Tag Archives: Gulf Oil Spill

Mary Landrieu, Mark Begich Defend Oil Companies Against Democrats

This is why the Dems are so screwed.  The GOPers walk in lockstep (with an exception here or there) while the Dems have three factions, Blue Dogs, Progressives and Liberals.  The GOP messaging is consistent.  The Dems are all over the place!

“A house divided…”

Huffington Post

The Democratic attempt to take on the major oil companies is being challenged from within, with representatives of producing states rushing to the defense of the dirty-energy industry, complicating the plan to present a stark contrast between the two parties.

Democratic Sens. Mark Begich and Mary Landrieu, who represent Alaska and Louisiana, respectively, each took to the Senate floor Wednesday to decry their party’s attempt to strip tax breaks from the top oil companies.

Landrieu bemoaned the “inherent unfairness” of closing the tax loophole, insisting that doing so “will not reduce gasoline prices by one penny.”

Begich chided the party for putting message over substance. “It is a gimmick, a gimmick to get the next week of activity, and get some press out there,” he said. “Picking on one industry because it sounds good, rates good in the polls, gets you a couple of headlines is not what the American people want us to do here. If anything, they’re getting fed up with that. … Let’s stop the headline-grabbing and get serious about the energy security.”

The infighting couldn’t come at a worse time for Democratic leaders. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), is reportedly “leaning towards” voting to strip the tax breaks, citing “record profits” that come from the companies’ “tax advantage,” according to a tweet from CNN’s Ted Barrett.

Continued here…

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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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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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BP Not Denying, Just Not Paying Nearly 40,000 Oil Spill Claims

Huffington Post

Sheryl Lindsay’s wedding planner business is on the brink, crumbling with each cancellation over concerns about oil. Brides-to-be are walking away from plans for beachside vows, leaving Lindsay waiting to see whether she’ll be part of BP’s promise to make whole everyone who’s suffered from its spill.

BP said Monday it had received 145,000 claims from residents and business owners like Lindsay citing lost income because of the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and had paid out $324 million without denying a single claim.

That sounds pretty good, until frustrated residents and officials point out that 39,000 claims are in limbo – some of them, including Lindsay’s, have been there for months. Some that have been paid are only partial payments, and many of those people are still fighting for more money.

“Therein lies the problem,” Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said recently. “They don’t deny them. They just hold them open forever.”

Hood speculated that BP PLC would rather wait for Kenneth Feinberg, the federally appointed administrator of the $20 billion compensation fund BP established at the behest of the White House, to take over the claims process this month. That way, if a claim is denied, “he’s the bad guy” instead of BP, Hood said.

BP claims director Darryl Willis said the company isn’t deliberately delaying. Rather, 26,000 pending claims are still being evaluated and thousands of others need more documentation, the company said.

“Our intent is to continue paying claims until this process is handed over to Ken Feinberg,” Willis said. “There’s no intent to slow this thing down.”

However, BP does defer “questionable” claims to Feinberg, including “restaurants and tourist claims from areas that haven’t been impacted by an oiled beach,” company spokeswoman Pat Wright said.

“We believe there are some tough decisions out there that need to be made on a variety of these claims because many of these are claims are not squarely within the guidelines of the Oil Pollution Act,” she added.   Continue reading…

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Gulf Oil Efforts SUSPENDED: BP Shuts Down Well Work Due To Bad Weather

Huffington Post

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) — A tropical depression racing toward the Gulf of Mexico Thursday increased pressure on BP and the U.S. government to decide whether to evacuate dozens of ships at the site of the ruptured oil well.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said a cluster of thunderstorms in the Bahamas formed into a tropical depression Thursday morning. Forecast tracks show it moving into the eastern and central Gulf in the next several days, Hurricane Specialist Michael Brennan said.

Work on plugging the well is at a standstill just days before the expected completion of a relief tunnel to permanently throttle the free-flowing crude.

Worse yet, the government’s spill chief said foul weather could require reopening the cap that has contained the oil for nearly a week, allowing oil to gush into the sea again for days while engineers wait out the storm.

“This is necessarily going to be a judgment call,” said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who was waiting to see how the storm developed before deciding whether to order any of the ships to leave.   Continue reading…

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BP photoshops fake photo of crisis command center, posts on main BP site

America Blog

UPDATE 12:08PM Eastern 7/20/10: BP has faked yet another oil crisis response photo on its Web site.

UPDATE: 11:14PM Eastern: BP has now posted the “original” photo, they claim. Except – surprise – they are refusing to post the high-resolution version of the new “original” photo (update: they’ve now posted the original photo). They posted the high-res version of the altered photo earlier, and in fact, that version is still live via a link below the new photo. Why not post the high-res version of the new “original” photo? Afraid someone is going to enlarge it and find out it’s fake too?

