Monday, May 31, 2010

Wall Street Journal Trashes BP For its Criminal Behaviour & Obama's Naivete

UPDATE: 6:03 PM. May 31, 2010

Deepwater Horizon still gushing oil and gas
Even the Wall Street Journal trashes BP
BP Lies again and again about everything
BP PR Neanderthals
BP has no sense of responsibility to the public for the mess it has created :



At nearly every step since the Deepwater Horizon exploded more than a month ago, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history, rig operator BP PLC has downplayed the severity of the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

On almost every issue -- the amount of gushing oil, the environmental impact, even how to stop the leak -- BP's statements have proven wrong. The erosion of the company's credibility may prove as difficult to stop as the oil spewing from the sea floor.

"They keep making one mistake after another. That gives the impression that they're hiding things," said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who has been critical of BP's reluctance to publicly release videos of the underwater gusher. "These guys either do not have any sense of accountability to the public or they are Neanderthals when it comes to public relations."


Quote from : As Gulf oil spill grew, BP's credibility faded By Justin Pritchard and Tamara Lush, AP Writers VIA The Associated Press May 29, 2010


...Big Oil has spent years deluding itself and others into thinking that this kind of spill was impossible and that preparing for one wasn't necessary. Indeed, BP once called a blowout disaster “inconceivable.” Certainly, if you can't conceive of a disaster, you'll become more and more lax, more and more reckless, until one happens. You’ll cut corners on backup systems and testing. And you certainly won't pre-build and pre-position any relevant equipment for staunching the flow. Since a disaster can't happen, you and your allies in Congress will block all serious safeguards and demagogue all efforts to oversee the industry as “Big Government interference in the marketplace that will raise the price of gasoline for average Americans.”

...As president, Obama bought into Big Oil's story that new technology meant that a big blowout disaster was impossible. And so he embraced offshore drilling a few months ago and even now has been slow to stop defending it. Thus, the questions that all Americans should be asking their president isn't whether he's plugged the leak yet. It's, "Why did you believe Big Oil and its right-wing allies?"


Quote from :Obama's daughter asked the wrong question:There's not much that Obama himself can do to "plug the hole." But he could be honest about why the spill happened by Joseph Romm Via Salon.com, May 28, 2010

BP still denies existence of underwater oil plumes even though a number of scientist have confirmed their existence.
And dispersants mix with oil and become more toxic

BP Oilpocalypse Creates Underwater Nightmare



As for BP's safety standards almost non-existent as they cut corners and fudge reports and cook the books to appease regulators -
BP faking safety test on wells
Coutdown -Keith Olbermann interviews BP Whistleblower Mike Mason on BP safety ignorance



Obama should be using this catastrophe not just to re-evaluate off shore drilling or just deepwater drilling he should focus on basic issues such as a policy concerning deregulation , corporate malfeasance of the elite and the oil and Gas and Coal industries. He could also use the event to begin developing alternative fuels and methods for energy production ie wind turbines and solar panels etc.

It is funny how the anti-government crowd are disingenuously using this event to criticize Obama for: one not doing enough two: not putting enough pressure on BP etc. when most of the time they argue that government has no right regulating the oil industry or any other business concern- these pro-business pro-unfettered capitalism crowd are also against the EPA Environmental protection Agency and its attempts to in their view interfere in the way businesses conduct themselves.

It is also telling that the Uberconservatives who applauded the Supreme Court decision to recognize corporations as individual citizens and so therefore they have the same rights and entitlement as other American citizens- but in legal terms doesn't this mean they the corporations also have responsibilities and liabilities equivalent to any other citizen. Therefore a corporation can be arrested, fined, imprisoned or even executed in a capital offense. So Tony Hayward & others representing BP could be charged and detained indefinitely and sent to prison or even executed. Or does one just impound the corporation and its assets.

Even the Wall Street Journal trashes by BPs actions at The Deepwater Horizon drilling site
BP Decisions Set Stage for Disaster by Ben Casselman & Russell Gold Via Wall Street Journal ,May 27, 2010

Government investigators have yet to announce conclusions about what went wrong that day. The final step in the causation chain, industry engineers have said in interviews, was most likely the failure of a crucial seal at the top of the well or a cement plug at the bottom.

But neither scenario explains the whole story. A Wall Street Journal investigation provides the most complete account so far of the fateful decisions that preceded the blast. BP made choices over the course of the project that rendered this well more vulnerable to the blowout, which unleashed a spew of crude oil that engineers are struggling to stanch.

BP, for instance, cut short a procedure involving drilling fluid that is designed to detect gas in the well and remove it before it becomes a problem, according to documents belonging to BP and to the drilling rig's owner and operator, Transocean Ltd.

BP also skipped a quality test of the cement around the pipe—another buffer against gas—despite what BP now says were signs of problems with the cement job and despite a warning from cement contractor Halliburton Co.

Once gas was rising, the design and procedures BP had chosen for the well likely gave this perilous gas an easier path up and out, say well-control experts. There was little keeping the gas from rushing up to the surface after workers, pushing to finish the job, removed a critical safeguard, the heavy drilling fluid known as "mud." BP has admitted a possible "fundamental mistake" in concluding that it was safe to proceed with mud removal, according to a memo from two Congressmen released Tuesday night.

Finally, a BP manager overseeing final well tests apparently had scant experience in deep-water drilling. He told investigators he was on the rig to "learn about deep water," according to notes of an interview with him seen by the Journal.


and one employee said BP CEOs were worried about completing the project sooner than later because it had run over budge and was late starting so the pressure was on everyone working on the rig :

Some of BP's choices allowed it to minimize costly delays. "We were behind schedule already," said Tyrone Benton, a technician who operated underwater robots and worked for a subcontractor. He said that on the day before the accident, a Monday, managers "hoped we'd be finished by that Friday.... But it seemed like they were pushing to finish it before Friday."

He added: "They were doing too many jobs at one time." Mr. Benton is suing BP and Transocean claiming physical injury and mental anguish.

...Halliburton, the cementing contractor, advised BP to install numerous devices to make sure the pipe was centered in the well before pumping cement, according to Halliburton documents, provided to congressional investigators and seen by the Journal. Otherwise, the cement might develop small channels that gas could squeeze through.

In an April 18 report to BP, Halliburton warned that if BP didn't use more centering devices, the well would likely have "a SEVERE gas flow problem." Still, BP decided to install fewer of the devices than Halliburton recommended—six instead of 21.

Even the basic pipe design was wrong :

"I couldn't understand why they would run a long string," meaning a single pipe, said David Pursell, a petroleum engineer and managing director of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., an energy-focused investment bank. Oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC, in a letter to the MMS, said it "generally does not" use a single pipe.
...

Despite the well design and the importance of the cement, daily drilling reports show that BP didn't run a critical, but time-consuming, procedure that might have allowed the company to detect and remove gas building up in the well.

Before doing a cement job on a well, common industry practice is to circulate the drilling mud through the well, bringing the mud at the bottom all the way up to the drilling rig.

This procedure, known as "bottoms up," lets workers check the mud to see if it is absorbing gas leaking in. If so, they can clean the gas out of the mud before putting it back down into the well to maintain the pressure. The American Petroleum Institute says it is "common cementing best practice" to circulate the mud at least once.

Circulating all the mud in a well of 18,360 feet, as this one was, takes six to 12 hours, say people who've run the procedure. But mud circulation on this well was done for just 30 minutes on April 19, drilling logs say, not nearly long enough to bring mud to the surface.

Three offshore engineers the Journal asked to review the drilling reports all pointed to the failure to circulate the mud completely as a serious mistake. Robert MacKenzie, a former oil-industry cementing engineer now at FBR Capital Markets, said, "If you have any worries about gas, if you have any worries about getting a good cement job, you should definitely do it."

BP also didn't run tests to check on the last of the cement after it was pumped into the well, despite the importance of cement to this well design and despite Halliburton's warning that the cement might not seal properly. Workers from Schlumberger Ltd. were aboard and available to do such tests, but on the morning of April 20, about 12 hours before the blowout, BP told Schlumberger workers their work was done, according to Schlumberger. They caught a helicopter back to shore at 11 a.m.

