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Ed Jewett
05-02-2010, 01:52 AM
The link below leads to a thread at my web site E Pluribus Unum.

It contains a blog entry written by me consisting of grouped reports called "Shrimp Linguini Lagniappe", a link to a four-page discussion at Rigorous Intuition, and other reports.

The event has major connotations for the ecology and economy of the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, the politics of oil and energy, the politics of the US, and more.

Is it Gaia's revenge, a "false flag" attack, corporate malfeasance?

Or just an unmitigated disaster?


http://z7.invisionfree.com/E_Pluribus_Unum/index.php?showtopic=9481&st=0&#entry3704877


:banghead:

Magda Hassan
05-02-2010, 02:37 AM
I love this:
http://www.mms.gov/awards/
They really can't pat themselves on the back this year can they?
Arrogant pricks.
And Halliburton and BP should have the bejesus sued out of them. And then some. Personally confiscate every asset of their shareholders and throw the sorry bums of executives in jail for years after they have been forced to lick up every drop of oil off that coast with their own tongues.

Peter Lemkin
05-02-2010, 04:34 AM
The link below leads to a thread at my web site E Pluribus Unum.

It contains a blog entry written by me consisting of grouped reports called "Shrimp Linguini Lagniappe", a link to a four-page discussion at Rigorous Intuition, and other reports.

The event has major connotations for the ecology and economy of the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, the politics of oil and energy, the politics of the US, and more.

Is it Gaia's revenge, a "false flag" attack, corporate malfeasance?

Or just an unmitigated disaster?


http://z7.invisionfree.com/E_Pluribus_Unum/index.php?showtopic=9481&st=0&#entry3704877


:banghead:

It really is comeupance time! This one is a real long-term and large scale disaster. Almost no technology is known to shut off such a leak so deep under water. Some clever minds are now needed to invent one! While the leak is slow [low volume per day] it is, for now and perhaps for years, continuous!!! It could well kill nearly every living thing in and bordered by the Gulf of Mexico...and that is one hell of a lot of living things! BP seems to be doing nothing. They vaguely have referred to getting some submersibles down to look at the leaking pipe in a few months time.....gee, I hope they don't miss their golf games!.....
Its shaping up to be the biggest ACUTE environmental disaster - the biggest chronic one being human hubris and action, to date.

Ed Jewett
05-02-2010, 05:07 AM
Deep in that mix of articles is note about the request of assistance from the US military -- which goes, I'm sure, beyond the meager if yeoman-like efforts of the Coast Guard and the Dunkirkian-life efforts from the shrimp industry boats -- and further suggestion that the one thing that may actually be necessary to choke off the flow from the huge pressure coming from deeeeep beneath the Earth's crust, let alone the ocean, is the explosion of a nuclear weapon near the outflow point.

Heaven help us all, Tiny Tim. :banghead:

Anthony Marsh
05-02-2010, 05:10 AM
The link below leads to a thread at my web site E Pluribus Unum.

It contains a blog entry written by me consisting of grouped reports called "Shrimp Linguini Lagniappe", a link to a four-page discussion at Rigorous Intuition, and other reports.

The event has major connotations for the ecology and economy of the Gulf of Mexico and beyond, the politics of oil and energy, the politics of the US, and more.

Is it Gaia's revenge, a "false flag" attack, corporate malfeasance?

Or just an unmitigated disaster?


http://z7.invisionfree.com/E_Pluribus_Unum/index.php?showtopic=9481&st=0&#entry3704877


:banghead:

It really is comeupance time! This one is a real long-term and large scale disaster. Almost no technology is known to shut off such a leak so deep under water. Some clever minds are now needed to invent one! While the leak is slow [low volume per day] it is, for now and perhaps for years, continuous!!! It could well kill nearly every living thing in and bordered by the Gulf of Mexico...and that is one hell of a lot of living things! BP seems to be doing nothing. They vaguely have referred to getting some submersibles down to look at the leaking pipe in a few months time.....gee, I hope they don't miss their golf games!.....
Its shaping up to be the biggest ACUTE environmental disaster - the biggest chronic one being human hubris and action, to date.


Murphy's Law in full effect. Shortly after politicians yell, "Drill Baby, drill" and even Obama endorses more drilling, an accident reminds us of the inherent dangers. We've just had another example here in Massachusetts. Some local wacko passed a law banning water sold in plastic bottles in a local city and today a huge water pipe break made all the water in Eastern Mass undrinkable. Some stores want to open at night to meet all the public demand for bottled water.

Ed Jewett
05-02-2010, 05:28 AM
Local news updates from Mobile and surrounding communities Breaking News (http://blog.al.com/live/breaking_news/index.html), Mississippi Press (http://blog.al.com/live/mississippi_press/index.html), Shared - Birmingham (http://blog.al.com/live/shared_-_birmingham/index.html), Shared - Huntsville (http://blog.al.com/live/shared_-_huntsville/index.html) Leaked report: Government fears Deepwater Horizon well could become unchecked gusher

By Ben Raines (http://connect.al.com/user/braines/index.html)

April 30, 2010, 2:18PM

http://media.al.com/live/photo/spillnewserjpg-12eae2f4ef512a00_large.jpgView full size (http://media.al.com/live/photo/spillnewserjpg-12eae2f4ef512a00.jpg)(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano uses a map of the Gulf of Mexico during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 29, 2010. A leaked memorandum obtained by the Press-Register on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the Deepwater Horizon well site could be on the verge of becoming an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf. 'The following is not public' document states

http://media.al.com/live/photo/plumejpg-5e73159717b16990_medium.jpgView full size (http://media.al.com/live/photo/plumejpg-5e73159717b16990.jpg)(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Saturday April 24, 2010, shows oil leaking from the drill pipe of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig after it sank. A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could be on the verge of becoming an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf. A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.

"The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28. "Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."

Asked Friday to comment on the document, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen said that the additional leaks described were reported to the public late Wednesday night. Regarding the possibility of the spill becoming an order of magnitude larger, Smullen said, "I'm letting the document you have speak for itself."

In scientific circles, an order of magnitude means something is 10 times larger. In this case, an order of magnitude higher would mean the volume of oil coming from the well could be 10 times higher than the 5,000 barrels a day coming out now. That would mean 50,000 barrels a day, or 2.1 million gallons a day. It appears the new leaks mentioned in the Wednesday release are the leaks reported to the public late Wednesday night.

"There is no official change in the volume released but the USCG is no longer stating that the release rate is 1,000 barrels a day," continues the document, referred to as report No. 12. "Instead they are saying that they are preparing for a worst-case release and bringing all assets to bear."

The emergency document also states that the spill has grown in size so quickly that only 1 to 2 percent of it has been sprayed with dispersants.

The Press-Register obtained the emergency report from a government official. The White House, NOAA, the Coast Guard and BP Plc did not immediately return calls for comment made early this morning.

The worst-case scenario (http://blog.al.com/live/2010/04/gulf_mexico_oil_spill_worst_case.html) for the broken and leaking well pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead and kinked piping currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels -- or 210,000 gallons -- per day.



LATER REPORT: Video shows federal officials knew quickly of potential for massive oil flow in Gulf spill (http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/video_shows_federal_officials.html)

If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate.

"Typically, a very good well in the Gulf can produce 30,000 barrels a day, but that's under control. I have no idea what an uncontrolled release could be," said Stephen Sears, chairman of the petroleum engineering department at Louisiana State University.

On Thursday, federal officials said they were preparing for the worst-case scenario but didn't elaborate.

Kinks in the piping created as the rig sank to the seafloor may be all that is preventing the Deepwater Horizon well from releasing its maximum flow. BP is now drilling a relief well as the ultimate fix. The company said Thursday that process would take up to 3 months.

http://media.al.com/mobile-press-register/photo/view-from-above-dbfd8df0fa2c3e4d_medium.jpg
Gulf oil spill

See continuing coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010 (http://www.al.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/) on al.com (http://www.al.com/mobile/) and GulfLive.com (http://www.gulflive.com/).

To keep track of the Gulf of Mexico oil slick, visit www.skytruth.org (http://blog.skytruth.org/) or follow its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/SkyTruth).

To see updated projection maps related to the oil spill in the Gulf, visit the Deepwater Horizon Response (http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/) Web site established by government officials.

How to help: (http://blog.al.com/pr/2010/04/gulf_of_mexico_oil_spill_2010.html) Volunteers eager to help cope with the spill and lessen its impact on the Gulf Coast environment and economy.


"I'm not sure what's happening down there right now. I have heard there is a kink in what's called the riser. The riser is a long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig. I really don't know if that kink is a big restriction. Is that really a big restriction? There could be another restriction further down," said LSU's Sears.

"An analogy would be if you have a kink in a garden hose. You suspect that kink is restricting the flow, but there could be another restriction or kink somewhere else closer to the faucet.

BP Plc executive Doug Suttles said Thursday the company was worried about "erosion" of the pipe at the wellhead.

Sand is an integral part of the formations that hold oil under the Gulf. That sand, carried in the oil as it shoots through the piping, is blamed for the ongoing erosion described by BP.

"The pipe could disintegrate. You've got sand getting into the pipe, it's eroding the pipe all the time, like a sandblaster," said Ron Gouget, a former oil spill response coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

http://media.al.com/live/photo/oilinhandjpg-10a7af65c04260fd_small.jpgView full size (http://media.al.com/live/photo/oilinhandjpg-10a7af65c04260fd.jpg)(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Oil scooped up from the Gulf of Mexico 17 miles southeast of the South Pass of the Mississippi River is seen on the hand of deck hand Jordan Ellis on the Louisiana coast Friday, April 30, 2010. The oil originated from a leaking pipeline after last week's explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon."When the oil is removed normally, it comes out at a controlled rate. You can still have abrasive particles in that. Well, now, at this well, its coming out at fairly high velocity," Gouget continued. "Any erosive grains are abrading the inside of the pipe and all the steel that comes in contact with the liquid. It's essentially sanding away the pipe."

Gouget said the loss of a wellhead is totally unprecedented.

"How bad it could get from that, you will have a tremendous volume of oil that is going to be offgassing on the coast. Depending on how much wind is there, and how those gases build up, that's a significant health concern," he said.

The formation that was being drilled by Deepwater Horizon when it exploded and sank last week is reported to have tens of millions of barrels of oil. A barrel contains 42 gallons.

Smullen described the NOAA document as a regular daily briefing. "Your report makes it sound pretty dire. It's a scenario," he said, "It's a regular daily briefing sheet that considered different scenarios much like any first responder would."

(Updated 5:57 p.m. to add response from NOAA spokesman.)

Magda Hassan
05-03-2010, 03:32 AM
Oy veh!
And I bet this is just the beginning. Naturally it will be paid for by the US tax payer. Privitisation of profits and socialisation of costs is they game they play isn't it? Poor sea creatures and fisher men and their families.

Cost of oil spill could exceed $14 billion

Tom Bergin (http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=tom.bergin&)
LONDON
Sun May 2, 2010 3:54pm EDT
LONDON (Reuters) - The total bill related to the oil spill drifting toward Louisiana from a well operated by BP Plc in the Gulf of Mexico, could exceed $14 billion, analysts said.
U.S. (http://www.reuters.com/news/us) | Green Business (http://www.reuters.com/finance/greenBusiness)
Since an explosion almost two weeks ago on the Deepwater Horizon rig, a disaster scenario has emerged with hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil spewing unchecked into the Gulf and moving inexorably northward to the coast. The responsibility for the cleanup operation lies with the owners of the well, led by 65 percent shareholder, London-based oil company BP Plc.
BP said last week that it was spending $6 million a day on the clean up but admitted this figure would rise sharply when the slick hits land.
Neither the company or its 25 percent partner, explorer Anadarko Petroleum, have put an estimate on total costs, although BP CEO Tony Hayward told Reuters in an interview on Friday that he would pay all legitimate claims for damages.
The final bill for cleaning up the spill could be $7 billion, Neil McMahon, analyst at investment firm Bernstein said.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley put the figure at $3.5 billion, while analysts at Citigroup, Evolution Securities and Panmure Gordon put cleanup costs at under $1.1 billion.
Compensation that must be paid to those impacted by the slick could also amount to billions of dollars.
The cost to the fishing industry in Louisiana could be $2.5 billion, while the Florida tourism industry could lose $3 billion, Bernstein predicted.
BP will also have to spend $100 million to drill a relief well to try and stem the flow of the well, while the loss of the Deepwater Horizon well represents a hit of around $1 billion for its owner, Swiss-based drilling specialist Transocean.
COMPENSATION FOR WORKERS
Eleven workers are missing, presumed dead, following the rig explosion and compensation will have to be made to their families.
BP was forced to pay out $2 billion in compensation after 15 workers died in an explosion at its Texas City refinery in 2005, although Peter Hitchens at Panmure said it was likely liabilities related to the rig would be Transocean's responsibility.
BP and its partners in the oil block where the leaking well is located will have to cover the cleanup costs and damages on a basis proportionate to their shareholdings, which will leave BP with 65 percent of the bill.
The company self-insures through its own insurance company, named Jupiter. Contrary to press reports, Jupiter does not lay off risks onto reinsurers or syndicates at Lloyds of London, a spokesman said on Sunday.
Hence, BP will end up paying any costs out of its own pocket.
However, it is possible BP and Anadarko could seek to reclaim any damages from Cameron International Corp, the supplier of the well head equipment which has been blamed for the accident or companies involved in maintaining the drilling machinery.
The oil is leaking because a shut-off valve that should automatically kick in when a problem occurs, has not functioned.
The valve, known as a blow-out preventer, was supplied by Cameron and operated, as an integral part of Transocean's rig.
Oil services provider Halliburton said it performed a variety of work on the rig.
If BP could prove that Halliburton or Cameron did something wrong, they could lay part of the blame on them, Mike Breard, an energy analyst with Hodges Capital Management in Dallas said last week.
Shares in BP have fallen around 13 percent since the accident, wiping out $20 billion of the company's market value.
Shares in Anadarko, Transocean, Cameron and Halliburton have also been hit.
If regulators find any wrongdoing or incompetence on the part of the companies involved, it could levy fines, although analysts said that going by previous fines, these would likely be in the range of tens of millions -- immaterial to the total bill.
In such a situation, the courts could also award punitive damages.
Exxon Mobil was hit with $5 billion in punitive damages after the its tanker Valdez leaked 258,000 barrels of heavy crude into Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1989. The award was based on the fact Exxon had not taken due care when it employed a man with a drinking problem to skipper its tanker.
However, the damages against it were subsequently reduced to around $500 million on appeal.
All analysts agreed that the final bill for the Deepwater Horizon incident will depend on how much damage is caused.
Bernstein said the experience from the first Gulf War in 1991 suggested the damage across Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi
and Florida could be less than many expect because of the warm water in the area.
"The Iraqi army opened valves on the Sea Island terminal, dumping up to 450 million gallons (around 11 million barrels) of crude into the sea in order to obstruct a potential landing by coalition forces," McMahon said in a research note.
"While the magnitude of the spill was vastly greater than the Exxon Valdez, it actually did relatively little long-term damage, as it dispersed in the warm waters," he added.
(Reporting by Tom Bergin, editing by Bernard Orr)http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6412H820100502

Magda Hassan
05-03-2010, 03:38 AM
Therefore we will have to publish it for them here:
dates from Mobile and surrounding communities Breaking News (http://blog.al.com/live/breaking_news/index.html), Mississippi Press (http://blog.al.com/live/mississippi_press/index.html), Shared - Birmingham (http://blog.al.com/live/shared_-_birmingham/index.html), Shared - Huntsville (http://blog.al.com/live/shared_-_huntsville/index.html) Leaked report: Government fears Deepwater Horizon well could become unchecked gusher

By Ben Raines (http://connect.al.com/user/braines/index.html)

April 30, 2010, 2:18PM

http://media.al.com/live/photo/spillnewserjpg-12eae2f4ef512a00_large.jpgView full size (http://media.al.com/live/photo/spillnewserjpg-12eae2f4ef512a00.jpg)(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano uses a map of the Gulf of Mexico during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Thursday, April 29, 2010. A leaked memorandum obtained by the Press-Register on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the Deepwater Horizon well site could be on the verge of becoming an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf. 'The following is not public' document states

http://media.al.com/live/photo/plumejpg-5e73159717b16990_medium.jpgView full size (http://media.al.com/live/photo/plumejpg-5e73159717b16990.jpg)(AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Saturday April 24, 2010, shows oil leaking from the drill pipe of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig after it sank. A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could be on the verge of becoming an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf. A confidential government report on the unfolding spill disaster in the Gulf makes clear the Coast Guard now fears the well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf.

"The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28. "Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."

Asked Friday to comment on the document, NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen said that the additional leaks described were reported to the public late Wednesday night. Regarding the possibility of the spill becoming an order of magnitude larger, Smullen said, "I'm letting the document you have speak for itself."

In scientific circles, an order of magnitude means something is 10 times larger. In this case, an order of magnitude higher would mean the volume of oil coming from the well could be 10 times higher than the 5,000 barrels a day coming out now. That would mean 50,000 barrels a day, or 2.1 million gallons a day. It appears the new leaks mentioned in the Wednesday release are the leaks reported to the public late Wednesday night.

"There is no official change in the volume released but the USCG is no longer stating that the release rate is 1,000 barrels a day," continues the document, referred to as report No. 12. "Instead they are saying that they are preparing for a worst-case release and bringing all assets to bear."

The emergency document also states that the spill has grown in size so quickly that only 1 to 2 percent of it has been sprayed with dispersants.

The Press-Register obtained the emergency report from a government official. The White House, NOAA, the Coast Guard and BP Plc did not immediately return calls for comment made early this morning.

The worst-case scenario (http://blog.al.com/live/2010/04/gulf_mexico_oil_spill_worst_case.html) for the broken and leaking well pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead and kinked piping currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels -- or 210,000 gallons -- per day.



LATER REPORT: Video shows federal officials knew quickly of potential for massive oil flow in Gulf spill (http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/video_shows_federal_officials.html)

If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate.

"Typically, a very good well in the Gulf can produce 30,000 barrels a day, but that's under control. I have no idea what an uncontrolled release could be," said Stephen Sears, chairman of the petroleum engineering department at Louisiana State University.

On Thursday, federal officials said they were preparing for the worst-case scenario but didn't elaborate.

Kinks in the piping created as the rig sank to the seafloor may be all that is preventing the Deepwater Horizon well from releasing its maximum flow. BP is now drilling a relief well as the ultimate fix. The company said Thursday that process would take up to 3 months.

http://media.al.com/mobile-press-register/photo/view-from-above-dbfd8df0fa2c3e4d_medium.jpg
Gulf oil spill

See continuing coverage of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010 (http://www.al.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/) on al.com (http://www.al.com/mobile/) and GulfLive.com (http://www.gulflive.com/).

To keep track of the Gulf of Mexico oil slick, visit www.skytruth.org (http://blog.skytruth.org/) or follow its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/SkyTruth).

To see updated projection maps related to the oil spill in the Gulf, visit the Deepwater Horizon Response (http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/site/2931/) Web site established by government officials.

How to help: (http://blog.al.com/pr/2010/04/gulf_of_mexico_oil_spill_2010.html) Volunteers eager to help cope with the spill and lessen its impact on the Gulf Coast environment and economy.


"I'm not sure what's happening down there right now. I have heard there is a kink in what's called the riser. The riser is a long pipe that connects the wellhead to the rig. I really don't know if that kink is a big restriction. Is that really a big restriction? There could be another restriction further down," said LSU's Sears.

"An analogy would be if you have a kink in a garden hose. You suspect that kink is restricting the flow, but there could be another restriction or kink somewhere else closer to the faucet.

BP Plc executive Doug Suttles said Thursday the company was worried about "erosion" of the pipe at the wellhead.

Sand is an integral part of the formations that hold oil under the Gulf. That sand, carried in the oil as it shoots through the piping, is blamed for the ongoing erosion described by BP.

"The pipe could disintegrate. You've got sand getting into the pipe, it's eroding the pipe all the time, like a sandblaster," said Ron Gouget, a former oil spill response coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

http://media.al.com/live/photo/oilinhandjpg-10a7af65c04260fd_small.jpgView full size (http://media.al.com/live/photo/oilinhandjpg-10a7af65c04260fd.jpg)(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Oil scooped up from the Gulf of Mexico 17 miles southeast of the South Pass of the Mississippi River is seen on the hand of deck hand Jordan Ellis on the Louisiana coast Friday, April 30, 2010. The oil originated from a leaking pipeline after last week's explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon."When the oil is removed normally, it comes out at a controlled rate. You can still have abrasive particles in that. Well, now, at this well, its coming out at fairly high velocity," Gouget continued. "Any erosive grains are abrading the inside of the pipe and all the steel that comes in contact with the liquid. It's essentially sanding away the pipe."

Gouget said the loss of a wellhead is totally unprecedented.

"How bad it could get from that, you will have a tremendous volume of oil that is going to be offgassing on the coast. Depending on how much wind is there, and how those gases build up, that's a significant health concern," he said.

The formation that was being drilled by Deepwater Horizon when it exploded and sank last week is reported to have tens of millions of barrels of oil. A barrel contains 42 gallons.

Smullen described the NOAA document as a regular daily briefing. "Your report makes it sound pretty dire. It's a scenario," he said, "It's a regular daily briefing sheet that considered different scenarios much like any first responder would."

(Updated 5:57 p.m. to add response from NOAA spokesman.)

Paul Rigby
05-03-2010, 09:35 AM
And Halliburton and BP should have the bejesus sued out of them...throw the sorry bums of executives in jail for years after they have been forced to lick up every drop of oil off that coast with their own tongues.

The genius of this proposal is that some of them would pay for the privilege.

MH for President. Vote early, vote often.

Magda Hassan
05-03-2010, 10:19 AM
And Halliburton and BP should have the bejesus sued out of them...throw the sorry bums of executives in jail for years after they have been forced to lick up every drop of oil off that coast with their own tongues.

The genius of this proposal is that some of them would pay for the privilege.

MH for President. Vote early, vote often.

Of course they should pay for the privilege! They are unworthy to lick my boots.:secruity: I would stand on their backs and drive my heel into their necks as they licked up the sand but I will not as this is a pleasure that must be denied them.

Ed Jewett
05-03-2010, 05:48 PM
Relax, people....; the damage to the company and the industry may be averted.

:viking:

BP May Manage Damage to Company From Spill, CEO Says (Update2)

May 03, 2010, 12:52 PM EDT

(Adds estimated costs beginning in 14th paragraph. See {EXT4 <GO>} for more on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.)
By Stanley Reed
May 3 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, the owner of the ruptured well spewing thousands of barrels a day of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, may be able to manage the damage to the company and the industry, Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward said.
It all depends on how successful we are with our response, Hayward said in an interview in Houma, Louisiana, yesterday, when asked how bad the fallout will be. If we deal with the situation in a way that minimizes the environmental impact, it will cause some debate. If the environmental impact is serious, as a consequence there wont be much if any extension of offshore drilling.
The oil spill caused by the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig last month threatens what President Barack Obama said yesterday may become an unprecedented environmental disaster. The April 20 accident, which killed 11 people, came at a time when Hayward appeared well on the way to turning BP around by improving the companys safety record and profitability.
The U.S. Coast Guard has said it is impossible to estimate how much oil is gushing from the well from at least three locations 5,000 feet (1.5 kilometers) below the surface. Obama viewed the Gulf coastline and got an hour-long briefing yesterday on how the slick is fast approaching the Louisiana coastline.
Winston Churchill
Hayward, 52, who said his recent schedule has left him feeling tired, repeated a phrase he says is from Winston Churchill. When you are going through hell, keep going, Hayward said over a fish and pasta dinner at a restaurant in Houma, near where BP has its main base for fighting the spill.
Hayward has improved BPs safety record after a series of accidents including the deadly March 2005 Texas City refinery explosion that helped bring down his predecessor, John Browne, whom he succeeded three years ago. Hayward also brought delayed projects such as Thunder Horse in the Gulf online.
As an indication of improved performance, BP said April 27 net income more than doubled in the first quarter to $6.08 billion from $2.56 billion a year earlier. Earnings excluding gains or losses from holding inventories and one-time items beat analyst estimates.
BP fell 10 percent in London trading last week, the biggest weekly drop since October 2008, reflecting investor concern that the costs of containing the spill will escalate. The shares closed at 575.5 pence on April 30. Crude oil for June delivery rose 84 cents to $$86.99 a barrel at 12:23 p.m. today on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Thunder Horse, Atlantis
BP has pushed ahead with exploration in the Gulf of Mexico when other companies backed off. Its discoveries include last years Tiber find in the Gulf, which may have 4 to 6 billion barrels of oil in place. The 35,000-foot well, the deepest yet, was drilled by the Transocean Ltd.-owned Deepwater Horizon.
BP now produces about 450,000 barrels a day of oil equivalent in the Gulf of Mexico, about 12 percent of its total. Oil from such sites as Thunder Horse, the second-largest producing field in the U.S., and Atlantis, is among the most profitable in BPs portfolio.
These advances have also boosted U.S. energy production. For the first time in years, the nations oil output is rising, with the deep-water Gulf of Mexico contributing about 1.2 million barrels a day of new production. The U.S. produced 5.48 million barrels of oil a day in 2009, the most since 2003, American Petroleum Institute data show.
Angola, Brazil
BPs offshore operations include Angola, and in March it acquired Brazilian deepwater assets from Devon Energy Corp. in a $7 billion deal.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates the well is spewing 5,000 barrels of oil a day. At that rate, the volume of the spill would exceed Alaskas 1989 Exxon Valdez accident by the third week of June.
BPs cost for the spill may reach $8 billion should the leak continue at that rate for the two or three months it may take to drill a relief well, Neil McMahon, a London-based analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. wrote in an April 30 note to clients.
The cost for BP will be heavily influenced by how much oil reaches the Gulf Coast, McMahon wrote. Louisianas $2.5 billion fishing industry and $3 billion in tourism revenue on Floridas Gulf Coast are at risk from oil pollution, he wrote.
Apollo 13 Exercise
Hayward is betting on a multi-phased approach to stop the spill and limit environmental damage. BP technicians are still trying to tweak the blowout preventer that failed in the initial phases of the Deepwater Horizon accident.
They are working on valves and injecting hydraulic fluid 5,000 feet below the sea surface in what Hayward said is like an Apollo 13 exercise.
BP is also preparing to place a cofferdam over the damaged well so as to funnel oil to the surface to a separator vessel. That operation could start within a week. BP is also preparing to sink two relief wells into the reservoir. Once those are completed, heavy drilling mud will be injected into the reservoir to kill the stricken well and eventually cement it up.
BP has assembled a flotilla of 100 ships to skim off oil and lay booms. It has an air force of six planes spraying dispersants. BP is also signing up fishing boats for the effort -- 700 so far -- and training thousands of volunteers on what to do in case oil hits the beaches. BP has arranged for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to supply them with gloves and tools.
Heavy winds and high seas have hampered BPs efforts so far, making containment operations difficult. Hayward says the whole effort is costing about $7 million a day.
Detergent Method
BP is experimenting with injecting dispersal fluid at the point of the leak, a method Hayward thinks shows great promise. So far, the detergent-like fluid, which mixes with the released oil and gas and creates a washing-machine effect, seems to be working well, Hayward said. No oil seemed to reach the surface yesterday.
Hayward plans to maintain his presence in the U.S., returning to London only when necessary, such as to visit his wife last week after an operation. In Houma, he stays at a Ramada Inn, along with many of the people working for BP on the spill.
Noting that he has spent his first three years as CEO restoring BPs fortunes, he said: My task for the next three years is to put this event behind us.
--With assistance from Jim Polson in New York. Editors: Kim Jordan, Tina Davis.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stanley Reed in London at sreed13@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net


http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-03/bp-may-manage-damage-to-company-from-spill-ceo-says-update2-.html

Ed Jewett
05-03-2010, 06:16 PM
Oil Slickonomics (http://cryptogon.com/?p=15151)

May 3rd, 2010 Via: The Big Picture (http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/05/oil-slickonomics/):
Three scenarios lie ahead. They rank as bad, worse, and ugliest (the latter being catastrophic and unprecedented). There is no good here.
The Bad.
Containment chambers are put in place and they catch the outflow from the three ruptures that are currently pouring 200,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf every day. If this works, it will take until June to complete. The chambers are 30-foot-high steel configurations that must be placed on the ocean floor at a depth of one mile. This has never been done before. If early containment is successful, the damages from this accident will be in the tens of billions. The cleanup will take years. The economic impact will be in the five states that have frontal coastline on the Gulf of Mexico: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.
The Worse.
The containment attempts fail and oil spews for months, until a new well can successfully be drilled to a depth of 13000 feet below the 5000-foot-deep ocean floor, and then concrete and mud are injected into the existing ruptured well until it is successfully closed and sealed. Work on this approach is already commencing. Timeframe for success is at least three months. Note the new well will have to come within about 20 feet of the existing point where the original well enters the reservoir at a distance of 3.5 miles from the surface drilling rig. Damages by this time may be measured in the hundreds of billions. Cleanup will take many, many years. Tourism, fishing, all related industries may be fundamentally changed for as much as a generation. Spread to Mexico and other Gulf geography is possible.
The Ugliest.
This spew stoppage takes longer to reach a full closure; the subsequent cleanup may take a decade. The Gulf becomes a damaged sea for a generation. The oil slick leaks beyond the western Florida coast, enters the Gulfstream and reaches the eastern coast of the United States and beyond. Use your imagination for the rest of the damage. Monetary cost is now measured in the many hundreds of billions of dollars.

Ed Jewett
05-03-2010, 06:23 PM
Randall Amster (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randall-amster)

Peace educator, author, and activist
Posted: May 2, 2010 05:10 AM


Black Gold -- the Lifeblood of War (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randall-amster/was-the-gulf-oil-spill-an_b_560014.html)


Speculation has been running rampant among certain sectors of the web-world lately about the true origins of the massive oil spill that has engulfed the Gulf and threatens marine, plant, animal, and human health in a region already beset by natural disasters and toxic industries. Unwilling to accept the mainstream media version of the story (namely that it was the result of off-shore drilling activities) and suspicious of the timing of the calamity (namely that it occurred right on the cusp of Earth Day and during a period of political contentiousness over drilling), this faction has surmised that the "trigger event" in this instance may have been (choose your favorite) either: an attack by the North Koreans; an act of homegrown eco-terrorism by leftwing environmentalists; or something to do with Venezuela, China, and/or other Communist (machi)nations. With little more than a hint from an online Russian source, the theory of a North Korean attack in particular has been gaining virulence among certain fox-trotters.

Here's a great overview (http://www.dakotavoice.com/2010/05/was-the-gulf-oil-rig-explosion-a-deliberate-attack-on-america/) of the argument from the self-avowedly conservative Dakota Voice:
"Rush Limbaugh pointed out (http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_042910/content/01125113.guest.html) that the explosion occurred on April 21st, the day before 'Earth Day.' He also reminded us that Al Gore had previously encouraged environmental nutjobs to engage in civil disobedience against the construction of coal plants that don't have carbon capture technology. 'Eco-terrorists' exist and have done millions of dollars worth of criminal damage. Fire is one of the main tools of their evil trade (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,343768,00.html). I'm not claiming the Deep Horizon was bombed by eco-terrorists, although I don't believe it's out of the realm of possibility. But, it would take some serious money and ability to pull off an attack like that, so I would tend to think much bigger than college hippie eco-wackos with some money-backing -- a foreign government, perhaps. Of course, before I could finish writing my thoughts here, I just heard Michael Savage posing the same questions. He also said there is a theory on a Russian website that claims North Korea is behind this. The article (http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1367.htm) claims that North Korea torpedoed the Deepwater Horizon, which was apparently built and financed by South Korea. Torpedoes would make sense for the results we see.... There are a number of international 'suspects' who might want to do something like this. They range from Muslim terrorists to the Red Chinese, Venezuela and beyond. Remember that China and Russia are drilling out there, as well, and they would benefit from America cutting back on our own drilling."The article at the root (http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index1367.htm) of this savagery appears on the site WhatDoesItMean.com, and is titled "US Orders Media Blackout Over North Korean Torpedoing of Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig" -- which pretty much eliminates any suspense about the gist of it. The piece is attributed to one "Sorcha Faal," who either exists or does not depending upon whether you believe the link (http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/whoissorcha.htm) arguing a bit too strenuously that she in fact does. The article cites as its source, without further attribution, "a grim report circulating in the Kremlin today written by Russia's Northern Fleet," and argues that "the reason for North Korea attacking the Deepwater Horizon, these reports say, was to present US President Obama with an 'impossible dilemma' prior to the opening of the United Nations Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons set to begin May 3rd in New York. This 'impossible dilemma' facing Obama is indeed real as the decision he is faced with is either to allow the continuation of this massive oil leak catastrophe to continue for months, or immediately stop it by the only known and proven means possible, the detonation of a thermonuclear device."

In other words, all of this was designed to force Obama to use a nuclear device to seal the leak ahead of an upcoming conference on nonproliferation. Ingenious! James Bond is alive and well, apparently. Missing from the calculus (along with good sense, credibility, and verifiability) is any explanation of why the logic of this scenario will automatically result in Obama deploying a nuke, and what exactly would be gained by him doing so except (by implication) making the U.S. look like hypocrites at the negotiating table. Those dastardly cowards! Everyone knows that we don't need any help from foreign entities to hypocritically attempt to force others to hold to international standards that we will ourselves proceed to flagrantly ignore. I mean, duh.

Hey, I'm all for a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy/gal. We certainly ought to question the "consensus reality" version of any major event communicated back to us by the corporate media. And we can logically surmise that the government keeps us on a "need to know" basis under the rubric of a closely-held "national security" ethos. So there's always reason to dig deeper, ask hard questions, check with non-U.S sources, and formulate one's opinion independent of the herd. But in this case, the impetus for the tale is so vague and thinly rendered that it strains the limits of credulity, yet it still seems to be gaining traction (http://www.michaelsavage.wnd.com/) each day. In fact, there are even more solid reasons to suspect that this miserable episode -- which will inflict more suffering on an already-battered region -- was contributed to by the activities of a certain homegrown corporation and not any eco-nuts or commies. While the premise is thus wholly wrong, the conclusion that this was a putative act of war might actually hold water. To wit:

Oil and War: Are there any two concepts in the realm of geopolitics more closely associated than resources and warfare? Oil in particular, as the primary lubricant of the global economy, earns special status as a sine qua non of our profligate lifestyles and simultaneously as an overt security interest that triggers our military mobilizations. We know about Iraq of course, and Afghanistan to a lesser extent for its strategic pipelining location, but don't overlook places such as Venezuela, Central Africa, and the Caribbean shelf around countries like Haiti as potential sites of future conflict over Black Gold. Indeed, it might be said that wherever there's oil, there's war -- or at least the seeds of conflict over a dwindling commodity that draws the interest of governments and corporations alike. The past decade has shown, and our national security documents reflect, that the U.S. will essentially do anything in its power to control as much of the world's remaining oil supplies as it possibly can, either through direct intervention or by proxy. There's nothing light or sweet about any of this; it is almost wholly crude.

Drilling and the 'War on Terra': Without overly editorializing the point, since at least the advent of industrialization it appears that humanity has made a Faustian bargain that renders us the enemies of the earth in order to survive. Notions of complementarity and sustainability have been supplanted by consumption and separation instead. The cruel joke is that our willingness to continually flout nature's laws leaves us in a perpetual state of scarcity and requires a regular doubling-down on the very same logic that made things scarce in the first place. Thus, in order to extend the life of the petroleum economy and provide the massive energy inputs that we rely upon, we have to drill deeper and deeper to procure the substance at ever-increasing energy costs in the process. This literal sense of "diminishing returns" is compounded by the attendant toll exacted on our collective health via fossil fuels, as well as the concomitant stratification of wealth and power that subverts any pretense we still hold of democracy. Massive spills and other calamities are part and parcel of this normalization of a warlike attitude toward nature (and thus ourselves), and are blithely considered little more than business as usual by the ruling elites, as intimated in an article on care2.com (http://www.care2.com/causes/environment/blog/white-house-says-recent-oil-spill/): "All this is the result of dangerous and unnecessary offshore drilling, yet in a statement Friday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the explosion was no reason to give up plans to expand offshore drilling. 'In all honesty I doubt this is the first accident that has happened and I doubt it will be the last,' Gibbs told reporters."

Halliburton IS the War Machine: Finally, we come to the most likely culprit in all of this, and a sure sign that indeed this is an act of war. Wherever Halliburton goes, so goes the war machine, and vice versa. From no-bid and no-account contracts in Iraq (and post-Katrina New Orleans, by the way) to a massive corporate presence in the Gulf region, these folks seem to have an acute capacity for making a buck on cataclysms of all sorts. Perhaps more to the point, they appear to be at the nexus of most disaster zones, including the erstwhile Bush Presidency and now the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. As a recent article (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/30/halliburton-may-be-culpri_n_558481.html) in the Huffington Post notes:
"Giant oil-services provider Halliburton may be a primary suspect in the investigation into the oil rig explosion that has devastated the Gulf Coast, the Wall Street Journal reports (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703572504575214593564769072.html). Though the investigation into the explosion that sank the Deepwater Horizon site is still in its early stages, drilling experts agree that blame probably lies with flaws in the 'cementing' process -- that is, plugging holes in the pipeline seal by pumping cement into it from the rig. Halliburton was in charge of cementing for Deepwater Horizon."The Los Angeles Times subsequently reported (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-oil-spill-investigation-20100501,0,2641014.story) that members of Congress have called on Halliburton "to provide all documents relating to 'the possibility or risk of an explosion or blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the status, adequacy, quality, monitoring, and inspection of the cementing work' by May 7." A YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXSMs874uuQ) (which is actually mostly audio) more bluntly asserts that "Halliburton Caused Oil Spill," and notes the fact -- confirmed by Halliburton's own press release (http://www.halliburton.com/public/news/pubsdata/press_release/2010/corpnws_043010.html) -- that its employees had worked on the final cementing "approximately 20 hours prior to the incident." Interestingly, one commenter on the YouTube video notes how "that would conveniently explain the North Korean story; [Halliburton] may have leaked this story to the press to divert attention away from alleged negligence." Wouldn't that just be the ultimate? Halliburton spawns the calamity but pins it on North Korea, and then the nation goes to war whereby Halliburton "cleans up" through billions in war-servicing contracts. It's almost too perfect, and might be funny if it didn't seem so plausible. (The only thing funnier is picturing Dick Cheney in the role of Exxon Valdez fall guy Joseph Hazelwood.)

But hey, there's no need to get conspiratorial about all of this. And what's happening in the Gulf -- now spreading into the Atlantic -- isn't funny at all. Indeed, war hardly ever is, and that's what we've got on our collective hands here, in one form or another. As Isaac Asimov once said, "It is not only the living who are killed in war." Cherished ideals, future generations, hopefulness, the earth itself -- all are among war's many casualties. The sooner we recognize the sense of pervasive warfare in our midst, embedded in the flow of our everyday lives, the sooner we can intentionally turn that essential corner toward peace, as Martin Luther King, Jr. alluded to in his Nobel speech:
"I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality."Waking up to war may in fact be the first genuine step toward peace, both among ourselves and with the environment.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/randall-amster/was-the-gulf-oil-spill-an_b_560014.html

Ed Jewett
05-03-2010, 06:28 PM
Sunday, May 2, 2010

Oil Spill: Here's the Inside Scoop (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/oil-spill-how-bad.html)



The Gulf oil spill is much worse than originally believed.
As the Christian Science Monitor writes (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0501/C-mon-how-big-is-the-Gulf-of-Mexico-oil-spill-really):


It's now likely that the actual amount of the oil spill dwarfs the Coast Guard's figure of 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons, a day.

Independent scientists estimate that the renegade wellhead at the bottom of the Gulf could be spewing up to 25,000 barrels a day. If chokeholds on the riser pipe break down further, up to 50,000 barrels a day could be released, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration memo obtained by the Mobile, Ala., Press-Register.

CNN quotes the lead government official responding to the spill - the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen - as stating (http://edition.cnn.com/2010/US/05/02/louisiana.oil.spill/index.html?hpt=T2):

If we lost a total well head, it could be 100,000 barrels or more a day.
Indeed, an environmental document filed by the company running the oil drilling rig - BP - estimates (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/deepwaterhorizon/6985127.html) the maximum as 162,000 barrels a day:

In an exploration plan and environmental impact analysis filed with the federal government in February 2009, BP said it had the capability to handle a worst-case scenario at the Deepwater Horizon site, which the document described as a leak of 162,000 barrels per day from an uncontrolled blowout 6.8 million gallons each day.Best-Case Scenario

BP is trying to perform a difficult task of capping the leak by using robotic submarines to trigger a "blowout preventer" 5,000 feet below the surface of the ocean (http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2010/05/bp-official-open-heart-surgery-at-5000-feet-believes-cause-is-failed-equipment.html). Here's a photo of the robot trying to activate the switch on April 22nd:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3239/4551846015_412a4c11c3.jpg (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3239/4551846015_412a4c11c3.jpg)
If successful, the leak could be stopped any day. Everyone is rooting for the engineers, so that they may successfully cap the leak.

Already, however, the spill is worse than the Exxon Valdez (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/01/oil-spill-worse-than-exxo_n_559840.html), and will cause enormous and very costly destruction to the shrimping, fishing and tourism industries along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Florida. It will be years before good estimates on the number of dead fish, turtles, birds and other animals can be made.

The Backup Plan

If the blowout preventer can't be triggered, the backup plan is to drill another well to relieve pressure from the leaking well.

Here's a drawing prepared by BP showing (http://www.flickr.com/photos/uscgd8/4558745875/) the plan (the drilling rig on the left will take months to drill down and relieve pressure from the leaking rig):

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4558745875_9f56707074.jpg (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4558745875_9f56707074.jpg)
Here's a graphic from the Times-Picayune showing (http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/a_timeline_of_the_gulf_of_mexi.html) the same thing (and accurately showing that there are currently 3 leaking oil plumes):

http://media.nola.com/2010_gulf_oil_spill/photo/beneaththeoilslickjpg-26ae69ad5b2d305c_large.jpg (http://media.nola.com/2010_gulf_oil_spill/photo/beneaththeoilslickjpg-26ae69ad5b2d305c_large.jpg)BP will also attempt (http://videos.nola.com/times-picayune/2010/05/video_gulf_of_mexico_oil_spill.html) to drop concrete and metal "cages" over the leak sites, to try to buy time by collecting oil in the cages, and then draining oil away in a safer manner. As AP writes (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gIXWYBTpLtSayJtg41LKXpxSxVPAD9FF7IO03):

BP PLC was preparing a system never tried before at such depths to siphon away the geyser of crude from a blown-out well a mile under Gulf of Mexico waters. However, the plan to lower 74-ton, concrete-and-metal boxes being built to capture the oil and siphon it to a barge waiting at the surface will need at least another six to eight days to get it in place.In addition, BP is using chemical disperents to try to break up the oil plumes as they arise (the dispersants are highly toxic (http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0501/bp-relying-toxic-chemicals-disperse-oil-spilled-gulf-mexico/)). Worst-Case Scenario
As the Associated Press notes (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36870222/ns/us_news-environment/):

Experts warned that an uncontrolled gusher could create a nightmare scenario if the Gulf Stream carries it toward the Atlantic.This would, in fact, be very bad, as it would carry oil far up the Eastern seaboard.

Specifically, as the red arrows at the left of the following drawing show, the Gulf Stream runs from Florida up the Eastern Coast of the United States:

http://www.grida.no/_res/site/Image/series/vg-climate/large/32.jpg (http://www.grida.no/_res/site/Image/series/vg-climate/large/32.jpg)
[Click here (http://www.grida.no/_res/site/Image/series/vg-climate/large/32.jpg) for full image.]

How could the oil get all the way from Louisiana to Florida, where the Gulf Stream flows?

As Discovery explains (http://news.discovery.com/earth/gulf-loop-current-oil-spill.html):

Many ocean scientists are now raising concerns that a powerful current could spread the still-bubbling slick from the Florida Keys all the way to Cape Hatteras off North Carolina. These oceanographers are carefully watching the Gulf Loop Current, a clockwise swirl of warm water that sets up in the Gulf of Mexico each spring and summer. If the spill meets the loop -- the disaster becomes a runaway.
"It could make it from Louisiana all the way to Miami in a week, maybe less." said Eric Chassignet, director of the Center for Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University. "It is pretty fast."
Right now, some computer models show the spill 30 to 50 miles north of the loop current. If the onshore winds turn around and push the oil further south: "That would be a nightmare," said Yonggang Liu, research associate at the University of South Florida who models the current. "Hopefully we are lucky, but who knows. The winds are changing and difficult to predict."
Imagine the loop current as an ocean-going highway, transporting tiny plankton, fish and other marine life along a watery conveyor belt. Sometimes it even picks up a slug of freshwater from the Mississippi River -- sending it on a wandering journey up to North Carolina.
The Gulf Loop Current acts like a jet of warm water that squirts in from the Caribbean basin and sloshes around the Gulf of Mexico before being squeezed out the Florida Strait, where it joins the larger and more powerful Gulf Stream current.
***
Oceanographer George Maul worries that the current could push the oil slick right through the Florida Keys and its 6,000 coral reefs.
"I looked at some recent satellite imagery and it looks like some of the oil may be shifted to the south," said Maul, a professor at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. "If it gets entrained in the loop, it could spread throughout much of the Atlantic."
In fact, new animation from a consortium of Florida institutions and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicts a slight southward shift in the oil over the next few days.
A graphic from the Discovery article shows what the Gulf loop current looks like:


http://news.discovery.com/earth/2010/05/03/gulf-loop-278x225.jpg
The Gulf Loop Current enters from the Caribbean basin,
moves around the Gulf of Mexico and
exits out the Florida Strait, where it joins
the more powerful Gulf Stream current.
Naval Oceanographic Office


In a worst-case scenario - if the oil leak continued for a very long period of time - the oil could conceivably be carried from the Gulf Stream into world-wide ocean currents (see drawing above).

I do not believe this will happen. Even with the staggering quantity of oil being released, I don't think it's enough to make its way into other ocean currents. I think that either engineers will figure out how to cap the leak, or the oil deposits will simply run out. It might get into the Gulf loop current, and some might get into the Gulf Stream. But I don't believe the apocalyptic scenarios where oil is carried world-wide by teh Gulf Stream or other ocean currents.
Changing the Climate

There is an even more dramatic - but even less likely - scenario.
Specifically, global warming activists have warned for years that warming could cause the "great conveyor belt" of warm ocean water to shut down (http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0130-11.htm). They say that such a shut down could - in turn - cause the climate to abruptly change, and a new ice age to begin (http://www.whoi.edu/institutes/occi/currenttopics/abruptclimate_joyce_keigwin.html). (This essay neither tries to endorse or refute global warming or global cooling in general: I am focusing solely on the oil spill.)

The drawing above shows the worldwide "great conveyer belt" of ocean currents, which are largely driven by the interaction of normal ocean water with colder and saltier ocean currents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermohaline_circulation).
Conceivably - if the oil spill continued for years - the greater thickness or "viscosity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscosity)" of the oil in comparison to ocean water, or the different ability of oil and seawater to hold warmth (called "specific heat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specific_heat_capacity)"), could interfere with the normal temperature and salinity processes which drive the ocean currents, and thus shut down the ocean currents and change the world's climate.
However, while this is an interesting theory (and could make for a good novel or movie), it simply will not happen.
Why not?
Because there simply is not enough oil in the leaking oil pocket to interfere with global ocean currents. And even if this turns out to be a much bigger oil pocket than geologists predict, some smart engineer will figure out how to cap the leak well before any doomsday scenario could possibly happen.


http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/oil-spill-how-bad.html

Jan Klimkowski
05-03-2010, 07:00 PM
Ed - thanks for posting those articles.

It could well be that standard Halliburton incompetence and shoddy work caused the original blown machinery/concrete. Then, Halliburton leaked these preposterous those-evil-North-Koreans-did-it tales, hoping Faux News et al would run with such nonsense. Nonsense which is of course potentially profitable for the permanent War Machine...

I really like the War On Terra line. :burnout:

I'm stealing it.

Ed Jewett
05-03-2010, 08:12 PM
Jan, I think you are entirely right. Some of it apparently comes in from that old source of "trial balloons and other airborne garbage", Sorcha Faal. And it is getting moved along by the usual sources. As Yogi Berra once said, "You can see a lot by just watching." In addition, there is some postulation seen at Citizens for Legitimate Government about the aluminum deck for the helicopter landing zone. But BP took the risks not to exercise due diligence and spend additional money for safety while it engaged in what was arguably an extremely risky undertaking, and it hired a well-known company in the industry just weeks after it had been acquired by Halliburton. I do chuckle when I think of an old article I read a long time ago by Arie de Geus, then with Royal Dutch Shell, entitled "Planning as Learning" which was the genesis of the organizational learning movement. It got incorporated into my work in disaster response planning and simulations which now provides me with the hair-pulling acceptance that life in America is an ongoing disaster.

Ed Jewett
05-03-2010, 08:24 PM
DAVID KOTOK: IS THE GULF OIL SPILL A DEATH BLOW TO A COLLAPSING ECONOMY? Sunday, 02 May 2010


We expect to see the deterioration of the economic statistics for the US to reveal the onset of this oil-slick crisis in May, and the negative impact will intensify during the summer months. A double-dip recession probably has been made more likely by this tragedy.
Reprinted from CLUSTERSTOCK (http://www.businessinsider.com/david-kotok-125-billion-is-just-the-start-of-the-oil-cleanup-costs-and-a-double-dip-is-now-way-more-likely-2010-5)
David Kotok of Cumberland Advisors (http://www.cumber.com/) is out with some very gloomy comments about the economic ramifications of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and what it will cost. First he notes the ugliest case scenario: This spew stoppage takes longer to reach a full closure; the subsequent cleanup may take a decade. The Gulf becomes a damaged sea for a generation. The oil slick leaks beyond the western Florida coast, enters the Gulfstream and reaches the eastern coast of the United States and beyond. Use your imagination for the rest of the damage. Monetary cost is now measured in the many hundreds of billions of dollars http://kona.kontera.com/javascript/lib/imgs/grey_loader.gif
(http://www.businessinsider.com/david-kotok-125-billion-is-just-the-start-of-the-oil-cleanup-costs-and-a-double-dip-is-now-way-more-likely-2010-5#)
.
As for numbers:
Usually, the first estimates in any crises are too low. That is true here. 1000 barrels a day is now 5000, and some estimates of spillage are trending higher. No one knows exactly. The containment and boom mechanism is subject to weather cooperation as we can see this weekend. Soon we are entering the hurricane season. The thoughts of a storm stirring up the Gulf, hampering any cleanup or remediation drilling effort and creating a huge 10,000 square mile black stew is frightening to every professional in the business.

This will be a financial (http://www.businessinsider.com/david-kotok-125-billion-is-just-the-start-of-the-oil-cleanup-costs-and-a-double-dip-is-now-way-more-likely-2010-5#) calamity for many firms, not just BP and its partners and service providers. Their liabilities are immense and must not be underestimated. The first estimate of $12.5 billion is only a starter.
As for the economy beyond BP...
Thousands of small and independent businesses as well as larger public companies in tourism are hurt here. This is not just about the source of half the nations shrimp. That is already a casualty. Its also about the bank loans (http://www.businessinsider.com/david-kotok-125-billion-is-just-the-start-of-the-oil-cleanup-costs-and-a-double-dip-is-now-way-more-likely-2010-5#) for the $200,000 shrimp boat and the house the boat owner and/or his employees live in and the fact that this shock piles on a fragile financial system that is trying to recover from a three-year financial crisis. Case study, my fishing guide in the Everglades splits his time between Florida and Louisiana. His May bookings in LA have cancelled. His colleagues lost theirs and their lodge will be empty. They are busy trying to find work in the clean up. For him, his wife and eleven year old daughter, his $600 a day guide fees just went poof. When I asked him if he thought he had a legal claim on BP, he said he hadnt thought about it yet but it gave him pause. As we suggested above, the $12.5 billion loss estimate is only a starter.
And the taxpayer...
Federal deficit spending will certainly rise by tens, and maybe hundreds, of billions as emergency appropriations are directed at larger and larger efforts to clean up this mess. At the same time, federal and state revenues tied to Gulf-region businesses will fall. My colleague John Mousseau will be discussing the impact on state and local government debt (http://www.businessinsider.com/david-kotok-125-billion-is-just-the-start-of-the-oil-cleanup-costs-and-a-double-dip-is-now-way-more-likely-2010-5#) in a separate research commentary.

We expect that the Federal Reserve will extend the timeframe that we have come to know as the extended period in the making of its monetary policy. We do not expect the Fed to raise interest rates at all for the rest of this year, and maybe well into next year. We expect to see the deterioration of the economic statistics for the US to reveal the onset of this oil-slick crisis in May, and the negative impact will intensify during the summer months. A double-dip recession probably has been made more likely by this tragedy.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/david-kotok-125-billion-is-just-the-start-of-the-oil-cleanup-costs-and-a-double-dip-is-now-way-more-likely-2010-5#ixzz0mpCq7km5 (http://www.businessinsider.com/david-kotok-125-billion-is-just-the-start-of-the-oil-cleanup-costs-and-a-double-dip-is-now-way-more-likely-2010-5#ixzz0mpCq7km5)

Last Updated ( Sunday, 02 May 2010 )

Ed Jewett
05-04-2010, 02:09 AM
Deepwater Horizon oil spill: turtle deaths soar amid fight to save wildlife

Tests take place to determine cause of deaths, as locals hope booms along coastline will protect commercial fisheries



http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/5/3/1272914535308/A-dead-sea-turtle-washed--006.jpg Body of evidence: a dead sea turtle washed ashore at Pass Christian, Mississippi - one of 23 being examined for links to the oil spilling from the wrecked Deepwater Horizon rig Photograph: Dave Martin/AP

Jackye Carroll was walking along the beach that runs outside her home in Pass Christian, Mississippi, early this morning when she came across a curious sight. The sun had just come up and the white sand beach was looking at its most beautiful, but there, just above the gently lapping sea of the Gulf of Mexico was a grey-brown mound of flesh about two to three feet in length.
She put on the gloves that she had brought along in anticipation, and turned the mound over to find that it was a Loggerhead, one of the five threatened species of sea turtle found in this region. The sand around it was being stained red by blood seeping from its nose and underbelly. It was dead.
With the help of a neighbour, she carried the turtle up the beach as she had been instructed to do, and left it by a wooden post where it was still lying a few hours later, by now starting to smell in the muggy Mississippi heat. "I've lived here 20 years and I've never seen a dead turtle on this beach before," Carroll said.
All along this strip, and the 26 miles of beaches to which it connects, people have been reporting similar mysterious sightings over the past couple of days. This morning eight sea turtles were found dead in Pass Christian, in addition to nine yesterday, bringing the total number of dead turtle sightings in the wider area to at least 31.
Tests on the animals were being carried out at the Institute of Sea Mammal Studies in Gulfport, 10 minutes' drive along the sea from Pass Christian. The institute specialises in the study and treatment of stranded dolphins, sea turtles and other marine life and has a dedicated laboratory where 23 turtles are being kept in plastic bags in an animal morgue. Among them are Loggerheads, Leatherheads and Kemp's Ridley the most critically endangered species of sea turtle in the Gulf.
Dr Moby Solangi, the institute's director, said necropsies would be carried out to see whether the turtles' deaths had anything to do with the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the 220,000 gallons of oil (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/oil) that are still being spewed into the Gulf each day. A team of vets would be looking to see if the animals had respiratory problems associated with inhaling oil fumes, or had consumed fish contaminated with oil.
Further tissue samples would be taken for laboratory testing for evidence of residues of hydrocarbons.
Solangi said that until the results of the necropsies were known it would be impossible to tell whether the turtles had been killed by oil. He pointed out, however, that the number of deaths was much greater than normal, even at a time of year when sea turtles tend to come in closer to shore and are sometimes found washed up dead on the beach.
"There are too many unknowns right now to say yay or nay. All we know for sure is that several factors could have been involved, though the numbers are higher than usual."
Solangi has a doctorate in the effects of crude oil on marine wildlife in the Gulf, though he had never expected to have to put it to such practical use. "I didn't imagine that 30 years later I would be facing a real disaster like this," he said.
The institute is likely to be at the forefront of efforts to treat stricken birds and mammals as the impact of the environmental catastrophe takes hold. It is preparing six large tanks of filtered sea water ahead of the arrival of sick animals and extra vets will be laid on at its attached animal hospital.
Solangi is particularly concerned about the fate of up to 5,000 dolphins that live in the Gulf and up to the mouth of the Mississippi river. It is their birthing season when they tend to come into the shallow waters of the Gulf precisely where the slick is heading. The dolphins are at great danger from the oil should they swim through the slick. It could damage their skin and eyes, cause respiratory problems should they inhale it, and lead to internal problems in the event of eating poisoned fish.
In Pass Christian the local people are equally concerned about the fate of their commercial fishing. Booms have been laid across the bays and bayous that dot the coastline in an attempt to block the oil being pushed by winds and current into the inland waterways and marshes which act as the nurseries of shrimp, crabs and crawfish upon which the local fishermen depend. All eyes are also upon two giant man-made oyster reefs that sit about 500 metres out to sea. They are each 10 miles long and among the largest in the US.
Latest information suggests that the slick has reached the Chandeleur Islands, a string of barrier islands that have famously rich ecosystems and fish stocks.
Along the beach where Carroll found the dead turtle the city has mobilised several tractors to clean debris from the sand and to form a berm of sand designed to act as another line of defence against any incoming oil.
Teams of orange-vested clean-up workers were also milling along the beach, employed by BP (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/bp) to scour the area for dead animals, fish or any sign of flotsam covered in oil. But so far, mercifully, the problem remains about nine miles out to sea.
Renee Brooks, the elected alderman of Pass Christian, is co-ordinating preparations from a trailer on the seashore for a clean-up should the oil reach land. She said that spirits had lifted in the town because high winds had dropped and the sea was calm again, raising hopes that the worst of the slick might not now come ashore.
But she said the community remained scared. "Just last week we blessed the fleet, praying that they have a productive year. Now we're not so sure."


http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/03/deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-turtle-deaths-soar

Magda Hassan
05-04-2010, 02:15 AM
Relax, people....; the damage to the company and the industry may be averted.

:viking:

BP May Manage Damage to Company From Spill, CEO Says (Update2)

Well, that okay then. I can sleep easy now. Every thing is alright.
I read on another forum some say that it is not so bad as 'there will be lots of jobs created from this and the clean up'.
:vollkommenauf::puke:

Ed Jewett
05-04-2010, 02:17 AM
Iran offers to help contain US oil spill
Mon, 03 May 2010 13:29:49 GMT

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=125303&sectionid=3510203


Font size : http://www.presstv.ir/images/icon/font_inc.gif (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:inc%28%29) http://www.presstv.ir/images/icon/font_nor.gif (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:nor%28%29) http://www.presstv.ir/images/icon/font_dec.gif (http://javascript%3Cb%3E%3C/b%3E:dec%28%29)
http://www.presstv.ir/photo/20100503/dastmalchi20100503123116327.jpg
A dead fish is seen on the Mississippi beach on May 2, 2010. While the death has not been linked to the vast oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, concerns over wildlife continue.


The National Iranian Drilling Company (NIDC) has offered to assist the US in efforts to prevent an ecological disaster caused by the spreading oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Following an explosion on a BP-operated oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico last month, at least 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of crude oil are thought to be spilling into the water every day.

NIDC managing director Heidar Bahmani announced the firm's readiness to use its decades-long expertise to fight the oil slick, the company's public relations office told Press TV.

"Our oil industry experts in the field of drilling can contain the rig leakage in the Gulf of Mexico and prevent an ecological disaster in that part of the world," Bahmani said.

Overlooking the new US drive for slapping more UN sanctions on Iran over its civilian nuclear program, the company said that there is an urgent need for action to protect the nearby coasts from the advancing oil spill.

The governors of Alabama, Louisiana and Florida have reportedly called a state of emergency for fear of the oil slick's environmental and economic damages.

The disaster has also prompted the White House to ban oil drillings in new areas of the US coast until the British company explains the cause of the explosion that killed 11 employees and resulted in the oil spill.

ZHD/MD/MMN
Related Stories:


Obama: BP liable for oil cleanup bill (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=125222)
US closes 2 offshore platforms (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=125134)
BP vows damages for oil spill victims (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=125045)
'BP liable for oil spill cleanup costs' (http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=124931)

Ed Jewett
05-04-2010, 03:07 AM
Monday, May 3, 2010

Oceanographer "Cannot Think Of Any Scenario Where The Oil Doesn't Eventually Reach The Florida Keys" (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/oceanographer-cannot-think-of-any.html)



As I explained (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/oil-spill-how-bad.html) in detail yesterday, the oil spill may be carried by the "loop current" to Florida:

How could the oil get all the way from Louisiana to Florida, where the Gulf
Stream flows?

As Discovery explains (http://news.discovery.com/earth/gulf-loop-current-oil-spill.html):


Many ocean scientists are now raising concerns that a powerful current could spread the still-bubbling slick from the Florida Keys all the way to Cape Hatteras off North Carolina.
These oceanographers are carefully watching the Gulf Loop Current, a
clockwise swirl of warm water that sets up in the Gulf of Mexico each spring and summer. If the spill meets the loop -- the disaster becomes a runaway.
"It could make it from Louisiana all the way to Miami in a week, maybe less." said Eric Chassignet, director of the Center for Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies at Florida State University. "It is pretty fast."
Right now, some computer models show the spill 30 to 50 miles north of the loop current. If the onshore winds turn around and push the oil further south: "That would be a nightmare," said Yonggang Liu, research associate at the University of South Florida who models the current. "Hopefully we are lucky, but who knows. The winds are changing and difficult to predict."
Imagine the loop current as an ocean-going highway, transporting tiny
plankton, fish and other marine life along a watery conveyor belt. Sometimes it even picks up a slug of freshwater from the Mississippi River -- sending it on a wandering journey up to North Carolina.
The Gulf Loop Current acts like a jet of warm water that squirts in from the Caribbean basin and sloshes around the Gulf of Mexico before being squeezed out the Florida Strait, where it joins the larger and more powerful Gulf Stream current.
***
Oceanographer George Maul worries that the current could push the oil slick right through the Florida Keys and its 6,000 coral reefs.
"I looked at some recent satellite imagery and it looks like some of the oil may be shifted to the south," said Maul, a professor at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Fla. "If it gets entrained in the loop, it could spread throughout much of the Atlantic."
In fact, new animation from a consortium of Florida institutions and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicts a slight southward shift in the oil over the next few days.
A graphic from the Discovery article shows what the Gulf loop current
looks like:



http://news.discovery.com/earth/2010/05/03/gulf-loop-278x225.jpg
The Gulf Loop Current enters from
the Caribbean basin,
moves around the Gulf of Mexico and
exits out the
Florida Strait, where it joins
the more powerful Gulf Stream current.
Naval Oceanographic Office


According to ROFFS (http://www.roffs.com/deepwaterhorizon.html), the oil spill is getting close to the loop current:
http://www.roffs.com/DeepwaterHorizon/NEGOM02MAY2010OilLG.jpg (http://www.roffs.com/DeepwaterHorizon/NEGOM02MAY2010OilLG.jpg)Unfortunately, we may be only 24 hours away from oil entering the loop current. As AP writes (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gqd5b6qtqXFVRmpVXIxScxnS1p2wD9FFHB8G1) today:

Scientists say the Gulf oil spill could get into the what's called the Loop
Current within a day, eventually carrying oil south along the Florida coast and
into the Florida Keys.

Nick Shay, a physical oceanographer at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, said Monday once the oil enters the Loop Current, it likely will end up in the Keys and continue east into the Gulf Stream.

***

Shay says he cannot think of any scenario where the oil doesn't eventually reach the Florida Keys.
As Orlando's Fox 35 notes (http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/brevard_news/050310_Expert_Oil_Slick_Heading_to_Florida_East_Co ast):
Brevard County oceanographer, Mitchell Roffer is watching the oil on the
south end of the spill. He says it's starting to push into the gulf stream.
"Thats going to then get pulled around into the loop current then get pulled
down around the east side of loop current off of Tampa and into the Keys," said
Roffer.

He's tracking winds and currents to try to determine where and
when the oil slick hits Florida's East Coast. He says its only a matter of time.
"I think its a question of when, and my colleagues all believe the same thing, I don't believe it will be an if," Roffer said.

###

Based on a comment to the above:

Here's What You Need To Know About BP's Insurance Setup


BP owns its key insurance company, Jupiter Insurance LTD, according to the company's SEC filings (http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/STAGING/global_assets/downloads/I/BP_20-F_2009.pdf). Jupiter Insurance LTD. insures (http://www.businessinsider.com/bp-jupiter-insurance-2010-5#) the company's international oil and gas assets from a base in Guernsey, the offshore UK tax haven. It is likely located in a special purpose vehicle (SPV), which prevents BP from having to make public the firm's assets or liabilities.
Jupiter Insurance retains its BP liabilities (http://ifawebnews.com/2010/05/03/report-insurance-will-stem-financial-impact-of-oil-spill-for-bp/), not re-insuring them through another firm or selling them off to further buyers. BP may be forced to pay some of the insurance payments on its own facilities, if it has not prepared Jupiter Insurance (http://www.businessinsider.com/bp-jupiter-insurance-2010-5#) to make such payouts.
The company does have to have public insurance on some of its properties. This insurance is suspected to be through Lloyds of London, and be related to loss of property and liability claims (http://www.businessinsurance.com/article/20100502/ISSUE01/305029972).
But through all these less-than-public insurance arrangements, BP's stock is tanking (http://www.businessinsider.com/bp-already-bleeding-another-4-billion-this-morning-2010-5). Maybe the market knows something about BP's insurance liabilities its filings don't reveal?



http://www.businessinsider.com/bp-jupiter-insurance-2010-5#ixzz0mvUr214J

Ed Jewett
05-04-2010, 03:41 AM
BP Offering $5K In Quick Cash To Poor Fishing Community in Alabama; State AG Asks Them To Stop (http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/bp-offering-5k-quick-cash-poor-fishin) By Susie Madrak Monday May 03, 2010 10:00am
This is certainly an effective way (http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/bp_told_to_stop_circulating_se.html) to get the American public on your side. Yes, paying off poor people to sign off on their rights is really a thoughtful and generous public relations gesture:
Alabama Attorney General Troy King said tonight that he has told representatives of BP Plc. that they should stop circulating settlement agreements among coastal Alabamians.
The agreements, King said, essentially require that people give up the right to sue in exchange for payment of up to $5,000.
King said BP's efforts were particularly strong in Bayou La Batre.
Close to 30 percent of Bayou La Batre residents (the so-called "Seafood Capital of America" and home to the fictional Bubba Gump shrimp in "Forrest Gump) live below the poverty line. They are people to whom $5000 is indeed a lot of money, and it's of course very kind of BP to offer them a token something for the long-term destruction of their livelihood and environment - especially after the battering they took from Hurricane Katrina. Who knew that BP was a company run by a veritable Mother Theresa?
The attorney general said he is prohibited from giving legal advice to private citizens, but added that "people need to proceed with caution and understand the ramifications before signing something like that.
"They should seek appropriate counsel to make sure their rights are protected," King said.

Tags: attorney general (http://crooksandliars.com/taxonomy/term/3462), bp (http://crooksandliars.com/taxonomy/term/5633), British Petroleum (http://crooksandliars.com/taxonomy/term/13174), Hurricane Katrina (http://crooksandliars.com/taxonomy/term/1410), Money (http://crooksandliars.com/taxonomy/term/2301), public relations (http://crooksandliars.com/taxonomy/term/2720)



[CHARLESTON, W.Va. Massey Energy Co. is offering $3 million to each of the families of 29 men killed in an explosion at its Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia, the daughter of one of the victims said Thursday.

The offer came a week earlier when Massey officials visited the family, said Michelle McKinney, daughter of Benny Ray Willingham. McKinney said other families have received the same offer..... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/29/upper-big-branch-miners-f_n_557978.html ]
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/29/upper-big-branch-miners-f_n_557978.html)

Bernice Moore
05-04-2010, 04:42 PM
The new revelations came to light after government investigators turned up new emails from Goldman employee Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre in which he bragged to a girlfriend that the firm was taking a "big short" position on the Gulf.
"One oil rig goes down and we're going to be rolling in dough," Mr. Tourre wrote in one email. "Suck it, fishies and birdies!"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-borowitz/goldman-sachs-reveals-it_b_558774.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-borowitz/goldman-sachs-reveals-it_b_558774.html)

Jan Klimkowski
05-04-2010, 08:11 PM
Alabama Attorney General Troy King said tonight that he has told representatives of BP Plc. that they should stop circulating settlement agreements among coastal Alabamians.
The agreements, King said, essentially require that people give up the right to sue in exchange for payment of up to $5,000.
King said BP's efforts were particularly strong in Bayou La Batre.

Corporate capitalism personified.

This is analogous to the robber capitalism that raped Russia in the 90s, immediately after Glasnost, when the "oligarchs" and western "investors" bought up the shares that ordinary Russians had acquired in return for working for strong nationalized industries for most of their lives. These shares were "bought" for a fraction of their true value from often starving Russians who had no conception of their true value. And so Russia was looted.

It's also analogous to the vulture scum who descend on people whose innocent families have been slaughtered in predator drone and similar attacks, offering a couple of thousand dollars of blood money in "full settlement" for the loss of a loved family member.

Ed Jewett
05-04-2010, 08:27 PM
The new revelations came to light after government investigators turned up new emails from Goldman employee Fabrice "Fabulous Fab" Tourre in which he bragged to a girlfriend that the firm was taking a "big short" position on the Gulf.
"One oil rig goes down and we're going to be rolling in dough," Mr. Tourre wrote in one email. "Suck it, fishies and birdies!"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-borowitz/goldman-sachs-reveals-it_b_558774.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-borowitz/goldman-sachs-reveals-it_b_558774.html)


This issue among many others gets into the issue of "corporate personhood" that enables a corporation to spend dollars putting forth a political POV (to say nothing of buying judges and legislators), and the not-yet-recognized corollary that if a corporation is a person, it ought to be able to be imprisoned and/or put to death as appropriate to the level of its criminality.

The earth is not dying, it is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses. -Utah Phillips

Ed Jewett
05-04-2010, 10:35 PM
But go back to the original Horowitz piece... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andy-borowitz/goldman-sachs-reveals-it_b_558774.html

It is satire, no? It is tagged as Comedy News and it also speaks of having a "short" on Lindsay Lohan's career.

Ed Jewett
05-05-2010, 05:03 AM
05/04/2010

Americans Call for Corporate Death Penalty After Massey and BP Debacles


http://celebmonkey.typepad.com/.a/6a00e550a478bc88340134805924fe970c-500wi (http://celebmonkey.typepad.com/.a/6a00e550a478bc88340134805924fe970c-pi)

Money often costs too much. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no other way to frame it. In the battle for democracy the corporatists are winning. Under the 14th amendment, they believe the corporate 'person' shall not be discriminated against and should receive equal protection under the law. Wal-Mart has argued this corporate position (http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/articles_2004/walmart_claims_14th_amendment_corporations.html) as it insinuates its 'always low prices' and 'always low wages' into inner-city neighborhoods. The legal fiction of corporate personhood has allowed entities that never die and possess incredible resources to assert their own political will on almost every aspect of American life. The US Supreme Court has all but handed the rights of individuals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission) over to multinational conglomerates. But with freedom comes responsibility, or so it does with human beings. Within the same month, neglect on the part of two major corporations, Massey Energy and British Petroleum (BP), have caused the deaths of 4o people. If a 'natural person' were responsible for these atrocities, our government would have them in chains awaiting a trial that might lead to their execution. So why don't we treat the corporate 'person' the same way? As progressive radio personality, Thom Hartmann (http://www.thomhartmann.com/), puts it: It's time to bring back the corporate death penalty.
Hartmann wrote this on the subject:
President Barack Obama pretty much stated the obvious when he called the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico "a massive and potentially unprecedented environmental disaster."

The oil well pouring a river of crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have the normal type of remote-control shut-off switch used in Norway and the UK as last-resort protection against underwater spills, largely because the oil companies themselves are responsible for "voluntary" compliance with safety and environmental standards. It was in 1994, two years into the Clinton administration, when this practice of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse was legalized, about the same time George W. Bush was doing the same thing in Texas, a program pushed hard in the previous administration by Dan Quayle's so-called "competitiveness council" charged with deregulating industry. The accident has led to one of the largest ever oil spills in U.S. water and the loss of 11 lives. Voluntary safety for oil wells, but you and I can get stopped by the police if we don't fasten our safety belts? Eleven people have died because Halliburton and BP wanted to save money. In the first hundred years of this republic it was commonplace for rogue corporations to get the corporate death penalty - being shut down, dissolved, and having their assets sold off. Through the 19th century, it averaged around 2000 companies a year that got the axe. If the Supreme Court now says that corporations are people - and they did - then these corporations should be eligible for the corporate death penalty. Time to break up and sell off the pieces of Halliburton and British Petroleum.

Hartmann says that the US should re-invoke the 'death penalty' for corporations by breaking up those negligent companies and selling off their interests. If corporations want the same rights as people, their 'limited liability' should no longer apply. It's a position that makes sense, especially considering the way the financial, energy and health care industries have operated with impunity over the past several years. Is there any real force to this idea, though?
Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massey_Energy) in West Virgina has been cited for 1342 violations and nearly $1.9 million in fines (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040601531.html) since 2005 alone. Some were much more egregious than others. For example, when rescuers finally got into the mine after 29 people had already lost their lives, they found the fans that were used to pump out methane gas were actually turned the wrong way. The explosion is thought to be the result of high concentrations of methane. Massey's CEO Don Blankenship has shown little remorse for the deaths and even less fear of facing criminal charges, though the violations and some communications (http://www.grist.org/article/2010-04-07-don-blankenships-record-of-profits-over-safety-coal-pays-the-bil) between himself and mine management are quite damning. From the outside it looks like pure criminal negligence. In an industry as important as coal, however, will anyone really be held accountable?
Currently, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is dumping 5,000 barrels (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704423504575212031417936798.html) of crude oil per day. The slick is quickly approaching the Gulf Coast and residents are preparing for an ecological disaster. Eleven workers are dead after an explosion that some believe could have been avoided. A simple mechanism could have been installed, but in the name of profit, safety again took a back seat. It might not have saved the workers' lives, but it could have thwarted the oncoming environmental onslaught. According to the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling. The agency, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well.

An acoustic trigger costs about $500,000, industry officials said. The Deepwater Horizon had a replacement cost of about $560 million, and BP says it is spending $6 million a day to battle the oil spill. On Wednesday, crews set fire to part of the oil spill in an attempt to limit environmental damage.

This is a classic example of American big business at work. The perpetual quest for short-term profit clouds the better judgment of management. Simply put, if it's not an immediate problem, why worry about it? If it blows up in our face, we'll pay a fine and move on. It appears that the larger a corporation gets, the more it takes on a casino style mentality, playing the odds with the house money because business has been so good for so long, why would it stop now? BP's spill is rare in oil drilling, but might have been avoided by spending as little as 0.01% of their profit margin on an additional safety measure. But the mindset is that it doesn't matter that the acoustic trigger is law in Brazil and Norway, if we don't have to use it, we won't. Keep in mind, this attitude didn't appear out of nowhere. It was developed over many years by the fantasy of nigh-limitless profits, lax government regulation and nominal fines that barely amount to a slap on the wrist.
BP is, of course, unhappy it has to clean up what may be hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil. However, the market will correct the problem when crude oil jumps $15 or $20 per barrel. The increase in price will help BP recover its losses. When the stock price of BP plummets, it will present as a golden opportunity for investors to buy a load of cheap stock that will only increase in value once BP is back pumping oil instead of cleaning hundreds of miles of shoreline. The oil giant will simply write off its clean-up losses and live to fight - and pollute - another day. And don't worry about civil damages. BP's total liability is limited to $75 million (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/us/02liability.html) thanks to a 1990 law passed when Big Oil lobbied our Congress immediately after the Exxon Valdez spill.
So why is it so unlikely that either of these companies will be found criminally negligent, resulting in the imprisonment of any or all of its officers? Because, contrary to the popular TEA Party belief that big government controls our lives, it is actually the corporate candy of cheap goods and cheap energy that the American people can't live without. Most of us have no idea how to even begin thinking of a world that doesn't revolve around billions of barrels of oil or miles of processed coal. Big Energy knows it has us and our government wrapped around its greasy finger. Year after year our leaders pay lip service to the idea of a new way, a green energy future. But so little has come of it, thus far. It takes catastrophes like these to remind us that the energy business is dirty in so many ways. We can rely on fossil fuels as long as we're willing to pay the consequences; death, dismemberment, environmental disasters, terrorism, unstable nuclear states, all in the name of getting what we think we need. Hartmann's call to reinstate the corporate death penalty, actually holding big business responsible for its actions, is novel and admirable. In a world where money controls a government and its people, however, its only a pipe dream. Unless we decide that enough is enough, we're left to sit around and wait for the next fossil fuel debacle over and over again.

