979, but they did not reach the Ixtoc 1 well until November, five months later. The crews used the relief wells to pump mud and steel balls into the gusher, finally capping the leak on March 25, 1980.

BP, which owns the well in the Deepwater Horizon spill, began drilling its own relief wells on May 2 and May 16. They will take about three months to complete, the company says.

Other techniques tried on the Ixtoc 1 might not work in the Deepwater Horizon spill. During the Ixtoc spill, scientists experimented with spreading fertilizer on the slick to encourage bacteria that break down the oil. That may not be a good idea near the Louisiana coast, which already has too much algae because of fertilizer runoff from the Mississippi River, said Terry Hazen, an oil spill cleanup expert at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The algae created a "dead zone" of low oxygen levels in the Gulf.

The Ixtoc 1 leak spilled between 126 million and 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, making it second only to the intentional oil spill of about 462 million gallons caused by retreating Iraqi troops in 1991 during the Gulf War, according to the Interior Department.

After the 1979 spill, sea turtles and dolphins suffered. Scientists dug up hundreds of oil-covered turtle eggs and flew them to cleaner beaches to save them.

Many residents now fear the BP spill will bring a repeat disaster. A variation in the Gulf currents that occurs every six to 11 months could eventually carry the oil toward Mexico, said Mike Pigott, a meteorologist with the AccuWeather forecasting firm.

"The winds are dead out there now, but in June, they're going to start blowing again," said Roman Dominguez of the Gavilan del Rio Fisherman's cooperative in Coatzacoalcos. "That's what people are worried about. Everyone here remembers Ixtoc."

wackenhut?

It just goes on and on, doesn't it?

While precious wildlife and marshes slowly die due to BP's lacksadasial (sp) response to saving Louisiana's coastline, it has now come to light that those bastards are employing a security company called Wackenhut to take care of the perimeter of BP's and the "Unified Command" Center in Robert, Louisiana (formerly known as the home of Global Wildlife) to hold back the real story from the world.

An excerpt from naomiklein dot org:


I just got off the phone with my friends Naomi Klein, author of "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," and her husband Avi Lewis, host of al Jazeera English's popular program Fault Lines. They are traveling around the devastated US Gulf reporting on the horrific disaster caused by BP's massive oil spill. They described to me a run in that they just had with the private security company Wackenhut, which apparently has been hired to do the perimeter security for the "Deepwater Horizon Unified Command." The "Unified Command" is run jointly by BP and several US government agencies including the US Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security.

Wackenhut, of course, is the notorious private security company that operates in the US and around the globe. It recently became part of the huge British mercenary network G4S. Most recently, Wackenhut gained global infamy for the conduct of guards from its subsidiary Armor Group after it was revealed by whistleblowers that the company created a "Lord of the Flies environment" at the embassy "in which guards and supervisors are 'peeing on people, eating potato chips out of [buttock] cracks, vodka shots out of [buttock] cracks... [drunken] brawls, threats and intimidation from those leaders participating in this activity." According to the Project on Government Oversight, "Multiple guards say this deviant hazing has created a climate of fear and coercion, with those who declined to participate often ridiculed, humiliated, demoted, or even fired. The result is an environment that is dangerous and volatile. Some guards have reported barricading themselves in their rooms for fear that those carrying out the hazing will harm them physically."

In other words, Wackenhut is the perfect choice to "guard" the joint BP-US government-US military operation in the Gulf.


Bastards.

We are not okay

It starts again, not even five years post Katrina. Our government allows itself to be lied to about the tragedy unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico and we are forgotten. BP is in charge because "it's their money", so they won't allow journalists to do their jobs. Our two state senators are removed from this disaster. One wants to limit big oil's liability, the other is just a wack job. All I can say is thank the lord for Billy Nungesser, Craig Tafarro, Kevin Davis, Charlie Melancon, Anderson Cooper and WWL radio.

Friday, May 28, 2010

National Wildlife Federation on

BP's dog and pony show

from nola dot com:

BP, the oil company taking flak for its inconsistent response to the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, bused in 400 extra cleanup workers to Grand Isle during President Obama's visit today, Jefferson Parish Council Chairman John Young said.

"It appears to have been a PR stunt by BP, not to say we don't appreciate the extra participation," Young said. "We certainly need them, but we don't need them for just one day that happens to coincide with a visit from the president."

Obama made his second visit today to Louisiana's oil-stricken coast, stopping in Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.

Young said he saw the workers dressed in red shirts, blue jeans and black shrimp boots mulling across the beaches and in the mess hall during the president's appearance. They were uniformed in a way "which you don't normally see workers dressed like that," Young said.

After Obama's departure, Young said, the work crews all but vanished.

"This is a total shame that a mockery has been made of this visit by the executives of BP," Councilman Chris Roberts said.

"What we want to make clear (is) if they're going to send them, then send them everyday, not just on the day of the president's visit," Councilman Tom Capella said.

BP spokesman Mike Abendhoff denied it was done solely for publicity.

"Obviously, it's unfortunate that that's what people are thinking," Abendhoff said. "We're not sending people for PR stunts.We're sending people to clean up this oil."

Abendhoff said the additional workers are part of BP's efforts gradually to increase its presence on Louisiana beaches to meet the incoming oil. "We've continued to add resources every day," he said

Young stopped short of saying Jefferson Parish officials were frustrated with BP's response to a disaster that has affected more than 100 miles of coastline. But he noted that parish officials commandeered idle BP-hired vessels last week to begin skimming oil that had traveled into Barataria Bay.

He said there appears to be a disconnect between the oil company and the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the response effort.

"I would compare BP today to FEMA after Katrina," Young said, recalling the halting response of the federal emergency agency in the days following the 2005 hurricane.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

WTF????

"BP's much-anticipated attempt to cap its undersea gusher in the Gulf of Mexico, a spill now estimated at twice the size of the Exxon Valdez disaster, was suspended for more than 16 hours before it was restarted late Thursday afternoon, a BP executive said Thursday."

Birds affected by the Oil Spill

LOS ANGELES, May 24 (Reuters) - More than 300 sea birds, the bulk of them brown pelicans and northern gannets, have been found dead along the U.S. Gulf Coast during the first five weeks of BP's huge oil spill off Louisiana, wildlife officials reported on Monday.

The 316 birds found dead along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida -- plus 10 others that died or were euthanized at wildlife rehabilitation centers after they were captured alive, far outnumber the 31 surviving birds found oiled to date.

The raw tally of birds listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as dead on arrival at wildlife collection facilities include specimens obviously tainted with oil and some with no visible signs of oil contamination.

But all are being counted as potential casualties of the oil gushing since April 20 from a ruptured wellhead on the floor of the Gulf because of their proximity in time and space to the spill, said Jay Holcomb, who directs a rescue center for birds in Fort Jackson, Louisiana.

The specimens eventually will be analyzed to determine more conclusively if the birds were contaminated with oil from the BP spill, he said.

Holcomb, director of the California-based International Bird Rescue Research Center, said mortality for sea birds, many of them in the midst of their breeding season, is expected to climb sharply, especially if hurricanes move into the region and sweep more oil ashore.

"The potential for this being catastrophic is right there because there's a massive amount of oil in the water, and it's still pouring out, and there's a lot of nesting birds and a lot of birds using the coast," he told Reuters. "If the tropical storms take that oil and move it, that's when you're going to see the real impact, I think."