...A disagreement broke out on the rig on April 20 over the procedures to be followed. At 11 a.m., workers for the half-dozen contractors working on the rig gathered for a meeting. Douglas Brown, Transocean's chief mechanic on the rig, testified Wednesday at a hearing in Louisiana that a top BP official had a "skirmish" with top Transocean officials.

The Transocean workers, including offshore installation manager Jimmy Wayne Harrell, disagreed with a decision by BP's top manager about how to remove drilling mud and replace it with lighter seawater. Mr. Brown said he heard Mr. Harrell say, "I guess that is what we have those pinchers for," referring to a part of the blowout preventer that would shut off the well in case of an emergency.

BP won the argument, said Mr. Brown, who is a plaintiff in a suit against BP and Transocean.


and see: How do I loathe BP? Let me count the criminally negligent ways.by Cedwyn via Daily Kos May 30, 2010



As Gulf oil spill grew, BP's credibility faded By Justin Pritchard and Tamara Lush, AP Writers
VIA The Associated Press May 29, 2010


At nearly every step since the Deepwater Horizon exploded more than a month ago, causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history, rig operator BP PLC has downplayed the severity of the catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

On almost every issue -- the amount of gushing oil, the environmental impact, even how to stop the leak -- BP's statements have proven wrong. The erosion of the company's credibility may prove as difficult to stop as the oil spewing from the sea floor.

"They keep making one mistake after another. That gives the impression that they're hiding things," said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who has been critical of BP's reluctance to publicly release videos of the underwater gusher. "These guys either do not have any sense of accountability to the public or they are Neanderthals when it comes to public relations."


FOR INSTANCE on the volume of the Leak:

Nelson said that he believes BP has delayed release of everything from the actual flow rate to the videos because of a federal law that allows the government to seek penalties of $1,000 to $4,300 per barrel -- 42 gallons -- of oil spilled in U.S. waters. "And so naturally they want to minimize what people were thinking they were going to spill."

High-end estimates by BP, the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reached 588,000 gallons per day in late April, BP spokesman David Nicholas acknowledged Friday to The Associated Press after weeks of the company sticking with the lower estimate. But it wasn't until Thursday that officials had conceded that the leak was considerably larger than the 210,000-gallon-a-day figure that had been floated as the best estimate for the prior four weeks.


and:

The 210,000-gallon estimate that became the official talking point for weeks turned out to be wrong, too. A team of scientists from the government and academia said Thursday that the leak is really spewing somewhere between 500,000 and a million gallons a day.

The new estimates were between 12 and 24 times greater than what was first offered, and instantly made the Deepwater Horizon spill the worst in U.S. history. Even using the low end of the estimates, nearly 18 million gallons have spilled so far. At the high end, the well could have gushed as many as 39 million gallons.

Even President Barack Obama has voiced his frustration, laying the blame squarely on BP for the often incorrect assessment of the spill's size



and concludes with skepticism and distrust of BP :

The shift in spill estimates -- and the other downplayed details from BP -- have caused environmental activists like Lorraine Margeson of St. Petersburg, Fla., to question whether other details are lowballed, as well. Margeson wonders if the numbers of dead animals and birds are being accurately reported by BP and other officials.

"From the get go, every aspect of the situation has been downplayed," she said. "This thing has been out of control in terms of informing the public and transparency from day one."


BP CEO disputes claims of underwater oil plumes
By The Associated Press May 30, 2010,


Scientists from several universities have reported plumes of what appears to be oil suspended in clouds stretching for miles and reaching hundreds of feet beneath the Gulf's surface.

Those findings -- from the University of South Florida, the University of Georgia, Southern Mississippi University and other institutions -- were based on initial observations of water samples taken in the Gulf over the last several weeks. They continue to be analyzed.

One researcher said Sunday that their findings are bolstered by the fact that scientists from different institutions have come to similar conclusions after doing separate testing.

"There's been enough evidence from enough different sources," said Marine scientist James Cowan of Louisiana State University, who reported finding a plume last week of oil about 50 miles from the spill site that reached to depths of at least 400 feet.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rachel Maddow BP Shopping For Judge with ties To Oil Industry Oil Dispersants mix Is A Public Health Issue Reports of Illness

First a little ditty Obama singing "There's a hole in the bottom of the Sea
Bush/Cheney Legacy



UPDATE: Saturday Obama's address
Obama says before forging ahead with new offshore drilling the Oil Industry must prove they are acting responsibly and are able to better deal with any oil spills or well blow out.
Obama appears serious about all of this but is the system too broken to fix FUBAR
Or is the Oil Industry too big too politically powerful for any substantive changes to take place.
For instance BP is still not being forthright about the magnitude of the volume of the oil and gas gushing out of the whole in the bottom of the sea.
BP did not deploy booms and other equipment to the disaster sight in a timely fashion
And BP has its thugs who are preventing the public or the media from entering areas that have been heavily inundated with Crude Oil and toxic dispersants

May 29, 2010 — President Obama addresses the nation on the BP Oil Spill as well as not only his feelings about it but also how they are cleaning up the mess and holding those responsible for the disaster



May 24, 2010 — "... like sniffing gasoline or something, and still my ears are still popping right now. I'm still coughing up stuff. I feel real weak. All the tingling." -- Gary Burris, Gulf Coast fisherman

"The volatile, organic carbons, they act like a narcotic on the brain. At high concentrations, what we learned in Exxon Valdez from carcasses of harbor seals and sea otters, it actually fried the brain, (and there were) brain lesions." -- Marine toxicologist Riki Ott on chemicals used by BP




BPs slow reaction to defend the shores and marshlands of Louisana
Dylan Ratigan report
Much of the damage now occurring could have been stopped if BP had deployed booms and taken other necessary actions to protect these areas. BP spent more time playing the PR Public Relations game than doing anything constructive-they still see it as a PR problem- & GOPs reply Oil is as natural as ocean water WTF!!!
Oil Spill Workers Getting Sick!



BP judge shopping. Let the games begin - Rachel Maddow
May 28, 2010 — BP is trying to shift hundreds of lawsuits in 5 states to a Texas court and a judge with conflicts of interest.



BP trying to play down the effect the Deepwater Horizon oil spill catastrophe and clean up by BP becoming a public health issue- it seems crude oil and dispersants when mixed


Gulf Oil Spill Is Public Health Risk, Environmental Scientists Warn by Suzanne Goldenberg Via The Guardian & Common Dreams, May 28, 2010


• Pollution could do lasting damage to locals' health • BP's 'top kill' attempt to stop flow enters third day

Prolonged exposure to crude oil and chemical dispersants is a public health danger, environmental scientists warned today as BP spent a third day trying to initiate a "top kill" operation to cap the ruptured well on the sea bed

...With no immediate end in sight, there were growing concerns over the effects on public health of a prolonged exposure to the oil as well as to the more than 3,640,000 litres (800,000 gallons) of chemical dispersants sprayed on the slick.

Environmentalists and fishing groups in Louisiana say prolonged exposure to the oil, in the form of tiny airborne particles, as well as dispersants could be wreaking devastating damage on public health.

They also accuse BP of threatening to sack workers who try to turn up for clean-up duty wearing protective respirators, and the Obama administration of refusing to release results of air and water quality tests that would show the impact of crude oil and dispersants on the environment.

Wilma Subra, a chemist who has served as a consultant to the Environmental Protection Agency, said there was growing anecdotal evidence that locals were falling ill after exposure to tiny airborne particles of crude. Air quality data released earlier by the EPA suggested the presence of chemicals that – while still within legal limits – could be dangerous. But Subra complained that the EPA was not releasing all data it had gathered from BP.

"Every time the wind blows from the south-east to the shore, people are being made sick," she said. "It causes severe headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, burning eyes and sore throats." Long-term health effects include neurological disorders and cancer.