Image Source (http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/04/30/article-0-093F4127000005DC-102_468x286.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1270167/Oil-spill-wipes-13bn-BP.html%3Fito%3Dfeeds-newsxml&usg=__CeA2vdHEKHQ84wmfiEGo4CFklNk=&h=286&w=468&sz=31&hl=en&start=1&itbs=1&tbnid=qB7BSOdwsBA_JM:&tbnh=78&tbnw=128&prev=/images%3Fq%3DBP%2Boil%2Bspill%26hl%3Den%26client%3 Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26gbv%3D2%26tbs%3Disch:1)


Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person.



Posted at 10:07 AM in Current Affairs (http://www.andjusticeforallblog.com/current-affairs/) | Permalink (http://www.andjusticeforallblog.com/2010/05/americans-call-for-corporate-death-penalty-after-massey-and-bp-debacles.html)

Peter Lemkin
05-05-2010, 08:12 AM
Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person.


Great quotable!

Yeah, the Corporations are 'winning' and everyone and everything living other are loosing! IMHO Capitalism was never a good idea, but now it is killing us - especially in its 'wild/untamed/uncontrolled' American version!

This spill, even IF their planned suction hood or [in six months] relief well 'works', this will be an environmental disaster of epic proportions and effect the entire Gulf and all of its coastline. If the 'hood' fails, the oil may well get into the Gulf Stream itself. The fact that there is a monetary cap [didn't 'ya know?] on the money BP can be held accountable for [and that sum is small compared to the damage this will cause no matter what!] shows how legislation, polity and power are all biased towards the 'Big Corporations' and against life on this Planet.

Ed Jewett
05-06-2010, 03:59 AM
U.S. exempted BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling from environmental impact study

By Juliet Eilperin (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/articles/juliet+eilperin/)
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
The Interior Department exempted BP's calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/26/AR2010042604308.html) from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.

The decision by the department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on April 6, 2009 -- and BP's lobbying efforts just 11 days before the explosion to expand those exemptions -- show that neither federal regulators nor the company anticipated an accident of the scale of the one unfolding in the gulf.


More here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/04/AR2010050404118.html?hpid=topnews

Ed Jewett
05-06-2010, 04:31 AM
Beyond BP: Lessons from Valdez and Bhopal
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 :: Staff infoZine (javascript:OpenWindow('/news/users/op/usersViewNW/uid/2','OpenWindow','600','330'))
http://www.infozine.com/news/_themes/infoZine_center/images/topics/environment.png (http://www.infozine.com/news/topics/op/topicsView/tid/18/)What BP has done is just a giant example of what happens constantly with the chemical and oil companies in the Gulf"

Washington, D.C. - infoZine - Luci Beach ( gwichin1@alaska.netgwichin1 at alaska.net ) is executive director of the Gwich'in Steering Committee in Alaska. She said yesterday afternoon: "Today I'm in Gulfport, Mississippi, one of the areas that's going to be impacted. These people have no idea what they're in for. People buy the oil companies' propaganda and allow them to do what they want without a plan or real safeguards.

"Many are claiming that BP will cover the costs, but people in Alaska waited for 20 years to be compensated by Exxon for the Valdez spill and even then only got a pittance of what they were due, if they were still alive."
www.gwichinsteeringcommittee.org (http://www.gwichinsteeringcommittee.org/) http://www.infozine.com/images/external.png

Texas fisherwoman and environmental campaigner, Diane Wilson ( wilsonalamobay@aol.comwilsonalamobay at aol.com ) is author of the book "An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, And the Fight for Seadrift, Texas (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001C6GQYK?ie=UTF8&tag=kansascityinf-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B001C6GQYK) http://www.infozine.com/images/external.pnghttp://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=kansascityinf-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B001C6GQYK".


She said yesterday: "Corporations, whether it's BP in the Gulf or Dow Chemical / Union Carbide in Bhopal, India, don't follow the precautionary principle. They say that their worst-case scenarios won't ever happen and so we shouldn't dare threaten their profits with extra safety costs. Thanks in part to the deregulation from Dick Cheney's energy task force during the Bush administration, the U.S. doesn't require an emergency 'acoustic' shut-off valve that costs $500,000 and could have prevented BPs disaster. ... Yet most of the other oil-producing nations require the 'acoustic switch' and it has been used in Norway since l993. These corporations don't want to spend a tiny portion of their billions of dollars on something that can prevent a disaster. They get the legal rights of being people and yet take actions that destroy the lives of real people.

"What BP has done is just a giant example of what happens constantly with the chemical and oil companies in the Gulf. They pollute, then they say it didn't get into the water, then they say, well, it was only 20 gallons, then they say it was 200 gallons. Then it's too much to clean up. One big problem is that so much is dependent on industry's self-reporting. You can't get decent information from companies. I find out a great deal because I work with an injured workers group."

Background: On April 2, President Obama stated: "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced."

http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/41029/

Jan Klimkowski
05-06-2010, 06:47 PM
On April 2, President Obama stated: "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced."

Politicians are actors delivering lines written by others with the conviction and sincerity of Oscar winning thespians.

The great mass of voters give these fine actors the benefit of the doubt until their words are proven, time after time, to be lies.

By which time the permanent ruling elites have a brand new selection of actors ready to thrill the populace with their "straight-talking" "change" agenda.

And so the sham of democracy continues...

Jan Klimkowski
05-06-2010, 10:07 PM
Former NSA employee Wayne Madsen has connections. He also on occasion gets played by those connections.

So, fwiw, here's Madsen's take:


The Cover-up: BP's Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster

Written by Wayne Madsen

WMR has been informed by sources in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Florida Department of Environmental Protection that the Obama White House and British Petroleum (BP), which pumped $71,000 into Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign -- more than John McCain or Hillary Clinton, are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BP's liability for damage caused by what can be called a "mega-disaster."

Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, are working with BP's chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. However, WMR's federal and Gulf state sources are reporting the disaster has the real potential cost of at least $1 trillion. Critics of the deal being worked out between Obama and Hayward point out that $10 billion is a mere drop in the bucket for a trillion dollar disaster but also note that BP, if its assets were nationalized, could fetch almost a trillion dollars for compensation purposes. There is talk in some government circles, including FEMA, of the need to nationalize BP in order to compensate those who will ultimately be affected by the worst oil disaster in the history of the world.

Plans by BP to sink a 4-story containment dome over the oil gushing from a gaping chasm one kilometer below the surface of the Gulf, where the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and killed 11 workers on April 20, and reports that one of the leaks has been contained is pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration, according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources. Sources within these agencies say the White House has been resisting releasing any "damaging information" about the oil disaster. They add that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf.

Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a "national security issue." Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitano's actual reasoning for invoking national security was to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.

From the Corps of Engineers, FEMA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Coast Guard, and Gulf state environmental protection agencies, the message is the same: "we've never dealt with anything like this before."

The Obama administration also conspired with BP to fudge the extent of the oil leak, according to our federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day was gushing from the seabed chasm. Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day.

However, WMR has been informed that submersibles that are monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what is a "volcanic-like" eruption of oil. Moreover, when the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick -- which is larger than that being reported by the media -- it was turned down. However, National Geographic managed to obtain the satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site.

There is other satellite imagery being withheld by the Obama administration that shows what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be around the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to our sources.

The Corps and Engineers and FEMA are quietly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only recently, has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. WMR has also learned that inspections of off-shore rigs' shut-off valves by the Minerals Management Service during the Bush administration were merely rubber-stamp operations, resulting from criminal collusion between Halliburton and the Interior Department's service, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves.

The impact of the disaster became known to the Corps of Engineers and FEMA even before the White House began to take the magnitude of the impending catastrophe seriously. The first casualty of the disaster is the seafood industy, with not just fishermen, oystermen, crabbers, and shrimpers losing their jobs, but all those involved in the restaurant industry, from truckers to waitresses, facing lay-offs.

The invasion of crude oil into estuaries like the oyster-rich Apalachicola Bay in Florida spell disaster for the seafood industry. However, the biggest threat is to Florida's Everglades, which federal and state experts fear will be turned into a "dead zone" if the oil continues to gush forth from the Gulf chasm. There are also expectations that the oil slick will be caught up in the Gulf stream off the eastern seaboard of the United States, fouling beaches and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay, and ultimately target the rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

WMR has also learned that 36 urban areas on the Gulf of Mexico are expecting to be confronted with a major disaster from the oil volcano in the next few days. Although protective water surface boons are being laid to protect such sensitive areas as Alabama's Dauphin Island, the mouth of the Mississippi River, and Florida's Apalachicola Bay, Florida, there is only 16 miles of boons available for the protection of 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline in the state of Florida.

Emergency preparations in dealing with the expanding oil menace are now being made for cities and towns from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Houston, New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton, Naples, and Key West. Some 36 FEMA-funded contracts between cities, towns, and counties and emergency workers are due to be invoked within days, if not hours, according to WMR's FEMA sources.

There are plans to evacuate people with respiratory problems, especially those among the retired senior population along the west coast of Florida, before officials begin burning surface oil as it begins to near the coastline.

There is another major threat looming for inland towns and cities. With hurricane season in effect, there is a potential for ocean oil to be picked up by hurricane-driven rains and dropped into fresh water lakes and rivers, far from the ocean, thus adding to the pollution of water supplies and eco-systems.

This story contributed by the Wayne Madsen Report for Oilprice.com
http://oilprice.com/Environment/Oil-Spills/The-Cover-up-BP-s-Crude-Politics-and-the-Looming-Environmental-Mega-Disaster.html

Ed Jewett
05-06-2010, 10:31 PM
BP = Beyond Pollution: Destruction of the Gulf

by Jack Random / May 6th, 2010


Lobbying Congress for favorable legislation: Millions
Cost of deep-sea drilling: Billions
Destruction of an ecosystem: Priceless


On April 20th an attempt to cap the Deepwater Horizon, a British Petroleum rig in the Gulf of Mexico, resulted in an explosion. Eleven workers were lost and the subsequent failure to shut off the oil flow and contain the rapidly spreading slick has resulted in an ecological catastrophe of epic proportions.
As the oil continues to flow and a slick of over 2,000 square miles collides into the Gulf Coast, comparisons to the Exxon-Valdez destruction of Prince William Sound in Alaska begin to fall short. Right wing media, unable to fathom the breadth and depth of this catastrophe, unwilling to accept that we have brought this on ourselves, no longer able to justify the usual so what response to environmental crises, have decided to focus on conspiracy theories. On the level of pure speculation, the Limbaugh crowd has raised the specter of a terrorist attack.
While I am not one to automatically dismiss conspiracy theories, the purpose of these speculations is as clear as the once pristine waters of Prince William Sound. It is a distraction and one that we, as caretakers of the environment that nourishes us, can ill afford. What has happened in the Gulf of Mexico is the destruction of an ecosystem, damage that will require decades if not centuries to repair, as the result of shortsighted greed. Even the chemicals now being used to disperse the oil slick have long ranging destructive potential. Even if you think it was a terrorist attack, in the age of terrorism shouldnt that be a part of the equation? Shouldnt we consider that possibility before we erect new targets off our shores?
When President Obama declares that British Petroleum is responsible for this disaster and will be held accountable for its costs, he is not telling the whole truth in either case. The government is responsible for approving the Deepwater Horizon and ensuring that all measures were taken to preclude the possibility of disaster. That clearly was not done. It turns out the drilling operation went deeper than authorized but where were the inspectors? It turns out a safety valve to turn off the oil in the event of disaster was not installed though it is required off the shores of other nations. It apparently was considered too expensive.
As for the costs of this catastrophe, British Petroleum with $292 billion in revenues as of 2007 (ranking it the fourth richest company in the world) will pay only a fraction of the long-term damage. For every dollar they provide in relief to the fishing industry and the myriad businesses that depend on them they will spend two dollars fighting it in court. For every dollar they spend in cleanup they will spend another paying a team of publicists and pseudo-scientists to prove that the damage after all is not so bad.
Twenty-one years after the Exxon-Valdez disaster there is still plenty of Exxon oil polluting the shores and waters of Prince William Sound. Some say the initial cleanup effort was designed to hide the oil rather than to extract it. From day one Exxon treated the spill as an image and media problem with economic consequences rather than an ecological disaster. There are still species that have never recovered. The human victims of the spill have had to fight the constant misinformation and delays of the Exxon media and legal teams. No one really knows the long-term consequences of the spill but we do know it was far more extensive than we were led to believe at the time.
We can expect the same with British Petroleum in the aftermath of this new catastrophe. From the beginning BP followed the same script as Exxon after the Valdez spill. Understate the extent of the disaster, capture the media, assure the public with misleading information, put a friendly face on a heartless corporate machine, always have an answer or three answers to dazzle the reporters, and always radiate confidence.
BP has friends in Washington. It allocated sixteen million dollars to lobbying congress in 2009 and another three and a half million in the first quarter of 2010. While generally favoring Republicans on a ratio of three to two, the leading single recipient in 2008 was Barack Obama. When you compare these figures to the billions in profits you would have to consider money well spent.
The record when it is finally revealed will show that BP lied about the risks of deepwater drilling. BP lied about the oil leaking in the initial stages of the disaster. BP lied about the extent of the leakage. BP lied about their contingency plans for a worst-case scenario. BP lied about accepting full responsibility for the costs of this catastrophe. And BP will continue to lie and mislead and pump misinformation through the media to an unknowing and disbelieving public.
The potential destruction of this catastrophe goes well beyond commercial fisheries, the loss of wildlife and the damage to the tourist industry. It goes beyond the restaurants and packing plants that depend on the shrimp and fishing operations. It goes beyond the damage to the reef and the coastline. It goes beyond the harm to the already depleted wetlands and the migrating birds that seek refuge there. It goes beyond anything we can imagine. That is the nature of ecosystems. Everything is interconnected. It will be decades or longer before we can even begin to assess the full extent of harm.
If we had the authority to liquidate British Petroleum and use all its assets and resources to mitigate the harm, it would still be inadequate.
And the oil continues to flow.
Beyond the ecological disaster, consider the sheer audacity of believing you could drill through 13,000 feet of rock beneath 5,000 feet of water without unreasonable risk. Was it, in fact, a controllable risk or an inevitable disaster? Was BP gambling permanent environmental damage against short-term profits? How is it that an international corporation based thousands of miles from the scene of the crime was empowered to take that kind of risk with the Gulf ecosystem?
Now BP is trying to deflect the blame to Transocean Ltd., the worlds largest operator of deepwater wells. Certainly some measure of blame can be shared not only with Transocean but possibly Halliburton who had a hand in the operation as well, but as long as BP was taking the lions share of profits then BP must accept the lions share of blame.
In a functioning democracy at least some of that blame must fall to the people. To some indefinable extent we are also responsible for allowing greed and the Drill Baby Drill crowd to have its way with our government.
Someone should have stopped them but it was not in their interest.
The latest legislative effort to deal with the Gulf crisis is a proposal to raise the liability cap from $75 million to ten billion. Dollars to a dime it does not happen and even if it does it is an insult for anyone to think that the damage from this catastrophe should be capped at ten billion (a fraction of the cost of our wars).
Have we learned nothing at all? It is clear that after Exxon-Valdez we learned very little indeed.
This time the least we can learn is that Beyond Petroleum is just a slogan.
If this nation does not move toward renewable energies with the urgency and vigor that time and circumstance demand, then we must forfeit our claim as a great nation no less the greatest nation on earth.
Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books). The Chronicles have been published by CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle, Dissident Voice and others.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/bp-beyond-pollution-destruction-of-the-gulf/#more-16748

Magda Hassan
05-07-2010, 04:46 AM
Has anyone sighted a North Korean sub in the vicinity yet? :captain:
Or more to the point a report of a sighting of a North Korean sub?

Ed Jewett
05-07-2010, 06:09 AM
Has anyone sighted a North Korean sub yet? :captain:


My contacts within the National Scruity Agency tell me that the North Korean mini-sub has been tracked and sighted by the latest in AquaSat spy satellite technology and is lurking, waiting for the gusher to put out enough of a slick that they can make their escape unnoticed, by dashing (?) across the Caribbean underneath the Caymans.

The US Navy, using littoral vessels and specially trained ORCAs [Only Really Crazy Assignments] (the SEALs were busy), will shadow the vessels until they can be attacked inside or near Venezuelan waters. (Remember the Maine?!)

A special USNavy DevGru sleeper cell was discovered lounging on the beaches in Grenada and has been re-awakened and re-activated for Operation Erica Jong-Il ("Fear of Shrimping"). The mini-sub was discovered serendipitously by a scientific team working through the Marshall Space Flight Center. Recognizing the dramatic impact the spill and the attendant financial ramifications would have on the US economy, satellite searches were undertaken of the Guatemalan region once populated by the Mayan culture.

"By learning what the Maya did right and what they did wrong, maybe we can help local people find sustainable ways to farm the land while stopping short of the excesses that doomed the Maya," says Tom Sever at the MSFC. Sever, NASA's only archeologist, has been using satellites to examine Mayan ruins. Sever and co-worker Dan Irwin have been looking at satellite photos and, in them, Sever spotted signs of ancient drainage and irrigation canals in swamp-like areas near the Mayan ruins. Sever suspects that these ancient canals were part of a system devised by the Maya to manage water in the bajos so that they could farm the land.

The mini-sub was discovered in one of those canals after one of its submariners was spotted inquiring at an outdoor collective market if anyone had any sonar-absorbing replacement tiles for his Yugo.
http://images.suite101.com/368303_com__mg_9806.jpg

According to a Guatemalan once recruited for Operation PB Fortune, the sub-mariners were supposed to be a suicide squad but decided, having once seen a movie about "????? ? ??????? ???????? ???????" and having heard about Aruba, to ask for asylum in Oranjestad.

http://www.itzcaribbean.com/images/Aruba_beach.jpg

Ed Jewett
05-08-2010, 07:12 AM
Deepwater Horizon: A Firsthand Account
by Mark Levin Show
|
Tuesday, May 04, 2010





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On Friday, April 30th 2010, an anonymous caller contacted the Mark Levin Show to clarify the events that preceded the Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Rigzone has transcribed this broadcast for your convenience. To hear the actual radio broadcast please visit www.MarkLevinShow.com (http://www.marklevinshow.com/Article.asp?id=1790422&spid=32364).

Mark: Dallas Texas WBAP. Go right ahead, sir.
James: Just want to clear up a few things with the Petroleum Engineer, everything he said was correct. I was actually on the rig when it exploded and was at work.
Mark: Alright, let's slow down. Wait, hold on, slow down, so you were working on this rig when it exploded?
James: Yes sir.
Mark: OK, go ahead.
James: We had set the bottom cement plug for the inner casing string, which was the production liner for the well, and had set what's called a seal assembly on the top of the well. At that point, the BOP stack that he was talking about, the blow out preventer was tested. I don't know the results of that test; however, it must have passed because at that point they elected to displace the risers -- the marine riser from the vessel to the sea floor. They displaced the mud out of the riser preparing to unlatch from the well two days later and they displaced it with sea water. When they concluded the BOP stack test and the inner liner, they concluded everything was good.
Mark: Let me slow you down, let me slow you down. So they do all these tests to make sure the infrastructure can handle what's about to happen, right?
James: Correct, we're testing the negative pressure and positive pressure of the well, the casing and the actual marine riser.
Mark: OK, I'm with you. Go ahead.
James: Alright, after the conclusion of the test, they simply opened the BOP stack back up.
Mark: And the test, as best as you know, was sufficient?
James: It should have been, yes sir. They would have never opened it back up.
Mark: OK next step, go ahead.
James: Next step, they opened the annular, the upper part of the BOP stack
Mark: Which has what purpose? Why do you do that?
James: So that you can gain access back to the wellbore.
Mark: OK
James: When you close the stack, it's basically a humongous hydraulic valve that closes off everything from below and above. It's like a gate valve on the sea floor.
Mark: OK
James: That's a very simplistic way of explaining a BOP. It's a very complicated piece of equipment.
Mark: Basically, it's like a plug. But go ahead.
James: Correct. Once they open that plug to go ahead and start cementing the top of the well (the well bore), we cement the top, and then basically we would pull off. Another rig would slide over and do the rest of the completions work. When they opened the well is when the gas well kicked, and we took a humongous gas bubble kick up through the well bore. It literally pushed the sea water all the way to the crown of the rig, which is about 240 feet in the air.
Mark: OK, so gas got into it and blew the top off of it.
James: Right.
Mark: Now don't hang up. I want to continue with you because I want to ask you some questions related to this, OK? Including, has this sort of thing ever happened before, and why you think it may have happened, OK?
Mark: Alright, back to James, that's not his real name, Dallas WBAP. I'm not going to give the working title of what you did there either, James, but I wanted to finish. So, the gentleman was right about the point that obviously some gas got into the, I'll call it the funnel, OK?
James: Correct, and that's not uncommon, Mark. Anytime you're drilling an oil well, there is a constant battle between the mud weight, the drilling fluid that we use to maintain pressure, and the wellbore itself. There's a balance. The well is pushing gas one way and you are pushing mud the other way. So there is a delicate balance that has to be maintained at all times to keep the gas from coming back in, what we call the kicks. You know, we always get gas back in the mud, but the goal of the whole situation is to try to control the kick. Not allow the pressure to differentiate between the vessel and the wellbore.
Mark: Well, in this case, obviously, too much gas got in.
James: Correct, and this well had a bad history of producing lots of gas. It was touch and go a few times and was not terribly uncommon. Youre almost always going to get gas back from a well. We have systems to deal with the gas, however.
Mark: So, what may have happened here?
James: Well, the sheer volume and pressure of gas that hit all at once which was more than the safeties and controls we had in place could handle.
Mark: And thats like a mistake on somebody's part or maybe its just Mother Nature every now and then kicks up, or what?
James: Mother Nature every now and then kicks up. The pressures that we're dealing with out there, drilling deeper, deeper water, deeper overall volume of the whole vessel itself, youre dealing with 30 to 40 thousand pounds per square inch range -- serious pressures.
Mark: Not to offend you, but we just verified that you are who you are, which I'm sure you already knew that. I would like to hold you over to the next hour because I would like to ask a few more questions about this, as well as what happened exactly after the explosion, during the explosion and after. Can you wait with us?
James: Sure, I don't know how much of that I can share, but I'll do my best.
Mark: Alright, well I don't want to get you in trouble. So if you can stay, fine, but if you can't, we understand.
Part 2 of Mark's Interview:

Mark: We are talking to a caller under an assumed name who was on the rig when it blew up, and we've been talking about how it happened. And now James, I want to take you to the point of when it happened. What exactly happened? Where were you standing?
James: Well obviously, the gas blew the sea water out of the riser, once it displaced all of the sea water, the gas began to spill out on the deck and up through the center of the rig floor. The rig, you have to imagine a rectangle, about 400 feet by 300 feet, with the derrick and the rig floor sitting directly in the center. As this gas is now heavier than air, it starts to settle in different places. From that point, something ignited the gas, which would have caused the first major explosion.
Mark: Now, what might ignite the gas, do you know?
James: Any number of things, Mark. All rig floor equipment is what they consider intrinsically safe, meaning it cannot generate a spark, so that these types of accidents cannot occur. However, as much gas that came out as fast as it did, it would have spilled over the entire rig fairly rapidly, you know, within a minute. I would think that the entire rig would be enveloped in gas. Now a lot of this stuff, you can't smell, you can't taste it, it's just there, and it's heavier than oxygen. As it settled in, it could have made it to a space that wasn't intrinsically safe. Something as simple as static electricity could have ignited the first explosion, which set off a series of explosions.
Mark: Alright, so what happened? You're standing where? You're sitting somewhere? What happened?
James: Well, I was in a location that was a pretty good ways from the initial blast. I wasn't affected by the blast. I was able to make it out and get up forward where the life boats were. The PA system was still working. There was an announcement overhead that this was NOT a drill. Obviously, we have fire drills every single week to prepare for emergencies like this (fire and abandonment drills). Over the intercom came the order to report to life boats one and two, that this was not a drill, that there is a fire, and we proceeded that way.
Mark: So, the eleven men who died, were they friends of yours?
James: Yes sir, they were.
Mark: Did they die instantly?
James: I would have to assume so. Yes, sir. I would think that they were directly inside the bomb when it went off, the gas being the bomb.
Mark: So, the bomb being the gas explosion?
James: Correct. They would have been in the belly of the beast.
Mark: Now, let me ask you, and we have to be careful what we say because there are people that will run wild with ideas, so I just want to make sure
James: Sure.
Mark: So, let me ask you this, why would the government send in a SWAT team to a rig? Whats that all about?
James: Well, believe it or not, its funny you would mention that. Transocean, the drilling company, maintains a SWAT team and that's their sole purpose. They're experts in their field. The BOP, the blowout preventer, they call that subsea equipment. They have their own SWAT teams that they send out to the rigs to service and maintain that equipment.
Mark: Yeah but I'm talking about what are interior SWAT teams? What is that?
James: The interior, from the government now, I don't have an idea about that, that's beyond me. The other gentleman also mentioned the USGS that comes out and does the surveys. I've been on that particular rig for three years, offshore for five years, and I've seen a USGS one time. What we do have on a very regular basis is the MMS, which is the Minerals Management Service.
Mark: They're all under the interior department.
James: OK. Yes. As a matter of fact, we were commended for our inspection record from the MMS. We are actually receiving an award from them for the highest level of safety and environmental awareness.
Mark: Well, I thought you were going to receive that award. Didn't they put it on hold?
James: No, we have actually received that award. We received it last year. We may have been ready to receive it again this year.
Mark: Let me ask you this, so the life boats, how did you get into these life boats? Where are these life boats?
James: There are actually four life boats - two forward and two on the left, depending on where the emergency or the tragedy has taken place.
Mark: Did you wind up jumping in the water to get in to the life boat? Sometimes you have to do that.
James: I'll just say that there were five to seven individuals that jumped and the rest went down in the life boats.
Mark: Alright, I won't ask because you don't want to identify yourself that clearly. Good point. How fast were the rescue efforts? How fast did they reach you?
James: It is common to have a very large work boat standing by, to bring tools out, groceries, and supplies; it's a constant turn around. So we actually have a very large vessel real close by. It was actually along the side with the hose attached, taking mud off of our vessel on its own. It had to emergency disconnect and then pull out about a mile to stand by for rescue efforts. So, it was fairly quick.
Mark: How quick till the Coast Guard got there?
James: Mark, it's hard to say, between 45 minutes to an hour is when I recall seeing the first helicopter.
Mark: Which is actually pretty fast because you are 130 miles offshore right?
James: Correct. If you look at the nearest spill of land which would be Grand Isle, Louisiana, somewhere in that area, we were only about maybe 50 miles where the crew flies up. From civilization, such as New Orleans, it would be 200 miles. The helicopter was more than likely 80 to 100 miles away.
Mark: You are going to be beset by lawyers, with the government, and others looking for an opportunity to make money. It's going to get very, very ugly and the officials going there have really no backgrounds or experience... I mean, to what extent is that going to help anything? It's silly.
James: To me it seems knee jerk. The number one focus right now is containment. I like the idea about the boom. They are going to try to lower it down into the water to capture the leak.
Mark: How long might that take? I've been reading about this boom and it says that it could take 30 days to do that.
James: It very well could. You have to remember that this is a challenging environment. You know its 5,000 feet deep, there's a tangled wreck of a rig with the marine riser still connected and twisted into a big wad down there. So it's going to take some time to get all that stuff in place. The engineering has to be there; obviously they don't want to rush into it. You want to move it expediently but you are risking the lives of those men that are going to go out there and try to attempt it - thats just not right.
Mark: I was just going say that. That's very dangerous, I mean extremely dangerous.
James: Absolutely, absolutely. There will be oil. There will be natural gases. All the same things that caused us to explode are still present, and they're there. The pressure had been cut off dramatically, from the simple fact of the folding of the riser. Basically take this big garden hose and kink it several times.
Mark: How old is this rig? How long has it been there?
James: It was put in service in 2001. It's a fairly new rig.
Mark: And, what is the sense in shutting down every rig in the Gulf of Mexico in response to this?
James: Absolutely senseless, whatsoever. This literally could very well be a once in a lifetime freak accident, or it could be negligence. That's for other people to figure out. From my position, it just seems like every now and then, you can't win against Mother Nature. She throws a curve ball that you are not prepared for.
Mark: But to shut down every rig in response to this? I mean... I'm not sure why.
James: The BOP tests are literally mandated from the Mineral Management Service and they are conducted like clockwork. I mean, if any of those tests ever failed, they would have immediately stopped operations, sealed the well up, pulled the BOP stack back up on the deck, which is 48 hours minimum, and made the necessary repairs or replacement parts, and then would get it back down, re-connect, re-test, and keep testing it, until it passed or kept on repairing it until it passed.
Mark: So this was a I mean this must have been harrowing to you. I mean to experience something like this.
James: Thats putting it mildly.
Mark: Anything else you want to tell me?
James: No, I just got into the truck to make a short trip and I heard a gentleman say something about possible terrorism and I want to put that to bed now. I understand you have a large audience. I appreciate your point of view. I try to listen to you as much as I can, the terrorism call just needs to leave everyone's minds and let's focus on the 11 men that are dead and the survivors. That's where the focus of this country needs to be right now.
Mark: Alright my friend, we wish you all the best and I tell you that it's really God's blessing that you survived, it really is.
James: Yes sir, I completely agree.
Mark: Alright James, thank you very much for calling and we appreciate it.
James: Thank you, Mark.
Mark: Alright, God bless.

http://images.rigzone.com/images/news/incidents/Inc_DWHoriz_Ftr.gif (http://www.rigzone.com/news/incident.asp?inc_id=1)

Ed Jewett
05-08-2010, 07:54 AM
Slick Operator: The BP I've Known Too Well (http://www.truthout.org/slick-operator-the-bp-ive-known-too-well59178)

Wednesday 05 May 2010
by: Greg Palast, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis
(http://www.truthout.org/slick-operator-the-bp-ive-known-too-well59178) http://www.truthout.org/files/images/050510-5.jpg

I've seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon's name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was ... British Petroleum (BP).
That's important to know, because the way BP caused devastation in Alaska is exactly the way BP is now sliming the entire Gulf Coast.
Tankers run aground, wells blow out, pipes burst. It shouldn't happen, but it does. And when it does, the name of the game is containment. Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf last week, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (OSRP), which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.
http://www.truthout.org/files/images/050510-5_PHOTO.jpg
What's so insane, when I look over that sickening slick moving toward the Delta, is that containing spilled oil is really quite simple and easy. And from my investigation, BP has figured out a very low-cost way to prepare for this task: BP lies. BP prevaricates, BP fabricates and BP obfuscates.
That's because responding to a spill may be easy and simple, but not at all cheap. And BP is cheap. Deadly cheap.
To contain a spill, the main thing you need is a lot of rubber, long skirts of it called a "boom." Quickly surround a spill, leak or burst, then pump it out into skimmers, or disperse it, sink it or burn it. Simple.
But there's one thing about the rubber skirts: you've got to have lots of them at the ready, with crews on standby in helicopters and on containment barges ready to roll. They have to be in place round the clock, all the time, just like a fire department, even when all is operating A-O.K. Because rapid response is the key. In Alaska, that was BP's job, as principal owner of the pipeline consortium Alyeska. It is, as well, BP's job in the Gulf, as principal lessee of the deepwater oil concession.
Before the Exxon Valdez grounding, BP's Alyeska group claimed it had these full-time, oil spill response crews. Alyeska had hired Alaskan natives, trained them to drop from helicopters into the freezing water and set booms in case of emergency. Alyeska also certified in writing that a containment barge with equipment was within five hours sailing of any point in the Prince William Sound. Alyeska also told the state and federal government it had plenty of boom and equipment cached on Bligh Island.
But it was all a lie. On that March night in 1989 when the Exxon Valdez hit Bligh Reef in the Prince William Sound, the BP group had, in fact, not a lick of boom there. And Alyeska had fired the natives who had manned the full-time response teams, replacing them with phantom crews, lists of untrained employees with no idea how to control a spill. And that containment barge at the ready was, in fact, laid up in a drydock in Cordova, locked under ice, 12 hours away.
As a result, the oil from the Exxon Valdez, which could have and should have been contained around the ship, spread out in a sludge tide that wrecked 1,200 miles of shoreline.
And here we go again. Valdez goes Cajun.
BP's CEO Tony Hayward reportedly asked, "What the hell did we do to deserve this?"
It's what you didn't do, Mr. Hayward. Where was BP's containment barge and response crew? Why was the containment boom laid so damn late, too late and too little? Why is it that the US Navy is hauling in 12 miles of rubber boom and fielding seven skimmers, instead of BP?
Last year, CEO Hayward boasted that, despite increased oil production in exotic deep waters, he had cut BP's costs by an extra one billion dollars a year. Now we know how he did it.
As chance would have it, I was meeting last week with Louisiana lawyer Daniel Becnel Jr. when word came in of the platform explosion. Daniel represents oil workers on those platforms; now, he'll represent their bereaved families. The Coast Guard called him. They had found the emergency evacuation capsule floating in the sea and were afraid to open it and disturb the cooked bodies.
I wonder if BP painted the capsule green, like they paint their gas stations.
Becnel, yesterday by phone from his office from the town of Reserve, Louisiana, said the spill response crews were told they weren't needed because the company had already sealed the well. Like everything else from BP mouthpieces, it was a lie.
In the end, this is bigger than BP and its policy of cheaping out and skiving the rules. This is about the anti-regulatory mania, which has infected the American body politic. While the tea baggers are simply its extreme expression, US politicians of all stripes love to attack "the little bureaucrat with the fat rule book." It began with Ronald Reagan and was promoted, most vociferously, by Bill Clinton and the head of Clinton's deregulation committee, one Al Gore.
Americans want government off our backs ... that is, until a folding crib crushes the skull of our baby, Toyota accelerators speed us to our death, banks blow our savings on gambling sprees and crude oil smothers the Mississippi.
Then, suddenly, it's, "Where was hell was the government? Why didn't the government do something to stop it?"
The answer is because government took you at your word they should get out of the way of business, that business could be trusted to police itself. It was only last month that BP, lobbying for new deepwater drilling, testified to Congress that additional equipment and inspection wasn't needed.
You should meet some of these little bureaucrats with the fat rule books. Like Dan Lawn, the inspector from the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, who warned and warned and warned, before the Exxon Valdez grounding, that BP and Alyeska were courting disaster in their arrogant disregard of the rule book. In 2006, I printed his latest warnings about BP's culture of negligence. When the choice is between Lawn's rule book and a bag of tea, Lawn's my man.
This just in: Becnel tells me that one of the platform workers has informed him that the BP well was apparently deeper than the 18,000 feet depth reported. BP failed to communicate that additional depth to Halliburton crews, who, therefore, poured in too small a cement cap for the additional pressure caused by the extra depth. So, it blew.
Why didn't Halliburton check? "Gross negligence on everyone's part," said Becnel. Negligence driven by penny-pinching, bottom-line squeezing. BP says its worker is lying. Someone's lying here, man on the platform or the company that has practiced prevarication from Alaska to Louisiana.

Peter Lemkin
05-08-2010, 10:55 AM
http://www.endgame.org/oilspills.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

Just a few.....:goodnight:

Ed Jewett
05-08-2010, 04:51 PM
I think part of our approach must be to change the language we use, the way we frame things. [There is an entire section here at DPF that discusses this in depth.] One "endgamer" said correctly that this is not a spill .. an oops, an accident, a child's clumsy mindlessness with milk in the kitchen.

This was criminally actionable negligence coupled with the arrogance of corporate power manipulating the regulatory and governmental environment and the fascist mindset of soaking off the profits to the few while saddling the many with the downside of its risky decisions. To drill to the inner core of the earth without some mindfulness and the emplacement of proper gear as a safety shut-off mechanism is sociopathic at the extreme, placing environment and economy into extremis,

This is not a spill; it is a hemorrhage. It is a self-inflicted wound.

Ed Jewett
05-08-2010, 11:01 PM
From my friend Wundermaus :adore:, IT administrator at E Pluribus Unum:

Firedoglake Beats Mainstream Media to Likely Cause of Oil Spill by a Week (http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/46149)


QUOTE UPDATE: 3:37 p.m. Eastern The BP-Coast Guard response team just announced that the dome BP lowered over the main leak last night has not failed yet, which means that they tried it and had to remove it quickly. BP Press Conference.

Less than 72 hours after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig and the British Petroleum oil spill began, FireDogLake had discerned and blogged about the likely cause of the catastrophe: heat from the curing concrete had thawed methane trapped in icy water and the resulting methane bubble exploded when it reached the rig.

We even located a Halliburton PowerPoint presentation that explained the problem, and pointed out that there was not yet a solution in place.

The mainstream media finally caught up to us, over a week later. The Associated Press reports that according the rig crew the reason for the blowout was, wait for it

A chemical reaction caused by the setting cement created heat and a gas bubble which destroyed the seal.

Deep beneath the seafloor, methane is in a slushy, crystalline form. Deep sea oil drillers often encounter pockets of methane crystals as they dig into the earth.

In a front page story, The New York Times reports that the rig crew told them:

As the job unfolded, however, the workers did have intermittent trouble with pockets of natural gas. Highly flammable, the gas was forcing its way up the drilling pipes.

This was something BP had not foreseen as a serious problem, declaring a year earlier that gas was likely to pose only a negligible risk. The government warned the company that gas buildup was a real concern and that BP should exercise caution.

At one point during the previous several weeks, so much of it came belching up to the surface that a loudspeaker announcement called for a halt to all hot work, meaning any smoking, welding, cooking or any other use of fire. Smaller belches, or kicks, had stalled work as the job was winding down.

By mid-April, the crew was in the mop-up stages of the operation. The day before the blast, workers from Halliburton, the oil services contractor, had finished one of the trickiest tasks in building a well: encasing it in cement, with a temporary plug of cement near the bottom of the pipe to seal the well.

snip

Just before 10 p.m., the crew was using seawater to flush drilling mud out of the pipes. Suddenly, with explosive fury, water and mud came hurtling up the pipes and onto the deck, followed by the ominous hiss of natural gas. In seconds, it touched some spark or flame.

Its not clear how BP can credibly claim it did not foresee methane escape as a possible problem. If you look at the Halliburton presentation it clearly explains that the Gulf of Mexico is known to have deposits of crystallized methane trapped in the ocean floor in deep water. The presentation also explains that when heat generated by the cement curing process thaws the surrounding ocean floor under the cold deep water, it releases the trapped gas.

This was not some secret internal Halliburton memo. It was a presentation to the American Association of Drilling Engineers a public forum for folks who know and need to know about this stuff.

Anyway, were happy to know that the MSM thinks this is a front page story; so did we, a week ago.

Mad props to Scarecrow for getting it on the front page in ahem timely fashion.

Ed Jewett
05-09-2010, 02:03 AM
Effort to place dome over oil well dealt setback, BP says (http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/08/effort-to-place-dome-over-oil-well-dealt-setback-bp-says/)
[Update 3:58 p.m.] Read the full CNN.com story (http://us.cnn.com/2010/US/05/08/gulf.oil.spill/index.html)
[Posted 3:33 p.m.] The effort to place a containment dome over a gushing wellhead was dealt a setback when a large volume of hydrates - crystals formed when gas combines with water - accumulated inside of the vessel, BP's chief operating officer said Saturday.
The dome was moved off to the side of the wellhead and is resting on the seabed while crews work to overcome the challenge, Doug Settles said.
Suttles said the gas hydrates are lighter than water, and as a result, made the dome buoyant. The crystals also blocked the top of the dome, which would prevent oil from being funneled to a drill ship.
"What we had to do was pick the dome back up, set it over to the side while we evaluate what options we have to actually try to prevent the hydrate formation or find some other method to try to capture the flow," Suttles said.
He said two options officials are looking at are heating the dome or adding ethanol to dissolve the hydrates.

Ed Jewett
05-09-2010, 02:50 AM
Former White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino, suggests oil spill sabotage!

embedded video here from Fox News

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/40/718/Former_White_House_Press_Secretary,_Dana_Perino,_s uggests_oil_spill_sabotage.html

Peter Lemkin
05-09-2010, 10:07 AM
Former White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino, suggests oil spill sabotage!

embedded video here from Fox News

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/40/718/Former_White_House_Press_Secretary,_Dana_Perino,_s uggests_oil_spill_sabotage.html

Petro-terrorism?!, I thought that was our bailiwick alone! :bebored:

Jan Klimkowski
05-09-2010, 11:34 AM
BP has always had very spooky friends, and allegedly been involved in various coup d'etats.

Here's a rather colourful account of one particular BP spook:


Ex-spy is BP's Lawrence of Arabia

By Glen Owen

Last updated at 3:48 AM on 6th September 2009

He is the modern Lawrence of Arabia who used his relationship with Colonel Gaddafi to help to secure a 200,000-a-year job with BP.

The career of ex-MI6 agent Sir Mark Allen, the driving force behind the suspected deal to return Abdelbaset Al Megrahi to Libya, reads like an espionage novel, taking in Middle East spy schools, falconry and secret meetings in Pall Mall gentlemens clubs.

Our investigation has discovered how Sir Mark, 59 who resigned from MI6 to join BP in 2004 used the contacts made during a life in the shadows to build a new career in business.

It reveals that he:

Led the diplomatic drive to lift sanctions against Libya, teaming up with a top CIA agent for private meetings with Colonel Gaddafi.

Chaired a secret meeting with Gaddafis spy chief in The Travellers Club in London, which included discussion of the Megrahi case and led to the Libyan leader being allowed to trade again with the West.

Resigned from MI6 six months later to join BP and was cleared by the Cabinet Office to start working for the oil giant immediately.

Is a friend of Justice Secretary Jack Straw, who backed his unsuccessful attempt to head MI6.

The Mail on Sunday tracked Sir Mark to his secure 1million apartment in Westminster but he refused to talk about the role he may have had in securing Megrahis return.

Last week it was revealed that he lobbied Mr Straw to speed up an agreement over prisoner transfers which had been expected to lead to Megrahis return to avoid jeopardising a trade deal with Libya worth up to 15billion to BP.
Yesterday Mr Straw admitted the agreement had played a very big part in his decision to include Megrahi in the transfer deal.

In 2003, Sir Mark, then head of MI6s counter-terrorism unit, joined forces with Steve Kappes, now deputy director of the CIA, to lead secret talks with Gaddafis regime to end international sanctions.

The two men embarked on shuttle diplomacy, flying around the world to meet senior Libyan figures, including Gaddafi.

Pulitzer prize-winning US author Ron Suskind, who has investigated British and American dealings with Gaddafi, said Sir Mark had several meetings with the Libyan leader in summer 2003.

He played a key role in charming Gaddafi out of his international isolation, he said. His job was to make it clear to Gaddafi that anything could be put on the negotiating table, including Megrahi. At that point, Megrahi had been in a Scottish jail for two years.

A deal to end sanctions was sealed in December 2003 at The Travellers Club, where Sir Mark thrashed out an agreement with Gaddafis external intelligence chief Musa Kousa.

In return for the lifting of sanctions and, sources say, assurances from Britain about Megrahis future Gaddafi promised to abandon plans for weapons of mass destruction. Britain and America resumed relations the next month.

In May 2004, Sir Mark was the favourite of Mr Straw, then Foreign Secretary, to succeed Sir Richard Dearlove as Head of MI6. But the following month, after it was announced that the job had gone to John Scarlett, Sir Mark resigned to take up a special advisers job with BP.

More...Three doctors 'paid by Libyan government to say Lockerbie bomber had three months to live'
Prince Andrew 'had Lockerbie talks with Gaddafi son'
Gaddafi's gameplan: Why DID Libya want the Lockerbie bomber back so badly?

Unlike Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britains special representative to Iraq who joined BP at the same time, Sir Mark was told by the Cabinet Offices Advisory Committee on Business Appointments that he could start work immediately.

Sir Mark, who was knighted in 2005, immediately used his Libyan contacts in BPs drive to win gas and oil contracts in the country, flying with the then BP boss Lord Browne to meet Gaddafi in the desert.

The BP deal with Libya was announced in May 2007. But by November it had still not been ratified because of delays in finalising prisoner transfers which had been arranged between Tony Blair and Gaddafi in tandem with the BP deal. The sticking point was debate in the British Government over whether to exclude Megrahi.

Sir Mark made two calls to Mr Straw, asking for the agreement to be speeded up. Within six weeks of his second call in November 2007, Mr Straw had written to Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill to say Megrahi would be included.

In the Seventies, Sir Mark studied at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies, a British spy school in a village near Beirut.

He was posted to Cairo in 1978, where he developed a love of falcon-hunting with Bedouins.

In 1980 he published Falconry In Arabia, with a foreword and photos by Wilfred

Thesiger, the late writer-explorer who devoted his life to roaming deserts in the spirit of Lawrence of Arabia.

A BP spokeswoman refused to comment yesterday.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1211483/Ex-spy-BPs-Lawrence-Arabia.html#ixzz0nQn5DXiL

Ed Jewett
05-10-2010, 03:26 AM
"Oil companies are criminal enterprises supported
by government thugs.

Not hyperbole."

Video:

http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/212.html

#######

BP's Preparedness for Major Crisis Is Questioned


By GUY CHAZAN (http://online.wsj.com/search/term.html?KEYWORDS=GUY+CHAZAN&bylinesearch=true) and NEIL KING (http://online.wsj.com/search/term.html?KEYWORDS=NEIL+KING&bylinesearch=true)

BP PLC engineers struggled over the weekend to overcome problems with a containment dome the company hopes might capture much of the oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.
Challenges with the dome come as White House officials, U.S. lawmakers and others in the industry ask whether BP failed to foresee and prepare for a disaster of this scale, as doubts deepen over the company's ability to handle the spill.
View Full Image


http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/NA-BF908_BP_D_20100509180524.jpg
European Pressphoto Agency Researcher Lisa Pfau tests for oil Sunday near Pass Christian, Miss.

http://si.wsj.net/img/BTN_insetClose.gif

BP assured regulators last year that oil would come ashore only in a small area of Louisiana, even in the event of a spill much larger than the current one. But as of Sunday evening, authorities reported that black, gooey balls were washing up on beaches in Alabama, farther than the company's original calculation.
BP spent Sunday trying to determine how to proceed with the huge metal-and-concrete containment dome, after it got clogged with crystallized gas 5,000 feet below the surface. The contraption was designed to sit over the leaking pipe and funnel as much as 85% of the oil to the surface, where it could be captured.
The four-story, 98-ton dome took the company two weeks to build and deployevidence, critics say, that the company didn't envision or prepare for the sort of blowout that occurred last month.
"The only thing that's clear is that there was a catastrophic failure of risk management," said Nansen Saleri, a Houston-based expert in oil-reservoir management and a former top official at Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company.
More



U.S. Considers `Malfeasance' in Leak (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704858104575232610208583340.html)
Gulf Coast States Seek Bolder Steps (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704307804575234643126510092.html)
Photos: Containment Unit Lowered (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703338004575230191773211262.html) | Video (http://online.wsj.com/video/bp-suffers-setback-on-containment-dome/7932D28E-AAB4-4EB9-9236-6362E5092E0D.html)
Timeline (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704302304575213883555525958.html) | Aerial view (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703871904575216594114649932.html) | More Video (http://online.wsj.com/video-center/oil-rig-explosion.html)
Oil Spill Liability May Spike (http://professional.wsj.com/professional-search/search.html?ar=1&dt=4&mf=0&pg=1&ps=25&sb=1&pid=0_0_ES_1000&cnt=&st=3&nfddg=0_0_EA_DeepDive_71%7CWIZARD_EDITOR_ID%7Cdeep divel1&mod=wsjpro_hphook)



BP defended its actions. "You have here an unprecedented eventnever before have you seen a blowout at such depth and never before has a blowout preventer failed in this way," BP spokesman Andrew Gowers said. "The unthinkable has become thinkable, and the whole industry will be asking searching questions of itself."
The dome is now sitting on the seabed, about 600 feet away from the main leak. Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP's exploration and production division, denied the operation had failed and said the company was trying to figure out a way of providing heat at a depth of 5,000 feet to melt the crystals. BP had anticipated that the crystallized gas, called hydrates, could form in the pipe connecting the dome to the surface vessel, but not inside the dome itself.
BP also said it would try to deploy a smaller "top hat" dome that will form a tighter fit around the leak, hopefully preventing more water from entering the device and forming hydrates, Mr. Suttles said. The top hat will be lowered on Tuesday or Wednesday, he said.
BP and its partner on the project, Transocean (http://online.wsj.com/public/quotes/main.html?type=djn&symbol=RIG) Ltd., will face two Senate panels Tuesday on the April 20th explosion of the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 workers. The rig sank two days later, setting off an oil leak that has since released around 85,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf.
The issue of BP's preparedness is sure to be a prime topic at the hearing, according to Senate staffers.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that his "own preliminary observations" were that BP and its partners had made "some very major mistakes" leading up to and after the disaster.
Some in the oil industry questioned why it took the company so long to come up with the idea of a containment dome, and why it didn't have one ready to use.
"There should be technology that's pre-existing and ready to deploy at the drop of a hat," said one former Transocean executive. "It shouldn't have to be designed and fabricated now, from scratch."
BP is also struggling to secure sufficient amounts of booms, the floating strips used to keep oil offshore, and a large enough fleet of skimmer boats to keep the slick from spreading.
BP's general spill plan, which was updated last summer, shows that the company's claimed abilities were out of sync with the realities of the spill. Under the plan, BP said that the worst spill from a mobile drilling operation would come from a lease called the Mississippi Canyon 462, about 33 miles off the Louisiana coast. A blowout of that lease could discharge a mammoth 250,000 barrels a day, BP said, 50 times the estimated flow of the current leak. Yet BP claimed to have in place sufficient booms, stocks of dispersants and skimmers to deal with a spill far in excess of the volume it is now struggling to contain.
BP's plan, as submitted to the Mineral Management Service, placed exceedingly low probabilities on oil reaching land in the event of a major spill. Even in the case of the worst spill, BP said, there was only a 3% chance that oil would come ashore after a month in any part of the Gulf other than Plaquemines, La., which juts into the Gulf south of New Orleans.
Mr. Gowers defended BP's clean-up operation. "We moved very rapidly to implement the approved response to the accident," he said. "The evidence for that is the huge containment effort on the surface and onshore."
Brian Baskin contributed to this article.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704307804575234621987007784.html?m od=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular

###

Huge U.S. oil spill drifts west; BP mulls options



(Reuters) - BP Plc engineers desperately explored options on Sunday to control oil gushing from a ruptured well deep under the Gulf of Mexico after a setback with a huge undersea containment dome fueled fears of a prolonged and growing environmental disaster.
U.S. (http://www.reuters.com/news/us) | Green Business (http://www.reuters.com/finance/greenBusiness)
The spill is spreading west, further from Florida's beaches but toward the important shipping channels and rich seafood areas of the central Louisiana coast, where fishing, shrimping and oyster harvesting bans were extended.
BP is exploring several new options to control the spill after its 98-ton containment chamber, which took about two weeks to build, struck a snag on Saturday.
A buildup of crystallized gas in the dome forced engineers to delay efforts to place the huge containment device over the rupture and funnel leaking oil to a waiting drillship.
"We're gathering some data to help us with two things. One is another way to do containment, the second is other ways to actually stop the flow," BP chief operating officer Doug Suttles told Reuters in Venice, Louisiana.
BP was also exploring ways to work around the containment dome's problem with gas hydrates, or slushy methane gas that would block the oil from being siphoned.
"One is a smaller dome; we call it the 'top hat.' The second is to find a way to tap into the riser, the piece of pipe the oil is flowing through, and taking it directly to the pipe up to a ship on the surface," Suttles said.
Conducting operations a mile below the ocean's surface complicated BP's efforts. Engineers worked with remote-controlled vehicles in the blackness of "inner space."
At least 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons/795,000 liters) of oil a day have been gushing unchecked into the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, rupturing the well and killing 11 crew members. The leak threatens to become the worst-ever U.S. oil spill.
On Dauphin Island, Alabama, a barrier island and beach resort, sunbathers found tar balls along a short stretch of beach on Saturday, and experts were testing the tar to determine if it came from the Gulf spill.
ECOLOGICAL DISASTER
The spill threatens economic and ecological disaster on Gulf Coast tourist beaches, wildlife refuges and fishing grounds. It has forced President Barack Obama to rethink plans to open more waters to drilling.
The disaster could slow the exploration and development of offshore oil projects worldwide, Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the International Energy Agency warned on Sunday.
"The future potential is offshore in deeper water and in the Arctic, so if offshore investment is going to be slowed down, that is a concern," Tanaka told Reuters.
BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward told London's Sunday Telegraph it could be weeks or months before the spill is brought under control. He said the company could spend $10 million a day on clean-up efforts.
BP may next try to plug the damaged blowout preventer on the well by pumping debris into it at high pressure, a method called a "junk shot," or by putting a new preventer on top.
"They are actually going to take a bunch of debris -- some shredded up tires, golf balls and things like that -- and under very high pressure shoot it into the preventer itself and see if they can clog it up to stop the leak," U.S. Coast Board Admiral Thad Allen told CBS News. BP also is drilling a relief well to halt the leak, but that could take three months.
Hundreds of boats deployed protective booms and used dispersants to break up the oil again on Sunday, but rougher seas threatened to curtail the spill response. Crews have laid more than 189 miles of boom and spread 325,000 gallons (1.2 million liters) of chemical dispersant.
SANDBAGS
The spill's major contact with the shoreline so far has been in the Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana, mostly a wildlife reserve. The next few days threatens wider contact.
Forecasts show the giant oil slick moving west, as brisk onshore winds blow from the southeast through next weekend.
A state of emergency was declared on Sunday in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes in Louisiana, west of the Mississippi Delta, where training is under way to teach local fisherman how to deploy booms and assist with oil spill contractors.
Sheen was about eight miles off the coast of Port Fourchon, with heavy oil still some 28 miles offshore, said Charlotte Randolph, president of Lafourche Parish. "We're keeping a very close watch, deploying boom and closing some beaches," she said.
Truckloads of sand were being delivered to Port Fourchon to fill large sandbags, which will be dropped by National Guard helicopters in five areas along the coast.
Louisiana officials closed more waters to fishing and shrimp and oyster harvesting as the slick edged westward.
Shrimp harvesting is now banned from Freshwater Bayou on the central coast to Louisiana's border with Mississippi. Some oyster beds west of the Mississippi River also are shut.
Seafood is a $2.4 billion industry in Louisiana, which produces more than 30 percent of the seafood originating in the continental United States.
In Bayou La Batre, Alabama, the Coast Guard and BP were contracting boat owners at an average rate of $3,000 per day to help with oil-skimming operations.
"I want to get it cleaned up as fast and right as I can. This is my hometown. I want to be part of this for myself and for my son," said Lane Zirlott, a third generation shrimper.
On Dauphin Island, workers contracted by BP wore rubber boots and gloves to lay down oil-absorbing synthetic fibers called pom-poms, erect storm fencing along the beach and collect samples of the tar and water for testing.
Gary Bratt, owner of Chaise N' Rays Rentals, which rents recreational equipment on Dauphin Island, said the threat of the spill reaching shore was ruining his business. "Our business is off 70 percent at this point," with potential vacationers canceling "right and left," he said.
Gulf Coast politicians echoed the public's fears.
"You're talking about massive economic loss to our tourism, our beaches, our fisheries, very possibly disruption of our military testing and training which is in the Gulf of Mexico," Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson told CNN."
Crews labored all weekend to cordon off the entrance to Alabama's Mobile Bay with a containment boom fence to try to safeguard America's ninth-largest seaport.
Ships arriving at Southwest Pass, the deepwater entrance to the Mississippi River and New Orleans, will be inspected to determine if they need cleaning.
Jon Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, and Rowan Gould, acting director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, were sent to the Gulf to help lead efforts to protect coastal communities. Gould is a veteran of cleanup efforts following the 1989 Exxon Valdez accident, the worst U.S. oil spill ever.
(Additional reporting by Anna Driver (http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=anna.driver&) in Houston; Tom Brown and Pascal Fletcher in Miami; Steve Gorman, Verna Gates and Kelli Dugan in Dauphin Island, Alabama; Don Pessin in Venice, Louisiana; Shaleem Thompson in Buras, Louisiana; and Eric Beech in Washington; Writing by John Whitesides (http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=john.whitesides&) and Ros Krasny (http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=ros.krasny&); Editing by Chris Wilson)


http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6430AR20100510?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews


there's a slide show with 25 photos at the link too...

Ed Jewett
05-10-2010, 04:40 AM
Rig firm's $270m profit from deadly spill

May 9, 2010 by legitgov

[/URL]Rig firm's $270m profit from deadly spill (javascript:void(0)) --Transocean has already received a cash payment of $401m with the rest due in the next few weeks. 09 May 2010 The owner of the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 people and causing a giant slick, has made a $270m (182m) profit from insurance payouts for the disaster. The revelation by Transocean, the worlds biggest offshore driller, will add to the political storm over the disaster. The company was hired by BP to drill the well. The "accounting gain" arose because the $560m insurance policy Transocean took out on its Deepwater Horizon rig was greater than the value of the rig itself.

[URL]http://www.legitgov.org/Rig-firms-270m-profit-deadly-spill

Ed Jewett
05-10-2010, 05:02 AM
Will The Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Be An Economic Disaster That The Gulf Coast Will Never Recover From?


http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/The-Gulf-Of-Mexico-Oil-Spill1-300x300.jpg (http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/will-the-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill-be-an-economic-disaster-that-the-gulf-coast-will-never-recover-from/the-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill-2)As a silent blanket of black goo that is now about the size of the state of Florida slowly but relentlessly drifts towards the Gulf Coast, communities in the region are bracing for an economic catastrophe that is being described as a "slow motion Katrina". Still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina after all these years, many who depend on the Gulf of Mexico for their livelihood fear that the massive oil spill heading their way could prove to be an economic disaster from which they will never recover. Thousands of businesses in the region could go under before all of this is over, and millions could lose their jobs. As the gigantic mass of black oil kills and maims all the wildlife it encounters, and as it pushes dangerously close to the coastal wetlands, many residents are predicting that two of the most important industries in the region - seafood and tourism - will be completely and totally destroyed.
Already, the edges of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have grazed the barrier islands off Louisiana's Chandeleur and Breton sounds (http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/04/us.gulf.oil.spill.main/index.html?hpt=C1). BP spokeswoman Ayana McIntosh-Lee announced on Monday that the damaged well is releasing 210,000 gallons of oil a day (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-05-02-oilspill_N.htm) into the Gulf of Mexico. At this point there is no end in sight.
In fact, the oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico is now larger than the entire state of Florida (http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2010/05/03/nasa-satellite-images-show-gulf-oil-spill-larger-florida/), and each day it grows larger and more insidious.
Scientists in the region tell us that the Gulf oil spill could actually get into what's called the "Loop Current" within a day, eventually carrying oil south along the Florida coast and into the Florida Keys. In fact, one prominent oceanographer says that he cannot think of any scenario (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gqd5b6qtqXFVRmpVXIxScxnS1p2wD9FFHB8G1) where the oil spill doesn't eventually reach the Florida Keys.
And there are indications that things could get a whole lot worse before they get better.
It is being reported that a confidential government report on the oil spill in the Gulf makes it clear that the Coast Guard now fears that the damaged well could become an unchecked gusher shooting millions of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf. One Alabama newspaper has posted excerpts from this alarming report (http://blog.al.com/live/2010/04/deepwater_horizon_secret_memo.html)....
"The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28th that was posted on . "Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought."

How bad could it get?
Well, if the riser pipe blows out, experts tell us that we could see 5 to 10 times as much oil flowing into the Gulf as we are now.
That would be a nightmare of Biblical proportions.
Not that we aren't facing a complete and total nightmare already.
Both Obama administration and BP are indicating that it might take up to three months (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/03/AR2010050301669.html?hpid=topnews) to completely seal off the leaking oil well.
3 more months of oil flowing into the Gulf?
How in the world could the Gulf Coast ever recover from that?
And once the oil spill gets into the wetlands along the coast it will never, ever be able to be totally cleaned up.
Already, environmentalists are warning that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could absolutely devastate the bird population of the region (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/03/eveningnews/main6457008.shtml).
You see, nearly 75 percent of all U.S. waterfowl use Louisiana's three million acres of wetlands to rest or nest. Once the oil spill gets into those wetlands it is over for those waterfowl.
Not only that, but Louisiana produces more fish and seafood than anywhere in the United States except for Alaska. The cost of this disaster to the fishing industry in Louisiana alone could top 3 billion dollars (http://thisistheendoftheworldasweknowit.com/archives/the-worst-environmental-disaster-in-american-history-the-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill), and it is being projected that the tourism industry in Florida could lose even more than that.
In fact, some local shrimpers in the region are gloomily forecasting that it will be seven years (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/7676018/BPs-Gulf-of-Mexico-oil-spill-the-crude-facts-of-an-oil-disaster.html) before they can set to sea again.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Entire industries are going to be wiped out by this thing.
In economic terms, this is far bigger than Katrina.
What we are witnessing is the potential economic death of an entire region.
To get an idea of just what kind of a nightmare the residents of the Gulf Coast are facing, just read some of the quotes that have been popping up in mainstream media sources over the last couple of days....
The Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/7676018/BPs-Gulf-of-Mexico-oil-spill-the-crude-facts-of-an-oil-disaster.html):
"Worst case scenarios almost never happen," Professor Robert Thomas, of New Orleans' Loyola University, was quoted as saying yesterday. "In this case, almost everyone I have known with technical knowledge of oil spills people who have worked in the industry 30, 40 years say it is upon us."
Louis Miller of the Mississippi Sierra Club (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126453385):
This is going to destroy the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast as we know it.
The Los Angeles Times (http:///):
"A major oil spill would devastate the ecosystem and the economy based on that ecosystem," said Larry Crowder, professor of marine biology at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. "It's a particularly bad time of year because just about everything is nesting or replicating.
"In the Gulf of Mexico giant blue fin tuna are spawning, and their eggs and larvae float on the surface," he said. "Seabirds and gulls are nesting. For nesting sea turtles, obviously, oiling the beaches could have a devastating impact."
An anonymous Louisiana resident: (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7660183/Louisiana-oil-slick-Gulf-coast-residents-fear-damage-worse-than-Katrina.html)
"A hurricane is like closing your bank account for a few days, but this here has the capacity to destroy our bank accounts."
Even if you have a heart that is cold as a stone, now is the time to pray for those who live along the Gulf Coast. The oil spill relentlessly pushing towards the shore threatens to destroy countless numbers of lives.
Hopefully BP (or someone else) will find a way to keep this disaster from escalating out of control.
If not, there are going to be a whole lot of people who are going to need our help.


http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/will-the-gulf-of-mexico-oil-spill-be-an-economic-disaster-that-the-gulf-coast-will-never-recover-from

Ed Jewett
05-10-2010, 07:34 AM
HOUSTON, May 8, 2010 AP: Oil Blowout Preventers Known to Fail

Investigation Into Cutoff Valves Like One in Gulf of Mexico Spill Show Repeated Failures, Weakened Regulations

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/08/national/main6469368.shtml



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http://wwwimage.cbsnews.com/images/2010/05/08/image6469392g.jpg The Deepwater Horizon Blowout Preventer. (AP/DHRUC)



http://wwwimage.cbsnews.com/images/2010/05/03/image6456923.jpg (http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-201_162-10003317.html) Photo Essay Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife (http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-201_162-10003317.html) As the Gulf oil spill spreads towards the mainland, more than 400 species of wildlife are in serious danger
http://wwwimage.cbsnews.com/images/2010/04/28/image6440876.jpg (http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-201_162-10003266.html) Photo Essay Gulf Oil Spill Containment (http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-201_162-10003266.html) The U.S. Coast Guard is scrambling to contain a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico



Stories
Oil Leak Container Touches Down on Seafloor (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/07/national/main6468849.shtml?source=related_story)
BP Probe: Blowout Triggered by Methane Gas (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/07/national/main6468952.shtml?source=related_story)


(AP) Cutoff valves like the one that failed to stop the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster have repeatedly broken down at other wells in the years since federal regulators weakened testing requirements, according to an Associated Press investigation.

These steel monsters known as blowout preventers or BOPs - sometimes as big as a double-decker bus and weighing up to 640,000 pounds - guard the mouth of wells. They act as the last defense to choke off unintended releases, slamming a gushing pipe with up to 1 million pounds of force.

While the precise causes of the April 20 explosion and spill remain unknown, investigators are focusing on the blowout preventer on the Deepwater Horizon rig operated by BP PLC as one likely contributor.

Complete Coverage: Disaster in the Gulf (http://www.cbsnews.com/2718-201_162-558.html)

To hear some industry officials talk, these devices are virtually foolproof.

But a detailed AP review shows that reliability questions have long shadowed blowout preventers:

Accident reports from the U.S. Minerals Management Service (http://www.mms.gov/), a branch of the Interior Department, show that the devices have failed or otherwise played a role in at least 14 accidents, mostly since 2005.

Government and industry reports have raised questions about the reliability of blowout preventers for more than a decade. A 2003 report by Transocean, the owner of the destroyed rig, said: "Floating drilling rig downtime due to poor BOP reliability is a common and very costly issue confronting all offshore drilling contractors."

Lawsuits have fingered these valves as a factor in previous blowouts.

It is unclear why the blowout valves on the Deepwater Horizon didn't stop the April 20 blast that killed 11 workers and has sent millions of gallons of oil spewing into Gulf. Interviews with rig workers conducted as part of BP's internal investigation into the explosion indicate that a methane gas bubble escaped from the well and expanded quickly as it shot up the drill column, a series of events that included the failure of the blowout preventer and explosion of the rig.

Since then, the minerals agency has been inspecting offshore rigs and platforms to verify testing of these valves and check emergency exercises. On Friday, a senior agency official told the AP that regulators had been comfortable that the valves were reliable - until the blowout.

"Based on the record, we have felt that these were performing the job they were supposed to perform," Deputy Director Walter Cruickshank said. "This incident is going to make us re-examine that assumption."

He said new procedures and rules may be needed, including certifying blowout preventers by an independent group of experts. He also said the agency may revise its peeled-back testing requirement of 1998, when it replaced a weekly regimen with biweekly pressure tests.

Congress plans hearings that will consider BOP reliability. "The safety valve is not so safe," said U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash. She said the industry knew this kind of part sometimes fails, but it acted as if it couldn't.

After the accident, BP CEO Tony Hayward said of blowout preventers in general: "It's unprecedented for it to fail."

Yet the AP review turned up instances where preventer seals have failed outright, obstructions have blocked them, or valves simply weren't designed for the task. Sometimes there were blowouts.

The control systems also have proved goof-prone. When a worker accidentally disconnected a blowout preventer at one rig in 2000, federal regulators recommended changes in the control panels. Later that year, a worker at a rig off the Louisiana coast was making those very changes when he accidentally pushed the wrong button - and unlatched the valves; the ensuing blowout released 8,400 gallons of crude.

The government has long known of such problems, according to a historical review conducted by the AP. In the late 1990s, the industry appealed for fewer required pressure tests on these valves. The federal minerals service did two studies, each finding that failures were more common than the industry said.

But the agency, known as MMS, then did its turnaround and required tests half as often. It estimated that the rule would yield an annual savings of up to $340,000 per rig. An industry executive praised the "flexibility" of regulators, long plagued with accusations that it has been too cozy with the industry it supervises.

Laurence Power, of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland, an engineering teacher who has studied these valves in offshore oil wells, said he has "not been able to see their logic" for reducing the frequency of testing.

In 1999, right after that rule change, an MMS-commissioned report by a research group identified 117 blowout preventer failures at deepwater rigs within the previous year. These breakdowns created 3,638 hours of lost time - a 4 percent chunk of drilling time.

In 2004, an engineering study for federal regulators said only 3 of 14 new devices could shear pipe, as sometimes required to check leaks, at maximum rated depths. Only half of operators accepting a newly built device tested this function during commissioning or acceptance, according to the report.

"This grim snapshot illustrates the lack of preparedness in the industry to shear and seal a well with the last line of defense against a blowout," the report warned.

Two years later, a trade journal's article still noted that shearing preventers "may also have difficulty cutting today's high-strength, high toughness drill pipe" at deep wells.

The special cutting preventers were blamed in 1979 for the biggest peacetime well spill in history, when about 140 million gallons of oil poured from a Mexican well in the Gulf.

Questions about reliability hung heavily but were mostly unspoken Thursday at a Houston conference on offshore oil rig technology. Shown a spreadsheet of problems with blowout preventers, Transocean technology manager John Kozicz said, "We know that - but they don't happen frequently."

Even Transocean's Earl Shanks, lead author of the 2003 study reporting "poor BOP reliability," now views blowout preventers as "very reliable." But he did acknowledge problems in the complex electronic and hydraulic tangle that activates and controls the devices. At Deepwater Horizon, he said, "Something went wrong - and we don't know what."

Cameron International, which made the Deepwater Horizon preventers, has acknowledged that these lumbering emergency stoppers need lots of upkeep. "You have to maintain it," CEO Jack Moore told investors last year. "You have to replace the mechanical and rubber elements."

Cameron International did not respond to AP questions about reliability. But it has had to face such questions in court.

A 2008 federal lawsuit claims its faulty blowout preventers contributed to a well blowout. The suit makes the same claim about other valves installed at the rig but made by Hydril.

A Hydril Pressure Control representative said he couldn't be quoted by name under company policy, but he defended the safety of his company's preventers. Asked about the lawsuit, he said, "It is a matter of litigation, and we have denied the allegation and strongly believe in the merits of our case."


More Coverage of Gulf Oil Spill:

Oil Leak Container Touches Down on Seafloor (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/07/national/main6468849.shtml)
Pelicans' Brief Success Threatened by Oil Spill (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/07/eveningnews/main6468908.shtml?tag=cbsnewsTwoColUpperPromoArea)
Oil Washing Ashore at Island Off Louisiana Coast (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/06/national/main6466018.shtml)
Marine Food Chain Seen at Risk After Oil Spill (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/06/tech/main6464474.shtml)
Can Congress Raise BP's Oil Spill Liability? (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20004217-503544.html)
Exxon-Valdez Revisited (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6461225n)
How Much Does BP Owe for Gulf Oil Spill? (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20004034-503544.html)

Ed Jewett
05-10-2010, 10:27 PM
If you have the Google Earth plug-in, you can compare the size of the oil spill to your locale here: http://paulrademacher.com/oilspill/

###

Oil leak is 5 times greater than reported by officials

{ May 10, 2010 @ 4:59 pm } { Earth Events/Environment/Space, News }
{ Tags: BP, Conspiracy, deepwater horizon, gulf of mexico, oil leak }

The amount of oil gushing from BPs Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is five times more than what the oil company and the U.S. Coast Guard are currently estimating, said a Florida State University oceanography professor on Saturday.

At an oil spill environmental forum at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, Ian MacDonald said the blowout is gushing 25,000 barrels a day.

The Coast Guard and BP estimate 5,000 barrels a day of crude is spewing into the Gulf.

MacDonald said his estimate is based on satellite images and government maps forecasting the slicks trajectory.

MacDonald also told a crowd of about 100 gathered for the discussion that hes been frustrated by the lack of data from federal responders and BP since the April 20 explosion and subsequent spill.

Dick Snyder, director of the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation at the University of West Florida, said satellite imagery and maps give a misleading picture of the spread of the spill.

Chemical dispersants and exposure to sunlight have made some of the oil nearly invisible and hard to detect, he said.

Testing seawater for a hydrocarbon signature is needed to adequately track the oil spill so cleanup operations can be activated before it arrives, Snyder said.

A proposal by UWF to conduct such testing off the Pensacola coast was rejected by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Snyder said.

Both Snyder and MacDonald are members of the newly created Oil Spill Academic Task Force.

The organization brings together resources of Floridas academic institutions to assist the state of Florida and the Gulf region in preparing for and responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The task force consists of scientists and scholars working in collaboration with colleges from the State University System as well as private colleges.

www.pnj.com/article/20100510/NEWS01/5100314 (http://www.pnj.com/article/20100510/NEWS01/5100314)

http://heidilore.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/oil-leak-is-5-times-greater-than-reported-by-officials/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Peter Lemkin
05-11-2010, 05:44 AM
If you have the Google Earth plug-in, you can compare the size of the oil spill to your locale here: http://paulrademacher.com/oilspill/

###

Oil leak is 5 times greater than reported by officials

{ May 10, 2010 @ 4:59 pm } { Earth Events/Environment/Space, News }
{ Tags: BP, Conspiracy, deepwater horizon, gulf of mexico, oil leak }

The amount of oil gushing from BPs Deepwater Horizon oil disaster is five times more than what the oil company and the U.S. Coast Guard are currently estimating, said a Florida State University oceanography professor on Saturday.

At an oil spill environmental forum at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front, Ian MacDonald said the blowout is gushing 25,000 barrels a day.

The Coast Guard and BP estimate 5,000 barrels a day of crude is spewing into the Gulf.

MacDonald said his estimate is based on satellite images and government maps forecasting the slicks trajectory.

MacDonald also told a crowd of about 100 gathered for the discussion that hes been frustrated by the lack of data from federal responders and BP since the April 20 explosion and subsequent spill.

Dick Snyder, director of the Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation at the University of West Florida, said satellite imagery and maps give a misleading picture of the spread of the spill.

Chemical dispersants and exposure to sunlight have made some of the oil nearly invisible and hard to detect, he said.

Testing seawater for a hydrocarbon signature is needed to adequately track the oil spill so cleanup operations can be activated before it arrives, Snyder said.

A proposal by UWF to conduct such testing off the Pensacola coast was rejected by the state Department of Environmental Protection, Snyder said.

Both Snyder and MacDonald are members of the newly created Oil Spill Academic Task Force.

The organization brings together resources of Floridas academic institutions to assist the state of Florida and the Gulf region in preparing for and responding to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The task force consists of scientists and scholars working in collaboration with colleges from the State University System as well as private colleges.

www.pnj.com/article/20100510/NEWS01/5100314 (http://www.pnj.com/article/20100510/NEWS01/5100314)

http://heidilore.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/oil-leak-is-5-times-greater-than-reported-by-officials/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

If they don't stop the flow in the next month or two, the entire Gulf will become a dead zone. A very real danger is the remaining wellhead breaking off and the oil coming out at ambient pressure - likely 30-100X the current rate, until the reservoir below is empty....a lovely scenario and paradigm for how humans are raping Mother Earth - Gaia! It has also quietly been reported, but ignored by the MSM that this deposit [and the cause of the original explosion] contains not only oil, but also methane hydrate - a known danger and substance that at depth is a solid and when it escapes to the surface spontaneously explodes.

Ed Jewett
05-11-2010, 07:12 PM
Narrated video of helicopter overflight of spill zone

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG8JHSAVYT0&feature=player_embedded#! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG8JHSAVYT0&feature=player_embedded#%21)

Ed Jewett
05-11-2010, 10:51 PM
[/URL]
U.S. Coast Guard Led Big Oil Spill Exercise Prior to Rig Explosion (http://www.legitgov.org/#breaking_news) 11 May 2010 Three weeks before the massive Gulf oil rig explosion, U.S. Coast Guard officials led an elaborate exercise in which they practiced their response to a major oil spill -- one of four dry runs over the past decade that foreshadowed many of the weaknesses in coordination, communication, expertise and technology that are now hampering the federal response to the oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.


http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/bp-oil-spill-training-exercises-revealed-gaps-preparedness/story?id=10616979 via Citizens for Legitimate Government


[URL="http://www.legitgov.org/"]

Susan Grant
05-12-2010, 08:41 AM
http://www.wimp.com/solutionoil/

It seems to me that this video may just have the answer to cleaning up the oil and just by using hay. Wow! Is it just too simple?

Ed Jewett
05-13-2010, 07:47 AM
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now's the time for your tears.