DIVING BIRDS HARDEST HIT SO FAR

The birds known to be hardest hit by oil in the Gulf so far are those that feed by diving into the water for fish, including the brown pelican, removed last year from the endangered species list, and the northern gannet, Holcomb said.

But shorebirds, wading birds and songbirds will increasingly be put in harm's way as more oil washes onto beaches and into marshlands.

Oil impairs the insulating properties of birds' feathers, exposing them to cold and making it difficult for them to float, swim and fly. Chemicals in the petroleum also can burn their skin and irritate their eyes. They also end up ingesting the oil when they preen, damaging their digestive tracts.

 

 

Affects on Marine Life in the Gulf

From the NOAA incident news (http://www.incidentnews.gov/attachments/8220/527747/DeepH20web_26May.pdf)

 

Marine mammals and turtles (effective May 25):

Sea Turtles

The total number of sea turtles verified from April 30 to May 25 within the designated spill area is 223. The 223 includes three entirely oiled sea turtles that were captured alive during dedicated on-water surveys last week: two small Kemp's Ridley and a larger sub-adult Loggerhead turtle. They were taken to the Audubon Aquarium where they are undergoing de-oiling and care and are doing well. In addition, 207 dead and 13 live stranded turtles (of which three subsequently died in rehab) have been verified. None of the dead or alive stranded turtles have had visible evidence of external oil.

 

Dolphins

From April 30 to May 25, there have been 22 dead dolphins verified within the designated spill area. The dolphin collected on May 24 is being evaluated. The other 21 dolphins have had no visible evidence of external oil.

Oil Plume in Gulf

From AP

 Marine scientists have discovered a massive new plume of what they believe to be oil deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico, stretching 22 miles from the leaking wellhead northeast toward Mobile Bay, Alabama.

The discovery by researchers on the University of South Florida College of Marine Science's Weatherbird II vessel is the second significant undersea plume recorded since the Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20.

The thick plume was detected just beneath the surface down to about 3,300 feet, and is more than 6 miles wide, said David Hollander, associate professor of chemical oceanography at the school.

Hollander said the team detected the thickest amount of hydrocarbons, likely from the oil spewing from the blown out well, at about 1,300 feet in the same spot on two separate days this week.

The discovery was important, he said, because it confirmed that the substance found in the water was not naturally occurring and that the plume was at its highest concentration in deeper waters. The researchers will use further testing to determine whether the hydrocarbons they found are the result of dispersants or the emulsification of oil as it traveled away from the well.

The first such plume detected by scientists stretched from the well southwest toward the open sea, but this new undersea oil cloud is headed miles inland into shallower waters where many fish and other species reproduce.

The researchers say they are worried these undersea plumes may are the result of the unprecedented use of chemical dispersants to break up the oil a mile undersea at the site of the leak.

Hollander said the oil they detected has dissolved into the water, and is no longer visible, leading to fears from researchers that the toxicity from the oil and dispersants could pose a big danger to fish larvae and filter feeders such as sperm whales.

"There are two elements to it," Hollander said. "The plume reaching waters on the continental shelf could have a toxic effect on fish larvae, and we also may see a long term response as it cascades up the food web."

 

Quotes

April 27, 2010
“I am going to say right up front. The BP efforts to secure the blowout preventer have not yet been successful, If we don't secure the well, yes, this will be one of the most significant oil spills in US history." Rear Admiral Mary Landry – U.S. Coast Guard

April 29, 2010
"I've asked several times over the last few days for a detailed plan in terms of a quantifiable number of people and resources that will be deployed to help clean up and protect our coast. We haven't gotten those plans yet," Bobby Jindal – Louisiana Governor

April 30, 2010
It is of grave concern, I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling." David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

"They lied to us. They came out and said it was leaking 1,000 barrels when I think they knew it was more. And they weren't proactive. As soon as it blew up, they should have started wrapping it with booms." Cade Thomas, a fishing guide in Venice

"While BP is ultimately responsible for funding the cost of response and clean-up operations, my administration will continue to use every single available resource at our disposal, including potentially the Department of Defense, to address the incident," President Barack Obama

"As it gets into the wildlife management area it is going to kill us. It's the worst-case scenario for shrimpers, oyster harvesters, crabbers — all the commercial fisherman," Brent Roy-charter boat captain, referring to Louisiana's $2.4-billion-a-year fishing industry.

May 1, 2010
"These people, we've been beaten down, disaster after disaster," They've all got a long stare in their eye," he said. "They come asking me what I think's going to happen. I ain't got no answers for them. I ain't got no answers for my investors. I ain't got no answers." Matt O'Brien of Venice, whose fledgling wholesale shrimp dock business is under threat from the spill.

"These next few days are critical. Our focus is to mitigate the damage on the coast." Bobby Jindal - Louisiana Governor

May 2, 2010
"The oil industry is constantly given free rein in Louisiana," said historian Douglas Brinkley. "It's been treated as a third world society out there in the Gulf of Mexico; it's almost laughed at by oil executives - 'You can do what you want in the Gulf.'

"We should have started the cleanup while we were still watching that rig burn," said Billy Nungesser - President, Plaquemines Parish

“And we're going to do everything in our power to protect our natural resources, compensate those who have been harmed, rebuild what has been damaged, and help this region persevere like it has done so many times before.” Barack Obama

May 3, 2010
“The sky is not falling,” said Quenton R. Dokken, a marine biologist and the executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, a conservation group in Corpus Christi, Tex. “We’ve certainly stepped in a hole and we’re going to have to work ourselves out of it, but it isn’t the end of the Gulf of Mexico.”

May 4, 2010
"It's too much oil, too fast, not to have a pretty big impact on generations of wildlife that's in the water column. Birds eating shellfish getting sick and dying, marine mammals, land mammals getting sick and dying. You have birds feeding oiled fish to their chicks, the chicks have stunted growth," Riki Ott, a toxicologist who wrote two books about the Exxon Valdez spill.

"It wasn't our accident, but we are absolutely responsible for the oil, for cleaning it up, and that's what we intend to do," BP CEO Tony Hayward

"We will absolutely be paying for the cleanup operation. There's no doubt about that," Hayward told NPR. "Where legitimate claims are made, we will be good for them."

May 5, 2010
"Oil spills are ecological events, not human health events. Themost dangerous gases that come off the hydrocarbons in crude oil, benzene and toluene, will disperse as they come up through 5,000 feet of ocean water and then into the air, she says. And as the entire event "is happening in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, they won't have much effect on people on land.” LuAnn White, a toxicologist and director of Tulane University's Center for Applied Environmental Public Health

"This is another sad milestone in a disaster unfolding in slow motion. This massive oil slick is churning around in the Gulf and emulsifying into a thick, deadly 'mousse' that will extinguish life and destroy habitats. Seabirds like the Northern Gannet and an array of marine life have already been hit and now, many more victims are now likely to succumb. We may never know the full extent of the damage to the creatures that spend their lives beneath the waves or suspended between sea and sky. Millions of birds migrate across the Gulf at this time of year, returning from their winter homes in South America.” Frank Gill, president of National Aububon Society

May 9, 2010
“I wouldn’t say it has failed yet. What I would say is what we attempted to do last night didn’t work.” Doug Suttles - BP spokesman (after the containment dome failed to stop the oil flow)

May 13, 2010
"We would much rather fight the oil," one worried fishermen told Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration representatives.