Subra said there was even greater concern for those recruited to lay booms and skim crude off the water, since they were in closer proximity to the oil and the chemical dispersants.

lint Guidry, of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, has accused BP of threatening to sack workers who turn up wearing respirators. The oil firm said it was not aware of any workers being turned away, but noted that it was the responsibility of the Obama administration to decide whether such protective gear was warranted.

Hugh Kaufman, chief investigator for the EPA's ombudsman, said he encountered similar worker safety policies after 9/11. "If people are wearing respirators, it scares people because they realise how toxic it is," he said "The administration is down-playing the problem because it saves them money down the line. It was the same at Ground Zero."

EPA tests indicate that the combined effect of dispersants and crude oil are even more toxic than individually. "There are dispersants being applied by aeroplane and by boat, and these people on the water are being sprayed over and over again," Subra said.


and so it goes,
GORD.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

BP OIL SPILL & The Need For A Criminal Investigation of BP and Corrupt Gov't Oversight Agencies

BP Deepwater Horizon Blowout and 70,000 -95,000 barrels of oil daily
Obama doesn't go far enough by not shutting down all Deep Water oil drilling esp. on BPs even deeper well on the rig Atlantis.


Dylan Ratigan at The Young Tuks 7 cozy relationship of corporations and government agencies which are supposed to provide independent oversight of those industries.
Mainstream Media seems to be more often than not defending these big corporations ie Big Oil & Big Coal

Problems dealing with the oil spill are compounded by the cozy relationship among corporations and the US Government -this relationship should be examined more closely by the media but the Media at times appears to be working to defend the corporations and refuse to do their jobs as serious journalist .


Dylan Ratigan rails against the cozy relationship among corporations the US Government and the Media . from The Young Turks Ratigan sitting in for Cenk Uygur
Oil Spill, Govt & Corporations - Dylan Ratigan





Despite Obama's assurances deep water drilling is still taking place in the Gulf ie Tha Atlantis
BP Oil Spill Surpasses Exxon Valdez as Worst in US History, Democracy Now May 28, 2010

US officials have confirmed what many have widely feared: the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the worst oil spill in US history. On Thursday, the US Geological Survey said the well has been spewing between 504,000 and more than a million gallons of oil a day. That means a minimum 19 million gallons have spilled into the Gulf over the past five weeks, easily surpassing the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska. The highest estimate would mean a spill of nearly 39 million gallons.




BP Role in 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster - 5-26-2010 Democracy NOW!

May 26, 2010 — Democracy NOW! - DN! The BP oil spill is the worst to hit the United States since the Exxon Valdez disaster of 1989. The devastation in the Gulf Coast has renewed attention on BPs key role in the botched containment of Exxon Valdez. We speak to Zygmunt Plater, an environmental law professor at Boston College who headed the legal team for the state-appointed Alaska Oil Spill Commission that investigated the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. Published with written permission from democracynow.org. http://www.democracynow.org





and so it goes,
GORD.

Friday, May 28, 2010

UPDATE: 2:20 Maddow: BP & Oil Industry Not Prepared For A Major Blowout

UPDATE: 2:20 May 28, 2010

* Obama still kowtowing to oil industry & its uberconservative defenders and Media apologists-
* Another Massive underwater plume of oil discovered.
* Dispersants used by BP may be even more harmful to marine life than the crude oil.
* Rachel Maddow :The technology for stopping a leek has not changed since 1979
* GOP defending oil industry while criticizing Obama for not doing enough
* GOP Tea Party, Rand Paul believe corporations should regulate themselves and it is up to American citizens to pay for the cost of any disaster-


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

... 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 creatures that filter the waters for food.

Above quote from:
Gulf Oil Spill: Scientists Discover Massive New Sea Oil Plume by Mathew Brown and Jason Dearen at AP Via Huffington Post, May 27, 2010

and for a better perspective of the power of BP and the oil industry and it's lobbyists over the Republicans and other conservatives:

As for The Republican Party, Tea Party Express and Rand Paul they are still defending BP and Big Oil and Big Coal and will continue to do so even if it has negative effects on the environment on other industries and small businesses and leaving the clean up bill for the American tax payers to deal with while they demand more tax breaks for the wealthy.

As Leo Gerard in an article at Alternet points out:


GOP Wants a Country by Corporations for Corporations Leo Gerard Via AlterNet,May 27, 2010

...Rand Paul...simply said what Republicans believe – that this country should focus on promoting corporations and those corporations should have privileges, but not responsibilities. To the GOP, the U.S.A. should be a country of corporations, by corporations, for corporations.

People, by contrast, are trifling to the GOP. In the past couple of weeks, the GOP has made its position on humans clear by trying to end an emergency fund that will create 186,000 subsidized jobs this year for poor people and by blocking an extension of unemployment insurance for those thrown out of work during the worst recession since the Great Depression, a downturn caused by reckless Wall Street corporations. Following the lead of Bunning, who delayed an extension in February, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire said the unemployed shouldn’t receive the insurance because it “encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment.”

While attempting to deny relief to the desperate, Republicans have also blocked efforts to force oil corporations to assume full liability for catastrophic spills – like the BP disaster in the Gulf. If the oil corporations – which vehemently oppose an increase in their liability — don’t pay for environmental clean up, then taxpayers – including the unemployed – will get the bill. Still, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio opposed raising the laughably-low liability cap of $75 million, and Republicans James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have blocked efforts to lift the cap in the Senate.


James Carville says Obama should have started a criminal investigation intothe BP disaster






Rachell Maddow exposes the fact that the oil industry has not invested much time or money or resources to develop better technology to fix a leak when it occurs.
Maddow compares the Deepwater Horizon disaster to the one in the Gulf in 1979 to point out that the oil industry is relying on outdated technology to stop the leek.
If the oil industry is able to drill miles under water and then miles under the sea floor they should not be permitted to drill at these depths for oil if they have idea how contain or fix a spill or blowout when it occurs.
The public is told that oil companies are as concerned about workers safety and protecting the environment from any accidents,
This is hogwash the oil industry sees such accidents as PR problems and so do not take all the concern seriously.
They have little regard for their oil rig workers
They have little regard for protecting the environment
The don't take threats from the US government or any other government seriously
They know with a few gifts here and there and promises of lucrative jobs and political campaign donations and other bribes the oil industry have usually been able to get their own way.
Besides any regulations of the oil industry are written to please and protect the oil industry with little regard to protecting the public from toxins.

Rachel Maddow- The more spills change_ the more they stay the same-May 26




And now a reminder from Green Peace of BPs poor safety record or concern for the environment

BP wins 'Emerald Paintbrush: Greenpeace 'greenwash' award...

GreenpeaceUK — December 22, 2008 — December 22, 2008 - time to announce the winner of the first annual Greenpeace 'Emerald paintbrush' award for greenwashing above and beyond the call of duty. Cue a quick roll on the drums, and step forward into the spotlight - BP!




Even Rick Sanchez at CNN is keeping up the pressure on BP oil even if Obama & the Democratic Pay are too afraid of BP.

BP Is 'Big And Important': BP Chairman Strikes Out At Critics, CEO Scolds Photographer At Oil Spill Site (VIDEO)
May 25, 2010 YouTube & Huffington Post

Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP, has struck out at critics of his company's response to the Gulf oil spill and told The Financial Times that BP is "big and important."

In an interview published Tuesday by FT, Svanberg painted the oil company's relationship with the U.S. as one that was mutually beneficial to both parties. "The US is a big and important market for BP, and BP is also a big and important company for the US, with its contribution to drilling and oil and gas production," Svanberg said. "So the position goes both ways."

Svanberg dismissed calls for a government takeover of the effort to plug the well and said that "if we do the right thing," BP's reputation may not suffer long-term damage.

The chairman's "big and important" assertions about his company came shortly after BP CEO Tony Hayward was recorded acting big and important around photographers covering the spill.

While observing a beach covered in crude, Hayward took it upon himself to scold a photographer whom he thought was too close to the spill.

"Hey, get outta there. Get outta there," Hayward barked to the photographer. "Get him out. Get him out."

Hayward's orders came just before a BP press conference.



