Tag Archives: Gulf of Mexico

#f@ckyouwashington hashtag takes Twitter by storm

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It’s pretty cool to see so many Twitter™ responses to Washington politicians’ ineptitude…

Raw Story

Most suddenly-popular Twitter hashtags refer to events or celebrities that currently are in the news. But every once in a while, one erupts out of nowhere to capture the mood of the Twitterverse.

The hashtag #fuckyouwashington is currently making the rounds in just that fashion. As explained in a post at tagdef.com, “Thousands of tweets erupted in a matter of hours on #Jul23 protesting the US’s failed debt ceiling talks and general policies. Spurred by @JeffJarvis . Seen by some as part of #WorldRevolution or #USRevolution.”

A second post helpfully adds, “Our discontent with the way things operate. It’s gross.”

Although the tag may have been inspired by the current impasse over raising the debt ceiling, it seems to have released a much wider sense of frustration. Within a few hours, message boards like Democratic Underground were gathering some of the best tweets using the tag.

“#FuckYouWashington For Forgetting WHO you represent, Families, Elderly,Moms,Kids, WORKERs..NOT the CoporatePigs who you cater to…#ShameOnU” one reads.

“#fuckyouwashington for sending our soldiers on 6, 7, 8 tours to combat zones yet thinking it’s too much to ask the richest to pay taxes” say another.

And @YourAnonNews — a Twitter account associated with Anonymous — tweeted, “#FuckYouWashington for thinking activists are the same as terrorists.”

Other tweets gathered by CBSNews blasted Washington for everything from the handling of last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill to the criminalization of marijuana to going after WikiLeaks while not holding Bush administration officials accountable for turture.

Jarvis is a journalism professor at the City University of New York, an expert on new media, and the author of What Would Google Do? Late on Saturday evening, he tweeted, “OK, my fellow citizens, it’s up to you now,” as though he felt content with what he had accomplished, but since then he has continued to promote use of the tag in his own tweets.

On Sunday morning, Jarvis retweeted a message from AnonyOps — another account associated with Anonymous — saying, “@jeffJarvis you’ve started a shit storm. Nice going.” That seems to sum up much of the current feeling.

A current Twitter feed of posts using the tag can be found here.

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BREAKING NEWS: 100-Mile Long Oil Slick Spotted Off Louisiana Coast

Seal of the U.S. Coast Guard Deployable Operat...

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Oh no, not again…or is this simply a case of the sea giving up the oil that BP tried to bury back in 2010?

nola.com

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating reports of a potentially massive oil sheen about 20 miles north of the site of last April’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.

A helicopter crew and pollution investigators have been dispatched to Main Pass Block 41 in response to two calls to the National Response Center, the federal point of contact for reporting oil and chemical spills, said Paul Barnard, an operations controller for Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.

The first caller, around 11 a.m., described a sheen of about a half-mile long and a half-mile wide, he said.

About two hours later, another caller reported a much larger sheen — about 100 miles long — originating in the same area and spreading west to Cocodrie on Terrebonne Bay, Barnard said.

“We haven’t been able to verify that, and it would be very unlikely for an individual to be able to observe a 100-mile long sheen,” he said, adding inspection teams were en route around 3 p.m. to the site.

Eileen Angelico of the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which oversees offshore oil and natural gas production, said late Saturday afternoon that her agency was awaiting Coast Guard confirmation of the nature of the sheen. The bureau had not received word from any operators in the gulf of a spill, she said.

Please stay with NOLA.com for updates.

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Filed under Gulf Coast 2010, Gulf Coast Oil Spill

Gulf Spill Devastated Marine Life

Everyone in the Gulf region knew this long before this report was released…

BBC News – Science and Environment

Gulf spill’s effects ‘may not be seen for a decade’

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill “devastated” life on and near the seafloor, a marine scientist has said.

Studies using a submersible found a layer, as much as 10cm thick in places, of dead animals and oil, said Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia.

Knocking these animals out of the food chain will, in time, affect species relevant to fisheries.

She disputed an assessment by BP’s compensation fund that the Gulf of Mexico will recover by the end of 2012.

Millions of barrels of oil spewed into the sea after a BP deepwater well ruptured in April 2010.

Professor Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington that it may be a decade before the full effects on the Gulf are apparent.