May 16, 2010
"We have no idea where the oil that isn't reaching the surface is going," James Cowan Jr., an oceanography professor at Louisiana State University, to the Los Angeles Times. "It could go everywhere.”

May 18, 2010
BP CEO Tony Hayward told Britain's Sky News on Tuesday morning that he didn't think the spill would seriously hurt the Gulf ecosystem. "Everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact will be very, very modest," he said.

"We are nowhere close to the finish line, oil has already been found along 29 miles of the state's coast Oil continues to pour into the gulf and hit our shores." Bobby Jindal – Louisiana Governor

May 19, 2010
"In the use of dispersants we are faced with environmental trade-offs," acknowledged Environmental Protection Agency head Lisa Jackson at a Senate hearing Tuesday. She noted, "I'm amazed by how little science there is on [these chemicals]."

"The heavy oil is here. This was the day everybody was worried about, everybody was concerned about. That day is here, that heavy oil is in the marshes. This was not the weathered, the emulsified oil,it wasn't tar balls. This wasn't sheen. ... This is oil that is going to be very, very difficult for them to clean up. More than 30 miles of the coastline has been oiled " Bobby Jindal - Louisiana Governor

May 21, 2010

"It's so sad when you look around here and you just think of what was here, what's happening to it now and what's gonna happen to it," says P.J. Hahn, the director of the Parish Coastal Zone Management Department. "Unless we stop that oil out there, it's just going to continue to keep coming in here and wipe out everything we have. ... I think we're just starting to see the first wave of what's really coming — and what's really coming I think is going to be devastating."


May 22, 2010

"Oil in the marshes is the worst-case scenario," said Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the head of the federal effort to contain and clean up the spill.

"I'm tired of being nice. I'm tired of working as a team," Billy Nungesser - president of Plaquemines Parish

"The government should have stepped in and not just taken BP's word," declared Wayne Stone of Marathon, Florida, an avid diver who worries about the spill's effect on the ecosystem.

"Work to disperse and burn the oil offshore was making good progress. Our near-shore activities were also quite successful yesterday. . . . We're quite fortunate; we have only had oil show up on seven locations onshore." Doug Suttles – BP Spokesman

"They ought to all lose their jobs, because none of them gives a rat's ass about this marsh," said Nungesser. "Something stinks here. It was too good of a plan (building of sand berms). Everybody was on board and all they did was take four or five days to rip it apart. And, I'm sorry Coast Guard, you got B.S. excuses. There was nothing you told me that's a reason we don't have dredges out there pumping today."


May 23, 2010
"We are 33 days into this effort, and deadline after deadline has been missed. If we find they're not doing what they're supposed to be doing, we'll push them out of the way appropriately." Ken Salazar – Secretary of the Interior

"As we talk, a total of more than 65 miles of our shoreline now has been oiled," Bobby Jindal – Louisiana Governor

“This is an absolute tragedy, where are the leaders in the Corps? In the Coast Guard? In BP? All we’ve heard from them is excuses. I am so disappointed in these agencies.” Billy Nungesser – President of Plaquemines Parish

“The lesson learned by Katrina, Rita, and later, Gustav and Ike, is if we wait, we will die. I don’t have a crystal ball, but if I were a betting man I’d bet the plan was to let us die, then come back and do $75 million worth of cleanup.” Craig Taffaro – President of St. Bernard Parish

“This is the danger of not acting. We’re fighting a war here against this oil, and we’re going to do everything it takes to protect our coasts.” Bobby Jindal – Louisiana Governor

May 24, 2010
"We failed at preventing the spill. Now, we're failing in the response simply because we'd never gotten ready. Nobody has invested in these technologies." Richard Charter, oil spill expert for conservation group Defenders of Wildlife

"It is clear we don't have the resources we need to protect our coast. We need more boom, more skimmers, more vacuums, more jack-up barges that are still in short supply. Let's be clear: Every day that this oil sits is one more day that more of our marsh dies." Bobby Jindal – Louisiana Governor

“BP in my mind no longer stands for British Petroleum - it stands for Beyond Patience. People have been waiting 34 days for British Petroleum to cap this well and stop the damage that’s happening across the Gulf of Mexico What we need to tell BP, is excuses don’t count anymore. You caused this mess, now stop the damage and clean up the mess. It’s your responsibility.” Sen. Richard Durbin

May 26, 2010
"There's definitely some confusion about who's in charge," says G. Paul Kemp, a coastal ecologist with the National Audubon Society. "We hear from shrimpers that they're under contract (to help) but they're not, they don't know what they're supposed to be doing or whether they're going to be doing anything, and this is at a time when it would seem we need pretty much everybody working round the clock on this."

"The Obama administration's response is "dysfunctional, there's no chain of command, no one's in charge," Billy Nungesser - President Plaquemines Parish

"We have yet to see a plan from the Coast Guard, a plan from BP, a plan to keep it from coming in, a plan to pick it up," Billy Nungesser said of the oil. “"There's no wildlife in Pass a Loutre. It's all dead”

May 27, 2010
“National Guard is at Port Fouchon hauling sand to the beach” call into WWL radio

"BP is not the equal of the United States government. This president needs to tell BP 'I'm your daddy, I'm in charge, you're going to do what we say. You're a multinational company that is greedy and you may be guilty of criminal activity.' It's time that we understand, BP does not wish this thing well. They have been negligent. They need to whip out their checkbook and start moving into action and the president needs to push them." James Carville - American political consultant

“Fishermen near the spill are getting sick from the working on the cleanup, yet BP is assuring them they don't need respirators or other special protection from the crude oil, strong hydrocarbon vapors, or chemical dispersants.” Riki Ott, a toxicologist who wrote two books about the Exxon Valdez spill.

It's all dead

Anderson Cooper's piece on May 26 taking a tour of oil soaked Pass a Loutre, Louisiana

James Carville on GMA

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

don't get stuck on stupid

Russel Honore's view of this BP spill:

(CNN) -- It's interesting how many people have swallowed the BP public relations' bait to call the explosion from Deepwater Horizon oil rig the Gulf oil spill. We need to call it what it is: the BP oil spill. The federal government needs to take control and take punitive action against BP and any negligent government regulators immediately.

As a concerned citizen, preparedness speaker and author, and former commander of federal troops in disaster response, I watched with interest as BP brought out its big PR guns to protect its brand and its platoon of expert engineers, paid by BP to talk about how it happened and how they intended to fix it.

BP's reaction was much like Toyota's when it was confronted with safety issues. It, too, focused on PR to protect its brand, versus telling the truth, and sent out its engineers to talk about the problem and the fix.

The U.S. Coast Guard was the first responder. The Coast Guard's priority always is to save lives. They spent days looking for the 11 missing men. Meanwhile, BP took advantage of this time to make itself the authoritative voice in the news about the spill and blame other companies.

The No. 1 rule when dealing with disaster is to figure out which rules you need to break.

--Lt. Gen. Russel Honore
The U.S. government response was based on laws and rules that were created after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. After Valdez, the law changed to make the offending company responsible for the cleanup. A fund was created that all oil companies contributed to. If there was an emergency oil spill, a company could draw up to $75 million from this fund to fix the problem. But the fund was meant to help small wildcat operations, not huge conglomerates like BP.