It is estimated that approximately 19 -39 million gallons of oil has leaked into the gulf so far. Exxon Valdez released 11 million gallons of oil total.

Gulf Oil Spill Now Far Worse Than Exxon Valdez, Worst In U.S. History, Scientists Say May 27, 2010

...In Washington, meanwhile, Minerals Management Service Director Elizabeth Birnbaum stepped down from the job she has held since July 2009. Her agency has come under withering criticism from lawmakers of both parties over lax oversight of drilling and cozy ties with industry.

An internal Interior Department report released earlier this week found that between 2000 and 2008, agency staff members accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography.

Polls show the public is souring on the administration's handling of the catastrophe, and Obama sought Thursday to assure Americans that the government is in control. He was responding to criticism that his administration had been slow to act and left BP in charge of plugging the leak.

He announced that a new moratorium on drilling permits will be extended for six months. He also said he was suspending planned exploration drilling off the coasts of Alaska and Virginia and on 33 wells currently being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.



Roy Sekoff On 'Ed Show': Oil Spill 'Gush Cam' Clashes With Obama's Cool Confidence (VIDEO)


Huffington Post editor Roy Sekoff appeared on "The Ed Show" Thursday to weigh in on the federal response to the BP oil spill.

For Sekoff, President Obama's remarks Thursday were too dispassionate and lacked urgency.

"I hate to say it, but I think he's giving cool confidence a bad name... We've got to really have a two-fisted approach to this," Sekoff said. "Instead, you know Obama's approach to almost everything, whether it's been health care or the financial reform, has been 'Don't worry, I got it. It's under control.' But what do we see? We see the split camera and we have the 'gush-cam' pouring out... saying to the American people, 'No it's not handled. It's not OK.'"


Obama says he cares and is concerned about the spill every day- but his anger and frustration with BP unfortunately has not resulted in taking tough actions against BP & the oil industry in general . He is still allowing the narrative to be spun by the conservative Democrats ,the GOP and Tea Party elite and their media enablers and other pro-oil groups.

BP officials say they are Big and important as if to dare President Obama to take them on . Seems they have made Obama back down and not take the sorts of legal actions that he could. It is ironic that Obama is not willing to take action such as signing statements and other legal instruments against BP or the Oil Industry whereas the former corrupt rogue regime of President Bush favored doing things by executive orders or signing statements.

Meanwhile Obama turns out on a daily basis to be disappointing as he backs away from one legitimate fight after another. For instance Obama hasn't arrested or even threatened to arrest these daylight robbers or one of these Oil Industry Thugs- There's no surprise he slapped the coal industry on the wrist for its mining disaster killing 19 men so 11 dead is not going to change his mind. What many in the media and the public are saying that this is the perfect occasion to take on BP and the oil industry- But Obama wants to play nice and as James Carville said these people at BP do not wish him (Obama) well their intentions are not good but rather self-serving. BP will do whatever it can not to clean up the spill but to push forward its Public Relations campaign and damage control

ENDNOTES:
and there's more:

Massive underwater plume of oil discovered.
Dispersants used by BP are even more harmful to marine life than the crude oil.


Gulf Oil Spill: Scientists Discover Massive New Sea Oil Plume by Mathew Brown and Jason Dearen at AP Via Huffington Post, May 27, 2010

The thick plume was detected just beneath the surface down to about 3,300 feet (1,000 meters), and is more than 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) 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 (nearly 400 meters) 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 researchers say they are worried these undersea plumes may be 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 creatures that filter the waters for food.

"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."

Dispersants contain surfactants, which are similar to dishwashing soap.

A Louisiana State University researcher who has studied their effects on marine life said that by breaking oil into small particles, surfactants make it easier for fish and other animals to soak up the oil's toxic chemicals. That can impair the animals' immune systems and cause reproductive problems.

"The oil's not at the surface, so it doesn't look so bad, but you have a situation where it's more available to fish," said Kevin Kleinow, a professor in LSU's school of veterinary medicine.


Gulf Oil Spill: Cleanup Has Cost Federal Taxpayers $87 Million So Far via AP May 27, 2010

Federal officials say cleaning up the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has already cost the government $87 million, making it the third-most expensive cleanup effort in the nation's history.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry has distributed that money to state and federal agencies directly involved in the cleanup. Those include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which projects the oil slick's trajectory, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which rescues oil-soaked birds.

A senior financial analyst at the National Pollution Funds Center says an additional $38 million in emergency money has been assigned to the Deepwater Horizon spill, but it has yet to be spent.

The most expensive cleanup was the Exxon Valdez spill, which cost $121 million. The second was $89 million for cleaning up a 1994 oil spill off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
ENDNOTES:

GOP more concerned about protecting the profits of BP and Big oil than taking actions to defend America from these ruthless greedy stop at nothing Oil Companies.


GOP Wants a Country by Corporations for Corporations Leo Gerard Via AlterNet,May 27, 2010


Tea Party darling and Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul spoke last week like the political novice he is – revealing unfiltered GOP “truths.”

First he informed MSNBC talk show host Rachel Maddow that government should not be able to force businesses to serve black people. Corporate desire to discriminate should trump the civil rights of black people, Muslims, Jews, Catholics, and pants-wearing women, according to this Republican candidate, who has since rushed to assure everyone that he personally is not a bigot.

Rand Paul followed up the assertion of corporate-privilege-over-human-rights with two more Republican tenet revelations. First he called the Obama administration “un-American” for holding the corporation BP accountable for the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that killed 11 workers and devastated the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. Then Rand Paul added that society should refrain from the “blame game” in the case of another corporation, Massey Energy, the owner of the West Virginia mine that blew up killing 29 workers. “We had a mining accident that was very tragic,” he said, “Then we come in, and it’s always someone’s fault. Maybe sometimes accidents happen.”

The Republican candidate who openly espoused these views was embraced last Saturday by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell at a rally in Frankfort, Ky. And during the primary, former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Republican senators Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Jim Bunning of Kentucky actively supported Rand Paul. He simply said what Republicans believe – that this country should focus on promoting corporations and those corporations should have privileges, but not responsibilities. To the GOP, the U.S.A. should be a country of corporations, by corporations, for corporations.

People, by contrast, are trifling to the GOP. In the past couple of weeks, the GOP has made its position on humans clear by trying to end an emergency fund that will create 186,000 subsidized jobs this year for poor people and by blocking an extension of unemployment insurance for those thrown out of work during the worst recession since the Great Depression, a downturn caused by reckless Wall Street corporations. Following the lead of Bunning, who delayed an extension in February, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire said the unemployed shouldn’t receive the insurance because it “encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment.”

While attempting to deny relief to the desperate, Republicans have also blocked efforts to force oil corporations to assume full liability for catastrophic spills – like the BP disaster in the Gulf. If the oil corporations – which vehemently oppose an increase in their liability — don’t pay for environmental clean up, then taxpayers – including the unemployed – will get the bill. Still, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio opposed raising the laughably-low liability cap of $75 million, and Republicans James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have blocked efforts to lift the cap in the Senate.


Highlights of Obama's orders on offshore drilling Via AP ,May 27, 2010

Highlights of President Barack Obama's new orders on offshore oil drilling safety. Obama and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar discussed the measures Thursday, but no report was released publicly.

SAFER DRILLING?

Obama ordered a number of changes designed to ensure offshore drilling is safer going forward, based on a 30-day review by Salazar, including:

_Extending a moratorium on new deep water drilling leases for six months, until the presidential commission on the spill completes its work.

_Suspending Shell Oil's plans to begin exploratory drilling this summer on Arctic leases as far as 140 miles off the Alaska coast. Now those wells will not be considered until 2011.

_Canceling pending lease sales off the coast of Virginia and in the western Gulf of Mexico.

_Suspending action on 33 deep water exploratory wells currently being drilled in the Gulf.