She said they concluded the layers had been deposited between June and September 2010 after it was discovered that no sign of sealife from samples taken in May remained.

Professor Joye and her colleagues used the Alvin submersible to explore the bottom-most layer of the water around the well head, known as the benthos.

“The impact on the benthos was devastating,” she told BBC News.

“Filter-feeding organisms, invertebrate worms, corals, sea fans – all of those were substantially impacted - and by impacted, I mean essentially killed.

“Another critical point is that detrital feeders like sea cucumbers, brittle stars that wander around the bottom, I didn’t see a living (sea cucumber) around on any of the wellhead dives. They’re typically everywhere, and we saw none.”

Organisms on the seafloor stimulate the activity of micro-organisms and oxygenate the sediments, two tasks at the bottom of the aquatic food chain that will inevitably have longer-term effects on species nearer the surface – including the ones we eat.

Professor Joye noted that after the Exxon Valdez spill, it took several years before it became clear that the herring industry had been destroyed.

As such, she disagrees with the assessment in February, by the administrator of BP’s $20bn (£12bn) compensation fund, that the Gulf of Mexico will have recovered from the spill by the end of 2012.

“The Gulf is resilient,” she said.

“I do believe that it will recover from this insult, but I don’t think it’s going to recover fully by 2012.

“I think it’s going to be 2012 before we begin to really see the fisheries implications and repercussions from this.” 

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Filed under Environment, Gulf Coast Oil Spill

Civil War, 150 Years Later, Still Divides Our Nation

In 2000 when George Bush was “selected” by the SCOTUS to be President of The United States, his supporters kept saying to the detractors who protested The Court’s decision to “move on and get over it…”   I think it’s time to get over this issue as well.  The North won.  It’s time to move on.

AOL News

When National Park Service rangers fired a New Year’s cannon shot at this Civil War battleground to hail the arrival of 2011, they also ushered in the start of a four-year commemoration of the war’s 150th anniversary.

The events include a multitude of battle re-enactments, lecture series, readings, concerts and plays that will be held on the battle fields tended to by the Park Service and in private estates from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to New York.

But the slate of commemorations is also fraught with political peril. Deep divisions over why the war was fought persist, especially in the South. The debate still roils over slavery’s role as the principal cause of the war. The first commemoration, a private “secession gala” organized by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Charleston on Dec. 20, did not signal an auspicious start to the upcoming calendar of events.

The date marked the 150th anniversary of the day South Carolina became the first of 11 states to secede. Inside the ballroom, elected officials and others in period costume celebrated the courage of their fore-bearers to stand up for their state’s right to leave the Union. Outside, on the sidewalk, the NAACP led 100 demonstrators who viewed the event as a celebration of a treasonous act against the federal government in order to protect the institution of slavery.    More…

 

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Filed under Racial Divide, The Civil War

Navy Secretary Mabus pushes Pentagon to feed soldiers more Gulf seafood

A photo of Ray Mabus, Navy Secretary (2009-)

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My question to Secretary Mabus is this:  Will YOU and senior officers be eating the same seafood from the Gulf?

There are several independent scientists and public health experts who disagree with the Government position that the seafood from the Gulf is ok to eat.  Therefore I think it is outrageous to give contaminated seafood to our military men and women.

Raw Story

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wants the Pentagon to buy as much Gulf seafood as possible to help the region’s seafood industry recover from the damage of BP’s oil spill.

Secretary Mabus reportedly told the Defense Commissary Agency, which operates a worldwide chain of 284 commissaries to provide groceries to military personnel, “that we should be buying Gulf Coast seafood,” according to The New Orleans Times-Picayune.

“He expressed what we wanted to hear; he is in favor of the federal government buying seafood from the Gulf,” Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, said.

Although the federal government has claimed that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat, experts told Raw Story they had serious concerns about the long-term effects of consuming Gulf seafood.

Multiple independent lab tests have found high volumes of crude oil and other harmful hydrocarbons in Gulf shrimp.

“I wouldn’t eat shrimp, fish or crab caught in the Gulf,” said Robert M. Naman, a chemist at ACT Labs in Mobile, Alabama, conducted a test on Gulf seafood after being contacted by a New Orleans activist. “The problems people will face, health-wise, are something that people don’t understand.”