Sticking to that regulation was part of the problem. The No. 1 rule when dealing with disaster is to figure out which rules you need to break. Rules are designed for when everything is working. A democracy is based on trust. BP has proved it can't be trusted.

iReporters share views on oil spill response

The government needs to change the game and make this a punitive effort. The government has been too friendly to oil companies.

The government should immediately freeze BP's assets and start to charge the corporation -- say $100 million -- each day the oil flows. The money could be held in a fund that U.S. government draws on to take care of the people along the Gulf Coast and pay the states for doing the cleanup.

Next, BP and the government bureaucrats who broke a law and put the public at risk need to go to jail.

The latest curse going around in southern Louisiana today is, 'BP you.'

--Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


Video: BP: '24 hours before we know' RELATED TOPICS
BP plc
Deepwater Horizon
Exxon Valdez
Hurricane Katrina
Oil Spills
I remember when we were evacuating New Orleans on Saturday following Katrina. We pushed the survivors to the airport and a major called and said the pilots refused to fly the plane without a manifest and there was trouble with weapons scanners.

I told him to direct everyone to put the people on the planes as fast as possible, and we would to do the manifest en route or on landing. As a result, we flew 16,000 people out of NOLA airport in less than seven hours.

The priorities of the response to the spill must be to stop the flow of oil, prevent the oil from getting into the shoreline as much as possible, mitigate the effects of the oil in the ocean, and take care of the people who have lost their source of employment, such as fishermen and those in the tourist industry.

BP's job is to focus on stopping the flow of oil. The government needs to provide more military "command and control" of the situation. As BP works to stop the gusher, the government must address the problem of the oil coming ashore and take care of the people affected, possibly retraining them in other jobs. The government could do this by using the Stafford Act to fund the states so they can protect their shoreline and clean up the oil. Then, the long-term effects of the spill must be mitigated.

The people of the Gulf Coast, particularly South Louisiana, are still recovering from Katrina. They've been through hurricanes Rita, Gustav and Ike.

They know hurricane season is right around the corner and this BP oil spill has the potential to get much worse. And they don't trust BP.

In fact, the latest curse going around in southern Louisiana today is, "BP you."

Punitive action must start immediately, with BP supplying the money, from fines, to help the Gulf Coast get over this catastrophe.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Russel Honoré.

Help Needed

Call this fool and ream him out:
From The Lens
And to those worried restaurateurs facing rising prices for shrimp and oysters? In the words of BP rep Randy Prescott: “Louisiana isn’t the only place that has shrimp.”


His office number is 713-323-4093. Email: randy.prescott@bp.com

Scenes of Frustration

From the Lens blog, a recap of a meeting in St. Bernard Parish with representatives of BP, the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, covering an array of topics.

History of the Oil Spill

By Tampa Tribune, Fla.

May 25--The sluggish, inadequate response by both oil giant BP and the federal government to the uncontrolled oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico has allowed a tragic accident to become an environmental catastrophe.

It is BP's responsibility to stop the leak, control the spreading slick, and clean it up.

But more than a month after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, the governor of Louisiana is pleading for containment booms and skimmers after oil coated 65 miles of shoreline. State and federal governments, and the oil industry, were unprepared to react to a major spill with enough manpower and equipment to protect the coast.

BP now hopes to plug the gushing well with mud and cement, and will try later this week, although it warns that it has never attempted the procedure in water so deep.

The scientific befuddlement is infuriating, given the industry's pre-spill claims to have mastered techniques and equipment that made offshore drilling absolutely safe.

After the rig exploded April 20, BP sounded no environmental alarm. Coastal communities were reassured that the well had not been in production. If BP suspected an undersea blowout, it didn't share its fears.

The next day, Coast Guard officials said crude oil could be leaking from the sea floor, but then changed their minds and announced there was no leak. BP promised to mop up whatever flotsam littered the area around the sunken rig.

On April 25, coastal communities were shocked to learn that up to 42,000 gallons of oil a day could be spilling, enough to threaten Louisiana, Alabama and possibly Florida.

BP asked for government help. Then the news broke that the spill was five times larger than first thought and had the potential to destroy fishing in a huge area of the fertile Gulf. But Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry said, "It's premature to say this is catastrophic."

On May 3, BP reported that it would pay for all the cleanup costs even as oil continued to pour into the Gulf. Gov. Charlie Crist was among the first officials to lose his patience, saying, "It's not a spill; it's a flow."

On May 4, President Barack Obama finally called it a "massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster." Yet he still did not take command of the operation, as authorized in the Clean Water Act should a spill threaten public health or welfare.

On May 15, BP's chief executive reassured the Gulf states not that it knew how to immediately stop the oil geyser, but that "the Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume." He said that before the drifting sludge had reached shore.

On May 18, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration prohibited fishing in an area of the Gulf about the size of Pennsylvania.

After BP rigged a pipe to siphon a fraction of the oil at its source on the ocean floor, it soon was collecting as much oil as it had said the spill was producing. It conceded it may have underestimated the size of the leak.

By May 20, the spill was reported to be big enough to require testing of Gulf seafood for perhaps decades to come.

On May 21, a White House spokesman said, "We are facing a disaster, the magnitude of which we likely have never seen before, in terms of a blowout in the Gulf of Mexico."

Now the spill is affecting a coastal area 150 miles wide, from Dauphin Island, Ala. to Grand Isle, La. Heavy oil has gone deep into some marshes.

BP has revealed its response to the disaster be largely experimental.

The federal government has revealed it doesn't have an oil response strategy other than to hope the oil company's scientists and engineers can figure out what to do.

 

 

 

A summer of tears

by Mike Roberts


The boat ride, out, from Lafitte, Louisiana, Sunday, May 23, 2010, to our fishing grounds was not unlike any other I have taken in my life, as a commercial fisherman from this area. I have made the trip thousands of times in my 35 plus years shrimping and crabbing. A warm breeze in my face, it is a typical Louisiana summer day. 3 people were with me, my wife Tracy, Ian Wren, and our grandson, Scottie. I was soon to find out, how untypical this day would become for me, not unlike a death in the family. This was going to be a very bad day for me.

As we neared Barataria Bay, the smell of crude oil in the air was getting thicker and thicker. An event that always brought joy to me all of my life, the approach of the fishing grounds, was slowly turning into a nightmare. As we entered Grand Lake, the name we fishermen call Barataria Bay, I started to see a weird, glassy look to the water and soon it became evident to me, there was oil sheen as far as I could see. Soon, we were running past patches of red oil floating on top of the water. As we headed farther south, we saw at least a dozen boats, in the distance, which appeared to be shrimping. We soon realized that shrimping was not what they were doing at all, but instead they were towing oil booms in a desperate attempt to corral oil that was pouring into our fishing grounds. We stopped to talk to one of the fishermen, towing a boom, a young fisherman from Lafitte. What he told me floored me. He said, "What we are seeing in the lake, the oil, was but a drop in the bucket of what was to come." He had just come out of the Gulf of Mexico and he said, "It was unbelievable, the oil runs for miles and miles and was headed for shore and into our fishing grounds". I thought, what I had already seen in the lake was enough for a lifetime. We talked a little while longer, gave the fisherman some protective respirators and were soon on our way. As we left the small fleet of boats, working feverishly, trying to corral the oil, I became overwhelmed with what I just saw.