_Salazar announced additional safety measures, including requiring more thorough inspections of the "blowout preventers" designed to prevent oil spills. The blowout preventer on BP's Deepwater Horizon rig failed.


and so it goes,
GORD.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CORRUPTION THE CORNERSTONE OF AMERICAN CULTURE BP & Gov't Agencies

If BP fails to plug its ruptured offshore oil well, intense underground pressure would be enough to pump vast quantities of thick brown crude into the Gulf of Mexico for months, even years.

If even BP's backup plans fail, it would cause a pollution disaster "heretofore unseen by humanity," said one expert.


From:
Unchecked Oil Flow Would Cause Disaster ‘Heretofore Unseen by Humanity’ by Ben Geman via CommonDreams.org, May 26, 2010

Today's Menu:

* Rachell Maddow on corruption in MMS Mineral Management Services Department

* Ed Schultz Calls Rand Paul's statements Psycho Talk
Rand Paul "Accidents happen", calls Obama UnAmerican for criticizing BP and then says Obama has his boot heel on the neck of BP ???

* McClatchy Newspapers present more details on the heated discussions among BP Transocean etc. on the day of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.
BP bullied the other people involved to do it the BP way which led to the disaster.

* In Rush to Expand Offshore Oil Drilling, Interior Secretary Salazar Abandoned Pledge to Reform Industry-dominated Mineral Management Service

* Congressional Oversight of MMS Needed to Ensure Proper BP Atlantis Investigation

* Deepwater Horizon Rig Had History of Spills, Fires Before Big Explosion in Gulf Posted on May 3, 2010

* The Corporate Stranglehold: How BP Will Make Out Like Bandits From Its Massive, Still Gushing Oil Disaster by: Zach Carter via AlterNet May 26, 2010

Memo Highlights Warning Signs Before BP Rig Blast: Video

Bloomberg — May 26, 2010 — May 26 (Bloomberg) -- A memo released by U.S. Representatives Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak following a briefing by BP yesterday highlighted several new warning signs of problems aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the run-up to the explosion that sank the rig and killed 11 workers last month. Bloomberg's Monica Bertran reports. (Source: Bloomberg)





Oil company liability for spills is capped at $75 Million under U.S. law but others in the Congress and Senate are trying to increase it to a more realistic amount anywhere from a couple of billion to about $10 Billion but GOP stands in their way in order to protect the oil industry.

Corruption ,drugs, sex & rock & Roll at Mineral Management Services. Employees accepted bribes and offers of lucrative jobs in exchange for giving rigs a sanitized report. The department became a stepping stone to get a lucrative job in the oil industry or other industry for which they were responsible for the oversight.
This sort of corruption according to the GOP, The Tea Party Express and Rand Paul et al is just business as usual. They would say that it would be better for all concerned if there were no regulatory bodies. So drilling for oil should just be a free for all as America reverts to the Old West style of doing things. The uber-conservatives are against any government involvement or inference in the way the Oil Industry or any other industry conducts itself.

May 26, 2010 by The Rachel Maddow Show Via CommonDreams.org
Oil Regulation a Broken System


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



And here's Rand Paul who seems a bit out of touch with reality as he goes out on a limb to defend BP . Whether he's sincere or not it does seem like bad timing.

He should wait til all the oil settles or disperses and becomes invisible as far as the Media is concerned. Like the thousands in New Orleans after Katrina were soon forgotten .

Rand Paul's remarks on BP and that the Government has no right to tell a company is to do or not do. I find it odd people are surprised by this attitude since it is just part of the ideology or belief system of the Tea Party & Uber-conservatives & Neocons & Religious Right. Each has its own take on how they explain their position but the end result or consequences are the same perpetual war, environmental disasters, unfettered deregulated free enterprise in which Greed and Power are all that matter.

Rand Paul as of the last couple of weeks has become the new spokesperson for the Tea Party Movement or the GOP's Tea Party Express. There are reports today that he is gone into seclusion or possibly was sent into exile as in Coventry or just shunned by his less than honest Tea Party leaders or the GOP or Dick Armey or Roger Ailes etc.

Ed Schultz Calls Rand Paul's statements Pscho Talk
Rand Paul "Accidents happen", calls Obama UnAmerican for criticizing BP
and then says Obama has his boot heel on the neck of BP ???
If anything Obama has been too nice and too patient with these oil industry thugs.


Rand Paul Defends BP And Lands In The Zone



McClatchy Newspapers present more details on the heated discussions among BP Transocean etc. on the day of the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon.
BP bullied the other people involved to do it the BP way which led to the disaster.

After Long Argument, BP Official Made Fatal Decision on Drilling Rig by: Erika Bolstad, Joseph Goodman and Marisa Taylor , McClatchy Newspapers May 26, 2010 via Truthout.org

Washington - Company executives and top drill hands on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig argued for hours about how to proceed before a BP official made the decision to remove heavy drilling fluid from the well and replace it with lighter weight seawater that was unable to prevent gas from surging to the surface and exploding.

One employee was so mad, the rig's chief mechanic Doug Brown testified, that he warned they'd be relying on the rig's blowout preventer if they proceeded the way BP wanted.

"He pretty much grumbled, 'Well, I guess that's what we have those pinchers for,' " Brown said of Jimmy Harrell, the top Transocean official on the rig. "Pinchers" was likely a reference to the shear rams in the blowout preventers, the final means of stopping an explosion.

Brown said in sworn testimony on Wednesday that the BP official stood up during the meeting and said, "This is how it's going to be."

It was the kind of power struggle that's common on all offshore rigs, but the fight on the Deepwater Horizon had deadly consequences, employees and experts testified Wednesday at a government inquiry in Louisiana.

Tuesday night, a House of Representatives committee released a memo outlining some of those decisions, saying that the crew of the Deepwater Horizon had a number of warning signs extending over five hours that conditions were worsening deep underwater before the oil rig exploded in the Gulf on April 20.


Anyway BP's well is still gushing oil at a rate of about 95,000 Barrels of oil per day.

And yet the GOP, Tea Party Express and their spokespersons in the media such as Fox News, Limbaugh, Beck, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul still believe in unfettered deregulated winner take all and the losers can go and live in cardboard boxes or starve to death -they call this Natural Justice or God's Will to defend Greed , Avarice, selfishness,,survival of the fittest or of the most corrupt.

We know there is always going to be some corruption in any government but it is surprising how corrupt & out of control the system became under the Bush/Cheney Regime but it may also have continued under the Obama administration. In Obama's case the issue would be what did he know and when did he know it.

If a system is corrupt then it is those who are willing to become corrupt by commission or omission who will be the most successful. (See Chris Hedges "Little Eichmanns")

The Neocons and Uber-Conservatives are motivated by Greed, Avarice and power so any other consideration are of no consequence. So they see regulations regarding safety of the workers or concern for the environment as obstacles they need to get around or just ignore and so get on with their business . So they use any and all means necessary to have the government change the regulations when possible or they will just bribe the regulators to lie about the industry's adherence to these regulations.

Their Christian enablers for instance have little interest in protecting the environment since they argue God gave man (especially Americans it appears ) Dominion over the Earth and so may do as they please with it.

Secondly the Uberconservative Evangelical Christians believe that God will be returning soon so there is no need to worry about protecting the Earth.

When God comes they argue the Earth will be healed and returned to its pristine form. So concern over the environment is unnecessary and maybe shows a person's lack of faith . Some of them even take comfort in the destruction of the Earth the worse it gets the sooner God arrives. Before that the skies darken and death is everywhere as war,plagues and pestilence,famine, floods & other natural disasters increase ravaging humanity but they tell us its a good thing that is for "the Elect".
They can't wait for the Rivers of Blood to flow as approximately five billion or more people perish. ( see for instance Frank Schaeffer's book about the creation of the Religious Right by he and his father Francis Schaeffer Crazy For God (2006) and Alan Dershowitz' Blasphemy 2007, Or Andrew J. Bacevich's The Limits of Power : The End of American Exceptionalism (2009)

American Exceptionalism - Manifest Destiny, Providence, Natural Law, Survival of the Fittest -hubris, arrogance, greed , avarice, materialism

A significant proportion of Americans still believe that their country is exceptional among all the nations that its people / culture are superior to any other people or culture .