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/05/disaster_unfolds_slowly_in_the.html

40 large color photos from the Gulf of Mexico

Ed Jewett
05-13-2010, 05:45 PM
Gulf of Mexico oil spill: dead dolphins found washed up on US coast

US wildlife officials are investigating whether the deaths of six dolphins on the Gulf Coast are related to the massive oil spill.



Published: 7:00AM BST 12 May 2010

Previous
1 of 2 Images
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http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01634/dolphin_1634952c.jpg Samples have been sent for testing to see whether the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was to blame for their deaths Photo: AP

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01633/oil3_1633863c.jpg The oil slick passes through the protective barrier around the Chandeleur Islands Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES


Blair Mase of the National Marine Fisheries Service said that dolphin carcasses had been found in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama since May 2. Samples have been sent for testing to see whether the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was to blame for their deaths.
Mr Mase and animal rescue coordinator Michele Kelley in Louisiana said that none of the carcasses had obvious signs of oil. Mr Mase also said it's common for dead dolphins to wash up this time of year when they are in shallow waters to calve.

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Moby Solangi, director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, said his agency found one of the dolphins on the north side of Horn Island in Mississippi. He said the body was decomposed.
"We have this additional factor (oil spill) going on, so that will be tested," Mr Solangi said. "We are not leaving that factor out and they are being tested."
There are 3,000 to 5,000 dolphins in and around Mississippi waters and an estimated 75,000 in the Gulf of Mexico. Federal officials reported that about a dozen birds, fouled and sickened by oil, had been rescued, and that two had been rehabilitated enough to be released.
Dozens of dead sea turtles have also been found.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/7713466/Gulf-of-Mexico-oil-spill-dead-dolphins-found-washed-up-on-US-coast.html

Ed Jewett
05-13-2010, 05:49 PM
US Senate Begins Oil Spill Cover-Up

by Tom Eley

Global Research (http://www.globalresearch.ca/), May 13, 2010
World Socialist Web Site (http://www.wsws.org/) - 2010-05-12


On Tuesday, the US senate began hearings into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which took the lives of 11 workers in an April 20 explosion and has since poured millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the region with an environmental and economic catastrophe.

Appearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the morning and the Environmental and Public Health Committee in the afternoon were executives from the three corporations implicated in the disaster: Lamar McKay, president of the US operations of BP, which owned the oil and the drill site; Steven Newman, president of Transocean, the contractor that owned the rig and employed most of its workers; and Tim Probert, an executive with Halliburton, which contracted for the work of cementing the rigs wellhead one mile beneath oceans surface.

The hearing resembled a falling out among thieves, with multi-millionaire executiveswho, until April 20, had collaborated in thwarting basic safety and environmental considerationseach blaming the other for the explosion.

McKay of BP blamed Transocean. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and its equipment, including the blowout preventer, he said. Transoceans blowout preventer failed to operate. Newman flatly denied that the blowout preventer was responsible for the disaster, shifting blame to BP, which he said controlled the operation, and Halliburton, which was responsible for the cementing around the well cap. The one thing we know with certainty is that on the evening of April 20 there was a sudden, catastrophic failure of the cement, the casing, or both, Newman said. Probert of Halliburton pushed back, indicating that BP and Transocean had moved forward operations before cementing was adequately set.

There was, in fact, some harmony between the accounts offered by the executives of Halliburton and Transocean, both of whom appeared to suggest that BP ordered the skipping of a usual step in offshore drillingthe placing of a cement plug inside the well to hold explosive gases in place. That this step was passed over was corroborated by two workers on the rig, who spoke to the Wall Street Journal on condition of anonymity. The workers also told the Journal that BP first cleared the decision with the US Department of the Interiors Minerals Management Service (MMS). Both BP and the MMS refused comment to the Journal.

Robert Bea, a University of California at Berkeley engineering professor, has gathered testimony from Deepwater Horizon survivors that indicates the rig was hit by major bursts of natural gas, promoting fears of an explosion just weeks before the April 20 blast, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. This raised concerns about whether mud at the well head should be replaced by much lighter seawater prior to installation of a concrete plug. The decision to proceed won out, according to information gathered by Bea.

Whatever the immediate cause of the disaster, the clear thrust of the hearings was to focus public outrage on a single, correctable mistake, such as a mechanical failure or regulatory oversight, in order to obscure the more fundamental reasons for the disaster: the decades-long gutting of regulation carried out by both Republicans and Democrats at the behest of the oil industry that made such a catastrophe all but inevitable.

A similar calculation lay behind Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazars Tuesday announcement that the MMS, which ostensibly regulates offshore oil drilling, will be split into two unitsone that collects the estimated $13 billion in annual royalties from the nations extractive industries, and one that enforces safety and environmental regulations. Salazars claim that this would eliminate conflicts of interest in government regulation was nervy, to say the least, coming from a man with long-standing and intimate ties with oil and mining concerns, including BP.

Indeed, more farcical than the executives recriminations against each other was the spectacle of senators attempting to pose as tough critics of the oil industry. The US Senate, like the House of Representatives, the Department of the Interior, and the White House, is for all intents and purposes on the payroll of BP and the energy industry as a whole. Among the senators sitting on the two committees who have received tens of thousands in campaign cash from BP and the oil industry are Richard Shelby (Republican, Alabama), Mary Landrieu (Democrat, Louisiana), John McCain (Republican, Arizona) and Lisa Murkowski (Republican, Alaska).

One of the few truthful moments in the hearings came when an exasperated Murkowski told the executives, I would suggest to all three of you that we are all in this together. Murkowski and Landrieu also expressed concerns that the disaster could compromise offshore drilling.

None with even a passing familiarity of the workings of Washington or the Senate can have any doubt that Tuesdays hearings were but the opening of a government whitewash. The ultimate aim is to shield the major industry players and the financial interests that stand behind them from any serious consequences.

The assemblage of the guilty parties inside the Senate chambers took place as ruptured pipes on the ocean floor continued to gush forth oil at a rate conservatively estimated at 220,000 gallons per day some 40 miles off Louisianas coast. The rate could be many times greater, but arriving at a more accurate estimate is impossible because BP has refused to release its underwater video footage for independent analysis.

BP, which is liable for cleanup costs, has all but admitted it has no idea of how to stop the leak. Its attempt last weekend to lower a four story box over the piping failed when ice crystals clogged a portal at the structures roof, a result that was widely anticipated. BP is now considering lowering a much smaller box in order to avoid icing. US Coast Guard and BP representatives have also floated the idea of a junk shot, firing golf balls, tire shreds, and other refuse at high pressure into the well.

The drilling of two relief wells continues, with the aim of disrupting the flow of oil from the current well. This option will take a minimum of 90 days, during which 18 million gallons more oil will pour out at the low-end estimate. Even this option provides no certainty. The risks include unpredictable weather, since the wells will be operational at the start of hurricane season, according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor. The wells are also being drilled into the same mix of oil and gas that caused the original explosion, and operating two wells in the area creates the potential of igniting a second explosion that is more powerful.

If the spill cannot be stoppeda distinct possibilitythe ruptured well could release a large share of the deposits underground reserves into the Gulf of Mexico, which totals upwards of 100 million barrels of crude oil. And even if the spill is stopped at a lesser volume, with each day there is a growing probability that the oil will devastate the entire Gulf from Louisiana to Florida and possibly reach the Gulf Stream, impacting the Atlantic seaboard.

In the interim, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given BP clearance to resume pumping chemical dispersants into the oil column as it emerges from the broken piping. BP also continues to dump large quantities of dispersant onto the oceans surface. The environmental impact of such heavy use of dispersants is unknown, but a growing number of scientists and environmental groups are warning that the highly toxic substance could simply be transferring the brunt of the spill from the shore to marine ecosytems.

The companies love the idea of using a chemical to spray on an oil slick to sink it, Rick Steiner, a former professor of Marine Conservation at the University of Alaska, told the World Socialist Web Site. Its out of sight out of mind as far as the public is concerned because TV cameras cant see it. This is the big oil company playbook: public relations, litigation protection, and image.

Oil has now washed ashore in three places: the Chandeleur Islands off Louisanas coast, on the coast of a navigable channel from the Mississippi River known as the South Pass, and on Alabamas Dauphin Island. Fishing has been blocked over a wide area, effectively imposing layoffs on thousands of fishermen, many of whom are self-employed and therefore not entitled to unemployment benefits. Sightings of birds covered in oil and dead sea turtles washed ashore have increased in recent days.

In his testimony, McKay boasted that BP would make available grants of $25 million to Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, and that it has paid out approximately $3.5 million in damage claims to those affected by the spill. These figures, presented as an act of enormous magnanimity, are such a tiny share of BPs revenues as to be almost inconsequential.

The company took home $93 million per day in profitsfor a total of $6.1 billionduring the first quarter alone. The $3.5 million in damage claims paid out are significantly less than CEO Tony Haywards 2009 compensation, estimated at over $4,700,000 by Forbes.

Ed Jewett
05-15-2010, 05:57 AM
Via Jenna Orkin at http://www.mikeruppert.blogspot.com/ (http://www.mikeruppert.blogspot.com/):

Oil Catastrophe/Environment/Science
BP chief reveals $10m daily clean-up bill (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7696827/BP-chief-reveals-10m-daily-clean-up-bill.html)
Underwater Footage of Leak (http://bp.concerts.com/gom/crater_plume.htm)
Leak? How about "eruption?"
Satellite Images from SkyTruth (http://blog.skytruth.org/2010/05/gulf-oil-spill-radar-satellite-image.html)
Turning the Oil into Asphalt and Gelatin (http://www.treehugger.com/files/2010/05/us-army-gulf-spill-oil-asphalt-experimental-chemical-video.php)
Senators want offshore drilling on West Coast banned forever (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/13/94127/senators-want-offshore-drilling.html) - from Rice Farmer

Also in that day's listing of "Headlines":

Obama Sends Bomb, Mars Experts to Fix BP Oil Spill (Update1)

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By Jessica Resnick-Ault and Katarzyna Klimasinska


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/data?pid=avimage&iid=iG7rSVOuROYQ

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Steven+Chu&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) signaled his lack of confidence in the industry experts trying to control BP Plc (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=BP%5C%3ALN)s leaking oil well by hand-picking a team of scientists with reputations for creative problem solving.
Dispatched to Houston by President Barack Obama (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Barack+Obama&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) to deal with the crisis, Chu said Wednesday that five extraordinarily intelligent scientists from around the country will help BP and industry experts think of back-up plans to cut off oil from the well, leaking 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below sea-level.
Members of the Chu team are credited with accomplishments including designing the first hydrogen bomb, inventing techniques for mining on Mars and finding a way to precisely position biomedical needles.
I dont think there is a lot of confidence in BP in Washington right now, David Pursell (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=David+Pursell&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), a managing director at Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. LLC in Houston, said by phone. Chus decision to bring in additional scientists may reflect that concern, he said.
BPs effort to use robots on the seafloor to close off the well failed, and a 40-foot steel structure meant to cap the leak was scuttled when the containment box became clogged with an icy slush of seawater and gas. BP now is deliberating between using a smaller containment chamber to control the well or inserting a tube directly into the leaking pipe to channel the oil.
Chu said hes tasked his team to develop plan B, C, D, E and F in addition to finding a way to stop the oil leak.
Things are looking up, and things are getting much more optimistic, the Nobel-prize winning physicist said after meeting with the scientists and BP in Houston Wednesday.
BP CEO Meeting
The group convened at BPs command center in Houston yesterday, where they met with BP leadership, including Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Tony+Hayward&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), the Energy Department said. BP is using more than 500 specialists from almost 100 organizations and welcomes additional help, Jon Pack, a BP spokesman, said by phone.
Their exact activities are cloaked in secrecy. We saw some confidential and proprietary information, said one scientist on the team, Jonathan I. Katz (http://wuphys.wustl.edu/%7Ekatz/), a physics professor at Washington University (http://www.wustl.edu/) in St. Louis.
Katzs early work focused on astrophysics, but now he consults on a wide variety of physics puzzles, he said. He is a member of the JASON group, a think tank dedicated to researching complex problems for the U.S. Government, including the Defense Department.
Provocative Thinking
In a telephone interview from his home in Missouri, Katz skipped across topics: computer models for global warming, equality in college admissions and the Mpemba effect -- the observation that, in specific circumstances, warmer water freezes faster than colder water.
Katz, 59 wrote articles that he has labeled as thought- provoking on his personal website, including, Dont Become a Scientist, In Defense of Homophobia and Why Terrorism is Important.
The best physicists have been very broad people, he said.
Chu chose another JASON think tank member, Richard L. Garwin (http://www.fas.org/rlg/), for his oil spill taskforce. Garwin, 82, a physicist and IBM Fellow Emeritus, is a military-technology and arms-control consultant to the U.S. government. He helped design the first hydrogen bomb in 1951, according to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (http://www.lanl.gov/).
To do interesting science, the whole point is not just to follow the beaten track, but find something new, Freeman Dyson (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Freeman%0ADyson&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), another JASON member, said about Garwin.
Flaming Wells
Garwin, 82, held a 1991 symposium of academic scientists, explosives experts, firefighters and oilmen to grapple with how to stem oil flows from hundreds of wells Iraq set on fire in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War, according to a summary of the event. Garwin declined to comment on the meeting in Houston, but confirmed his experience with Kuwaits oil wells in an interview.
BP has described conditions around its leaking (http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/book_shelf/1978_TMF24-2010-05-13-1300.pdf) offshore well as resembling those in outer space. Chu selected one scientist with experience operating on Mars, George Cooper (http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/faculty/faculty_pubs.php?name=Cooper), a civil engineering professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
Cooper once worked with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to modify mining techniques on earth for use on Mars, said Berkeley Professor Juan Pestana, who leads the GeoEngineering section in which Cooper is an emeritus professor.
Cooper did not respond to e-mails or telephone messages.
Five Dozen Patents
Chu also selected Alexander Slocum (http://meche.mit.edu/people/faculty/index.html?id=80), a professor of mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, who holds more than five dozen patents for devices related to biotechnology, robotics and computer science.
On his website, Slocum describes his research interests delving into nanotechnology, precision engineering, and staying down longer while SCUBA diving. He did not respond to telephone calls or e-mails.
He has a lot of creative ideas. One in 10 are really brilliant ideas, but nine are dumb, said MIT professor Wai K. Cheng, a colleague in Slocums department. You cant miss that one that is brilliant.
The team is rounded out by Tom Hunter (http://www.sandia.gov/about/welcome/hunter-bio08-5260523.pdf), 64, from Sandia Laboratories (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=LMT%3AUS), which conducts research for the U.S. Department of Energys National Nuclear Security Administration. Hunter has been with Sandia since 1967, and served as president of Sandia Corporation, which manages the lab, since 2005.
Were using some X-ray type technology that Sandia labs has, Doug Suttles (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Doug+Suttles&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), BPs chief operating officer for exploration and production, said today in an interview on CNN.
Chris Miller, a Sandia spokesman, said Hunter didnt have time to comment.
To contact the reporters on this story: Jessica Resnick-Ault (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Jessica+Resnick-Ault&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) in New York at jresnickault@bloomberg.netKatarzyna Klimasinska (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Katarzyna+Klimasinska&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) in Houston at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: May 14, 2010 13:38 EDT

Ed Jewett
05-15-2010, 06:01 AM
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/data?pid=avimage&iid=iS_j4zuklyA4 (http://www.bloomberg.com/avp/avp.htm?N=video&T=Boxer+Introduces+Bill+to+Ban+Drilling+Off+of+Wes t+Coast+&clipSRC=mms://media2.bloomberg.com/cache/vpKCtH4zbOG0.asf) http://images.bloomberg.com/r06/global/watchbtnwhite.gif Watch (http://www.bloomberg.com/avp/avp.htm?N=video&T=Boxer+Introduces+Bill+to+Ban+Drilling+Off+of+Wes t+Coast+&clipSRC=mms://media2.bloomberg.com/cache/vpKCtH4zbOG0.asf)

Boxer Introduces Bill to Ban Drilling Off of West Coast (http://www.bloomberg.com/avp/avp.htm?N=video&T=Boxer+Introduces+Bill+to+Ban+Drilling+Off+of+Wes t+Coast+&clipSRC=mms://media2.bloomberg.com/cache/vpKCtH4zbOG0.asf)
May 13 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, speaks at a news conference about the introduction of legislation that would ban new West Coast offshore drilling and the economic impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Joining Boxer in sponsoring the bill introduced today were Democratic Senators Diane Feinstein of California, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington. Feinstein, Cantwell and Merkley also speak at the news conference.

Magda Hassan
05-15-2010, 06:10 AM
Commentary Last Updated: May 13th, 2010 - 00:25:10
As we die for BP, our military rots in the wrong Gulf
By Harvey Wasserman
Online Journal Guest Writer


May 13, 2010, 00:19

As you read this, the life of our bodies, nation and planet is being blown out a corporate hole in the Gulf of Mexico and into a Dead Zone of no return.
The apocalyptic gusher of oily poison pouring into the waters that give us life can only be viewed -- FELT -- by each and every one of us as an on-going death by a thousand cuts with no end in sight.
Yet our government -- allegedly the embodiment of our collective will to survive -- has done NOTHING of significance to fight this mass murder.
As it did while New Orleans drowned downstream from a willfully neglected levee system, our most potentially effective counterforce dithers on the other side of the world, in the wrong Gulf.
We squander our treasure on the largest conglomeration of people and weapons the world has ever seen. It's bloated with hardware designed specifically to destroy and kill. Hundreds of thousands of Americans sit on our dime in more than a hundred countries, rotting in the outposts of a bygone empire.
Why aren't they in the Gulf of Mexico, fighting for our truest "national security"?
The depth and scope of this catastrophe is impossible to grasp because it is just beginning. The entire Gulf, the west coast of Florida, the Everglades, the east coast of Florida and all the way up, wherever the currents go. . . . they are all at risk.
This is the most lethal single attack on the life of this nation since December 7, 1941. It is a time that will live only in infamy.
The moment it happened, a sane president, a functional government, a society worthy of survival, would have marshaled every mobile resource available and moved it down to the Gulf.
Except by hitting a nuclear power plant and rendering this all radioactive, no terrorist could dream of igniting the kind of havoc now destroying our most vital, precious and irreplaceable resources.
Our mass media should be filled with stirring images of a focused, determined president mobilizing all available assets to curb the damage. Instead, Barack Obama defends offshore drilling and endorses the resumption of whaling -- if this underwater gusher actually leaves any alive. It is a suicidal tribute to the power of corporate ownership.
Instead of a seeing a Gulf population deputized and mobilized to fight for survival, we are subjected to a loathsome trio of corporate stooges -- apparently named Larry, Curly and Moe -- blaming each other for the catastrophe. They should all be clamped into orange jumpsuits and locked onto a clean-up vessel.
Thus far, the only armies officially mobilized are of the corporate PR departments and ubiquitous lawyers savoring the gusher of billable hours sure to stretch through the decades.
Our collective non-response to this cataclysmic reality now includes the introduction of a pathetic "climate bill", concocted by another woeful trio, in service to the very corporations that have brought us this lethal gusher.
This bill will do nothing to solve this particular problem. Nor will it address the root cause of our addiction to obsolete and suicidal fossil and nuclear fuels at a time when the clean, cheap renewable alternatives are readily available. It is, in short, Beyond Tragic.
Make no mistake: in our lifetime, the Gulf will not recover. Nor will our species.
There are no corners of the Earth that we can pollute without poisoning it all. . . . and our own bodies. We cannot squander our resources on killing people on the other side of the Earth while leaving ourselves to be destroyed by the mayhem at home.
Either our species learns this lesson, and acts on it -- NOW! -- or we do not survive.
Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH, is at www.harveywasserman.com. He is senior advisor to Greenpeace USA and senior editor of FreePress.org (http://www.freepress.org/), where this was first published.

Ed Jewett
05-16-2010, 05:15 AM
Gulf of Mexico Underwater Oil Plumes 10 Miles Long, 3 Miles Wide and 300 Feet Thick in Spots (http://cryptogon.com/?p=15474)

May 16th, 2010 Via: New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html):
Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.
Theres a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water, said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. Theres a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.
The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.
Dr. Joye said the oxygen had already dropped 30 percent near some of the plumes in the month that the broken oil well had been flowing. If you keep those kinds of rates up, you could draw the oxygen down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months, she said Saturday. That is alarming.
The plumes were discovered by scientists from several universities working aboard the research vessel Pelican, which sailed from Cocodrie, La., on May 3 and has gathered extensive samples and information about the disaster in the gulf.
Posted in Atrocities (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=18), Collapse (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=19), Energy (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=17), Env (http://cryptogon.com/?cat=16)

Ed Jewett
05-17-2010, 04:36 PM
Some time ago, I visited I went looking on the Internet for an old article in Harvard Business Review entitled "Planning as Learning" by Arne de Geus.

It's a powerful article, one which others would call seminal, because it spawned a significant movement in organizational development, and notably the work of Peter Senge and friends in "the fifth discipline" and beyond, some of which was touched upon in my blog a long time ago. These are works I've learned much from and cited in my papers and proposals over the years for the use of simulation gaming as a tool for improving disaster response.

Arne de Geus worked for a long time with Royal Dutch Shell, a major oil drilling outfit. I guess in my Internet search I brushed up against or left behind a trail of "cookie" crumbs because this morning, in my e-mailbox, or perhaps because of my guest blog entry at Manageable Ants entitled "Shrimp Linguini Lagniappe", up pops a press release. RDS is the company whose activity has spawned actions studied by people like John Robb in the Nigerian Delta, where the people indigenous to the area being exploited sometimes take things into their own hands. What has happened in the Nigerian Delta could and probably has spawned whole threads, books, even movies. At any rate, this showed up on my desktop this morning; make of it what you will.



Shell halts Nigerian offshore drilling in visionary new remediation plan
17/05/2010

The Hague - In advance of the 18 May Shell Annual General Meeting (AGM), Royal Dutch Shell and its joint-venture Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) are announcing sweeping plans to clean up all areas of the Niger Delta where they operate, compensate local communities for past injuries, and institute a local stakeholders program that will contribute to lifting the region out of poverty.

The Comprehensive Shell Remediation Plan for the Niger Delta (CSR-ND) has been steadily developing behind closed doors since Shell CEO Peter Voser took the helm last year, but was fast-tracked in response to public pressure to include an immediate cessation of deep-water drilling in the Niger Delta.

"Shell is proud to be the first international petrochemical company to embark on a rehabilitation and compensation program of any significant scale," said Shell spokesperson Bernadette Hopma. "The Gulf of Mexico gush has made CSR-ND especially timely."

"By anticipating and proactively sidestepping the inevitable storm of company-unfriendly rule-changes that follow on major environmental and human calamities of a certain variety, we are building our company's ongoing resilience well into the future," said CEO Voser in yesterday's lunchtime pre-AGM address to top management of Royal Dutch Shell.

After noting that Shell is the largest oil producer in the Niger Delta, which is Africa's equivalent of the Mississippi River Deltathe largest wetland in Africa, and the third-largest drainage area on the continentVoser outlined the company's rationale for the move.

"Despite our company's measured ongoing efforts to operate within a potential international rule-book as we deliver shareholder value, we have not always done very well. Every year since 1969, oil operations in the Niger Delta have spilled as much oil as the 1989 Exxon Valdez. Neither the Delta itself, nor the prospective legal environment, can tolerate that sort of stress. To avoid serious consequences for Shell's viability, we must react proactively to past, present and potential future threats to people, the environment, and the future of the global community."

Last year, Nigeria had 2,000 active spills. These were certainly not all due to Shell's operations, but the amount of oil released into the wetlands has been steadily on the rise with production increases by a number of companies.

"Recent events in the Gulf of Mexico demand change," said Shell spokesperson Bernadette Hopma. "The expected hurricane of regulation and policy change across industry, resulting from the negligent practices by one pair of companies especially, means that all of us need to try to push harder in the interests of long-term survival. Shell will therefore distinguish ourselves by being the first oil company in history to cease taking risks with important delta ecosystems. The unique geology underlying these deltas have sustained our shareholders very well, but we must not let that kind of sustainability come at the the expense of the biodiversity, carbon absorption and O2 production that are their true worth."
Highlights of the Shell and SPDC CSR-ND Plan include:

* The immediate cessation of deepwater drilling off the coast of Nigeria until the conclusion of a full independent safety review by our local government partners with international oversight.
* The immediate cessation of gas flaring, with all open flares converted by 2012 into energy sources for tariffless local consumption.
* An investment of $8 billion by 2012 followed by $1 billion per annum for 10 years to attempt partial environmental restoration of the Niger Delta. The work force carrying out this mission will be 97% locally sourced and trained.
* A $45 million "truth and reconciliation process" fund to assess and award reparations for perceived injustices since 1958, when Shell first started commercially exporting oil from the region.
* The est ablishment of a $4 billion fund earmarked for compensation for perceived injustices.
* The establishment of a local stakeholder program that gives decision-making and veto capacity over new and ongoing projects to communities affected by Shell and SPDC projects worldwide, pending more formal control at the level of local government.
* A commitment to cap oil production at current levels until 2015, and then to gradually reduce production to 10 percent of current levels by 2050, while compensating for this reduction through the development of renewable energy sources.

"At long last the words 'stakeholder' and 'sustainable' will actually mean something," said CEO Voser. "CSR-ND means planning not just for short-term profits, but for what actually matters, including the viability of the planet itself."
Enquiries

Shell Media Relations
International, UK, European Press - Bernadette Hopma / Christopher Aganju (The Hague): +31 (0)70-3465963, media@shellcsr.com
US Press - Rita Rogoeveen / Francis Moira (Houston): +1 832-493-0508, +1 281-573-0987, usmedia@shellcsr.com
Notes

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 100 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of Liquefied Natural Gas and Gas to Liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com
Cautionary note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this document "Shell", "Shell group" and "Royal Dutch Shell" are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words "we", "us" and "our" are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. ''Subsidiaries'', "Shell subsidiaries" and "Shell companies" as used in this document refer to companies in which Royal Dutch Shell either directly or indirectly has control, by having either a majority of the voting rights or the right to exercise a controlling influence. The companies in which Shell has significant influence but not control are referred to as "associated companies" or "associates" and companies in which Shell has joint control are referred to as "jointly controlled entities". In this document, associates and jointly controlled entities are also referred to as "equity-accounted investments". The term "Shell interest" is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect (for example, through our 34% shareholding in Woodside Petroleum Ltd.) ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management's expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ''anticipate'', ''believe'', ''could'', ''estimate'', ''expect'', ''in tend'', ''may'', ''plan'', ''objectives'', ''outlook'', ''probably'', ''project'', ''will'', ''seek'', ''target'', ''risks'', ''goals'', ''should'' and similar terms and phrases. There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this document, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (http://commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/style_emoticons/default/cool.gif changes in demand for the Group's products; currency fluctuations; (d) drilling and production results; (e) reserve estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) l egislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including potential litigation and regulatory effects arising from recategorisation of reserves; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions. All forward-looking statements contained in this document are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell's Annual Report and Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2009 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov - opens in new window). These factors also should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, 17 May, 2010. Neither Royal Dutch Shell nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this document.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only proved reserves that a company has demonstrated by actual production or conclusive formation tests to be economically and legally producible under existing economic and operating conditions. We use certain terms in this document that SEC's guidelines strictly prohibit us from including in filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website www.sec.gov - opens in new window. You can also obtain these forms from the SEC by calling 1-800-SEC-0330.

Ed Jewett
05-17-2010, 04:50 PM
CBS - 60 Minutes - Deepwater Horizon's Blowout part 1 (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6490348n)

CBS - 60 Minutes - Deepwater Horizon's Blowout part 2 (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6490378n&tag=contentMain;contentAux)

Ed Jewett
05-17-2010, 05:44 PM
CBS - 60 Minutes - Deepwater Horizon's Blowout part 1 (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6490348n)

CBS - 60 Minutes - Deepwater Horizon's Blowout part 2 (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6490378n&tag=contentMain;contentAux)


Thank you, Wundermaus. Thank you, Sixty Minutes.

As I watched that report, five things came to mind.

The first is the book Deep Survival. See http://www.deepsurvival.com/ . I highly recommend it. It is in the bibliography for Summon The Magic and probably contributed to my own survival.

The second is the book Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies by systems-behavior expert Charles Perrow, also previously referenced in my work in disaster management; think Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and Bhopal. http://www.amazon.com/dp/0691004129

The third is the work done by Tim Gallwey in The Inner Game of Work, excerpted in my compendium called Summon The Magic,

Sometimes we find ourselves functioning mindlessly, without focus, in a series of routines and unconscious reactions; things get done in default mode, a performance momentum that prevails automatically when conscious choice or remembrance of purpose is missing. It is Self 1's unconscious, mechanistic way of doing things, like a billiard ball's momentum that has movement but not the freedom and purpose that creates successful outcomes. There is a simple 4-step technique we can use to disconnect from our tunnel vision to restore mobility and
purpose, to disengage from the demands of the immediate situation and step back for a momentary change in perspective. It's called STOP.

For a short excerpt on the aspects of step back, think, organize your thoughts, and proceed, drop me a note.

The fourth is the work of Leonard Marcus, Ph.D.

One of the major sources for conflict in any system, but especially those preparing to or actually responding to an emergency, is the conflict between power and expertise.

If people are not paying attention to one another in the planning and preparation phase, they are less likely to do so during an actual emergency."

See pages 9-11 in Coalescing Effective Community Disaster Response: Simulation and Virtual Communities of Practice. December 2005 www.iaem.com/documents/SimsandVCOPs1.pdf (http://www.iaem.com/documents/SimsandVCOPs1.pdf)

Ed Jewett
05-17-2010, 06:26 PM
Air Tests from the Louisiana Coast Reveal Human Health Threats from the Oil Disaster (http://cryptogon.com/?p=15497)

May 17th, 2010 Via: Institute for Southern Studies (http://www.southernstudies.org/2010/05/air-tests-from-the-louisiana-coast-reveal-human-health-threats-from-the-oil-disaster.html):
The media coverage of the BP oil disaster to date has focused largely on the threats to wildlife, but the latest evaluation of air monitoring data shows a serious threat to human health from airborne chemicals emitted by the ongoing deepwater gusher.
Today the Louisiana Environmental Action Network released its analysis of air monitoring test results by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPAs air testing data comes from Venice, a coastal community 75 miles south of New Orleans in Louisianas Plaquemines Parish.
The findings show that levels of airborne chemicals have far exceeded state standards and whats considered safe for human exposure.
For instance, hydrogen sulfide has been detected at concentrations more than 100 times greater than the level known to cause physical reactions in people. Among the health effects of hydrogen sulfide exposure are eye and respiratory irritation as well as nausea, dizziness, confusion and headache.
The concentration threshold for people to experience physical symptoms from hydrogen sulfide is about 5 to 10 parts per billion. But as recently as last Thursday, the EPA measured levels at 1,000 ppb. The highest levels of airborne hydrogen sulfide measured so far were on May 3, at 1,192 ppb.
Testing data also shows levels of volatile organic chemicals that far exceed Louisianas own ambient air standards. VOCs cause acute physical health symptoms including eye, skin and respiratory irritation as well as headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea and confusion.
Louisianas ambient air standard for the VOC benzene, for example, is 3.76 ppb, while its standard for methylene chloride is 61.25 ppb. Long-term exposure to airborne benzene has been linked to cancer, while the EPA considers methylene chloride a probable carcinogen.
Air testing results show VOC concentrations far above these state standards. On May 6, for example, the EPA measured VOCs at levels of 483 ppb. The highest levels detected to date were on April 30, at 3,084 ppb, following by May 2, at 3,416 ppb.

Ed Jewett
05-17-2010, 06:42 PM
http://oilspill.labucketbrigade.org/

Interactive Incident Tracking Map


If you are experiencing health effects related to the oil spill, contact the Louisiana Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222. The Poison Center is staffed 24-hours a day and can provide medical management advice.

Ed Jewett
05-17-2010, 06:54 PM
Gulf Oil Spill May Reach North Carolina Islands, Miami Beach

By Tom Brown (http://www.insurancejournal.com/feedback/?f=8&a=109847&author=1842&code=author&url=/news/southeast/2010/05/14/109847.htm)
May 14, 2010



Crude from the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill could eventually slosh ashore on Miami Beach or North Carolina's barrier islands, if it connects with a powerful sea current, an oceanographer said Tuesday. Robert Weisberg, a physical oceanographer at the University of South Florida, told a conference call the so-called Loop Current that sweeps around the Gulf was poised to connect with the spreading oil slick.
Once "entrainment'' occurs, he said, the oil would be pulled quickly south along Florida's Gulf coast and out into the Florida Straits, between the United States and Cuba.
"Exactly when the oil will enter the Loop Current at the surface is unknown but it appears to be imminent,'' Weisberg said, referring to the prevailing current in the Gulf.
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"It could be days or it could be longer but it looks like it's going to happen, and it looks like it's going to happen now sooner than later,'' he said.
However, depending on local winds, Florida's southwest beaches and the Florida Keys, along with coral reefs and the fragile ecosystem of the Everglades, could be spared from the oil slick, Weisberg said.
That is because ocean circulation models show it heading out to sea, past the Dry Tortugas islands, before it is caught up in the Gulf Stream and makes its way up the U.S. East Coast, he said.
"Once it's at the entrance to the Florida Straits it's only another week or so before it could be in the vicinity of Miami or Palm Beach and one more week or so until it could be as far north as Cape Hatteras,'' Weisberg said.
Asked about the possibility of the oil entering the Loop Current, a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the agency had no immediate forecast of this.
"As far as the Florida Loop Current (goes), our predictions go to 72 hours out and right now the predictions are not (for) an effect on Florida at this moment,'' she said.
Weisberg said whether or not the oil got into shallow water on its possible ocean journey would be totally dependent on winds.
"Whether or not the oil makes landfall anywhere will depend on what the winds are doing at that particular point in time ... It's likely that there could be oil on the beaches in Miami but we really can't say for sure right now.''
(Editing by Pascal Fletcher)
Copyright 2010 Reuters.

Read more: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2010/05/14/109847.htm#ixzz0oDLeAlgO

Ed Jewett
05-17-2010, 07:06 PM
Socialist Party USA: BP Oil Spill a Crime not a Disaster

May 16th, 2010 7 Comments (http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/05/socialist-party-usa-bp-oil-spill-a-crime-not-a-disaster/#comments)

by the Socialist Party USA National Action Committee- May 9, 2010
Language matters, especially at times of crisis. The explosion on BPs Deepwater Horizon rig that released hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has been called a disaster by many. It isnt a disaster. It is a crime. Early estimates are that the spill will cost more than $14 billion to clean, will devastate local fisheries for generations and will result in untold damage to all parts of the ecology in the Gulf region. Corporations are the criminals here British Petroleum (BP) and, a company that is no stranger to corporate crime, Halliburton. This massive spill highlights both the need for an immediate transition to clean energy sources and the need to apply democratic controls to inherently criminal multinational corporations.
The clean up of the area must begin immediately, it must be conducted with the consultation and best interest of local fishermen and environmentalists and it must be entirely paid for by BP. In addition, BP should be made to pay into a public fund that would be used for the continued clean up and preservation of the local ecology. Any failure to meet these demands should result in the seizure of the US holdings of BP and its banning from conducting business in this country. Anything less than this should be considered as a betrayal to the best interests of residents of region and the broader international community.
This massive oil spill demonstrates the urgent need to transition to clean renewable energy forms. Such a transition will not likely take place inside of a capitalist system where short-term profiteering dominates the allocation of capital funds. BP has fought the federal government on safety procedures that might have minimized the impact of the most recent spill for more than a decade. CEOs do not get bonuses based upon ensuring future generations access to resources, clean air, or a hospitable climate. The purpose of corporations is not to oversee the welfare of the people of the world, but to make money. Environmental damage is not factored into the corporate calculations of costs and profits. Instead, environmental damage is viewed as the collateral damage of the free market in operation.
Not surprisingly, BP had a partner in this crime Halliburton. Fresh off their stint bilking US taxpayers during the war in Iraq, the company was contracted by BP to cement the drill, oil well and pipe into the ocean floor. The Los Angeles Times reports that this task was completed a mere 20 hours before the well exploded. Not surprisingly, Halliburton has also been accused of being responsible for another oil spill in the Timor Sea last August after completing a similar cementing job. Here was see the logic of capitalism in full display. BP wants to take the cheapest bid for the job and Halliburton wants to pocket the most money with the least costs. All with no mind paid to the environment, local fishermen, or the future of the planet.
Meanwhile, politicians from the Democratic and Republican parties serve as willing accomplices to the corporations. In 2008, the McCain/Palin ticket was run on the suicidal slogan of Drill Baby Drill! The campaign of now President Barack Obama softly dismissed these claims, but once in office, designed a plan to allow oil exploration off the coastline of North America. The current spill exposes the bankruptcy of Obamas drilling plan and the futility of his cap-and-trade market based proposals to address carbon emissions. Corporations will continue to pollute the environment as long as they have political partners who will allow them to evade the desires of the vast majority of people in this country for clean energy and a safe environment.
The Socialist Party USA offers a clear eco-socialist alternative to the proposals of the two parties. By establishing a system of public ownership and democratic control over our natural resources, we will ensure that corporations are prevented from exploiting and spoiling our environment. By creating strong enforceable laws regarding endangered species that focus on habitat-centered protection, we propose to begin repairing the damage done by capitalist production. Finally, we intend to bring the United States back into line with the world by signing on to international environmental treaties and participating and supporting grassroots environmental justice efforts. In short, our goal is to create a cleaner, more democratic future where environmental preservation, instead of profit motive, becomes a primary part of economic decision-making.
Capitalist profit-motive will be the death of our planet. Democratic socialism, operating on an international basis, can save our fragile ecosystem and our health by defending the rights of future generations to clean water, clean air and a democratically run society.


http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2010/05/socialist-party-usa-bp-oil-spill-a-crime-not-a-disaster/

Magda Hassan
05-18-2010, 02:32 AM
It is true. It is a crime and this event need to be described in these words. It is after all only the truth. And as stated in your earlier post it is not a spill. I spill my drink sometimes and I clean it with a quick wipe down of the table/floor etc. It is a hemorrhage, a disaster, a catastrophe and a crime.

Ed Jewett
05-18-2010, 03:38 AM
Monday, May 17, 2010

Gulf Oil Being Pulled into Loop Current (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/gulf-oil-is-now-being-pulled-into-loop.html)



The oil is now being pulled into the loop current.
As AP notes (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/17/oil-spill-florida-keys-sc_n_578318.html):

On Sunday, researchers said computer models show oil has already entered the loop current that could carry the toxic goo toward the Keys, the third-longest barrier reef in the world.
This is shown in the following image from the University of Wisconsin and NASA:

http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/2010/may17.jpg
Figure 1. Satellite image of the oil spill taken at 12:40 EDT Monday May 17, 2010. The location of the Loop Current is superimposed. Image credit: University of Wisconsin (http://ge.ssec.wisc.edu/modis-today/) and NASA
University of Florida's Ocean Circulation Group (http://ocgweb.marine.usf.edu/) provides the following projections (http://ocg6.marine.usf.edu/%7Eliu/Drifters/latest_roms.htm):
http://img179.imageshack.us/img179/4924/roms10552345.png (http://img179.imageshack.us/i/roms10552345.png/)

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/474/roms90686993.png (http://img37.imageshack.us/i/roms90686993.png/)
http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5002/roms170732998.png (http://img189.imageshack.us/i/roms170732998.png/)

http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/940/roms250816551.png (http://img168.imageshack.us/i/roms250816551.png/)

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/9074/roms330873061.png (http://img40.imageshack.us/i/roms330873061.png/)

For background on the loop current and the oil spill, see this (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/oil-spill-how-bad.html).

Ed Jewett
05-18-2010, 05:57 PM
Washington-Industry Complicity in the Gulf Disaster

by Stephen Lendman / May 18th, 2010
Its common practice in America. A government-Wall Street cabal caused the financial crisis and subsequent fallout. Now debated financial reform is a stealth scheme to let bankers self-regulate. Rogue Democrats rammed through health reform to ration care and enrich corporate providers. Defense, technology, and related firms profit hugely from permanent wars, and a regulatory-free Washington energy industry alliance lies at the root of the Gulf disaster, by far Americas greatest ever environmental calamity, worsening daily with no fail-safe, or perhaps any, way to stop it.
Its too big even for the major media to ignore; to wit, on May 15, New York Times writer Justin Gillis headlined (http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/washington-industry-complicity-in-the-gulf-disaster/www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html), Giant Plumes of Oil Found Forming Under the Gulf of Mexico, saying:
Alarming reports show Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery shows that BP and the Obama administration lied about the incidents severity, and theyre still lying.
According to University of Georgia researcher Samantha Joye, Theres a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to whats visible on the surface, the tip of a big and growing iceberg, this one containing oil. Theres a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.
Worse still, its depleting Gulf oxygen, prompting fears about killing sea life in the effected areas and permanently destroying the livelihood of area fisherman who supply 20% of the nations supply.
Already since April 20, oxygen levels are down 30%, a pace that if maintained could draw (it) down to very low levels that are dangerous to animals in a couple of months. This is alarming.
Even the Times admits the daily flow may be as high as 80,000 barrels (3.4 million gallons or the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez spill around every three days). Yet the Obama administration and BP still claim only 5,000 barrels a day, and company officials wont let scientists use sophisticated instruments to measure the output more accurately on the ocean floor. Clearly they have something to hide, but theres no way to suppress the growing ecological devastation once clear evidence substantiates it.
The National Institute for Undersea Science head, Ray Highsmith, worries that rapid oxygen depletion may create huge dead zones, especially on the seafloor. He called this:
a new type event, and its critically important that we really understand it, because of the incredible number of oil platforms not only in the Gulf of Mexico but all over the world now. We need to know what these events are like, what their outcomes can be, and what can be done to deal with the (inevitable) next one.
Despite industry and administration denials, these type events are foreseeable, often preventable, or at least their severity under proper regulatory scrutiny, whats not in place nor in prospect with enough teeth to matter. The Interior Departments Mineral Management Service (MMS) long ago left industry giants free to pollute and spill, at most assessing occasional pocket change fines.
In the weeks preceding the Gulf incident, numerous red flags were apparent but ignored. On May 10, Science Insider writer Richard Kerr headlined, Gulf Spill: Did Pesky Hydrates Trigger the Blowout? saying:
Methane-trapping ice of the kind that has frustrated the first attempt to contain (the spill) may have been the root cause of the blowout according to University of California Berkeley Professor Robert Bea (head of the schools Center for Catastrophic Risk Management), who has extensive access to BP plc documents on the incident. (If so), the US oil and gas industry would have to tread even more lightly in its offshore search for energy.
With 55 years experience assessing risks, Bea said there was concern at this location for gas hydrates. Were out to the (water depth) where it ought to be there. The deeper the water, the greater the pressure, and according to Bea, gas hydrates likely contaminated the cement encasing the well.
Halliburton knew the risk that let natural gas shoot up a riser pipe and explode, but claimed a new chemical cement would be resistant to methane hydrate-caused damage. Bea, however, believes it was tainted with the same slushy gas hydrate that scuttled BPs plan to contain the spill with a giant dome and may frustrate other attempted solutions, no matter what company officials claim.
He explained the chemicals used likely emitted enough heat to thaw gases from their methane hydrate form that shot them up the bore and riser. Concrete well plugs should have blocked them, but the final one wasnt installed.
The explosion followed a seawater geyser shooting 240 feet in the air, then a second eruption of mud, gas and water. Its gas component ignited, and afterwards a firestorm, uncontainable because the blowout preventer failed.
On May 14, John Byrnes Raw Story article (http://rawstory.com/rs/2010/0514/76111/) titled, Oil spill could go on for years, experts say cites a worst case scenario from two of them. According to Matthew Simmons, retired investment bank Simmons & Company chairman, specializing in the entire spectrum of the energy industry, BP and US military engineers have no idea how to stop the flow, calling efforts to plug it a joke.
Incoming American Association of Petroleum Geologists head David Resink addressed the enormity of the spill, saying:
Youre talking about a reservoir that could have tens of millions of barrels in it. At the current spill rate, it would take years to deplete, and already appears ten times or more greater than earlier reports, now compounded by the administration leaving BP in charge of cleanup efforts with no oversight of its work.
Earlier the company was exempted from an environmental impact study and spill contingency plan, both of which contributed to the growing disaster. Now with a real emergency, untested blowout preventers are still used, and no new regulations are expected or enforcement of existing ones, despite hundreds of operating Gulf rigs (some in deeper waters than Deepwater Horizon), any of which might leak, perhaps explode, and release more contamination.
In addition, none have remote-control shut-off switches, an acoustic device that operates automatically to prevent small problems from becoming greater, and the administration keeps granting categorical exclusions (27 in total), exempting Big Oil from environmental impact studies.
The Center for Biological Diversitys Kieran Suckling called it inconceivable that MMS (regulators, aware of the worst environmental disaster in US history, could) then rubber stamp new BP drilling permits based on (its) patently false statements that an oil spill cannot occur and would not be dangerous if it did.
On May 15, Skytruth.org reported that the COSMO-SkyMed radar image taken yesterday is somewhat ominous, showing a 4,922 square mile slick, much larger than two days earlier, and thats only whats visible on the surface. And we think weve discovered an unrelated leak from a nearby platform that was installed back in 1984. A small, dark slick appears next to this platform on radar satellite images from April 26, May 8, and May 13? plus the latest one. Its not major but shows a chronic unaddressed problem. In this case, one that needs to be checked to assure it doesnt worsen.
On May 11, Public Citizens Tyson Slocum, Director of its Energy Program, called on Congress to enact reforms, specifically HR 5214: Big Oil Prevention Act of 2010 To require oil polluters to pay the full cost of oil spills, and for other purposes. It would increase their liability from a meaningless $75 million to $10 billion, but, in fact, should legislate no limit in other words, Your Spill, Your Bill, the entire cost with no government bailouts.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R. Alaska), introduced S. 3309, making consumers liable for a like amount through an 8-cent per barrel tax on domestic oil and 9 cents for imported.
New regulations are vitally needed to require tested blowout preventers, shut-off switches, MMS enforcement instead of rubber-stamping industry demands, or perhaps shifting its responsibility to the EPA, OCHA, or a new body, independent of industry officials and their dominance a tall order, but anything less assures new disasters compounding old ones.
More still in the way of huge fines, denials of new leases, making misconduct this grave a criminal offense, banning new drilling until all new measures are in place and enforced, and prohibiting all new offshore drilling, leasing, and permitting, especially in deep water because of the unacceptable risks, now apparent.
Slocum adds that we should be aggressively developing forms of renewable energy, the obvious solution not taken, but its the only way to reduce the chances of a repeat of this nightmarish disaster that gets worse by the day, with no end of it in sight no matter what BP claims or does. Its an inveterate liar and cant be believed.
As for its claiming a successful tube insertion drawing oil to a surface ship, some healthy skepticism is in order. Most likely, its a PR stunt, not a solution to halt most oil from spilling, spreading, and contaminating because no ones sure how to stop it.
Slocum also urges car owners to boycott BP (http://www.citizen.org/boycott-bp) for at least three months.
It says, Send a clear message to BP by boycotting its gas and retail store products. Dont spend a cent of your hard-earned money to feed the bottom line of a corporation that has a sordid history of negligence, willfully violates environment regulations, and is spewing thousands and thousands of barrels of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, that may cause permanent widespread contamination and an end to the way of life for thousands area residents.
Chemical Dispersants: Solving or Compounding the Disaster?
Environment scientists fear using them poses more risks than solutions, and according to the EPA:
Dispersants have not been used extensively in the United States because of possible long term environment effects, difficulties with timely and effective application, disagreement among scientists and research data about their environmental effects, effectiveness, and toxicity concerns.
Its why Defenders of Wildlife Richard Charter (a marine biology expert) says using them is a giant experiment (because their) chemical toxicity (in) many ways is worse than oil.
BP is using two Corexit dispersants, not rated effective or safe for marine life, yet EPA approved them, risking far greater ecological damage.
For competitive reasons, Corexit wont disclose whats in them, but a worker safety sheet for one says it includes 2-butoxyethanol, associated with headaches, vomiting and reproductive problems at high doses.
Mixtures of solvents, surfactants and other additives, they work by breaking up an oil slicks surface tension to make it more water soluble, according to the National Academy of Sciences. But once dispersed, they generally sink or stay suspended in deep water, while treated oil can collect on the seafloor where shellfish and other organisms feed, in turn become food for other sea life, then humans.
What fish and animals eat, we do, including all toxins they ingest. Its why the National Academy of Sciences warns about insufficient understanding of the fate (and effects) of dispersed oil in aquatic ecosystems, whatever the benefits like preventing less of it contaminating coastlines.
Because of the spills size over a vast area, BP has available around one-third of the worlds dispersant supply, so imagine the amount toxicity to be unleashed, with its clear risks to sea life and humans. Former University of Alaska marine conservation professor Richard Steiner and other experts wonder how much the public is being deceived by coverup and denial. The combination of oil and dispersant toxins will kill millions of organisms they contaminate, what Richard Charter explains saying:
You are trying to mitigate the volume of the spill with dispersant, but the price you pay is increased toxicity, or, in fact, making a horrific disaster worse.
Dispersants also endanger coral reefs, several within reach of the spill, including Flower Bank Gardens 75-115 miles off Louisiana and Texas, and Florida Middle Grounds off the Florida panhandle with their rich diversity of marine life.
As for BP and the Obama administration, dispersant use is all gain and little pain, the idea being to break up as much oil as possible, let it sink, be out of sight and declare success, when, in fact, we may end up with a far greater catastrophe thats our problem, not theirs. Thats how a business-government cabal works, stealing our wealth, civil liberties, and health for profit and dominance while claiming theyre on our side.
A Final Comment
On April 30, Defenders of Wildlife Richard Charter issued the following statement, along with DWs executive VP Jamie Rappaport Clark, hoping the Gulf disaster is a wake up call to halt dangerous drilling and protect the environment.
In a catastrophe that imperils the entire Gulf Coast (and perhaps beyond), offshore oil drilling has again proven to be unreliable and unsafe. As officials gamble with untested means to stop the flow, oil continues to gush into the Gulf and move towards our beaches, coastal communities, wildlife habitat and fisheries. Wildlife refuges and estuaries in Louisiana, Mississippi, (Alabama), and possibly the coast of Florida, along with thousands of migrating birds, sea turtles, whales and dolphins, river otters and many other species lie potentially in the path of the spill. The extent of the environmental and economic impacts of the spill have yet to be seen, but clearly raise grave concerns for any expansion of drilling off of our coasts in the future.
DW also said since 2006, Gulf rigs have experienced 509 fires, including nine major ones that killed at least two people and seriously injured another dozen, according to the Minerals Management Services. With this type record and the current disaster, tolerating operations this hazardous endanger the environment, humanity, and all planetary life. If thats not reason enough to stop them, what is?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. Contact him at: lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site (http://www.sjlendman.blogspot.com/) and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM-1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening. Read other articles by Stephen (http://dissidentvoice.org/author/StephenLendman/).
This article was posted on Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 at 8:00am and is filed under Boycott (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/boycotts/), Environment (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/environment/), Obituary (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/obituary/), Oil, Gas, Pipelines (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/oil/).

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/washington-industry-complicity-in-the-gulf-disaster/#more-17260

Ed Jewett
05-18-2010, 07:49 PM
Scientists Worry About Oil Reaching Fla. Keys
(1:18)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7fot3q3bGY...player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7fot3q3bGY&feature=player_embedded)




Yesterday Coast Guard personnel discovered two dozen tarballs on Key West shores. Theyre in the process of testing them to see if they came from the Gulf of Mexicos growing oil disaster.

If so, it could determine the oil has been in the gulfs loop current for at least the last several days. Scientists have feared that once the oil gets into the loop current that it could gravely damage South Floridas coral reefs and wildlife.

Over the last few weeks Scientists had warned that the oil would eventually move into the loop current but could not give a specific date as to when it would happen.

The tarballs were found at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park during the day. According to the Coast Guard the tarballs range in size from about 3 to 8 inches long and have been sent to lab to be tested.

http://ncoal.com/blog/?p=2510




An over 7,000-square-mile wildlife "dead zone" located in the center of the Gulf of Mexico has grown from being a curiosity to a colossus over the past two decades, according to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and scientists are now concerned the recent oil spill and other emerging chemical threats could widen the zone even further.

The NWF describes the dead zone as being "the largest on record in the hemisphere in coastal waters and one of the biggest in the world."
During the summer months, it is nearly devoid of wildlife, save for the dead bodies of crabs, shrimp and other marine species that succumb to oxygen depletion in the polluted water.

Animal toxicology experts believe the Gulf dead zone is a man-made monstrosity.

"Outside of widespread impacts from oil release, the drainage of the Mississippi River into the Central Gulf has deposited massive amounts of agricultural chemicals and fertilizers from agricultural activities in the Central United States," Ron Kendall, director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health, told Discovery News.

"Basically, this has created the large dead zone in the Central Gulf," added Kendall, who is chairman of Texas Tech's Department of Environmental Toxicology and was part of the assessment team for the Exxon Valdez.

http://news.discovery.com/animals/gulf-dea...-oil-spill.html (http://news.discovery.com/animals/gulf-dead-zone-oil-spill.html)




As oil spill approaches, dead animals wash up in Mississippi
By The Associated Press
May 02, 2010, 3:55PM
http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press...ississippi.html (http://blog.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2010/05/as_oil_spill_approaches_dead_animals_wash_up_in_mi ssissippi.html)

Ed Jewett
05-18-2010, 07:51 PM
Is it Gaia's revenge, a "false flag" attack, corporate malfeasance?

Or just an unmitigated disaster?


:banghead:



Day 26?.... unmitigated.

But we'll have a commission...

:banghead:

Ed Jewett
05-18-2010, 08:39 PM
"... since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20th, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/07/93761/despite-spill-feds-still-giving.html#ixzz0nHntbqDm) from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. And a whistleblower who survived the Gulf oil explosion claims (http://www.antemedius.com/content/whistleblower-sues-stop-another-bp-rig-operating) in a lawsuit filed today that BP's operations at another oil platform risk another catastrophic accident that could "dwarf" the Gulf oil spill, partly because BP never even reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation.

Indeed, the industry and government spokespeople have used the exact same word as each crisis - financial and environmental - unfolded. They said the problem was "contained".

In both cases, we the people are left holding the bag because the giant companies and their campaign-contribution-buddies in DC are trying to sweep the severity of the problem under the rug, to manage the crisis as p.r. campaigns to protect those who let it happen ... instead of actually taking steps necessary to solve the problems, and to make sure they won't happen again."

An excerpt from

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Responses to the Gulf Oil Spill and to the Financial Crisis Are Remarkably Similar ... And Have Made Both Crises Much Worse (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/responses-to-gulf-oil-spill-and-to.html)

Ed Jewett
05-19-2010, 03:50 AM
Katz Fired From Oil-Spill Team Due to Controversial Writings

By Katarzyna Klimasinska and Jessica Resnick-Ault




May 18 (Bloomberg) -- Jonathan I. Katz (http://wuphys.wustl.edu/%7Ekatz/), a physics professor at Washington University (http://www.wustl.edu/) in St. Louis., said he was fired from the team of scientists chosen by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Steven%0AChu&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) to help BP Plc (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/quote?ticker=BP%5C%3ALN) control the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Some of Professor Katzs controversial writings have become a distraction from the critical work of addressing the oil spill, Stephanie Mueller (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Stephanie+Mueller&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1), a spokeswoman for the Energy Department, said in an e-mail today. Professor Katz will no longer be involved in the departments efforts.
Chu brought Katz to Houston last week along with four other experts, Richard L. Garwin (http://www.fas.org/rlg/), a physicist and IBM Fellow Emeritus, George Cooper (http://www.ce.berkeley.edu/faculty/faculty_pubs.php?name=Cooper), a civil-engineering professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Alexander Slocum (http://meche.mit.edu/people/faculty/index.html?id=80), a professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and Tom Hunter (http://www.sandia.gov/about/welcome/hunter-bio08-5260523.pdf), president of Sandia Corp., which manages research for the Energy Departments National Nuclear Security Administration.
While Katzs early work focused on astrophysics, he now consults on a variety of physics puzzles, he said. Katz wrote articles on his personal website (http://wuphys.wustl.edu/%7Ekatz/), including, What Is Political Correctness, In Defense of Homophobia and Why Terrorism Is Important.
I dont self-censor myself, Katz, 59, said in a phone interview today. Theres no doubt there are things on my webpage thatve been there for many years that are fairly controversial.
He was fired from the panel this morning, he said. He declined to specify which articles triggered the dismissal.



To contact the reporters on this story: Katarzyna Klimasinska (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Katarzyna+Klimasinska&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) in Houston at kklimasinska@bloomberg.net; Jessica Resnick-Ault (http://search.bloomberg.com/search?q=Jessica+Resnick-Ault&site=wnews&client=wnews&proxystylesheet=wnews&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&filter=p&getfields=wnnis&sort=date:D:S:d1) in New York at jresnickault@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: May 18, 2010 12:09 EDT

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aJA4QI8nwGAk&pos=9

Ed Jewett
05-19-2010, 04:48 AM
DMITRY ORLOV: AN AMERICAN CHERNOBYL http://carolynbaker.net/site/images/M_images/pdf_button.png (http://carolynbaker.net/site/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=1639) http://carolynbaker.net/site/images/M_images/printButton.png (http://carolynbaker.net/site/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1639&pop=1&page=0&Itemid=1) http://carolynbaker.net/site/images/M_images/emailButton.png (http://carolynbaker.net/site/index2.php?option=com_content&task=emailform&id=1639&itemid=1) Thursday, 06 May 2010 http://carolynbaker.net/site/images//gulf%20oil%20rig%20on%20fire.jpgReprinted from ENERGY BULLETIN (http://www.energybulletin.net/node/52716) The drawing of parallels between industrial accidents is a dubious armchair sport, but here the parallels are just piling up and are becoming too hard to ignore:


An explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986 spewed radioactive waste across Europe



A recent explosion and sinking of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform is spewing heavy oil into the Gulf of Mexico

These accidents were both quite spectacular. At Chernobyl, the force of the explosion, caused by superheated steam inside the reactor, tossed the 2500-tonne reactor lid 10-14 meters into the air where it twirled like a tossed penny and came to rest back on the wrecked reactor. The cloud of superheated vapor then separated into a large volume of hydrogen gas, which detonated, demolishing the reactor building and adjoining structures. At Deepwater Horizon, a blowout of a recently completed oil well sent an uncontrolled burst of oil and gas, pressurized to over 10,000 psi by the 25000-foot depth of the well, up to the drilling platform, where it detonated, causing a fire. The rig then sank, and came to rest in a heap of wreckage on top of the oil well, which continues to spew at least 200,000 gallons of oil a day. Left unchecked, this would amount to 1.7 million barrels of oil per year, for an indefinite duration. This amount of oil may be enough to kill off or contaminate all marine life within the Gulf of Mexico, to foul the coastline throughout the Gulf and, thanks to the Gulf Stream, through much of the Eastern Seaboard, at least to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina and possibly beyond. A few tarballs will probably wash up as far north as Greenland.



The Chernobyl disaster was caused more or less directly by political appointeesm: the people in charge of the reactor control room had no background in nuclear reactor operations or nuclear chemistry, having got their jobs through the Communist Party. They attempted a dangerous experiment, executed it incompetently, and the result was an explosion and a meltdown. The Deepwater Horizon disaster will perhaps be found to have similar causes. BP, the owner of Deepwater Horizon, is chaired by one Carl-Henric Svanberga man with no experience in the oil industry. The people who serve on the boards of directors of large companies tend to see management as a sort of free-floating skill, unrelated to any specific field or industry, rather similarly to how the Soviet Communist party thought of and tried to use the talents of its cadres. Allegations are already circulating that BP drilled to a depth of 25000 feet while being licensed to drill up to 18000 feet, that safety reviews of technical documents had been bypassed, and that key pieces of safety equipment were not installed in order to contain costs. It will be interesting to see whether the Deepwater Horizon disaster, like the Chernobyl disaster before it, turns out to be the direct result of management decisions made by technical incompetents.



More importantly, the two disasters are analogous in the unprecedented technical, administrative, and political challenges posed by their remediation. In the case of Chernobyl, the technical difficulty stemmed from the need to handle high level radioactive waste. Chunks of nuclear reactor fuel lay scattered around the ruin of the reactor building, and workers who picked them up using shovels and placed them in barrels received a lethal radiation dose in just minutes. To douse the fire still burning within the molten reactor core, bags of sand and boron were dropped into it from helicopters, with lethal consequences for the crews. Eventually, a concrete sarcophagus was constructed around the demolished reactor, sealing it off from the environment. In the case of Deepwater Horizon, the technical difficulty lies with stemming a high-pressure flow of oil, most likely mixed with natural gas, gushing from within the burned, tangled wreck of the drilling platform at a depth of 5000 feet. An effort is currently underway to seal the leak by lowering a 100-ton concrete-and-steel "contraption" onto it from a floating crane and using it to capture and pump out the oil as it leaks out. I think "sarcophagus" sounds better.



The administrative challenge, in the case of Chernobyl, lay in evacuating and resettling large urban and rural populations from areas that were contaminated by the radiation, in preventing contaminated food products from being sold, and in dealing with the medical consequences of the accident, which includes a high incidence of cancer, childhood leukemia and birth defects. The effect of the massive oil spill from Deepwater Horizon is likely to cause massive dislocation within coastal communities, depriving them of their livelihoods from fishing, tourism and recreation. Unless the official efforts to aid this population are uncharacteristically prompt and thorough, their problems will bleed into and poison politics.



The political challenges, in both cases, centered on the inability of the political establishment to acquiesce to the fact that a key source of energy (nuclear power or deep-water oil) relied on technology that was unsafe and prone to catastrophic failure. The Chernobyl disaster caused irreparable damage to the reputation of the nuclear industry and foreclosed any further developments in this area. The Deepwater Horizon disaster is likely to do the same for the oil industry, curtailing any possible expansion of drilling in deep water, where much of the remaining oil is to be found, and perhaps even shutting down the projects that have already started. In turn, this is likely to hasten the onset of the terminal global oil shortage, which the US Department of Energy and the Pentagon have forecast for 2012.



Translate "industrial accident" into Russian and back into English, and what you get is "technogenic catastrophe". This term got a lot of use after the Chernobyl disaster. It is rather more descriptive then the rather flaccid English phrase, and it puts the blame where it ultimately comes to rest in any case: with the technology, and the technologists and politicians who push it. Technology that can and sometimes does fail catastrophically, causing unacceptable levels of environmental devastation, is no good, regardless of how economically necessary it happens to be. It must be shut down. In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, we are already hearing that expansion of deep-water drilling is "dead on arrival". This could be the beginning of the end for the huge but dying beast that is the petrochemical industry, or more such accidents may be required for the realization finally to sink in and the cry of "Shut it down!" to be heard.
The energy industry has run out of convenient, high-quality resources to exploit, and is now forced to turn to resources it previously passed over: poor, dirty, difficult, expensive resources such as tar sands, heavy oil, shale, and deep offshore. Under relentless pressure to do more with less, people are likely to try to cut corners wherever possible, and environmental safety is likely to suffer. Before it finally crashes, the huge final effort to wring the last few drops of energy out of a depleted planet will continue to serve up bigger and bigger disasters. Perhaps the gruesome aftermath of this latest accident will cause enough people to proclaim "Enough! Shut it all down!" But if not, there is always the next one.



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Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 May 2010 )

Ed Jewett
05-19-2010, 05:00 AM
Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17 2010: Katie Bar The Door (http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/05/may-17-2010-katie-bar-door.html)


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9ZzZquaXrR8/S_G9G4h_lUI/AAAAAAAAF5w/QmtJxPnAR4k/s640/OldOrchardPhotographer1904.jpg (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9ZzZquaXrR8/S_G9G4h_lUI/AAAAAAAAF5w/QmtJxPnAR4k/s1600/OldOrchardPhotographer1904.jpg)
Detroit Publishing Co. Say Cheese 1904
"Photographer at Old Orchard House, Old Orchard, Maine"


Ilargi: Some things are more equal than others. Always have been. Just maybe not always the same things. Which makes me think of Marie-Antoinette fleeing the cake-eaters in her stagecoach. It also makes me think of this:

If this well keeps leaking for three or four months, it's Katie bar the door (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/16/AR2010051603254_pf.html)

[Stuart] Smith, [a lawyer in New Orleans, who's suing BP] on behalf of fishermen, the Louisiana Environmental Action Network and four large hotels, alleges that BP and others were "grossly negligent" in allowing the blowout to occur. [..] Because the spill has been lingering offshore, the plaintiffs who can claim damages so far are mostly out-of-work fishermen and tourist resorts that are getting cancellations. As rich as BP is, "if this well keeps leaking for three or four months, it's Katie bar the door," Smith said. "I don't think they have enough money."
BP has been shown off late to be a crummy crappy sort of organization, which -with the full faith and credit of the UK and US government- has cut all corners it could find, and then made some more to cut. And now BP has been exposed, and people like Mr. Smith are dead-set to make BP pay, while the company itself is frantically trying to mitigaste its losses through lawyers it couldn't even really afford anymore if it were to pay full damages to all parties.

Which in turn makes my warped brain wonder what the difference is between BP and, say, Goldman Sachs. Environmental disaster, financial disaster, whats the difference? Is it just that the latter is harder to prove? I dont know, for one thing youd think the reward, hence the incentive, would be greater too. Yes, BP has destroyed the livelihood of fishermen and "hospitality workers". So they should be sued for that. But the Wall Street cabal has destroyed the entire economies of entire countries, as well as countless building blocks that formed the foundation of these economies. Towns, pension funds, you name it. No matter how bad Deepwater Horizon will turn out to be, the Vampire Squid disaster will be many times worse, even if it takes longer for it to trickle down to people's conscious brains.

So why is no-one, 2-3 years after the economy started collapsing, suing the Squid? Why does it instead receive ever more funds from the very people it financially strangled? Isn't that the oddest thing, if you think about it? Of course, the fact that there's trillions of public funds now stashed away in Wall Street firms, without which they'd no longer exist, complicates the matter enormously. As a lawyer, you could potentially win huge settlements for your clients, but theyd sort of end up paying for them out of their own pockets.

We've been through California, which elects to let its poor rot so it can continue to support its rich. New York State intends to lay off -another- 10,000 employees. Illinois owes billions it doesn't have. Idaho delays Medicaid payments. All these sudden bursts of creativity, what a spectacle it is. Harrisburg, PA Controller Dan Miller advises the city to declare bankruptcy. I would advise an additional 10,000 US cities to do the same. At least when youre first in line, you may get some help. This time next year there'll be a long waiting list. That is, unless Obama et al figure out another mirror trick, and saw the lady in half yet one more time. But I wouldn't be stoo ure the lady hasn't gotten tired of that act yet.

Those 10,000 US cities, and all the counties and states they find themselves in, are -all but a precious few- at the end of their financial rope. All but a few have voted in ridiculously rosy budgets, and now they see their revenues tank. Some will install sneaky speed traps to increase revenues, others will try to raise property taxes on homes plunging in value. All will fail to restore a sound budget. Millions of government workers will be laid off nationwide, which all by itself guarantees further declines in revenue. Which will lead to more lay-offs, all of which will lead to further drops in real estate prices, which lowers tax revenues etc. You have to admit one thing: it's not a terribly hard storyline to follow. It couldn't be easier if you had seen this film before.

Obama's mortgage modification programs are slumping along, getting more tragically laughable as they go forward. All they are and ever were is a backdoor to transfer money to banks. The rate at which they've helped any real persons is too low to speak of. And of course those things could never have worked. You have one arm of government spending citizens' funds to prop up home prices, and another arm trying to firmly lock those same citizens into loans at those artificially elevated levels, and yet another shifting the bad loans from private lenders to the "public domain". It may all rinse, but it will soon no longer repeat.

The US Treasury announces a $1.6 billion loss on a loan to Chrysler, GM announces an $865 million creative accounting profit because it wants investors (wholl be sure taxpayers' dough will support them all), and Obama announces a commission that will investigate how the Gulf of Mexico became one huge dead zone.

The President should have a commission investigate how the whole country became one. A financial dead zone.

Instead he insists it just aint so. Yeah, thats right, just like BP does.

Limitless oil and limitless credit are but different manifestations of what makes systems work, and eventually, inevitably, kills them.

Katie bar the door indeed.

Ed Jewett
05-19-2010, 03:22 PM
UPDATE 1-Florida Keys tar balls are not from BP oil spill

9:09am EDT
(Adds details, quotes)
MIAMI, May 19 (Reuters) - Tar balls found on beaches in the Florida Keys this week are not from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill leaking from a well owned by BP <BP.L>, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday, citing laboratory tests.
The news came as a temporary relief to Florida's tourism authorities, who are already reporting negative market impact from the month-long spillage from BP's leaking undersea well, the source of a huge slick that has already dumped oil debris ashore on the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
The source of the tar balls has not been determined, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
Coast Guard personnel and pollution experts had found around 50 tar balls in recent days in Florida's Lower Keys, a mecca for divers, snorkelers, fishermen and beach goers. They had sent them to a specialist laboratory to test whether or not they came from the Gulf of Mexico spill.
"The results of those tests conclusively show that the tar balls collected from Florida Keys beaches do not match the type of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The source of the tar balls remains unknown at this time," the Coast Guard said in a statement.
But it remained on the alert for oil contamination.
"The conclusion that these tar balls are not from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident in no way diminishes the need to continue to aggressively identify and clean up tar ball-contaminated areas in the Florida Keys," said Captain Pat DeQuattro, commanding officer of Sector Key West.
Despite the laboratory result, Florida Keys authorities are still preparing for possible impact from the Gulf spill as many forecasters see some oil from it being sucked by a powerful ocean flow, the Loop Current, around the Florida Keys and perhaps even up to Miami beaches. (Reporting by Pascal Fletcher and Jane Sutton; Editing by Doina Chiacu)



http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1922167720100519?type=marketsNews

Peter Lemkin
05-19-2010, 05:39 PM
Is it Gaia's revenge, a "false flag" attack, corporate malfeasance?

Or just an unmitigated disaster?


:banghead:



Day 26?.... unmitigated.

But we'll have a commission...

:banghead:

BP keeps assuring everyone they are getting it under control and now [according to them] have about 1/3 of the leak being pumped [somehow] out of harms way. Meanwhile, satellite photos and undersea cameras show the leak is [and was] much larger than admitted and it seems a new break in the pipe has occurred....follows the usual pattern of Corporatespeak v. Truth Stay tuned as the Gulf dies!!! Oh, and the 75 mil cap on reparations still stands......that will cover a few % - no more...maybe only 1%. Who Runs America?...and the World.....:afraid:

Tar balls will be in NYC shortly....no problem...:bird::bandit:

Shrimp gumbo [while it still lasts....i.e. there are still shrimps] in N.O. will now be black in color.....due to the slick [oil slick and slick corporate capitalists at BP and in political positions behind them all the way up to the top!] Enjoy!:pepsi:

Ed Jewett
05-19-2010, 06:39 PM
Appearing on PBS Newshour with Gwen Ifill, NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco claims the BP oil disaster is dozens of miles away from the Loop Current, and even if oil does get caught in it, all that would wash up are "very little tarballs". Video here: http://therealnews.com/t2/component/seyret/?task=videodirectlink&id=6262

Peter Lemkin
05-19-2010, 06:44 PM
Appearing on PBS Newshour with Gwen Ifill, NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco claims the BP oil disaster is dozens of miles away from the Loop Current, and even if oil does get caught in it, all that would wash up are "very little tarballs". Video here: http://therealnews.com/t2/component/seyret/?task=videodirectlink&id=6262

"Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true." [paraphrased Buddhist saying]

Ed Jewett
05-19-2010, 09:25 PM
"U.S. State Department spokeswoman Virginia Staab said U.S. diplomats in Havana delivered a note to communist-ruled Cuba's foreign ministry on Wednesday informing it about the oil spill and what was known about the slick's projected movement."

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1921803120100519?type=marketsNews

Ed Jewett
05-19-2010, 09:57 PM
At What Cost? BP Spill Responders Told to Forgo Precautionary Health Measures in Cleanup (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/52385)

Submitted by Chip on Wed, 2010-05-19 17:10

Corporatism and Fascism (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/148)
Energy (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/125)
Environment (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/106)
Healthcare (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/142)
Human Rights (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/145)

At What Cost? BP Spill Responders Told to Forgo Precautionary Health Measures in Cleanup (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/at-what-cost-bp-spill-res_b_578784.html)
By Riki Ott | Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/at-what-cost-bp-spill-res_b_578784.html)
Local fishermen hired to work on BP's uncontrolled oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico are scared and confused. Fishermen here and in other small communities dotting the southern marshes and swamplands of Barataria Bay are getting sick from the working on the cleanup, yet BP is assuring them they don't need respirators or other special protection from the crude oil, strong hydrocarbon vapors, or chemical dispersants being sprayed in massive quantities on the oil slick.
Fishermen have never seen the results from the air-quality monitoring patches some of them wear on their rain gear when they are out booming and skimming the giant oil slick. However, more and more fishermen are suffering from bad headaches, burning eyes, persistent coughs, sore throats, stuffy sinuses, nausea, and dizziness. They are starting to suspect that BP is not telling them the truth.
And based on air monitoring conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a Louisiana coastal community, those workers seem to be correct. The EPA findings (http://www.southernstudies.org/2010/05/air-tests-from-the-louisiana-coast-reveal-human-health-threats-from-the-oil-disaster.html) show that airborne levels of toxic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds like benzene, for instance, now far exceed safety standards for human exposure.
For two weeks, I've been in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama sharing stories from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which devastated the community I lived and commercially fished in, with everyone from fishermen and women to local mayors to state governors and the crush of international media.
During the 1989 cleanup in Alaska, thousands of workers had what Exxon medical doctors called, "the Valdez Crud (http://motherjones.com/politics/2003/03/valdez-crud)," and dismissed as simple colds and flu. Fourteen years later, I followed the trail of sick workers through the maze of court records, congressional records, obituaries, and media stories (http://www.silenceinthesound.com/stories.shtml#LA%20Times), and made hundreds of phone calls. I found a different story. As one former cleanup worker put it, "I thought I had the Valdez Crud in 1989. I didn't think I'd have it for fourteen years." Read more (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/at-what-cost-bp-spill-res_b_578784.html).
0

Ed Jewett
05-20-2010, 04:17 AM
http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/ has excellent coverage and discussion. Rather than re-posting, just go there and scroll down.