I am not real emotional and consider myself a pretty tough guy.You have to be to survive as a fisherman. As I left that scene, tears flowed down my face and I cried. Something I have not done in a long time, but would do several more times that day. I tried not to let my grandson, Scottie, see me crying. I didn't think he would understand, I was crying for his stolen future. None of this will be the same, for decades to come. The damage is going to be immense and I do not think our lives here in South Louisiana will ever be the same. He is too young to understand. He has an intense love for our way of life here. He wants to be a fisherman and a fishing guide when he gets older. It is what he is, it is in his soul, and it is his culture. How can I tell him that this may never come to pass now, now that everything he loves in the outdoors may soon be destroyed by this massive oil spill? How do we tell this to a generation of young people, in south Louisiana who live and breathe this bayou life that they love so much, could soon be gone? How do we tell them? All this raced through my mind and I wept.

We continued farther south towards Grand Terre Island. We approached Bird Island. The real name is Queen Bess Island, but we call it Bird Island, because it is always full of birds. It is a rookery, a nesting island for thousands of birds, pelicans, terns, gulls etc. As we got closer, we saw that protective boom had been placed around about two thirds of the island. It was obvious to me, that oil had gone under the boom and was fouling the shore and had undoubtedly oil some birds. My God. We would see this scene again at Cat Island and other unnamed islands that day. We continued on to the east past Coup Abel Pass and more shrimp boats trying to contain some of the oil on the surface. We arrived at 4 Bayou Pass to see more boats working on the same thing. We beached the boat and decided to look at the beach between the passes.

The scene was one of horror to me. There was thick red oil on the entire stretch of beach, with oil continuing to wash ashore. The water looked to be infused with red oil, with billions of, what appeared to be, red pebbles of oil washing up on the beach with every wave. The red oil pebbles, at the high tide mark on the beach were melting into pools of red goo in the hot Louisiana sun. The damage was overwhelming. There was nobody there to clean it up. It would take an army to do it. Like so much of coastal Louisiana, it was accessible only by boat. Will it ever be cleaned up? I don't know. Tears again. We soon left that beach and started to head home.

We took a little different route home, staying a little farther to the east side of Barataria Bay. As we approached the northern end of the bay, we ran into another raft of oil that appeared to be covering many square miles. It was only a mile from the interior bayous on the north side of Barataria Bay. My God. No boats were towing boom in this area. I do not think anyone even knew it was there. A little bet farther north, we saw some shrimp boats with boom, on anchor, waiting to try and protect Bayou St. Dennis from the oil. I alerted them of the approaching oil. I hope they were able to control it before it reached the bayou. We left them and started to head in.

My heart never felt so heavy, as on that ride in. I thought to myself, this is the most I've cried since I was a baby. In fact I am sure it was. This will be a summer of tears for a lot of us in south Louisiana.

You can find Notes From The Louisiana Bayoukeeper here

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Helpless Victims of the spill

from money control dot com

Over 300 dead birds are likely Gulf spill victims
Source : Reuters

More than 300 sea birds, nearly 200 turtles and 19 dolphins have been found dead along the US Gulf Coast during the first five weeks of BP's huge oil spill off Louisiana, wildlife officials reported on Monday.

The 316 dead birds collected along the shores of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida — plus 10 others that died or were euthanized at wildlife rehabilitation centers after they were captured alive, far outnumber the 31 surviving birds found oiled to date.

The raw tally of birds listed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as dead on arrival at wildlife collection facilities include specimens obviously tainted with oil and some with no visible signs of oil contamination.

But all are being counted as potential casualties of the oil gushing since April 20 from a ruptured wellhead on the floor of the Gulf because of their proximity in time and space to the spill, said Jay Holcomb, who directs a rescue center for birds in Fort Jackson, Louisiana.

The same is true of nearly 200 sea turtles found dead and dying along the Gulf Coast, and 19 dead dolphins verified in the region since the oil drilling blowout on April 20.

Tissue samples collected eventually will be analyzed to determine more conclusively if the animals were contaminated with oil from the BP spill.

Holcomb, director of the California-based International Bird Rescue Research Center, said mortality for sea birds, many of them in the midst of their breeding season, is expected to climb sharply, especially if hurricanes move into the region and sweep more oil ashore.

"The potential for this being catastrophic is right there because there's a massive amount of oil in the water, and it's still pouring out, and there's a lot of nesting birds and a lot of birds using the coast," he told Reuters. "If the tropical storms take that oil and move it, that's when you're going to see the real impact, I think."

The size of BP's disaster in the Gulf could eclipse the scale of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound, in which an estimated 250,000 sea birds perished.

Diving birds hardest hit so far

The birds hardest hit by oil in the Gulf so far are those that feed by diving into the water for fish, including the Louisiana state bird, the brown pelican, removed last year from the US endangered species list, and the northern gannet, Holcomb said.

But shorebirds, wading birds and songbirds will increasingly be put in harm's way as more oil washes onto beaches and into marshlands.

Oil impairs the insulating properties of birds' feathers, exposing them to cold and making it difficult for them to float, swim and fly. Chemicals in the petroleum also can burn their skin and irritate their eyes. They also end up ingesting the oil when they preen, damaging their digestive tracts.

Other wildlife at immediate risk in the Gulf are sea turtles and marine mammals.

To date, 209 sea turtles have been found dead or debilitated along the Gulf Coast, about double the number reported late last week, a tally that wildlife officials said then could be considered normal for this time of year.

The latest figure includes 194 that washed ashore dead and 12 that were found stranded alive, two of which later died in rehab, said Dr. Michael Ziccardi, a veterinarian and professor at the University of California at Davis who is overseeing sea turtle and marine mammal rescue teams in Louisiana.

Three remaining turtles in the latest tally were found heavily oiled at sea but have survived, he said. Those three are the only ones with outward signs of oil contamination.

Necropsies, the animal equivalent of autopsies, have been performed on 40 turtle carcasses found intact, and a majority of the findings pointed to drowning or the aspiration of bottom sediments as the cause of death, Ziccardi said.

Although the results are "inconsistent with oil exposure as a primary cause of death," lab tests of tissue samples are still pending, so less visible factors remain to be determined, he said.

Nineteen dolphin deaths also have been confirmed since the spill began, but none of those animals showed any obvious external or internal signs of oiling, Ziccardi said.

It's BP's Oil

 
An excerpt from a Mother Jones article on the oil coming ashore this past weekend.

 The shoreline is packed with men in hats and gumboots and bright blue or white shirts. Nearly all are African-American, all hired from around New Orleans. They tell me they've been standing in these exact same spots for three days. It's breathtakingly hot. They rake the oil and sand into big piles; other workers collect the piles into big plastic bags, and still other workers take them to a plant where the sand is separated out and sent to a hazardous-waste dump and the oil goes on for processing. Then the tide comes in with more oil and everybody starts all over again. Ten dollars an hour. Twelve hours a day. When I joke with one worker that he should pocket the solid gobs of oil he's digging up to show me how far beneath the sand they go, he stops dead and asks me if BP's still trying to use the oil they all collect. "Aw, I knew it!"

here's the link http://motherjones.com/environment/2010/05/oil-spill-bp-grand-isle-beach

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Another week to add to BPs disaster

I'm so tired of waking up in trepidation of the news I may hear in the morning.

No one "in charge" of this disastrophe except Louisiana seems to feel the pain everytime oil comes ashore on our coast. Others should because the Corexit is probably killing or mutating sealife that comes in contact with it. The world spins happily along while hundreds if not thousands of fishers lose their means to make a living because of the disastrophe.