So if America is exceptional or God's chosen nation , the City on The Hill, The New Jerusalem than they believe to protect itself and to expand its Empire and to get what it needs they are justified in shooting unarmed civilians or medics or children , destroying whole cities , attacking villages with Drones or targeting people for assassination rendition or supporting Death Squads in other countries, invading sovereign nations .

As part of this madness it is then even of less consequence to kill 11 oil rig workers and to pour millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf .

The equation is simple America needs oil therefore they are justified in using any and all means necessary to get that oil or coal or anything else America needs. All other nations are treated as if they were not sovereign states as Iraq was before the invasion or as Honduras was before the Americans backed and aided the coup d'etat last year under Obama's watch.

These uberconservatives have extended this mind-set to the environment. The environment loses when it comes to the greed & profits of Oil & Gas and coal industries.


Congressional Oversight of MMS Needed to Ensure Proper BP Atlantis Investigation
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
,May 26, 2010


WASHINGTON - May 26 - “We are outraged by yesterday’s Department of the Interior report noting that staff in the Lake Charles District office of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) have accepted inappropriate gifts from oil companies. Especially disturbing is the revelation that oil and gas company personnel filled out their own inspection forms; equally disturbing is the evidence that between June and July 2008, an MMS inspector conducted four inspections on Island Operating Company platforms while in the process of negotiating and later accepting employment with the company. This cronyism has made a joke of the regulatory system and is directly responsible for the Chernobyl we’re seeing play out in the Gulf.

“Although the MMS says they are investigating information provided by whistleblower Ken Abbott regarding the lack of required engineering and safety documentation on BP Atlantis, we are skeptical of their intent to do an honest and credible review. Given the inappropriate ties between the MMS and the oil industry, an investigation independent of the agency should be undertaken.

“The recent Deepwater Horizon accident and the safety problems at BP Atlantis demonstrate MMS’ lack of regulatory scrutiny of deepwater platforms. This is why we’ve filed suit in a federal court seeking a temporary injunction to halt operations of BP’s massive Atlantis oil drilling platform until critical safety documents are produced. President Obama should close BP Atlantis until it can be shown to operate safely.

“Congress should conduct oversight hearings immediately to investigate the executive branch’s failure to properly regulate the operation of BP Atlantis. At the same time, President Obama should require a review of safety documentation for all deepwater platforms in operation.”
The Corporate Stranglehold: How BP Will Make Out Like Bandits From Its Massive, Still Gushing Oil Disaster by: Zach Carter via AlterNet May 26, 2010

You've got to hand it to BP. After witnessing the Great Financial Crash of 2008, it seemed like it would be decades before any corporation could eclipse Wall Street's reckless rush to place its own short-term profits ahead of the public interest. But the epic drilling disaster off the Louisiana coast demonstrates that many of the problems that wrecked Wall Street are deeply embedded in other sectors of the American economy. Over the past 30 years, corporate titans have so thoroughly corrupted the notion of "free markets" that many of the world's riskiest businesses are not only insulated from regulatory supervision, they have been immunized from even minimum standards of market discipline.

...Let's be clear. This is an explicit, codified bailout for BP and every other company that engages in offshore drilling—a bailout every bit as disgusting as those recently bestowed upon Wall Street. The company is being shielded from the real costs of its business, and has been using artificially inflated profits to pay out princely fortunes to its top brass. Wall Street looted the housing market, converting real assets into bonuses. Now BP is looting the Gulf Coast.

There is a theory of law—a very conservative theory, at that—which actually says that BP should have to pay out much more than whatever the ultimate economic tab for the oil mess comes to. The government should amplify, rather than reduce, those costs in order to ensure that dealing out damage to innocent bystanders does not become a regular business practice. If the total cleanup tab is really $14 billion, that sum only amounts to BP's total 2009 profit. We can't have companies dealing out crazy economic and ecological damage on a regular basis, which is why Federal Judge Richard Posner, an appointee of Ronald Reagan, suggests imposing massive penalties on firms that do so.


And in this report we are told more about how corrupt the department was and how lax in oversight of the Oil Industry and BP in particular.

U.S. Interior Department Exempted BP From Environmental Review via Tonka Report, May 5, 2010

In Rush to Expand Offshore Oil Drilling, Interior Secretary Salazar Abandoned Pledge to Reform Industry-dominated Mineral Management Service

TUCSON, Ariz.— Ken Salazar’s first pledge as secretary of the interior was to reform the scandal plagued Mineral Management Service (MMS), which had been found by the U.S. inspector general to have traded sex, drugs, and financial favors with oil-company executives. In a January 29, 2009 press release on the scandal, Salazar stated:

“President Obama’s and my goal is to restore the public’s trust, to enact meaningful reform…to uphold the law, and to ensure that all of us — career public servants and political appointees — do our jobs with the highest level of integrity.”

Yet just three months later, Secretary Salazar allowed the MMS to approve — with no environmental review — the BP drilling operation that exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and pouring millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster will soon be, if it is not already, the worst oil spill in American history.

BP submitted its drilling plan to the MMS on March 10, 2009. Rather than subject the plan to a detailed environmental review before approving it as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, the agency declared the plan to be “categorically excluded” from environmental analysis because it posed virtually no chance of harming the environment. As BP itself pointed out in its April 9, 2010, letter to the Council on Environmental Quality, categorical exclusions are only to be used when a project will have “minimal or nonexistent” environmental impacts.

MMS issued its one-page approval letter to BP on April 6, 2009.

“Secretary Salazar has utterly failed to reform the Mineral Management Service,” said KierĂ¡n Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “Instead of protecting the public interest by conducting environmental reviews, his agency rubber stamped BP’s drilling plan, just as it does hundreds of others every year in the Gulf of Mexico. The Minerals Management Service has gotten worse, not better, under Salazar’s watch.”

As a senator, Salazar sponsored the “Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006,” which opened up large swaths of the Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil drilling and criticized the MMS for not issuing enough offshore oil leases. As interior secretary, he has pushed the agency to speed offshore oil drilling and was the architect of the White House’s March, 2010, proposal to expand offshore oil drilling in Alaska, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Coast from Maryland to Florida.

After meeting with Gulf oil executives early this week, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) told the Washington Post: “I’m of the opinion that boosterism breeds complacency and complacency breeds disaster. That, in my opinion, is what happened.” The boosterism started at the top, with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Excerpts from the BP drilling plan that was categorically excluded from
environmental review by the Department of the Interior:

“2.7 Blowout Scenario – A scenario for a potential blowout of the well from which BP would expect to have the highest volume of liquid hydrocarbons is not required for the operations proposed in this EP.”

“14.5 Alternatives - No alternatives to the proposed activities were considered to reduce environmental impacts.”

“14.6 Mitigation Measures - No mitigation measures other than those required by regulation and BP policy will be employed to avoid, diminish or eliminate potential impacts on environmental resources.”

“14.7 Consultation - No agencies or persons were consulted regarding potential impacts associated with the proposed activities.”

“14.3 Impacts on Proposed Activities – The site-specific environmental conditions have been taken into account for the proposed activities and no impacts are expected as a result of these conditions.”

“14.2.3.2 Wetlands – An accidental oil spill from the proposed activities could cause impacts to wetlands. However, due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected.” (p. 45)

“14.2.2.1 Essential Fish Habitat - …In the event of an unanticipated blowout resulting in an oil spill, it is unlikely to have an impact based on the industry wide standards for using proven equipment and technology for such responses, implementation of BP’s Regional Oil Spill Response Plan which address available equipment and removal of the oil spill.”

And the Deepwater Horizon Rig had a poor safety record long before the April 20 disaster. So if regulators had been doing their job the rig would have been decommissioned or the requested and needed repairs should have been done.

Rig Had History of Spills, Fires Before Big Explosion in Gulf Posted on May 3, 2010

During its nine years at sea, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig operated by BP suffered a series of spills, fires - even a collision - because of equipment failure, human error and bad weather. It also drilled the world’s deepest offshore well.
But Deepwater Horizon’s lasting legacy will undoubtedly be the environmental damage it caused after it exploded and sank, killing 11 crew and releasing an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico.