UPDATE 10:37PM Eastern: The Washington Post has the story now. Oddly, BP is now claiming that the photo is real – but it showed blank screens, and rather than show blank screens at AP’s crisis center, they instead put fake content-filled screens in the photo. Uh, a few questions.

1) Why were the screens in the crisis center blank in the middle of the crisis? Coffee break?
2) The BP spokesman claims that the photographer photoshopped the changes. Really? A professional photographer hired by BP Photoshops so poorly that a 12 year old kid could do a better job. Really? Let me show you what BP said exactly, and then the photo that supposedly this “professional” edited:

Scott Dean, a spokesman for BP, said that there was nothing sinister in the photo alteration and provided the original unaltered version. He said that a photographer working for the company had inserted the three images in spots where the video screens were blank.

Now here is the Photoshop job that the “professional” photographer did – this is just one part of the photo that he screwed up.

Continue reading…

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Oil Spill Seepage: Rupture Reported At Top Of Well

Huffington Post

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House spokesman says BP’s ruptured oil well is leaking at the top, along with seepage about two miles away.

Robert Gibbs also says officials are monitoring bubbles that can be seen on an underwater camera.

Leaks could mean the cap on the well has to be opened to prevent oil and gas from escaping elsewhere.

The mechanical cap on the well stopped the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday.

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Gulf Oil Spill Stopped: BP Says Oil Leak Is HALTED (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

 

 

Huffington Post 

NEW ORLEANS - BP finally choked off the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday — 85 days and up to 184 million gallons after the crisis unfolded — then began a tense 48 hours of watching to see whether the capped-off well would hold or blow a new leak. 

To the relief of millions of people along the Gulf Coast, the big, billowing brown cloud of crude at the bottom of the sea disappeared from the underwater video feed for the first time since the disaster began in April, as BP closed the last of three openings in the 75-ton cap lowered onto the well earlier this week. 

But the company stopped far short of declaring victory over the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history and one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters, a catastrophe that has killed wildlife and threatened the livelihoods of fishermen, restaurateurs, and oil industry workers from Texas to Florida. 

Now begins a waiting period during which engineers will monitor pressure gauges and watch for signs of leaks elsewhere in the well. The biggest risk: Pressure from the oil gushing out of the ground could fracture the well and make the leak even worse. 

“For the people living on the Gulf, I’m certainly not going to guess their emotions,” BP vice president Kent Wells said. “I hope they’re encouraged there’s no oil going into the Gulf of Mexico. But we have to be careful. Depending on what the test shows us, we may need to open this well back up.” 

The stoppage came 85 days, 16 hours and 25 minutes after the first report April 20 of an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers and triggered the spill. 

Between 93.5 million and 184.3 million have already spilled into the Gulf, according to federal estimates.

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US accepts Gulf spill cleanup assistance from 12 countries

AFP - The United States will accept offers from 12 foreign countries to help clean up and contain the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, officials said on Tuesday.
   
“The United States will accept 22 offers of assistance from 12 countries and international bodies, including two high speed skimmers and fire containment boom from Japan,” a US State Department statement said.
   
“We are currently working out the particular modalities of delivering the offered assistance,” it said, adding that details would be “forthcoming once these arrangements are complete.”
   
Offers of boom to contain oil and collect it off the surface of the water have been accepted from Canada, Mexico, Norway and Japan, said a spokeswoman from the Unified Area Command, an entity headed by the US Coast Guard that is coordinating with BP on the oil spill response.
   
Skimmers have been accepted from Mexico, Norway, France and Japan and a sweeping arm system has been accepted from the Netherlands, spokeswoman Gina Ruoti told AFP.
   
Non-material offers of assistance are coming from the European Union and International Maritime Organization, she added, but was unable to say how much the assistance would be.
   
A total of 27 countries have offered assistance to the US government following the explosion in April of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which left 11 workers dead and sparked the most severe oil spill disaster in US history.
   
An estimated 1.6 million to 3.6 million barrels of oil — or 67 million to 153 million gallons — have already poured into the Gulf from the ruptured wellhead some 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface.

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Blame | Video Cafe

 

 

Ya gotta love Jon Stewart… 

Crooks & Liars 

Brilliant. From The Daily Show: 

Fox &Friends” deems it inappropriate for the Obama administration to mention Bush when talking about the wars, economy or oil spill. 

…So everything bad that happened during the Bush administration, was Bill Clinton’s fault.

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