Too many people are trying to mix politics into this. Sure, politics play a part BUT - to many of us affected by this circus of fuckups - politics should not be made a part of this.

WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT OUR COAST BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.

There will be time for finger pointing, for discovery panels, for 'what should we do next time' committees.

The fragile nurseries of Louisiana are at stake here. Our wildlife are at stake here. Right now the oil is coming ashore, destroying brown pelican eggs and lord knows what else.

It's a depressing world here in southeast Louisiana.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's not in my mind......

I smell oil in Slidell. I've smelled it for the past two days.
My 21 year old daughter doesn't smell it. But of course, she's younger and smarter than me. She doesn't think this oil spill means anything really, just a few oysters lost. Ah, the ignorance of youth.

Nolafemmes has penned a post about how things are, more than 30 days past the blast . Called "Stick a fork in me", it mirrors all of my depression and anger at this insane situation we southeastern Louisianians are facing.

Pray for us.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A human WTF: Spelling out the toll of the leak

text messages spelled out with humans.

From neworleans dot com:

Maybe it's a byproduct of watching that live BP oil footage streaming from the ocean floor for too long, but it feels like desperate times call for desperate measures as the leak rolls on.

Some are spelling out grievances on the beach. Matt Peterson of Global Green has shared photos from residents of Grand Isle spelling out human text messages of Never Again, Paradise Lost and WTF?! that were taken last weekend with locals.

I received the initial press release, and the photos have even more impact now that the Grand Isle beaches have been closed due to the Leak.


Peterson wrote on the Huffington Post, "Gulf Coast community members -- including fishermen, shrimpers, grandmothers and families who have been directly impacted by the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill -- sent a human text message." Aerial artist John Quigley and Margaret Curole of Commercial Fisherman of America got the project on track despite the weather.



Curole told Peterson, "This was the first time these fishermen were ever involved in an action of any kind ... yesterday they said to me 'I get it, we did something.'"

A message from Garland Robinette

WWL radio host Garland Robinette reflects the mood of southeast Louisiana in this podcast of his show from Friday May 22, 2010. Take a look and then listen.



Click here for a partial list of products made from petroleum .

What Louisiana is up against (another Scuzzbucket)

From yubanet dot com

TUCSON, Ariz. May 21, 2010 - In response to a New York Times story (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/science/earth/20alaska.html?) revealing that the Alaska office of the Minerals Management Service systematically suppressed scientists and scientific reports, violated environmental policies, and served a cake topped with the words "Drill Baby, Drill," the head of the office yesterday apologized…for the cake.

Alaska Regional Director John Goll allowed the cake to be served at an all-staff meeting he called to discuss Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to reform the agency in the wake of the Gulf oil spill disaster and a rapidly growing scandal caused by what President Obama describes as the agency's "too cozy" relationship with the offshore oil industry.

"Instead of apologizing for baked goods, Mr. Goll should apologize for overriding scientists, kowtowing to the oil industry, and putting Alaska's wildlife and communities at risk of a catastrophic oil spill," said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

The head of MMS's Alaska region since 1997, Mr. Goll recently approved a highly controversial and dangerous plan by Shell Oil to begin exploratory drilling in Alaska's Beaufort and Chukchi seas this July. He has refused repeated calls to revoke Shell's permits in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico crisis even though oil spill clean up would be vastly more difficult in the frigid, icy waters of the Arctic than in the Gulf of Mexico.

"Secretary Salazar should fire Mr. Goll immediately," said Suckling. "Goll's mocking of the secretary's plan to reform the agency by telling his employees to "Drill, Baby, Drill" is not just poor taste; it's clear evidence that Mr. Goll has no intention of being reformed. He symbolizes the scandal ridden, industry-dominated MMS of the past. He has no place in the agency's future."

The exact wording of Mr. Goll's apology is below:

From: Goll, John
Sent: Thursday, May 20, 2010 7:53 AM
To: MMS Employees Nationwide
Subject: Apology to MMS

As the manager in charge of the Alaska Region, I apologize to everyone in the Minerals Management Service with regard to the cake at a recent Alaska Region All Hands meeting, as reported in a New York Times article today. The cake had the words "Drill, Baby, Drill', plus other words which were meant to take light of the words.

This was simply wrong to have. I failed in preventing this from happening in my office.

jg

John Goll
Regional Director, Alaska
U.S. Minerals Management Service

Twenty-four miles of Plaquemines Parish is destroyed. E...

Scuzzbucket of the Week

Sportscaster Chris Myers. He just can't give it up, five years after Katrina.
Here's a wrapup of his story from mediamatters.org



As you probably heard, Myers stepped in it big time when he recently guest hosted a nationally syndicated sports radio show and ridiculed Katrina survivors. Specifically, Myers, in a heartless gesture, compared the hurricane survivors of New Orleans with the recent flood survivors in Nashville, and announced the Midwestern, water-logged victims were better; even vaguely more American:

It's a great country here. We have disasters issues when people pull together and help themselves and I thought the people in Tennessee, unlike -- I'm not going to name names -- when a natural disaster hits people weren't standing on a rooftop trying to blame the government, okay. They helped each other out through this.

Here's the thing, Myers was riffing off a dreadful essay that right-wing country picker Charlie Daniels wrote last week, in which he compared New Orleans and Nashville victims, and concluded the Midwestern ones were better, and vaguely more American. (More religious, too.)

What I want to write about is the people of Tennessee and the true volunteer spirit of the Volunteer State. In the limited coverage given the flood by the national media did you see anybody on a rooftop waiting for a coast guard chopper to pick them up?



h/t nolafemmes dot com

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Needed Levity

NOLA blogger Michael Homan has created a short flick about the oil spill that - in true Louisiana fashion - will make you laugh instead of cry in these disasterous times. Thanks Mike!

Oil Spill Events - May 19, 2010

By The Associated Press (AP) – 16 hours ago

Events May 19, Day 30 of a Gulf of Mexico oil spill that began with an explosion and fire April 20 on the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and leased by BP PLC, which is in charge of cleanup and containment. The blast killed 11 workers. Since then, oil has been pouring into the Gulf from a blown-out undersea well at a rate of at least 210,000 gallons per day.

THE BLAME GAME

Leading Republicans including John Mica of Florida sought to pin blame for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on President Barack Obama's administration. During a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing Wednesday, Mica cited Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's acknowledgment Tuesday that his agency could have more aggressively monitored the offshore drilling industry. Mica said the administration failed to heed warnings about the need for more regulation and issued "a carte blanche" for disaster when it approved drilling for dozens of wells including the Deepwater Horizon site leased by oil giant BP PLC. Committee Chairman James Oberstar, D-Minn., called that inflammatory and wrong. He said the drilling was approved early in the Obama administration, by career officials.

NEXT SHOT

BP said it hopes to begin shooting a mixture known as drilling mud into the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico by Sunday. The "top kill" method involves shooting heavy mud into crippled equipment on top of the well, then aiming cement at the well to permanently keep down the oil. Even if it works it could take several weeks to complete.

TAR BALLS

Tar balls that floated ashore in the Florida Keys were not linked to the oil spill, the Coast Guard said Wednesday. That did little to soothe fears the blown-out well gushing a mile underwater could spread damage along the coast from Louisiana to Florida.