- In Feb. 2002, just months after the rig was launched from a South Korean shipyard, it spilled 267 barrels of oil into the Gulf after a hose failed, according to MMS records.

- In June 2003, the rig floated off course in high seas, resulting in the release of 944 barrels of oil. MMS blamed bad weather and poor judgment by the captain. A month later, equipment failure and high currents led to the loss of 74 barrels of oil.

In January 2005, human error caused another accident. A crane operator forgot he was in the midst of refueling a crane, and 15 gallons of overflowing diesel fuel sparked a fire.

The rig was being used by BP during all of the above incidents.

The Coast Guard, which is supposed to ensure the vessels are seaworthy, keeps its own set of safety records on the Deepwater Horizon.

From 2000 to 2010, the Coast Guard issued six enforcement warnings and handed down one civil penalty and a notice of violation to Deepwater Horizon, agency records show.

On 18 different occasions during that period the Coast Guard cited the vessel for an “acknowledged pollution source.” No further details about the type of pollution were immediately available.

The agency also conducted 16 investigations of incidents involving everything from fires to slip-and-fall accidents.



and so it goes,
GORD.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DEREGULATION IN USA BP WINS OBAMA LOSES

DEREGULATION IN USA
UPDATE: 12:49 PM, May 26, 2010

President Obama Demands BP Oil Spill Independent Commission- May 22 , 2010



In the end this is a great speech even sounds tough but when analyzed lacking real substance

- Either Obama does not have the power to go after the oil companies because of the last 20-30 years of deregulation mania in the USA or he like Rand Paul, The Tea Party Express & GOP & Fox News believe it was just an accident and/or that the spill is just part of business as usual

- is Obama in the final analysis afraid of the Oil and Gas industry and the Coal industry- are they too big to take on or is he trapped in this neoconservative 19th century attitude towards Big Business.

Through their egregious criminal negligence 11 men have died but these men were not CEOs or other important people so you throw a wreath on the ocean and then as Obama always does move on which will just lead to more disasters of this magnitude.

Obama mentions all the miles boom that is being used yet people on the ground say much of the boom in fact has not been deployed
and secondly critics say BP is not employing properly or monitoring the booms to stop oil from coming ashore.
He talks like a typical bureaucrat about creating a commission to investigate what went wrong but he refuses to mention possible criminal charges being laid against those who are responsible he knew better and yet did not adhere to safety regulations or even Industry standards and follow protocols for capping the well properly . BP bullied engineers & Transocean and workers to do it their way which led to disaster.

Obama says the commission will get back to him in six months-surely a preliminary criminal investigation should be done first to hold those responsible for this disaster even it means jailing CEOs , Managers, rig operators & engineers working for the company who knew better and yet who went along with BPs way of doing things even if their way was the wrong way.

Chris Hedges argues that we can make a moral equivalency or according to the law that the engineers and others who are the toadies for BP are like Little Eichmanns who were merely following orders which led to the deaths of eleven men which is treated as unimportant after all no one of importance such as a CEO was killed as Fox News would say thank God for that-

As a result of this go along to get along and self-preservation and keeping one's job at any cost even the deaths of others creates some negative consequences in this case An Environmental Disaster of the first magnitude.

These Little Eichmans are comparable in fact to those other quizzlings that is the doctors , medical staff, psychologist translator who stood by while American CIA, Special Forces or hired mercenaries like Blackwater or regular soldiers abused & tortured detainees.
It is all part of the same moral decay in America where values are twisted and turned upside down to fit with the maintaining of an Empire.

As Chris Hedges explains in his article:
BP and the 'Little Eichmanns' by Chris Hedges May 17, 2010 by TruthDig.com Via Common Dreams.org


Those who carry out this global genocide-men like BP's Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who assures us that "The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume''-are, to steal a line from Ward Churchill, "little Eichmanns." They serve Thanatos, the forces of death, the dark instinct Sigmund Freud identified within human beings that propels us to annihilate all living things, including ourselves. These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy. They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. The death they dispense, whether in the pollutants and carcinogens that have made cancer an epidemic, the dead zone rapidly being created in the Gulf of Mexico, the melting polar ice caps or the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.


and see my previous post : May 18, 2010 CBS 60Minutes' Expose' On Deepwater Horizon's Blowout: Profits Before Safety & Chris Hedges "Little Eichmans" & Transocean's $1 Billion Windfall


Shep smith again critical of BP Phony Clean Up Just More Slick PR
Shep criticizes the oil companies and BP for not having the equipment not just to clean up the oil but also to be able to get personnel down to the leak in a Submersible or to ask other nations to help out.

He and his guest agree that without the know how to deal with such a leak at that depth they should not have been allowed to drill for oil at that depth.
Shep and his guest also point out that the use of dispersants (which are dangerous, harmful to the environment and humans) is more like a smoke screen to cover up how big this leak is.

The oil company also is reluctant to talk about let alone deal with the massive underwater oil plumes which are doing untold damage to organisms beneath them


Bob Cavnar on FNC's Studio B With Shepard Smith re: BP Oil Spill 05-25-2010



In this video we discover that BP & others in charge of laying the BOOMS to hold back the oil is not being deployed properly and is not being monitored properly- BP also does not have the quantity of Boom they told the government they did have.

Be WARNED video contains harsh /foul/vulgar language but appears to be right on the money for criticizing the clean up in the Gulf-It seems appearances and looking busy is more important than doing a good job.

BP Fails Booming School 101 Gulf Oil Spill

May 19, 2010 — I thought this was important and that more people should see it. Thank you jakluk4 for bringing this to my attention. Who knows maybe if enough people see it we can change it. Please mirror.




BIG OIL Deregulation and Corruption within the government agency overseeing the oil industry


Government Workers Tasked With Gulf Oil Industry Oversight Accepted Gifts Environmental News Service,via Cmmon Dreams .org May 25, 2010


WASHINGTON, DC - Staffers in the Lake Charles, Louisiana district office of the Minerals Management Service accepted sport event tickets, lunches, and other gifts from oil and gas production companies and used government computers to view pornography, finds a report by the Department of the Interior Inspector General released today.

Some of these same staffers were tasked with inspections of offshore drilling platforms located in the Gulf of Mexico, states the report on ethical lapses at the MMS between 2000 and 2008 written by Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall.

"The Inspector General report describes reprehensible activities of employees of MMS between 2000 and 2008," said Secretary Salazar. "This deeply disturbing report is further evidence of the cozy relationship between some elements of MMS and the oil and gas industry."

Salazar has also asked the Inspector General to investigate whether there was a failure of MMS personnel to adequately enforce standards or inspect the Deepwater Horizon offshore facility and look into whether there are deficiencies in MMS policies or practices that need to be addressed to ensure that operations on the Outer Continental Shelf are conducted in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner.

...Meanwhile, the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which represents government workers in natural resource agencies questions whether anyone in a responsible capacity even read BP's official response plan for oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico.

The plan is "studded with patently inaccurate and inapplicable information but was nonetheless approved by the federal government," PEER said today, suggesting that no regulator ever read it.

The plan lists "Sea Lions, Seals, Sea Otters" and "Walruses" and "Otter, Beaver" and "Mink" as "Sensitive Biological Resources" in the Gulf of Mexico. While none of these animals live in the gulf, they do live in the Arctic, so PEER suggests that this portion of the BP plan was "cribbed from previous Arctic exploratory planning."

In fact, according to Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries 600 animal species are at risk from the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill - 445 species of fish, 45 mammals, 32 reptiles and amphibians, and 134 bird species.

The plan does not contain information about tracking sub-surface oil plumes from deepwater blowouts. It lacks any oceanographic or meteorological information, despite the relevance of this data to spill response.

"This response plan is not worth the paper it is written on," said PEER Board Member Rick Steiner, a former University of Alaska marine professor and conservationist who tracked the Exxon Valdez spill.