Ed Jewett
05-20-2010, 04:35 AM
Heavy oil hits Louisiana shore



(Reuters) - The first heavy oil from a giant Gulf of Mexico spill sloshed ashore in fragile Louisiana marshlands on Wednesday and part of the mess entered a powerful current that could carry it to Florida and beyond.
Green Business (http://www.reuters.com/finance/greenBusiness)
The developments underscored the gravity of the situation as British energy giant BP Plc raced to capture more crude gushing from a ruptured well a mile beneath the surface. The spill is threatening an ecological and economic disaster along the U.S. Gulf Coast and beyond.
"The day that we have all been fearing is upon us today," Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said after a boat tour to the southernmost point of the Mississippi River estuary.
"This wasn't tar balls. This wasn't sheen. This is heavy oil in our wetlands," he told a news conference. "It's already here but we know more is coming."
Officials had previously reported debris in the form of tar balls, or light surface "sheen" coming ashore in outlying parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
The marshes are the nurseries for shrimp, oysters, crabs and fish that make Louisiana the leading producer of commercial seafood in the continental United States and a top destination for recreational anglers. The United States has already imposed a large no-fishing zone in waters in the Gulf seen affected by the spill.
Meanwhile, the U.S. government's top weather forecaster said a small portion of light sheen from the giant oil slick had entered the Loop Current, which could carry the oil down to the Florida Keys, Cuba and even up the U.S. East Coast.
BP, its reputation on the line in an environmental disaster that could eclipse the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, has marked some progress at siphoning some of the oil from the well, which ruptured after an April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers.
BP said it is now siphoning about 3,000 barrels (126,000 gallons/477,000 liters) a day of oil, out of what the company estimated was a 5,000 barrels (210,000 gallons/795,000 liters) a day gusher. The company could begin injecting mud into the well as early as Sunday in a bid to permanently plug the leak.
'NOT ROCKET SCIENCE'
A U.S. congressional panel heard testimony from experts who said the spill rate could be many-fold larger.
"This is not rocket science," said Steve Wereley, associate mechanical engineering professor at Purdue University, who pegged the spill's volume at about 70,000 barrels per day. "All outside estimates are considerably higher than BP's."
BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said on Wednesday its 5,000-barrels-a-day estimate was "highly" uncertain.
BP shares closed down nearly 2 percent in London on Wednesday, extending recent steep losses.
Political fall-out also continues. The U.S. Interior Department said on Wednesday its embattled Minerals Management Service will be broken up into three separate divisions, as part of an effort to restructure the way the department handles offshore energy production.
Top Democrats in the U.S. Senate urged President Barack Obama to order immediate, enhanced inspections of all offshore oil rigs and production platforms.
And another company entered the fray. Schlumberger Ltd, the world's largest oilfield services company, said it had a crew on the Deepwater Horizon that departed only hours before the explosion and fire that engulfed the rig.
The company, which had not previously revealed its work on the Horizon, said in an e-mailed statement it performed wireline services for BP on the rig in March and April, completing the last services on April 15 and leaving a crew on standby in case any more were needed.
Florida's tourism gained a respite when tar balls found on Keys beaches were shown not to come from the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, but officials said the $60 billion-a-year industry was already taking a beating from the month-old spill.
The Coast Guard said laboratory tests had shown that 50 tar balls found this week on the Lower Keys -- a mecca for divers, fishermen and beach goers -- were not from the Gulf spill.
'NOT OUT OF THE WOODS'
Local tourism authorities said damage had already been inflicted by the negative publicity linked to the spill.
"Even if we don't get even a gumball-sized tar ball down here in the next month, there has already been significant perception damage to Florida Keys and Florida tourism," said Andy Newman of the Monroe Tourism Development Council.
"We understand we are not out of the woods yet, that there's more oil out there," he said.
Tar balls have also been found on the Texas coast and were being tested, but a Coast Guard official said it was "highly unlikely those tar balls in Texas are related to this spill."
A Louisiana agency said a Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, an endangered species in the state, had been brought in and cleaned of oil after biologists discovered it off the coast.
The spill has also prompted rare talks between U.S. and Cuban officials in Havana, with forecasters predicting that oil could reach Cuban shores.
Wildlife and environmental groups accused BP of holding back information on the real size and impact of the growing slick, and urged Obama to order a more direct federal government role in the spill response.
In prepared testimony for a congressional committee, National Wildlife Federation President Larry Schweiger said BP had failed to disclose results from its tests of chemical dispersants used on the spill. He also said it had tried to withhold video showing the true magnitude of the leak.
"The federal government should immediately take over all environmental monitoring, testing and public safety protection from BP," he said. "The Gulf of Mexico is a crime scene and the perpetrator cannot be left in charge of assessing the damage."
The spill has forced Obama to put a hold on plans to expand offshore oil drilling and has raised concerns about planned oil operations in other areas like the Arctic.


There is also a slide show of 25 photos at the link.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6430AR20100520 (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6430AR20100520)

Peter Lemkin
05-20-2010, 05:32 AM
At What Cost? BP Spill Responders Told to Forgo Precautionary Health Measures in Cleanup (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/52385)

Submitted by Chip on Wed, 2010-05-19 17:10

Corporatism and Fascism (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/148)
Energy (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/125)
Environment (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/106)
Healthcare (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/142)
Human Rights (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/145)

At What Cost? BP Spill Responders Told to Forgo Precautionary Health Measures in Cleanup (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/at-what-cost-bp-spill-res_b_578784.html)
By Riki Ott | Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/at-what-cost-bp-spill-res_b_578784.html)
Local fishermen hired to work on BP's uncontrolled oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico are scared and confused. Fishermen here and in other small communities dotting the southern marshes and swamplands of Barataria Bay are getting sick from the working on the cleanup, yet BP is assuring them they don't need respirators or other special protection from the crude oil, strong hydrocarbon vapors, or chemical dispersants being sprayed in massive quantities on the oil slick.
Fishermen have never seen the results from the air-quality monitoring patches some of them wear on their rain gear when they are out booming and skimming the giant oil slick. However, more and more fishermen are suffering from bad headaches, burning eyes, persistent coughs, sore throats, stuffy sinuses, nausea, and dizziness. They are starting to suspect that BP is not telling them the truth.
And based on air monitoring conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a Louisiana coastal community, those workers seem to be correct. The EPA findings (http://www.southernstudies.org/2010/05/air-tests-from-the-louisiana-coast-reveal-human-health-threats-from-the-oil-disaster.html) show that airborne levels of toxic chemicals like hydrogen sulfide, and volatile organic compounds like benzene, for instance, now far exceed safety standards for human exposure.
For two weeks, I've been in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama sharing stories from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which devastated the community I lived and commercially fished in, with everyone from fishermen and women to local mayors to state governors and the crush of international media.
During the 1989 cleanup in Alaska, thousands of workers had what Exxon medical doctors called, "the Valdez Crud (http://motherjones.com/politics/2003/03/valdez-crud)," and dismissed as simple colds and flu. Fourteen years later, I followed the trail of sick workers through the maze of court records, congressional records, obituaries, and media stories (http://www.silenceinthesound.com/stories.shtml#LA%20Times), and made hundreds of phone calls. I found a different story. As one former cleanup worker put it, "I thought I had the Valdez Crud in 1989. I didn't think I'd have it for fourteen years." Read more (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/at-what-cost-bp-spill-res_b_578784.html).
0

Many of the chemicals that make up crude oil are toxic - some are carcinogenic. Who are 'they' kidding.....! (http://www.sciencecorps.org/crudeoilhazards.htm) Short-term exposure to humans is probably not a problem, but any extended expose will increase the risks of harm in a non-linear way. Sadly, it is marine life and organisms that live in the intertidal zones that will suffer most and first. The plankton [both plant and animal varieties] - the bottom of the food chain will certainly be the first to effected in a big way....which will cause either a die-off and/or bioaccumulation and biomagnification of toxics up the food-chain. Thanks to BP, Halliburton and the rest of the gang...... If a corporation can be a person, why can't the rape of Mother Earth be a crime?

Ed Jewett
05-20-2010, 05:38 AM
Watch: http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=21727#post21727

Ed Jewett
05-20-2010, 06:26 AM
Latest Key Developments


Independent Oil & Gas Producers Sue Subsidiaries Of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and British Petroleum For Conspiring With SemGroup To Defraud Them
Monday, 17 May 2010 12:45pm EDT

More than 80 independent Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas oil and gas producers announced that they have filed lawsuits alleging that The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. subsidiary J. Aron & Co. and British Petroleum subsidiary BP Oil Supply Company conspired with SemGroup to defraud them and convert millions of dollars worth of the producers' crude oil and gas that was delivered to SemGroup prior to the company's 2008 bankruptcy. In addition to BP and J. Aron, ConocoPhillips, Plains Marketing and numerous other oil and gas companies are named as defendants in lawsuits that were filed in Kansas and Oklahoma state courts. The lawsuits for the independent producer plaintiffs say they are owed millions of dollars for the crude oil and gas that the defendants took from SemGroup just as margin calls were rapidly driving the energy company toward its Chapter 11 filing in July 2008. The complaints allege that Goldman Sachs and J. Aron exploited their multilayered relationship with SemGroup in which they were the company's investment banker, offering agent, lender, and trading partner to take possession of the independent producers' oil and gas in violation of numerous state laws of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.



http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/keyDevelopments?symbol=GS.N


####


May 19, 2010

Media ignores Goldman Sachs' ties to Corexit dispersant

In a recent New York Times article Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/13/business/energy-environment/13greenwire-less-toxic-dispersants-lose-out-in-bp-oil-spil-81183.html), journalist Paula Quinlan questions why BP is using the 100 % toxic, 54 percent effective dispersant Corexit to clean up the oil when twelve other dispersants proved more effective in EPA testing.

BP spokesman Jon Pack defended the use of Corexit, which he said was decided in consultation with EPA. He called Corexit "pretty effective" and said the product had been "rigorously tested."


"I'm not sure about the others," Pack said. "This has been used by a number of major companies as an effective, low-toxicity dispersant."

BP is not considering or testing other dispersants because the company's attention is focused on plugging the leak and otherwise containing the spill, Pack said. "That has to be our primary focus right now," he said.

Nalco spokesman Charlie Pajor said the decision on what to use was out of his company's hands. He also declined to comment on EPA comparison tests, saying only that lab conditions cannot necessarily replicate those in the field. "The decision about what's used is made by others -- not by us," he said.
Quinlan only looks at part of the picture. She associates BPs investment in Nalco and oil industry representation on the board as the main reasons that Corexit was used instead of Dispirsit (http://uspoly.com/dispersit.html), which EPA testing shows to be twice as effective and a third less toxic. Yes, BP is hedging its losses with the profit it will make with its investment in Nalco, but who else benefits?
Follow the money...and the money goes to Goldman Sachs and friends. Instead, Quinlan (or her editor) goes after Exxon.

Critics say Nalco, which formed a joint venture company with Exxon Chemical in 1994, boasts oil-industry insiders on its board of directors and among its executives, including an 11-year board member at BP and a top Exxon executive who spent 43 years with the oil giant.
"It's a chemical that the oil industry makes to sell to itself, basically," said Richard Charter, a senior policy adviser for Defenders of Wildlife.
In defense of the oil industry, it makes financial sense that Exxon and BP were the initial investors in this type of dispersant. Its not surprising that oil executives sit on the board. I am not defending the toxicity of their product, the integrity of their board members or the likely Halliburton-stye billing process that will kick in when BP decides it is no longer responsible for the impact of the very, very modest (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7737805/Gulf-of-Mexico-oil-spill-BP-insists-oil-spill-impact-very-modest.html) oil blowout that is already twice as large as Exxon-Valdez and is far more devastating economically and let the bankrupt US Treasury cover the bills. (To be fair, BP has accepted full responsibility and within days of the accident and without a court order, BP gave the states of Louisiana, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi each $25 million to help with the immediate damage.)
But BPs investment in Nalco is the token diversion. The real players are Goldman Sachs and their fellow Sexually Inadequate Masters of the Universe, the Blackstone Group and Apollo Management.
From Nalcos website: (http://www.nalco.com/aboutnalco/history.htm)
2003
USFilter and Ondeo Nalco enter into a strategic partnership providing equipment, chemicals and service to industrial customers.

The Blackstone Group, Apollo Management L. P (http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/one-thousand-names-fraud). and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners buy Ondeo Nalco.

Nalco Company, a recognized symbol of strength around the world, unveils new logo.

Never mind item three, the logo change executives consider one of the three most important events in Nalcos 2003 history, hence its prominence on the Nalco corporate history webpage. Look at item number two.

If for no other reason that Goldman Sachs is newsworthy, I think that their $4.3 billion purchase of Nalco in 2003 would be worth mentioning, especially in light of their short trade on TransOcean. The shorts are another missing item in the business section of The Times, as is any information on Goldmans role in the 9-11 put options on American and United for that matter. All the lies that are fit to print... on their banner would be more apropos. Seems someone is treating the demon children at GS with kid gloves.

While the article has some weaknesses, the publicity should help ebb the use of the more toxic dispersants as BP succumbs to more public pressure as more and more people become informed as to the dangers of dispersants.



`Bruce Gebhardt, president of the company that manufactures Dispersit, U.S. Polychemical Corp., said BP asked for samples of his company's product two weeks ago. Later, he said, BP officials told him that EPA had wanted to ensure they had "crossed all their T's and dotted all their I's" before moving forward.

Gebhardt says he could make 60,000 gallons a day of Dispersit to meet the needs of spill-containment efforts. Dispersit was formulated to outperform Corexit and got EPA approval 10 years ago, he said, but the dispersant has failed to grab market share from its larger rival.

"When we came out with a safer product, we thought people would jump on board," he said. "That's not the case. We were never able to move anyone of any size off the Corexit product."

He added, "We're just up against a giant."
My guess is that within days of the New York Times article appearing in print, BP will order Dispirsit from U.S. Polychemical Corp., if only to limit further negative publicity on the use of dispersants. Possibly the information on the health risks associated with dispersants will cause employees at the contamination site to demand a safer alternative.

As for Goldman Sachs, I find it interesting that they have such a large stake in Nalco. It might be just another coincidence, like their short on TransOcean. I also question why the article singles out Exxon, which helped found the company that was bought out by Goldman Sachs, Apollo and the Blackstone Group. Why are the profits that Goldman Sachs is receiving from the sale of these toxic dispersants not part of the article? How much will GS lose if BP stops using Corexit? Is this not more relevant than Exxon?


Video of the underwater oil plume. The blowout continues despite the insertion of the tube. The force is incredible.


Video at link:
http://www.picassodreams.com/picasso_dreams/2010/05/media-ignores-goldman-sachs-ties-to-corexit-dispersant.html

Peter Lemkin
05-20-2010, 07:26 AM
Nice video...."this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends...not with a bang,.....but a whimper" :captain:

Carsten Wiethoff
05-20-2010, 02:41 PM
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/images/imagerecords/44000/44006/gulf_tmo_2010137_lrg.jpg

Jan Klimkowski
05-20-2010, 06:04 PM
She associates BPs investment in Nalco and oil industry representation on the board as the main reasons that Corexit was used instead of Dispirsit, which EPA testing shows to be twice as effective and a third less toxic. Yes, BP is hedging its losses with the profit it will make with its investment in Nalco, but who else benefits?
Follow the money...and the money goes to Goldman Sachs and friends.

Vampyre - definition: (folklore) a corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living.

:mad:

Ed Jewett
05-20-2010, 06:43 PM
White House Covers Up Menacing Oil "Blob" (http://oilprice.com/Environment/Oil-Spills/White-House-Covers-Up-Menacing-Oil-Blob.html)

Written by Wayne Madsen

In an exclusive for Oilprice.com, the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) has learned from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sources that U.S. Navy submarines deployed to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast have detected what amounts to a frozen oil blob from the oil geyser at the destroyed Deep Horizon off-shore oil rig south of Louisiana. The Navy submarines have trained video cameras on the moving blob, which remains frozen at depths of between 3,000 to 4,000 feet. Because the oil blob is heavier than water, it remains frozen at current depths.
FEMA and Corps of Engineers employees are upset that the White House and the Pentagon remain tight-lipped and in cover-up mode about the images of the massive and fast-moving frozen coagulated oil blob that is being imaged by Navy submarines that are tracking its movement. The sources point out that BP and the White House conspired to withhold videos from BP-contracted submersibles that showed the oil geyser that was spewing oil from the chasm underneath the datum of the Deep Horizon at rates far exceeding originally reported amounts. We have learned that it was largely WMR's scoop on the existence of the BP videos that forced the company and its White House patrons to finally agree to the release of the video footage.

The White House is officially stating that it does not know where the officially reported 10 miles long by 3 miles wide "plume" is actually located or in what direction it is heading. However, WMR's sources claim the White House is getting real-time reports from Navy submarines as to the blob's location. We have learned that the blob is transiting the Florida Straits between Florida and Cuba, propelled by the Gulf's Loop Current, and that parts of it that is encountering warmer waters are breaking off into smaller tar balls that are now washing ashore in the environmentally-sensitive Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas.

Corps of Engineers and FEMA officials are also livid about the cover-up of the extent of the oil damage being promulgated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its marine research vessel in the Gulf, RV Pelican. NOAA stands accused by the aforementioned agencies of acting as a virtual public relations arm for BP. NOAA is a component of the business-oriented Department of Commerce.
Similarly, the Coast Guard, which takes its orders from the cover-up operatives at the Homeland Security Department, is denying the tar balls washing up on the Florida Keys are from the oil mass. WMR has been told the Coast Guard is lying in order to protect the Obama administration, which has thoroughly failed in its response to the disaster. The White House's only concern is trying to limit political damage to its image in the electorally-important state of Florida while the Pentagon has spent between $25 and $30 billion on oil spill operations in the Gulf and the Atlantic to date.

WMR sources also report that the oil mass has resulted in dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico that have cut off oxygen and killed massive numbers of marine creatures and plant life. Seafood wholesalers from the Gulf Coast to New Jersey and New York have been told that the supply of shrimp, oysters, and other seafood from the Gulf is severely in short supply and that they can expect a possible total cut-off as the situation worsens. The shortage will also affect the supply of seafood, especially shrimp, to national seafood restaurant chains like Red Lobster and Long John Silver's.
There is also evidence that BP, Halliburton, and Transocean sank a drill to a depth of 35,000 feet at the Deep Horizon site some six months ago without the required permits from the federal government. WMR has learned from U.S. government sources that the drilling at 35,000 feet caused a major catastrophic event that required the firms' oil rig personnel to quickly pull up the drill and close the drill hole.

However, the Deep Horizon re-sank the drill some six months after the unspecified "catastrophe," resulting in another, more destructive chain of events following the explosion that destroyed the rig, killing eleven workers. When the Deep Horizon blew up, WMR has been told it also "blew down," cracking the the sub-seabed pipe that may have been re-drilled to a depth of between 25,000 to 30,000 feet, again, without a government permit.
Government sources also report that BP is intent on recovering as much oil as possible from the undersea geyser rather than simply plugging and capping the well, which would then place it off-limits to further drilling. The Corps of Engineers reports that BP is playing a game with Obama, convincing him of the feasibility of "shooting junk" into the subterranean pipe, which would stop up the pipe with a manufactured chemical compound called "MUD." However, WMR has been informed that BP actually intends to shoot cement into the pipe in an attempt to cap the well with the later intention of digging a trench for side drilling from the pipe to recover as much oil as possible. The technology that would be employed by BP is the same technology that was used by Kuwait to conduct slant drilling of Iraq's Rumallah oil field -- an event that helped trigger Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.

Corps of Engineers and FEMA sources also give a failing grade to both Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who stands accused of being woefully incompetent in handling the disaster, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Government sources say both secretaries should immediately step down or be fired.

Read Waynes first breakthrough article on the Oil Spill and other interesting pieces:
The Cover-up: BP's Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega-Disaster (http://oilprice.com/Environment/Oil-Spills/The-Cover-up-BP-s-Crude-Politics-and-the-Looming-Environmental-Mega-Disaster.html)
8 Long Term Economic and Environmental Effects of the Gulf Oil Spill (http://oilprice.com/Environment/Oil-Spills/8-Long-Term-Economic-and-Environmental-Effects-of-the-Gulf-Oil-Spill.html)
Could There Be A Bright Side To the Gulf of Mexico Disaster (http://oilprice.com/Environment/Oil-Spills/Could-There-Be-A-Bright-Side-To-the-Gulf-of-Mexico-Disaster.html)
10 Geopolitical Predictions for 2010 & Short Term Strategic Outlook (http://oilprice.com/Geo-Politics/International/10-Geopolitical-Predictions-for-2010-Short-Term-Strategic-Outlook.html)
By. The Wayne Madsen Report for Oilprice.com (http://www.oilprice.com/)

Ed Jewett
05-20-2010, 08:46 PM
LEAKING LEGITIMACY (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2010/05/leaking-legitimacy.html)


Tensions between the Obama administration and the scientific community over the gulf oil spill are escalating, with prominent oceanographers accusing the government of failing to conduct an adequate scientific analysis of the damage and of allowing BP to obscure the spills true scope... The scientists point out that in the month since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, the government has failed to make public a single test result on water from the deep ocean. And the scientists say the administration has been too reluctant to demand an accurate analysis of how many gallons of oil are flowing into the sea from the gushing oil well. NYTimes (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/science/earth/20noaa.html?hp). Over the last month, it's become increasingly clear that there is a coordinated information operations campaign in place to downplay the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The US government and British Petroleum have imposed a scientific (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html?scp=3&sq=gulf&st=cse) and media blackout to prevent the gathering of the information on the oil leak needed to generate precise estimates (specifically, updates to very low estimates made during the very early days of the crisis). Despite this blackout, credible outside estimates (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/19/94467/engineer-oil-spill-videos-show.html) made possible by the little information that has trickled out show that the amount of oil leaking from the broken wellhead is upwards of twenty times the official British Petroleum and Government estimates -- nearly 4,000,000 gallons a day vs. 210,000.
No More Katrinas
Why is this effort in place? To reduce the political damage to both the government and BP. The information related to the amount of oil that is leaking from the broken wellhead is a critical factor in:


Damage assessments. Lower estimates make this spill relatively small in relation to historical incidents.
The immediacy and pace of the response. Lower estimates allow a more leisurely response and limits public outcry and anger.
Evaluation of the solutions being proposed. There's no way to evaluate whether the response is useful or a waste of time. Less criticism.

So far, this information operation is working (it has been so successful, the blackout has even being extended to blocking coverage of the damage being done to public coastlines (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6496749n&tag=related;photovideo) and marshes (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/19/gulf-oil-spill-louisiana_n_582796.html)). The lower estimates have successfully beaten the media cycle. In the first week of the crisis, most news analysis of the spill downplayed its importance due to lowball estimates. As a result of this news analysis, coverage of the crisis has dropped and the continual denial of information required for analysis has prevented any resurgence of coverage. From the perspective of the government and BP, this information operation has achieved its objectives: it has drastically limited political damage and criticism of previous decisions, which is in stark contrast to the damage generate by the media coverage of Katrina.
Onward to the Hollow State
Of course, this type of behavior is extremely bad over the longer term. Why is it so bad? For an increasing number of people it is yet another example of an approach, reinforced by ongoing global financial disasters, that uses media manipulation and confidence boosting as a substitute for real solutions. It fails to punish bad behavior due to the need for collusion between the government and the offending corporations to construct the information campaign. It fails to construct real solutions since the facts are not known and the number of people able to address the problem is extremely limited. Also, since these people are the same people that caused the crisis, real solutions are avoided to prevent adverse publicity. Most importantly, it is yet another body blow to the nation-state and the global market system as legitimate organizational constructs.


Posted by John Robb on Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2010/05/leaking-legitimacy.html) | Comments (16) (http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2010/05/leaking-legitimacy.html#comments)

Ed Jewett
05-20-2010, 10:24 PM
Fmr. EPA Investigator Scott West: US Has Told BP "It Can Do Whatever It Wants and Wont Be Held Accountable"

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/20/fmr_epa_investigator_scott_west_us (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/20/fmr_epa_investigator_scott_west_us)


One month after the BP oil spill, we speak to Scott West, a former top investigator at the Environmental Protection Agency who led an investigation of BP following a major oil pipeline leak in Alaskas North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra. Before West finished his investigation, the Bush Justice Department reached a settlement with BP, and the oil company agreed to pay $20 million. At the same time, BP managed to avoid prosecution for the Texas City refinery explosion that killed fifteen workers by paying a $50 million settlement.


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Guest:
Scott West, former top investigator at the Environmental Protection Agency. Led a 2006 investigation of BP following a major oil pipeline leak in Alaskas North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra.
Related stories


Government Exempted BP from Environmental Review (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/7/government_exempted_bp_from_environmental_review)
History of BP Includes Role in 1953 Iran Coup After Nationalization of Oil (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/6/history_of_bp_includes_role_in)
Spewing 5,000 Barrels of Oil a Day, BP Spill Hits Louisiana Coastline (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/4/30/spewing_5_000_barrels_of_oil)
Peter Maass on "Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil" (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/10/peter_maass_on_crude_world_the)
BP Funnels Millions into Lobbying to Influence Regulation and Re-Brand Image (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/5/bp_funnels_millions_into_lobbying_to)


Rush Transcript

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Truthout: "How Bush's DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials" (http://www.truthout.org/how-bushs-doj-killed-a-criminal-probe-into-bp-that-threatened-net-top-officials59648?print)
Scott West: "BP Beyond Prosecution (http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/news-100510-1.html)
Newsweek: "Slick Operator: How BP Works Washington" (http://www.newsweek.com/id/237651)


JUAN GONZALEZ: It was a month ago today when a catastrophic explosion set fire to the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, killing eleven workers and triggering one of the nations largest oil spills. A month later, the BP oil spill is still growing and rapidly spreading in the Gulf of Mexico. Heavy black oil can now be seen in the sensitive marshlands of Louisiana. Parts of the oil slick have entered the Gulf loop current, which could carry the oil to the Florida Keys and even possibly up the Atlantic Coast.

At a congressional hearing Wednesday, a professor at Purdue University told lawmakers that the oil spill may be nineteen times larger than BPs estimate. Steve Wereley estimated the spill is leaking 95,000 barrels of oil, or four million gallons, a day. BP has put the spill at 5,000 barrels a day.

Also on Wednesday, a group of Democratic lawmakers called on the Interior Department to shut down the Atlantis, BPs second-largest oil and gas rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantis operates in 7,000 feet of water, 2,000 feet deeper than the Deepwater Horizon.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about BP, were joined by a former top investigator at the Environmental Protection Agency. Up until his retirement in 2008, Scott West was a special agent in charge for the Criminal Investigation Division at the EPA.

In 2006, Scott West led an investigation of BP following a major oil pipeline leak in Alaskas North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra. Before West finished his investigation, the Bush Justice Department reached a settlement with BP, and the oil company agreed to pay $20 million. At the same time, BP managed to avoid prosecution for the Texas City refinery explosion that killed fifteen workers by paying a $50 million settlement.

Scott West joins us from Seattle, where he now works for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Thank you very much for joining us, Scott West. Lay out that previous investigation that was shut down by the Bush Justice Department that you did.

SCOTT WEST: Yes, good morning, Amy.

In August of 2005, I was introduced to Chuck Hamel, who spoke to me about employees and workers on the North Slope providing information that the transit lines were full of sludge and were likely to suffer catastrophic failure due to corrosion and that then there would be a tremendous loss of oil onto the slope. Chuck made these employees available to me, and I was able to get this information beforehand. I wanted to get in front of that upcoming spill and prevent the spill from occurring, but I found that the EPA and the federal government really had no controls over the operation of that pipeline. So we were in a wait pattern.

Finally, in March of '06, I got a phone call from the slope from one of these workers that I had spoken with telling me that indeed the anticipated rupture had occurred and that a tremendous amount of oil was out onto the frozen tundra. We were lucky that it was wintertime, because the lake that it got into was frozen solid and it made the cleanup a lot easier. Had it been summertime, there would have been a tremendous sheen of oil flowing into the Beaufort Sea. But anyway, knowing that these workers had information that the pipeline would rupture and had provided that to their management and senior management and nothing had been done, that made that a criminal negligence, at the very least. And so I dispatched criminal investigators from EPA CID and sent them to the North Slope to begin a criminal investigation.

AMY GOODMAN: And what happened?

SCOTT WEST: Well, as we dug into it, we realized that we had a very large issue going on and that information that we were preliminarily receiving indicated that high-level management within BP, not only in the United States, but across the ocean and into London, were aware of the policies on the North Slope to forgo maintenance in exchange for saving money and that there was awareness at very high levels that this particular transit line was in jeopardy. And so, that made the investigation become very complex and generated a lot of interest within the EPA and the Department of Justice of being able to get into very senior levels of the corporation and hold them accountable for their decisions, which led to the corrosion rupturing the pipeline.

As we built up our investigation, it became very difficult. BP is known by its workers to be extremely retaliatory. And these workers did not want to lose their jobs or be blacklisted from other work in the oil industry, and so they were reticent about speaking with the investigators directly, which caused us to have to impanel a grand jury and issue subpoenas for these individuals to testify. So, once ordered by the court to come in and testify, they were protected from retaliation. So they would come in. We would interview them through the unwieldy process of using the grand jury, which slowed the investigation down, but also netted us a significant amount of information. In addition, we issued subpoenas for documents. And then in the response to those documents, we were buried. We received the equivalent of about 62 million pages of documents that were going to require a great deal of time to sift through and develop the leads and the information from that information.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Scott

SCOTT WEST: So, byyes, yes.

JUAN GONZALEZ: Scott West, in this particular situation, you had the perhaps unusual situationor how unusual is it to have so many workers basically providing inside information on what was going on and the problems involved, but yet at the same time, as you say, they were afraid to publicly come forward because of possible retaliation? How frequently does that happen in these kinds of situations, especially with oil companies?

SCOTT WEST: Well, it's pretty common in thein industry. Workers do not want to lose their livelihoods, and so theyre reluctant to discuss openly about whats going on in their companies. I found, through my career as an environmental investigator, that it was often easier to get witnesses to give up information on friends, co-workers and spouses before they would give it up on their employer. But ultimately, most people come around and do the right thing and provide the information that they have about criminal activity. In this particular instance, though, the vindictiveness of BP, as understood by the employees and conveyed to the investigators, was extreme. And so, it made it much more difficult.

But in terms of where my investigation was going, by June of '07, we had several investigators working on the case. We had several prosecutors from the Department of Justice, both from the US attorney's office in Alaska and from the Environmental Crimes Section at main Justice. A tremendous amount of man hours were being devoted to this case. And, in fact, the director of CID had told about that time that the investigation that we had in Alaska was one of the top two criminal cases that EPA had at the time. So there was a lot of momentum, a lot of interest in this case.

But by August of '07, something had shifted dramatically, and we were told by the US attorney's office in Alaska that the case would settle out for corporate misdemeanor. And at the meeting that I attended there in late August, the question was asked, if we had to go to trial today, what could we prove? And I had to admit that a trial at that moment, the most we could prove was a corporate misdemeanor. And then I said, "But were not done with our investigation. Weve only just begun. We need another couple of years to really vet this out." And they said, well, can I guarantee that I would be able to convict individuals. And I said, "Of course not. You cant guarantee anything like that in the criminal investigative arena." And so, with that, they said, "Well, then were done." And I was in shock. Its unheard of for a special agent in charge to be denied the opportunity to complete an investigation that was so far from nearing its end. And then

AMY GOODMAN: So you have the EPA considering penalties of upwards of, what, 800or $672 million, possibly felony charges against BP executives, and they end up settling for $20 million?

SCOTT WEST: Yes, they ended up settling for $20 million. And I was told there was a couple of reasons for that $20 million figure. One, we have to go back to the Olympic Pipe Line case. The Olympic pipeline ruptured in Bellingham, Washington in 1999, and the resulting spill of gasoline into a stream caught fire. Three individuals were burned to death, and a stream was destroyed. That case was investigated by EPA out of the Seattle office. In '99 and 2000, it was considered a very significant criminal case in the US attorney's office in Seattle, which was at that time under the Clinton administration.

When the Bush administration took over at the Department of Justice, and the US attorney came in, it wasbecame a bottom-of-the-barrel case and was ultimately settled out for a very low amount of money. And I have been talking with one of the investigators on that case, and he said the amount of money that was determined as the fine in that matched what the insurance companies were willing to pay. So Olympic Pipe Line essentially did not have to actually pay the fine, but it was covered by their insurance company. Now, that Olympic Pipe Line settlement became the benchmark, within the Bush Department of Justice, for environmental crime.

So then we had the Texas City explosion by BP that resulted in a number of deaths and injuries caused by failure to maintain the same sort of corporate practices that I saw in Alaska. And that case got wrapped up at the same time that mine did, and the settlement there, based upon the Olympic Pipe Line precedent, was set at $50 million. So they said, well, then, my spill case in Alaska could not get anywhere near that amount, because that had fatalities, and so they settled it for $20 million.

Now, for BP, $20 million is a rounding error, when you look at the amount of profits they make on a daily basis. It made no impact into changing their practices. The only thing that could really change the practices had been if we had been able to pursue and hold individuals accountable for their decisions. As you well know, the corporations do not make decisions; the individuals within them do. And so, to hold those individuals accountable would have been the proper conclusion to the investigation.

Now, now were seeing the same sort of thing in the Gulf, in this catastrophe. And information is coming to light that corners were cut and that employees concerns were being ignored. Its the exact same pattern that we saw with BP in Alaska and with BP in Texas City. And I understand a couple of

AMY GOODMAN: Were going to take a break, Scott West

SCOTT WEST: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: and then come back to this discussion. Scott West, former special agent in charge

SCOTT WEST: Certainly.

AMY GOODMAN: of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency, speaking to us from Seattle. And were going to also talk about how rare it is to pierce the corporate veil and go from fines on a multi-billion-dollar corporation to actually charging corporate executives.

This is Democracy Now! Stay with us.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: Our guest, Scott West, former special agent in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency, he went after BP for criminal prosecution in the Alaska oil spill several years ago, was looking for criminal prosecution of the executives, but the Bush Justice Department ended up shutting down the investigation. As he was doing his investigation, the Texas City refinery, BPs refinery, blew up, and fifteen workers were killed. Now, of course, recently in the latest oil explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, eleven workers were killed. Juan?

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, Scott West, you said you were shocked when the decision was made not to pursue criminal charges. What was your reaction subsequent to that, and has any retaliation or mistreatment occurred toward you afterwards?

SCOTT WEST: Well, my reaction was just shock. I had never seen that happen. Its one thing to have thoroughly investigated a case, and you can have the lead investigator, whos invested a lot of his or her personal energy and time into a case, and having concluded, looking under every rock and turning every stone, be frustrated with the fact that the evidence just isnt there, even though that investigator is convinced that something should be done. But in those cases, you recognize, OK, we shut it down, and we move on. But in this particular instance, we had all of these documents that had not even been looked at and a whole list of individual witnesses that still needed to be interviewed.

And then you had the special agent in chargeat that time, I was the SAC in Seattle. And you had the special agent in charge going to the Department of Justice and asking for an extension of time. When they first said, "No, were going to settle this," I kept asking, you know, "Why the rush to settlement? I need at least a couple more years." And they said, "No, were not going to do that." And I said, "Well, give me a year." And they said, "No." And I said, "Six months." "No." "Three months." "No, its over." And I was incredulous, and I was making a lot of noise about that. And a very frustrating part was that my own management in Washington, DC failed to back me up. They fell right into lockstep with the Departments of Justice decision and accused me of being a zealot and all sorts of things and said that seventeen months was a perfectly adequate time to investigate a case like this, when they all know, from their own experience, that thats a ridiculous statement.

AMY GOODMAN: Scott West, do you think if BP

SCOTT WEST: So I was quiteyes.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think if BP executives were brought up on charges that we would see what were seeing in the Gulf of Mexico today?

SCOTT WEST: Well, I doubt we would be having this discussion and wed be dealing with a catastrophe like this in the Gulf. What the government has done over the past several years is taught BP that it can do whatever it wants and will not be held accountable. So, decisions have been made, very poor decisions have been made, to increase profits and put workers at risk and been allowed and endorsed by the federal government. So, theres been no[no audio]

AMY GOODMAN: Lost him. Sorry, that was the satellite connection to Seattle, which is what we were afraid of. But that was Scott West, former special agent in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency. He now works with the group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Again, was the one who attempted to bring BP executives up on charges, criminal charges, which is extremely rare in these corporate cases, from BP to Massey Energy in West Virginia. And this is an issue we will continue to investigate.
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Ed Jewett
05-21-2010, 07:37 PM
Lessons from the Gulf (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/52443)

Submitted by Chip on Fri, 2010-05-21 07:27

Energy (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/125)
Environment (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/taxonomy/term/106)

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/sites/afterdowningstreet.org/files/images/Stephen%20Lendman%20Progressive%20Radio%20Network% 2003052010.jpg (http://lendmennews.progressiveradionetwork.org/)
Lessons from the Gulf
By Stephen Lendman
On April 22, AP reported the news - an initial April 20 explosion, then a larger one igniting Deepwater Horizon's oil drilling platform that burned for more than a day before sinking and releasing thousands of barrels of oil daily into surrounding waters, enough potentially to cause the greatest ever environmental disaster if not sealed in time to prevent.
Transocean Ltd. owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon platform under contract to BP Exploration and Production Inc., a division of BP - 4th on Fortune Global 500 with $239 billion in 2009 operating revenue and $14 billion in profits. It ranked fourth behind Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Wal-Mart. Of the world's 10 largest companies, six are oil giants. Transocean, an offshore drilling contractor, owns operates about 140 drilling rigs. More on its culpability below.
On April 29, the Institute for Southern Studies published "Facts and Figures" about the Gulf explosion and emerging disaster saying:


the rig operated 41 miles off Louisiana's coast;
the explosion and fire occurred on April 20;
126 crew members operated the platform, 11 remain missing and are presumed dead;
since 2001, 69 deaths and 1,349 injuries have occurred from Gulf drilling operations as a result of 858 fires and explosions on 90 big rigs and 3,500 production platforms;
the US Minerals Management Service (MMS) issued 150 reports "documenting non-compliant offshore drilling operations;"
172 Gulf spills exceeding 2,100 gallons have occurred in the past decade;
as of late April, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated about 5,000 barrels a day being leaked; new information places it much higher; more on than below;
at first, BP officials lied in reporting leakage of 1,000 barrels a day; they're still lying about the problem's severity; so is the complicit Obama administration and major media to cover up the magnitude of the crisis;
investigative journalist Wayne Madsen calls it a potential "mega-disaster....volcanic-level in size (that if) not stopped within 90 days (will cause) irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems (in the Gulf), north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond (and, according to) some Corps of Engineers experts....it could take two years to cement (the) gaping chasm;"
the Gulf threatened area is top ranked "with the largest total seafood landings in the lower 48 states;" it produces 50% of the nation's wild shrimp and contains over 400 species, now threatened;
in total, the Gulf accounts for about 20% of America's commercial fishing; the growing slick threatens to devastate it and the regional economies; continuing to spread, NOAA reported that it threatens the coastal areas of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and potentially Texas, Florida's east and west coasts, its Keys, and beyond.

Obama Administration Complicity
On May 11, 2009, Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar (rancher, former Colorado senator, and notorious pro-business flack with a dismal environmental record), filed a legal brief in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to overturn or amend an earlier ruling blocking new drilling in the Gulf's outer continental shelf, including the Deepwater Horizon site. In July, it was partly approved provided an environmental impact study assessed the risks and found them acceptable. It's not been completed and perhaps never seriously undertaken.
Like its predecessors since at least the 1980s, the Obama administration has close industry ties across the board, including Big Oil. It thus bears equal responsibility for the consequences as a willing co-conspirator. In fact, it actively intervened to exempt BP from preparing an environment assessment on the Deepwater Horizon site, and after the incident continues to grant "categorical exemptions" for deep water drilling - 27 in all, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
In March, Obama exceeded the oil-run Bush administration in proposing offshore exploration from Delaware to Florida as well as the latter state's Gulf coast. Those plans are on hold but remain in place unless state officials can stop them. Avoidable accidents happen because of decades of regulatory laxity and oversight, at least since the Carter administration, in deference to powerful industry interests, including Big Oil.
BP's History of Violations
On May 5, Public Citizen's Tyson Slocum reported that BP has "the worst safety and environmental record of any oil company operating in America." In recent years alone, it pled guilty to two crimes (among many), paying over $730 million in fines and settlements to the federal and state governments and civil lawsuits for "environmental crimes, willful neglect of worker safety rules, and penalties for manipulating energy markets."
It paid the largest fine in OSHA history ($87 million) for willful negligence, causing the deaths of 15 workers and 170 injured from its March 2005 Texas City Refinery explosion. In September 2005, OSHA cited BP for 296 "Egregious Willful Violations" and others related to the explosion, fining the company another $21 million.
In August 2006, spills caused by pipeline corrosion shut its Prudhoe Bay, Alaska operation. In March 2006, National Geographic News reported the spillage of 267,000 gallons (about one million liters) in the North Slope's tundra, "raising a new round of questions from environmental groups about proposed plans to open more land" to drilling.
In September 2001, OSHA fined BP $141,000 after an explosion killed three workers at its Clanton Road facility. OSHA levied additional fines in September 2005 for 301 violations, and in April 2006 for two "willful violations" over its shutdown procedures.
In 2009, OSHA found BP in non-compliance of 270 "notifications of failure to abate" and 439 new "willful violations," resulting in the $87 million fine.
In 2007, a US Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board concluded that: "The Texas City disaster was caused by organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporation." Warning signs were there, but company management ignored them. In 2004, OSHA fined BP $63,000 for violations at the same facility. In December 2009, a Texas jury awarded workers $100 million for their injuries at Texas City.
At the time, Bloomberg.com reported that victims accused BP of having "a long 'rap sheet' and a disturbing pattern of violations and unfulfilled promises to correct them," saying that "Meaningful change will occur only if forced by strict oversight through the court system." Unfortunately, the courts, especially federal ones, are stacked with pro-business justices so getting their help rarely happens and almost never enough to matter.
In April 2010, OSHA fined BP $3 million for "willful safety violations" at one of its Ohio refineries. In April 2006, it paid a $2.4 million fine for similar safety and health violations at the same facility.
In 1999, the EPA cited BP Exploration & Oil for chemical violations at 24 of its Ohio facilities, assessing over $295,000 in fines. It also issued a 926 count administrative complaint against the company.
In March 2003, California sued BP for $319 million over thousands of clean air violations at its Carson refinery. The south Coast Air Quality Management District accused the company of repeatedly breaking rules on its storage tanks over an eight year period.
In 2004, Alaska state regulators accused BP of safety violations, proposing to fine the company for the second time. The other was for earlier August 2002 violations causing a well explosion that seriously injured a worker.
Minerals Management Service (MMS) fined BP numerous times:


in February 2001, $20,000 for workplace violations causing a serious injury;
in January 2002, $20,000 for workplace violations causing another one;
in May 2002, $23,000 for a workplace safety violation causing a worker injury;
in September 2002, $39,000 for missing 13 monthly tests of an "oil low level sensor;"
in January 2003, $70,000 for a faulty fire water system; in the same month, another $80,000 for bypassing "Relays for the Pressure Safety High/Low for four producing wells;"
in November 2003, $25,000 for a subsurface safety valve "blocked out of service;"
in February 2004, $25,000 because "The Rig's Gas Detection System was bypassed with ongoing drilling operations being conducted;"
in July 2004, $190,000 for safety violations related to a fire;
in October 2006, $25,000 for unsafe operations; another fine in October 2007 for various safety violations; and
in the same month, $41,000 for similar safety violations.

BP's Deepwater Horizon site didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch, an acoustic device some other oil producing countries require (including Brazil and Norway) to protect against underwater spills. When they occur, they work automatically to prevent small problems from becoming greater.
BP has also been charged with numerous environmental violations, felonies and at least one criminal misdemeanor, paying out about $153 million in fines, penalties and settlements. It was fined another $363 million for "price-gouging consumers and taxpayers." Nonetheless, it legally avoided paying $172.5 million in taxpayer royalties on its Gulf operated leases.
BP is a serial scofflaw, earning billions while assessed pocket change in fines, penalties and settlements for a company its size. Despite its history of repeated violations, it's allowed to conduct business as usual because effective crackdowns aren't imposed in an environment of regulatory laxity. And, of course, it's as true across the board in deference to all predatory giants in all sectors, preying on the public and environment for profit with complicit government help.
BP Whistleblower Warns of More to Come
In his April 30 Truthout article, Jason Leopold cited a whistleblower (unnamed for his protection), saying to expect more Gulf catastrophes based on BP's history of breaking federal laws and its own internal procedures.
He "first raised concerns about safety issues related to BP Atlantis, the world's largest and deepest semi-submersible oil and natural gas platform, located about 200 miles south of New Orleans, in November 2008."
He "was hired to oversee the company's databases," containing Atlantis project documents. On the job, he learned "that the drilling platform had been operating without a majority of the engineer-approved documents it needed to run safely, leaving the platform vulnerable to a catastrophic disaster," as bad or potentially worse than the current spill.
BP knew of the problem, yet did nothing to address it, showing its reckless disregard for public and environmental safety and its own employees. Once a violator, always one, short of regulatory crackdowns and criminal prosecutions, telling all violators what to expect. Not in America, a scofflaw's paradise.
Transocean's Troubled History
On May 10, Wall Street Journal writer Ben Casselman headlined, "Rig Owner Had Rising Tally of Accidents," saying:
"Nearly three of every four incidents that triggered federal investigations into safety and other problems on (Gulf) deepwater drilling rigs....since 2008 have been on rigs" the company operates, according to federal data.
Its oil company clients also saw a drop in its safety performance. From 2005 - 2007, "a Transocean rig was involved in 13 of the 39 deep-water drilling incidents investigated by MMS...." After merging with rival GlobalSantaFe, MMS found that it "accounted for 24 of the 33 incidents."
It raises troubling questions of company negligence related to the current spill. So far, no cause has been determined, but at least two areas will be investigated - a cement seal in place to keep oil and gas from escaping, and the blowout preventer, ocean floor valves meant to close off the well in an emergency. MMS records show Transocean's troubled history with both, including in 2006 when regulators found a blowout preventer failed, partly from poor maintenance. In 2005, a failed cement seal caused drilling fluid to leak.
Until now, company violations have been minor, but small problems warn of potentially greater ones, the current incident a prime example.
Transocean "specializes in a new frontier, drilling from huge floating rigs that are either anchored to the sea floor or kept in place with satellite-controlled thrusters." BP is its biggest Gulf client. Although its overall safety record, measured by injuries per hour worked, surpasses the industry average, it's especially worse than competitors on deep water projects.
In recent years, this type drilling has increased rapidly, forcing operators to compete for a limited number of skilled workers. As a result, less experienced ones are used, suggesting a greater potential for accidents, including serious ones like on April 20.
After its 2007 GlobalSantaFe merger, Transocean's rankings were close to the bottom in many categories of customer satisfaction. In 2008 and 2009, it ranked last among deep water drillers for "job quality" and second last in "overall satisfaction." Pre-merger, it was near top ranked on both measures - more evidence of the destructiveness of monopoly or oligopoly size and the best reason to break up giants in all sectors to prevent it.
The Halliburton Connection
Besides its war-profiteering history, Halliburton's notoriously shoddy on-the-job performance was suggested in Russell Gold and Ben Casselman's April 30 article titled, "Drilling Process Attracts Scrutiny in Rig Explosion," saying with regard to the Gulf incident:
Halliburton's role in a cementing procedure "is coming under scrutiny as a possible cause of the explosion (resulting in) one of the biggest oil spills in US history, drilling expert said Thursday (April 29)."
Cementing is done to prevent oil and gas leakages by filling gaps between "the outside of the well pipe and the inside of the hole bored into the ocean floor." Cement is also used to plug wells once drilling is completed.
For Deepwater Horizon, cementing was finished and the required areas temporarily plugged, but it's not known if the entire process was done before the explosion. Regulators found cementing problems the cause of other well blowouts, "in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force." When cementing is improperly done and cracks develop, it happens, and because gas is highly combustible, it's "prone to ignite."
Halliburton is the largest company in the global cementing business. It was contracted for the Deepwater Horizon rig. Transocean said the process was completed. According to Robert MacKenzie, FBR Capital Markets Managing Director of energy and natural resources:
"The likely cause of gas coming to the surface had something to do with the cement."
Other drilling experts agree, saying a faulty bottom of well cement plug may be to blame. In 2007, a Minerals Management Service (MMS) study found that faulty cementing was a factor in 18 of 39 Gulf blowouts over a 14 year period. Halliburton was involved before - one instance being a major 2009 Timor Sea explosion, causing fire and tens of thousands of barrels leaked for over 10 weeks. MMS' recently retired regulatory affairs head, Elmer Danenberger, believes poor Halliburton cementing caused the Timor problem.
It's shoddy work may be a factor in the Gulf, but Transocean and BP share culpability, based on their disturbing histories, besides regulatory and oversight laxity allowing it.
A Much Greater Disaster than Reported
According to Ian MacDonald, Florida State University biological oceanographer, about one million gallons of oil are leaking daily, based on NASA data he studied. If so, the incident already exceeds the 1989 Exxon Valdez catastrophe (topping 11 million gallons) from which affected areas haven't recovered and won't for decades, perhaps longer, from any spill that large. Already, said MacDonald, as of May 7, around 6,200 square miles are affected, a figure growing daily as long as leakage continues.
Other scientists agree, suggesting an estimated 25,000 daily barrels spilled, or over one million gallons. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports a worse potential if a so-called bent "riser pipe" deteriorates further. If so, daily leakage could more than double to over two million barrels.
Already, vast parts of the Gulf are at risk as well as marshes, other type wetlands, estuaries, beaches, fishing, wildlife, the mouth of the Mississippi River, East Coast, Florida Keys and Everglades, parts of the Atlantic up to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and beyond if Gulf Stream currents are affected, as well as inland cities, towns, rivers, and lakes if Gulf hurricanes spread oil-contaminated rain - a vast ecosystem threatened by corporate criminal negligence and government complicity, the usual combination behind virtually all destructive acts.
Public health is also affected from contaminated fish, water, rain, and air from oil smoke and vapors - problems that won't abate for years because oil is a toxic brew and enough contaminating the environment causes an array of health problems, including potential chemical poisoning (hydrocarbon pneumonia).
According to Columbus, Ohio Nationwide Children's Hospital Pharmacology and Toxicology head, Dr. Marcel Casavant:
"Smoke from burning oil contains many chemicals; some are potentially lethal poisons and some are nuisance irritants, but even these....can trigger breathing problems in people with asthma or emphysema or other lung disease(s)."
Why is because burning oil smoke contains carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organics, and other toxins - all harmful to human health. Once ingested, serious problems can result affecting the heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, liver, pregnancy, other bodily functions, and the potential for cancer and other diseases. It'll be years before the full impact is known, but it's already clear what happens when government and business share the same bed. The public always suffers - this time, like others, disastrously.
###
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour (http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour) on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Ed Jewett
05-21-2010, 07:52 PM
requiem for the gulf - music: lux aeterna by clint mansell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOkPGnaXsg8&feature=player_embedded# (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOkPGnaXsg8&feature=player_embedded)!

####

No Time for Fake Activism (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/52430)

Submitted by mflowersmd on Fri, 2010-05-21 02:40

Activism (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/activism)

Some people find my words on activism abrasive. My words are not welcome to all audiences. However, present realities compel me to say them. And I hope that for those who are shocked, that they feel some internal conflict, that my words stir their too comfortable minds to stretch and think.
My words are based on my direct visualization of the realities in a nation that is now a plutocracy, an empire ruled by corporate power. This is not the time to go through the motions of activism. The ruling class no longer hides its excess, but acts boldly and dares us to challenge it. Every day we see increasing abuses against our land and people but are fooled by the kool-aid of hope and change, hope and change. Isnt that what we voted for and won?
Hope and change require more than voting. We must reflect honestly on the factors that brought us to this point in time and commit to effective change. Corporate power controls the media and our government. What we must do to shift power back to the people is based on the principles of clarity and uncompromising independence.
We must be clear about exactly what we require as a people. We can no longer be lulled by fantastical words like hope and change. We must know what we mean in concrete terms and have the courage to demand it. For too long in this nation, we have been accepting crumbs. Weve been grateful for tiny increments of change because we are told that it is all we can have.
We must be uncompromising in our demands. We are talking about our livelihoods, our families, our future, our lives. Every inch that we concede means more for the ruling class and less for the people who are struggling to make ends meet and who are demoralized by the lack of respect for their wellbeing.



mflowersmd's blog (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/blog/33834)
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Read more (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/52430)

Ed Jewett
05-21-2010, 08:55 PM
Here is live round-the-clock streaming video of the underwater oil gusher, which BP is providing in response to Congressman Edward Markey's demands to BP:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/here-is-247-live-streaming-video-of.html

Due to high traffic, the video stream may be intermittent at first. This is not due to technical difficulties at my site, but of the main servers hosted by BP. Check back periodically.

Peter Lemkin
05-21-2010, 09:29 PM
Hey Ed!....you seem to be on top of this topic!.....I've come a few times with things hot off the internet 'press' only to find you'd already posted them..... :beer:

Ed Jewett
05-21-2010, 10:05 PM
An excerpt (the bottom end of the article):

"... The impact of the disaster became known to the Corps of Engineers and FEMA even before the White House began to take the magnitude of the impending catastrophe seriously. The first casualty of the disaster is the seafood industy, with not just fishermen, oystermen, crabbers, and shrimpers losing their jobs, but all those involved in the restaurant industry, from truckers to waitresses, facing lay-offs.

The invasion of crude oil into estuaries like the oyster-rich Apalachicola Bay in Florida spell disaster for the seafood industry. However, the biggest threat is to Florida's Everglades, which federal and state experts fear will be turned into a "dead zone" if the oil continues to gush forth from the Gulf chasm. There are also expectations that the oil slick will be caught up in the Gulf stream off the eastern seaboard of the United States, fouling beaches and estuaries like the Chesapeake Bay, and ultimately target the rich fishing grounds of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

WMR has also learned that 36 urban areas on the Gulf of Mexico are expecting to be confronted with a major disaster from the oil volcano in the next few days. Although protective water surface boons are being laid to protect such sensitive areas as Alabama's Dauphin Island, the mouth of the Mississippi River, and Florida's Apalachicola Bay, Florida, there is only 16 miles of boons available for the protection of 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline in the state of Florida.

Emergency preparations in dealing with the expanding oil menace are now being made for cities and towns from Corpus Christi, Texas, to Houston, New Orleans, Gulfport, Mobile, Pensacola, Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, Sarasota-Bradenton, Naples, and Key West. Some 36 FEMA-funded contracts between cities, towns, and counties and emergency workers are due to be invoked within days, if not hours, according to WMR's FEMA sources.

There are plans to evacuate people with respiratory problems, especially those among the retired senior population along the west coast of Florida, before officials begin burning surface oil as it begins to near the coastline.

There is another major threat looming for inland towns and cities. With hurricane season in effect, there is a potential for ocean oil to be picked up by hurricane-driven rains and dropped into fresh water lakes and rivers, far from the ocean, thus adding to the pollution of water supplies and eco-systems."

http://oilprice.com/Environment/Oil-Spills/The-Cover-up-BP-s-Crude-Politics-and-the-Looming-Environmental-Mega-Disaster.html

Ed Jewett
05-21-2010, 10:09 PM
Thanks, Peter. My outrage fuels the effort. You and I have both read much of Derrick Jensen. Ruppert's "Confronting Collapse" book and DVD and lecture are available. The event, however horrible it is, may be the thing that gets people to act and move, perhaps along with the video of the taunting and assassination -- over a span of five minutes -- of an Iraqi man. We seem to entering a Dark Age.

Ed Jewett
05-21-2010, 10:16 PM
Did Deepwater methane hydrates cause the BP Gulf explosion?

Strange and dangerous hydrocarbon offers no room for human error

In pictures: oil reaches the coast (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2010/may/19/deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-oil)



David Sassoon for SolveClimate (http://solveclimate.com/), part of the Guardian Environment Network (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/series/guardian-environment-network)
guardian.co.uk (http://www.guardian.co.uk/),
Thursday 20 May 2010 11.34 BST
Article history (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/20/deepwater-methane-hydrates-bp-gulf#history-link-box)

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2010/5/8/1273321857108/Deepwater-Horizon-oil-rig-006.jpg The deadly explosion caused 3 million gallons of crude oil to pour into the Gulf. Photograph: KPA/Zuma/Rex Features

The vast deepwater methane hydrate deposits of the Gulf of Mexico are an open secret in big energy circles. They represent the most tantalizing new frontier of unconventional energy a potential source of hydrocarbon fuel thought to be twice as large as all the petroleum deposits ever known.
For the oil and gas industry, the substances are also known to be the primary hazard when drilling for deepwater oil.
Methane hydrates are volatile compounds natural gas compressed into molecular cages of ice. They are stable in the extreme cold and crushing weight of deepwater, but are extremely dangerous when they build up inside the drill column of a well. If destabilized by heat or a decrease in pressure, methane hydrates can quickly expand to 164 times their volume.
Survivors of the BP rig explosion told interviewers (http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9FIBKV00.htm) that right before the April 20 blast, workers had decreased the pressure in the drill column and applied heat to set the cement seal around the wellhead. Then a quickly expanding bubble of methane gas shot up the drill column before exploding on the platform on the ocean's surface.
Even a solid steel pipe has little chance against a 164-fold expansion of volume something that would render a man six feet six inches tall suddenly the height of the Eiffel Tower.
Scientists are well aware of the awesome power of these strange hydrocarbons. A sudden large scale release of methane hydrates is believed to have caused a mass extinction 55 million years ago. Among planners concerned with mega-disasters, their sudden escape is considered to be a threat comparable to an asteroid strike or nuclear war. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a Livermore, Ca.-based weapons design center, reports (https://www.llnl.gov/str/Durham.html) that when released on a large scale, methane hydrates can even cause tsunamis.
So it is not surprising to anyone who knows about the physics of these compounds that the Deepwater Horizon rig was lost like a waterfly crumpled by a force of nature scientists are still just getting to know.
Number One Deepwater Drilling Issue
SolveClimate contacted scientists at the Colorado School of Mines, Center for Hydrate Research, (http://www.mines.edu/) who focus on the fundamental science and engineering of methane hydrates to gain further insight. They did not want to speculate on the role that methane hydrates could have played in the BP disaster, but they were willing to provide a basic understanding of the nature and behavior of these familiar but little understood substances.

"Gas hydrates are the number one flow assurance issue in deepwater drilling," Carolyn Koh, an associate professor and co-director of the Hydrate Center, told us in an exclusive interview.

She explained that the oil and gas industry has a lot of experience with methane hydrates, because they have to be kept from forming in pipes or they will clog the lines, stop the flow of oil, and pose a danger. Drillers use inhibitors such as methanol to keep the hydrates from crystallizing inside drill rigs operating at great depth, where conditions for methane hydrate formation are ideal.
http://solveclimate.com/sites/default/files/images/Picture%2010_0.medium.png (http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/mmri/programs/hydrates_01.wmv)This film clip (http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/mmri/programs/hydrates_01.wmv) of an experiment conducted on the ocean floor near the Deepwater Horizon drilling site demonstrates how quickly and easily methane hydrates can form. It was conducted by the Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium (http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/mmri/programs/gulf_res.html) aboard the Seward Johnson in September 2006. The voices of the scientists conducting the experiment are clearly audible.
The clip shows with remarkable clarity a robotic arm maneuvering a clear tube over a stream of hydrate bubbles emanating from a crater on the sea http://solveclimate.com/sites/default/files/images/Picture%2011.medium.pngfloor. Within minutes, gas trapped in the tube begins to form a visible solid a white ice matrix thanks to the extreme cold and pressure of the ocean depth. When the tube is inverted, the hydrate, less dense than seawater, floats out of the tube, dissociating into its components, gas and water.
Oil and gas drillers encounter far greater volumes of methane hydrate than the gentle stream of bubbles escaping from a small fissure that are shown in the film.
Amadeu Sum, an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Mines and also a co-director of the Hydrate Center, explained that methane hydrates can be encountered by drillers in the deep ocean where methane hydrates are trapped in sediments beneath the ocean floor.
Vast Deposits in Ocean Sediments
Professor Sum explained gas and oil flow up the pipe together in normal drilling operations. These hydrocarbons occur naturally together in conventional drilling operations. The deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico, and other places where methane hydrates exist, present drillers with special safety challenges.
For one thing, methane hydrates are believed to exist in vast deposits underneath the ocean floor, trapped by nature in ocean sediments. Deepwater drillers could find themselves drilling through these natural hydrate deposits.
Professor Sum said geologists know much less about these hydrate-bearing sediments than conventional ocean sediments, and that there is "little knowledge of the risks" of drilling into them.
http://solveclimate.com/sites/default/files/images/Picture%2013.medium.png (http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/mmri/programs/oil_spill.html)The Deepwater Horizon rig was drilling in Block 252 of an area known as the Mississippi Canyon of the Gulf, thought to contain methane hydrate-bearing sediments, according to government maps. The platform was operating less than 20 miles from a methane hydrate research site located in the same canyon at Block 118.
From the sea floor a mile down, the Deepwater Horizon rig had penetrated another 18,000 feet almost another five miles down into the earth's crust with pipe.
According to the National Academy of Sciences, which published a bullish report (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12831) on the energy potential of methane hydrates,

"Industry practice is to avoid methane-bearing areas during drilling for conventional oil and gas resources for safety reasons."

Professor Sum explained that because "with oil there is usually gas present," it is possible for methane hydrates to form in the pipe even when not drilling through hydrate-bearing sediments. The pressure and cold of the deepwater create conditions that encourage gas flowing into the pipe to form hydrates, and if the rate of crystallization is rapid enough, the hydrates can clog the pipe.
The cofferdam that BP lowered over the broken pipe gushing oil to contain the spill was almost immediately clogged (http://www.guardian.co.uk/blog/20100510/oil-spill-officials-try-blunt-fears-all-out-ecological-disaster) by methane hydrates, which formed spontaneously. Gas escaping with the oil from the well, when trapped in the steel structure with cold water under great pressure, rapidly accumulated into an ice-like matrix.
Documented Explosive Hazard
In a book about methane hydrates, which Professor Koh co-authored (http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=T7LC8ldaVR4C&oi=fnd&pg=PP20&dq=Clathrate+Hydrates+of+Natural+Gases%27,+E.D.+Sl oan+and+C.A.+Koh,+3rd+Ed.,+CRC+Press,+2008.&ots=HviuboO1Zt&sig=hq0cM-SGjC8kmuWaWPIu7YsKncc#v=onepage&q=at%20a%20major%20energy%20company%20in%20Alberta %2C%20a%20foreman%20and%20operator%20were%20attemp ting%20to%20clear%20a%20hydrate%20plug%20in%20an%2 0outlying%20sour%20gas%20flowline.&f=false), brief mention is made of a case in which methane hydrates caused a gas pipe to rupture on land, leading to loss of life.
Two workers were attempting to clear a line in which a hydrate plug had formed. The authors say that "the impact of a moving hydrate mass" caused the pipe to fail. The explosion caused a large piece of pipe to strike the foreman, killing him. The book then quotes from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Hydrate Guidelines to describe proper procedures for safely removing a hydrate plug in a pipe on land.
SolveClimate was not able to find more detailed public documentation of this incident in Alberta, but mention is made in an article in a publication of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (http://www.ornl.gov/),a federal research center associated with the Department of Energy, of a different unspecified incident on a drilling rig.

"Forces from methane hydrate dissociation have been blamed for a damaging shift in a drilling rig's foundation, causing a loss of $100 million," the article reports (http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/v33_2_00/methane.htm).

Although public discussion of damage from methane hydrate accidents appears to be minimal, the danger is well-recognized within the industry. Last November, one Halliburton executive gave a presentation (http://www.aade.org/.../F%20Tahmourpour%20Deepwater%20Cementing.pdf) before a meeting of the American Association of Drilling Engineers in Houston, titled "Deepwater Cementing Consideration to Prevent Hydrate Destabilization."
It recognizes that the cementing process releases heat which can destabilize methane hydrates, and presents something called Cement System 2 as a solution to the problem. One of the graphs shows that the system doesn't achieve gel strength for four hours.
Yet according to an eyewitness report broadcast on Sunday on 60 Minutes (http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6490348n&tag=contentBody;housing), BP managers made the decision to decrease pressure in the well column by removing drilling mud before the cement had solidified in three plugs Halliburton had poured.
When a surge of gas started shooting up the well, a crucial seal on the blowout preventer at the well head on the ocean floor failed. It had been damaged weeks before and neglected as inconsequential by Transocean managers, according to the CBS news broadcast, even after chunks of rubber emerged from the drilling column on the surface.
According to the Associated Press, the victims of the Deepwater Horizon explosion said the blast occurred right after workers "introduced heat to set the cement seal around the wellhead." It is not known if Halliburton was employing Cement System 2, and testifying before the Senate last week, a Halliburton executive made no mention of methane hydrate hazards associated with cementing in deepwater.
A Promising Substance
Professors Koh and Sum are concerned that a focus on the dangers of methane hydrates in deepwater drilling will obscure their promise as an energy solution of the future. They are conducting research in the laboratory to create methane hydrates synthetically in order to take advantage of their peculiar properties. With their potential to store gas (both natural gas and hydrogen) efficiently within a crystalline structure, hydrogen hydrates could one day offer a potential solution for making fuel cells operate economically. Still at the fundamental stage, their work on storage is not yet complete enough to apply to commercial systems.
At the same time, there is an international competition underway to develop technology to harvest the vast deposits of methane hydrates in the world's oceans. Japan has joined the US and Canada in pursuit of this energy bonanza, motivated by the $23 billion it spends annually to import liquefied natural gas.
According to a Bloomberg News article (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aiUsVKaqDA7g) called "Japan Mines Flammable Ice, Flirts with Environmental Disaster," the Japanese trade ministry is targeting 2016 to start commercial production, even as a Tokyo University scientist warned against causing a massive undersea landslide that could suddenly trigger a massive methane hydrate release.
The U.S. has a research program underway in collaboration with the oil industry, authorized by the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 1999. The National Methane Hydrates R&D Program is housed at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (http://www.google.co.il/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&ved=0CBMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.netl.doe.gov%2F&ei=UwLzS7i7A5iEmgPdiem1DQ&usg=AFQjCNG_MUatCI20sx2OC0oSredneh4RRg&sig2=rmTs_ZMya2SmdGZApSCUKw) (NETL) of the Department of Energy.
The National Academy of Sciences provided a briefing (http://www7.nationalacademies.org/ocga/briefings/Energy_Potential_of_Methane_Hydrate_for_the_US.asp ) for Congress last January on the energy potential of methane hydrates based on its report which asserts that "no technical challenges have been identified as insurmountable" in the pursuit of commercial production of methane hydrates.
In the wake of the BP oil disaster, SolveClimate attempted to contact Dr. Charles Paull of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the lead author of the report. He was unavailable for comment, attending an international workshop (http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/scientists-eye-nz-methane-deposits-seafloor-mining-122790) on methane hydrates research in New Zealand from May 10-12, and according to his assistant, out of email contact.





More on this story
http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/About/General/2010/5/17/1274118895583/Deepwater-Horizon-Oil-Rig-002.jpg
Deepwater Horizon survivor describes horrors of blast and escape from rig (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/20/survivor-deepwater-horizon-gulf-oil-explosion)
Stephen Davis recounts how he was flung against a wall by explosion and kept at sea on work boat for 40 hours after rescue
Obama takes tougher line on oil spill (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/21/oil-spill-deepwater-horizon-obama)
BP bows to demands from Congress and scientists for live feed of oil leak (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/20/deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-live-web-footage)
Greenpeace activists scale BP's London headquarters in oil protest (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/20/greenpeace-activists-scale-bp-building-roof)
Gulf oil spill chemical dispersant too toxic, EPA orders (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/20/gulf-oil-spill-chemical-dispersant)
http://static.guim.co.uk/static/90233/common/images/icon_gallery.gif Deepwater Horizon oil spill reaches the coast (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2010/may/19/deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-oil)
http://static.guim.co.uk/static/90233/common/images/icon_interactive.gif Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill day by day (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2010/may/20/deepwater-horizon-gulf-oil-spill-gulf)
Gulf oil spill: How big is the slick from BP's Deepwater Horizon? (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/richard-adams-blog/2010/may/19/deepwater-horizon-gulf-oil-spill-size)


Related
17 May 2010

Submerged oil plumes suggest gulf spill is worse than BP claims (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/16/gulf-oil-spill-bp)
16 May 2010

Insurers warn of price hikes as Deepwater Horizon losses head for $3.5bn (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/16/gulf-oil-spill-insurance-losses)
14 May 2010

BP using undersea robots to try to plug Gulf oil leak (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/14/bp-robots-gulf-oil-leak)
6 May 2010

Gulf oil spill reaches Freemason Island as BP prepares to lower giant funnel (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/06/gulf-oil-spill-freemason-island)

Ed Jewett
05-21-2010, 10:20 PM
Also, the incident seems to lend a new dimension to the term "deep politics". What is evident is massive long-term "winking" or collusion between government and business to the extreme detriment of sentient life forms. As someone who has studied and was qualified in NIMS incident command and exercise design, I am horrified by the ineptitude of the government's response to this "incident".

Peter Lemkin
05-21-2010, 10:26 PM
Also, the incident seems to lend a new dimension to the term "deep politics". What is evident is massive long-term "winking" or collusion between government and business to the extreme detriment of sentient life forms. As someone who has studied and was qualified in NIMS incident command and exercise design, I am horrified by the ineptitude of the government's response to this "incident".

....ugh.....what 'response'?!...as far as I can see/hear/read there has only been spin and non-response..... With what little history we have left, this will go down as one of the iconic bits of 'the end of humankind' and much of life on Earth, methinks. Coming in the same month as the 'invention' [sic] of artificial lifeforms I fear we are near the abyss...with too few willing to even back up, let alone find a new way 'forward'. I hope I am wrong. I fear I am not. [there is no real 'governance', only corporate and oligarchic interests] the interests of ordinary people and most lifeforms are 'discounted' and 'bundled' into derivatives.....:shot: [i.e. selling LIFE 'short']

Ed Jewett
05-23-2010, 05:23 AM
Deepwater Horizon survivors allege they were kept in seclusion after rig explosion, coerced into signing legal waivers








http://d.yimg.com/a/p/rids/20100523/t/r1795902720.jpg?x=50&y=50&xc=28&yc=1&wc=77&hc=77&q=85&sig=IrZSeof_HbOvTFnqaySE7w-- (http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Gulf-Coast-Oil-Spill/ss/events/us/042110oilrigexplode) Slideshow:Gulf Coast Oil Spill (http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Gulf-Coast-Oil-Spill/ss/events/us/042110oilrigexplode)




(http://news.yahoo.com/blog)


Fri May 21, 5:20 pm ET
According to two surviving (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ynews/sc_ynews/storytext/ynews_sc2191/36251711/SIG=131hsl6n3/*http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/20/survivor-deepwater-horizon-gulf-oil-explosion) crew members (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ynews/sc_ynews/storytext/ynews_sc2191/36251711/SIG=120judeem/*http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126667241) of the Deepwater Horizon, oil workers (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20100521/sc_ynews/ynews_sc2191#) from the rig were held in seclusion on the open water for up to two days after the April 20 explosion, while attorneys attempted to convince them to sign legal documents stating that they were unharmed by the incident. The men claim that they were forbidden from having any contact with concerned loved ones during that time, and were told they would not be able to go home until they signed the documents they were presented with.
Stephen Davis, a seven-year veteran of drilling-rig work from San Antonio, told The Guardian's Suzanne Goldenberg today (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ynews/sc_ynews/storytext/ynews_sc2191/36251711/SIG=131hsl6n3/*http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/may/20/survivor-deepwater-horizon-gulf-oil-explosion) that he was held on a boat for 36 to 40 hours after diving into the Gulf from the burning rig and swimming to safety. Once on a crew boat, Davis said, he and the others were denied access to satellite phones or radio to get in touch with their families, many of whom were frantic to find out whether or not they were OK.
Davis' attorney told Goldenberg that while on the boat, his client and the others were told to sign the statements presented to them by attorneys for Transocean the firm that owned the Deepwater Horizon (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20100521/sc_ynews/ynews_sc2191#) or they wouldn't be allowed to go home. After being awake for 50 harrowing hours, Davis caved and signed the papers. He said most of the others did as well.
Davis' story seems to be backed up by a similar account given to NPR (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ynews/sc_ynews/storytext/ynews_sc2191/36251711/SIG=120judeem/*http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126667241) by another Deepwater Horizon crewmember earlier in the month. Christopher Choy, a roustabout on the rig, said that the lawyers gathered the survivors in the galley of a boat and said, "'You need to sign these. Nobody's getting off here until we get one from everybody.' ... At the bottom, it said something about, like, you know, this can be used as evidence in court and all that. I told them, 'I'm not signing it.' "
Choy said that once he was finally allowed to get off the boat, he was shuttled to a hotel, where he met up with his wife. At the hotel, representatives from Transocean confronted him again and badgered him to sign the statement. Exhausted, traumatized and desperate to go home, Choy said that he finally relented and signed.
Choy's lawyer, Steve Gordon (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20100521/sc_ynews/ynews_sc2191#), is incensed over what transpired in the hours after the explosion. He, along with other attorneys for Deepwater Horizon workers, is trying to get the documents voided by the courts.
"It's absurd. It's unacceptable, and it's irresponsible," Gordon told NPR (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/ynews/sc_ynews/storytext/ynews_sc2191/36251711/SIG=120judeem/*http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126667241).
Brett Michael Dykes is a national affairs writer for Yahoo! News.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/20100521/sc_ynews/ynews_sc2191

Ed Jewett
05-23-2010, 05:32 AM
Cleaning oil-soaked wetlands may be impossible
By MATTHEW BROWN (AP) 9 hours ago

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iyCzi7JFE0-cRyBdBUMmDC6Zm9GgD9FS2VR00

###

(Reuters) - The oil slick that has started sloshing through marsh grass at the southern tip of the Mississippi Delta gives coastal Louisiana a glimpse of what it fears may be its future.
U.S. (http://www.reuters.com/news/us) | Green Business (http://www.reuters.com/finance/greenBusiness) | Gulf Oil Spill (http://www.reuters.com/subjects/gulf-oil-spill)
In the last few days, acres of oil have penetrated low-lying islands at the point where the river rolls into the sea, forming a dark red band at the bottom of the roseau cane.
Thick black sludge blocks at least one inlet, and a much larger area off the coast glistens with a rainbow sheen dotted with oil globules, suggesting that more will reach land soon.
"This is what we hoped wouldn't happen but we knew would happen," said Andy Nyman, associate professor of wetland and wildlife ecology at Louisiana State University.
Energy giant BP, accused by the U.S. government of falling short in providing information about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, was forging ahead on Friday with efforts to contain the crude gushing from one of its undersea wells.
The sight and smell of a slick in fragile wetlands and the ecologically-rich Delta adds urgency to efforts to contain a disaster sparked a month ago when an explosion sank a rig, killing 11 workers, and ripped open the well.
It also casts doubt on a prediction by BP's Chairman Tony Hayward this week that the leak would have only a modest environmental impact.
At the same time, it calls into question the effectiveness of the miles of booms arranged in the water by BP, federal and local authorities in a bid to protect the coastline.
At Blind Bay Louisiana and elsewhere, oil has drifted under or over the booms onto land. Elsewhere, some of the worst-affected islands were entirely unprotected.
In and of itself, the affected area represents just a fragment of the southern tip of the Delta and is dwarfed by the network of waterways that stretch around 100 miles 160 km inland.
But the slick could have an exponential impact on sport fishing, which is a lifeblood of small villages like Venice, Louisiana, and threatens commercial fisheries.
Fishermen and boat owners said they feared what they saw was simply the beginning.
"This could get 100 times worse than what it is today," said fisherman Carey O'Neil, who knows the area intimately as he grew up at an encampment that can only be reached by boat.
RACE TO FIND ANSWERS
Now that oil has begun to wash ashore in significant quantities, scientists are racing to understand its impact.
Some say they are hampered by a lack of information about dispersants, the volume of oil in the water and the extent to which oil loses its toxicity as it rises from the leak up through the water column toward the surface.
But some consequences were easy to predict, said Maura Wood, program manager with the National Wildlife Federation's coastal Louisiana restoration project.
"This is an area where tiny juveniles (marine life) will be coming in looking for a haven and nibbling on the plant stems," said Wood as she wiped oil from her gloves after collecting a sample in a bottle.
"So this can start to move up through the food chain. Toxics start to magnify as bigger fish eat the little fish and that's a real concern," she said.
Even if time in the warm Gulf waters and dispersants make the oil less poisonous, it will still likely smother the marsh grass, exposing the matrix of sand and roots that forms the islands, said environmentalists.
"Once these plants die there is nothing to hold the mud and then it becomes open water. Once that happens it's really hard to get that to come back," said Randy Lanctot, executive director of Louisiana Wildlife Federation.
Many residents say they are bewitched by the beauty of the Delta, a vast maze of canals, islands and river channels where brown pelicans skim low across waters abundant with fish.
Right now, the area is at the epicenter of a political storm over the spill and its consequences, with extensive news coverage and frequent visits by the governor and other state politicians.
Yet many residents say their biggest fear is for the months ahead when the oil is still washing ashore but national attention has turned elsewhere while.
(Editing by Ed Stoddard (http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=ed.stoddard&) and Philip Barbara (http://blogs.reuters.com/search/journalist.php?edition=us&n=philip.barbara&))


http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE64K0XT20100521

Peter Lemkin
05-23-2010, 06:13 AM
The MSM rarely does anything useful, but here is one small effort:

May 17, 2010
CBS "60 Minutes" interview with Deepwater Horizon survivor

CBS "60 Minutes" ran a compelling interview Sunday, May 16, with Mike Williams, one of the last crewmembers to escape the Deepwater Horizon. inferno.

Mike Williams was the chief electronics technician in charge of the rig's computers and electrical systems.

Among other things he says that, four weeks before the explosion, the blowout preventer (BOP) was damaged.

A key BOP component is a rubber gasket at the top called an "annular," which can close tightly around the drill pipe.

Williams says, during a test, they closed the gasket. But while it was shut tight, a crewman on deck accidentally nudged a joystick, applying hundreds of thousands of pounds of force, and moving 15 feet of drill pipe through the closed blowout preventer. Later, a man monitoring drilling fluid rising to the top made a troubling find.