WHERE IS IT GOING?

Thousands of barrels of oil are still pouring into open waters every day, and some of it has washed ashore as far east as Alabama. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists said a small part of the oil slick from the blown-out well has reached a powerful current that could take it to Florida. They said diluted oil could appear in isolated locations in Florida if persistent winds push the current toward it, but that oil could evaporate before reaching the coast.

CUBA

U.S and Cuban officials are holding "working level" talks on how to respond to the oil spill, a State Department official told The Associated Press. The talks add to signs of concern that strong currents could carry the slick far from the spill's origin off Louisiana, possibly threatening the Florida Keys and pristine white beaches along Cuba's northern coast. The talks mark a rare moment of cooperation between two countries locked in conflict for more than half a century.

HOW MUCH?

Questions remained about just how much oil is spilling from the well. New underwater video released by BP showed oil and gas erupting under pressure in large, dark clouds from its crippled blowout preventer on the ocean floor. The leaks resembled a geyser on land.

SUGGESTIONS

A suggestion box or publicity stunt? BP has received thousands of ideas from the public on how to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, but some inventors are complaining that their efforts are getting ignored. Oil-eating bacteria, bombs and a device that resembles a giant shower curtain are among the 10,000 fixes people have proposed to counter the growing environmental threat. BP is taking a closer look at 700 of the ideas, but has yet to use any of them nearly a month after the deadly explosion that caused the leak.

BP has fielded some 60,000 calls from the public that led to 10,000 tips. About 2,500 people sent in forms spelling out their ideas in greater detail, and BP advanced 700 to the next phase.

MONITORING

Environmental groups are asking the federal government to take over all monitoring and testing related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In remarks prepared for congressional testimony, National Wildlife Federation President Larry Schweiger says BP is keeping too much information from the public.

INSPECTIONS

Senate Democrats are calling for the Obama administration to improve inspections of deepwater oil rigs such as the one that exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico. The lawmakers said oil companies should pay for the emergency inspections, not taxpayers.

In a letter Wednesday to President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats urged immediate and enhanced inspections of all offshore drilling rigs and platforms that could pose a significant environmental threat.

LAWSUITS

More than 100 lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the vast Gulf of Mexico oil spill should be combined quickly in one federal court to avoid legal chaos and delayed payment of billions of dollars in damages, an attorney said Wednesday. Louisiana lawyer Daniel Becnel wants lawsuits pending in five Gulf Coast states consolidated in federal court in New Orleans or elsewhere in Louisiana, the state hit hardest so far.

TURTLE

Officials say the first sea turtle to be rescued from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is being cared for in New Orleans. Audubon Aquarium spokeswoman Meghan Calhoun says the endangered Kemp's ridley turtle was found by a biologist looking for oiled animals in the slick. The baby turtle arrived in New Orleans Tuesday night. Calhoun says the turtle has been bathed from the inside of its mouth to the tips of its flippers and stubby tail. It will have several more baths.

PROFESSOR

A St. Louis scientist who was among a select group picked by the Obama administration to pursue solutions to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been dropped because of controversial writings on his website. The Energy Department confirmed Wednesday that Washington University physics professor Jonathan Katz was removed because his previous writings had "become a distraction." Katz's website includes articles defending homophobia and questioning the value of diversity efforts. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

source google news

Corexit is out



The EPA is "demanding" that BP use a less toxic dispersant.


Gee, thanks, EPA. They've been spraying corexit from the air and injecting it 5,000 feet under water at the well break for 30 days now. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?????

Wonder if BP's going to listen to the EPA or just go on doing what they've been doing.

I wonder if BP's going to look into the alternative methods of sucking up the pollutants that they've spoiled our beautiful Gulf of Mexico waters with. Or will they go again with Nalco and choose another poison to stir into the water?

Here's a list of Nalco Holding's Board of Directors:

Listed below are the members of the committees of Nalco Holding Company's Board of Directors.
Audit Committee
Mr. Richard B. Marchese - Chairman
Mr. Rodney F. Chase former Deputy Group Chief Executive and Managing Director, from 1992 to 2003, of BP
Mr. Douglas A. Pertz
Ms. Mary M. VanDeWeghe
Compensation Committee
Mr. Douglas A. Pertz - Chairman
Mr. Paul J. Norris
Mr. Daniel S. Sanders retired in 2004 as President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company
Nominating And Corporate Governance Committee
Mr. Rodney F. Chase - Chairman
Mr. Carl M. Casale
Mr. Richard B. Marchese
Ms. Mary M. VanDeWeghe
Safety Health And Environment Committee
Mr. Daniel S. Sanders retired in 2004 as President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company
Mr. Carl M. Casale
Mr. Paul J. Norris

Oil on Elmer's Island

The nightmare just keeps getting worse.

from nola dot com


May 20, 2010, 10:57AM
Oil is washing up on Elmer's Island off lower Jefferson Parish, a wildlife refuge and popular spot for bird-watching and beach camping, a Jefferson Parish official said.

Councilman Tom Capella said this morning that oil from the BP rig explosion has washed up on the island just west of Grand Isle.

Capella was traveling to the island to attend a 12:30 p.m. news conference with Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Jindal declared the island a wildlife refuge in 2008 and reopened it for public use for the first time since 2002, when a private access road was closed.

A six-mile stretch of beach, sand dunes and marsh ponds between Fourchon Beach and Caminada Pass, Elmer's Island had been prized for decades as one of the few road-accessible beaches in eastern Louisiana.


Update: Deano Bonnano - Chief of Homeland Security in Jefferson Parish - stated on WWL that during a surveillance trip over Elmer's Island a few days ago they spotted an oil slick and gave the GPS coordinates to BP and BP did not respond. They're thumbing their noses at everyone.

I have such fond memories of camping out on the beach at Elmer's Island. This is just sickening.

time for this to stop

From a WWL radio interview at 7:20 AM 5/20/2010 (one month after the disaster that is killing our coast):
 
Billy Nungesser detailing all the run around he's been getting from BP, the Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers
 
It's an emergency, we've lost 25 miles of marsh this week. 
We called this in on Monday morning, 6 o'clock; as of this day, no one is out there cleaning up the marsh.
It doesn't take 3 days to get a crew out there.
 
The oil in Pass a Loutre is 1" in the surface, in the canes.  Nothing will survive. Within 5 days everything will be dead.  Its the
only thing holding the marsh together.  25 miles of marsh is dead.
 
If we would have started this 10 days ago (when we requested "permission" to build the berm)  -  if it was really considered an emergency - we'd be picking this oil  off the berm.  The Federal Gov't has us wrapped up in red tape.
 
If we don't stop it coming into the marsh, we won't need the offshore money. This marsh will
deteriorate so fast that the Grand Isle fisning rodeo will be held in Baton Rouge in a few years.
 
They want me up in DC Tuesday to testify.  I replied in a letter saying I will testify about everything and I'm not
sure you want to hear from me.  We'll talk about everything, not just what you want to hear. 
Not expecting to get a return invitation.
 
BP has an opportunity to step up to the plate and authorize this berm today.  There were a couple of birds
that landed in the cane while we were out there.  They're dead.  Everything in that area is dead or
dying, it won't survive.  I pulled out one of the canes from the roots, it was already turning brown.
You can write it off.
 
The corps not equipped to tell us how to build our levees and flood walls.  It's a crime to go  thru these
procedures and we know what has to be done.
 