Direct exposure to crude oil can cause a number of short-lived health issues, but the effects of regular consumption of small amounts of crude oil is still being debated by the medical community.

Crude oil contains benzene, which can cause cancer, along with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, which are toxic to the brain and nervous system.

Continue reading here…

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Filed under Gulf Coast Oil Spill, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus

Atlanta storm: Major damage reported in Gwinnett County

I live in Gwinnett County.  We’ve had some pretty severe weather since early this morning.  Apparently my small section of Gwinnett County “dodged the bullet” in terms of damage from this severe weather.  

Following is a report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution

4:35 p.m.: AJC photographer Phil Skinner reports one house destroyed.

4:20 p.m.: A tornado warning has been issued for southeastern Henry County and western Newton County.

4:15 p.m.: National Weather Service: “What we know right now is that damage has been reported.”

4:10 p.m.: The damaged homes are in the Buford area, according to Capt. Tommy Rutledge with the Gwinnett County fire department. No injuries have been reported.

4 p.m.: Gwinnett County fire and police officials are reporting several homes have been damaged due to storms.

The rain is making its way out of the metro Atlanta area, and much cooler temperatures are on the way.

In the meantime, expect standing water on area interstates and streets.

The National Weather Service Issued a tornado watch Tuesday morning for most of metro Atlanta, and at 3 p.m. a watch was issued for counties in the east and southeast metro area. The watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.

Heavy rain moved into the metro area early Tuesday afternoon, with a heavy downpour reported through Cobb and Paulding counties around 1:30. A line of heavy thunderstorms stretched hundreds of miles, from the Georgia-Tennessee border to the Gulf of Mexico in west Florida.

By 3 p.m., the line of storms was moving northeast and south of the metro area, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist David Chandley said.

“Our threat is greatly diminished for the afternoon commute,” Chandley said.

The biggest threat to the evening commute is likely to be pooled water on interstates and side streets. Shortly before 4 p.m., GDOT reported several lane closures due to water.   Continue reading here…

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Filed under Gwinnett County Georgia

Bacteria Ate Mostly Gas, Not Oil In BP Spill

BP is trying to shirk its responsibility to the people of the Gulf Coast once again….

Huffington Post

Bacteria that attacked the plumes of oil and gas resulting from the Deepwater Horizon gusher in the Gulf of Mexico mainly digested natural gas spewing from the wellhead — propane, ethane and butane — rather than oil, according to a study published in the journal Science.

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Filed under U.S. Politics

Barack Obama’s Very Good Week

Contrary to how the Right wing media portrayed the president’s week…by and large it was a very good one.

Salon – Joan Walsh

Getting BP to cough up a $20 billion escrow fund paid off politically in more ways than one. Plus: Apologize to BP!

Talk about snakebit: Peggy Noonan chose Friday to publish a column writing off President Obama off as an unlucky president, comparing him to Jimmy Carter, just when his presidency has a little spring back in its step. Its title is luscious: “A Snakebit President: Americans want leaders on whom the sun shines.”

The sun seemed to shine on Obama this week. It’s true his Tuesday night speech wasn’t his best, but that’s because it lacked the news he was able to reveal Wednesday: That BP had agreed to create a $20 billion escrow fund to compensate the victims of its Gulf oil disaster, to have it administered by the tough Kenneth Feinberg of the 9/11 fund, and also to put off paying shareholder dividends through the end of the year.

And on Thursday, Obama got relief from the harsh, unnatural media glare in the wake of the disaster, which had landed upon him in the absence of any other visible hero or villain in the mess, when Tony Hayward testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Hayward’s constant insistence that he either didn’t know or couldn’t recall … virtually anything he was asked, finally made clear there is one leader whose lack of preparedness can be blamed for the crisis, and his name is Tony Hayward.

BP announced Friday that Hayward would be replaced as the man in charge of the spill response, though he’ll remain as CEO.

Of course, things got even better for Obama when Rep. Joe Barton apologized to Hayward on Thursday, calling the escrow fund not only a “shakedown” but a “tragedy.” Barton was then forced by a panicky GOP leadership to apologize for his apology, but the damage was done. Besides, from Barton to Michele Bachmann to the Republican Study Group to Rush Limbaugh, most of the party was ready to try out the shakedown, “share the wealth” criticism – until Barton went too far. Even today, Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul left his bunker to express sympathy for Barton, and for BP, too (remember, before he entered the witness-protection program, one of Paul’s last utterances was to call Obama ‘s criticism of BP “un-American.”)