"He discovered chunks of rubber in the drilling fluid. He thought it was important enough to gather this double handful of chunks of rubber and bring them into the driller shack. I recall asking the supervisor if this was out of the ordinary. And he says, 'Oh, it's no big deal.' And I thought, 'How can it be not a big deal? There's chunks of our seal is now missing,'" Williams says.

This is just one of several troubling disclosures in the "60 Minutes" interview.

In the second part of the interview, "60 Minutes" asked eminent offshore drilling safety authority Professor Robert Bea, for his take on Mr. Williams' story.

Ed Jewett
05-23-2010, 06:22 AM
"... Unfortunately, Obama has elected to sit on his hands for over a month, and only then call a commission together to look into the true impact of the gusher in the Gulf of Mexico that threatens to be a disaster like few before, both within the United States and internationally. How he wishes to explain his 4 weeks not doing much of anything at all to the people of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Cuba and Mexico is hard to envision.

The modus operandi prevalent in Washington, to let the well-to-do culpable police themselves, whether they be Goldman Sachs or BP, carries an enormous political risk. And rightly so, because there is no indication anywhere to be seen that says this line of -in-action is in the best interest of the people who put their trust in the man.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs may stammer some incoherent syllables on what the law does and does not allow the president to do, but none of that will amount to zilch once nobody can deny any longer that 10 or 20 times as much oil has been leaking, and still is, than both BP and the American government have been claiming all the way back to April 20.

Obama himself should have been on site from the earliest possible moment, taking advice from the best people he could find in the entire world, just in case BP was not telling the truth (for which it had great incentives), and just in case a worst case scenario would unfold when it came to closing the leak.

Exactly in the same way that he has shown while dealing with the financial quagmire the nation, and indeed the world, is sinking ever deeper into, Obama has proven one thing to everyone who cares to look and listen: He is not a leader. He simply lacks the qualities and the instinct required for the position. Which is a shame, for his voters, his followers and the nation as a whole; nonetheless, it's time to stop kidding ourselves...."

An excerpt from

Saturday, May 22, 2010
May 22 2010: As goes the nose, so go the toes

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/05/may-22-2010-as-goes-nose-so-go-toes.html (http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/05/may-22-2010-as-goes-nose-so-go-toes.html)

Ed Jewett
05-23-2010, 06:31 AM
Robert Bea resurfaces (http://swampwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/robert-bea-resurfaces/)

to our advantage (http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/gas_surge_shut_well_just_weeks.html)
Gas surge shut well a couple of weeks before Gulf oil spill
By The Times-Picayune
May 10, 2010, 10:31PM
This story is by David Hammer and Mark Schleifstein
Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott Lloyd / U.S. Coast Guard
A Coast Guard rescue helicopter crew documents the fire aboard the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon while searching for survivors April 21.
Powerful puffs of natural gas, called kicks, are a normal occurrence in many deep-ocean drilling operations.
But one intense kick of natural gas caused the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig to be shut down because of the fear of an explosion just weeks before a similar release succeeded in destroying and sinking the platform and sent millions of gallons of oil on a collision course with Louisiana and the rest of the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
Shortly before the accident, engineers argued about whether to remove heavy drilling mud that acted as a last defense against such catastrophic kicks, and the decision to replace the mud with much lighter seawater won out.
Those are some of the new details gathered by Robert Bea, a University of California at Berkeley engineering professor better known in New Orleans as co-leader of an independent team of scientists that conducted a forensic investigation of the causes for the failure of levees and floodwalls during Hurricane Katrina.
Times-Picayune archive
Robert Bea, center, a University of California at Berkeley engineering professor, is better known in New Orleans as co-leader of a team of scientists that investigated the failure of levees and floodwalls during Hurricane Katrina.
In an effort to piece together the cause of the regions most recent calamity, Bea has been gathering statements, transcripts and other communications from about 50 people since the accident, including workers on the rig, engineers who worked with the rig from onshore locations, and engineers and oilfield workers who have been active in drilling for decades.
As the job unfolded, the workers did have intermittent trouble with pockets of natural gas, said one statement sent to Bea. Highly flammable, the gas was forcing its way up the drill pipes. This was something BP had not foreseen as a serious problem, declaring a year earlier that gas was likely to pose only a negligible risk. The government warned the company that gas buildup was a real concern and that BP should exercise caution.
A second statement said, At one point during the previous several weeks, so much of it came belching up to the surface that a loudspeaker announcement called for a halt to all hot work, meaning any smoking, welding, cooking or any other use of fire. Smaller belches, or kicks, had stalled work as the job was winding down in the days before the accident. Bea said he could not name the people who gave the statements or reveal their positions.
Chilling image of explosion, chaos on rig
The material paints a chilling image of the violent force of the rig explosions and the chaos that ensued as rig workers tried to escape spewing mud, seawater and methyl hydrates in the form of icy slush. That same type of frozen natural gas blocked BPs attempts during the weekend to control the well leak with a huge box lowered 5,000 feet to the sea floor.
Back on April 20, the slush forced its way to the rig, shot 240 feet in the air and heated into a gas that quickly ignited into fireballs, Beas witness accounts say. Among those tossed asunder by the explosions were BP officials who were on the rig to celebrate a seven-year spotless safety record.
Bea also said the statements he has gathered back up a report last week by The Times-Picayune about the questionable choice made by oil giant BP, rig owner Transocean and others to remove heavy drilling mud that was supposed to help tamp down destructive gas kicks.
The witness statements add to the storys clarity just as the Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service begin hearings Tuesday at a Kenner hotel to try to determine what went wrong. The civil courts may provide another vector for understanding the accident, as lawyers continue to file suits against BP, Transocean and other companies connected with the Deepwater Horizon. Among the defendants in those suits: Halliburton, a contractor responsible for installing key cement barriers that were supposed to keep gas out of the well in the first place, and Cameron International, the manufacturer of the blowout preventer valves that were supposed to be a last-ditch way to shut off the well, but failed.
Risk assessment questions raised
Bea believes the narrative he is creating raises serious questions about the risk assessments used by BP and the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency charged with determining whether the drilling plans were adequate.
The same trail of tears led to Katrina and its showing up here again, professor Robert Bea says.
They failed to address whats called residual risk, those things that planners dont think will fail. And in doing so, they underestimated the risk in ways very similar to the engineers who designed New Orleans levee system, Bea said.
BP fell into the same damn trap, and they were not engineering; they were imagineering, he said. Risk analysis continues to mislead us because were only looking at part of the risk.
The same trail of tears led to Katrina, to the Massey Big Branch (coal) mine disaster, and its showing up here again, Bea said.
For me, the tragedy of Katrina was floating bodies and the homes and businesses that were destroyed, he said. This time, its different. Certainly the people on the rig were killed and the pieces of equipment were destroyed, but like Katrina, theres another non-voting population getting hurt this time and it is those marine animals that are our equivalents.
Frequent gas kicks reported
Bea said he has spent more than 200 hours reviewing first-hand reports of the Deepwater Horizons operations. A constant theme was that gas kicks were more frequent in this oilfield than others the crew had worked on, and members were concerned.
The situation was particularly tense a few weeks before the accident, when the exploratory drill had made it down the 5,000-foot riser pipe from the rig to the sea floor and penetrated more than halfway down to the oil that awaited some 18,000 feet below that.
One gas kick that occurred as they got toward the bottom of the hole, approximately 10,000 feet below the sea floor, was such a large gas kick that they had to shut down operations, Bea said. They were concerned about spark sources (on the rig at the surface) so they had to shut it down, because there was so much gas coming out of the rig and they were afraid of the explosion.
Deposits of oil are not in underground caverns; they ooze in the pores of a sponge-like layer of rock, along with natural gas in both gaseous and the crystallized hydrate forms. But the hydrates also exist throughout the drilled rock formations, and like the oil below, they exert upward pressure when a drilling operation opens a path to the surface.
In the incident that forced Deepwater Horizon to shut down drilling temporarily, workers in the rigs drilling mudroom stabilized the situation by putting a heavier form of mud, actually a mixture of clay and chemicals, into the drill-pipe as a counter-balance, pushing down against the upward pressure of the gas, Bea said.
Uh oh
A transcript Bea collected from a witness says the companies were confident enough they had a lucrative oil source that they decided to convert from an exploratory well to a more permanent production well, a process that requires them to apply a metal and cement casing to the well hole. They chose casing 7 inches in diameter, Bea said, and that was further sealed with cement pumped in by Halliburton. Bea said his sources reported that Halliburton was using a new kind of cement for the seal, something the scientist said made him say, Uh oh.
The cement is infused with chemicals and nitrogen, and those chemicals and nitrogen form a frothy cement that is like shaving soap sprayed from a can, Bea said. It was put in there because of the concern about damage or destruction of the seals by methane hydrates.
The crew on the Deepwater Horizon waited 20 hours for the cement job to cure before opening a key valve at the wellhead so they could place a final cement plug about 5,000 feet down the well. Bea gives Halliburton credit for writing many excellent papers in the past two years about the challenge of setting cement seals in the presence of large amounts of methane hydrates, which the Deepwater Horizon crew encountered in spades.
Because of the chemicals theyve added, they think the cement can cure rapidly, Bea said.
But Halliburtons awareness of cementings challenges did not stop the cement from failing in the Deepwater Horizons well. The chemicals they added for the curing process also create a lot of heat, which can thaw the methane hydrate into the gas that causes dangerous kicks, Bea said.
I call that Uh oh again, he said.
A heated debate described
One of Beas witness transcripts describes in detail a heated debate among BP, Halliburton and Transocean officials as they are about to add the final cement plug to the well, 5,000 below the wellhead and 10,000 feet below the rig. They argued about whether to set the plug with drilling mud still in the well and riser, or if they should do it with lighter sea water there instead.
Michael DeMocker / The Times-Picayune
A cloud of smoke that could be seen for over 25 miles rises over the gulf as fireboats try to extinguish the blaze on the Deepwater Horizon. Robert Bea said the first explosion occurred in the mud pit room, where drilling mud is mixed and stored. The two engineers ion that room were killed instantly, Bea said.
As The Times-Picayune reported last week, Beas witness claims the decision was made to displace the heavy mud barrier with water before the final plug was set in order to finish the job more quickly.. The crew was planning to temporarily abandon the well, and before leaving, they would need to remove the riser and the blowout preventer, a massive stack of valves and slicing rams that are supposed to shut off the well in case of an emergency, and some time later another operation would re-tap the well to extract its riches.
The mud in the riser would have to be replaced with salt water before the crew could take the final step of removing the blowout preventer, or else polluting mud and chemicals would spill into the sea, angering environmental regulators. But based on Beas witness, who describes the debate on board the rig and with officials in Houston, there was still a question about whether to replace the mud before the final plug was set.
The debate comes back that its been pressure-tested, the coast is clear, so they will displace the upper 10,000 feet of heavy mud and replace it with salt water, Bea said. This is a crucial step, and the reason its crucial is if the seal at the bottom is fine, its OK, but if its not OK, were screwed. We dont have enough pressure (from mud) in the column anymore to fight the reservoir (gas and liquid) pressure.
Bea says its unclear how far down the well the crew managed to get the final cement plug before the destructive blowout. But he said its clear the process was under way because an important valve in the blowout preventer stack, called the annular valve, was open to allow the plug assembly pipes through. Once the wells lining or bottom plug was breached, the gas had a 10,000-foot path clear of both mud and shut-off valves all the way to the waters surface.
A geyser of water
Three witness reports gathered by Bea describe what happened next. A geyser of water shot 240 feet into the air, he said, followed by gas that spills out in the moon pool area, onto the drill deck and begins spreading. They can smell it, they can see it, but in this stage it does not ignite. It looks like ice slush, and they can see the gas emanating from it.
The next thing workers on the drill floor saw was mud, the three accounts say. The workers know theres trouble because the mud can only be coming from 10,000 feet down, not from the riser where it can block a gas kick, Bea said.
At this point, calls come from the rig asking for more mud, Bea said the transcripts show. Im certain these radio calls will ultimately be traced and produced. This is at 7 p.m.
The reason nothing ignited initially is that the 21-by-93-foot moon pool, a well in the center of the drill ship, is carefully designed to remove any sources of sparks. But in the mud room and the galley and elsewhere, there are pumps with exposed metal parts. Soon, the gas did ignite when it came in contact with those, Bea said, and the descriptions in the transcripts are dramatic.
Bea said that the first explosion occurred in the mud pit room, a room where drilling mud is mixed and stored in big bins. The two engineers responding to requests for more mud in an attempt to control the runaway well were killed instantly, he said.
That explosion also blew out the wall leading to the galley, where a party was being held.
The party is to celebrate the Transocean Deepwater Horizon going for seven years without an accident, Bea said. Present were several BP engineers or executives, who traveled to the rig for the celebration, he said.
Heres where I broke down
The explosion hurls them against the other wall of the galley, Bea said. Heres where I broke down when I read it. It describes bodies being broken, necks gashed and people bleeding, and now everybodys in the dark. People are screaming for help. People are busy helping their comrades get to two lifeboats.
People in the lifeboats are screaming, Weve got to get out of here! but the lifeboats arent full, Bea said. The doors slam and they drop the (lifeboats), and as they do, they can see some of their colleagues jumping into the sea. They can see their outlines because the rig is burning behind them.
Back on the drill floor, all hell has broken loose. Explosions are propagating from the mud pit room back toward them, Bea said. At that point, one transcript thats obviously been an observer heading toward the lifeboats says the drill floor disappears in a ball of flame. And at that point, the three on-board transcripts stop.
Bea said the concluding paragraph from one of those observing the explosion summed up the depth of the failure.
In order for a disaster of this magnitude to happen, more than one thing has to go wrong, or fail. First, a shitty cement job. The wellhead packoff/seal assembly (the equipment directly below the blowout preventer that connects the lower pipe casing to the preventer) while designed to hold the pressure, is just a backup. And finally, the ability to close the well in with the BOP somehow went away, the witness said.


Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)


no wonder the rig explosion survivors were taken to that hotel in Kenner (http://swampwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/no-wonder-the-rig-explosion-survivors-were-taken-to-that-hotel-in-kenner/)
british petroleum has spent 350 million so far (http://swampwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/10/british-petroleum-has-spent-350-million-so-far/)
up to 4 million gallons of oil spilled (http://swampwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/up-to-4-million-gallons-of-oil-spilled/)



~ by maringouin on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

Peter Lemkin
05-23-2010, 09:07 AM
Little known to the public, but known in the oil industry and environmental sciences - these are deposits below the sea bottom of a solid form of methane in a clathrate structure with water. It is estimated that there are HUGE deposits of it, but to date NO ONE has figured out a safe way to deal with it. It is under enormous pressure and when the pressure is released it turns from solid [or slush] into a gas and often to usually will spontaneously explode! Deposits of this substance can be small to medium-sized, but absolutely ENORMOUS deposits of it have been found. In fact, one theory is that one of the great die-offs in the geological record may very well have been a natural release of one such GIANT pool of methane hydrate, altering the atmosphere enough to cause climate change and subsequent die-off of many life-forms.....and now humans want to play with this stuff. In fact, when this crew had the first hint of any in their deposit, they should have shut it down....but greed won the day....and is still winning the 'day' and ruining the planet. Capitalism just doesn't work any more - less so when totally unregulated [except in faux fashion by the capitalists themselves]! :bootyshake: :flute:

Here is a non-technical article on the subject:
Did Deepwater Methane Hydrates Cause the BP Gulf Explosion?
Strange and dangerous hydrocarbon offers no room for human error
by David Sassoon - May 19th, 2010 in AADE, BP, Cementing, Charles Paull, DOE, Gulf Oil Disaster, Halliburton, Methane Hydrates, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, NETL, Transocean


The vast deepwater methane hydrate deposits of the Gulf of Mexico are an open secret in big energy circles. They represent the most tantalizing new frontier of unconventional energy a potential source of hydrocarbon fuel thought to be twice as large as all the petroleum deposits ever known.

For the oil and gas industry, the substances are also known to be the primary hazard when drilling for deepwater oil.

Methane hydrates are volatile compounds natural gas compressed into molecular cages of ice. They are stable in the extreme cold and crushing weight of deepwater, but are extremely dangerous when they build up inside the drill column of a well. If destabilized by heat or a decrease in pressure, methane hydrates can quickly expand to 164 times their volume.

Survivors of the BP rig explosion told interviewers that right before the April 20 blast, workers had decreased the pressure in the drill column and applied heat to set the cement seal around the wellhead. Then a quickly expanding bubble of methane gas shot up the drill column before exploding on the platform on the ocean's surface.

Even a hardened steel pipe has little chance against a 164-fold expansion of volume something that would render a man six feet six inches tall suddenly the height of the Eiffel Tower.


Scientists are well aware of the awesome power of these strange hydrocarbons. A sudden large scale release of methane hydrates is believed to have caused a mass extinction 55 million years ago. Among planners concerned with mega-disasters, their sudden escape is considered to be a threat comparable to an asteroid strike or nuclear war. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a Livermore, Ca.-based weapons design center, reports that when released on a large scale, methane hydrates can even cause tsunamis.

So it is not surprising to anyone who knows about the physics of these compounds that the Deepwater Horizon rig was lost like a waterfly crumpled by a force of nature scientists are still just getting to know.

Number One Deepwater Drilling Issue

SolveClimate contacted scientists at the Colorado School of Mines, Center for Hydrate Research, who focus on the fundamental science and engineering of methane hydrates to gain further insight. They did not want to speculate on the role that methane hydrates could have played in the BP disaster, but they were willing to provide a basic understanding of the nature and behavior of these familiar but little understood substances.

"Gas hydrates are the number one flow assurance issue in deepwater drilling," Carolyn Koh, an associate professor and co-director of the Hydrate Center, told us in an exclusive interview.


She explained that the oil and gas industry has a lot of experience with methane hydrates, because they have to be kept from forming in pipes or they will clog the lines, stop the flow of oil, and pose a danger. Drillers use inhibitors such as methanol to keep the hydrates from crystallizing inside drill rigs operating at great depth, where conditions for methane hydrate formation are ideal.


This film clip of an experiment conducted on the ocean floor near the Deepwater Horizon drilling site demonstrates how quickly and easily methane hydrates can form. It was conducted by the Gulf of Mexico Hydrates Research Consortium aboard the Seward Johnson in September 2006. The voices of the scientists conducting the experiment are clearly audible.

The clip shows with remarkable clarity a robotic arm maneuvering a clear tube over a stream of hydrate bubbles
emanating from a crater on the sea
floor. Within minutes, gas trapped in the tube begins to form a visible solid a white ice matrix thanks to the extreme cold and pressure of the ocean depth. When the tube is inverted, the hydrate, less dense than seawater, floats out of the tube, dissociating into its components, gas and water.

Oil and gas drillers encounter far greater volumes of methane hydrate than the gentle stream of bubbles escaping from a small fissure that are shown in the film.

Amadeu Sum, an assistant professor at the Colorado School of Mines and also a co-director of the Hydrate Center, explained that methane hydrates can be encountered by drillers in the deep ocean where methane hydrates are trapped in sediments beneath the ocean floor.

Vast Deposits in Ocean Sediments

Professor Sum explained gas and oil flow up the pipe together in normal drilling operations. These hydrocarbons occur naturally together in conventional drilling operations. The deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico, and other places where methane hydrates exist, present drillers with special safety challenges.

For one thing, methane hydrates are believed to exist in vast deposits underneath the ocean floor, trapped by nature in ocean sediments. Deepwater drillers could find themselves drilling through these natural hydrate deposits.

Professor Sum said geologists know much less about these hydrate-bearing sediments than conventional ocean sediments, and that there is "little knowledge of the risks" of drilling into them.


The Deepwater Horizon rig was drilling in Block 252 of an area known as the Mississippi Canyon of the Gulf, thought to contain methane hydrate-bearing sediments, according to government maps. The platform was operating less than 20 miles from a methane hydrate research site located in the same canyon at Block 118.

From the sea floor a mile down, the Deepwater Horizon rig had penetrated another 18,000 feet almost another five miles down into the earth's crust with pipe.

According to the National Academy of Sciences, which published a bullish report on the energy potential of methane hydrates,

"Industry practice is to avoid methane-bearing areas during drilling for conventional oil and gas resources for safety reasons."


Professor Sum explained that because "with oil there is usually gas present," it is possible for methane hydrates to form in the pipe even when not drilling through hydrate-bearing sediments. The pressure and cold of the deepwater create conditions that encourage gas flowing into the pipe to form hydrates, and if the rate of crystallization is rapid enough, the hydrates can clog the pipe.

The cofferdam that BP lowered over the broken pipe gushing oil to contain the spill was almost immediately clogged by methane hydrates, which formed spontaneously. Gas escaping with the oil from the well, when trapped in the steel structure with cold water under great pressure, rapidly accumulated into an ice-like matrix.

Documented Explosive Hazard

In a book about methane hydrates, which Professor Koh co-authored, brief mention is made of a case in which methane hydrates caused a gas pipe to rupture on land, leading to loss of life.

Two workers were attempting to clear a line in which a hydrate plug had formed. The authors say that "the impact of a moving hydrate mass" caused the pipe to fail. The explosion caused a large piece of pipe to strike the foreman, killing him. The book then quotes from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Hydrate Guidelines to describe proper procedures for safely removing a hydrate plug in a pipe on land.

SolveClimate was not able to find more detailed public documentation of this incident in Alberta, but mention is made in an article in a publication of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a federal research center associated with the Department of Energy, of a different unspecified incident on a drilling rig.

"Forces from methane hydrate dissociation have been blamed for a damaging shift in a drilling rig's foundation, causing a loss of $100 million," the article reports.


Although public discussion of damage from methane hydrate accidents appears to be minimal, the danger is well-recognized within the industry. Last November, one Halliburton executive gave a presentation before a meeting of the American Association of Drilling Engineers in Houston, titled "Deepwater Cementing Consideration to Prevent Hydrate Destabilization."

It recognizes that the cementing process releases heat which can destabilize methane hydrates, and presents something called Cement System 2 as a solution to the problem. One of the graphs shows that the system doesn't achieve gel strength for four hours.

Yet according to an eyewitness report broadcast on Sunday on 60 Minutes, BP managers made the decision to decrease pressure in the well column by removing drilling mud before the cement had solidified in three plugs Halliburton had poured.

When a surge of gas started shooting up the well, a crucial seal on the blowout preventer at the well head on the ocean floor failed. It had been damaged weeks before and neglected as inconsequential by Transocean managers, according to the CBS news broadcast, even after chunks of rubber emerged from the drilling column on the surface.

According to the Associated Press, the victims of the Deepwater Horizon explosion said the blast occurred right after workers "introduced heat to set the cement seal around the wellhead." It is not known if Halliburton was employing Cement System 2, and testifying before the Senate last week, a Halliburton executive made no mention of methane hydrate hazards associated with cementing in deepwater.

A Promising Substance

Professors Koh and Sum are concerned that a focus on the dangers of methane hydrates in deepwater drilling will obscure their promise as an energy solution of the future. They are conducting research in the laboratory to create methane hydrates synthetically in order to take advantage of their peculiar properties. With their potential to store gas (both natural gas and hydrogen) efficiently within a crystalline structure, hydrogen hydrates could one day offer a potential solution for making fuel cells operate economically. Still at the fundamental stage, their work on storage is not yet complete enough to apply to commercial systems.

At the same time, there is an international competition underway to develop technology to harvest the vast deposits of methane hydrates in the world's oceans. Japan has joined the US and Canada in pursuit of this energy bonanza, motivated by the $23 billion it spends annually to import liquefied natural gas.

According to a Bloomberg News article called "Japan Mines Flammable Ice, Flirts with Environmental Disaster," the Japanese trade ministry is targeting 2016 to start commercial production, even as a Tokyo University scientist warned against causing a massive undersea landslide that could suddenly trigger a massive methane hydrate release.

The U.S. has a research program underway in collaboration with the oil industry, authorized by the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 1999. The National Methane Hydrates R&D Program is housed at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the Department of Energy.

The National Academy of Sciences provided a briefing for Congress last January on the energy potential of methane hydrates based on its report which asserts that "no technical challenges have been identified as insurmountable" in the pursuit of commercial production of methane hydrates.

In the wake of the BP oil disaster, SolveClimate attempted to contact Dr. Charles Paull of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, the lead author of the report. He was unavailable for comment, attending an international workshop on methane hydrates research in New Zealand from May 10-12, and according to his assistant, out of email contact.

Ed Jewett
05-23-2010, 08:55 PM
Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Big Picture: Why Was Deepwater Drilling Allowed in the Gulf, And Why Is It So Hard to Stop the Oil Gusher? (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/big-picture-why-was-deepwater-drilling.html)



It is obvious that the government failed to properly ensure that BP used adequate safety measures, that BP and their contractors were criminally negligent for the oil spill, and that the response by them and the government has been to cover up the problem. See this (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/whats-really-going-on-with-bp-gulf-oil.html).
But why are oil companies being allowed to drill so deeply under the Gulf in the first place? In other words, why has the government been so supportive of deepwater drilling in the Gulf? Without understanding what is really driving events in the Gulf, we cannot understand the big picture.

Oil Is Considered A National Security Issue
The answer - as Roger Anderson and Albert Boulanger of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory note (http://leanenergy.ldeo.columbia.edu/docs/UltraDeep%20Prosp%2010-22-02.pdf) - is that there is a tremendous amount of more oil deep under the Gulf, and that the United States government considers oil drilling in the deep waters of the Gulf as a national security priority:


The oil and gas industry and the United States government both face tremendous challenges to explore discover, appraise, develop, and exploit vast new hydrocarbon reserves in waters deeper than 6000 feet in the ultra-deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico. Yet these new reserves of hydrocarbons are needed to offset the economically detrimental, long-term decline in production from within the borders of the United States

***

If successfully developed, the new play concept would fill an essential gap in the overall strategic defenses of the United States by decreasing the gap that results in the nation's dependence on foreign oil and gas reserves in this volatile and hostile, post 9/11 world. However, the successful production of oil and gas from this new carbonate play concept requires much more cost-efficient evaluation and appraisal technologies than exist today to economically conduct exploration, appraisal, and development activities. These new technologies must be developed before production can be practical in the ultra-deepwater operating environment.... The Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Gas Trust Fund of the DOE has as its mission to cut costs and time-to-market not incrementally, but radically, so that the United States can optimally utilize these strategic hydrocarbon reserves. The DOE, with extensive industry,academic and non-governmental assistance, developed an Offshore Technology Roadmap ...,

***

The U. S. Energy Bill of 2002 has allocated significant resources to fund innovative industry, academic, and national laboratory research initiatives to develop the new technologies necessary to explore and produce these new ultra-deepwater reserves economically. The purpose is not only to impact the national defense, but also to regain our international technological leadership in the deepwater, recently lost to the Brazilians, Norwegians, and Europeans.

***
Congress, never a big friend to energy interests, has acted to create the Ultra-deepwater Trust Fund that would add an astounding $200 billion by 2017, if successful at developing the new production technologies required.
So the Department of Energy and Congress have committed to development of the deepwater Gulf oil reserves in the name of national security.

But let's take a step back and ask why the government considers oil a national security priority in the first place?
Well, the U.S. military is the largest consumer of oil in the world. As NPR reported (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16281892) in 2007:


All the U.S. tanks, planes and ships guzzle 340,000 barrels of oil a day, making the American military the single-largest purchaser and consumer of oil in the world.
If the Defense Department were a country, it would rank about 38th in the world for oil consumption, right behind the Philippines.
As Reuters pointed out (http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N20416568.htm) in 2008:

U.S. military fuel consumption dwarfs energy demand in many countries around the world, adding up to nearly double the fuel use in Ireland and 20 times more than that of Iceland, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.And as I summarized (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/12/big-secret-no-one-is-discussing-us.html) last year:


Sara Flounders writes (http://www.iacenter.org/o/world/climatesummit_pentagon121809/):
By every measure, the Pentagon is the largest institutional user of petroleum products and energy in general. Yet the Pentagon has a blanket exemption in all international climate agreements.

***
The Feb. 17, 2007, Energy Bulletin detailed the oil consumption just for the Pentagon's aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and facilities that made it the single-largest oil consumer in the world.
***
Even according to rankings in the 2006 CIA World Factbook, only 35 countries (out of 210 in the world) consume more oil per day than the Pentagon.
***
As I pointed out (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/12/removing-war-from-global-warming.html) out last week:
Professor Michael Klare noted (http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070615_the_pentagon_v_peak_oil/P100/) in 2007:


Sixteen gallons of oil. That's how much the average American soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan consumes on a daily basis -- either directly, through the use of Humvees, tanks, trucks, and helicopters, or indirectly, by calling in air strikes. Multiply this figure by 162,000 soldiers in Iraq, 24,000 in Afghanistan, and 30,000 in the surrounding region (including sailors aboard U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf) and you arrive at approximately 3.5 million gallons of oil: the daily petroleum tab for U.S. combat operations in the Middle East war zone.
And in 2008, Oil Change International released a report (http://priceofoil.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/A%20Climate%20of%20War%20FINAL%20%28March%2017%202 008%29.pdf) showing (http://climateandcapitalism.com/?p=375) that etween March 2003 and October 2007 the US military in Iraq purchased more than 4 billion gallons of fuel from the Defense Energy Support Center, the agency responsible for procuring and supplying petroleum products to the Department of Defense.
Indeed, Alan Greenspan (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article2461214.ece), John McCain (http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/05/02/974014.aspx), George W. Bush (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/08/31/bush_gives_new_reason_for_iraq_war/), Sarah Palin (http://thinkprogress.org/2008/08/31/palin-iraq-is-a-war-for-oil/), a high-level National Security Council officer (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2008/07/cheney-and-oil-bigs-planned-us-war.html) and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.

Are you starting to get the picture?
Personally, I strongly believe that it is vital for our national security - and our economy - to switch from dependence on oil to a basket of alternative energies (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/nows-time-to-switch-to-alternative.html). As I pointed out Friday:

It's not just the one BP oil rig. For example, since the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig exploded on April 20th, the Obama administration has granted oil and gas companies at least 27 exemptions (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/07/93761/despite-spill-feds-still-giving.html#ixzz0nHntbqDm) from doing in-depth environmental studies of oil exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. Then there are the 12 new oil and gas drilling rigs launched in the U.S. this week (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/21/12-offshore-rigs-oil-and-_n_585572.html).

And a whistleblower who survived the Gulf oil explosion claims (http://www.antemedius.com/content/whistleblower-sues-stop-another-bp-rig-operating) in a lawsuit that BP's operations at another oil platform risk another catastrophic accident that could "dwarf" the Gulf oil spill, partly because BP never even reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation. And see this (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/21/oil-accidents-waiting-to_n_582470.html).And Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that the Iraq war alone will cost $3-5 trillion dollars (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/07/AR2008030702846_pf.html).

In addition, experts say that the Iraq war has [B]increased the threat of terrorism. See this (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/24/world/middleeast/24terror.html?_r=1&oref=slogin), this (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7460-2005Jan13.html), this (http://www.motherjones.com/news/featurex/2007/03/iraq_effect_1.html), this (http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/100102_against_war.html), this (http://www.counterpunch.org/feingold09292005.html), this (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JE07Ak01.html) and this (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/05/terrorism-expert-keeping-detainees-in.html).

But existing national policy is to do whatever is necessary - drilling deep under the Gulf and launching our military abroad - to secure oil.
Does the Geology of the Spill Zone Make It Harder to Stop the Oil Spill?

We also can't understand the big picture behind the Gulf oil spill unless we know the underwater geology of the seabed and the underlying rocks.
For example, if there is solid rock beneath the leaking pipes, with channels leading to other underground spaces, then it might be possible to seal the whole spill zone, with the oil - hopefully - oozing somewhere under the seabed so that it won't spill into the ocean.

If, on the other hand, there is hundreds of feet of sand or mud beneath the leaking pipes, then sealing the spill zone might not work, as the high-pressure oil gusher would just leak out somewhere else.

BP has never publicly released geological cross-sections of the seabed and underlying rock. BP's Initial Exploration Plan (http://www.gomr.mms.gov/PI/PDFImages/PLANS/29/29977.pdf) refers to "structure contour maps" and "geological cross sections", but such drawings are designated "proprietary information" and have been kept under wraps.

It is impossible to determine the geology from drawings publicly released by BP, such as this one:

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4558745875_9f56707074.jpg (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4041/4558745875_9f56707074.jpg)
However, Anderson and Boulanger describe the basic geology of the oil-rich parts of the Gulf in the paper described above:


Production in the deepwater province is centered in turbidite sands recently deposited from the Mississippi delta. Even more prolific rates have been recorded in the carbonates of Mexico, with the Golden Lane and Campeche reporting 100,000 barrel per day production from single wells. However, most of the deep and ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico is covered by the Sigsbee salt sheet that forms a large, near-surface moonscape culminating at the edge of the continental slope in an 800 meter high escarpment.
***
Salt is the dominant structural element of the ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico petroleum system. Large horizontal salt sheets, driven by the huge Plio-Pleistocene to Oligocene sediment dump of the Mississippi, Rio Grande and other Gulf Coast Rivers, dominate the slope to the Sigsbee escarpment. Salt movement is recorded by large, stepped, counter-regional growth faults and down-to-the-basin fault systems soling into evacuated salt surfaces. Horizontal velocities of salt movement to the south are in the several cm/year range, making this supposedly passive margin as tectonically active as most plate boundaries.
***
Porosities over 30 percent and permeabilities greater than one darcy in deepwater turbidite reservoirs have been commonly cited. Compaction and diagenesis of deepwater reservoir sands are minimal because of relatively recent and rapid sedimentation. Sands at almost 20,000 feet in the auger field (Garden Banks 426) still retain a porosity of 26% and a permeability of almost 350mdarcies. Pliocene and Pleistocene turbidite sands in the Green Canyon 205 field have reported porosities ranging from 28 to 32% with permeabilities between 400 mdarcies and 3 darcies. Connectivity in sheet sands and amalgamated sheet and channel sands is high for deepwater turbidite reservoirs and recovery efficiencies are in the 40-60% range.
See also this (http://www.energypulse.net/centers/article/article_display.cfm?a_id=232).
The BP oil spill leak is occurring in the "Macondo" Prospect, Block 252, in the Mississippi Canyon Area of the Gulf (much of the oil-rich areas under the Gulf are in the Mississippi Canyon and Fan areas: "In the central Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi Canyon and Fan system is the dominant morphologic feature (http://coastalmap.marine.usgs.gov/gloria/gomex/geology.html)").

If the geology at Block 252 of the Macondo Prospect are like that described by Anderson and Boulanger, then it might be difficult to stop the oil gusher without completing relief wells (which will take a couple of months).
Specifically, if there are salt layers on the top of the seabed, with high porosity near the surface, and salt movement, then sealing the whole leak zone might not work.
Unless the government releases details of the geology underlying the spill site, people will not have an accurate picture of the oil spill situation. And failure to release such information may prevent creative scientists from coming up with a workable solution.

Note: The first draft of Anderson and Boulanger's paper, in 2001, stated:

No means currently exists to produce oil and gas to market from such water depths!(emphasis in original).
In other words, while BP, its subcontractors, and the government were all negligent with regard to the Deepwater Horizon operation, it should be noted that drilling at such depths is brand-new technology.

As such, the dangers of deepwater drilling in general should not be underestimated.

Ed Jewett
05-25-2010, 01:58 AM
I am not sure if there is anything meaningful here that can be excerpted from this, who this is, etc. Caveat lector.

http://monkeyfister.blogspot.com/2010/05/major-change-down-below.html


And viewer beware here too...

this is a video that has been posted elsewhere that, among other things, alleges a false flag attack pulled off by Blackwater.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNNUqc4yqkw
worth watching --- suggests this was an act of corporate-mil sabotage
with intel on evac plans and odd slip of the tongue by white house spokesguy

http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=119560&view=findpost&p=1114432

Myra Bronstein
05-25-2010, 03:03 AM
Also, the incident seems to lend a new dimension to the term "deep politics". What is evident is massive long-term "winking" or collusion between government and business to the extreme detriment of sentient life forms. As someone who has studied and was qualified in NIMS incident command and exercise design, I am horrified by the ineptitude of the government's response to this "incident".

It's not ineptitude, it's policies and priorities that forsake everything but profit. Notice that the corporate gov't is utterly competent and efficient when they decide that a big brokerage firm must be bailed out. The apparatus that got Obama elected was a well-oiled machine. Then he suddenly can't govern; alluva sudden his administration is all thumbs? Bullshit. He/they merely have an agenda different from ours. Disaster capitalism.

Ed Jewett
05-25-2010, 04:57 AM
There are some indications that the floor of the Gulf of Mexico sits astride tectonic plates and that the drilling and subsequent events may have opened a vented into a volcano. There is further follow-up here: http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=119857
(http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=119857)

Ed Jewett
05-25-2010, 05:15 AM
Also, the incident seems to lend a new dimension to the term "deep politics". What is evident is massive long-term "winking" or collusion between government and business to the extreme detriment of sentient life forms. As someone who has studied and was qualified in NIMS incident command and exercise design, I am horrified by the ineptitude of the government's response to this "incident".

It's not ineptitude, it's policies and priorities that forsake everything but profit. Notice that the corporate gov't is utterly competent and efficient when they decide that a big brokerage firm must be bailed out. The apparatus that got Obama elected was a well-oiled machine. Then he suddenly can't govern; alluva sudden his administration is all thumbs? Bullshit. He/they merely have an agenda different from ours. Disaster capitalism.


Maybe I was being too kind or careful in my wording... but what we are talking about here, whether or not it is disaster capitalism, is gross dereliction of duty, extreme failure of leadership, scientific ignorance and hubris, failure to appreciate the nature and severity of the situation and to take appropriate action, an impeachable offense, and eco-treason.

Myra Bronstein
05-25-2010, 05:34 AM
Also, the incident seems to lend a new dimension to the term "deep politics". What is evident is massive long-term "winking" or collusion between government and business to the extreme detriment of sentient life forms. As someone who has studied and was qualified in NIMS incident command and exercise design, I am horrified by the ineptitude of the government's response to this "incident".

It's not ineptitude, it's policies and priorities that forsake everything but profit. Notice that the corporate gov't is utterly competent and efficient when they decide that a big brokerage firm must be bailed out. The apparatus that got Obama elected was a well-oiled machine. Then he suddenly can't govern; alluva sudden his administration is all thumbs? Bullshit. He/they merely have an agenda different from ours. Disaster capitalism.


Maybe I was being too kind or careful in my wording... but what we are talking about here, whether or not it is disaster capitalism, is gross dereliction of duty, extreme failure of leadership, scientific ignorance and hubris, failure to appreciate the nature and severity of the situation and to take appropriate action, an impeachable offense, and eco-treason.

I understand Ed. From the perspective of us not in the ruling elite (I'm making assumptions about you) a sane and humane and responsible agenda is the exact opposite of what they're doing. From the perspective of the corporate owned ruling elite--the only demographic that matters--their agenda is being carried out wonderfully, and the puppets they installed are performing brilliantly.

Police and the coast guard patrol the Louisiana shore to prevent reporters from taking pictures of the horrifying suffering of the dying animals. Halliburton will probably be paid millions of our tax dollars to fix the problem that they were paid millions of tax dollars to create. New offshore drilling permits are being granted in the midst of the off shore drilling "moratorium. Gulf drilling regulators will continue to let oil companies fill out their own inspection reports.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/24/gulf-oil-spill-75-miles-o_n_587346.html
http://motherjones.com/environment/2010/05/oil-spill-bp-grand-isle-beach

But Obama went there promptly for his photo op so at least they threw the proles a crumb.

Ed Jewett
05-25-2010, 05:43 AM
"Today, I believe that we will not learn to live responsibly on this planet without basic changes in the way we organize human relationships, particularly inside the family, for family life provides the metaphors with which we think about broader ethical relations. We need to sustain creativity with a new and richer sense of complementarity and interdependence, and we need to draw on images of collaborative caring by both men and women as a model of responsibility. We must free these images from the connotations of servitude by making and keeping them truly elective."


"What we need today is [to] transform our attitude toward all productive work and toward the planet into expressions of homemaking, where we create and sustain the possibility of life. It may take another word to express the single responsibility that unites the homemaker, male or female, with the men and women who mine and plant and create industries and work for effective forms of exchange and for a peaceful world. Such a new term might be ecopoesis, using the Greek root for making that gives us the word poetry. Still, the making of words and rhymes is insufficient; the problem is with our understanding of the materialities that make life possible: the forests and the cooking pots, the necessary recuperation time of fields and workers, the private spaces of our lives where the spirit flourishes, and the woodlands that are still wild."

If it is true that the unit of survival is the organism plus its environment, a sensitivity to the environment is the highest of survival skills and not a dangerous distraction. We must live in a wider space and a longer stretch of time. In thinking about survival, we must think of sustaining life across generations rather than accepting the short-term purposes of politicians and accountants.

The fundamental problem of our society and our species today is to discover a way to flourish that will not be at the expense of some other community or of the biosphere, to replace competition with creative interdependence. At present, we are steadily depleting the planet of resources and biological diversity; the developed world thrives on the poverty of the South. We are in need of another standing of global relationships that will not only be sustainable but also enriching; it must come to us as a positive challenge, a vision worth fulfilling, not a demand for retrenchment and austerity. This is, of course, what we do day by day when we refuse to accept the idea that we must reject one part of life to enhance another. Projecting a new vision is artistic; it's a task each of us pursues in composing our lives. One can write songs about sharing; it is hard to write songs about limits.

The visions we construct will not be classic pioneer visions of struggle and self-reliance. Rather, they will involve an intricate elaboration of themes of complementarity -- forms of mutual completion and enhancement and themes of recognition achieved through loving attention. All the forms of life we encounter -- not only colleagues and neighbors, but other species, other cultures, the planet itself -- are similar to us and severely in need of nurture, but there is also a larger whole to which we all belong. The health of that larger whole is essential to the health of the parts. Many women raised in male-dominated cultures have to struggle against the impulse to sacrifice their health for the health of the whole, to maintain complementarity without dependency. But many men raised in the same traditions have to struggle against pervasive imageries in which their own health or growth is a victory achieved at the expense of the other. We have perhaps a few years in which to combine these.. We must celebrate the mysterious sacredness of that which is still to be born."

Selected excerpts from Composing a Life, by Mary Catherine Bateson, Plume/Penguin, NY 1990.

Peter Lemkin
05-25-2010, 07:23 AM
"Officials have now admitted that BPs unstoppable oil leak may be pouring up to 2.5 million gallons a day into Gulf of Mexico." Hmmm.....It began on April 20...that makes about 36 days x 2.5 million gallons = about 90 million gallons - and they don't expect the relief well will be drilled before the end of the year....which would be about another 525 million gallons - for a total [if the leak doesn't increase, as many experts expect] = a total 'spill' of about 615.000.000 gallons [give or take a few]....nice move BP, Halliburton, USG, et al.... These figures I take as conservative - as they are probably still lying about the amount and it IS expected that the leaking oil will break the pipe further and increase its rate of flow....so I'd guessimate a billion gallons [4 billion liters]. :joyman: Add to that that BP has bought up and used about half of the world's supply of dispersant [which are as harmful / toxic - if not more so than the oil itself!]. Not much chance of the Gulf surviving as much more than a sewer for years to come. :dancing2:

Susan Grant
05-25-2010, 11:48 AM
http://monkeyfister.blogspot.com/2010/05/major-change-down-below.html

I am sure there are people here who can evaluate this. It appears that the ocean bed has blown.

Peter Lemkin
05-25-2010, 03:31 PM
http://monkeyfister.blogspot.com/2010/05/major-change-down-below.html

I am sure there are people here who can evaluate this. It appears that the ocean bed has blown.

So, as expected by environmental scientists and oil engineers [with enough courage to speak the truth!] IT has already happened! The broken pipe is rupturing in a new location and will now be spewing out more oil per unit time. This will continue for a while and multiple times, no doubt. So, take my one billion gallons and double it for now.

If you have a fishtank in your home and would like to perform a test, at the risk of you pet fish: take just one drop of unrefined oil and drop it into your tank [no matter how large] and watch the results....and extrapolate that to the Gulf of Mexico, and to a growing extent along the conveyor known as the Gulf Stream.....:aetsch:

Ed Jewett
05-25-2010, 07:11 PM
BP'S Shocking Memo

by Rick Outzen

A document obtained by The Daily Beast shows that BP, in a previous fatal disaster, increased worker risk to save money. Are there parallels with the Gulf explosion?
This is a story about the Three Little Pigs. A lot of dead oil workers. And British Petroleum.
From the minute the Deepwater Horizon offshore rig exploded, BP has hewed to a party line: it did everything it could to prevent the April 20 accident that killed 11 men and has been spewing millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico ever since. Some critics have questioned the veracity of that position.
Now The Daily Beast has obtained a documentdisplayed belowthat goes to the heart of BP procedures, demonstrating that before the companys previous major disasterat a moment when the oil giant could choose between cost-savings and greater safetyit selected cost-savings. And BP chose to illustrate that choice, without irony, by invoking the classic Three Little Pigs fairy tale.

EXCLUSIVE: This internal BP document shows how the company took deadly risks to save money by opting to build cheaper facilities for workers. The company estimated the value of a worker's life at $10 million.

http://www.tdbimg.com/files/2010/05/25/img-three-little-pigs---outzen_123605708890.jpg
A BP spokesman tells The Daily Beast that the company has fundamentally changed the culture of BP since the previous disaster, an explosion at a Texas refinery five years ago. But given that a $500,000 valve might have prevented the massive spill that is now threatening to devastate the Gulf of Mexico, one has to wonder.
Some context. In March 2005, BPs Texas City Refinery caught fire. The explosion killed 15 workers, injured 170 plant employees and residents of nearby neighborhoods, and rocked buildings 10 miles away. Most of those who died were in trailers next to the isomerization unit, which boosts octane in gasoline, when it blew up.
Attorney Brent Coon represented families of the workers killed, and discovered internal BP documents that showed the oil giant had chosen to use trailers to house workers during the day, rather than blast-resistant structures, in order save money at the refinery.
Throughout his work on the case, Coon used a Three Little Pigs analogy to illustrate the cost/benefit analysis that he believed BP used to choose the less expensive buildings, with the trailers representing straw or sticks, versus stronger material the lawyer said should have been used. But whenever Coon brought up the fairy tale, he says that BPs attorneys objected.
Then Coon received a set of documents through discovery.
Right there we found a presentation on the decision to buy the trailers that showed BP using The Three Little Pigs to describe the costs associated with the four [refinery housing] options. Says Coon: I thought youve got to be f------ kidding me. They even had drawings of three pigs on the report.
The two-page document, prepared by BPs risk managers in October 2002 as part of a larger risk preparedness presentation, and titled Cost benefit analysis of three little pigs, is harrowing:
Frequencythe big bad wolf blows with a frequency of once per lifetime.
Consequenceif the wolf blows down the house then the piggy is gobbled.
Maximum justifiable spend (MJS)a piggy considers its worth $1000 to save its bacon.
Which type of house, the report asks, should the piggy build?
It then answers its own question: a hand-written note, optimal, is marked next to an option that offers solid protection, but not the blast resistant trailer, typically all-welded steel structures, that cost 10 times as much.
At Texas City, all of the fatalities and many of the serious injuries occurred in or around the nine contractor trailers near the isom unit, which contained large quantities of flammable hydrocarbons and had a history of releases, fires, and other safety incidents. A number of trailers as far away as two football fields were heavily damaged.
Coon says that during the discovery process, he found another email from the BP Risk Management department that showed BP put a value on each worker when making its Three Little Pigs calculation: $10 million per life. One of Coons associates, Eric Newell, told me that the email came from Robert Mancini, a chemical engineer in risk management, during a period when BP was buying rival Amoco and was used to compare the two companies policies. This email, and the related Three Little Pigs memo, which has never before been publicly viewed, attracted almost no press attention.
The BP spokesman, Scott Dean, tells The Daily Beast: Those documents are several years old, and that since then, we have invested $1 billion into upgrading that refinery and continue to improve our safety worldwide. BPs current chief executive, Tony Hayward, has consistently tried to distance himself from the track record of his predecessor, Lord John Browne, who resigned abruptly in 2007, after the companys safety record and his private life both came under scrutiny.
The refinery explosion resulted in more than 3,000 lawsuits, including Coons, and out-of-court settlements totaling $1.6 billion. BP was also convicted of a felony violation of the Clean Air Act, fined $50 million and sentenced to three years probation. Last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration levied the largest monetary penalty in its history, $87 million, for "failing to correct safety problems identified after a 2005 explosion that killed 15 workers at its Texas City, Texas refinery."
So has BP changed since Lord Browne left? Does BPs Three Little Pigs decision matrix apply to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy?
We know that the Deepwater well lacked the remote-control, acoustical valve that experts believe would have shut off the well when the blowout protector failed. The acoustic trigger costs about $500,000. How would that stand up to a similar Maximum Justifiable Spend analysis (especially when BPs liability is officially capped at $75 million by federal law)?
Meanwhile, officials along the Gulf Coast continue to question whether BP has tried to cut corners on the containment of the oil gushing from the well. Just yesterday, Pensacola City Councilman Larry Johnson grilled BPs Civic Affairs Director Liz Castro about why her company has failed to use supertankers, used to successfully clean similar sized spills in the Arabian Gulf in the 1990s, to assist with oil recovery.
These tankers saved the environment and recovered approximately 85 percent of the crude oil, Johnson lectured. I think BP didnt bring the tankers in here because it was more profitable to use them to transport oil.
When Castro couldnt answer technical questions, Johnson and his fellow council members banished Castro until she came back with people who could.
And while BP has repeatedly stated that it will pay all necessary and appropriate clean-up costs and verifiable claims for other loss and damage caused by the spill, the Florida Congressional delegation has repeatedly asked BP to place $1 billion in an escrow account to reimburse states and countiesinstead the states have received $25 million block grants, plus $70 million to help with advertising campaigns.
While BP did announce a $500 million research project yesterday, to study the impact of the oil disaster on marine life over 10 years, thats cold comfort to those worried about their livelihood. For all of BPs pledges that its delivering a figurative brick house, a solid plan, to stop the leak, contain the spill and clean up the shore, too many people on the Gulf feel like theyre living in a house of straw.
Rick Outzen is publisher and editor of Independent News, the alternative newsweekly for Northwest Florida.

Ed Jewett
05-25-2010, 07:34 PM
IG Report: Methamphetamine Use by Interior Department Staff (http://cryptogon.com/?p=15646)

May 25th, 2010 Via: AP (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/IG-report-Meth-porn-use-by-apf-1352909163.html):
Staff members at an agency that oversees offshore drilling accepted tickets to sports events, lunches and other gifts from oil and gas companies and used government computers to view pornography, according to an Interior Department report alleging a culture of cronyism between regulators and the industry.
In at least one case, an inspector for the Minerals Management Service admitted using crystal methamphetamine and said he might have been under the influence of the drug the next day at work, according to the report by the acting inspector general of the Interior Department.
The report cites a variety of violations of federal regulations and ethics rules at the agencys Louisiana office. Previous inspector general investigations have focused on inappropriate behavior by the royalty-collection staff in the agencys Denver office.
The report adds to the climate of frustration and criticism facing the Obama administration in the monthlong oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, although it covers actions before the spill. Millions of gallons of oil are gushing into the Gulf, endangering wildlife and the livelihoods of fishermen, as scrutiny intensifies on a lax regulatory climate.
The report began as a routine investigation, the acting inspector general, Mary Kendall, said in a cover letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, whose department includes the agency.
Unfortunately, given the events of April 20 of this year, this report had become anything but routine, and I feel compelled to release it now, she wrote.
Her biggest concern is the ease with which minerals agency employees move between industry and government, Kendall said. While no specifics were included in the report, we discovered that the individuals involved in the fraternizing and gift exchange both government and industry have often known one another since childhood, Kendall said.
Their relationships took precedence over their jobs, Kendall said.
The report follows a 2007 investigation that revealed what then-Inspector General Earl Devaney called a culture of ethical failure and conflicts of interest at the minerals agency.

Ed Jewett
05-25-2010, 07:46 PM
Open Thread: Various BP Oil Spill Theories (http://cryptogon.com/?p=15626)

May 25th, 2010 Want to discuss BP oil spill theories that are percolating though the rumor sphere? Go for it here.
Ive seen all of the ones that you guys have submitted (and then some!), but I cant find any sources that I feel are worth mentioning here.
http://cryptogon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/oilspill.png Oil Spill Card from Illuminati Role Playing Game (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1556343841/ref=nosim/cryptogoncom-20)
This is not to say that I think were getting the full picture from the corporate media on this cataclysm. As per routine, its probably not that bad, its worse. But, from long experience, I avoid posting stuff from sites that generate in excess of 95% noise and rat poison, consider Sucha Fool to be an authoritative source of information and have roll playing/social engineering games running as factual threads (complete with teams of trolls egging on the peanut gallery).
However, there is that other 5% of information that might represent legitimate signal Think you have a grip on that 5%, well, shine on you wild diamond. This is the place.
If you want to mention something about the sea floor, the alleged looped video, space based beam weapons, etc. go for it.

Peter Lemkin
05-26-2010, 10:32 AM
http://monkeyfister.blogspot.com/2010/05/major-change-down-below.html

I am sure there are people here who can evaluate this. It appears that the ocean bed has blown.

So, as expected by environmental scientists and oil engineers [with enough courage to speak the truth!] IT has already happened! The broken pipe is rupturing in a new location and will now be spewing out more oil per unit time. This will continue for a while and multiple times, no doubt. So, take my one billion gallons and double it for now.

If you have a fishtank in your home and would like to perform a test, at the risk of you pet fish: take just one drop of unrefined oil and drop it into your tank [no matter how large] and watch the results....and extrapolate that to the Gulf of Mexico, and to a growing extent along the conveyor known as the Gulf Stream.....:aetsch:

Oh, and if the concrete and heavy barium sludge they plan to use today doesn't work, even BP admits it will not only be a failure, but will damage the pipe further and cause greater leakage....they calculate a 60% chance of success. I calculate something of the order of 5% - at this depth and with methane hydrates involved.....stay tuned, we'll know in the next 24-48 hours. :flute:

Peter Lemkin
05-26-2010, 07:21 PM
AMY GOODMAN: We are talking about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, what the biologist Rick Steiner now calls the Gulf of Oil. Our guests are Abrahm Lustgarten, reporter with ProPublica, and Zygmunt Plater, an environmental law professor at Boston College. But more relevant to this discussion is he headed the legal team that investigated the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill.

What does the Exxon Valdez spill, Zyg Plater, have to do with BP?

ZYGMUNT PLATER: Its so damnably frustrating to see this happening again, because BP dominated the Alyeska consortium, that our commission said, "Dont just look at the aftermath. The preconditions were created by the Alyeska company, not just by Exxon." And BP got no notice. In retrospect, our commission report should have mentioned BP by name. We just said Alyeska, Alyeska which was the entity that made all those decisions, but BP dominated Alyeska with a majority holding.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain, though, what Alyeska had to do with Exxon Valdez?

ZYGMUNT PLATER: Well, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was organized by a consortium of seven companies, not one company. It was more like a partnership, and it ran everything, from the North Slope through the pipeline 800 miles down to Valdez to the tank loading areas and then the system of getting tankers down to California. It was a mega-system, we talked about. And the frustrating thing we found is that the same kind of mega-system problems that we learned lessons from then continued for twenty years with the lessons unlearned. And BP was there in the beginning of Exxon Valdez by creating the preconditions that had hazards. It wasnt a question of if there would be a spill, but only when it would happen. And it was Exxon. We were happy it wasnt Amerada Hess, because Amerada didnt have any money. But the point was that this was not just a problem of an intoxicated captain, it was not just a problem of Exxon; it was through the mega-system. And the same problems we see in the Gulf now, twenty years later, lessons unlearned.

AMY GOODMAN: And for people who arent familiar with the Exxon Valdez, the supertanker spilled at least 11 million gallons of oil into Alaskas pristine Prince William Sound. The consequences of the spill were epic, continue to this day. The massive spill stretched 1,200 miles from the accident site, covered 3,200 miles of shoreline, an incredible 10,000 square miles overall. Compare what happened twenty years ago, Zyg Plater, to what were seeing in the Gulf of Mexico today.

ZYGMUNT PLATER: Well, of course, every spill is somewhat different, and every coastline tends to be different. But the images of wildlife and fishermen with their living destroyed are the same. There are differences in Alaska. There was only one major current to deal with. In the Gulf, there are multiple dangers presented by multiple currents. And in the Gulf, unfortunately, eleven people died. That means that the legal response is going to be even more complicated in the Gulf than it was in Alaska. But the images that were getting are sadly the same. And probably most of the harm is out of sight, out of mind, in the water column, as Mr. Lustgarten was talking about, and in the multiplier indirect effects that take place throughout the human and the ecological networks around the Gulf.

AMY GOODMAN: So, explain exactly what happened twenty years ago, in terms of your investigation, your regret now that you didnt name BP. Well, what went on inside? Why wasnt there a full discussion of who was responsible, what corporations needed to have done before and after, and then the issue of criminal responsibility?

ZYGMUNT PLATER: Well, the commissions report is a marvelous document. Im not taking credit for it. The commission worked hard on it. But it didnt want to be seen as extreme, I believe. By the way, there are two important information resources that have been overlooked. One of them is the spill report, and I could tell you and your listeners how to find that. But we felt that by mentioning Alyeska, people would look into it and discover, oh, yes, it was dominated by BP, so we didnt name those names. In retrospect, I wish dearly we had, because it could have caused a change in the internal corporate climate. Transparency, public attention makes a huge difference. And in the Exxon Valdez case, the attention was diverted almost entirely on a captain who had had a few drinks.

AMY GOODMAN: Where can you find the report?

ZYGMUNT PLATER: The Alaska Resource Library and Information Systems, ARLIS, A-R-L-I-S, Alaska. If you Google that, you will find the source, and ask for "Spill: The Wreck of the Exxon Valdez," the February 1990 report of the State of Alaska Oil Spill Commission. The other book on epidemiology, becauseand toxicology, because its those long-term system harms that people tend to overlook, was written by Dr. Riki Ott, O-T-T. Its called Sound Truths, and its available on Amazon. As I say, both of these have been massively overlooked.

But if the lessons we had learned twenty years ago had received the public notoriety of the captains drinking, it seems to me people would have realized this was a much bigger problem, it was a systemic problem, and it wasnt just Exxon. It was BP down in Houston that was making the decisions, calling the shots, that made the Exxon Valdez inevitable.

And then, remember also, after an incident, theres the question of response. If you look at the contingency planning, it was clear to us that, both before and after, this mega-system was characterized by, we said, complacency, collusion, neglect. Does that sound familiar? Complacency, collusion, neglect. The official players, corporate and governmental, for a variety of reasons, as Mr. Lustgarten hinted, just were not able to keep the public interest in mind. And twenty years later, we are finding ourselves retracing the same path.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to talk about the issue of prosecution and bring one more person into this, this broader issue of prosecuting corporations that ignore health and safety standards and cause environmental disasters.

A group of citizen activists has just launched a campaign calling on the state of West Virginia to prosecute Massey Energy for manslaughter in connection with the April 5th explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine that claimed the lives of twenty-nine coal miners. The group has set up a website, prosecutemassey.org, that allows citizens to petition the state prosecutor to bring manslaughter charges against Massey Energy. Theyre also putting up billboards publicizing the campaign across West Virginia. Last month, Kristen Keller, the prosecuting attorney for Raleigh County, said she would not hesitate to prosecute if there was evidence to support a homicide prosecution.

Well, for more on prosecuting corporate crime, were joined now in Washington, DC by Russell Mokhiber, editor of Corporate Crime Reporter. Hes involved with the campaign to prosecute Massey Energy.

And as we talk about BP and what is beingthe question being asked, "Is BP beyond prosecution?"and we look at what happened just before, the reason that were not seeing much about Upper Big Branch Mine is simply because this greater catastrophe has occurred in the Gulf of Mexicofor some, greater; for others, certainly in West Virginia, not greater. Russell, talk about this issue of why we talk about fining, but not criminal prosecution.

RUSSELL MOKHIBER: Good morning, Amy.

BP is not beyond prosecution. Massey Energy is not beyond prosecution. Its a question of resources and political will. If Im driving recklessly in West Virginia, say, ninety miles an hour in a fifty-five speed zone, and I lose control of the vehicle and accidentally kill someone, even though I didnt intend to kill someone, I will be criminally charged for involuntary manslaughter, and I will be thrown in prison. Now, BP operated this mine in a reckless manner, and as a result, twenty-nine coal miners are dead, andIm sorry, Massey Energy operated this mine in a reckless manner; as a result, twenty-nine coal miners are dead. Were calling on Kristen Keller, the prosecuting attorney in Raleigh County, to bring this prosecution. We should not live in a society where the rich and powerful are treated one way and individual citizens are treated another.

Now, whats the evidence that Massey Energy operated this mine in a reckless manner? Number one, Washington Post reported that earlier this year a federal mine inspector said that Massey was operating this mine with reckless disregard for the safety of the workers. Just this week, in an eye-opening hearing in Beckley, West Virginia, a hearing of the House Education, Labor and Pension Committee, it was a field hearing in Beckley where workers who survived the explosion and families of those who died in the explosion testified. And it was really quite remarkable.

Stanley Stewart survived it, and he said the place was like a ticking time bomb. He said that prior to the explosion, the mine experienced two fireballs, and he wondered how could this have happened if the methane detectors had been working. He said that the workers there, which was a non-union mine, were like marked men. You would be fired if you spoke up. Union workers in union mines have a right not to work, to walk off the job, if theres an unsafe condition. Not true at Massey. If you did that, you would be fired. Maybe not that day or that week, he said, but you would be fired. And he told his wife, prior to the explosion, he felt like it washe was likeit was working for the Gestapo.

Alice Peters testified. She lost her son-in-law, Dean Jones, who was a section foreman at the mine. Now whyDean Jones knew this was a highly dangerous workplace because of the way Massey was operating it. Why did he continue to work there? He continued to work there because his son had cystic fibrosis. He continued to work there for the health insurance. That was the only reason he was there, Alice Peters said. And she was so concerned about him that she would call the workplace and make up a story that her son was in an emergency situation, to get him out of the mine, to save his life. Unfortunately, she did not make that call on April 5th, and he perished in that mine.

So were urging all Americans who are concerned about this to go to prosecutemassey.org and click on the petition in the upper-right and sign that petition, because we have to educate our prosecutors about the history of corporate crime prosecution in this country.

You know, there are prosecutors who prosecute these cases. There was the famous 1942 fire, the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston, Massachusetts, that killed 492 people. And the prosecuting attorney in Massachusetts charged the owner of that nightclub with fifteen counts of involuntary manslaughter, and he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison.

In Chicago, the Film Recovery case, executives who ran that operation, where a worker was breathingdied from cyanide poisoning, were prosecuted and convicted and went to jail in that case.

And perhaps in the most famous of these cases, had to do with consumer deaths, the Ford Motor Company was charged with homicide in connection with the deaths of three teenage girls who were riding in a Ford Pinto in 1978, and their Pinto was rear-ended in a collision at slow speeds. And they werent crushed to death. They were burned to death, because the fuel tank collapsed, and gas was spilled, caught fire, and there was an explosion, and these three girls were burned to death. Now, a Republican prosecutor in northern Indiana, a very conservative prosecutor, Michael Constantino, convened a grand jury and presented evidence that Ford cut corners on safety in building the Pinto, and he indicted and that grand jury indicted Ford Motor Company for reckless homicide. And the company was eventually found not guilty, but it sent a message to corporate America that if you engage in reckless activity and, as a result, workers or consumers are killed, that you, too, will be criminally prosecuted.

Now, Massey has created a culture of intimidation in the coal fields and throughout West Virginia. And so, were seeking to break that by putting up billboards throughout the state that say, "29 coal miners [dead], prosecute Massey for manslaughter," and urging people to go to prosecutemassey.org and sign the petition to the prosecutor. I interviewed her and asked her about this case, and she saidand she wasnt familiar with the history of these kinds of prosecutions. And one problem is that there are very few resources to investigate these. But she said that if there was evidence, she would prosecute. She has one year to do it from the time of the accidents. Thats the statute of limitation. So we have one year to build a campaign to get her to do the right thing.

Ira Reiner, who was the district attorney in Los Angeles County for many years in the 1980s, had a policy of every time there was a death on the job, he would investigate it as a homicide. He wouldnt charge every case, but at least he had an investigative rollout team that would go out and collect evidence and see if there was enough evidence to prove a homicide charge. And he brought a number of these cases, and a number of executives went to jail as a result of worker deaths and a resulting homicide prosecution.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me go back to Zyg Plater, this issue of criminal liability, from Exxon Valdezand that wasnt just Exxon involved thereto what were seeing now in the Gulf of Mexico. This isnt any major partand certainly it hasnt been, of Masseyof the discussion, is criminal responsibility, executives put in handcuffs, executives arrested. Zyg Plater?

ZYGMUNT PLATER: No. There will bethere will be criminal prosecution in the BP case, Im convinced, as there was in the Exxon Valdez case. In fact, Rick Steiner, whom you spoke to in Alaska, played an important role in making sure that the first Bush administration prosecuted thatexcuse me, Rick Steiner played a major role in pushing the prosecution of Exxon in that case under pollution statutes.

But here, where people have died, were reminded that complacency is not only about causing the risks of spills and harms to the economy, but also complacency about human life. And a system that runs that kind of risks clearly is going to risk a criminal liability for manslaughter prosecutions, at the very least. In the Film Recovery case that Russ was talking about, that was a homicide conviction in Illinois. I dont think were going to see that, because that was a small company, and its very hard to talk in those terms about a large company. But there will be criminal prosecution, and I would be very surprised if manslaughter was not part of the charges.

AMY GOODMAN: And Abrahm Lustgarten, the whole debate in the Senate now, this isnt about criminal charges, but its about lifting that liability cap from $75 million to $10 billion, and still it hasnt happened.

ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN: No. Itll be interesting to see what does unfold there. And BP has pledged repeatedly that they will pay whatever it takes. I think it remains to be seen whether they actually will. Theyre not

AMY GOODMAN: But thats a pledge. Thats a corporation promise. Thats not being held accountable. Thats not a requirement.

ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN: Exactly. And if Congress passed legislation that lifted that ceiling, its not clear that it would apply in this case anyway, because its after the fact. So we will rely, to some degree, on what BP chooses to do. And theyre not a company that has shown in the past a willingness to spend money where not forced to do so by courts or prosecutors.

AMY GOODMAN: Has BP everexecutives been jailed for criminal responsibility in a disaster?

ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN: Im not aware of any case where BP executives have been jailed; however, the company has four criminal convictions. It has been criminally prosecuted in each of its last four casesthe Prudhoe Bay pipeline spill in 2006, its refinery fire which killed fifteen workers in Texas City in 2005, a hazardous waste disposal case in 2000. So I also believe that there will eventually be a criminal prosecution in this case. Whether the executives are personally held accountable remains to be seen.

AMY GOODMAN: Because when you say a corporation has criminal charges, has been found criminally responsibleRussell Mokhiber, let me put that question to you. What does that mean? Not a corporate executive, but a corporation?

RUSSELL MOKHIBER: Well, you know, we have a two-tier system here, Amy: for individuals and for corporations. And forbetween big corporations and smaller corporations. So, for example, yes, we couldthe federal government could go afterand, by the way, you said, you know, were not hearing that much about criminal prosecution. Were not hearing it in the mainstream media, but when you talk to regular folks, the first thing you hear is, about Massey and BP, "Put these people in jail." These people belong in jail. And theres a way to do it.

So, for example, the federal government in 1996 prosecuted executives from the largest meatpacking plant in South Dakota, and they were dumping slaughterhouse waste into the Sioux River. And the executives were thrown in jail for water pollution. So where theres a will, theres a way.

AMY GOODMAN: So youre talking about Don Blankenship.

RUSSELL MOKHIBER: And executives can beexecutives canunder the current law, executives can be thrown in jail. But unfortunately, weve set up a system where we either plea to misdemeanors or we enter in deferred non-prosecution agreements. Its all pretty much a love tap. And theres this revolving door where prosecutors, young federal prosecutors, are looking to jump ship and go and work to defend white-collar and corporate crime. So the system is set up so that theres no serious punishment against the executives responsible for these disasters.

AMY GOODMAN: Youre calling for Don Blankenship himself to be charged with manslaughter?

RUSSELL MOKHIBER: If theres the evidence there that he was involved. Now, one of thepart of the testimony that we heard in Beckley earlier this week was from Alice Peters, and she said she was so concerned about the air levels and the methane buildup at the Upper Big Branch Mine that her and her daughter faxed complaints directly to Don Blankenship prior to the explosion. And so, you know, Don Blankenship is known as a hands-on kind of manager. So thats why we need a full investigation here. But, yes, were calling for prosecution of Massey Energy for involuntary manslaughter, prosecution of Massey Energy and the responsible executives.

AMY GOODMAN: Russell Mokhiber, I want to thank you for being with us, editor of Corporate Crime Reporter. The campaign website is prosecutemassey.org. And I want to thank Zyg Plater for being with us from Boston, environmental law professor at Boston College, headed up the commission that investigated Exxon Valdez.

Abrahm Lustgarten, on a wholly different issue, someone asked me the other day, why dont they just bomb the pipe where the oil is gushing out? And the person suggested its because if it was ever to be used again, BP didnt want to destroy it in that way. Have you heard this suggestion of bombing the pipe?

ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN: Ive heard the suggestion. Ive heard rumors.

AMY GOODMAN: The hole.

ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN: Its not really clear whether thats a practical approach. BP did say, within the past few days, that they had ruled such an approach out, not clear what they were referring to exactly, and they didnt say why. Theres just a whole lot of questions around that.

Peter Lemkin
05-26-2010, 08:54 PM
Watch the Circus Live on Webcam.....c/o BP

http://www.energyboom.com/policy/watch-live-oil-spill-webcam-will-operation-top-kill-stop-oil

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 03:32 AM
Oil Wars Come Home to Roost

Looking for the Moral Equivalent of a President, Still
by Greg Moses / May 26th, 2010
Even the birds are pissed. Whether its the Mockingbird who guards the footpath down by the bus stop. Or the Blue Jay who cusses across my back deck. Or even the frigging Grackle who buzzed me early morning at the grocery-store parking lot. This week Im a Hitchcock player and these birds come straight for my neck.
AP says 333 birds have been found dead along the Gulf Coast with no oil on them. Well, the birds I know are telling me what their fellows died from. The lead weight of grief. As if the oil companies hadnt wrecked every other week this century. As if this must be nothing but the century of dirty oil. Suddenly the oil wars have come home to roost and there is nothing to do about it except what everybody else has done who gets smacked by this dark force of history. You just stand there and cry.
Its like shock and awe bounced back off the dark side of the moon. All the wealth and brains and power of the mighty American empire sucked into a vacuum of arrogant corruption and relayed back to earth in the form of a blob that will not be stopped until the death of it all finally sinks in. You call this stinking mess democracy?
I would be betting the plan is to let us die, says St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro. And Plaquemine Parish President Billy Nungesser tells a wicked little story about what happens when your messenger comes back from the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the US Army Corps of Engineers. The grassroots people were ready to defend their shores, Nungesser says to CNNs Campbell Brown, but the Corps of Engineers was not. The American people expected to see ships and uniforms lining the shores with resources and action, but the Coast Guard did not. Everyone who loves the waters and sands and skies and breezes of the Gulf of Mexico expected a moral equivalent of war to be mobilized by the White House, but the President of the United States did not.
A boot heel on the neck of BP? Is this how Democrats have come to brag about what real power feels like? The US Navy has a fleet of nuclear submarines that can erase all human life from the planet in 90 seconds or less but only BP can be trusted to lead the world when the water gets that deep? And even in this emergency the only thing that Constitutional authorities know how to do is look for some neck to stand on? No wonder even the birds have had enough of this nonsense. If its necks that count for power these days, I can tell you, even the birds are ready to go.
No doubt a lot of good folks feel they have to behave properly in front of the television cameras, but thank god for Billy Nungesser cussing right in the Governors face. I know he spoke for me. Even the vaunted James Carville is stupefied at the obscenities of neglect that are killing our dearly beloved Gulf of Mexico. If the plan is not to kill the Gulf, why did the President spend the weekend at West Point ideological home base of The Corps? If the plan is not to let it die, why wasnt West Point spending the weekend with Nungesser and Taffaro? I paid my taxes so that West Point could keep its frigging graduation schedule? Somebody ought to go up there to Newburgh, New York and take pictures of all the new cars on the West Point campus this week.
If Plaquemine and St. Bernard Parishes secede from the union this week, you can count me in. The world is badly in need of a moral equivalent of a President. And today, the Parish Presidents of the Gulf Coast are working for me.
Greg Moses is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review (http://texascivilrightsreview.org/) and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence (http://www.amazon.com/Revolution-Conscience-Martin-Philosophy-Nonviolence/dp/1572304073/ref=sr_1_1/102-1792006-5724119?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1178581967&sr=1-1). He can be reached at: gmosesx@prodigy.net. Read other articles by Greg (http://dissidentvoice.org/author/GregMoses/), or visit Greg's website (http://texascivilrightsreview.org/).
This article was posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 at 7:59am and is filed under Obama (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/obama/), Oil, Gas, Pipelines (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/oil/).

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/oil-wars-come-home-to-roost/

Peter Lemkin
05-27-2010, 05:14 AM
Watch the Circus Live on Webcam.....c/o BP

http://www.energyboom.com/policy/watch-live-oil-spill-webcam-will-operation-top-kill-stop-oil

I've been watching....they have two robot craft with cameras on the leak and NOT a single change while all this hype about 'killing' it with barium mud and concrete....haven't even seen a puff of either....I doubt completely this latest 'effort' will have any effect whatsoever. Bye Bye life in the Gulf :ciao::ciao::ciao:

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 06:10 AM
As I said elsewhere:

One of the thoughts that occurs to me when I think about, read other comments about, or watch the "live video feed" of crude, gas and God knows what else pouring out "faster than the red ink pouring out of Washington DC" is what I have learned about the purposeful repetitive traumatization of people to gradually insure their numbed-out compliance and availability to suggestion, control, servitude and submission.

This isn't the time to explain this if you aren't already aware (and if you aren't already aware, you are a victim) but you can trace it back through a range of programs, systems, technologies, etc, including the Tavistock Institute, the MK-Ultra and similar programs developed by the USofA, the works of a number of psychologists and psychiatrists, various studies of trauma, post-traumatic stress, and numerous other disorders, and through the experiences of Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram (among other places as yet unknown in the vast gulag operated on our behalf), and perhaps evident in the repeated airing of the traumatizing videos and photos from an event almost a decade ago on a bright, clear morning. "Snuff films", I've called them, which along with the "war porn", the video game genre of death and destruction, various other mediated outlets and now 24/7 live video of an ecosystem being decimated."

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 06:35 AM
Special Reports Last Updated: May 27th, 2010 - 00:41:00
Obama doesn't want to own oil disaster
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer


May 27, 2010, 00:22

Email this article
Printer friendly page (http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/printer_5923.shtml)
(WMR (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/)) -- WMR has learned from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sources that President Obama has avoided taking responsibility for the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico because he would rather have BP "own" the disaster than his administration.
Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen is to retire at the end of this month. He was named as national incident commander for the oil spill and President Obama has stated that Allen will continue in his position after he retires. However, WMR's sources in FEMA report that Allen has been in post-retirement employment discussions with BP. Under his watch, the Coast Guard has been accused of shilling for BP's public relations efforts, including having armed Coast Guard personnel chase away a CBS camera crew from filming the oil spill's effects in Louisiana and claiming that tests of oil tar balls in Florida have not come from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The oil spewing from the Mocondo Prospect in the Mississippi Canyon Block is estimated to contain about 3 billion barrels of oil but there are some indications that it may contain as much as 10 billion barrels.
President Obama recently indicated that the federal government may take over efforts to stop the oil leak from BP. Obama is actually required by federal law, the Clean Water Act of 1972, to bring criminal charges against companies that commit environmental crimes. Obama's failure to take control of the oil disaster from BP leaves Obama open to criminal and civil charges from affected parties. What most incenses those in the Gulf who are trying to deal with the magnitude of the disaster is Obama's failure to order the U.S. military to take immediate action, including the call up of National Guard and other resources.
The Obama administration is also faulted for failing to send medical teams to coastal Louisiana to treat residents in towns, like Grand Isle, who are falling sick from the effects of the toxic oil fumes. There are reports of people experiencing dizziness and nausea.
WMR has also been informed that BP and Halliburton have hired foreign nationals for oil clean-up efforts, passing over local coastal residents whose jobs in the fishing and shrimping industry have been idled by the oil spill.
FEMA points out that its resources to deal with the oil disaster are limited due to lack of material and equipment. FEMA points out that when it was placed under the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS), following 9/11, FEMA directors Joseph Allbaugh and Michael Brown, and DHS secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, inked lucrative contracts with security companies that provided worthless junk. FEMA paid the price for not having the capabilities to deal with a major event like the present oil disaster in the Gulf.


Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/).



Copyright ? 2010 WayneMadenReport.com (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/)

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/) (subscription required).
Copyright 1998-2007 Online Journal


http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5923.shtml

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 06:53 AM
New Satellite Analysis Reveals: The Oil Spill Is Now 29,000 Square Miles


John Amos (http://www.businessinsider.com/author/john-amos) | May 26, 2010, 11:21 AM | 2,973 | http://static.businessinsider.com/assets/images/icons/icon_comment_12x12.gif (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-oil-spill-is-now-bigger-than-south-carolina-2010-5#comments) 12 (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-oil-spill-is-now-bigger-than-south-carolina-2010-5#comments)

The MODIS / Terra satellite image of the Gulf taken yesterday (May 24, 2010 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/skytruth/4639236276/)) is a relatively cloud-free look at the ongoing oil spill in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Areas covered by oil slick and sheen are marked with a solid orange line. Areas where we think there may be slicks and sheen, but our analysis is of lower confidence, are shown by dashed orange lines. All together, slicks and sheen are possibly covering as much as 28,958 square miles (75,000 km2). That's an area as big as the state of South Carolina (http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/popchart.html#statesbysize):
http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bfd3a027f8b9a535a730600/skytruth.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_edvxM1dkFlo/S_vtDEoJH-I/AAAAAAAAAe4/0qUsjshr89k/s1600/SkyTruth_dhrig_spill-modis-24may10-terra-interp.jpg)
(MODIS / Terra image, May 24, 2010, with SkyTruth analysis (http://www.flickr.com/photos/skytruth/4639236276/sizes/l/in/photostream/))
We also though it would be interesting to produce a matching version of this image with none of our annoying annotation (http://www.flickr.com/photos/skytruth/4638642473/in/photostream/):
http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4bfd3a357f8b9a2779c90000/skytruth.jpg (http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_edvxM1dkFlo/S_vtwaxyJ6I/AAAAAAAAAfA/hxXp3FXxF_M/s1600/SkyTruth_dhrig_spill-modis-24may10-terra.jpg)
It's Day 36 (http://norigs.org/) of this fatal incident. Our estimated spill rate of 1.1 million gallons (26,500 barrels) per day (http://blog.skytruth.org/2010/05/bp-gulf-oil-spill-how-big-is-it.html), now on the conservative end of the scientific estimates (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/opinion/22macdonald.html?scp=3&sq=skytruth&st=cse), leads us to conclude that almost 40 million gallons of oil (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-oil-spill-is-now-bigger-than-south-carolina-2010-5#) (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-oil-spill-is-now-bigger-than-south-carolina-2010-5#) have spilled into the Gulf so far. BP and the federal government had said that they would announce a new official estimate of the daily spill rate on May 22, but we've heard nothing more about that. As far as we can tell, they are still claiming the spill rate is 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) per day. At that much lower rate (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/01/us/20100501-oil-spill-tracker.html?scp=1&sq=skytruth&st=cse), the total amount spilled would be 7.56 million gallons.
John Amos is a geologist and the president of SkyTruth. Read more here --> (http://blog.skytruth.org/2010/05/bp-gulf-oil-spill-39-million-gallons.html)





Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-oil-spill-is-now-bigger-than-south-carolina-2010-5#ixzz0p6tQ3z2E

Mark Stapleton
05-27-2010, 07:33 AM
Ed,

Many thanks for your comprehensive coverage of this disaster. You've been all over it from day 1.

Couple of quick questions from someone with no expertise in this area:

1. Would I be right in assuming that this oil slick will find its way into the Gulf Stream and thus could potentially spread to any ocean on the planet?

2. If the oil continues to vent unchecked for another 6 months or more, and grows to a massive size, is it possible that lightning strikes could set it, or parts of it, ablaze?

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 08:07 AM
Thanks, Mark. Despite the comprehensive coverage which has been educational for me (one of the reasons I do this stuff), I am not an expert. People like me tend to be generalists who go about poking under rocks. But my best sense on question #1 is "Yes, in all likelihood.." The loop current has been documented and mapped, and it is apparent that tendrils are already into that current. The Gulf Stream, of course, is a "conveyor belt" that brushes across some of the best (now mostly depleted ) fisheries on the North American coast and eventually reaches Northern Europe. If oil toxicity is gauged in parts per million and we are dumping gazillions of gallons or barrels of oil and gas (and the gas may be even more deadly than the oil), then this amplifies what some have called "an extinction event". I am not an environmental biologist; I just live on the planet.

On question #2, my best sense is "No"... I suspect the solution, however toxic it is or will be, will remain too aqueous to be ignitable. Flammability exists in high concentration, near the source, and I have seen some expressions of concern about the tankers carrying inbound imported oil having to unload in a potentially flammable scenario. But since the source is deep underwater and subject to current, I would think dispersal would disallow flammability in most cases. Someone else postulated the theory of a flammable cloud of oily water picked up by a super-hurricane and then being ignited, but I doubt that would happen either as I suspect extremely high winds along with the aqueous nature would prevent or snuff out any ignition. There is concern, however, for the pollution of land, waterways, lakes, and farms from oily rain delivered by some tropical storms; each would vary depending on their course and speed and the location at which they took the moisture off the ocean. Also of increasingly obvious concern is the health effects upon those people working closely with the muck and the oil and the birds; I just noticed some news at Google suggesting that workers' boats are being recalled now because of acute health effects (which, of course, might become chronic). I will now also post a very good article on the political implications of all of this.

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 08:10 AM
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 26 2010: Economics and the Nature of Political Crisis (http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/05/may-26-2010-economics-and-nature-of.html)


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9ZzZquaXrR8/S_2RE-zggwI/AAAAAAAAF7I/C0REXOO1rpU/s640/Heron1.jpg (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9ZzZquaXrR8/S_2RE-zggwI/AAAAAAAAF7I/C0REXOO1rpU/s1600/Heron1.jpg)
Gerald Herbert Eulogy For A Breaking Heart May 2010
A young heron among oil-covered mangroves in Barataria Bay, Louisiana"


Ilargi: As we are witnessing our coasts, our economies, our societies and the world as we've ever known it crumble, shatter and evaporate, it's high time to look beyond today, and towards the white swans we all know are out there approaching but prefer not to see.

Somewhat ironically, it may be the disaster called Deepwater Horizon, a name that will for future generations not just be mentioned in the same breath as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, but many miles and way before them, that will tell the age old story of how an economical crisis driven too far inevitably must become a political one, once "our" politicians run out of excuses and, more importantly, other peoples money.

Those of you who're read me over the years are intimately familiar with the call, the prediction, the idea, the process, the cause and the effect. Those who haven't are welcome for the ride from here on in.

What we live today has long since ceased to be a financial crisis: it's all political now. A political apparatus that is wholly owned by the financial and corporate interests its legislated to control is bound to provide for a roller coaster that goes up and down for a while but must eventually end up in a place so down and deep and dark none of us have ever seen it, been there, nor would wish to . Which is where and why politics as weve come to know it is hell-bent to self-destruct. And what then?


Stoneleigh provides a peak into the inner workings:









Stoneleigh: On the Nature of Political Crisis


Given that we are facing not just a financial crisis, but a major political crisis, as Ilargi has pointed out many times, I thought it might be appropriate to explore the nature of politics - the art of the possible - in a little more depth . That will make the nature of political crisis much clearer.

To begin with, all human political structures, existing at all scales simultaneously, are essentially predatory. They exist to convey wealth and resources from the periphery to the centre, thereby enabling an enhanced level of socio-economic complexity. Each centre - whether municipal, regional, national or international - has its corresponding periphery the region from which it can extract surpluses. (For more on this concept, see Entropy and Empire (http://canada.theoildrum.com/node/2381))

During expansionary times, larger and larger political structures -can- develop through accretion. Ancient imperiums would have done this mostly by physical force, integrating subjugated territories into the tax base by extracting surpluses of resources, wealth and labour. We have achieved much the same thing at a global level through economic means, binding additional polities into the larger structure through international monetary mechanisms such as the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF, World Bank and GATT, fore-runner of the WTO). The current economic imperium of the developed world is truly unprecedented in scale.

To simplify for a moment, one can build an analogy between layers of political control and levels of predation in a natural system. The number of levels of predation a natural system can support depends essentially on the amount of energy available at the level of primary production and the amount of energy required to harvest it. More richly endowed areas will be able to support -more- complex food webs with many levels of predation.

The ocean has been able to support more levels of predation than the land, as it requires less energy to cover large distances, and primary production has been plentiful. A predator such as the tuna fish is the equivalent, in food chain terms, of a hypothetiacl land predator that would have eaten primarily lions. On land, ecosystems cannot support that high a level predator, as much more energy is required to harvest less plentiful energy sources.

If one thinks of political structures in similar terms, one can see that the available energy, in many forms, is a key driver of how complex and wide-ranging spheres of political control can become. Ancient imperiums achieved a great deal with energy in the forms of wood, grain and slaves from their respective peripheries. Today, we have achieved a much more all-encompassing degree of global integration thanks to the energy subsidy inherent in fossil fuels.

Without this supply of energy (in fact without being able to constantly increase this supply to match population growth), the structures we have built cannot be maintained (see Joseph Tainters work for more on this).

However, while energy has been a key driver of global integration and complexity, the structures we have created do not depend only on energy. Because any structure with a fundamental dependence on the buy-in of new entrants, and therefore the constant need to expand, is grounded in Ponzi dynamics, these structures are inherently self-limiting (see From the Top of the Great Pyramid (http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2008/11/debt-rattle-november-26-2008-from-top.html).

We have reached the limit beyond which we cannot continue to expand, there being no more virgin continents to exploit in our over-crowded world. The logic of Ponzi dynamics dictates that we will now experience a dramatic contraction, and that our financial structure, which is the most complex and most vulnerable part of our hypertrophic political system, will become the key driver to the downside during that period. Part of that contraction will be of our available energy supplies and ability to distribute energy to where it is needed, both of which will fall victim to many 'above-ground factors' in the years to come (see Energy, Finance and Hegemonic Power (http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2008/12/debt-rattle-december-7-2008-energy.html)).

As a consequence, we will lose at least one level of political structure (predation), and likely more. We will simplify our 'food chains'. Certainly we will not live in the globalized world we have come to know, and maintaining central control at a national level may also be difficult in many places, although this will depend on many factors, not the least of which is scale. This has crucial implications for the long and vulnerable supply chains we have constructed in a world built on comparative advantage (where we make everything in the cheapest possible place and transport the resulting products over very long distances).

Our horizons will have to shrink to match our reach. The inability of any individual or institution to prevent this, or even to mitigate it much through top-down action, will be a major component of political crisis. What mitigation is possible will have to come from the bottom-up. While expansions lead to political accretion -forming larger and more complex structures- contractions lead to the opposite division into smaller polities at lower levels of complexity.

To understand what this means in practice, we need to look at the psychological factors inherent in expansion and contraction.

Expansionist periods are optimistic times where the emphasis is on building economic activity and social inclusion. Trust -the most critical component of stable societies- expands, and populations move in the direction of recognizing common humanity. Old animosities tend to recede from the public consciousness and relative political stability can be achieved.

Whether a party of the left or right is in control, one will tend to see its more benign face during the early phase of a great expansion. On the right this might include elements of a 'can-do independent spirit, pride in self-reliance, thriftiness and frugality, tight-knit communities and effective self-regulation. On the left it could include an emphasis on the public interest, caring and sharing, public service to the collective, a concern to see no one left behind, a desire to protect through regulation, and preparedness to contribute time and resources to the common good.

Either of these constellations of characteristics is likely to deliver benefits and preside over a society whose institutions function relatively effectively. The structures which tend to be most stable are grounded in a form of social contract, where the process of wealth conveyance is muted to some extent, in order that the disparity between haves and have-nots is not too extreme, and the periphery gains something from the association despite their contribution of tithes.

The potential for social mobility is also important for acceptance by the less privileged. Under the favourable circumstances that accompany optimistic times, this combination delivers a political legitimacy which acts as a powerful stabilizing force.

Unfortunately, all human institutions tend to become progressively less functional as they age, and as periodic renewal, necessary to keep them healthy, ceases to occur. Transparency and accountability decrease, and the institutions become more and more bloated, sclerotic, self-serving and hostage to vested interests. By the end of a long expansion, socio-political institutions, including political parties, may retain their outward appearance and yet have largely ceased to function responsively in the way they once did.

At this point they go through the motions, but process becomes more important than substance. Many become corrupt and unreformable. This institutional decay constitutes a substantial component of political crisis in the latter days of imperium.

As expansion morphs into contraction, in accordance with the very exact same Ponzi logic that underlies our present financial crisis, institutions may collapse along with other higher order structures. While they are eventually to be replaced by something much simpler from the grass roots, to serve their essential functions, this does not happen overnight.

The psychology of contraction may well inhibit the formation of effective new institutions, even much simpler ones, for a long period of time. The psychology of contraction is not constructive, and leads in the direction of division and exclusion as trust evaporates. Unfortunately, trust the glue of a functional society - takes a long time to build, but relatively little time to destroy.

Elites (top predators) will have a smaller peripheral pool from which to extract the tithes they have come to expect. No longer able to pick the pockets of the whole world, they will very likely squeeze domestic populations much harder in a vain attempt to maintain the resources of the centre at their previous level. This will be very painful for those at the bottom of the pyramid, who will be asked, told and eventually forced to increase their contributions, at the very moment their ability to do so declines sharply.

Whether the left or the right presides over contraction, we are most likely to see a much more pathological face emerge, and this will aggravate political crisis considerably. On the right this could be xenophobia, strict enforcement of tight and arbitrary norms dictated by the few, loss of civil rights, extreme poverty for most while a few live like kings, and fascism, perhaps grounded in theocracy.

On the left it could be forced collectivization, the elimination of property rights, confiscations, and a desire to punish anyone who appears to be doing relatively well, whether or not they achieved this legitimately through foresight, hard work and fiscal responsibility. In either case, liberty is likely to be an early casualty, and intolerance of differences is virtually guaranteed to increase.

Central authority, which is set to increase even as its legitimacy decreases, is very much a double-edged sword. While increased centralization may confer the power to ration scarce goods, which would be a public good if undertaken in the spirit of good governance, that spirit is likely to be noticeably lacking in years to come. We are far more likely to see pervasive corruption and a resurgence of the politics of the personal, where connections are everything.

That will aggravate the crisis of political legitimacy. Besides, powers and liberties taken, whether by popular consent or not, are never voluntarily given back to the people. They would have to be fought for all over again. Perhaps we will see that happen at some point in the future, but for now people seem all too prepared to trade liberty for security, which Benjamin Franklin described as a recipe for enjoying neither.

We have yet to see a full-blown political crisis in the US and elsewhere, but it is clearly coming. Argentina went through five presidents in a matter of a few short months at the height of its upheaval. The countries of the first world will likely experience much the same thing, primarily because there is simply nothing any politician can do to prevent the pain of depression, and not even much they can do to mitigate it.

The inevitable process of living through that period, which could last for many years, will probably consume many political careers, and indeed political parties. Leaders elected now have accepted the poisoned chalice. They are likely to go down in history as abject failures, no matter what they do.

My concern is that traumatized people will seek charismatic populist leaders representing extremist positions. Politicians of that stripe are adept at manipulating the herd in the direction of inflicting punishment on any group they happen personally not to like. Hitler comes to mind here. There can be no greater political crisis than repeating the mistakes of the past on the scale that implies.

Peter Lemkin
05-27-2010, 09:04 AM
Thanks, Mark. Despite the comprehensive coverage which has been educational for me (one of the reasons I do this stuff), I am not an expert. People like me tend to be generalists who go about poking under rocks. But my best sense on question #1 is "Yes, in all likelihood.." The loop current has been documented and mapped, and it is apparent that tendrils are already into that current. The Gulf Stream, of course, is a "conveyor belt" that brushes across some of the best (now mostly depleted ) fisheries on the North American coast and eventually reaches Northern Europe. If oil toxicity is gauged in parts per million and we are dumping gazillions of gallons or barrels of oil and gas (and the gas may be even more deadly than the oil), then this amplifies what some have called "an extinction event". I am not an environmental biologist; I just live on the planet.

On question #2, my best sense is "No"... I suspect the solution, however toxic it is or will be, will remain too aqueous to be ignitable. Flammability exists in high concentration, near the source, and I have seen some expressions of concern about the tankers carrying inbound imported oil having to unload in a potentially flammable scenario. But since the source is deep underwater and subject to current, I would think dispersal would disallow flammability in most cases. Someone else postulated the theory of a flammable cloud of oily water picked up by a super-hurricane and then being ignited, but I doubt that would happen either as I suspect extremely high winds along with the aqueous nature would prevent or snuff out any ignition. There is concern, however, for the pollution of land, waterways, lakes, and farms from oily rain delivered by some tropical storms; each would vary depending on their course and speed and the location at which they took the moisture off the ocean. Also of increasingly obvious concern is the health effects upon those people working closely with the muck and the oil and the birds; I just noticed some news at Google suggesting that workers' boats are being recalled now because of acute health effects (which, of course, might become chronic). I will now also post a very good article on the political implications of all of this.

My graduate education is in Environmental Science and just to add to the answers above. Yes, some has and more will get into the Gulf Stream. Anything that gets into the oceans eventually disperses into the whole of the ocean system. However, the amounts, at this point, are such that the great effects will be in the Gulf [and bordering it in wetlands], with the effects tailing off [but less significantly so, the longer this leak goes on!] with greater distance from the source. Oil spills, not recorded in the MSM, are happening all the time and oil tankers regularly clean their interiors with sea water and dump the mix back into the ocean, etc. No, it will never be explosive and only if a largesurface slick forms can it be burned off or catch fire - even that is not too likely unless done deliberately or by lightning. Compounding this mess is the enormous use of surfactants to 'break up' the oil into blobs that float or sink and are seen as food by fish and plankton....so this lethal cocktail will be getting into the food chain and by a process of biomagnification in increasing concentrations as the top of the food chain is approached. [humans are often at the top]. For the Gulf at this point it is a catastrophe. Not yet for other places in the Atlantic or beyond...but that could change if the leak is not stopped. I've been watching the live cameras all day and NOTHING is changing at all. I think one can expect this to continue for another half year or more.....sadly. Wait until hurricane season to really mess-up the coast!!! The sea life is already ****ed!...and more so with each day.

Peter Lemkin
05-27-2010, 05:25 PM
I sit here, stomach about to vomit...listening to the President speak [albeit so glibly] but in total nonsensical bull about the spill and the USG's reaction to it. It is apparent, as expected, that the recent over-advertised 'top kill' was as fruitless as all attempts before to stop this spill.....I predict it will not be stopped until the New Year and it will be Obama's 'Waterloo'. [even though Iraq and Afghanistan and the Secret Gov't and its Banksters would better be his reason for exit stage right!]
...but he is a Company Man [in the two senses of that term!]...

and the leak/spill continues without stop...... http://www.energyboom.com/policy/watch-live-oil-spill-webcam-will-operation-top-kill-stop-oil
[as do the very forces who own and operate such things over the best interests of the nation, planet and the living things on it]. We will, IMO, have to terminate the Corporatocracy or it will terminate the Planet! It is THAT simple!...:afraid:

{pssst....don't tell anyone, but the leak is now much greater than before the 'top kill' attempt....nice going BP!...ataway....now try a nuke!....the 'next' option!...}
:party:

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 05:25 PM
Well, there you go... thank you, Peter. It sounds like quite a cocktail. :puke:

There are indicators that BP's top exec is saying that the Gulf will recover, despite indicators from the ExxonValdez incident to the contrary, and an earlier small spill near Cape Cod that has altered those wetlands Peter speaks of... 40 years later. they are finding oil deeply embedded into the marshlands... ANother factor not yet even considered is the extent to which the cocktail will alter DNA among the inhabitants of the biosphere.

Keith Millea
05-27-2010, 06:29 PM
Here is an 8 minute video that sums up much of how I predict people feel about BP and the Government response to this ultimate disaster.

WARNING:Plenty of cussing.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx8kMXufu3w

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 06:50 PM
Here is an MSNBC YouTube interview with Matt Simmons which suggests there is actually another leak not show in the famous live video feed ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDGAoU1H2gM&feature=youtu.be

Peter Lemkin
05-27-2010, 07:45 PM
Scientists to study deepwater Gulf "oil plume"
Tue May 25, 2010 11:39pm IST

By Matthew Bigg

PORT FOURCHON, La. (Reuters) - U.S. scientists will embark on a second mission on Tuesday to investigate whether a catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill is damaging deepwater marine life and the surrounding environment.

Samantha Joye, a University of Georgia marine sciences professor who is part of the research team, said the two-week government-funded mission will focus on a plume of dispersed oil that she says is from the leaking BP undersea well.

The plume, which is roughly 20 miles (32 km) long, six miles (10 km) wide, and 100 feet (30 meters) thick, was discovered by the R.V. Pelican, a research ship, on its first mission.

Tests showed that about 30 percent of the oxygen in the plume has been depleted, which could threaten marine life -- mussels, clams, crabs, eels, jellyfish, shrimp and even sharks.

"It appears to be radiating from the spill site, so that's why we think it's a mixture of emulsified or dispersed oil, little oil fragments that are generated by the actual eruption of the fluid from the sea floor," Joye said in an interview with Reuters.

She said she was "99.8 percent sure" the plume, first spotted as "deep hydrographic anomalies", was spill-related and said it was quite possible that other, smaller, plumes existed.

"We need to go out there and track and map the plume features and see how they are changing with time. Is oxygen dropping and if so, how fast? Is it microbial activity that is causing that," Joye said.

Another unknown is the exact composition of the plume and the extent to which dispersants, sprayed and pumped into the water by BP to break up the oil, were changing its chemistry, she said.

London-based BP says it could try on Wednesday to shut off the well that has caused a major U.S. ecological disaster, threatening fishing communities in four states, and has also stirred a political storm since it blew out last month.


'DEAD ZONE' IN WATER?

Eleven scientists from universities in Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and California will embark on the Pelican, which will depart from Gulfport, Mississippi and join six other research vessels working in the Gulf.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has five such vessels in the area.

NOAA, a federal agency, said the Pelican mission's initial findings were premature, in what some critics said appeared to be part of a concerted effort to play down the environmental impact of the leak.

BP for weeks also maintained that determining the precise rate at which oil was gushing into the sea mattered little compared to its efforts to stop the flow, leading to criticism that it was trying to avoid accountability for what could be the biggest oil spill in U.S. history.

Images of oil washing onto beaches and coating entire islands in Louisiana's fragile wetlands, as well as those of birds covered in oil, have highlighted the environmental threat posed by the leak.

But undersea damage, though it remains invisible, could be equally costly, according to Joye.

One likely cause of the depleted oxygen in the plume is the increased activity of microorganisms chewing up the oil and gas in the water, and the danger is the creation of an anoxic, or dead, zone in the water.

"That would kill anything that can't run from it," said Joye, who said the scientists are racing to catch up with what was effectively a lost first month after the leak began.

Little if any light penetrates at depths of 2,625-4,593 feet (800-1,400 meters) where the plume is located. A further planned voyage in August and September will try to determine how far the plume has affected the food web.

------------------------------------------------
Much worse than you've been told...but 'ain't that always the case...
http://bit.ly/aTwy1g
(Editing by Pascal Fletcher and Paul Simao)

Ed Jewett
05-27-2010, 08:37 PM
Deepwater Horizon: This Is What the End of the Oil Age Looks Like

By Richard Heinberg

May 27, 2010 "Post Carbon Institute (http://www.postcarbon.org/blog-post/102326-deepwater-horizon-this-is-what-the)" -- Lately Ive been reading the excellent coverage of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill at www.TheOilDrum.com (http://www.theoildrum.com/), a site frequented by veteran oil geologists and engineers. A couple of adages from the old-timers are worth quoting: Cut corners all you want, but never downhole, and, Theres fast, theres cheap, and theres right, and you get to pick two.There will be plenty of blame to go around, as events leading up to the fatal rig explosion are sorted out. Even if efforts to plug the gushing leak succeed sooner rather than later, the damage to the Gulf environment and to the economy of the region will be incalculable and will linger for years if not decades. The deadly stench from oil-oaked marshesas spring turns to hot, fetid summerwill by itself ruin tens or hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods. Then theres the loss of the seafood industry: were talking about more than the crippling of the economic backbone of the region; anyone whos spent time in New Orleans (my wifes family all live there) knows that the people and culture of southern Louisiana are literally as well as figuratively composed of digested crawfish, shrimp, and speckled trout. Given the historic political support from this part of the country for offshore drilling, and for the petroleum industry in general, this really amounts to sacrificing the faithful on the altar of oil.
But the following should be an even clearer conclusion from all that has happened, and that is still unfolding: This is what the end of the oil age looks like. The cheap, easy petroleum is gone; from now on, we will pay steadily more and more for what we put in our gas tanksmore not just in dollars, but in lives and health, in a failed foreign policy that spawns foreign wars and military occupations, and in the lost integrity of the biological systems that sustain life on this planet.
The only solution is to do proactively, and sooner, what we will end up doing anyway as a result of resource depletion and economic, environmental, and military ruin: end our dependence on the stuff. Everybody knows we must do this. Even a recent American president (an oil man, it should be noted) admitted that America is addicted to oil. Will we let this addiction destroy us, or will we overcome it? Good intentions are not enough. Now is the moment for the President, other elected officials at all levels of government, and ordinary citizens to make this our central priority as a nation. We have hard choices to make, and an enormous amount of work to do.


http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article25559.htm

Mark Stapleton
05-28-2010, 02:32 AM
Here is an MSNBC YouTube interview with Matt Simmons which suggests there is actually another leak not show in the famous live video feed ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDGAoU1H2gM&feature=youtu.be

Last night I heard a report on the news which claimed Operation Top Kill has a 60-70% chance of success.

But after watching this interview one can only be pessimistic.

Peter Lemkin
05-28-2010, 04:31 AM
Here is an MSNBC YouTube interview with Matt Simmons which suggests there is actually another leak not show in the famous live video feed ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDGAoU1H2gM&feature=youtu.be

Well, [pun intended] it seems we were all being fooled by BP, as the famous plume shots are just the or a small leak; from the new information, there has to be a much larger leak [rate unknown, but likely 100 x - 1000 x the rate of the small leak we've all been watching].....so, as to the question of this now being capable of affecting the Atlantic via the Gulf Stream, I'd say...its just a matter of time. :beer: Very depressing. the Gulf is ****ed for decades, even it the flow is stopped now. It now has an almost null% chance, unless BP knows about the real leak and is only feeding everyone the tiny one as PR :help: This seems likely, as no barium mud nor cement is seen going to the small leak and they've been pumping it for two days now.....so there really is a cover-up going on, and things are MUCH worse than feared!!!! :smokin:

Ed Jewett
05-28-2010, 05:40 AM
Well, apologies for being AWOL on today's updates... personal stuff and all, and "drama" at another venue, and so on... Here's a crude update... Yes, indeed, people are waking up a lot to the fact that efforts have failed, ther's a video of someone's very expletive-delated explanation of the arrogance in the oil industry, there is a piece by Heinberg (one of the peak oil experts), there was video of a Congressman from LA breaking down in emotion, there was a Presidential press conference, and I clicked on the White House[dot]gov web site long enough to send a message to the POTUS (name and address required) which said in part your delayed reaction non-response was a grievous disservice to the US, its people, its spirit. You have failed. I expect your resignation on my table in the morning.

I am now setting up a betting parlor with the long and short positions on the response:

* A Predator drone attack as joked about at the White House Correspondents dinner;
* a visit by some armed privateers;
* a visit by someone with a false passport, a syringe and a pillow; or
* an IRS audit;
* none.

Oh, and Dave Lindorrf has a meter embedded at his site ringing up the gallons in the event (with differening estimates):

http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/

Carsten Wiethoff
05-28-2010, 06:16 AM
I bet 100$ on NO RESPONSE.
Any takers?:heeeelllllooooo:

Peter Lemkin
05-28-2010, 06:20 AM
May 27 (Reuters) - Mud on the lens of the camera providing video images of the pipe gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico has blocked the view of the attempt to stop the spill, BP Plc (BP.L) said on Thursday.

There was no attempt attempt to prevent the public from watching efforts to plug the leak from the damaged well, a BP spokesman said.

"It's just operational," said BP spokesman Jon Pack. "The camera that was closest to the riser got mud on its lens".

Last week BP began broadcasting video images of its leaking underwater oil well, following pressure from U.S. Congressional leaders concerned about the lack of progress in halting what is now the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Since then the images have focused on a plume of black crude oil flowing from a pipe, called a riser, which is connected to the well head. However, on Thursday all video has been of the equipment at the top of the well.

On Wednesday BP began its latest attempt to plug the well, in an operation dubbed "top kill", involving pumping heavy drilling fluid into the blow out preventer, a heavy piece of equipment that sits on top of the well. The goal is to stall the flow of oil with the heavy fluids and then pump concrete into the well to shut if off for good.

Some of the mud being pumped into the blow out preventer traveled up the riser, expanding the plume of leaking oil, and this was what obstructed the camera, Pack said. He said he was unaware if it would be possible to solve the problem and restore images of the leaking riser.

On Thursday BP said it was making progress on plugging the ruptured well as U.S. government figures showed the disaster has eclipsed the previous worst U.S. oil spill caused when the Exxon Valdez ran aground in 1989 and spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Prince William Sound [ID:nN26238003].

BP shares jumped 6.0 percent in London on the comments from BP and from the U.S. Coast Guard suggesting the flow of oil had already been restricted by the pumping of the drilling mud into the blow out preventer.

The success or failure of the latest operation to stop the oil spill will continue to move the company's shares, analysts at French bank Societe Generale said in a research note on Thursday.

The oil company is aware that traders are watching the live video link closely for signs that the operation has succeeded but has warned that images from the seabed will be an unreliable indicator of progress.

BP said at around 1800 CDT (2300 GMT) on Wednesday that it would take 24 hours to know if the latest operation had been a success
------------------------------------------------------------
mud on the lens.....:aetsch:

Carsten Wiethoff
05-28-2010, 11:02 AM
Obviously there is Canadian Legislation requiring offshore drills (in the arctic) to be accompanied by a relief drill in the same season, to have available an effective means of stopping a spill, should that happen at the main drill.

And clearly BP does not like that. The result is obvious.

Reference: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1326556220100513?type=marketsNews

I quote:

It has yet to announce plans to drill in the region but shortly before the U.S. disaster, BP and other oil companies urged Canadian regulators to drop a requirement stipulating that companies operating in the Arctic had to drill relief wells in the same season as the primary well.
Cullen argued the companies had made this request because drilling a relief well within the required time limit would be too expensive, given the difficult Arctic conditions.

Keith Millea
05-28-2010, 04:50 PM
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/05/28-2
Published on Friday, May 28, 2010 by CommonDreams.org (http://www.commondreams.org/) Getting Naked to Expose BP

by Medea Benjamin

Diane Wilson, a fourth generation shrimper from the Texas Gulf and a founder of CODEPINK (http://codepink.org/), has been watching the BP spill and the botched clean-up with a mixture of dread and anger. After all, it's her livelihood and that of her community that's at stake. "I've lived all my life in the Gulf Coast, in the oil, chemical, and gas hellhole we call an energy corridor," said Diane Wilson with her Texas twang. "I've been fightin' these polluters for 21 years. But this BP spill is the nail in the coffin of the people who make their living along the gulf coast. This is our 9/11 in slow motion."
Diane has been incensed by the cavalier attitude of BP CEO Tony Hayward (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Hayward), who said that the largest oil spill in US history is a tiny speck in the vast ocean. "He had the nerve to say that those miles upon miles of underwater oil plumes that stretch to who knows where and do who knows what to the fisheries, the ecosystem, and Gulf of Mexico (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Mexico) for possibly generations, is really going to have a very, very modest (http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/49760) impact.' Sittin' there listening to BP's lies made my blood boil," Diane fumed. "I realized I better get off my butt and do somethin' about it."

http://www.commondreams.org/files/images/alert_dianew.jpgThis 61-year-old grandmother of five is all about action. To protest chemical companies polluting her bay, in 2002 Diane climbed a chemical tower, chained herself to it and then did a 30-day water-only hunger strike. As a CODEPINK cofounder who tried to stop the invasion of Iraq (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_invasion_of_Iraq) in 2003, an invasion she knew was all about oil, Diane got arrested confronting Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Rumsfeld) at a Congressional hearing. Then she scaled and tied herself to the White House fence (and almost got shot by a sniper). She even traveled to Iraq when the U.S. military was about to attack, putting herself forward as a human shield.

So Diane put out a call (http://codepink4peace.org/blog/2010/05/the-naked-truth-of-it-all/) for people to join her in Houston on Monday, May 24, to protest at the BP headquarters. Looking for a creative way to expose the company's criminal behavior (and entice the media, who rarely cover protests in Texas), Diane was inspired by the example of a group of women from Nigeria who took over a Chevron oil rig and threatened to strip naked if the company didn't hire more local workers and invest in the community. Faced with just the threat of nudity, Chevron gave in.

"If the Nigerian women could use their bodies on the Niger Delta, why can't we do it in downtown Houston?" Diane reasoned.

Diane doesn't take nudity lightly. She didn't grow up in a hippie commune, but in a fundamentalist Pentecostal family in rural Texas. "I was taught that flesh is sinful, it's the devil. I was so modest that if my sister said the word bra', I would climb under the table. I was horrified by anything intimate. So for me, using nudity to expose the truth about BP was WAY outside my comfort zone. But I realized that it's the destruction of our ecosystem by corporate greed that's obscene, not a woman's body."
To prepare for the action, Diane got 100 pounds of fish from her fishing buddies, old fishing nets to drag the dead fish and fake oil to dump on them. She and one of her daughters made beautiful signs saying "Expose BP" and "The Naked Truth about Drill, Baby, Drill" and put them on big sandwich boards. "You could say we was cheatin' because we decided to use sandwich boards to cover our private parts, but that's about as nude as those of us from Texas can get," laughed Diane. "We'll leave the full-on nudity to the women from California."

http://www.commondreams.org/files/images/modest.jpgThe action was superb (http://www.codepink.org/bp). About 100 people showed up from all over Texas and six other states--including California. Some people wore pasties that said "No BP", some dressed as fishermen, oily birds and fish. Diane put on her white rubber fishing boots, smeared herself with oil and wore a sandwich board that read "Expose BP's Obscene Side." Two imposter oil workers in BP uniforms doused the group with fake oil, causing the birds and fish to recoil and die on the sidewalk. The police and BP security stood by watching, as nice as could be. It was obvious that BP higher ups had the good sense to tell them that arresting protesters would not help their image.

The group was having fun (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xFTaQCV3aI) mocking BP, but when Diane took the megaphone (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JNeKMAHamY) to speak, the tone changed. "I am here because I'm outraged," she said, her voice shaking, tears welling up in her eyes. "My family has lived on this gulf for 100 years, we've been fishing these waters for generations and now we're seeing it decimated. All we're getting from BP is lies. We're not getting any answers from the government. That's why people have to hit the streets to demand solutions."

After the action, I sat down with Diane to hear her solutions and ideas for future actions. "BP should be shaken down like a rotten fig tree," she said. "The government should seize their profits and use them for the clean up and then to invest in clean energy. We should shame those senators who want to stop the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act (http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/424/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=3858) legislation that would raise oil companies' liability from a pitiful $75 million to $10 billion. And we should demand that our government stop offshore drilling. No new permits, period. We have to seize this moment to move our country away from fossil fuels that are responsible for environmental devastation and wars."
CODEPINK has asked (http://www.codepinkalert.org/article.php?id=5424) our supporters to email letters to Senator Murkowski, asking her to stop blocking the Big Bailout Prevention Act. It's time to protect the fishermen, the coastal residents and the wildlife, not the corporation at fault for the disaster. But for Diane, sending emails is not enough. She is calling on people throughout the country to boycott BP (http://codepink.org/BP)-not just passively, but by getting out to BP gas stations to protest and educate their communities on the company and the catastrophe.

CODEPINK supports her call to action and is providing resources for action on our website (http://www.codepink.org/bp). We'll also be bringing Diane to Washington, DC, to confront Congress, the White House Administration, and BP executives with the crude awakening about Big Oil.

"Pass out fliers to drivers. Ride your bikes around the stations. Get creative. Hey, maybe you even want to do your own nude protest," she grins. "Expose BP. Expose that Drill, Baby, Drill means Spill, Baby, Spill. After all, what's at stake is nothing less than our planet. And that's the naked truth."

Medea Benjamin (medea@globalexchange.org (medea@globalexchange.org)) is cofounder of Global Exchange (www.globalexchange.org (http://www.globalexchange.org/)) and CODEPINK: Women for Peace (www.codepinkalert.org (http://www.codepinkalert.org/)).

Ed Jewett
05-28-2010, 07:45 PM
ABC News went underwater in the Gulf with Philippe Cousteau Jr., grandson of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, and he described what he saw as "one of the most horrible things Ive ever seen underwater."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lBQkNgY3bY&feature=player_embedded#! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lBQkNgY3bY&feature=player_embedded#%21)

Ed Jewett
05-28-2010, 07:51 PM
http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/hs325.ash1/28396_124866380869710_117367724952909_211901_12594 14_n.jpg

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 02:07 AM
ECOLOGICAL DENIAL OF THE GULF OIL DISASTER: U.S. POLICES HEAD TOWARD COLLAPSE
By Jan Lundberg Saturday, 29 May 2010 http://carolynbaker.net/site/images/oil%20spill%20size%20map%202.jpg


PHOTO: THE SIZE OF THE SPILL TWO WEEKS AGO

Petrocollapse that stems from the effects of global peak oil extraction has been raised a notch and clarified by the Gulf disaster. But make no mistake: the uncounted millions of gallons of rampaging oil and chemicals are just par for the course, slated to enter the ecosystem anyway. The idea that things were under control before the BP blowout, or that soon things might again be under control, is as delusional as the continuation of the oil wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: keep on fighting, killing, and wasting while we hope for some positive result. But in reality, we have no business over there -- even if we could afford the trillions of dollars spent. Similarly, we have no business extracting and refining oil or other fossil fuels -- unless our business is death and the unraveling of nature. Count me out. How about you?
Reprinted from COUNTERCURRENTS (http://www.countercurrents.org/lundberg280510.htm)
The impact of the Gulf oil disaster on the national psyche and the economy have barely begun. When Florida, a more substantial state than Louisiana, is hit by the unprecedented pollution assured to have lasting effects, the quickened erosion of confidence in government, industry and modern technology may accelerate the end of this current phase of U.S. society. A transition or breakdown was already afoot. Thus, the shock of the Gulf oil disaster's impacts will further undermine the dominant consumer culture and life as we know it.
There are several unacknowledged problems with the oil gusher and the growing mess:
(1) The first priority has been to plug the hole and stop the hemorrhage. This is only logical and understandable, but it does not include the idea of retreating from the ongoing, inevitable devastation of usual petroleum industry activity. Who is framing the discussion, and why?
(2) The idea of cleaning up the current mess in the Gulf is questionable. Yes, it must be tried, but clean-up attempts give the impression that this is the answer and that clean up will be successful. The dispersal of the oil, much of it not even visible yet on the surface, presents an insurmountable challenge to contain. Again, the ongoing devastation of petroleum activity is exempt from consideration except by marginalized, independent thinkers and activists.
(3) Finally, the ecological consequences of the Gulf oil disaster are global. Louisiana's suffering is the tip of the iceberg that industrial society has smashed into. The oil and chemicals are on their way to Florida, Cuba and the Bahamas, an inevitably Texas and Mexico -- even before hurricanes hit and drive much of the oil onto many a shore. Even if all the spilled oil could be gathered by men in boats, it would somewhere be burned in engines in order to warm the globe in the name of the economy. The ocean is a sad place for oil pollution, but so is the atmosphere.
The economy must be declared subservient to the ecosystem. Any good citizen must become a foe of the present economy and a friend or worshipper of nature, before it is too late. Recently one Christian church leader publicly prayed that the oil would be blown south. Not only is this a wish for devastation of Mexico and other countries, this wish reveals total ecological ignorance.
The Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) president Frances Beinecke appeared on the PBS TV Newshour on May 27 along with the American Petroleum Institute's (API) chief economist John Felmy. They had a similar message regarding future energy alternatives, except that Felmy warned that oil is still to be heavily relied upon, and any pause in offshore oil drilling has economic impacts.
Rather than take a stand for slashing energy use, Beinecke came out for a clean energy transformation. She mentioned "oil addiction," but implied that solar panels, etc. are the answer. Her ignorance of energy technologies' ability to replace petroleum, based on assumptions about continued energy and agricultural-chemicals' & fuels' availability for the present overpopulation, is only typical. Thus, her ecological ignorance is almost as dangerous as the American Petroleum Institute's and President Obama's. Beineckes praise for the just-announced brief moratorium on offshore oil drilling buys into calming the public while setting the stage for a resumption of full-on oil addiction and energy gluttony. NRDC wants something better, but lacks the vision to offer it.
It was API, not NRDC, that brought up the fact that there are 250 million motor vehicles on U.S. roads. The opportunity for a real environmentalist to say we need to cut back on the number of vehicles by adopting a car-free lifestyle was missed, deliberately. The auto is as sacred to the major environmental groups as it is to API and its friend the government.
The U.S. is missing an historic chance to question oil dependence and to actually do something about it -- instead of scrambling to react to the moment and gazing off into the haze to some Holy Grail of clean energy for perpetual consumption. Worse, the business-as-usual approach to the present Gulf oil disaster continues the national pretense of ecological stability. The ongoing assault against nature cannot be denied, except by those holding their ears and eyes closed while they continue to shell out dollars to buy cars, gasoline and plastic. They wish to continue uninterrupted their lives of shopping, paying their bills, and imagining they have the best leadership in Washington and state capitals that money can buy.
Petrocollapse that stems from the effects of global peak oil extraction has been raised a notch and clarified by the Gulf disaster. But make no mistake: the uncounted millions of gallons of rampaging oil and chemicals are just par for the course, slated to enter the ecosystem anyway. The idea that things were under control before the BP blowout, or that soon things might again be under control, is as delusional as the continuation of the oil wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: keep on fighting, killing, and wasting while we hope for some positive result. But in reality, we have no business over there -- even if we could afford the trillions of dollars spent. Similarly, we have no business extracting and refining oil or other fossil fuels -- unless our business is death and the unraveling of nature. Count me out. How about you?
President Obama's May 27 news conference was almost a convincing performance, suggesting with his deep, clear voice that he is doing his best to deal with a crisis. However, he doesn't understand the true nature of the crisis. The crisis was raging before the blowout, when our commander-in-chief and "nut case at the wheel" called for more offshore oil drilling. Does he now warn of worse-case scenarios, now that theyre possible? No, hes a pacifier -- except with his war machine.
When the President brings his little daughter Malia into the news conference, to depict himself as a regular guy shaving and assuring a child (emblematic of the American people) that he is on top of the situation, he is surely desperate. Obama tries to exude confidence over handling the BP oil disaster, but is he really so unshakable when the evidence is clear that BP's handling of the event and clean-up have been less than competent? And when the government has been predictably slow and inefficient? On-the-ground reports tell more than official assurances. Aside from protecting one's job performance as a politician or corporado, there is a public relations campaign to tranquilize the American people and fool the world. Except, people are not as simple minded and gullible as BP and Obama hope. The question is whether people will get beyond blaming and hand-wringing to the point of taking wise action.
Until then, Drill Baby Drill is mostly alive and well. This is excused among pseudo progressives such as the Democratic Party leadership, and people buy it because the Republicans are a tad worse and might invade Iran. To believe in such non-solutions is to hope that the march of the sheople to the slaughter house can be slowed down a bit -- with a clean energy miracle coming along some day or decade to save us from having to make lifestyle change and experience the collapse of the American Empire.
No matter what Obama does or does not do, no matter how much he or the public "get it" or don't get it, the Gulf oil disaster is an historic, watershed event far greater than Exxon Valdez. Collapse of the system has gotten a big boost.
* * * * *
Jan Lundberg is a former oil industry analyst who, among other functions, formally studied offshore oil drilling's potential for California on behalf of the oil industry -- resulting in Congress's immediate lifting of the moratorium there in the mid 1980s. He ran Lundberg Survey which published the Lundberg Letter, then known widely as the bible of the oil industry.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 29 May 2010 )

http://carolynbaker.net/site/content/view/1669/1/

Magda Hassan
05-30-2010, 02:49 AM
The only thing that the US seems able to organize for is war and looting.

Magda Hassan
05-30-2010, 02:55 AM
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/kevin-costner-machine-bp-oil-clean/story?id=10689928

Even an actor can organise better than BP management and Obama.

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 04:18 AM
QUOTE
http://www.thenation.com/blog/bp-and-us-go...-hazing-scandal (http://www.thenation.com/blog/bp-and-us-government-command-center-guarded-company-afghan-embassy-hazing-scandal)

BP and US Government 'Command Center' Guarded by Company From Afghan Embassy Hazing Scandal

Jeremy Scahill (http://www.thenation.com/authors/jeremy-scahill)
May 28, 2010

I just got off the phone with my friends Naomi Klein (http://www.naomiklein.org/main), author of "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism," and her husband Avi Lewis, host of al Jazeera English's popular program Fault Lines (http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/faultlines/). They are traveling around the devastated US Gulf reporting on the horrific disaster caused by BP's massive oil spill. They described to me a run in that they just had with the private security company Wackenhut, which apparently has been hired to do the perimeter security for the "Deepwater Horizon Unified Command (http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/541571)." The "Unified Command" is run jointly by BP and several US government agencies including the US Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security.

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

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

Lewis told me that for two weeks his crew has attempted to interview officials from the Unified Command's Joint Information Center. "We had been shut down or dodged for 2 weeks of official requests," he said. Finally, Lewis and Klein, who is on assignment for The Guardian, decided to go to the information center in person "to try to nail something down."

When they pulled up to the front gate, they were greeted by a private security guard working for Wackenhut, the massive security company. "We said we were media and he said, 'No no no. You're going to have to turn around and go back," recalls Lewis. Klein added, "The Wackenhut guard said we couldn't come in without permission, but wouldn't tell us who we needed permission from. When we didn't leave, he radioed for back up and a Wackenhut truck arrived to escort us off the grounds." Here's a photo of the Wackenhut guard stopping them:


hhttp://commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/style_images/1/img-resized.png Reduced: 26% of original size [ 1920 x 1080 ] - Click to view full image
http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/164567/wackenhut.jpgttp://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/user/164567/wackenhut.jpg




Klein, who spent extensive time in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina documenting the widespread disaster profiteering and privatization that endures to this day said the fact that Wackenhut is guarding a joint operation of the US government and BP is not surprising given what is happening in the Gulf right now. "The whole Gulf Coast is a corporate oil state," she told me. "It's like BP broke it, so now they own the entire Gulf Coast." She added: "We might accept the premise that BP is best positionioned to know how to fix the blow up at 5,000 feet, but that also seems to mean they think they should control media access and the entire clean up of a massive national emergency. BP is in charge of everything. We were on the water in open seas the day before the Wackenhut incident and a boat pulls up next to us and asked if we worked for BP and we said, "No," and they said, 'You can't be here.'" It is completely sci-fi. It's a corporate state."

.


Link from: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu...ress=103x538925 (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=103x538925)

Magda Hassan
05-30-2010, 04:34 AM
What a classic photo Ed! Looks like a Sieg Heil coming though one one side of the Wackenhut bot and his inner queen struggling to get out and express herself on the other. Fascists in a nutshell.

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 05:27 AM
Magda, I'm guessing he was gesturing to the driver to turn around and go away when he spotted the camera and tried to prevent his face from being photographed. I don't recognize him; the last photo I remember seeing about this particular group featured a potato chip sticking in between two naked male butt cheeks.

Now, we return you to your more normal coverage of a truly intense, bizarre and deeply troublesome event.

Two from Mike Ruppert coming up...

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 05:28 AM
A Big Question

Can anyone help me? -- As I have watched all the stories about the Gulf, it's pretty clear that there are at least two and now likely three large plumes coming from the seabed. Simmons and others place one miles away from the well head and the new one is described as being miles in the opposite direction. What I have not seen explained is how these leaks/blowouts are mechanically connected to the Deepwater Horizon event. The rig was in a mile of water. So if the riser fell over, these other leaks should be no more than a mile away. That's how long the riser pipe was. I just can't figure that out. Anybody? How could these blowouts be miles away then and still be mechanically caused as a result of the explosion?

MCR
Posted by Jenna Orkin at 6:31 PM

http://mikeruppert.blogspot.com/2010/05/big-question.html

Comments linked to the above:

Blogger Dave Z said...

It sounds like they are caused by chemical dispersants (generalized from comments on theoildrum.com) and are drifting slowly with currents.

7:13 PM


Blogger Phil said...

MCR;

Not sure if related; i read a commentary between a rig worker who was on the rig during the explosion. I 'll be damned if i can find it now, but will keep looking. Anyhow, while i am not technically savy on oil drilling, i get the jist of what was being said. He correctly identified the gas plume that blew the top off the hole. But; he stated there was supposed to be a "valve" on the top of the hole or holes once drilled. They were mandatory in the past, but recently, lobbyists were successful in lifting that. This person stated that this was why the top blew off the drilled hole. Apparently, this valve was 1/2 million dollars to install on the cap of the drill holes in any underwater high pressure sites ??

I just thought of this, i seen this commentary about 5 days after the event broke the news, but cant locate it... i will keep looking if it is even related.

I am wondering if this has anything to do with what you are asking?

J

7:14 PM


Blogger "e Brutto" said...

Yes, it has me wondering.
So I have been digging.
Posted this on theoildrum:
'
'As per the plan, the rig was supposed to be drilling the second of the two wells planned. But it faced oil spills over two fronts: one at the well head and another at the surface offshore. The wells are located in lease G-32306 over the prospect.'
http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/macondoprospect/

~ 'Well A last year and Well B this year are part of the plan.'
http://www.gomr.mms.gov/PI/PDFImages/PLANS/29/29977.pdf

Well A was abandoned due to a hurricane, was it completed / sealed properly.

Leaks always get worse...
Perhaps no one will notice if BP keeps us watching the small leak, LOL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4whiKQgnp4w


http://www.zerohedge.com/article/matt-simm...p-kill-just-dis (http://www.zerohedge.com/article/matt-simmons-tells-bloomberg-only-way-contain-oil-leak-small-nuclear-bombs-top-kill-just-dis)

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com....html'' (http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/05/simmons-says-obama-should-detonate.html%27%27)

I came across some scuttle buck that BP had been granted some leeway in emissions related to previous drilling, well A perhaps.

Another explanation could be that Mr S has lost focus momentarily, I detected a bit of off baseness in another statement a while back.

7:24 PM


Blogger PseudoPhil said...

Mr. Ruppert -

If the well casing was cracked by the blowout, or has been eroded by the flow of material, it could be breached somewhere between the top of rock layer overlaying the oil and the surface of the mud at the bottom of the gulf. If that were the case, the oil could be escaping up through several miles of mud before reaching the water. This could conceivably cause a leak to appear miles away from the bore itself.

7:32 PM


Blogger tray said...

Simmons is wrong.

7:33 PM


Blogger Saoirs said...

Some possibilities:

1. Simmons is primarily referring to the physical presence of a separate, larger plume, and inferring from that that they are in the wrong place, regardless of how it got there;

2. In the excitement of a live interview he has misspoken, or is not expressing himself clearly, or forgot a detail/confused a hypothesis, as to how that can be;

3. This other plume is the result of a pressure fissure or fracture opening up in the salt canopy/mud layers through which they were drilling (not "hard rock" as such);
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/prominent...#comment-378469 (http://www.zerohedge.com/article/prominent-oil-industry-insider-theres-another-leak-much-bigger-5-6-miles-away#comment-378469)

4. This is the result of an earlier well head reopening? such as one that they abandoned before after equipment fell into it it and they had to sever the line?
http://www.zerohedge.com/article/prominent...#comment-377966 (http://www.zerohedge.com/article/prominent-oil-industry-insider-theres-another-leak-much-bigger-5-6-miles-away#comment-377966)
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/16/...in6490197.shtml (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/16/60minutes/main6490197.shtml)

I frankly have no idea. Also found that interview confusing.

7:43 PM


Blogger Jenna Orkin said...

an email came in from someone who didn't give a 'handle":

My impression from the multiple plumes was...

From Matt Simmons ....the other 5-6 mi away leak was a PREVIOUS "expletive deleted"ed up drill job by BP in the same field, they lost some drill tools, tried to rush the job, cost 25 million in the "expletive deleted"up, moved over 5-6 miles, drillled again

But maybe they did not do a good job of sealing that old bore hole/well off., and hey PRESSURE

Headed to NOLA manana to prevent people from killimng themselves with aircraft trying to save pelicans...what a job...

All of the above may be old news..always a day late...

no1hears

8:26 PM


Jenna Orkin said...

"Simmons thinks the bigger leak could have been caused by the destruction of the well casing when the BP oil rig exploded. Or it could be caused by a natural oil seep, although the odds of a seep of that size occurring right around the time of the Deep Horizon disaster is nearly zero."

http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/201...l-leak-in-gulf/ (http://fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com/2010/05/28/second-larger-oil-leak-in-gulf/)

8:50 PM

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 05:30 AM
ITS TIME TO PRAY
May 29, 2010, 2100 PDT

I havent been able to sleep well because of the obvious chicanery, stupidity and deception being practiced by BP, the mainstream media and the United States government. I have not been able figure out how giant plumes could be originating five miles in either direction of the well that is leaking. I wrote to Matt Simmons and this reply just came in. Im doing what Matt asked, as quickly as I can. Dinner can wait.

In my opinion, what most likely happened when one of the largest surges of oil as gas blew out the BOP and within seconds, began melting down one of the worlds most technically advanced deepwater rigs ever built is that just the BOP and wellhead got tossed far away from the well bore but the riser which was attached to the rig floor was separated from the wellhead/BOP.

What all the black crap coming out to create these plumes are is the oil from the reservoir and it is staying so deep under the ocean surface that only the recent tests by NOAA research vessels finally saw these giant plumes rapidly spreading across the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico.

BP is in total denial that this could be real.

It is time for the government to ask BP to step aside and bring the military into to managing this colossal failure of judgment by BP.

Spread this news as we all need to better understand what is really happening.

Very tragic story.

Matt

Let me add my thoughts. -- The obvious collusion between the USG and the mainstream media leads me to believe that the USG has known that a nuke would be the only option within a week of the explosion. About two weeks ago we posted on this blog a link to a story from (I think it was) The Telegraph saying that President Obama had dispatched a team of nuclear scientists to study the situation and evaluate the possibility of using a nuke. One was a co-inventor of the H-bomb. It was a credible story that no press outlet followed up on. Why not?

I believe that the leaks are devastating for all life in the Gulf and that large portions of the Gulf will be dead zones from seabed to surface within maybe six months. I believe that an announcement of a pending nuclear detonation will come within a week to ten days. I predict that US Continuity of Government provisions will be activated and that FEMA will, before end of summer, be placed in complete control of the Southeast United States limited martial law.

I believe that mankind will have a very rude awakening when the nuclear announcement is made. We will be lucky if North Korea doesnt seize the moment... or somebody else.

The U.S. government must intervene without hesitation. I completely agree with Matt Simmons. The battle now is to save all life in and around the Gulf of Mexico.

It is time to pray.

MCR [Michael C. Ruppert]
Posted by Jenna Orkin at 9:16 PM

http://mikeruppert.blogspot.com/2010/05/it...me-to-pray.html (http://mikeruppert.blogspot.com/2010/05/its-time-to-pray.html)

One comment:
Blogger eyeballs said...

Go nuclear?

Technocrats always want to throw another technology at a problem. The idea that technology can clean up the environment by making electric cars is one example. Nuking the seabed to stop an environmental disaster is yet another.

It's been hubris among technocrats that has brought us deep-water drilling "to protect our way of life". The horrific failure of technology sits at the core of this problem. Add nuclear radiation to an existing environmental catastrophe?

Gimme a break.

Will blowing up the seabed actually result in patching the leak? Seems to me that ripping up the natural contours of the Earth's crust is what brought on this trouble. But if geologists are convinced that more damage is necessary to stop the existing damage, certainly there must be powerful explosives that do not emit huge amounts of practically eternally radioactive poison.

To me, this BP fiasco highlights the thorough overshoot of technology, beyond its mandate to make human life easier. The bees are dying, the people are coming up with cancer, the forests and fish are almost gone. It's time we pulled back from our whole industrial fantasy and decided to live with much less of it -- especially since it'll be going away anyway.

No nukes!

10:00 PM

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 05:53 AM
Matt Simmons Tells Bloomberg Only Way To Contain Oil Leak Is With Small Nuclear Bombs, "Top Kill" Is Just A Distraction

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/29/2010 11:40 -0500


In his May 28th interview with Bloomberg's Mark Crumpton and Lori Rothman, Matt Simmons of energy investment bank Simmons & Company, provides some stunning revelations on what is really occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, and proposes that the only effective way to contain the leak is to relieve BP, bring in the military, and do what the Russians have done on comparable occasions, namely explode nuclear weapons within the wellbore. Simmons knows what he is talking about. As Jim Bianco points out: "Matt Simmons gained fame with his book 2005 Twilight in the Desert where he claimed that the Saudis were overstating their oil output because they hit peak oil. Right or wrong Simmons claimed the price of oil was going to skyrocket and three years after the books release the crude oil hit $147/Barrel. In January 2009 the WSJ called Simmons one of the five most important voices in the oil industry. Simmons has been wrong in the past and his views are non-conventional and often correct. Simmons is also highly connected within the oil industry so he knows who to talk to verify his claims." In addition to his radical solution, Simmons also points out that "Top Kill" is a sideshow and the real problem is 5 to 7 miles away, where a second fissure is "releasing a plume the size of Delaware and Maryland combined." If Simmons is indeed right, and the only recourse left to Obama is to nuke the seabed, the repercussions for his already shaky political situation will be tremendous.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4whiKQgnp4w...player_embedded (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4whiKQgnp4w&feature=player_embedded)

Peter Lemkin
05-30-2010, 05:59 AM
Good Question you ask...and the only people who would know {BP} ain't talkin'!They've been showing us photos of the least of all the leak plumes, while certainly knowing about all the others. The pipe from the bottom of the Gulf [where the water meets the mud] was 21" around and 20" interior diameter and about a mile long. It crumpled to the sea floor when the rig collapsed. I can't answer your question - only can make guesses. Perhaps they had more than one well hole [with the technology now available one can drill at angles and even sideways once in the rock or sediment]. Perhaps what we have seen is a mile long, 20" pipe emptying itself and what it used to connect to is going like a geyser somewhere a few miles away. There are other possibilities of the falling rig punching a new hole if the oil reservoir is not deep below the surface. We don't know. BP knows - but is keeping its mouth shut and the info 'proprietary'. So, we have seen how a [in BP's words] 60-70% chance of success came to zero [I'd given it 5% or less - but that was before I know of the second source - or third and fourth]. I'm sure they'll kick-around placing a bomb [even an atomic one] near the well-head. You ain't seen nothin' yet....it is going to get a whole lot worse....as things always do in a corporatocracy.

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 06:41 AM
Friday, May 28, 2010

Third Giant Underwater Oil Plume Discovered (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/third-giant-underwater-oil-plume.html)



The New York Times reported (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/16/us/16oil.html?partner=rss&emc=rss) on May 15th:


Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.

Theres a shocking amount of oil in the deep water, relative to what you see in the surface water, said Samantha Joye, a researcher at the University of Georgia who is involved in one of the first scientific missions to gather details about what is happening in the gulf. Theres a tremendous amount of oil in multiple layers, three or four or five layers deep in the water column.
The plumes are depleting the oxygen dissolved in the gulf, worrying scientists, who fear that the oxygen level could eventually fall so low as to kill off much of the sea life near the plumes.
AP reported (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/27/gulf-oil-spill-new-plumes_n_591994.html) on May 27th that scientists had found a second giant plume deep under the water. The plume is 22 miles long and 6 miles wide.

Today, the Washington Post is reporting (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/28/AR2010052802346.html?nav=rss_email/components) that a third giant underwater plume has been discovered:

A Louisiana scientist said his crew had located another vast plume of oily globs, miles in the opposite direction. James H. Cowan Jr., a professor at Louisiana State University, said his crew on Wednesday found a plume of oil in a section of the gulf 75 miles west of the source of the leak.
Cowan said that his crew sent a remotely controlled submarine into the water, and found it full of oily globules, from the size of a thumbnail to the size of a golf ball.... Cowan said the oil at this site was so thick that it covered the lights on the submarine.
"It almost looks like big wet snowflakes, but they're brown and black and oily," Cowan said. The submarine returned to the surface entirely black, he said.
Cowan said that the submarine traveled about 400 feet down, close to the sea floor, and found oil all the way down. Trying to find the edges of the plume, he said the submarine traveled miles from side to side.
"We really never found either end of it," he said. He said he did not know how wide the plume actually was, or how far it stretched away to the west.
As I have previously pointed out (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/dispersants-might-be-increasing-damage.html), the use of dispersants by BP may be making matters worse. The Washington post article notes:


Cowan's finding underscores concerns about oil moving under the surface, perhaps because of dispersant chemicals that have broken it up into smaller globules. BP officials have played down the possibility of undersea oil plumes.
This discovery seems to confirm the fears of some scientists that -- because of the depth of the leak and the heavy use of chemical "dispersants" -- this spill was behaving differently than others. Instead of floating on top of the water, it may be moving beneath it.
That would be troubling because it could mean the oil would slip past coastal defenses such as "containment booms" designed to stop it on the surface. Already, scientists and officials in Louisiana have reported finding thick oil washing ashore despite the presence of floating booms.
It would also be a problem for hidden ecosystems deep under the gulf. There, scientists say, the oil could be absorbed by tiny animals and enter a food chain that builds to large, beloved sport-fish like red snapper. It might also glom on to deep-water coral formations, and cover the small animals that make up each piece of coral.

"You're almost like a deer in the headlights when you're watching this. You don't know what to say," Cowan said. He said the oil's threat to undersea ecosystems "is really starting to scare us."



One of three comments:


oryzen (http://www.blogger.com/profile/13788167167409639684) said... I don't know why this comes as a surprise. Within the first week of the Deepwater Horizon blow out BP and main stream media where stating this fact. Whats next? Workers on the oil rig heard 3 explosion several hours before the rig burst in to flames! that was also main line news 3 weeks ago.

Wake up people
May 28, 2010 3:00 PM (http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010/05/third-giant-underwater-oil-plume.html?showComment=1275084012505#c547485213190 8655583)

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 07:30 AM
Wackenhut

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wackenhut

Their work and web site for Oak Ridge, TN:
http://www.wackenhut-oakridge.com/


##



Some excerpts: :

Wackenhut has been tied to the US goverment since inception. The early board members included Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Eddie_Rickenbacker&action=edit&redlink=1), Gen. Mark Clark (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Mark_Clark&action=edit&redlink=1) and Ralph E. Davis (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Ralph_E._Davis&action=edit&redlink=1), a leader of the John Birch Society (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=John_Birch_Society). Other members include former FBI (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=FBI) director Clarence Kelley (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Clarence_Kelley&action=edit&redlink=1), former Defense secretary (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Defense_Department) and CIA (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=CIA) deputy director Frank Carlucci (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Frank_Charles_Carlucci_III), former Defense Intelligence Agency (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Defense_Intelligence_Agency) director Gen. Joseph Carroll (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Joseph_Carroll&action=edit&redlink=1), former Secret Service (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Secret_Service) director James J. Rowley (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=James_J._Rowley&action=edit&redlink=1), former Marine commandant P.X. Kelley (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=P.X._Kelley&action=edit&redlink=1), former CIA deputy director Adm. Bobby Ray Inman (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bobby_Ray_Inman), and previous to becoming CIA director, William J. Casey (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=William_J._Casey) as outside legal counsel. [5 (http://prop1.org/legal/prisons/92wack.htm)]

In the same above mentioned SPY Magazine article (http://prop1.org/legal/prisons/92wack.htm), 18 year terrorism expert and CIA analyst, William Corbett (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=William_Corbett&action=edit&redlink=1), stated "For years, Wackenhut has been involved with the CIA and other intelligence organizations, including the Drug Enforcement Agency (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Drug_Enforcement_Agency&action=edit&redlink=1). Wackenhut would allow the CIA to occupy positions within the company clandistine operations." He went on to say Wackenhut provided the intelligence agencies with information and was paid in return "in a [I]quid pro quo arrangement". This would explain in part the huge number of contracts awarded to Wackenhut in delicate areas of the national security, such as embassies and nuclear plants, and the $150 million increase in work under the Reagan Administration (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Reagan_Administration).
Wackenhut was also involved in illegal US operations in Central America in the 1980s. By exploiting the Cabazon Indian reservation as a sovereign nation, they intended to produce and export explosives to the Contras (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Contras&action=edit&redlink=1), evading Congressional law to the contrary.[7] (http://www.maebrussell.com/Articles%20and%20Notes/Napa%20Sentinel%20INSLAW%20article.html)[8] (http://www.jillnicholson.com/plot.htm)
The director of international operations at the time, Ernesto Bermudez (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Ernesto_Bermudez&action=edit&redlink=1), admitted to having 1,500 men in El Salvador (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=El_Salvador) doing "[t]hings you wouldn't want your mother to know about."
According to Edward Herman (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Edward_Herman) and Gerry O'Sullivan in The Terrorism Industry (ISBN 0679725598 (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Special:BookSources/0679725598)), "Wackenhut quickly got involved with right-wing terrorists who were themselves linked to state security agents" in Belgium. They left in the early 1980s after some of their guards were accused of luring immigrant children into basements and beating them.
Strike breakers

Wackenhut is known for providing muscle and force against organized labor and protesters. They provided strike breakers at the Pittston mine in Kentucky. Their armed guards have beaten protesters at nuclear sites for the Department of Energy. [9] (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=867)
Among nuclear weapons lab employees, Wackenhut was better known for wacking radiation whistleblowers like Karen Silkwood (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Karen_Silkwood&action=edit&redlink=1) and attempting to run Dr. Rosalie Bertell (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Dr._Rosalie_Bertell&action=edit&redlink=1) off the road. [10] (http://www.sfbayview.com/092204/nuclearweapons092204.shtml)
Wackenhut is a joint venture partner along with MPRI (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=MPRI), Kellogg Brown and Root (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Kellogg_Brown_and_Root) and AGS (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=AGS) in the civilian police training company Civilian Police International, LLC (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Civilian_Police_International,_LLC ) which is under a State Department (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=State_Department) contract for $1.6 billion to work with the Civilian Police and Rule of Law (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Civilian_Police_and_Rule_of_Law&action=edit&redlink=1) office in coordination with the United Nations (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=United_Nations) training emerging police forces around the world. [18] (http://www.input.com/corp/press/detail.cfm?news=908)

Wackenhut, through contracts with the Department of Energy (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Department_of_Energy) provides security services for the following sites:


Arkansas Nuclear One
Braidwood Nuclear Power Station
Byron Nuclear Power Station
Callaway Plant
Clinton Power Station
Dresden Nuclear Power Station
Ginna Nuclear Power Plant
Grand Gulf Nuclear Station
Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant
LaSalle County Nuclear Power Station
Limerick Generating Station
Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant
Oyster Creek
Palisades Nuclear Plant
Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station
Pilgrim Nuclear Station
River Bend Nuclear Station
Point Beach Nuclear Plant
Prairie Island Nuclear Plant
Quad Cities Nuclear Power Station
Salem/Hope Creek Generating Station
Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant
South Texas
St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant
Three Mile Island (TMI) Unit 1
Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant
V.C. Summer Nuclear Station
Vermont Yankee (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Vermont_Yankee) Nuclear Power Station
Waterford
Zion Nuclear Power Station

Wackenhut has since lost contracts with many of these stations after guards at various nuclear sites were found asleep. Some were recorded by an insider who later sent the video to CBS news resulting in several firings and Exelon to form Exelon Nuclear Security to relieve Wackenhut from their contracts.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Wackenhut


###


And see my own previous collection; the following link comes from a "search" here at DPF using the word "Wackenhut" which subsequently should show up in red every time it occurs:


http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2065&highlight=Wackenhut

Peter Presland
05-30-2010, 07:46 AM
Hardly the occasion for levity I know - God knows some of the pictures of devastation coming out of the GOM are enough to make any sane person weep - but Dmitry Orlov does have a unique perspective. His deep droll black humour with its roots in his experience of the Old Soviet Union's collapse, are guaranteed to shed useful light on parallel events in the West. The destruction being wrought in the GOM is no exception.

A brief extract from his latest Blog post (http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2010/05/lost-leaders.html):

It is embarrassing to be lost. It is even more embarrassing for a leader to be lost. And what's really really embarrassing to all concerned is when national and transnational corporate leaders attempt to tackle a major disaster and are found out to have been issuing marching orders based on the wrong map. Everyone then executes a routine of turning toward each other in shock, frowning while shaking their heads slowly from side to side and looking away in disgust. After that, these leaders might as well limit their public pronouncements to the traditional "Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner fudge is made." Whatever they say, the universal reaction becomes: "What leaders? We don't have any."

Getting lost can be traumatic for the rest of us too. When we suddenly realize that we don't know where we are, urgent neural messages are exchanged between our prefrontal cortex, which struggles to form a coherent picture of what's happening, our amygdala, whose job is to hold on to a sense of where we are, and our hippocampus, which motivates us to get back to a place we know as quickly as we possibly can. This strange bit of internal wiring explains why humans who are only slightly lost tend to trot off in a random direction and promptly become profoundly lost. After these immediate biochemical reactions have run their course, we go through the usual stages of:


denial"We are not lost! The ski lodge is just over the next ridge, or the next, or the next..."
anger"We are wasting time! Shut up and keep trotting!"
bargaining"The map must be wrong; either that or someone has dynamited the giant boulder that should be right there..."
depression"We'll never get there! We're all going to die out here!" and
acceptance"We are not lost; we are right here, wherever it is. We better find some shelter and start a campfire before it gets dark and cold."

Some people don't survive, some do; the difference in outcome turns out to have precious little to do with skill or training, and everything to do with motivationthe desire to survive no matter how much pain and discomfort that involvesand the mental flexibility to adjust one's mental map on the fly to fit the new reality, and to reach stage 5 quickly. Those who go on attempting to operate based on an outdated mental map tend to die in utter bewilderment.

Ed Jewett
05-30-2010, 08:03 AM
Sounds like he has read "Deep Survival". http://www.deepsurvival.com/ I've read it, it's on my personal empowerment reading list [http://tiny.cc/magicbiblio (http://tiny.cc/magicbiblio)], and I have written a recommendation for it at Amazon.

Paul Rigby
05-30-2010, 09:49 AM
"I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully,"

Bush II, Saginaw, Michigan; September 29, 2000

Paul Rigby
05-30-2010, 01:48 PM
A very germane cutting from this morning's press:


Gilligan Andrew, Whitehall Gets Slick after BP, The Sunday Coalitiongraph, 30 May 2010, p.3

A secret Whitehall subcommittee, named after some or other poisonous snake to convey the illusion of guile and deadly efficiency, has concluded its meetings on the full ramifications for Britain of BPs ongoing travails in the Gulf of Mexico. Calling upon some of the finest minds in British diplomacy, spying and finance, the think-tank has produced a set of proposals for discussion by the full cabinet at some unspecified point this week, informed sources inform me via a plain brown envelope left with yesterdays morning milk delivery.

Topping the agenda is the recommendation that the new government appoints, as a matter of urgency, a new ambassador to Washington where, it is widely agreed, a vigorous pounding for all things British is sure to follow. We need a very special kind of diplomatist for these very special circumstances, a senior Whitehall source said yesterday. We need, in short, a most enormous arse to soak up the punishment and say precisely nothing. We believe we have just the man to begin the process of relubricating the wheels of Anglo-American comity.

The arse in question

The man in question is believed to be Sir Denzil Tooth, the solicitor-general-turned-MP for Craven Cottage, as the Fulham constituency is affectionately known within Metropolitan police vice squad ranks. Tooth was forced to return to the back benches in Mrs Thatchers last cabinet following a ghastly misunderstanding in Sohos infamous London Rubber Emporium, where he was accused of shoplifting while under the influence of excessive quantities of talc. His tired and emotional plea to the magistrates court I want the finest punishments known to humanity, I want them here, and I want them now! remains a favourite of the London legal circuit, several of whose members witnessed the entire shocking incident at first hand, albeit through a veil of pain, upside down, and a giant nappy, respectively.

Consigned to the back benches, Tooth dedicated himself anew to the three governing passions of his life: architecture, good food and the Church of Englands outreach initiative to the urban youth of Thailand. Im off to inspect a Bangkok erection became a familiar refrain, as he dashed off, at short notice, to offer relief and Ottos Idea of the Holy to his unofficial flock. This punishing schedule took its inevitable toll, according to colleagues, who soon noticed an alarming change in his appearance. His entire torso and head disappeared among mounds of buttock fat, one admirer explained. He became a giant bottom.

The human wedge

The challenge confronting HMG is a daunting one, another informed source informed me. As 9/11 confirmed, the average Yank will believe anything and has the memory of gnat. But there are intelligent, unscrupulous types, mostly of the legal, political and financial varieties, who will use this little local difficulty to suggest, quite erroneously, that we have destroyed the Atlantic, and covered a lot of corpulent hicks in a thick, black rain of death. We need to drive a wedge between the gullible and the cynical. Tooth is a very large part of that wedge. Whats more, hes as fat as they are, which must count for something.

A second element to the subcommittees proposed strategy involves the BBC and the British Council. Speakers are to be selected and financed to tour the States, there to make provocative speeches in improbable places. It will be the BBCs task to ignore these speeches in toto. Sir Reginald Pike-Darkness and Monsignor Maurice Gamp are believed to head the list of intellectual provocateurs designed to bring the boil of anti-British sentiment to a pussy head. When it reaches a strained and swollen acne of anger, we shall lance it with the sword of sycophancy and a wad of cash, explained the informed source. But the eruption will take place in the backwoods, and no one who matters in New York or Washington will feel a thing. You see at once the strategys genius.

Keith Millea
05-30-2010, 05:37 PM
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/05/29-3
Published on Saturday, May 29, 2010 by the McClatchy Newspapers (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/29/v-print/95060/reports-bp-to-announce-top-kill.html) BP: 'Top kill' has Failed to Stop Gulf oil Leak

by Erika Bolstad

BP has abandoned its most recent "top kill" effort to contain its well, a company official announced Saturday evening.

"After three full days, we have been unable to overcome the flow," said the company's chief operating officer, Doug Suttles.

In its next effort to halt what its officials have called an "environmental catastrophe," BP will cut off the leaking riser at the top of the five-story blowout preventer atop the wellhead to get an even surface on the broken pipe.

Then the company will install what's called a lower marine riser package, a cap containment system that would be connected to a new riser from the Discoverer Enterprise drillship 5,000 feet above on the surface. The aim is to minimize the amount of oil reaching the shore until BP can drill relief wells, Suttles said.

He estimated that the procedure would take about four days to complete, but if it also fails, it could be several months before BP can finish drilling two relief wells to intersect the runaway well. During that time, millions more gallons of crude oil could contaminate the Gulf of Mexico, poison wildlife, destroy fragile marshlands, close fishing grounds and deprive fisherman, resort workers and many others of their livelihoods.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said officials were disappointed that the top kill method failed, but added that the Coast Guard and BP are still fighting to keep the oil from reaching the shoreline.

"It's a little bit of a roller coaster ride for everyone," she said. "Obviously, we've said we've had to prepare for a worst-case scenario from day one, that this could fail totally and release a tremendous amount more than it is releasing now."

After three days in which BP said it pumped more than 30,000 barrels of drilling lubricant known as mud into the runaway wells blowout preventer, BP engineers determined that it was time to try something else, Suttles said.