In 2009, Steiner lost a $10,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for being an outspoken critic of the oil industry's activities in the Bristol Bay region. Steiner filed a grievance and, in October, lost. He then resigned from the university.

Steiner observes that the BP plan is almost 600 pages largely consisting of lists, phone numbers and blank forms. "Incredibly, this voluminous document never once discusses how to stop a deep water blowout even though BP has significant deep water operations in the Gulf," he said.


And the New York Times reports Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup via The Real Liberal Christian Church - NYTimes.com by Tom Usher , May 23, 2010


Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup -
BP continues to stockpile and deploy oil-dispersing chemicals manufactured by a company with which it shares close ties, even...

Tom Usher wrote or added | "...according to EPA data, Corexit ranks far above dispersants made by competitors in toxicity and far below them in effectiveness in handling southern Louisiana crude.

"Of 18 dispersants whose use EPA has approved, 12 were found to be more effective on southern Louisiana crude than Corexit, EPA data show. Two of the 12 were found to be 100 percent effective on Gulf of Mexico crude, while the two Corexit products rated 56 percent and 63 percent effective, respectively. The toxicity of the 12 was shown to be either comparable to the Corexit line or, in some cases, 10 or 20 times less, according to EPA.

"EPA has not taken a stance on whether one dispersant should be used over another, leaving that up to BP."
and: "Gulf Oil Spill: Frustration Mounts As Congress Can't Even Get BP's Liability Cap Raised by Sam Stein via Huffington Post May 25,2010

It's been more than three weeks since Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) unveiled a proposal to raise the liability cap to $10 billion for oil companies involved in economically damaging offshore spills. And despite two efforts to pass the legislation through the Senate, the backing of the president and an ever-dire crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, there currently exists no clear path forward for getting the idea into law.

Under normal circumstances, the inaction would be chalked up to the normal lethargy of the Senate chamber. Three weeks, after all, is a relative blip in a legislative calendar that often sees bills and nominations debated well beyond that. But disasters -- such as the expanding oil spill in the Gulf -- usually spur quick, populist-stoked legislative action. The mere fact that Congress has been unable to accomplish something as politically obvious as asking companies like BP to pay more for the spills they create has some on the Hill shaking their heads.

"Beyond anything else," said one Senate Democratic aide, "it's frustrating."hat was so unsettling in the Gulf was that when I was down there I couldn't tell where President Obama began and BP ended. Greenpeace boats full of reporters were physically blocked by the coastguard and forbidden to take pictures of the oil on the beach. When asked why, the coast guard staff replied: "It's not our policy. It's BP's policy." The President's response to the spill, until the other day when Lisa Jackson demanded that the toxic dispersants be replaced (kudos to her for this), has seemed like a page out of BP's playbook of focusing on image damage control as much as oil spill damage control. He has not batted an eye in defending further off-shore oil drilling and has withheld from the public the scale of the problem.

I was heartened to hear that the President called for truck mile per gallon standards to be upgraded and that fuel economy standards should be strengthened in the long-run for regular cars. The big question is if the President will virtually phase out the use of oil in cars by 2030 or continue down Ken Salazar's misguided drill baby drill policy.



Obama To Aides: 'Plug The Damn Hole' VIA AP/Huffington Post , May 25, 2010

With the oil flowing and spreading at a furious rate, President Barack Obama has accused BP of a "breakdown of responsibility." He named a special independent commission to review what happened.

But the administration seems to want to have it both ways - insisting it's in charge while also insisting that BP do the heavy lifting. The White House is arguing that government officials aren't just watching from the sidelines, but also acknowledging there's just so much the government can do directly.

"[T]o those tasked with keeping the president apprised of the disaster," the Washington Post reported, "Obama's clenched jaw is becoming an increasingly familiar sight. During one of those sessions in the Oval Office the first week after the spill the president who rarely vents his frustration cut his aides short, according to one who was there. 'Plug the damn hole,' Obama told them."

"They are 5,000 feet down. BP or the private sector alone have the means to deal with that problem down there. It's not government equipment that is going to be used to do that," Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen told a White House briefing on Monday.

"They are the responsible party. But we have the authority to direct them," he added.


And the Rand Paul connection: A Rpublican Senator criticizes him for his defense of BP & his insensitive remark "Accidents Happen"

Rand Paul and Fox News are the few who are still buying BP's PR bilge.

Murkowski Contradicts Paul: Anyone Not Mad At BP Spill 'Has No Emotion' by Sam Stein via Huffinton Post May 25, 2010


Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul stirred up controversy last week when he chastised the Obama White House for being "un-American" in its harsh treatment of BP. Sometimes, "accidents happen," said the Tea Party darling in reference to the massive oil spill in the Gulf.

On Tuesday, one of the Senate's biggest defenders of the oil industry fully disagreed with Paul, saying that if people aren't mad with the BP-caused spill, they don't have a pulse.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK.) was not asked about Paul's comments directly. But the question posed to her left little room for interpretation as to its genesis. Was she concerned about the rhetoric coming from the administration, most notably Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's repeated claim that the government is putting its boot on the neck of BP?

"I will tell you," the Alaska Republican replied, "We flew over the spill yesterday. Anybody who flies over that and sees the devastation out there in the Gulf and doesn't get angry at what has happened has no emotion. And I can see where the Secretary is coming from. Those who have polluted will be held responsible and I agree with him. So how we make that all happen, how we see that all play out is going to be important. Now if I felt like BP was back-peddling in terms of its responsibility, you might hear me use a little more harsh rhetoric myself."

Murkowski also insisted that there is no question that BP is liable for the cost of cleanup and economic damages caused by the spill. The debate surrounds whether legislation is needed to ensure the company comes through on its payments.


Since then EPA ordered BP to use a less toxic dispersant and BP's CEO s being the Lords of the manor as it were ignored these silly commoners.

See original article at New York Times online By PAUL QUINLAN of Greenwire May 13,2010

On Estimates of the volume of BP Oil Leak from 1,000 to 5,000 barrels Daily according to BP but outside experts say it is more likely 70,000 to 95,000 Barrels daily. That an Exxon Valdez Spill every four days and so far this BP spill is 8 times larger than the BP/ Exxon Valdez disaster.

also see: New oil leak in well of sunken drilling rig Via AP/Yahoo News April 29, 2010

NEW ORLEANS – Five times more oil a day than previously believed is spewing into the Gulf of Mexico from a blown-out well of a sunken drilling rig, the Coast Guard said Wednesday, an estimate the oil company trying to contain the massive spill disputes.
and by May 1st the estimation on volume of oil leaking was increased to 25,000 barrels per day yet BP said it was only 1,000 to 5,000 barrels daily at most.


Estimate: Gulf oil leak may be 25,000 barrels per day Via BostonHerald .com Blogs May 1, 2010

Ian D. MacDonald, an oceanography professor at Florida State University, estimated Friday that oil may be leaking from the breached well at a rate of approximately 25,000 barrels a day, or between 8-9 million gallons already. That’s about 5 times the government estimate.

“I hope I’m wrong. I hope there’s less oil out there than that. But that’s what I get when I apply the numbers,” he told the AP.


Amount of Spill Could Escalate, Company Admits by John M. Broder, Campbell Robertson and Clifford Krauss.via New York Times May 5, 2010

WASHINGTON — In a closed-door briefing for members of Congress, a senior BP executive conceded Tuesday that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow.


Extent of Oil Spill Remains Unclear By: Lea Winerman via PBS Network May 14, 2010

Nearly a month after BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, one question remains unanswered: Exactly how much oil is spilling into the Gulf from the unchecked leak?


and one expert says:
"Astrophysicist Eugene Chiang, an expert in fluid mechanics at the University of California-Berkeley, said that he'd put the flow at 25,000 to 100,000 barrels per day, judging from the apparent velocity of the oil, gas and water mixture escaping from the pipe."

"If that YouTube video reflects conditions that have persisted since late April, there is little question in my mind that the amount of oil spilled has already well exceeded that of the Exxon Valdez accident," he said in an e-mail.


And so it goes,
GORD.