 



Oil Spill Coverup

From the huffington post:

When CBS tried to film a beach with heavy oil on the shore in South Pass, Louisiana, a boat of BP contractors, and two Coast Guard officers, told them to turn around, or be arrested.

"This is BP's rules, it's not ours," someone aboard the boat said. Coast Guard officials told CBS that they're looking into it.

 
here's the link to the story and a video:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/19/bp-coast-guard-officers-b_n_581779.html
 

 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oilspill Events May 18, 2010

Events May 18, Day 29 of a Gulf of Mexico oil spill that began with an explosion and fire April 20 on the drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, owned by Transocean Ltd. and leased by BP PLC, which is in charge of cleanup and containment. The blast killed 11 workers. Since then, oil has been pouring into the Gulf from a blown-out undersea well at a rate of at least 210,000 gallons per day.

INQUIRIES

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar caught sharp criticism from lawmakers Tuesday over the government's failures in overseeing offshore oil drilling. And he acknowledged his department had been lax in holding industry accountable. Salazar, in his first appearance before Congress since the April 20 accident that unleashed a massive Gulf oil spill, promised an overhaul of the agency that regulates offshore oil drilling to give it "more tools, more resources, more independence and greater authority."

Three Senate committees held hearings Tuesday. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen were also testifying.

COLLECTING THE OIL

BP says its mile-long tube siphoning oil from a blown-out well is bringing more crude to the surface. In a news release Tuesday, BP PLC says the narrow tube is now drawing 84,000 gallons a day for collection in a tanker — double the amount drawn when it started operation Sunday. BP — which puts the leak at 210,000 gallons — has said it hopes to draw about half the leaking oil. Scientists who have studied video of the leak say the amount could be significantly more.

FISHING SHUT DOWN

Federal regulators nearly tripled the federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico where fishing is shut down because of the spill. They had already shut down fishing from the Mississippi River to the Florida Panhandle, about 7 percent of federal waters were affected. Now nearly 46,000 square miles, or about 19 percent of federal waters, will be shut under the expanded ban.

WILDLIFE

Federal officials say 189 dead sea turtles, birds and other animals have been found along Gulf of Mexico coastlines since a massive oil spill started last month. The total includes 154 sea turtles, primarily the endangered Kemp's ridley variety, 12 dolphins and 23 birds. What they don't know is how many were killed by oil or chemical dispersants. Acting U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Rowan Gould says the spill's effects could be felt for decades and may never be fully known because so many affected creatures live far offshore.

WHERE IS IT GOING?

Government scientists are surveying the Gulf of Mexico to determine if oil from the spill has entered a powerful current that could take it to Florida. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco says aerial surveys show some tendrils of light oil close to or already in the loop current, which circulates in the Gulf and takes water south to the Florida Keys and the Gulf Stream. But most oil is dozens of miles away from the current. Lubchenco says it will take about eight to 10 days after oil enters the current before it begins to reach Florida. But scientists from the University of South Florida are forecasting it could reach Key West by Sunday.

NATIVE AMERICANS

Like many American Indians on the bayou, Emary Billiot blames oil companies for ruining his ancestral marsh over the decades. Still, he's always been able to fish — but now even that is not a certainty. The oil spill has closed bays and lakes in Louisiana's bountiful delta, including fishing grounds that feed the last American-Indian villages in three parishes. It is a bitter blow for the tribes of south Louisiana, who charge that drilling has already destroyed their swamps and that oil and land companies illegally grabbed vast areas.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

Miami's top federal prosecutor says the Justice Department is closely monitoring the Gulf oil spill but currently there is no criminal investigation of BP or the other companies involved. U.S. Attorney Willy Ferrer said the federal government's focus now is on stopping the oil leak and cleaning up the mess.

Heartbreaking picture



Oil in Pass a Loutre wildlife refuge.



BP you suck.

Too much coverup going on

An exerpt from website bellona dot org

Wildlife taking a beating before oil hits mainland
National Park Service Ranger Jody Lyle told Bellona Web that one oil covered gannet had been discovered and rescued on Ship Island earlier Saturday. She also said that, more generally along the gulf coast from the Florida panhandle to Mississippi, 10 oily Pelicans had been found alive over the past several days, and that five had been found dead. Two had been cleaned and treated and released back into the environment.

But Rangers from the National Park Service insisted to Below the Surface, that both the turtle and the dolphin carcasses had washed up on Ship Island more than a week ago. Reporters from Bellona Web, however, who had visited the exact site where the carcasses now lie last Saturday, contradicted that for Crisculo.


Barbara Groves for Bellona Web

The National Park Service has an agenda of its own – dead animals on protected beaches, and the spill at sea, mean a lean summer. But even larger environmental and scientific institutes on the Gulf coast are reluctant to draw any connection between the Dolphin, bird and turtle deaths and the spill.

Are dispersants killing the animals?
These deaths would not have to result from oil, say many environmental scientists. BP has poured some 400,000 gallons of highly toxic Corexit chemical dispersant on the spill. Though EPA reports on the use of oil dispersants remain inconclusive, especially at depth, BP announced that it will from Saturday forward continue to dump dispersants on the spill 24 hours a day both from boats and planes.

Those who have studied oil spills and cleanup efforts, like Defenders of Wildlife’s oil drilling specialist Richard Charter and Riki Ott, an oil spill expert and author of “Sound Truth and Corporate Myth$: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill,” say mixing dispersant and oil creates a substance more toxic than the oil itself.

Why they're not using bagasse or anything else

From the American Zombie blog:

Corexit is manufactured by Nalco of Naperville, Illinois, and its board is packed with several retired BP and Exxon executives. With that in mind, there simply isn’t enough money to be made off of biodegradable solvents that actually devour the oil, a source close to Nalco told Bellona Web. Corexit creates sludge, and hence sweetheart trucking deals to haul it off.


Listed below are the members of the committees of Nalco Holding Company's Board of Directors.
Audit Committee
Mr. Richard B. Marchese - Chairman
Mr. Rodney F. Chase former Deputy Group Chief Executive and Managing Director, from 1992 to 2003, of BP
Mr. Douglas A. Pertz
Ms. Mary M. VanDeWeghe
Compensation Committee
Mr. Douglas A. Pertz - Chairman
Mr. Paul J. Norris
Mr. Daniel S. Sanders retired in 2004 as President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company
Nominating And Corporate Governance Committee
Mr. Rodney F. Chase - Chairman
Mr. Carl M. Casale
Mr. Richard B. Marchese
Ms. Mary M. VanDeWeghe
Safety Health And Environment Committee
Mr. Daniel S. Sanders retired in 2004 as President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company
Mr. Carl M. Casale
Mr. Paul J. Norris


I'm very, very sick and angry right now.

From nola dot com:

Inventors say BP is ignoring their oil spill ideas


Oil-eating bacteria, bombs and a device that resembles a giant shower curtain are among the 10,000 fixes people have proposed to counter the growing environmental threat. BP is taking a closer look at 700 of the ideas, but the oil company has yet to use any of them nearly a month after the deadly explosion that caused the leak.

"They're clearly out of ideas, and there's a whole world of people willing to do this free of charge," said Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive Inc., which has created an online network of experts to solve problems.

BP spokesman Mark Salt said the company wants the public's help, but that considering proposed fixes takes time.


BULLSHIT.