He said the decision was made in consultation with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Energy Secrtary Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics.
Engineers had hoped that the drilling mud pumped into the blowout preventer using the top kill method would block the crude oil and gas from spewing out of the damaged wellhead and blowout preventer.

However, from the beginning technicians said that most of the mud flowed right back out, along with the oil and natural gas. BP halted pumping the mud for an extended period within hours after it began on Wednesday, and in the ensuing days, it also pumped debris into the blowout preventer in hopes of blocking leaks and allowing the mud to accumulate. Those efforts apparently failed, too.

2010 McClatchy Newspapers

Peter Lemkin
05-30-2010, 06:34 PM
To save you the drama of the next few days on MSM....BP's new efforts will, as all the former, fall short of the mark and do nothing to stem the flow of oil into the oceans of Planet Gaia!...... The Administration will make believe they are outraged....but nothing much will be done for another six months, if then...unless the American PEOPLE demand something done. Power was NEVER given up by the Oligarchy without demand...ever and it will:alberteinstein: never change! :eviltongue:

DEMAND IT BACK!

Ed Jewett
05-31-2010, 02:37 AM
Renowned Marine Biologist Carl Safina on the BP Oil Spills Ecological Impact on the Gulf Coast and Worldwide

http://i2.democracynow.org/images/story/27/18827/oilybird_web.jpg As we continue our discussion on the BP oil spill, we turn to its long-term ecological impact. Carl Safina, the founding president of Blue Ocean Institute, warns the ecological fallout from the spill may be felt across much of the world.


Guest:
Carl Safina, founding president of Blue Ocean Institute. He is author of many books about marine ecology and the ocean, including [I]Song for the Blue Ocean.
Related stories


BP Oil Spill Confirmed as Worst in US History; Environmental Groups Challenge Continued Oil Operations in Gulf Excluded from New Moratorium (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/28/bp_oil_spill_confirmed_as_worst)
Coast Guard Grounds Ships Involved in Spill Cleanup After 7 Fall Ill; BP Reportedly Preventing Fishermen from Wearing Respirators (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/27/coast_guard_grounds_ships_involved_in)
Disasters in Gulf Coast, West Virginia Spur Calls for Criminal Prosecutions of Corporate Execs (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/26/disasters_in_gulf_coast_west_virginia)
BP Played Central Role in Botched Containment of 1989 Exxon Valdez Disaster (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/26/bp_played_central_role_in_botched)
BPA? As BP Says No To The EPA, Who Is In Charge of the Oil Cleanup? (http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/26/ahead_of_pivotal_attempt_to_plug)


JUAN GONZALEZ: As we continue our discussion on the BP oil spill, we turn now to look at the long-term ecological impact of the spill. Our next guest testified before Congress last week and warned the fallout from the spill may be felt across much of the world. Joining us here in New York is Carl Safina, the founding president of Blue Ocean Institute. Hes author of many books about marine ecology and the ocean, including Song for the Blue Ocean.

Welcome to Democracy Now!

CARL SAFINA: Thanks for having me.

JUAN GONZALEZ: What message did you bring to Congress?

CARL SAFINA: Well, that this is not just a regional disaster, although it certainly is, but that the Gulf of Mexico is a tremendous engine of life and also a tremendous concentration zone, where animals from the whole open Atlantic Ocean funnel into the Gulf for breeding and millions of animals cross the Gulf and concentrate there on their northward migration and then fan out to populate much of North America and the Canadian Arctic, the East Coast, the Canadian Maritimes. So its a real hotspot, and its a terrible place to foul.

AMY GOODMAN: Tuna?

CARL SAFINA: The bluefin tuna that occupy most of the North Atlantic Ocean have two separate breeding populations. One breeds in the Mediterranean. The other breeds in the Gulf. So all the tuna that populate the East Coast, the Canadian Maritimes, the Gulfstream, even that go as far as the North Sea, many of those are from the western population and breed only in the Gulf of Mexico. This is their breeding season. Theyve just about finished now. And their eggs and larvae are drifting around in a toxic soup of oil and dispersant.

AMY GOODMAN: Talk about the dispersant Corexit.

CARL SAFINA: Well, the dispersant is a toxic pollutant that has been applied in the volume of millions of gallons and I think has greatly exacerbated the situation. I think the whole idea of using a dispersant is wrong, and I think its part of the whole pattern of BP trying to cover up and hide the body. They dont want us to see how much oil, so theyve taken this oil that was concentrated at the surface and dissolved it. But when you dissolve it, its still there, and it actually gets more toxic, because instead of being in big blobs, its now dissolved and can get across the gills, get into the mouths of animals. The water below the floating oil was water. Now its this toxic soup. So I think that in this whole pattern of BP trying to not let people know whats going on, the idea of disperse the oil is a way of just hiding the body. But it actually makes the oil more toxic, and it adds this incredible amount of toxic pollutant in the dispersant itself.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And the potential you were talking about, that this is the season when so much of the marine life and the bird life is creating their young, what is the effect on the birds, on those birds that are about to hatch or maybe are already in the process of hatching?

CARL SAFINA: Yeah, well, not only do you have birds there that are breeding, like the pelicans and some of the gulls and some of the terns, those birds will probably have a completely catastrophic breeding season, because its not just birds on the beach or birds in their nest. Their parents make a living diving into water. Theres no way around that. You can put booms that are twenty-feet high. Theyre going to fly out to feed. And when I was there, we could see on the Chandeleur Islands quite a few of the terns were already lightly oiled, but they will just get progressively more and more oiled. And no amount of protecting the area where the nests are is going to change the fact that the parents are going to have a tremendous amount of trouble. And many of them will just get killed.

But also, there were sanderlings, ruddy turnstones, black belly plovers and a dozen other species that dont stay there. Theyre moving, and theyre migrating through. They comethey winter as far south as southern South America. They nest across the Canadian tundra and in the High Arctic. Theyre some of the longest-distance migrants in the world. They cannot do that unless their fathers are working. And if their feathers are sticking together, theyre not going to be able to make it. They dont have the energy to get to where theyre going to go. So theyre going to be dropping out along the way. The other thing is you have peregine falcons that are coming across from the Yucatan on their way to breeding grounds in the Arcticexcuse meand as far away as Greenland. They will be selectively picking off these birds that are compromised. So they will be getting higher doses of oil. So this is just a horrible place to have something like this happening, because its such a concentration point for animals that move.

AMY GOODMAN: What about the question of bombing the actualwhere the leak is coming from? Some say BP doesnt want to do it, because then they would have to rebuild if they would ever get to offshore drill again. But what effect would that have?

CARL SAFINA: Oh, well, Im not ayou know, Im not a drilling technologist, and I dont know if it would work. But actually, bombing part of the sea floor right there, I think, would have no real ecological effect other than the noise, which would affect marine mammals like dolphins and whales. But, you know, one or two blasts, I think, if it shut the oil off, would probably have been worth trying. But I dont know if that would work.

AMY GOODMAN: Who do you think should be in charge of this operation, this cleanup operation?

CARL SAFINA: Well, BP had a lease to drill. They did not have a lease to pollute the Gulf of Mexico. They did not have a lease to blow oil into the environment. They did not have a lease to disperse the oil and try to hide the body. They dont have a lease to clean up. They dont have a lease to make the fishermen sick. They dont have a lease to tell the United States, "Well keep using a dispersant thats banned in Europe, even though youre telling us to stop using it." They should have been shoved out of the way on day two. And there should have been a war council of all the other oil companies that know how to drill to focus on stopping the oil from coming out of the hole. And then BPs responsibilitythey are responsible, but they obviously dont know what to do, and they cant do it, and theyre not doing it. Their responsibility should be what theyre good at: pay money. Pay money to the United States. Theyre on our property. Theyre in our water. Theyre making our people sick. Theyre destroying our wildlife. Pay money and have the United States take over.

JUAN GONZALEZ: This whole issue of drilling in areas so deep that if there is an accident you cannot really get there to fix it, what is ityou know, to me, its almost like Three Mile Island or Chernobyl. Its like you neveryou were guaranteeing people that it would never happen, but once it happens once, you realize the potential catastrophe that you are creating through this process. What is your sense of the future of ocean drilling, in terms of what this has told the rest of the people of the United States and the world?

CARL SAFINA: Right, well, there have been other blowouts, and there have been major oil spills. Its different than Chernobyl because we know it happens. It happens. Its happened before. It will happen again. And its happening right now. So, you know, and obviously they didnt have any backup plan. Its as if having poked 30,000 holes into the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico and have 5,000 rigs operating, it never occurred to them to say, "Oh, what if oil starts coming out of one of those holes, like it has in other places at other times?" They were completely unprepared. They dont have the equipment. They dont have booms that can work in open water. And what the obvious take-home message is, we dont know how to do this. We can poke the hole. We dont know how to deal with some things that we know happen, because theyve happened. But people have not developed the technology or warehoused the tools or created booms that work in ocean swell conditions or any of that stuff. Were trying to wring the last drops out of a depleting resource. And this really needs to be the pivotal moment where we say oil is declining, we need a national energy policy that looks past oil. You know, BP, at one time they said that their name meant "beyond petroleum." Now its "beyond pathetic." But we really need to get past oil.

AMY GOODMAN: What about "beyond prosecution"? Are they? And should they be held criminally liable?

CARL SAFINA: Of course theyre criminally responsible. They were trying to hurry up. When you have an argument on a rig about how fast to go and what to do, you dont tell people, "Just hurry it up." I mean, this is absolutely criminal. And I think thatyou know, were still asking, "Oh, can we go in? Can we use respirators?" This is insane.

AMY GOODMAN: The Atlantis, deepwater offshore drilling site, has that been shut down, which dwarfs the Horizon Deepwater?

CARL SAFINA: Actually, I dont know if thats still going on or has been shut down.

AMY GOODMAN: Has all offshore drilling been shut down? No?

CARL SAFINA: No, not at all. And in fact, unfortunately, the Obama administration, I think, blew it on the high ground here. You know, there was Sarah Palin, "drill, baby, drill," right? So we dont want that; we elect Obama. And then what happens is we get "drill, baby, drill." Thats what we got. We got a stepped-up effort to eliminate the ban on offshore drilling that was, what, a couple of generations old. And now theyre stuck with that, because, of course, nobody wants to actually do the smart thing and say, "Oh, you know what? We made a mistake," because then, oh, theyve lost face. So, oh, we cant lose face. The obvious right thing is the drilling ban was the right thing to do. The drilling ban is the right thing to do. We dont know how to take care of these problems. We need to stop it. We need to make this a pivotal moment and have a national energy policy for the first time that gets beyond this and phases out fossil fuels, which kill people, make people sick and detroy the environment.

AMY GOODMAN: We want to thank you very much for being with us, Carl Safina, founding president of the Blue Ocean Institute. He has written a number of books, including Song for the Blue Ocean.


http://www.democracynow.org/2010/5/27/expert_ecological_impact_of_spill_could

Ed Jewett
05-31-2010, 02:57 AM
http://www.globalresearch.ca/coverStoryPictures/19429.jpg

A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
Review of F. William Engdahl's Book

by Myron Stagman

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19429

Ed Jewett
05-31-2010, 03:49 AM
Attention readers:

The blog and media coverage and commentary on the Deepwater Horizon event, now well over a month old, has exploded like the oil rig itself, and is now gushing out words and links faster than a sane man can possibly deal with it.


Over at CGCS, http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=119560, (http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=119560)a mega-thread has been created which is now being fed by multiple posters.

Multiple threads from that discussion board, which include many of the same articles I have posted here, are now being merged.

Over there, several people are contributing beyond just myself. One of them is Snuffysmith, veteran moderator there, well-versed in many issues, especially nuclear, a former lawyer, and with more to her resume as well. Ive known and conversed with Snuffy for years and she is a member at E Pluriibus Unum as well.

Subsequently, further attention should be given to that thread as well as your own usual and customary sources.

One of the thrusts in the thread merger is the ecological impact and the now-escalating political, social, economic and other ramifications. As a single event, it will continue to generate news, opinion and speculation for many, many weeks to come.

This, of course, does not preclude any DPF members from posting here.

Peter Lemkin
05-31-2010, 02:42 PM
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/derrick-jensen-star-wars-the-environmentalists-version/

Ed Jewett
06-01-2010, 04:22 AM
Top Killing

by Linh Dinh / May 31st, 2010
1951 the entire village of Pont-Saint-Esprit in France went mad. Wracked by physical and psychological convulsions, people stripped themselves or leapt from windows, became violent, thought snakes were knotted inside their bellies or flowers sprouting from their flesh. Seven died, including three suicides. Fifty were placed inside an insane asylum. Baffled by this horror straight out of the Middle Ages, as it was dubbed by a French newspaper at the time, the police thought something was in the flour. It arrested the miller and baker for two months, accused a supplier in Vienna. Only in 2009 did American historian, H. P. Albarelli Jr., reveal that this episode of collective madness was the work of our C.I.A., who wanted to test the effects of L.S.D. It did this, I should add, without any complicity from the French government, but when do we ever care about any countrys sovereignty?
That a U.S. agency would unleash a dangerous drug on an unwitting population should not surprise you. There have been many instances of this. That it would poison foreigners is not at all unusual. The only twist here, apparently, is that this was inflicted on a friendly nation.
In the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, 399 black men, poor, mostly illiterate sharecroppers, became guinea pigs. While misleading them into thinking they were being cared for by all these nice white doctors, our government withheld treatment just to see how messed up they would become. We even provided free transportation, fed them. This grim joke lasted 40 years. So what if 128 would die from syphilis or related complications, and that some infected their wives or had babies born deformed.
In 1963, cancer cells were injected into 22 patients at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital, in a study commissioned by the United States Public Health Service and the American Cancer Society. These geezers were dying anyway, the reasoning went, so no consent was necessary. In any case, their bodies rejected the alien cells, so no harm, no foul, I guess.
When fighting a war, we really flaunt our chemicals, and not just on an enemy population but our own soldiers. Take Agent Orange. During the Vietnam War, 12 million gallons of this stuff were sprayed. Most American soldiers served just a year there, yet many would become gravely ill from exposure to a defoliant that could cause numerous cancers, diabetes, ischemic heart disease or multiple myeloma. Veterans started to sue DOW, Monsanto and other companies in 1978, but only in 1984 did they manage to wrest a settlement. Many vets had already died. When a group of Vietnamese victims tried to sue in the same court, with the same judge, he dismissed their case. Millions of Vietnamese have suffered or died from Agent Orange. Half a million babies have been born with horrific birth defects.
Scientific researches had proven that TCDD, a component in Agent Orange, was toxic, yet the Pentagon went ahead and used it in Vietnam. To test its effectiveness, it sprayed some over Panama, even near a lake that provided water for the capital. In 1999, the Panamanians finally sued our government for damages. The truth of the matter is our government will use whatever that is expedient and cost effective Agent Orange to clear jungles, Depleted Uranium to puncture armor, irrespective of the decades or even centuries long damages caused to whom or whatever gets in the way. Eyeing huge profits, the companies that make these killers are always happy to oblige since the Pentagon is a very generous spender. Its easy to be one when its using your and my money to stuff into its daddys pocket or mistress G-string. Sorry, but I always get confused when trying to figure out whos licking most energetically in this 69 marathon.
Depleted Uranium is radioactive waste. Dr. Rosalie Bertell explains:

DU bursts into flame on impact. It reaches very high temperatures, and becomes a ceramic aerosol [] Ceramic (glass) is highly insoluble in the normal lung fluid, and when inhaled, this ceramic particulate will remain for a long time in the lungs and body tissue before being excreted in urine [] The presence of DU eight years after the Gulf War exposure, means that the internal organs: lung, lymph glands, bone marrow, liver, kidney, and immune system have experienced significant localized radiation damage.
The First Gulf War lasted just six months, yet a quarter of the 697,000 American troops who participated soon reported symptoms of what became known as Gulf War Syndrome. Compared to 114 killed by enemy fire, thousands would perish from Depleted Uranium. As expected, the Pentagon denied everything, and only a handful of congressmen, like Cynthia McKinney and Dennis Kucinich, made a fuss. Ignoring the swelling body of evidences against Depleted Uranium, the Pentagon went on to use it in Kossovo in 1999, Afghanistan starting in 2002, and Iraq from 2003 until today.
To punish Fallujah, whose inhabitants had the audacity to kill, burn, then string up four of our Black Water mercenaries, the United States flattened that city while illegally using chemical weapons. Faced with deformed babies, some born with two heads, the Iraqis have sued the British, since American troops are off limit to litigation. Ah, the irony of invading a country accused of possessing chemical weapons, when its us who are unleashing them indiscriminately. Kill em all, let God google through alternative blogs to sniff out the hushed ups!
As with Agent Orange, Depleted Uranium is causing a huge spike in cancers among Iraqis and Afghans, with thousands of babies being born grotesquely deformed. The Uranium Medical Research Center quotes Sayed Gharib of Tora Bora:

What else do the Americans want? They killed us, they turned our newborns into horrific deformations, and they turned our farm lands into grave yards and destroyed our homes. On top of all this their planes fly over and spray us with bullets we have nothing to lose we will fight them the same way we fought the previous invaders.
The words irony and hypocrisy may not exist in the Pentagons thin dictionary, but you cant accuse it of having no sense of timing. The attack against Iraq in 2003 started on the same day as March Madness. (For non-Americans reading this, thats our collegiate basketball tournament.) Its shock and awesome, yaal. This year, it began Operation Moshtarak, designed to secure the poppy fields of Helmand, uh, I mean, to chase out evil Talibans, just moments after the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. I know, I know, the Olympics Truce is just a cutesy myth, but it cant hurt to have distractions on ice and snow, with frills, triple axles, and an occasional, oh so nice uplifted leg, while we take care of some nasty business in the dessert. The Canadians also participated. Joining the largest ever helicopter assault involving the Canadian air force, Captain Mathieu Bergeron of Edmonton gushed, There are helicopters everywhere. Its awesome. Its too bad the Afghans didnt send a delegation. A lone athlete could march in carrying a white flag, to a rousing ovation, too, no doubt.
With the current catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, it appears that the chicken has come home to roost. Our government does not police, but has always enabled and abetted, these out of control corporations. Now it twiddles its thumbs as British Petroleum dumps nearly a million gallons of Corexit into the ocean. Diluting the evidence, this solution was designed only for public relations, even as it made the situation much worse. Imagine Agent Orange in the water. Thousands of people are already sick, with millions more to come. Also, there is no discussion of how this will affect our neighbors like Mexico, Cuba and the Bahamas, not that the people in charge ever gave a damn about foreigners, or our soldiers, or our poor. They can declare you a hero even as they kill you. Look at what happened with the first responders at Ground Zero. Look at what happened to Pat Tillman.
As the government takes over the clean up effort, look for familiar contractors to show up ready to fatten their pockets. We pay to get sick, then pay to feel slightly better. Maybe theyll even market the contaminated seafood. Coming to a store near you, well oiled and seasoned, Corexit Fish Sticks. Up yours.


Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories and five of poems, with a novel, Love Like Hate, scheduled for July. He's tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union (http://linhdinhphotos.blogspot.com/). Read other articles by Linh (http://dissidentvoice.org/author/LinhDinh/).
This article was posted on Monday, May 31st, 2010 at 7:33am and is filed under (Ex-)Yugoslavia (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/europe/ex-yugoslavia/), Afghanistan (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/asia/afghanistan/), Children (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/children/), Crimes against Humanity (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/crimes-against-humanity/), Environment (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/environment/), Health/Medical (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/healthmedical/), Iraq (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/asia/middle-east/iraq/), Military/Militarism (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/militarymilitarism/), NATO (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/nato/), Panama (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/turtle-island/central-ixachilan-america/panama-central-ixachilan-america-turtle-island/), Vietnam (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/asia/vietnam/), mercenaries (http://dissidentvoice.org/category/militarymilitarism/mercenaries/).

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/top-killing/#more-17723 (http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/top-killing/#more-17723)

Magda Hassan
06-01-2010, 09:05 AM
May 30 (Bloomberg) -- BP Plc told U.S. regulators six weeks before its Gulf of Mexico well blew out that workers had difficulty maintaining control, according to e-mails released today by the House Energy and Commerce Committee investigating the spill.
A March 10 e-mail to Frank Patton, the Minerals Management Services drilling engineer for the New Orleans district, from BP executive Scherie Douglas said the company planned to sever the pipe connecting the well to the rig and plug the hole.
We are in the midst of a well control situation on MC 252 #001 and have stuck pipe, Douglas wrote, referring to the subsea block, Mississippi Canyon 252, of the stricken well. We are bringing out equipment to begin operations to sever the drillpipe, plugback the well and bypass.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, and Representative Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat and chairman of the panels oversight subcommittee, released the documents related to oil-well design, and e-mails from March, February and November 2009. The documents raise questions, but their connection to the blowout, if any, require additional investigation, the lawmakers said.
The e-mails shows that as early as the second week of March, BP was enlisting help from J. Connor Consulting Inc., a Houston-based firm that advises some of the worlds biggest energy companies on how to respond to oil spills.
Federal regulators gave BP permission to cement the well at a shallower depth than normally would have been required after the hole caved in on drilling equipment, the e-mails showed.
Verbal Approval
BPs Douglas, the senior regulatory and advocacy adviser for the companys exploration and production unit, received verbal approval from an unnamed MMS official at 11 p.m. on March 11 to insert the cement plug about 750 feet (229 meters) above the bottom of the hole, the e-mails showed.
The House committee is investigating the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers, sank Transoceans $365 million Deepwater Horizon rig, and triggered a spill that threatens the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to Florida. The panel also is probing equipment meant to prevent spills at deepwater wells and whether human error played a role.
The New York Times reported today that internal BP documents showed serious problems and safety concerns with the rig prior to the explosion that triggered the largest oil spill in the nations history.
BP, the oil company that owned the well, yesterday stopped pumping heavy drilling fluid into the well and is preparing to lower a containment cap over the gushing wellhead, a process that may take four to seven days. Waxman and Stupak on May 28 sent letters to clean-up consultants working for BP and Transocean, seeking documents including contacts and emergency-response plans.
Letters were sent to OBriens Response Management Inc. of Spring, Texas; Marine Spill Response Corp. of Herndon, Virginia; and the National Response Corp. of Great River, New York. National Response is a unit of Seacor Holdings Inc.
All three companies have service agreements with BP or Transocean, the committee said in a statement.
--With assistance from Jim Snyder in Washington. Editors: Steve Geimann, Mark Rohner
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-05-30/bp-lacked-well-control-six-weeks-before-blowout-e-mails-show.html

Ed Jewett
06-01-2010, 09:11 AM
May 31 2010:
9,000 days and a dying economy

Quiet day on the markets, US closed, Britain closed, Europe, Asia and the Euro hardly budging, and all the real action taking place below ground in more ways than one. Bad news from China keeps getting louder, but may still have a ways to go before it makes real headlines. Increasing pressure on Spain, but that too may take a while yet to come to fruition. Spain is not Greece. Even from a purely economical view, the most relevant issue is the Gulf of Mexico, if only because its aftershocks could be strong enough to shake and rattle global economies to an extent no-one seems willing to talk about as of yet.

The five affected US Golf states alone have, between them, a $2.2 trillion economy. Cut that in half, which could easily happen if theres oil all over the place, and you have a nationwide economic disaster, coming on top of everything else. Throw in a hurricane, or two, or ten, and see where you get from there. How about if 50% or more of Florida's tourist industry is wiped out, or if beach side properties there lose another 50% or more of their value due to tar balls forcing beach closures? How about Georgia, the Carolinas, how about closing Chesapeake Bay as well as Galveston Bay? Alarmist? Maybe, then theres no end in sight to the spill.

And that too is just the start. Theres a serious threat that the entire Mississippi watershed and river will have to be closed for -much of its- traffic. You cant have a zillion ships a day drag oil residue all the way up to St. Louis or beyond. Oil is sort of toxic. If it would come to that, the US have a real serious problem.

Anyone still wish to argue that the BP/Macondo/Deepwater Horizon karbunkle is not a disaster? Or that it isn't one for president Obama? After the Top Kill failure (was that ever a serious attempt in the first place? how hard is it to gauge upward vs downward pressure?), therell apparently be another brilliantly engineered $multi-million inverted flowerpot theater-piece later this week, but now that we're down to the next in line ever less likely to succeed genius ideas, maybe its time to see what for instance the bookies are offering.

After all, they usually have their finger on the pulse of reality much more than politicians or corporations with skin in the game. Or are we down to the lucky 13th failed attempt yet, our best option to date? Someone grab me some clover, horse-shoes, rabbit's feet.

Remember, Matt Simmons, banker to the oil industry and writer of several highly insightful books on black gold, recently warned that it may take 9000 days, or 24 years, before the first oil leak to threaten a US presidency will stop a-gushin-and-a-flowin. Simmons has little faith in the litany of maybe-solutions weve seen so far and will see going forward. Yeah, theres talk of detonating a nuclear bomb, but lets get real, its never been tried at these depths, and its a crap shot to begin with. What exactly do you risk unleashing?

The people in the swamps, the wetlands and the bayous were never the richest in the world, or even the country, but they had an abundance of natural beauty around them to make up for it. Thats now gone too, for decades to come. Its impossible to say when Louisiana will recover from this latest blow, but it may very well indeed take those 9000 days, and likely more. Incidentally, so may the lawsuits.

The only thing that will help BP as a going concern retain some of its value is that Exxon and Shell are both eager for a take-over, while China will certainly be looking at the ruins of the company. Then again, for all interested parties the threat of never-ending and extremely expensive legal cases, bot civil and criminal, may be a deterrent that will not be overcome. The British government will try what it can to save the firm, but even they will find they've bigger fish-and-chips to fry. The challenge will be to separate BP's assets from its pending legal claims. A few laws may have to be changed in order to accommodate that one.

When the oil reaches Florida, Georgia, Mexico and Cuba, and it will, every US and UK politician will attempt to wash their hands clean of oil in any shape or form, the president first of all. Were all still caught in a mid-air suspension moment built on hope that the oil will magically disappear, but thats not very clever. What we should do is imagine where a Katrina-size hurricane can deliver the stuff. That and the normal loop- and Gulf Stream currents.

So what should both the US and UK governments have done 40 days and change ago? It's simple, really. They should have immediately declared everything they could an emergency zone, situation, whatever, anything in their power. In the US, Homeland Security would have been the number 1 agency to turn to. But theyre probably too occupied with Arab Americans tying their shoelaces in airports.

Its downright foolish to underestimate the potential damage from an all-out leak over one mile below sea-level, and if you believe it takes platoons of specialists to come to that assessment, Id direct you to what I wrote right after April 20, and have written since.

Now, Im not an oil expert, but I do know when things smell too much to ignore. There was and is no-one who could have guaranteed on April 20 that we would find ourselves where we are now, 41 days later, but thats not the point. What is, is that even people like me could see way back when that the risk was there that we would end up here. And thats all a president or prime minister should need. When it comes to these matters, the only option is to be better safe than sorry, at least and certainly when youre in charge of an entire nation. Gambling on anything else, or better, is quite simply not in your job profile. It cant be, for where would that leave the nation? Thats right, where we are today.

The argument that the White House didnt and doesnt have the expertise to intervene in issues such as Deepwater Horizon is ludicrous. If Obama would have, as he should have, declared it a national emergency on April 20, all the best resources, the best people, the best material, on the whole wide planet, would have been available right from the get-go, not just the resources of BP, which has always had a vested interest into downplaying every single aspect of this boondoggle. Unfortunately for every party involved, with the possible exception of BP, governments consciously and deliberately choose and chose to be asleep on both sides on the Atlantic.

And this one looks to be the one thatll bite them in the rearguard. No more BP, no more Obama, and, much more importantly, no more fishermen and tourist outlets on the Louisiana coast for a long time to come, plus a giant threat to shipping on the Mississippi. And thats still only the human cost. Do dead dolphins count for anything at all around here?

Could the president have prevented the calamity? Probably not. But that's not the point. The point is he never really tried. He, intentionally or accidentally, misread the situation to a huge degree, one that he can never have back, no matter what his spin team comes up with. The economics behind the karbunkle will tell the tale.

http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/05/may-31-2010-9000-days-and-dying-economy.html

Ed Jewett
06-02-2010, 08:18 AM
Tuesday, June 01, 2010

DEEPWATER HORIZON WILL BE THE END OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (http://mikeruppert.blogspot.com/2010/06/deepwater-horizon-will-be-end-of-united.html)


June 1, 2010 The Obama Administration today opened a criminal investigation into all the events before, during and since the April 20th explosion that triggered the largest environmental catastrophe in human history. (If its not now, it will be.) -- This investigation is going to end badly for everybody.

As the catastrophe worsens, as people grasp what it means... there will be blood demanded and blood spilled. The tens of millions of soon-to-be victims will not accept less. There will be an almost insatiable need for vengeance and all of the pent-up rage after swallowing all of the lies fed to the American people by Wall Street and Washington for so long will have found a single, unifying issue. The frustration built up in every corner of our lives will become a blowout exactly like the Gulf. Because of the Gulf.

We know that BP, the mainstream media and the U.S. government have at best deceived, and at worst outright lied about two key things. The first is the actual flow rate (now minimally) confirmed at 75,000 bpd. (Im kind of leaning towards 125,000 bpd myself.) The second is the fact that there are two very huge leaks not one. The second one is about five miles west of the bore hole. That means the explosion caused geologic ruptures. (Hello CNN? Anybody in there?)

Nobody has any credibility here. Nobody. Its all finger pointing. Its tasteless. Its transparent. Its embarrassing. It's insulting. And it is infuriating.

-- For me a rosy side to this is that Dick Cheney has dived deep. He will be remembered for Halliburton. Those skeletons will be recalled and resurrected. Bush-Cheneys role in turning the Minerals Management Service into a roving, drug-crazed whore house will become (finally) something actionable. Of course, the American populace didnt get upset when MMS, Interior and Energy lied to them about how much cheap energy there was going to be forever. Yes, Old FTW readers will remember that we took on MMS in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

This is going to be a nasty, nasty catfight and the legal and political ramifications of Deepwater Horizon will I am very confident -- eventually bring about the collapse of the United States government. They will certainly bankrupt it (sooner) and force it into default. Political collapse is the third stage of overall collapse (Orlov). It was coming anyway. Its just going to get here a lot sooner now. Social collapse will begin as soon as the people from the Gulf coast become refugees.....

Michael C. Ruppert

Carsten Wiethoff
06-04-2010, 07:36 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/03/gulf-oil-spill-bp-dividend


Tony Hayward, BP (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/bp)'s embattled chief executive, will risk incurring further wrath in the US over the Gulf oil (http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/oil) spill tomorrow by defying calls from politicians to halt more than $10bn (6.8bn) worth of payouts due to shareholders this year.
He will hope to appease City investors by promising in a conference call with analysts to stick with BP's dividend policy amid mounting concern about a plunging share price.
BP declined to comment on its strategy tonight but it is understood that Hayward will say he is confident the company can pay for liabilities resulting from the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion now estimated by analysts at $20bn to $60bn as well as rewarding investors.
The move follows demands from senators Charles Schumer and Ron Wyden in a letter to Hayward all dividends be halted until the cost of the clean-up is known.
Analysts warned that committing to the dividend risked further political opprobrium in the US, with Alex Stewart from Evolution Securities fearing it could force Hayward to make a U-turn next month. BP reports its results on 27 July, when it will announce the size of its next quarterly payout, but it is expected to spend more than $10bn in total dividends this year.
"The problem they have is that the oil is likely to be still flowing by the time they announce results," said Stewart. "It's not going to look good paying about $3bn in [quarterly] dividends to shareholders if at the same time local fishermen are having their livelihoods destroyed in the Gulf."
However, BP's dividend is of crucial importance to the City and to the pensions of millions who depend on payouts from profitable companies to boost their retirement funds. Together with rival Shell, BP accounted for 25% of the total dividends of 50bn paid in the UK market last year. Any cut in the dividend could result in investors selling BP shares, further weakening the company, which has lost nearly 30% of its value since the disaster began.
Crude oil has been leaking from a well at the bottom of the sea since 20 April and BP has been unable to stem the flow despite various attempts to halt it, including the "top kill" method of pumping mud and debris into the hole.
Hayward's handling of the crisis has been called into question, and he chose Facebook to apologise for his latest gaffe: saying he wanted his life back. His position has become more troubled since he said in an interview with the FT today that it was "entirely fair criticism" that BP was not fully prepared for the oil leak.
Analysts were today openly questioning the future of Hayward as chief executive, and whether his company could be taken over and broken up.
Bookmaker Paddy Power is now offering even odds that Hayward will be forced to leave his post by the end of this year, meaning two successive chief executives would have left earlier than originally intended. Hayward's predecessor John Browne departed following the Texas City fire which claimed 15 lives.

Magda Hassan
06-04-2010, 02:51 PM
They have chutzpah alright. I heard Obama was fining them 85 million for something or other. I bet they are just quaking in their boots in fear. In the mean time some garden variety arse covering courtesy of Haliburton:

Halliburton campaign donations spike

By JAKE SHERMAN (http://www.politico.com/reporters/JakeSherman.html) | 6/2/10 3:04 PM EDT
http://images.politico.com/global/news/100602_grassley_toomey_barton_ap_218.jpgSen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Reps. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) are among those who got money from Halliburton in May. AP POLITICO 44

As Congress (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/Congress) investigated its role in the doomed Deep Horizon oil rig, Halliburton donated $17,000 to candidates running for federal office, giving money to several lawmakers on committees that have launched inquiries into the massive spill.

The Texas-based oil (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/Oil) giants political action committee made 14 contributions during the month of May, according to a federal campaign report filed Wednesday 13 to Republicans and one to a Democrat. It was the busiest donation month for Halliburtons PAC since September 2008.

Of the 10 current members of Congress who got money from Halliburton in May, seven are on committees with oversight of the oil spill and its aftermath (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/BP).

Halliburtons political contributions in May are the highest theyve been since September 2009, when the PAC also gave $17,000 in donations. In fact, the last time the company gave more than $17,000 in one month was when it donated $25,000 during the heat of the presidential campaign in September 2008.

About one week before executive Timothy Probert appeared before the House Energy and Commerces investigative subcommittee, Halliburton donated $1,500 to Ranking Republican Joe Barton (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/JoeBarton)'s reelection effort. It was Halliburtons second-largest donation of the month topped only by $2,500 to former Rep. Pat Toomey (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/PatToomey) (R-Pa.), who is running for the Senate.

In the Senate, Idaho Republican Mike Crapo (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/MikeCrapo), who serves on the Environment and Public Works Committee, Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/JohnnyIsakson), who serves on the Commerce Committee and North Carolina Republican Richard Burr (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/RichardBurr) (N.C.), who serves on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, all got $1,000. Sen. Chuck Grassley (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/ChuckGrassley) (R-Iowa) also got $1,000.

In the House Reps. Roy Blunt (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/RoyBlunt) (R-Mo.), who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Mike Coffman (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/MikeCoffman) (R-Colo.), who serves on the Natural Resources Committee, Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) and Dave Camp (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/DaveCamp) (R-Mich.) all received $1,000 from the oil giant.

Oklahoma Rep. Dan Boren, the only Democrat who got Halliburtons money, is on the House Natural Resources Committee.

Republican Steve Pearce, running for a House seat he once occupied in New Mexico, and Ohio Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman also got donations from Halliburton.

Federal election law permits company PACs to donate to whomever they like, including lawmakers that are investigating their industry. A spokesman for Halliburton asked all questions to be submitted in writing, and the company did not respond to two e-mails with questions regarding Halliburtons political donations.

Halliburton made the cement casings on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, and some experts have said the casings contributed to the cause of the disaster. Halliburton, in congressional testimony, has said it followed the orders of BP.

Peter Lemkin
06-04-2010, 04:46 PM
Here is the current situation..totally out of control...but if one listens to the BBC [not biased, mind you] they have the leak 'under control'...hardly...I personally think it will not be until the end of the year until it is...by then the Gulf will be a sewer and most life in it dead...a look at what life on Gaia will be sooner rather than later if we don't get the Corporate Capitalist leeches off of our backs, legs, arms, heads, necks, throats, chests, and groins!....

http://www.livestream.com/wkrg_oil_spill?utm_source=lsplayer&utm_medium=embed&utm_campaign=footerlinks

Keith Millea
06-04-2010, 06:40 PM
by then the Gulf will be a sewer and most life in it dead...a look at what life on Gaia will be sooner rather than later if we don't get the Corporate Capitalist leeches off of our backs, legs, arms, heads, necks, throats, chests, and groins!....


Hate to ruin peoples day,but ALL need to look in the eyes of total defilement of this precious earth.

http://www.commondreams.org/further/2010/06/04
06.04.10 - 10:12 AM
"The Things I've Seen: They're Just Not Right"

by Abby Zimet
http://www.commondreams.org/files/images/oil_slide_6569_96441_large.jpg
The deathly disaster unfolding in the Gulf is God-awful enough. BP's cover-up is even worse. Thanks be to the obstinacy of photographers. The AP's Charlie Riedel took these stomach-turning photos (http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/06/caught_in_the_oil.html). There is little to be grateful here other than the enduring humanity of some. More on regular folks intent on truth-telling here. (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/06/02/2010-06-02_the_hidden_death_in_the_gulf.html#ixzz0pn44v3oe )

"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." - J. Robert Oppenheimer
http://www.commondreams.org/files/images/dead_bird_slide_7300_96530_large.jpg
http://www.commondreams.org/files/images/bp-pelican-big.jpg

Ed Jewett
06-04-2010, 09:22 PM
Gulf Oil Spill Could Spread to Atlantic Coast

By Betsy Mason (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/author/betsymason/) http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/wp-content/themes/wired/images/envelope.gif (betsy_mason@wired.com)
June 3, 2010 |
1:34 pm |
Categories: Environment (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/category/environment/)



http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid46203255001?bclid=46205328001&bctid=89801701001

Oil from BPs Gulf of Mexico spill could reach the Atlantic coast in the coming months, according to a new computer simulation.
The model indicates that oil at the surface is likely to be picked up by a fast-moving stream of water in the Gulf known as the Loop Current, which feeds into the Gulf Stream current that carries water northward along the Atlantic coastline.
Ive had a lot of people ask me, Will the oil reach Florida? Synte Peacock, who worked on the model at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in a press release today. Actually, our best knowledge says the scope of this environmental disaster is likely to reach far beyond Florida, with impacts that have yet to be understood.
It is impossible to accurately predict precisely what will happen to the oil because it will depend on the ever-changing Loop Current and regional weather patterns. But the model, which is based on typical wind and current patterns for the area, can provide a range of possibilities.
Six different scenarios one is shown in the video above were run through the computer simulation. In all of them, the oil eventually gets entrained into the Gulf Stream and reaches the Atlantic coast, traveling north at speeds up to 100 miles a day as far north as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, before heading east into the open ocean. The main differences between the scenarios are in the timing of the oils movement.

We have been asked if and when remnants of the spill could reach the European coastlines, team member Martin Visbeck of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University in Germany said in the press release. Our assumption is that the enormous lateral mixing in the ocean together with the biological disintegration of the oil should reduce the pollution to levels below harmful concentrations. But we would like to have this backed up by numbers from some of the best ocean models.
The NCAR-led simulation was performed on supercomputers based at the New Mexico Computer Applications Center and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The scientists caution that the study, which has yet to be peer-reviewed and published, is not a forecast and is based on movement of a virtual dye that doesnt resemble oil in some ways. The study also doesnt take into account factors such as chemical breakdown and degradation of the oil or whether the oil will remain as a slick on the surface, coagulate or mix into the subsurface.
The team is working on extending the model further into the future.
Read more background on the study (http://www2.ucar.edu/news/ocean-currents-likely-to-carry-oil-spill-to-atlantic-coast) at the New York Times Dot Earth (http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/oil-could-reach-atlantic-coasts/) blog, in the full press release, and at the DOE (http://www.energy.gov/news/9025.htm).
All six modeling scenarios (http://www2.ucar.edu/news/oil-spill-animations) can be found here.
Video: The animation is based on a computer model simulation, using a virtual dye, that assumes weather and current conditions similar to those that occur in a typical year. It is one of a set of six scenarios released today that simulate possible pathways the oil might take under a variety of oceanic conditions. Each of the six scenarios shows the same overall movement of oil through the Gulf to the Atlantic and up the East Coast. However, the timing and fine-scale details differ, depending on the details of the ocean currents in the Gulf. (Visualization by Tim Scheitlin and Rick Brownrigg, NCAR; based on model simulations.)
See Also:


Tracked From Space: Gulf Oil Slick Approaches Land (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/04/gulf_oil_spill-gallery/)
Gulf Coast May Be Permanently Changed by Oil Spill (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/05/gulf-tipping/)
Toxic Oil Dispersant Used in Gulf Despite Better Alternative (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/05/gulf-dispersants/)
Better Oil Dispersant Tests Delayed in Gulf (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/05/dispersant-delay/)
EPA Orders BP to Use Less-Toxic Oil Dispersant (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/05/epa-oil-dispersant/)



Read More http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/06/gulf-oil-could-spread-to-atlantic-coast/#ixzz0pvCiyHFf

Myra Bronstein
06-08-2010, 09:09 AM
Fun game everybody! Guess what Gulf of Mexico animals these used to be! Yay! Games!!!

Photos are attached. Don't cheat now.

Myra Bronstein
06-08-2010, 09:16 AM
[Emphasis mine.]

Alec Baldwin (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alec-baldwin) / Actor
Posted: June 7, 2010 08:52 AM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alec-baldwin/this-crisis-is-an-opportu_b_602640.html

I was speaking to a neighbor recently, out here on the East End of Long Island, about the BP Oil disaster and the impact the spill is having on the Louisiana coast, it's wildlife and fishing industries. Eastern Long Island may be vastly different from the Gulf Coast in terms of culture and politics. However, both regions share a deep and historic link to their waters. Even today, areas on Long Island stretching from Riverhead to both Orient and Montauk Points seem linked, in a rather romanticized way, to a fishing past that has dwindled sharply over the past 40 years.

And yet, like my neighbor, I cannot imagine facing, here where I live, what Gulf Coast residents are facing now. The destruction in the Gulf region, like the Katrina debacle and the September 11th attacks, reminds us that we are one country and that the sudden loss or destruction of our nation's freedoms, monuments, culture, servicemen and women, natural resources, you name it, casts into sharp focus what is ours to protect and defend.

The Gulf of Mexico, at least that part of it that is ours to maintain and fish and enjoy, belongs to every American. Just like the Great Lakes, the Grand Canyon, Monterey Bay, The Rocky Mountains, Cape Cod, Park Avenue, the Lincoln Memorial, the Little League ball field in your town, the place you have coffee at every morning, or take yoga or the place you go to have coffee and make fun of yoga . What is happening down there is happening to you and to me. Because resources like the Gulf ARE this country. They belong to us. And if you aren't so goddamned fed up with this crap from the oil industry that you want to scream, then maybe you need to have some tar balls fall out of the sky on to your front lawn before you get it.

I wrote in a previous post that a major global oil company would have to go out of business as a sign that we were on the right track regarding effective energy policy reform. Let that company be BP. In the process of being litigated by the government of this country in pursuit of remediating this problem, let BP die. The oil business can only sustain itself through the corruption we now know was (is?) rampant at the Minerals Management Service. Some of those in charge at that agency should be put on trial for treason. Some of the neocons that visits this site will nonetheless defend BP. They'll say they broke no law. That the government approved everything that went on down there.

My response to that is "What government?" Disasters like this remind us of what we have that matters most. They also sadly remind us of what we don't have that we desperately need. When it comes to the oil industry, we have no government. We have just a bunch of drunken, thieving whores who shilled for Big Oil called the Minerals Management Service.

Peter Presland
06-08-2010, 09:48 AM
Fun game everybody! Guess what Gulf of Mexico animals these used to be! Yay! Games!!!

Photos are attached. Don't cheat now.
Personally, I find these and the masses of other image and footage of the devastation in the GOM difficult to look at and the vast scale of the whole thing just depresses the hell out of me - and I'm in the UK!. So how must those living in the GOM coast lands be feeling right now?

There are those in the 'alternative news/blogsphere who poo-poo 'peak oil' theory as another establishment scam. However, the plain fact is that, unless 'Abiotic' oil is a reality - and it seems to me that the evidence for that is scant indeed - then oil is a finite resource. Apart from Iraq, Iran and the Caspian Basin, we have already pretty well used up the easy to get-at stuff; which of course explains much about the West's military subjugation of those benighted regions. Which in turn means that, in order to maintain global production at the levels necessary to maintain our non-negotiable life-styles (let alone for others to aspire to similar profligate levels) it has become absolutely necessary to go after the difficult to get-at stuff.

The implications of all this are crystal clear to me; but there remains near absolute denial that there is any such issue and that it will be back to business as usual just as soon as we can root out al Qaeda and get everyone borrowing and consuming again.

It is indeed a blind, stupid, crazy world we inhabit and I look to the future with considerable foreboding

Carsten Wiethoff
06-09-2010, 06:18 AM
From http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/06/the-rigs-on-fire-i-told-you-this-was-gonna-happen/57775/

'The Rig's on Fire! I Told You This Was Gonna Happen!'

A prominent Houston attorney with a long record of winning settlements from oil companies says he has new evidence suggesting that the Deepwater Horizon's top managers knew of problems with the rig before it exploded last month, causing the worst oil spill in US history (http://motherjones.com/category/primary-tags/bp). Tony Buzbee, a lawyer representing 15 rig workers and dozens of shrimpers, seafood restaurants, and dock workers, says he has obtained a three-page signed statement from a crew member on the boat that rescued the burning rig's workers. The sailor, who Buzbee refuses to name for fear of costing him his job, was on the ship's bridge when Deepwater Horizon installation manager Jimmy Harrell, a top employee of rig owner Transocean, was speaking with someone in Houston via satellite phone. Buzbee told Mother Jones that, according to this witness account, Harrell was screaming, "Are you fucking happy? Are you fucking happy? The rig's on fire! I told you this was gonna happen."

Whoever was on the other end of the line was apparently trying to calm Harrell down. "I am fucking calm," he went on, according to Buzbee. "You realize the rig is burning?"
At that point, the boat's captain asked Harrell to leave the bridge. It wasn't clear whether Harrell had been talking to Transocean, BP (http://motherjones.com/category/primary-tags/bp), or someone else.
On Friday a spokesman for Transocean said he couldn't confirm or deny whether the conversation took place. He was unable to make Harrell available for an interview.
During hearings held late last month by the Coast Guard and the Minerals Management Service, Harrell denied any conflicts (http://blogs.chron.com/newswatchenergy/archives/2010/05/coast_guard_hea.html) with his BP or Transocean bosses. He said that he did not feel pressured to rush the completion of the well, even though the rig had fallen behind schedule.
Yet Buzbee's claims add weight to other statements that contradict Harrell's version of events. Testifying (http://blogs.chron.com/newswatchenergy/archives/2010/05/todays_louisian_2.html) before the Coast Guard and MMS panel last month, Douglas Brown, the chief mechanic on the Deepwater Horizon, said that on the morning of the day that the rig exploded Harrell had a "skirmish" over drilling procedures during a meeting with BP's "company man," well site leader Robert Kaluza. "I remember the company man saying this is how it's going to be," Brown told the panel. As Harrell was leaving the meeting, according to Brown, "He pretty much grumbled, 'I guess that's what we have those pincers for,'" referring to the blowout preventer on the sea floor that is supposed to be the last resort to prevent a leak in the event of an emergency. The blowout preventer failed following the explosion on the rig, causing the massive spill. (Transocean's chief electronics technician, Mike Williams, also recalled (http://blogs.chron.com/newswatchenergy/archives/2010/06/the_drilling_ri_1.html) the argument but named a different BP "company man," BP's top official on the rig, Donald Vidrine).
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Transocean appeared to back the claims (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704717004575268302434395796.html?K EYWORDS=jimmy+harrell) that Harrell had feuded with BP: "The testimony certainly seems to suggest that [Harrell] disagreed with the operator's instructions, but what those were and why he disagreed are matters that will ultimately be determined during the course of investigations."
Other rig workers have also claimed that they were pressured by BP and their supervisors to cut corners. Transocean roustabout Truitt Crawford told the Coast Guard that he overheard senior management saying that BP was "taking shortcuts (http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100526/NEWS08/100526062)" by replacing drilling mud in the well with saltwater, which would have provided less weight to contain the well's surging pressure. Transocean's Williams told (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/16/60minutes/main6490197.shtml?tag=contentMain;contentBody) 60 Minutes that a supervisor had dismissed evidence that the well's blowout preventer had been damaged. And workers with Halliburton, the well's cementing contractor, had complained that BP's use of cement "was against our best practices (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/us/06rig.html?hp)" and told the oil company that it would likely have "a SEVERE gas flow problem (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704026204575266560930780190.html)" unless the well's casings were centered more carefully.
Buzbee told Mother Jones that the sailor's version of Harrell's phone conversation following the explosion was corroborated by a statement from a second crew member who says he also overheard the call. Both statements were taken in-person by Buzbee's investigator and safety consultant, who has interviewed some 60 people involved in the disaster, and signed by the witnesses, he said. Buzbee declined to make the full statements available to Mother Jones because, he said, "it is work product, meaning that it is something that I do not have to produce or disclose in litigation but that can be used at the right time in the litigation." He added that he intends to take a deposition from the crew members at a later time.
Buzbee's case against the operators of the Deepwater Horizon is hardly his first foray into suing major oil companies. After a BP refinery in Texas City exploded in 2005, killing 15 workers and injuring dozens more, he won $100 million in punitive damages from the company. In the wake of the 2002 shipwreck of the Prestige oil tanker, which devastated the coast of Galicia, he won a $70 million settlement for Spain's Basque government from the American Bureau of Shipping, which had inspected and approved the vessel. And he's also nabbed $15 million from Transocean and $6.2 million from Halliburton for injured offshore oil workers.
Yet Buzbee is convinced that the Gulf oil spill lawsuit will be his biggest ever. "It's the grandaddy of all cases," he said. "This is going to define BP and whether BP survives. This is going to be the biggest case in the history of the United States, no doubt about it."
This piece was produced by Mother Jones (http://motherjones.com/) as part of the Climate Desk (http://www.theclimatedesk.org/) collaboration.

Peter Presland
06-10-2010, 09:01 AM
Schadenfreude anyone?

The sick, slick (pun intended) trendy, glossy PR face of BP bites it on the backside.

Peter Lemkin
06-10-2010, 02:30 PM
Scientists with the University of South Florida say laboratory tests have confirmed that oil spewing from the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico has accumulated in at least two extensive plumes deep underwater. The researchers said in Baton Rouge, La., on Friday that their tests confirmed initial findings based on field instruments.

The lab tests are the most conclusive evidence yet in a vigorous scientific debate about where much of the oil is ending up. The researchers say the extensive layers of oil are sitting far beneath the surface miles from the site of the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion. The university is collecting data for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Government scientists, including NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco, had been reluctant to blame underwater plumes on the catastrophic well blowout that has been spewing oil into the gulf since April 20. Tony Hayward, chief executive of oil giant BP, which leased the rig, last week cast doubts on the scientific reports, saying the company had found no evidence of large underwater plumes.

For an explanation on how underwater oil can damage deep-sea life, read Times staff writers Bettina Boxall's and Alana Semuel's report here (http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/16/nation/la-na-oil-spill-water-column-20100516).

Jan Klimkowski
06-10-2010, 06:19 PM
Schadenfreude anyone?

The sick, slick (pun intended) trendy, glossy PR face of BP bites it on the backside.


BP: We're bringing oil to American shores...

:captain:

Right up there with the military-industrial-intelligence complex's unfortunate:


Lockheed Martin: We never forget who we're working for...

Ed Jewett
06-11-2010, 02:31 AM
Chairman of Goldman Sachs International Was - Until Last Year - Also Chairman of BP

http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/pictures/picture-7813.jpg
Submitted by George Washington (http://www.zerohedge.com/users/george-washington) on 06/10/2010 00:48 -0500



Goldman Sachs (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/197)
Ireland (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/9119)
Lloyd Blankfein (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/9655)
Royal Bank of Scotland (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/9766)
United Kingdom (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/9384)
World Trade (http://www.zerohedge.com/taxonomy_vtn/term/11943)




Janine Wedel has written (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=sau&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=site%3Ahuffingtonpost.com+%22shadow+elite%22&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=) extensively on how the "shadow elite" rule the world and about the "flexians" (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/the-first-huffpost-book-c_b_412999.html) - the movers and shakers of the shadow elite who glide across borders, and structure overlapping (and not fully revealed) roles in government, business, media, and think tanks to serve their own agendas.

Wedel says that flexians wear many hats both within and outside of government, and use their networks of contacts to influence policy - are warping our democracy and the rule of law.

Peter Sutherland is the quintessential flexian.

According to his September 2009 bio (http://www.trilateral.org/membship/bios/ps.htm):

Peter Sutherland is chairman of BP plc (1997 - current). He is also chairman of Goldman Sachs International (1995 - current). He was appointed chairman of the London School of Economics in 2008.... Before these appointments, he was the founding director-general of the World Trade Organisation. He had previously served as director general of GATT since July 1993 ...Sutherland resigned as BP's chairman in 2009, but apparently still serves in various key capacities.

Sutherland is managing director (http://investing.businessweek.com/businessweek/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=1585508) - as well as chairman - of Goldman Sachs International (Goldman Sachs International is the very powerful subsidiary of the Goldman Sachs Group, of which Lloyd Blankfein is CEO). Sutherland is also an Advisory Director (http://investing.businessweek.com/businessweek/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=394468) of Goldman Sachs Group.

Sutherland is also European Chairman (http://www.trilateral.org/memb.htm) for the Trilateral Commission.

He has, at various times, attended (http://www.prnewswire.de/cgi/release?id=42594) Bilderberg meetings.

As if that is not enough, Sutherland also serves in the following capacities (click on "Read Full Background"):

Mr. Sutherland served as an Attorney General of Ireland and also served as European Commissioner from 1985 to 1989 where he was responsible for competition policy.... He serves as the Chairman of British Petroleum, BP Amoco PLC and United Kingdom. From 1989 to 1993, he served as the Chairman of Allied Irish Bank. .... He serves as a Non-Executive Director of Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson. He serves as a Director of Goldman Sachs International. He has been Member of Supervisory Board at Allianz SE since January 2010 and serves as its Member of International Advisory Board .... Mr. Sutherland served as a Non Executive Director of BP Plc since July 1995. He serves as a Member of Foundation Board of World Economic Forum. He served as an Independent Non Executive Director of National Westminster Bank PLC since January 2001. He served as an Independent Non Executive Director of The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc from January 2001 to February 6, 2009.... In addition, he serves on the board of Allianz, Koc Holding A.S. and is a member of the advisory board of Eli Lilly.... He served as a Director of LM Ericsson Telephone Co since 1996, Ericsson SPA since 1996 and Investor AB since 1995. He served as a Non Executive Director of Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc from January 2001 to February 6, 2009.
Sutherland is - literally - like Lloyd Blankfein and Tony Hayward rolled into one. But unlike Blankfein and Hayward, he has also held numerous powerful governmental and quasi-governmental positions.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/chairman-goldman-sachs-international-was-until-last-year-chairman-bp?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+zerohedge%2Ffeed+%28zero+hedg e+-+on+a+long+enough+timeline%2C+the+survival+rate+fo r+everyone+drops+to+zero%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Ed Jewett
06-11-2010, 07:00 AM
Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 10 2010: BP, Forrest Gump, Mr. Bean and the White House (http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/06/june-10-2010-bp-forrest-gump-mr-bean.html)


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_9ZzZquaXrR8/TBFCYYp_IzI/AAAAAAAAF-w/hlXR-DFEqLk/s1280/BrownPelican1.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_9ZzZquaXrR8/TBFCYYp_IzI/AAAAAAAAF-w/hlXR-DFEqLk/s1600/BrownPelican1.jpg)
Charlie Riedel A Last Farewell June 3, 2010
Brown Pelican covered in oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast


Ilargi: Matt Simmons knows oil. His "Twilight in the Desert" is one of the best books on the topic, highly recommended. Simmons also knows finance; hes, after all, an oil banker. And he insists that both the Gulf spill is in fact much worse than BP and the White House are willing to admit, and that BP's liability commitments will bankrupt it within weeks. While there will always be the notion that Simmons says what he does in order to turn a profit, I personally lend quite a bit of weight to what he's been saying since the spill started. SImmons is one of the few voices left in the drama worth listening to.

BP has now officially, as I've said was likely to happen, seamlessly moved from "just" an environmental disaster into an economic calamity as well. Dont underestimate the impact of this. BP is the planet's fourth largest enterprise. For one thing, this means the company has vast political influence, especially in the US and UK. I saw a line today I had been waiting for for some time, in this Reuters article:
Under pressure over BP, PM Cameron says UK ready to help (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE65916020100610)
Britain stands ready to help BP with its clean-up efforts following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday as he came under intense pressure at home to stand up for the oil giant. In his first public comments about the crisis, Cameron said he would raise it with U.S. President Obama when they next spoke. That will be a delicate balancing act between upholding British interests and nurturing a key diplomatic relationship.

BP [..] accounts for 12-13 percent of dividend payouts in Britain. Pension funds and other investors are heavily reliant on it. The BBC has this:
Why is BP important to the UK economy? (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10282777.stm)
"The government must put down a marker with the US administration that the survival and long-term prosperity of BP is a vital British interest," the former British ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer, has told the BBC. He urged Prime Minister David Cameron to raise the issue in his scheduled conversation with US President Barack Obama over the weekend.[..]

"When you consider the huge exposure of British pension funds to BP it starts to become a matter of national concern if a great British company is being continually beaten up on the airwaves," [London Mayor] Boris Johnson said.

UK pension funds do indeed have big holdings of BP shares and the company says that 1 of every 7 paid in dividends to pension funds by FTSE 100 companies last year came from BP. It is estimated that about 18 million people in the UK either own BP shares or pay into a pension fund that holds BP shares.That should put you right in line with what will be playing out now. BP's bankruptcy looks like a foregone conclusion. That is, unless the US and UK governments step in, and do so broadly and very loudly. With both money and legal changes. The former, because BP faces far more in lawsuits and damage claims than it has in liquidity (its shares are now worth less than its assets, always an alarming sign). The latter, well, for more or less the same reason.

One party you dont want to be when BP's bankruptcy lands square squash on the table is a Louisiana fisherman or a Florida tourist operator. British pensioners first! Sure, Obama has declared that BP is liable for all damages yada yada, but theres a long list as we speak of Gulf Coast residents who cant hardly squeeze a penny out of the company even now, and thats before any serious litigation has started.

Its all just posturing. By the time the real claims arrive, BP will likely be very deeply mired in interminable Chapter 11 and/or subsequent proceedings, and the little man will be dead broke and waiting for years to see if he may ever get a single penny for what he worked long and hard to build up, whether hes Forrest Gump in Terrebonne Parish or Mr. Bean in Coventry.

Dont help the little man, help BP, says the British government. And that will be the political stance, though certainly not the public message, going forward, on both sides of the pond. Nothing has changed as of yet and nothing will until Gump and Bean reach for their pitchforks.

Goldman Sachs or BP, the politicians reaction remains the same. Screw whoevers not in your circle, and use (your power over) their money to pay off who is. Corporations rule this planet, not the people that live on it.

BP will be a showcase for several nations at once, a shining example for how much of the political power really is in the hands of the people. I for one hold out very little hope, as long as the present corporate political systems remain in place. Britain, I bet you, will use its pensioners tax money to "save" BP in order to save its pensioners. And so forth. And then somewhere down the road that money will get lost. Think AIG.

All we're left with to live in is a hologram. And we can just wait and see, because the time will come, till all weve left to spend, grow and eat also exists only in a parallel universe.

Unless and until we find ourselves some sand, oil-stained or not, to draw a line in.

And dont kid yourselves, its not about BP, one single oil company, and its not about Obama or Cameron, about single politicians. With perhaps slight differences, Shell and Exxon perform within the same dismal agenda's BP does, and there's no politician left in our Western hemishpere who rises to true power and has not been pre-empted by the system he or she voluntarily chooses to function in, and who doesn't voluntarily participate in perpetuating the hologram their voters long for in order to continue their feeling of comfort, so they can sit in their oversized homes and watch pictures of dying birds on oversized plasma TV's.

And please dont be too eager to proclaim you're different, or better than that. Thats nothing but the easy way out.

Remember, youre not watching real life with real people, youre watching a 24/7 theater play that has no other reason to be than to provide you with what it knows beforehand you will respond positively to. Remember that, and then look at the dying pelicans. You may be running out of chances to make it right. Is that the way you want your life to be?












BP Now Worth More Dead Than ALive
by AP (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/09/bp-worth-more-dead-than-alive_n_606968.html)
The financial toll of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico escalated Wednesday as BP's stock plummeted to a 14-year low and fishermen, businesses and property owners who have filed damage claims with the company angrily complained of delays, excessive paperwork and skimpy payments that have put them on the verge of going under. The oil company captured an ever larger-share of the crude gushing from the bottom of the sea and began bringing in more heavy equipment to help in the effort, including a production ship and a tanker from the North Sea that will allow the system to process larger quantities of oil and better withstand tropical storms.

The containment efforts played out as investors deserted BP amid fears that the company might be forced to suspend dividends, end up in bankruptcy and find itself overwhelmed by the cleanup costs, penalties, damage claims and lawsuits generated by the biggest oil spill in U.S. history. Shrimpers, oystermen, seafood businesses, out-of-work drilling crews and the tourism industry all are lining up to get paid back the billions of dollars washed away by the disaster, and tempers have flared as locals direct outrage at BP over what they see as a tangle of red tape.

"Every day we call the adjuster eight or 10 times. There's no answer, no answering machine," said Regina Shipp, who has filed $33,000 in claims for lost business at her restaurant in Alabama. "If BP doesn't pay us within two months, we'll be out of business. We've got two kids." An Alabama property owner who has lost vast sums of rental income angrily confronted a BP executive at a town meeting. The owner of a Mississippi seafood restaurant said she is desperately waiting for a check to come through because fewer customers come by for shrimp po-boys and oyster sandwiches.

Some locals see dark parallels to what happened after Hurricane Katrina, when they had to wait years to get reimbursed for losses. "It really feels like we are getting a double whammy here. When does it end?" said Mark Glago, a New Orleans lawyer who is representing a fishing boat captain in a claim against BP.

BP spokesman Mark Proegler disputed any notion that the claims process is slow or that the company is dragging its feet. Proegler said BP has cut the time to process claims and issue a check from 45 days to as little as 48 hours, provided the necessary documentation has been supplied. BP officials acknowledged that while no claims have been denied, thousands and thousands of claims had not been paid by late last week because the company required more documentation.

At the bottom of the sea, the containment cap on the ruptured well is capturing 630,000 gallons a day and pumping it to a ship at the surface, and the amount could nearly double by next week to roughly 1.17 million gallons, said Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is overseeing the crisis for the government. A second drilling vessel that will arrive within days is expected to greatly boost capacity. BP also plans to bring in the tanker from the North Sea on Monday to help transport oil and an incinerator to burn off some of the crude. The tanker is currently used to shuttle oil from North Sea rigs to the shores of Scotland, and its deployment in the Gulf has been part of the broader plan to expand the amount of crude brought to the surface once a new and improved cap-and-collection system is installed over the leaking well.

The government has estimated 600,000 to 1.2 million gallons are leaking per day, but a scientist on a task force studying the flow said the actual rate may be between 798,000 gallons and 1.8 million. Crews working at the site toiled under oppressive conditions as the heat index soared to 110 degrees and toxic vapors emanated from the depths. Fireboats were on hand to pour water on the surface to ease the fumes. Allen also confronted BP over the complaints about the claims process, warning the company in a letter: "We need complete, ongoing transparency into BP's claims process including detailed information on how claims are being evaluated, how payment amounts are being calculated and how quickly claims are being processed."

The admiral this week created a team including officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help with the damage claims. It will send workers into Gulf communities to provide information about the process. He also planned to discuss the complaints with BP officials Wednesday. Under federal law, BP is required to pay for a range of damage, including property losses and lost earnings. Residents and businesses can call a telephone line to report losses, file a claim online and seek help at one of 25 claims offices around the Gulf. Deckhands and other fishermen generally need to show a photo ID and documentation such as a pay stub showing how much money they typically earn.

To jump-start the process, BP was initially offering an immediate $2,500 to deckhands and $5,000 to fishing boat owners. Workers can receive additional compensation once their paperwork and larger claims are approved. BP said it has paid 18,000 claims so far and has hired 600 adjusters and operators to handle the cases. The oil giant said it expects to spend $84 million through June alone to compensate people for lost wages and profits. That number could grow as new claims are received. When it is all over, BP could be looking at total liabilities in the billions, perhaps tens of billions, according to analysts.

BP stock dropped $5.45, or 16 percent, Wednesday - easily its worst day since the April 20 rig explosion that set off the spill. In the seven weeks since then, the company has lost half its market value. The latest slide came after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar promised a Senate energy panel to ask BP to compensate energy companies for losses if they have to lay off workers or suffer economically because of the Obama administration's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.

Calculating what is owed to victims of the spill has proved challenging. David Walter owns an Alabama company that makes artificial reefs that anglers buy and drop in the Gulf to attract fish, but state regulators stopped issuing permits for the reefs on May 4 because of the oil spill - effectively killing off $350,000 in expected business. When Walter called a claims adjuster working for BP, he was told to provide four years of invoices for May, June and July along with tax returns for those years. Walter said he sent the forms by overnight mail, but the adjuster assigned to his case changed offices and could not be found. The documents were lost.

After making more inquiries, Walter said, he was instructed to gather the same documents and this time go to a claims office. There, an adjuster told Walter he would be eligible for only a $5,000 payment since his tax returns showed a technical business loss when depreciation was factored in. "I said that's not fair because if you say that, then I have to go out of business and I lose everything," Walter said. He is now working with an accounting firm to calculate his losses. Not everyone had complaints about the claims process.

Bart Harrison of Clay, Ala., filed his first claim on Wednesday morning for lost rental income on his coastal property and expected to have a check for $1,010 within a few hours. The only documentation required was tax returns and rental histories for his units, which were both easy to provide. "The guy I talked to was knowledgeable and respectful. It seemed like he really wanted to write a check and please me since it was my first time in," Harrison said.
The Gulf Coast oil spill's Dr. Doom
by Nin-Hai Tseng - Fortune (http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/09/news/companies/simmons_gulf_oil_spill.fortune/index.htm)
As an oil and gas industry insider, Matt Simmons speaks with a bold voice and makes even bolder predictions. His 2005 book, Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy, which argued that Saudi Arabia's oil supplies are way more limited than most people think, raised his profile as an authority on the industry.

For more than 35 years, Simmons has run a Texas-based boutique investment bank, Simmons & Co., which specializes in the energy industry. At times, with his somewhat doom-and -loom-like take on things, there's a hint of conspiracy theorist in his tone. But it's hard to ignore that Simmons is deeply connected and has been pretty much right on in the past: When oil was $58 a barrel the year Twilight was released, Simmons predicted prices would be at or above $100 within a few years. By 2008, when Fortune profiled Simmons, the price of crude had hit $147 a barrel.

As a big believer that wind power is the way of the future, Simmons says the era of easy oil is over and that world oil production will eventually fail to meet expected future demands.These days, Simmons has been weighing in on BP and the worst oil spill in U.S. history, following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. As BP struggles to permanently stop the gush of oil, Simmons has been warning that the scale of the spill is much bigger and that there's a larger leak several miles away.
Simmons also thinks that perhaps the only way to seal the gush of oil is by doing what the Soviet Union did decades ago -- setting off a bomb deep underground so that the fiery blast will melt the surrounding rock and shut off the spill.
Fortune caught up with Simmons this week to hear his thoughts on the Gulf Coast oil spill, the future of BP and what's ahead for offshore drilling.
Experts forecast an active hurricane season this year. We know it could disrupt efforts to stop the spill, but how else do you think storms could impact the Gulf Coast?
We've got to stop the gusher first. Then we have to deal with the other issues. There's a lake at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico that's over 100 miles wide and at least 400 to 500 feet deep of black oil. It's just staying there. And only the lightest of that is what we're seeing hitting the shores so far. If a hurricane comes and blows this to shore, it could paint the Gulf Coast black. We should have been pumping this oil out onto other tankers weeks ago.
How do you think the U.S. government should handle this disaster?
I think the government should ask BP to leave the United States and turn its operation over to the military. Put the U.S. Navy in charge. Have all the contractors report to the Navy -- the cleanup efforts, the whole nine yards. Because as long as it's in BP's hands, they're going to spin the information as long as they can.
What do you think is in store for the future of BP?
They have about a month before they declare Chapter 11. They're going to run out of cash from lawsuits, cleanup and other expenses. One really smart thing that Obama did was about three weeks ago he forced BP CEO Tony Hayward to put in writing that BP would pay for every dollar of the cleanup. But there isn't enough money in the world to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Once BP realizes the extent of this my guess is that they'll panic and go into Chapter 11.

There's currently a ban on new deepwater oil projects for six months to prevent other disasters. What lies ahead for offshore drilling?
First of all, to the industry's credit, we went 41 years in the United States without an oil spill. In a minor sense, this is what happened to the Challenger. We had so many successful shuttle takeoffs that the space station got kind of casual about this. But this is worse. BP was so certain that there wasn't any risk that three years ago they thought the insurance industry was ripping them off, so they're self-insured on this. How stupid! It was the best thing that ever happened to the insurance industry.
How do you think the Gulf Coast oil spill will change the energy business, if at all?
Profoundly. We're going to have to go back and re-examine all of our regulatory rules and realize the easy stuff is imminent and the rest of the stuff we do is really risky. We have to start questioning whether it's worth the risk, and do we need to get really serious about developing some alternative energy sources? Now I'm working on a big project in mid-coast Maine called the Ocean Energy Institute, and we're hoping that within the next year we can actually create 50 megawatt offshore wind turbines -- one every five miles a part -- and turn that offshore electricity into desalinated sea water and liquid ammonia. It could replace motor gasoline and diesel fuel.
What are the lessons learned from this environmental disaster?
That oil peaked. The easy stuff is over. We have to continue drilling in shallow water, but we probably need to take a deep breath and step back. Until we develop a new generation of equipment that can respond to these accidents, just don't go into the ultra-deep water and deep formations because it's just too risky.


[I skipped the embedded Jon Stewart video....]




Why is BP important to the UK economy?
by Anthony Reuben - BBC News (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/10282777.stm)

"The government must put down a marker with the US administration that the survival and long-term prosperity of BP is a vital British interest," the former British ambassador to the US, Sir Christopher Meyer, has told the BBC. He urged Prime Minister David Cameron to raise the issue in his scheduled conversation with US President Barack Obama over the weekend.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has expressed concern about the "anti-British rhetoric that seems to be permeating from America". Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he said that he "would like to see a bit of cool heads rather than endlessly buck-passing and name-calling". So why is there so much concern about the effect on the British economy?

BP is a huge company, but its shares have almost halved in value since the explosion that set off the spill in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April. Its stock market value has fallen from about 125bn to about 70bn, which may make other oil companies think about making a takeover bid, although shareholders would be unlikely to accept an offer at the current levels. There is also a chance that BP will end up not paying dividends this year and it is almost certain that the amount BP is having to pay out for the clean-up in the US will eventually affect the dividend.

"When you consider the huge exposure of British pension funds to BP it starts to become a matter of national concern if a great British company is being continually beaten up on the airwaves," Boris Johnson said. UK pension funds do indeed have big holdings of BP shares and the company says that 1 of every 7 paid in dividends to pension funds by FTSE 100 companies last year came from BP. It is estimated that about 18 million people in the UK either own BP shares or pay into a pension fund that holds BP shares.

BP paid 930m in UK tax on its profits in 2009, which was well down on the 1.7bn it had paid in each of the previous three years. The company employs 10,105 people in the UK. The employees paid 490m in income tax and National Insurance on their earnings, while BP paid 110m in employer's National Insurance contributions. If you add together the corporation tax and production tax paid by BP, together with the National Insurance and income tax paid by its employees and the VAT and fuel excise duty paid by its customers, you get 5.8bn, which is about enough to fund the entire budget of the Department for International Development. It is not just the UK economy that is vulnerable to BP's problems. The company employs 22,800 people in the US.

BBC business editor Robert Peston points out that 39% of the company's shares are held in the US, about a third of them by individuals rather than institutions. He adds that those US shareholders might not be happy that every time the US president lays into BP, they find themselves a bit poorer.
BP: 'Not aware' of reason for stock plunge
by Julianne Pepitone - CNN Money (http://money.cnn.com/2010/06/10/news/companies/BP_stock/?postversion=2010061007)
BP, in a statement issued Thursday, said it "is not aware of any reason" for its shares' 16% plunge in U.S. trading the day before. On Day 52 of the Gulf oil spill, BP said it "faces this situation as a strong company" and it will "continue to keep the market fully informed of further developments." BP said it is "generating significant cash flow" and has a "strong and valuable" oil reserve, both of which will help it survive the response to the spill. The statement helped push BP's U.S. shares up 11% in premarket trade, but its London stock was off 5.6% in regular-hours trading.

BP's shares tumbled $5.48 to $29.20 Wednesday on volume nine times above normal. The drop came amid some speculation about the company's future -- in a Fortune interview, oil analyst Matt Simmons said BP's "lawsuits, cleanup and other expenses" will force the company into bankruptcy within the month. It's been more than seven weeks since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded, killing 11 people and causing the oil spill. On April 19, the day before the disaster, BP shares closed at $58.86. Since that time the stock has plunged by 50.4%.

Dividend worries: In addition to the bankruptcy fears, there's concern about BP's quarterly dividend that is slated to be paid out June 21. On Tuesday, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sent a letter to BP chief executive Tony Hayward saying it was "unfathomable that BP would pay out a dividend ... before the total cost of [the] oil spill cleanup is estimated." Schumer and Wyden cited a Credit Suisse report that said the total cleanup cost could reach $37 billion if oil continues gushing until a relief well is completed in August.
BP hit by doubts over ability to pay for costs of oil spill
by Steve Gelsi & Alistair Barr - MarketWatch (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bps-market-value-halves-as-spill-costs-loom-large-2010-06-09)
BP PLC shares slumped Wednesday, leaving its market value halved in fewer than seven weeks, while the oil giant's bonds were crushed as questions mounted over whether it can afford to clean up the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Oil-industry insider Matt Simmons, head of the Texas-based, energy-focused investment bank Simmons & Co., told Fortune magazine Wednesday that BP will run out of cash from lawsuits, cleanup costs and other expenses. "They have about a month before they declare Chapter 11" bankruptcy, Simmons said.

"One really smart thing that [President Barack] Obama did was about three weeks ago, he forced BP CEO Tony Hayward to put in writing that BP would pay for every dollar of the cleanup," he added. "But there isn't enough money in the world to clean up the Gulf of Mexico. Once BP realizes the extent of this, my guess is that they'll panic and go into Chapter 11." BP's U.S.-traded shares slumped 16% to close at $29.20 on heavy volume. It's the lowest level for the stock since 1996. The shares traded above $60 before April 22, the day the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform sank off the coast of Louisiana.

BP's 2013 bonds, which carry a 5.25% coupon, slumped on Wednesday, pushing the yield above 8%. BP already has spent more than $1 billion dealing with the spill, and some analysts estimate the disaster could cost up to $40 billion. The company also has said it will pay for all cleanup costs and will cover all "legitimate" claims.

Art Hogan, market strategist for Jefferies & Co., said traders at the firm cited speculation that BP was talking to bankruptcy lawyers as one instigator of the selloff on Wednesday. "It's hard to calculate the ultimate cost of the spill," Hogan commented. "No one even knows how much oil is coming out of the well and there could be more impact from a hurricane. With all the new technology nowadays with remote-controlled robots and video cameras, it's happening in real time in front of everyone all day long. It's a torrential disaster."

BP spokesman John Pack said the company remains on solid financial footing, with 18 billion barrels of proven reserves. "I have no idea where that rumor is coming from," he replied, when asked if BP was talking to bankruptcy lawyers. Pack pointed to a statement made last week by BP's chief executive. "Under the current trading environment, we are generating significant additional cash flow," Hayward said. "In addition, our gearing is currently below the targeted range, and our asset base is strong and valuable, with more than 18 billion barrels of proved reserves and 63 billion barrels of resources. All of this gives us significant flexibility in dealing with the costs of this incident."