Friday the GOP began trying out a new message. They’ve gone from calling Obama a Chicago thug who shakes down business to a guy who had nothing at all to do with BP’s generous concession, but is now trying to claim credit for it. That was fast, even for Republican liars. Obama could still falter in his handling of the BP disaster, because the disaster is going to be with us for a very long time. But the president has mostly quieted critics who weren’t sure he was doing enough on that front, for now.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, check out You Should Totally Apologize to BP, and leave your own regrets (h/t Greg Mitchell.)

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Filed under U.S. Politics

Dick Cheney ‘Needs To Testify’ About BP Oil Spill, Says Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews mentioned on his show last week that Dick Cheney needs to testify about his backroom deals with the corporate oil big wigs during the Bush administration, called the Energy Task Force. I agree 100%.

 
As we know from our own comment threads right here on this very blog, right-wingers are expert at taking a few facts from situations that appear to be superficially similar but really aren’t upon reflection or closer examination and using them to attack liberals.

And so, in the last few days, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has become Obama’s Katrina. Um…look, I’m as pro-pelican as the next guy, and obviously I don’t mean to gainsay the scope of this environmental catastrophe, which will end up being staggering.

But Katrina killed about 1,500 humans. And no, it’s not George Bush’s personal fault that they died, either. But I still rate Katrina a far bigger tragedy for that reason.

And now it turns out, according to an environmental lawyer whose interview on Ed Schultz last week is getting a lot of circulation, that this leak may well be traceable in part to…Dick Cheney.

[...] Mike Papantonio, said on the Schultz show in an interview you can watch here that it was Cheney’s energy task force – the secretive one that he wouldn’t say much about publicly – that decided that the switches, which cost $500,000, were too much a burden on the industry. The Papantonio segment starts at around 5:00 in and lasts three minutes or so.

In the interests of disclosure I will note that I haven’t heard the phrase “acoustic switch” until this weekend, so I don’t really know. And obviously the fact that the US isn’t alone in not requiring this switch indicates that there are legitimate questions about cost v. efficacy. So maybe it’s just one of those things.

But then again, maybe it’s not. Regulatory decisions have consequences all the time, and the people who made them should be asked to justify their decisions in a democracy. It’ll be very interesting to watch this week and see if other news outlets pursue this.  More…

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Filed under Energy Task Force, Gulf Coast Oil Spill, Haliburton

BP Oil Spill Worst In History – Obama Says BP Will Pay For Clean-up

Obama Gulf Oil Spill Speech

VENICE, La. (Associated Press) — No remedy in sight, President Barack Obama on Sunday warned of a “massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster” as a badly damaged oil well a mile deep in the Gulf of Mexico spewed a widening and deadly slick toward delicate wetlands and wildlife. He said it could take many days to stop.  More>>>

EPA launches website on oil spill 

The Deepwater Horizon incident is set to surpass the Exxon Valdez spill as the worst oil disaster in U.S. history. The EPA, the Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security are providing breaking updates and resources online.   More>>>

Oil Spill Worse Than Exxon Valdez: Oceanographer

The Gulf Coast spill will have eclipsed the Exxon Valdez in terms of total gallons of oil before the weekend is over — making it the largest oil spill in U.S. history — according to calculations made by oceanographer Ian MacDonald after studying aerial Coast Guard photos taken earlier in the week.

MacDonald, a professor at Florida State University who counts “oil and gas development” among his areas of expertise, stopped short of comparing the Deepwater Horizon spill to that of the Alaskan oil tanker, but said Saturday, “The spill is growing. I’m comfortable saying that the size and extent of this slick is 10 million gallons.”

Given that just over a million gallons are leaking into the Gulf per day, according to MacDonald’s calculations, the spill will shortly top the Exxon Valdez’s estimated 11-million-gallon spill. It is almost certain to cost more than the Exxon spill, which cost $3.5 billion for cleanup and another $5 billion worth of lawsuits and other settlements.   More>>>

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Filed under Environment, Gulf Coast Oil Spill