Twelve angry jurors
Gregory Evans, a partner at Milbank Tweed Hadley McCloy LLP who has represented large corporations in environmental suits, said BP may have to pay billions of dollars in an environmental lawsuit. "The [liability] exposure is very high for BP, because there appear to be statements that would indicate this was potentially more than negligence," he commented. "As we know from Exxon Valdez and other serious catastrophic mass tort cases for environmental-damage litigation, juries can become very angry with management and express that anger in very high punitive-damages awards."

Still, punitive damages will likely be kept on par with whatever BP pays for compensatory damages, a rule laid down by the U.S. Supreme Court in its decision to reduce damages in the Exxon Valdez case, Evans noted. Those damages were awarded after many years of court battles, and also included payments from insurance companies. Evans said he had no reason to believe that BP would file for bankruptcy in the near future, but even if it did, claims against it would still be paid under a provision called the estimation process. "The estimation process in bankruptcy can be efficient and it can lead to full payment of claims," he added.

Ahead of BP's big slide on Wednesday, analysts at Tudor Pickering Holt indicated that talk had been escalating about a bankruptcy, but concluded that BP is worth more to the government and to investors if it keeps operating. "There is a frenzy for sources/experts/analysts to one-up each other on the assessment of fines and liability and talk about BP as a donut-hole stock (zero)," the Tudor analysts said. "We have a really hard time getting there from a practical perspective, as BP is worth more alive than dead to the U.S. government and all those that want milk from this future cash cow."

Jan Klimkowski
06-11-2010, 06:55 PM
Chairman of Goldman Sachs International Was - Until Last Year - Also Chairman of BP

Good stuff. The big game hunting just netted a shadow government player in Peter Sutherland ....

Dawn Meredith
06-13-2010, 02:43 PM
Now we are beginning to get news black outs in the NO area.
Video is all over facebook. Wish there was a way to share from there to here.
Also great videos and on how to fix this problem..microbes that literally eat the oil. Not being used, instead dangerous "fixes" which will just make the matter worse.
Do you suppose this is all on purpose?

The spill and all ongoing since. Not sure why BP would want to destroy its own company, but there were stock sales prior, just like with 9-11.

Dawn

Peter Lemkin
06-13-2010, 04:27 PM
Gulf Oil Spill "Could Go on Years and Years" ...

by F. William Engdahl


Global Research, June 11, 2010

The Obama Administration and senior BP officials are frantically working not to stop the worlds worst oil disaster, but to hide the true extent of the actual ecological catastrophe. Senior researchers tell us that the BP drilling hit one of the oil migration channels and that the leakage could continue for years unless decisive steps are undertaken, something that seems far from the present strategy.



In a recent discussion, Vladimir Kutcherov, Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the Russian State University of Oil and Gas, predicted that the present oil spill flooding the Gulf Coast shores of the United States could go on for years and years many years. [1]



According to Kutcherov, a leading specialist in the theory of abiogenic deep origin of petroleum, What BP drilled into was what we call a migration channel, a deep fault on which hydrocarbons generated in the depth of our planet migrate to the crust and are accumulated in rocks, something like Ghawar in Saudi Arabia.[2] Ghawar, the worlds most prolific oilfield has been producing millions of barrels daily for almost 70 years with no end in sight. According to the abiotic science, Ghawar like all elephant and giant oil and gas deposits all over the world, is located on a migration channel similar to that in the oil-rich Gulf of Mexico.



As I wrote at the time of the January 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster,[3] Haiti had been identified as having potentially huge hydrocasrbon reserves, as has neighboring Cuba. Kutcherov estimates that the entire Gulf of Mexico is one of the planets most abundant accessible locations to extract oil and gas, at least before the Deepwater Horizon event this April.



In my view the heads of BP reacted with panic at the scale of the oil spewing out of the well, Kutcherov adds. What is inexplicable at this point is why they are trying one thing, failing, then trying a second, failing, then a third. Given the scale of the disaster they should try every conceivable option, even if it is ten, all at once in hope one works. Otherwise, this oil source could spew oil for years given the volumes coming to the surface already. [4]



He stresses, It is difficult to estimate how big this leakage is. There is no objective information available. But taking into consideration information about the last BP giant discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, the Tiber field, some six miles deep, Kutcherov agrees with Ira Leifer a researcher in the Marine Science Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara who says the oil may be gushing out at a rate of more than 100,000 barrels a day.[5]



What the enormoity of the oil spill does is to also further discredit clearly the oil companies myth of peak oil which claims that the world is at or near the peak of economical oil extraction. That myth, which has been propagated in recent years by circles close to former oilman and Bush Vice President, Dick Cheney, has been effectively used by the giant oil majors to justify far higher oil prices than would be politically possible otherwise, by claiming a non-existent petroleum scarcity crisis.


Obama & BP Try to Hide



According to a report from Washington investigative journalist Wayne Madsen, the Obama White House and British Petroleum are covering up the magnitude of the volcanic-level oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and working together to limit BPs liability for damage caused by what can be called a mega-disaster. [6] Madsen cites sources within the US Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and Florida Department of Environmental Protection for his assertion.



Obama and his senior White House staff, as well as Interior Secretary Salazar, are working with BPs chief executive officer Tony Hayward on legislation that would raise the cap on liability for damage claims from those affected by the oil disaster from $75 million to $10 billion. According to informed estimates cited by Madsen, however, the disaster has a real potential cost of at least $1,000 billion ($1 trillion). That estimate would support the pessimistic assessment of Kutcherov that the spill, if not rapidly controlled, will destroy the entire coastline of the United States.



According to the Washington report of Madsen, BP statements that one of the leaks has been contained, are pure public relations disinformation designed to avoid panic and demands for greater action by the Obama administration., according to FEMA and Corps of Engineers sources. [7]



The White House has been resisting releasing any damaging information about the oil disaster. Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers experts estimate that if the ocean oil geyser is not stopped within 90 days, there will be irreversible damage to the marine eco-systems of the Gulf of Mexico, north Atlantic Ocean, and beyond. At best, some Corps of Engineers experts say it could take two years to cement the chasm on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. [8]



Only after the magnitude of the disaster became evident did Obama order Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to declare the oil disaster a national security issue. Although the Coast Guard and FEMA are part of her department, Napolitanos actual reasoning for invoking national security, according to Madsen, was merely to block media coverage of the immensity of the disaster that is unfolding for the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean and their coastlines.



The Obama administration also conspired with BP to hide the extent of the oil leak, according to the cited federal and state sources. After the oil rig exploded and sank, the government stated that 42,000 gallons per day were gushing from the seabed chasm. Five days later, the federal government upped the leakage to 210,000 gallons a day. However, submersibles monitoring the escaping oil from the Gulf seabed are viewing television pictures of what they describe as a volcanic-like eruption of oil.



When the Army Corps of Engineers first attempted to obtain NASA imagery of the Gulf oil slick, which is larger than is being reported by the media, it was reportedly denied the access. By chance, National Geographic managed to obtain satellite imagery shots of the extent of the disaster and posted them on their web site. Other satellite imagery reportedly being withheld by the Obama administration, shows that what lies under the gaping chasm spewing oil at an ever-alarming rate is a cavern estimated to be the size of Mount Everest. This information has been given an almost national security-level classification to keep it from the public, according to Madsens sources.



The Corps of Engineers and FEMA are reported to be highly critical of the lack of support for quick action after the oil disaster by the Obama White House and the US Coast Guard. Only now has the Coast Guard understood the magnitude of the disaster, dispatching nearly 70 vessels to the affected area. Under the loose regulatory measures implemented by the Bush-Cheney Administration, the US Interior Departments Minerals Management Service became a simple rubber stamp, approving whatever the oil companies wanted in terms of safety precautions that could have averted such a disaster. Madsen describes a state of criminal collusion between Cheneys former firm, Halliburton, and the Interior Departments MMS, and that the potential for similar disasters exists with the other 30,000 off-shore rigs that use the same shut-off valves. [9]



Silence from Eco groups?... Follow the money



Without doubt at this point we are in the midst of what could be the greatest ecological catastrophe in history. The oil platform explosion took place almost within the current loop where the Gulf Stream originates. This has huge ecological and climatological consequences.



A cursory look at a map of the Gulf Stream shows that the oil is not just going to cover the beaches in the Gulf, it will spread to the Atlantic coasts up through North Carolina then on to the North Sea and Iceland. And beyond the damage to the beaches, sea life and water supplies, the Gulf stream has a very distinct chemistry, composition (marine organisms), density, temperature. What happens if the oil and the dispersants and all the toxic compounds they create actually change the nature of the Gulf Stream? No one can rule out potential changes including changes in the path of the Gulf Stream, and even small changes could have huge impacts. Europe, including England, is not an icy wasteland due to the warming from the Gulf Stream.



Yet there is a deafening silence from the very environmental organizations which ought to be at the barricades demanding that BP, the US Government and others act decisively.



That deafening silence of leading green or ecology organizations such as Greenpeace, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club and others may well be tied to a money trail that leads right back to the oil industry, notably to BP. Leading environmental organizations have gotten significant financial payoffs in recent years from BP in order that the oil company could remake itself with an environment-friendly face, as in beyond petroleum the companys new branding.



The Nature Conservancy, described as the worlds most powerful environmental group,[10] has awarded BP a seat on its International Leadership Council after the oil company gave the organization more than $10 million in recent years. [11]



Until recently, the Conservancy and other environmental groups worked with BP in a coalition that lobbied Congress on climate-change issues. An employee of BP Exploration serves as an unpaid Conservancy trustee in Alaska. In addition, according to a recent report published by the Washington Post, Conservation International, another environmental group, has accepted $2 million in donations from BP and worked with the company on a number of projects, including one examining oil-extraction methods. From 2000 to 2006, John Browne, then BP's chief executive, sat on the CI board.



Further, The Environmental Defense Fund, another influential ecologist organization, joined with BP, Shell and other major corporations to form a Partnership for Climate Action, to promote market-based mechanisms (sic) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.



Environmental non-profit groups that have accepted donations from or joined in projects with BP include Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club and Audubon. That could explain why the political outcry to date for decisive action in the Gulf has been so muted. [12]



Of course those organizations are not going to be the ones to solve this catastrophe. The central point at this point is who is prepared to put the urgently demanded federal and international scientific resources into solving this crisis. Further actions of the likes of that from the Obama White House to date or from BP can only lead to the conclusion that some very powerful people want this debacle to continue. The next weeks will be critical to that assessment.





F. William Engdahl is the author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order



Notes

[1] Vladimir Kutcherov, telephone discussion with the author, June 9, 2010.

[2] Ibid.

[3] F. William Engdahl, The Fateful Geological Prize Called Haiti, Global Research.ca, January 30, 2010, accessed in http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17287

[4] Vladimir Kutcherov, op. cit.

[5] Ira Leifer, Scientist: BP Well Could Be Leaking 100,000 Barrels of Oil a Day, June 9, 2010, accessed in http://www.democracynow.org/2010/6/9/scientist_bp_well_could_be_leaking

[6] Wayne Madsen, The Coverup: BPs Crude Politics and the Looming Environmental Mega Disaster, May 6, 2010, accessed in http://oilprice.com/Environment/Oil-Spills/The-Cover-up-BP-s-Crude-Politics-and-the-Looming-Environmental-Mega-Disaster.html

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Tim Findley, Natures Landlord, Range Magazine, Spring 2003.

[11] Joe Stephens, Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP, Washington Post, May 24, 2010, accessed in http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/23/AR2010052302164.html

[12] Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------
NB - I take issue with one area mentioned above...that oil is not becoming more scarce....this is a complex and technical issue and one of 'definition', to a large extent. The supply IS limited; yes, much still remains, BUT now and into t he future what remains will increasingly bring an Environmental TOLL with it [externality cost] - as the current Gulf Oil Spill demonstrates quite nicely.....and there is no mention of the cost of using the oil (or having it tar ball us to death); no matter how much more remains!......

Peter Presland
06-13-2010, 05:34 PM
I've got a lot of time for Engdahl in much of his geo-politics stuff but, as Paul R opined in another thread recently "I take truth where I find it" - likewise blinkered folly - and I'm afraid 'Blinkered folly' applies to Engdahl so far as 'Peak Oil' is concerned - IMHO anyway - with his:

What the enormity of the oil spill does is to also further discredit clearly the oil companies myth of peak oil which claims that the world is at or near the peak of economical oil extraction. That myth, which has been propagated in recent years by circles close to former oilman and Bush Vice President, Dick Cheney, has been effectively used by the giant oil majors to justify far higher oil prices than would be politically possible otherwise, by claiming a non-existent petroleum scarcity crisis. I totally agree about the greedy duplicity of oilmen - the Bush/Cheyney/Haliburton axis being their exemplars. But Engdahl seems to simply ignore all the work of men like Colin Campbell and others who have made what are to date accurate predictions about discoveries and the production curves of individual countries and fields - the US being THE prime example

'Peak oil' is not 'the oil companies myth; it was being quietly and systematically documented in the teeth oil company denials, long before they finally began to acknowledge its approach about 3 years ago. The oilmen have in fact been all too well aware of it for decades but have kept mum until recently. Why is Cheyney's Oil task force report of the Late nineties still classified for example? Equally, they have been laying plans for decades which goes a long way to explaining just why it is the US military digs in everywhere where the easy-to-get-at stuff remains in any quantity.

Peak oil is NOT about running out of oil, it is about estimating just where the maximum possible global production rate lies - taking into account existing field declines, the rate of new discoveries and the costs of getting at it. All the evidence says we have already hit that production peak.

There may indeed be some some gynormous deep sea field out there - many of them even, but their production costs in dollar-terms - let alone the sort of catastrophic environmental costs unfolding in the GOM are just as gynormous.

IMHO, Engdahl's tunnel vision on the simple production mathematics of what is a finite resource, vitiates his analyses of the real drivers of US/UK/NATO geo-politics over the past 30 years or so.

One BIG caveat however: - IS ABIOTIC OIL A REALITY?

I have seen Engdahl argue that it is but, apart from some stuff out of Russia, I for one have seen precious little other evidence that it is a reality.

I really would love to be proven wrong.

Jan Klimkowski
06-13-2010, 06:21 PM
Peter - Peak Oil and the Abiogenic deep origin of petroleum are effectively competing scientific hypotheses.

There is no doubt that Big Oil has systematically and deliberately lied about the extent of oil reserves and the technological capabilty and cost of extracting said reserves.

It's also nearly impossible to assess objectively the Abiogenic deep origin of petroleum hypothesis because of the geology and science involved, which is - as you say - largely Russian in origin and contemptuously ignored in the West.

However, if Kutcherov is correct, and BP "hit" - perhaps more accurately ruptured - a deep Abiogenic "migration channel", then Gaia knows what's going to happen.

If Kutcherov is correct, then the consequences could be cataclysmic.

A War on Terra indeed.

Peter Presland
06-13-2010, 06:45 PM
I agree with all that Jan.

But, unless the existing easy to get at fields replenish themselves from abiotic channels - if they indeed are a reality - and at a rate pretty close to historic extract ion rates, then we are stuck with having to get it from deep deep and pristene places like the GOM and arctic/antarctic - with commensurate costs both monetary and environmental. If we are to keep consuming at present or higher levels that is. The plain fact is that the biggest field of them all Gharwar in Saudi has had mounting water cut problems going back a decade or more and all the industry talk I come across says they are getting worse. So that's one filed that is NOT replenishing - along with the entire continental US of course.

The big BIG problem - economically and hence geo-politically - for the oil men right now, is the disparity between the production cost of a Middle-Eastern barrel and a GOM barrel. Haven't got the precise figures to hand but it is of the order of $10 and $ 40-50. The implications of that difference when production of the expensive stuff is an absolute requirement to meet demand are enormous. Like I've said before - or hinted at anyway - I think those dynamics - long since known understood and planned for by Big Oil and its government lackies - are high among the drivers of Western geo-political policy and initiatives.

Paul Rigby
06-13-2010, 06:46 PM
A very germane cutting from this morning's press:


Gilligan Andrew, Whitehall Gets Slick after BP, The Sunday Coalitiongraph, 30 May 2010, p.3

A secret Whitehall subcommittee, named after some or other poisonous snake to convey the illusion of guile and deadly efficiency, has concluded its meetings on the full ramifications for Britain of BPs ongoing travails in the Gulf of Mexico. Calling upon some of the finest minds in British diplomacy, spying and finance, the think-tank has produced a set of proposals for discussion by the full cabinet at some unspecified point this week, informed sources inform me via a plain brown envelope left with yesterdays morning milk delivery.

Topping the agenda is the recommendation that the new government appoints, as a matter of urgency, a new ambassador to Washington where, it is widely agreed, a vigorous pounding for all things British is sure to follow. We need a very special kind of diplomatist for these very special circumstances, a senior Whitehall source said yesterday. We need, in short, a most enormous arse to soak up the punishment and say precisely nothing. We believe we have just the man to begin the process of relubricating the wheels of Anglo-American comity.

The arse in question

The man in question is believed to be Sir Denzil Tooth...

The Independent on Sunday cartoonist, Schrank, today illustrates the role of the arse in British diplomatic calculation viz the little local difficulty in the GoM. I continue to believe he has the wrong arse, but salute his recognition of the centrality of the arse, here depicted as Mr Anthony Hayward, who unquestionably is one:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/the-daily-cartoon-760940.html

Ed Jewett
06-13-2010, 07:14 PM
I threw out a challenge elsewhere suggesting people set up a serious debate, pro, con, otherwise, interesting, about the validity of peak oil. Some people interpret the peak oil theory as suggesting there is now limited oil and point to the gushing Gulf as proof of my impaired cognition and psyche (yet no one will put forth any documentation that peak oil is a conspiracy or a gross misconception). What I think the peal oil theory says is that, in order for the world to get and capture the vast amounts of remaining oil, they/we will have to do so at much greater expense and much greater risk, both of which will become prohibitively greater. The pelicans around Mississippi seem to agree.

There is also a theory that the slow response of BP in protecting the wetlands is by design because they want the mineral rights to those wetlands.

There is also a theory that BP is being taken down on purpose; by whom and for what reasons is up for grabs.

I think we could consider the death of the Gulf and its surrounding economies as collateral damage in non-inter-state economic warfare... that private banks, large multi-national corporations and the like are now dwarfing those things we used to call countries in their ability to engage in war.

Peter Presland
06-14-2010, 07:14 AM
I know I said I agreed with all Jan said above; but a caveat:

If - and I accept the major implications of this one big if - IF oil is indeed a finite resource and abiotic replenishment, per the main Russia scientific hypothesis turns out to be false, then 'Peak Oil is NOT a scientific hypothesis at all. It is a relatively straightforward mathematical equation. The equation has escalating demand/consumption on one side, balanced by the sum of the gaussian bell-shaped production rate curves (that have been applicable to EVERY oil-producing country, region and field to date), plus the rate of new discoveries. And it doesn't just apply to oil either, but to every finite resource where demand increases to consume available supply - Bacteria in a nutrient-rich Petri dish spring forcefully to mind with humanity the bacteria and planet earth the dish.

I started out looking hard at peak oil maybe 10 years ago - an original member of the Irish ASPO no less - when the whole thing was simply laughed at - when taken notice of at all. "We heard all this back in the early 70's and look what happened to those wackos" was the refrain back then. Matt Simmond's 'Twilight in the Desert' published in 2005 pretty much clinched the matter for me - and yes I know all about his big oil connections.

I accept that Big Oil judges its interests to be best served by muddying the waters, murdering, lying, cheating and every other big corporate trick in the book to keep the Sheeple in factional warring ignorance etc etc, but I've factored all that in to my own judgement, which is that the mathematics and the parabolic escalation of the cost of finding, developing and producing from new fields have become ever more difficult to obfuscate. The clear determination by US/UK/NATO to stake the farm on denying access to the easy stuff for anyone who doesn't see things their way is solid supporting evidence too

If abiotic oil creation were a reality, I've seen precious little persuasive evidence of it in the geo-politics of the past decade.

Jan Klimkowski
06-15-2010, 08:17 PM
Cue more British paranoia as pension funds will now find it very difficult to hold BP shares.


BP credit rating slashed as oil spill costs mount
Fitch ratings agency concerned about short-term costs
BP rating cut from AA to BBB
Head of BP America to appear before Congress today

BP's credit rating has been slashed by Fitch to just two notches above junk status, as the potential cost of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill continues to escalate.

Fitch cut its rating on BP from AA to BBB this morning, a day after US politicians demanded the company deposits $20bn (13.58bn) in an escrow account to cover the cost of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The ratings agency said it was concerned that the balance between long-term and near-term cost payments would become "skewed much more heavily towards the near-term than previously anticipated" if the escrow account was created. Fitch also said it was concerned that BP will find it hard to access the capital markets for funding while the full cost of the oil leak remains unclear.

"In addition, Fitch would be surprised if BP did not suspend quarterly cash dividend payments until the operational and financial impact of the incident is clearer," it added.

Fitch's downgrade could make it more expensive for BP to borrow, especially if the other ratings agencies follow its lead. The company has around $5bn of cash reserves, and has spent more than $1.6bn fighting the spill.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/jun/15/bp-credit-rating-slashed-oil-spill-costs

Magda Hassan
06-16-2010, 02:54 AM
Whistleblower Sues to Stop Another BP Rig From Operating

by Abrahm Lustgarten (http://www.propublica.org/site/author/Abrahm_Lustgarten/), ProPublica - May 17, 2010 2:27 pm EDT

A whistleblower filed a lawsuit today to force the federal government to halt operations at another massive BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, alleging that BP never reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation and is therefore risking another catastrophic accident that could "dwarf" the company's Deepwater Horizon spill.
The allegations about BP's Atlantis platform were first made last year, but they were laid out in fresh detail in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Houston against Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Minerals and Management Service, the agency responsible for regulating offshore drilling in the Gulf.
The whistleblower is Kenneth Abbott, a former project control supervisor contracted by BP who also gave an interview to "60 Minutes" on Sunday night (http://www.propublica.org/ion/blog/item/damaged-equipment-feuding-between-bp-and-transocean-led-up-to-rig-explosion/). In a conversation last week with ProPublica, Abbott alleged that BP failed to review thousands of final design documents for systems and equipment on the Atlantis platform -- meaning BP management never confirmed the systems were built as they were intended and didn't properly file the documentation that functions as an instruction manual for rig workers to shut down operations in the case of a blowout or other emergency.
Abbott alleges that when he warned BP about the dangers presented by the missing documentation the company ignored his concerns and instead emphasized saving money.
"There were hundreds, if not thousands, of drawings that hadn't been approved and to send drawings (to the rig) that hadn't been approved could result in catastrophic operator errors," Abbott told ProPublica. "They turned their eye away from their responsibility to make sure the overall design works. Instead they are having bits and pieces fabricated and they are just hoping that these contractors who make all these separate pieces can pull it together and make it safe. The truth is these contractors see a piece of the puzzle; they don't see the whole thing."
BP did not respond to a request for comment from ProPublica, but has previously addressed Abbott's concerns in a January letter to congressional investigators stating that the allegations are unfounded and that the Atlantis platform had final documentation in place before it began operating.
According to an e-mail sent to Abbott by BP's ombudsman's office, an independent group employed by the company to address internal complaints, BP had not complied with its own rules governing how and where the documentation should be kept but had not necessarily violated any regulations for drilling. The e-mail does not address the specifics raised in the lawsuit.
A spokesperson for the Department of the Interior said the agency would not comment on pending litigation.
Congress and the Minerals and Management Service have been investigating Abbott's concerns since last year, when he and Food and Water Watch, an environmental organization based in Washington, D.C., first filed the complaints. But according to both Abbott and FWW, little has been done. After the Deepwater Horizon Gulf spill underscored their concerns, they decided to jointly file the lawsuit. Abbott was laid off shortly after he raised the concerns to BP management.
According to the lawsuit, by Nov. 28, 2008, when Abbott last had access to BP's files, only half of the 7,176 drawings detailing Atlantis' sub-sea equipment had been approved for design by an engineer and only 274 had been approved "as built," meaning they were checked and confirmed to meet quality and design standards and the documentation made available to the rig crew. Ninety percent of the design documents, the suit alleges, had never been approved at all.
The Atlantis rig is even larger than the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank in April. It began producing oil in 2007 and can produce 8.4 million gallons a day.
The components include some of the critical infrastructure to protect against a spill. According the suit, none of the sub-sea risers the pipelines and hoses that serve as a conduit for moving materials from the bottom of the ocean to the facility -- had been "issued for design." The suit also alleges that none of the wellhead documents were approved, and that none of the documents for the manifolds that combine multiple pipeline flows into a single line at the seafloor had been reviewed for final use.
Directions for how to use the piping and instrument systems that help shut down operations in the event of an emergency, as well as the computer software used to enact an emergency shutdown, had also not been approved, the lawsuit says. According to the lawsuit, 14 percent those documents had been approved for construction, and none received final approval to ensure they were built and functioning properly.
"BP's worst-case scenario indicates that an oil spill from the BP Atlantis Facility could be many times larger than the current oil spill from the BP Deepwater Horizon," the lawsuit states. "The catastrophic Horizon oil spill would be a mere drop in the bucket when compared to the potential size of a spill from the BP Atlantis facility."
It is not clear from the lawsuit or the limited statements made by BP or federal regulators if BP has corrected the documentation problem since Abbott was laid off.
Abbott told ProPublica he raised the documentation issues repeatedly in e-mails and conversations with management, "saying this was critical to operator safety and rig safety."
"They just ignored my requests for help," he said. "There seemed to be a big emphasis to push the contractors to get things done. And that was always at the forefront of the operation."


Write to Abrahm Lustgarten at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
Want to know more? Follow ProPublica on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/propublica) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/propublica), and get ProPublica headlines delivered by e-mail every day (http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6253/t/9245/signUp.jsp?key=1884).

Tags: Atlantis Platform (http://www.propublica.org/tag/Atlantis+Platform/), BP (http://www.propublica.org/tag/BP/), Deepwater Horizon (http://www.propublica.org/tag/Deepwater+Horizon/), Gulf of Mexico (http://www.propublica.org/tag/Gulf+of+Mexico/), Oil Drilling (http://www.propublica.org/tag/Oil+Drilling/)
http://www.propublica.org/article/whistleblower-sues-to-stop-atlantis-bp-rig-from-operating

Ed Jewett
06-17-2010, 02:14 AM
Bank of America Ordered Traders: No Oil Deals with BP Beyond June 2011 (http://cryptogon.com/?p=16014)

June 16th, 2010 Via: Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65E5W520100615):
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has ordered its traders not to enter into oil trades with BP Plc that extend beyond June 2011, a market source familiar with the directive told Reuters.
The order to the banks traders came from a high-level executive and was made on Monday, according to a source familiar with it. It told traders not to engage in trade with BP for contracts beyond one year from this month.
The directive didnt state a reason for the limit on longer-duration trades with the oil company, which comes as the British oil giant scrambles to stop an oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for which it could eventually face billions of dollars in economic liabilities.
Limiting the duration of trades with a counterparty is one way in which banks can seek to protect themselves against risk that a company will be unable to meet its long-term obligations.
A BofA spokesman declined comment.
BP spokesman Toby Odone said the company doesnt comment on market rumors or speculation.

Ed Jewett
06-17-2010, 02:15 AM
this massive industrial accident couldn't have happened in a better location. Only a nation which sees one class of its own citizens as "untouchables" (compared to the highest class, which produces a religious variant of the elite that are referred to as "godmen") could be counted on to defend the corporations instead of the victimized poor, in an industrial travesty of this magnitude.

Which massive industrial accident?


(Reuters) - BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg on Tuesday apologized for speaking "clumsily" by referring to those hurt by his company's oil spill as "small people."

Peter Lemkin
06-17-2010, 05:14 AM
http://www.truth-out.org/how-bushs-doj-killed-a-criminal-probe-into-bp-that-threatened-net-top-officials59648

How Bush's DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials

Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution.

West was the special agent in charge with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) criminal division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company's senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company's Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska's North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of crude oil across two acres of frozen tundra - the second largest spill in Alaska's history - which went undetected for nearly a week.

West was confident that the thousands of hours he invested into the criminal probe would result in felony charges against the company and the senior executives who received advanced warnings from dozens of employees at the Prudhoe Bay facility that unless immediate steps were taken to repair the severely corroded pipeline, a disaster on par with that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill was only a matter of time.

In fact, West, who spent more than two decades at the EPA's criminal division, was also told the pipeline was going to rupture - about six months before it happened.

In a wide-ranging interview with Truthout, West described how the Justice Department (DOJ) abruptly shut down his investigation into BP in August 2007 and gave the company a "slap on the wrist" for what he says were serious environmental crimes that should have sent some BP executives to jail.

He first aired his frustrations after he retired from the agency in 2008. But he said his story is ripe for retelling because the same questions about BP's record are being raised again after a catastrophic explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers and ruptured an oil well 5,000 feet below the surface that has been spewing upwards of 200,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf waters for a month..

Peter Lemkin
06-17-2010, 05:50 AM
Well, award-winning journalist and bestselling author Stephen Kinzer is out with a new book that looks back into history to make some sense of these shifting alliances in the Middle East and to chart a new vision for US foreign policy in the region. The former New York Times correspondent is the author of a number of books, including All the Shahs Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror and Overthrow: Americas Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. His latest book, out this week, is called Reset: Iran, Turkey, and Americas Future. Stephen Kinzer joins me now from Washington, DC.

Welcome to Democracy Now! Its great to have you with us, Stephen.

STEPHEN KINZER: Great to be with you again, Amy. Thank you.

AMY GOODMAN: Actually, I want to start where youdescriptions and analysis you gave in your previous books, which you continue in Reset, and it has to do with BP. Before we get to Turkey and Iran and Israel currently, I wanted to go back in time. President Obama has gone down to Mississippi, and hes going to be in the Gulf Coast for a few days. But theres very little discussed about BPs history, and Im wondering if you could start with us there.

STEPHEN KINZER: The history of the company we now call BP over the last hundred years has really traced the arc of global transnational capitalism. This company began as a kind of a wildcatting operation in Iran back in the first decade of the twentieth century. It was very entrepreneurial and risk-taking, and they had a bunch of geologists running around in these very forbidding steppes and deserts, and finally they struck what was the greatest find up to that time in the history of the oil industry. They were the ones who discovered that Iran was sitting on an ocean of oil. And then they decided they would take it. Under a corrupt deal that they had struck with a few representatives of the old declining Iranian monarchy, all of whom had been paid off by the company, this concession, which later became known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, guaranteed itself, or won the right to own, all of Irans oil. So, nobody in Iran had any right to drill for oil or extract oil or sell oil.

Then, soon after that find was made, the British government decided to buy the company. So the Parliament passed a law and bought 51 percent of that company. And all during the 1920s and 1930s and 1940s, the entire standard of living that people in England enjoyed was supported by oil from Iran. All the trucks and jeeps in Britain were being run on Iranian oil. Factories all over Britain were being funded by oil from Iran. The Royal Navy, which projected British power all over the world, was run 100 percent on oil from Iran. So that became a fundamental foundation of British life.

And then, after World War II, when the winds of nationalism and anti-colonialism were blowing throughout the developing world, Iranians developed this idea: weve got to take our oil back. And that was the generalthe kind of national passion that brought to power Mohammad Mosaddegh, who was the most prominent figure in the democratic period of Iran during the late '40s and early 50s. It was Mosaddegh's desire, supported by a unanimous vote of the democratically elected parliament of Iran, to nationalize what was then the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. They carried out the nationalization.

The British and their partners in the United States fiercely resisted this. And when they were unable to prevent it from happening, they organized the overthrow of Mosaddegh in 1953. So that overthrow not only produced the end of the Mosaddegh government, but the end of democracy in Iran, and that set off all these other following consequences. The Shah ruled for twenty-five years with increasing repression. His rule produced the explosion of the late '70s that produced the Islamic regime. So, it was to protect the interests of the oil company we now know as BP that the CIA and the British Secret Service joined together to overthrow the democratic government in Iran and produce all the consequences we've seen in Iran over the last half-century.

AMY GOODMAN: And that involved both Dulles brotherspeople often fly into Dulles AirportJohn Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and also Teddy Roosevelts grandson.

STEPHEN KINZER: Yeah, history is kind of winking at us from that episode. Its quite an interesting quirk that Theodore Roosevelt, who essentially brought the United States into the regime change era around the very beginning of the twentieth century, wound up having a grandson who began the modern age of intervention. Bear in mind that Iran was the first country where the CIA went in to overthrow a government. When Teddy Roosevelt was overthrowing governments, there was no CIA. So each of them opened a chapter in the history of American interventionism.

AMY GOODMAN: And whybefore we move forward now, why did the US intervene on behalf of a British company, what later became British Petroleum, or BP?

STEPHEN KINZER: There were several reasons for it. Part of it had to do with the desire for transatlantic solidarity. But I really think there were two key reasons. One was that the Americans persuaded themselves that they had to fight communism somewhere in the world. That was the idea with which Dulles and Eisenhower came into power in 1953, that they would no longer stick with the strategy of containment of communism, but they were going to a new strategy of rollback. But once they got into power, they were thinking, "How are we going to roll back communism? We cant invade the Soviet Union. Were not going to bomb China."

And here is where the other piece came in. The British were very eager to overthrow Mosaddegh in order to get back their oil company. But when they presented the plan to Dulles and Eisenhower, the agent who they sent to Washington, who has later written his memoirs, did something very clever. He decided its not going to work if I tell the Americans, "Please overthrow Mosaddegh so we can have our oil company back." The Americans wont respond to that. They wont care enough. Theyll be afraid of the precedent of a government taking over a corporation that produces a resource in a poor country. Thats a bad precedent for John Foster Dulles and Americans, just as much as it is for the British. But what the Americans are really concerned about at this moment in the early '50s is communism, so let's tell them that Mosaddegh is leading Iran toward communism. Now, Mosaddegh was an elderly aristocrat who despised all socialist and Marxist ideas, but that was just a detail. He was able to be portrayed as a person who was weak enough so that later on his fall might produce an attempt by communists to take over in Iran.

So it was this combination of wanting to make sure that the example was not given in the world that nationalist governments could just nationalize companies owned by rich countries, and secondly, anybody who could come into the American scope as being possibly not even sympathetic to communism, but creating a situation in which, after he was gone, there might be instability that could lead to a communist government, would wind up being a target of the US.

Ed Jewett
06-18-2010, 07:44 PM
http://www.truthout.org/how-bushs-doj-kill...-officials59648

.


Link does not work.

Peter Lemkin
06-18-2010, 10:27 PM
http://www.truthout.org/how-bushs-doj-kill...-officials59648

.


Link does not work.

Try this one
http://www.truth-out.org/how-bushs-doj-killed-a-criminal-probe-into-bp-that-threatened-net-top-officials59648

Ed Jewett
06-18-2010, 11:56 PM
Many thanks; wanted to pass it on. :D:driver:

Keith Millea
06-19-2010, 01:10 AM
This was posted on the EF by Douglas Caddy(thanks Douglas).I'm sorry,but this will scare the Holy Crap out of you.If you are a religious person Pray.Pray Hard........

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593/648967
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http://www.theoildrum.com/images/thread_collapse.gif dougr (http://www.theoildrum.com/user/dougr) on June 13, 2010 - 3:17am Permalink (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593#comment-648967) | Subthread (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593/648967) | Comments top (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593#comments_top)
Editors' note for first-time visitors: What follows is a comment from a The Oil Drum reader. To read what The Oil Drum staff members are saying about the Deepwater Horizon Spill, please visit the front page (http://www.theoildrum.com/). (Were the US government and BP more forthcoming with information and details, the situation would not be giving rise to so much speculation about what is actually going on in the Gulf. This should be run more like Mission Control at NASA than an exclusive country club function--it is a public matter--transparency, now!)

OK let's get real about the GOM oil flow. There doesn't really seem to be much info on TOD that furthers more complete understanding of what's really happening in the GOM.
As you have probably seen and maybe feel yourselves, there are several things that do not appear to make sense regarding the actions of attack against the well. Don't feel bad, there is much that doesn't make sense even to professionals unless you take into account some important variables that we are not being told about. There seems to me to be a reluctance to face what cannot be termed anything less than grim circumstances in my opinion. There certainly is a reluctance to inform us regular people and all we have really gotten is a few dots here and there...
First of all...set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc....forget that, it won't be happening..it's done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.
So you have to ask WHY? Why make it worse?...there really can only be one answer and that answer does not bode well for all of us. It's really an inescapable conclusion at this point, unless you want to believe that every Oil and Gas professional involved suddenly just forgot everything they know or woke up one morning and drank a few big cups of stupid and got assigned to directing the response to this catastrophe. Nothing makes sense unless you take this into account, but after you do...you will see the "sense" behind what has happened and what is happening. That conclusion is this:
The well bore structure is compromised "Down hole".
That is something which is a "Worst nightmare" conclusion to reach. While many have been saying this for some time as with any complex disaster of this proportion many have "said" a lot of things with no real sound reasons or evidence for jumping to such conclusions, well this time it appears that they may have jumped into the right place...
TOP KILL - FAILS:
This was probably our best and only chance to kill this well from the top down. This "kill mud" is a tried and true method of killing wells and usually has a very good chance of success. The depth of this well presented some logistical challenges, but it really should not of presented any functional obstructions. The pumping capacity was there and it would have worked, should have worked, but it didn't.
It didn't work, but it did create evidence of what is really happening. First of all the method used in this particular top kill made no sense, did not follow the standard operating procedure used to kill many other wells and in fact for the most part was completely contrary to the procedure which would have given it any real chance of working.
When a well is "Killed" using this method heavy drill fluid "Mud" is pumped at high volume and pressure into a leaking well. The leaks are "behind" the point of access where the mud is fired in, in this case the "choke and Kill lines" which are at the very bottom of the BOP (Blow Out Preventer) The heavy fluid gathers in the "behind" portion of the leaking well assembly, while some will leak out, it very quickly overtakes the flow of oil and only the heavier mud will leak out. Once that "solid" flow of mud is established at the leak "behind" the well, the mud pumps increase pressure and begin to overtake the pressure of the oil deposit. The mud is established in a solid column that is driven downward by the now stronger pumps. The heavy mud will create a solid column that is so heavy that the oil deposit can no longer push it up, shut off the pumps...the well is killed...it can no longer flow.
Usually this will happen fairly quickly, in fact for it to work at all...it must happen quickly. There is no "trickle some mud in" because that is not how a top kill works. The flowing oil will just flush out the trickle and a solid column will never be established. Yet what we were told was "It will take days to know whether it
worked"...."Top kill might take 48 hours to complete"...the only way it could take days is if BP intended to do some "test fires" to test integrity of the entire system. The actual "kill" can only take hours by nature because it must happen fairly rapidly. It also increases strain on the "behind" portion and in this instance we all know that what remained was fragile at best.
Early that afternoon we saw a massive flow burst out of the riser "plume" area. This was the first test fire of high pressure mud injection. Later on same day we saw a greatly increased flow out of the kink leaks, this was mostly mud at that time as the kill mud is tanish color due to the high amount of Barite which is added to it to weight it and Barite is a white powder.
We later learned the pumping was shut down at midnight, we weren't told about that until almost 16 hours later, but by then...I'm sure BP had learned the worst. The mud they were pumping in was not only leaking out the "behind" leaks...it was leaking out of someplace forward...and since they were not even near being able to pump mud into the deposit itself, because the well would be dead long before...and the oil was still coming up, there could only be one conclusion...the wells casings were ruptured and it was leaking "down hole"
They tried the "Junk shot"...the "bridging materials" which also failed and likely made things worse in regards to the ruptured well casings.
"Despite successfully pumping a total of over 30,000 barrels of heavy mud, in three attempts at rates of up to
80 barrels a minute, and deploying a wide range of different bridging materials, the operation did not overcome the flow from the well."
http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7062487 (http://www.bp.com/genericarticle.do?categoryId=2012968&contentId=7062487)
80 Barrels per minute is over 200,000 gallons per hour, over 115,000 barrels per day...did we seen an increase over and above what was already leaking out of 115k bpd?....we did not...it would have been a massive increase in order of multiples and this did not happen.
"The whole purpose is to get the kill mud down, said Wells. We'll have 50,000 barrels of mud on hand to kill this well. It's far more than necessary, but we always like to have backup."
Try finding THAT quote around...it's been scrubbed...here's a cached copy of a quote...
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WDj-HORTmIoJ:www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/deepwaterhorizon/7006870.html+%E2%809CThe+whole+purpose+is+to+get+t he+kill+mud+down,%E2%80%9D+said+Wells.+%E2%80%9CWe 'll+have+50,000+barrels+of+mud+on+hand+to+kill+thi s+well.+It's+far+more+than+necessary,+but+we+alway s+like+to+have+backup.%E2%80%9D&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us
"The "top kill" effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting."
"Allen said one ship that was pumping fluid into the well had run out of the fluid, or "mud," and that a second ship was on the way. He said he was encouraged by the progress."
http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20100527/ARTICLES/100529348 (http://www.houmatoday.com/article/20100527/ARTICLES/100529348)
Later we found out that Allen had no idea what was really going on and had been "Unavailable all day"
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/05/27/interview_with_coas... (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/05/27/interview_with_coast_guard_admiral_thad_allen_1057 75.html)
So what we had was BP running out of 50,000 barrels of mud in a very short period of time. An amount far and above what they deemed necessary to kill the well. Shutting down pumping 16 hours before telling anyone, including the president. We were never really given a clear reason why "Top Kill" failed, just that it couldn't overcome the well.
There is only one article anywhere that says anything else about it at this time of writing...and it's a relatively obscure article from the wall street journal "online" citing an unnamed source.
"WASHINGTONBP PLC has concluded that its "top-kill" attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of
Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor.
The disk, part of the subsea safety infrastructure, may have ruptured during the surge of oil and gas up the well on April 20 that led to the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig, BP officials said. The rig sank two days later, triggering a leak that has since become the worst in U.S. history.
The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP's findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.
As a result, BP wasn't able to get sufficient pressure to keep the oil and gas at bay. If they had been able to build up sufficient pressure, the company had hoped to pump in cement and seal off the well. The effort was deemed a failure on Saturday.
BP started the top-kill effort Wednesday afternoon, shooting heavy drilling fluids into the broken valve known as a blowout preventer. The mud was driven by a 30,000 horsepower pump installed on a ship at the surface. But it was clear from the start that a lot of the "kill mud" was leaking out instead of going down into the well."
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870487560457528013357716426... (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704875604575280133577164268.html)
There are some inconsistencies with this article.
There are no "Disks" or "Subsea safety structure" 1,000 feet below the sea floor, all that is there is well bore. There is nothing that can allow the mud or oil to "escape" into the rock formation outside the well bore except the well, because it is the only thing there.
All the actions and few tid bits of information all lead to one inescapable conclusion. The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking. Now you have some real data of how BP's actions are evidence of that, as well as some murky statement from "BP officials" confirming the same.
I took some time to go into a bit of detail concerning the failure of Top Kill because this was a significant event. To those of us outside the real inside loop, yet still fairly knowledgeable, it was a major confirmation of what many feared. That the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.
What does this mean?
It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot...the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?...the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?...it doesn't leak so bad, you close the nozzle?...it leaks real bad,
same dynamics. It is why they sawed the riser off...or tried to anyway...but they clipped it off, to relieve pressure on the leaks "down hole". I'm sure there was a bit of panic time after they crimp/pinched off the large riser pipe and the Diamond wire saw got stuck and failed...because that crimp diverted pressure and flow to the rupture down below.
Contrary to what most of us would think as logical to stop the oil mess, actually opening up the gushing well and making it gush more became direction BP took after confirming that there was a leak. In fact if you note their actions, that should become clear. They have shifted from stopping or restricting the gusher to opening it up and catching it. This only makes sense if they want to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed.....and that sort of leak is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging kind of leak there could be. It is also inaccessible which compounds our problems. There is no way to stop that leak from above, all they can do is relieve the pressure on it and the only way to do that right now is to open up the nozzle above and gush more oil into the gulf and hopefully catch it, which they have done, they just neglected to tell us why, gee thanks.
A down hole leak is dangerous and damaging for several reasons.
There will be erosion throughout the entire beat up, beat on and beat down remainder of the "system" including that inaccessible leak. The same erosion I spoke about in the first post is still present and has never stopped, cannot be stopped, is impossible to stop and will always be present in and acting on anything that is left which has crude oil "Product" rushing through it. There are abrasives still present, swirling flow will create hot spots of wear and this erosion is relentless and will always be present until eventually it wears away enough material to break it's way out. It will slowly eat the bop away especially at the now pinched off riser head and it will flow more and more. Perhaps BP can outrun or keep up with that out flow with various suckage methods for a period of time, but eventually the well will win that race, just how long that race will be?...no one really knows....However now?...there are other problems that a down hole leak will and must produce that will compound this already bad situation.
This down hole leak will undermine the foundation of the seabed in and around the well area. It also weakens the only thing holding up the massive Blow Out Preventer's immense bulk of 450 tons. In fact?...we are beginning to the results of the well's total integrity beginning to fail due to the undermining being caused by the leaking well bore.
The first layer of the sea floor in the gulf is mostly lose material of sand and silt. It doesn't hold up anything and isn't meant to, what holds the entire subsea system of the Bop in place is the well itself. The very large steel connectors of the initial well head "spud" stabbed in to the sea floor. The Bop literally sits on top of the pipe and never touches the sea bed, it wouldn't do anything in way of support if it did. After several tens of feet the seabed does begin to support the well connection laterally (side to side) you couldn't put a 450 ton piece of machinery on top of a 100' tall pipe "in the air" and subject it to the side loads caused by the ocean currents and expect it not to bend over...unless that pipe was very much larger than the machine itself, which you all can see it is not. The well's piping in comparison is actually very much smaller than the Blow Out Preventer and strong as it may be, it relies on some support from the seabed to function and not literally fall over...and it is now showing signs of doing just that....falling over.
If you have been watching the live feed cams you may have noticed that some of the ROVs are using an inclinometer...and inclinometer is an instrument that measures "Incline" or tilt. The BOP is not supposed to be tilting...and after the riser clip off operation it has begun to...
This is not the only problem that occurs due to erosion of the outer area of the well casings. The way a well casing assembly functions it that it is an assembly of different sized "tubes" that decrease in size as they go down. These tubes have a connection to each other that is not unlike a click or snap together locking action. After a certain length is assembled they are cemented around the ouside to the earth that the more rough drill hole is bored through in the well making process. A very well put together and simply explained process of "How to drill a deep water oil well" is available here:
http://www.treesfullofmoney.com/?p=1610 (http://www.treesfullofmoney.com/?p=1610)
The well bore casings rely on the support that is created by the cementing phase of well construction. Just like if you have many hands holding a pipe up you could put some weight on the top and the many hands could hold the pipe and the weight on top easily...but if there were no hands gripping and holding the pipe?...all the weight must be held up by the pipe alone. The series of connections between the sections of casings are not designed to hold up the immense weight of the BOP without all the "hands" that the cementing provides and they will eventually buckle and fail when stressed beyond their design limits.
These are clear and present dangers to the battered subsea safety structure (bop and lmrp) which is the only loose cork on this well we have left. The immediate (first 1,000 feet) of well structure that remains is now also undoubtedly compromised. However.....as bad as that is?...it is far from the only possible problems with this very problematic well. There were ongoing troubles with the entire process during the drilling of this well. There were also many comprises made by BP IMO which may have resulted in an overall weakened structure of the entire well system all the way to the bottom plug which is over 12,000 feet deep. Problems with the cementing procedure which was done by Haliburton and was deemed as was against our best practices. by a Haliburton employee on April 1st weeks before the well blew out. There is much more and I won't go into detail right now concerning the lower end of the well and the troubles encountered during the whole creation of this well and earlier "Well control" situations that were revieled in various internal BP e-mails. I will add several links to those documents and quotes from them below and for now, address the issues concerning the upper portion of the well and the region of the sea floor.
What is likely to happen now?
Well...none of what is likely to happen is good, in fact...it's about as bad as it gets. I am convinced the erosion and compromising of the entire system is accelerating and attacking more key structural areas of the well, the blow out preventer and surrounding strata holding it all up and together. This is evidenced by the tilt of the blow out preventer and the erosion which has exposed the well head connection. What eventually will happen is that the blow out preventer will literally tip over if they do not run supports to it as the currents push on it. I suspect they will run those supports as cables tied to anchors very soon, if they don't, they are inviting disaster that much sooner.
Eventually even that will be futile as the well casings cannot support the weight of the massive system above with out the cement bond to the earth and that bond is being eroded away. When enough is eroded away the casings will buckle and the BOP will collapse the well. If and when you begin to see oil and gas coming up around the well area from under the BOP? or the area around the well head connection and casing sinking more and more rapidly? ...it won't be too long after that the entire system fails. BP must be aware of this, they are mapping the sea floor sonically and that is not a mere exercise. Our Gov't must be well aware too, they just are not telling us.
All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit...after that, it goes into the realm of "the worst things you can think of" The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out...as I said...all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more. There isn't any "cap dome" or any other suck fixer device on earth that exists or could be built that will stop it from gushing out and doing more and more damage to the gulf. While at the same time also doing more damage to the well, making the chance of halting it with a kill from the bottom up less and less likely to work, which as it stands now?....is the only real chance we have left to stop it all.
It's a race now...a race to drill the relief wells and take our last chance at killing this monster before the whole weakened, wore out, blown out, leaking and failing system gives up it's last gasp in a horrific crescendo.
We are not even 2 months into it, barely half way by even optimistic estimates. The damage done by the leaked oil now is virtually immeasurable already and it will not get better, it can only get worse. No matter how much they can collect, there will still be thousands and thousands of gallons leaking out every minute, every hour of every day. We have 2 months left before the relief wells are even near in position and set up to take a kill shot and that is being optimistic as I said.
Over the next 2 months the mechanical situation also cannot improve, it can only get worse, getting better is an impossibility. While they may make some gains on collecting the leaked oil, the structural situation cannot heal itself. It will continue to erode and flow out more oil and eventually the inevitable collapse which cannot be stopped will happen. It is only a simple matter of who can "get there first"...us or the well.
We can only hope the race against that eventuality is one we can win, but my assessment I am sad to say is that we will not.
The system will collapse or fail substantially before we reach the finish line ahead of the well and the worst is yet to come.
Sorry to bring you that news, I know it is grim, but that is the way I see it....I sincerely hope I am wrong.
We need to prepare for the possibility of this blow out sending more oil into the gulf per week then what we already have now, because that is what a collapse of the system will cause. All the collection efforts that have captured oil will be erased in short order. The magnitude of this disaster will increase exponentially by the time we can do anything to halt it and our odds of actually even being able to halt it will go down.
The magnitude and impact of this disaster will eclipse anything we have known in our life times if the worst or even near worst happens...
We are seeing the puny forces of man vs the awesome forces of nature.
We are going to need some luck and a lot of effort to win...
and if nature decides we ought to lose, we will....
Reference materials:
On April 1, a job log written by a Halliburton employee, Marvin Volek, warns that BPs use of cement was
against our best practices.
An April 18 internal Halliburton memorandum indicates that Halliburton again warned BP about its practices,
this time saying that a severe gas flow problem would occur if the casings were not centered more carefully.
Around that same time, a BP document shows, company officials chose a type of casing with a greater risk of
collapsing.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/us/06rig.html?pagewanted=1&sq=at_issue... (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/us/06rig.html?pagewanted=1&sq=at_issue_in_gulf&st=cse&scp=1)
Mark Hafle, the BP drilling engineer who wrote plans for well casings and cement seals on the Deepwater
Horizon's well, testified that the well had lost thousands of barrels of mud at the bottom. But he said models
run onshore showed alterations to the cement program would resolve the issues, and when asked if a cement
failure allowed the well to "flow" gas and oil, he wouldn't capitulate.
Hafle said he made several changes to casing designs in the last few days before the well blew, including the
addition of the two casing liners that weren't part of the original well design because of problems where the
earthen sides of the well were "ballooning." He also worked with Halliburton engineers to design a plan for
sealing the well casings with cement.
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/hearings_bp_ce... (http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/hearings_bp_cementing_engineer.html)
graphic of fail
http://media.nola.com/news_impact/other/oil-cause-050710.pdf (http://media.nola.com/news_impact/other/oil-cause-050710.pdf)
Casing joint
http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/files/OGL00001.gif (http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/files/OGL00001.gif)
Casing
http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/files/OGL00003.gif (http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/files/OGL00003.gif)
Kill may take until Christmas
http://preview.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-02/bp-gulf-of-mexico-oil-leak-... (http://preview.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-02/bp-gulf-of-mexico-oil-leak-may-last-until-christmas-in-worst-case-scenario.html)
BP Used Riskier Method to Seal Well Before Blast
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/us/27rig.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/27/us/27rig.html)
BP memo test results
http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20100512/Internal.BP.Email.Reg... (http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20100512/Internal.BP.Email.Regarding.Negative.Test.Results. pdf)
Investigation results
The information from BP identifies several new warning signs of problems. According to BP there were three flow
indicators from the well before the explosion.
http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100525/Memo.BP.Internal.Inve... (http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100525/Memo.BP.Internal.Investigation.pdf)
BP, what we know
http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100512/BP-What.We.Know.pdf (http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100512/BP-What.We.Know.pdf)
What could have happened
1. Before or during the cement job, an influx of hydrocarbon enters the wellbore.
2. Influx is circulated during cement job to wellhead and BOP.
3. 9-7/8 casing hanger packoff set and positively tested to 6500 psi.
4. After 16.5 hours waiting on cement, a negative test performed on wellbore below BOP.
(~ 1400 psi differential pressure on 9-7/8 casing hanger packoff and ~ 2350 psi on
double valve float collar)
5. Packoff leaks allowing hydrocarbon to enter wellbore below BOP. 1400 psi shut in
pressure observed on drill pipe (no flow or pressure observed on kill line)
6. Hydrocarbon below BOP is unknowingly circulated to surface while finishing displacing
the riser.
7. As hydrocarbon rises to surface, gas break out of solution further reduces hydrostatic
pressure in well. Well begin to flow, BOPs and Emergency Disconnect System (EDS)
activated but failed.
8. Packoff continues to leak allowing further influx from bottom.
Confidential
http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100512/BP-What.Could.Have.Ha... (http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100512/BP-What.Could.Have.Happened.pdf)
T/A daily log 4-20
http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100512/TRO-Daily.Drilling.Re... (http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100512/TRO-Daily.Drilling.Report.04.20.2010.pdf)
Cement plug 12,150 ft SCMT logging tool
SCMT (Slim Cement Mapping Tool)
Schlumberger Partial CBL done.
http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100530/BP-HZN-CEC018441.pdf (http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100530/BP-HZN-CEC018441.pdf)
Schlum CBL tools
http://www.slb.com/~/media/Files/production/product_sheets/well_integrit... (http://www.slb.com/~/media/Files/production/product_sheets/well_integrity/cement_bond_logging_tools.ashx)
Major concerns, well control, bop test.
http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100530/BP-HZN-CEC018375.pdf (http://energycommerce.house.gov/documents/20100530/BP-HZN-CEC018375.pdf)
Energy & commerce links to docs.
http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=articl... (http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1985:energy-a-commerce-committee-investigates-deepwater-horizon-rig-oil-spill&catid=122:media-advisories&Itemid=55)
well head on sea floor
http://nca-group.com/bilder//Trolla/A.%20GVI%20of%20Trolla%20prior%20to%20WHP002%20(2) .jpg
Well head on deck of ship
http://nca-group.com/bilder//Trolla/DSC_0189.JPG (http://nca-group.com/bilder//Trolla/DSC_0189.JPG)
BP's youtube propoganda page, a lot of rarely seen vids here....FWIW
http://www.youtube.com/user/DeepwaterHorizonJIC (http://www.youtube.com/user/DeepwaterHorizonJIC)
http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1097505/pg1 (http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1097505/pg1)

I used to cover the energy business (oil, gas and alternative) here in Texas, and the few experts in the oil field -- including geologists, chemists, etc. -- able or willing to even speak of this BP event told me early on that it is likely the entire reserve will bleed out. Unfortunately none of them could say with any certainty just how much oil is in the reserve in question because, for one thing, the oil industry and secrecy have always been synonymous. According to BP data from about five years ago, there are four separate reservoirs containing a total of 2.5 billion barrels (barrels not gallons). One of the reservoirs has 1.5 billion barrels. I saw an earlier post here quoting an Anadarko Petroleum report which set the total amount at 2.3 billion barrels. One New York Times article put it at 2 billion barrels.
If the BP data correctly or honestly identified four separate reservoirs then a bleed-out might gush less than 2 to 2.5 billion barrels unless the walls -- as it were -- fracture or partially collapse. I am hearing the same dark rumors which suggest fracturing and a complete bleed-out are already underway. Rumors also suggest a massive collapse of the Gulf floor itself is in the making. They are just rumors but it is time for geologists or related experts to end their deafening silence and speak to these possibilities.
All oilmen lie about everything. The stories one hears about the extent to which they will protect themselves are all understatements. BP employees are already taking The Fifth before grand juries, and attorneys are laying a path for company executives to make a run for it.

Ed Jewett
06-19-2010, 04:01 AM
Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP's Largest Shareholder says Oil Spill Good for the Economy (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/06/bps-largest-shareholder-says-oil-spill.html)



JP Morgan says (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/06/15/oil-spill-may-end-up-lifting-gdp-slightly/) that the Gulf oil spill will help the economy.

This is an odd thing to say, given that the spill is our modern dust bowl (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/is-gulf-oil-spill-our-dust-bowl.html), which could very well deepen and prolong our economic woes.

What might explain such an odd statement?
Well, JPM is apparently BP's largest shareholder (http://allgov.com/Top_Stories/ViewNews/Who_Owns_BP__Biggest_Shareholder_is_JPMorgan_Chase _100612). So happy talk meant to drive BP's share prices higher can only help JPM.
Then again, maybe JPM's prop desk is making a fortune shorting BP, just like Goldman famously shorted the CDOs it was selling like hotcakes.

######

Damaged Well Billowing Methane Into Gulf of Mexico (http://cryptogon.com/?p=16052)

June 18th, 2010 Maybe this one deserves a re-read: Detonating Nuclear Bomb at BP Oil Spill Site Might Produce a Bad Result (http://cryptogon.com/?p=15730).
Via: AP (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gIXWYBTpLtSayJtg41LKXpxSxVPAD9GDJBO84):
It is an overlooked danger in oil spill crisis: The crude gushing from the well contains vast amounts of natural gas that could pose a serious threat to the Gulf of Mexicos fragile ecosystem.
The oil emanating from the seafloor contains about 40 percent methane, compared with about 5 percent found in typical oil deposits, said John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who is studying the impact of methane from the spill.
That means huge quantities of methane have entered the Gulf, scientists say, potentially suffocating marine life and creating dead zones where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives.
This is the most vigorous methane eruption in modern human history, Kessler said.
Methane is a colorless, odorless and flammable substance that is a major component in the natural gas used to heat peoples homes. Petroleum engineers typically burn off excess gas attached to crude before the oil is shipped off to the refinery. Thats exactly what BP has done as it has captured more than 7.5 million gallons of crude from the breached well.
A BP spokesman said the company was burning about 30 million cubic feet of natural gas daily from the source of the leak, adding up to about 450 million cubic feet since the containment effort started 15 days ago. Thats enough gas to heat about 450,000 homes for four days.
But that figure does not account for gas that eluded containment efforts and wound up in the water, leaving behind huge amounts of methane.
BP PLC said a containment cap sitting over the leaking well funneled about 619,500 gallons of oil to a drillship waiting on the ocean surface on Wednesday. Meanwhile, a specialized flare siphoning oil and gas from a stack of pipes on the seafloor burned roughly 161,700 gallons.
Thursday was focused on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers chastised BP CEO Tony Hayward.
Testifying as oil still surged into the Gulf at between 1.47 million and 2.52 million gallons a day, coating more coastal land and marshes, Hayward declared I am so devastated with this accident, deeply sorry and so distraught.
But he also said he was out of the loop on decisions at the well and disclaimed knowledge of any of the myriad problems on and under the Deepwater Horizon rig before the deadly explosion. BP was leasing the rig the Deepwater Horizon that exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and triggering the environmental disaster.
BP blew it, said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., chairman of the House investigations panel that held the hearing. You cut corners to save money and time.
As for the methane, scientists are still trying to measure how much has escaped into the water and how it may damage the Gulf and it creatures.
The dangerous gas has played an important role throughout the disaster and response. A bubble of methane is believed to have burst up from the seafloor and ignited the rig explosion. Methane crystals also clogged a four-story containment box that engineers earlier tried to place on top of the breached well.
Now it is being looked at as an environmental concern.
The small microbes that live in the sea have been feeding on the oil and natural gas in the water and are consuming larger quantities of oxygen, which they need to digest food. As they draw more oxygen from the water, it creates two problems. When oxygen levels drop low enough, the breakdown of oil grinds to a halt; and as it is depleted in the water, most life cant be sustained.
The National Science Foundation funded research on methane in the Gulf amid concerns about the depths of the oil plume and questions what role natural gas was playing in keeping the oil below the surface, said David Garrison, a program director in the federal agency who specializes in biological oceanography.
This has the potential to harm the ecosystem in ways that we dont know, Garrison said. Its a complex problem.
In early June, a research team led by Samantha Joye of the Institute of Undersea Research and Technology at the University of Georgia investigated a 15-mile-long plume drifting southwest from the leak site. They said they found methane concentrations up to 10,000 times higher than normal, and oxygen levels depleted by 40 percent or more.
The scientists found that some parts of the plume had oxygen concentrations just shy of the level that tips ocean waters into the category of dead zone a region uninhabitable to fish, crabs, shrimp and other marine creatures.
Kessler has encountered similar findings. Since he began his on-site research on Saturday, he said he has already found oxygen depletions of between 2 percent and 30 percent in waters 1,000 feet deep.
Shallow waters are normally more susceptible to oxygen depletion. Because it is being found in such deep waters, both Kessler and Joye do not know what is causing the depletion and what the impact could be in the long- or short-term.
In an e-mail, Joye called her findings the most bizarre looking oxygen profiles I have ever seen anywhere.
Representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration acknowledged that so much methane in the water could draw down oxygen levels and slow the breakdown of oil in the Gulf, but cautioned that research was still under way to understand the ramifications.
We havent seen any long-term changes or trends at this point, said Robert Haddad, chief of the agencys assessment and restoration division.
Haddad said early efforts to monitor the spill had focused largely on the more toxic components of oil. However, as new data comes in, he said NOAA and other federal agencies will get a more accurate read on methane concentrations and the effects.
The question is whats going on in the deeper, colder parts of the ocean, he said. Are the (methane) concentrations going to overcome the amount of available oxygen? We want to make sure were not overloading the system.
BP spokesman Mark Proegler disputed Joyes suggestion that the Gulfs deep waters contain large amounts of methane, noting that water samples taken by BP and federal agencies have shown minimal underwater oil outside the spills vicinity.
The gas that escapes, what we dont flare, goes up to the surface and is gone, he said.
Steven DiMarco, an oceanographer at Texas A&M University who has studied a long-known dead zone in the Gulf, said one example of marine life that could be affected by low oxygen levels in deeper waters would be giant squid the food of choice for the endangered sperm whale population. Squid live primarily in deep water, and would be disrupted by lower oxygen levels, DiMarco said.

Ed Jewett
06-19-2010, 05:16 AM
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zionist Kenneth Feinberg, 9/11 Cover Up Agent, to Administer BP's $20 Billion Claim Fund (http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/2010/06/zionist-kenneth-feinberg-911-cover-up.html)



http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VyBhuhQW8YQ/TBl_CsFi1nI/AAAAAAAAADQ/6MtQMTuWB-k/s320/kenneth-feinberg.jpg (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_VyBhuhQW8YQ/TBl_CsFi1nI/AAAAAAAAADQ/6MtQMTuWB-k/s1600/kenneth-feinberg.jpg)






Kenneth Feinberg (http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/2009/06/911-cover-up-arbitrator-kenneth.html), cover up artist par excellence for 'events' whose true nature must be kept hidden is handed the job of administering BP's $20 billion fund (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/17/us/politics/17obama.html?hp)
for damage claims to economic victims of the Gulf oil spill.





Some background on Feinberg from Chris Bollyn (http://www.bollyn.com/mossad-madness-and-9-11)...
Kenneth Feinberg was the Special Master of the 9-11 Victims Compensation Fund. He alone was responsible for distributing some $7 billion of taxpayer money to the families of the victims of 9-11. In this he was supported by some 30 lawyers from his law firm and his wife, Diane "Dede" Shaff Feinberg. Diane is also an executive member of the United Israel Appeal and the Jewish Federation of Washington. She also happens to be a member of the Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency - the parent organization of the Mossad.


The non-investigation of 9-11 was controlled by Michael Chertoff, the son of an Israeli Mossad agent and an orthodox rabbi. Chertoff oversaw the destruction of the thousands of tons of steel from the World Trade Center - crucial evidence that was shipped to Asian smelters and melted down. While Chertoff supervised the confiscation and destruction of the critical evidence, government appointed doctors "medicated" the grieving relatives with mood-altering Prozac, and Kenneth Feinberg began his war of attrition on the families of the victims of 9-11.


As the sole person responsible for distributing the money from the Victims Compensation Fund, Feinberg paid out nearly $7 billion to families in compensation - if they would sign the agreement not to sue the airlines or the Israeli airport security firm involved in 9-11 (Huntleigh USA/ICTS). More than 98 percent of the families accepted the money from the Feinberg-managed fund. The amounts of the payments and the amounts paid to Diane Feinberg and the 30 lawyers are not known. The American people deserve to know how the funds were used and who got paid.

Feinberg's actions were crucial to removing more than 98 percent of the families from the litigation process. Kenneth Feinberg and Alvin Hellerstein have waged a war of attrition against the 9-11 relatives. Of the thousands of families that could have used the courts to find justice and legal discovery for what happened on 9-11, Feinberg was successful in removing 98 percent. Of the 96 families that chose to go to court, all but one or two cases have settled out of court after enduring years of obstruction in the court of Alvin K. Hellerstein. Thanks to Feinberg and Hellerstein there may never be a trial for a single victim of 9-11.

Kenneth Feinberg is known for wearing expensive Brioni suits, smoking Cuban cigars, and driving his black Jaguar to his home in Bethesda, Maryland, where he has avoided paying taxes thanks to a few legal loopholes he knows about. Kenneth Feinberg was the co-chair (along with his wife) of a recent Zionist event in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, two prime suspects in the Israeli terrorism of 9-11, participated. Feinberg's role in covering up the truth about 9-11 is connected to his relationship to the state of Israel. Kenneth Feinberg wasn't working pro bono on the 9-11 victims fund out of compassion for the victims of 9-11, or for America. He was doing it to serve Israel and the murderous Mossad. {more (http://www.bollyn.com/mossad-madness-and-9-11)}Besides 9/11 (http://www.onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_2116.shtml), other compensation 'events' that Feinberg resided over (http://www.cfr.org/publication/21614/conversation_with_kenneth_feinberg.html) were the shootings at Virginia Tech, Hurricane Katrina, the original Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination, the Holocaust slave labor litigation (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/06/15/world/52-million-for-lawyers-fees-in-nazi-era-slave-labor-suits.html), Agent Orange litigation, human radiation experiments, catastrophic nuclear accidents and was the 'Special Master' for TARP executive compensation (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/business/11pay.html?_r=2&hp).


It's increasingly becoming apparent that the BP 'spill' is more than an accident. Feinberg's task will be to see that there are no compensation cases brought to court that could expose any of the deep secrets of the disaster and to protect those at the top of the money pyramid.

Feinberg has a track record of success but even the best of criminal enterprises reach the limits of what they can pull off. This may be one of those times.


h/t Facts Not Fairies (http://factsnotfairies.blogspot.com/2010/06/zionist-who-administered-911-fund-tarp.html) Posted by kenny's sideshow at 11:02 PM (http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/2010/06/zionist-kenneth-feinberg-911-cover-up.html) http://img1.blogblog.com/img/icon18_email.gif (http://www.blogger.com/email-post.g?blogID=3918678440524150306&postID=3925505923390882272) http://img2.blogblog.com/img/icon18_edit_allbkg.gif (http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=3918678440524150306&postID=3925505923390882272)
Labels: 9/11 (http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/search/label/9%2F11), cover up (http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/search/label/cover%20up), criminal government (http://kennysideshow.blogspot.com/search/label/criminal%20government)

Peter Lemkin
06-19-2010, 05:28 AM
This was posted on the EF by Douglas Caddy(thanks Douglas).I'm sorry,but this will scare the Holy Crap out of you.If you are a religious person Pray.Pray Hard........

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593/648967
70 comments (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593#comments_top) on Deepwater Oil Spill - A Longer Term Problem, Personnel - and Open Thread 2 (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6593)



.....lovely scenario...and one that i long have thought was likely.....I'm not a petroleum geologist, by far...but I am a scientist. The Gulf is fucked...and BP and the government are lying their asses off - as they usually do...but this time millions of humans will suffer greatly; and trillions of living sea creatures and coastal creatures will perish for their hubris, I fear. This will go on for years until all the pressure is gone alone with the oil in this BIG reservoir. The Gulf may well be dead by then and much of the Atlantic, as well.

Peter Lemkin
06-19-2010, 07:45 AM
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, to BP. Lawmakers accused BP CEO Tony Hayward of stonewalling on Thursday after hours of tough questioning about the oil spill his company caused that has spiraled into the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Hayward was testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In seven hours of hearings, he faced a barrage of questions about BPs cost-cutting measures and how early he was informed about problems with the well that blew sixty days ago, on April 20th. Hayward repeatedly denied any personal responsibility for the decisions that led to the explosion of the well, the sinking of BPs Deepwater Horizon rig, the deaths of eleven workers, and the ongoing environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. His appearance before Congress was his first since the explosion.

Several lawmakers said they were frustrated by his answers and accused him of being evasive. Under harsh questioning, Hayward urged them to await the outcome of an investigation into the spill. Georgia Republican Phil Gingrey grilled him on the issue.

TONY HAYWARD: There are clearly some issues that our investigation has identified. And when the investigation is complete, we will draw the right conclusions. If there is at any point

REP. PHIL GINGREY: Well, with all due respect, youve had fifty-nine days, and youre not exactly moving with fever pitch here. Do you believe BP was drilling the well following the best safety practices you were focused on reinvigorating when you were promoted to the position of CEO a couple years ago?

TONY HAYWARD: I have no reason to conclude that wasnt the case. If I found at any point that anyone in BP put cost ahead of safety, I would take action.


JUAN GONZALEZ: While Tony Hayward faced tough questions from Republicans and Democrats alike, one lawmaker actually issued an apology to BP. Texas Republican Joe Barton said President Obamas demand for a $20 billion compensation fund amounted to a "shakedown" of the oil giant.

REP. JOE BARTON: Im speaking now totally for myself. Im not speaking for the Republican Party. Im not speaking for anybody in the House of Representatives but myself. But Im ashamed of what happened in the White House yesterday. I think it is a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown. In this case, a $20 billion shakedown.


JUAN GONZALEZ: Barton came under swift denunciation from the White House and was forced to retract his remarks hours later under pressure from fellow Republicans. At the hearing, Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley challenged Barton and asked Tony Hayward if he considered the $20 billion compensation fund a slush fund.

REP. BRUCE BRALEY: Did you consider this compensation fund for people who had lost their lives, lost their businesses, lost their environment, lost their ability to earndid you consider that to be a slush fund?

TONY HAYWARD: As we said yesterday, the fund is a signal of our commitment to do right, to ensure that individuals, fishermen, charter boat captains, small hotel owners, everyone whos been impacted by this, is kept whole. That is what I have said from the very beginning of this, and that is what we intend to do. And as I said in my testimony, I hope people will now takesee that we are good for our word.

REP. BRUCE BRALEY: And can we take that as a "no" in response to my question, sir, that you did not consider this to be a slush fund?

TONY HAYWARD: I certainly didnt think it was a slush fund.


AMY GOODMAN: Even when grilled by Florida Republican Cliff Stearns, BP CEO Tony Hayward denied the spill was a result of reckless behavior, but acknowledged no one at BP has been fired following the explosion.

REP. CLIFF STEARNS: The people of Florida, when I talk to them and they say theres oil spilling on the coast, would it be appropriate to say that its because of BPs reckless behavior? Yes or no?

TONY HAYWARD: It is a consequence of a big accident.

REP. CLIFF STEARNS: No, yes or no? Reckless behavior or not?

TONY HAYWARD: There is no evidence of reckless behavior.

REP. CLIFF STEARNS: So, youre standing here, youre saying here today that BP had no reckless behavior? Thats your position. Yes?

TONY HAYWARD: There is no evidence of reckless behavior.

REP. CLIFF STEARNS: No, yes or no? Youre saying BP has had no reckless behavior, is what youre saying to us.

TONY HAYWARD: I have seen no evidence of reckless behavior.

REP. CLIFF STEARNS: OK. So youre on record saying theres been no reckless behavior. Has anyone in BP been fired because of this incident? Anybody?

TONY HAYWARD: Not

REP. CLIFF STEARNS: Yes or no?

TONY HAYWARD: No, so far.

REP. CLIFF STEARNS: No people have been fired. So, your captain of the ship runs into New Orleans, spews all this oil, causes all this damage, from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, and no ones been fired?

TONY HAYWARD: Our investigation is ongoing.

REP. CLIFF STEARNS: So, lets say the investigation goes for three years. Does that mean you wouldnt fire anybody?

TONY HAYWARD: As the investigation draws conclusions, we will take the necessary action.


AMY GOODMAN: And New York Democrat Eliot Engel asked Hayward about BPs other wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL: How many other wells has BP in the Gulf?

TONY HAYWARD: I dont know the precise number, but its a large number.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL: Well, give me a ballpark figure.

TONY HAYWARD: In the order of hundreds.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL: OK. How can we be assured that the same thing wont happen with one of the other wells? How can you give us assurances that what happened with this well wont happen again to several hundred wells?

TONY HAYWARD: The other wells that Im referring to have all been drilled and completed and are secure.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL: So you are saying that in all the other wells that BP has, something that happened to this well could never happen again in any of those other wells?

TONY HAYWARD: All of the other wells that Im referring to are wells that have been completed and are secure.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL: So, is that the same assurance that you had said that you were going to, with a laser, make safety a priority? Is this the same kind of assurance that youre giving us now?

TONY HAYWARD: I have, throughout my tenure, been very explicit about the priority of safety in BP. It is the first word I utter every time I talk to any group of people in BP, the fact that safe and reliable operations is our number one priority. And we have made very significant changes to our processes, to our people, and invested very significantly into the integrity of our plant and equipment over the last three or four years.

REP. ELIOT ENGEL: Mr. Hayward, let me just say, with all due respect, I, like everyone else here and everyone else in America, is thoroughly disgusted. I think youre stalling. I think youre insulting our intelligence. And I really resent it.

Jan Klimkowski
06-19-2010, 01:46 PM
More excellent posts in this thread - thank you all.

There's also the Joker ready to put in an appearance. The flapping of a butterfly's wings and the chaotic force of a phantasmagoric hurricane tearing through the Gulf.

The crushed, broken, body language of the insiders - crucially Obama, Hayward and Cameron - is suggestive of Dead Men Walking. They know this thing is uncontainable, and their pathetic efforts have not even delayed the day of reckoning.

I suggest deporting them all to Utah. I gather the state has a fully trained firing squad itching for more target practice...

Magda Hassan
06-19-2010, 01:55 PM
http://s3.amazonaws.com/wmnf/news_story_soundclips/3451/DerrickJenseninterview.mp3

Magda Hassan
06-19-2010, 02:02 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b6J7LRUTFY


The clip is crisp and professionally shot, a surprise hit on YouTube
and Facebook. But this is no music video, nor is it a new comedy hit.
Rather, this is BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, fresh-faced and
relaxed in blue jacket and open-necked shirt, addressing students of
Stanford's elite business graduate school.
It was 2007 and Hayward, newly ensconced at the helm of
BP, planned the speech to signal the course of his stewardship of the
British oil giant. BP, said the upbeat Englishman, had just finished a
"difficult, critical but necessary self assessment".
The diagnosis?
"We had too many people that were working to save the
world." A studied pause and Hayward returned to his theme: "We'd lost
track of the fact that our primary purpose is to create value for our
shareholders. How you do that is you need to take care of the world ?
but our primary purpose in life was not to save the world."

http://www.smh.com.au/business/lost-at-sea-the-tide-turns-for-bp-20100618-ymrt.html

Jan Klimkowski
06-19-2010, 02:58 PM
As Hayward says in his oh-so-folksy-CEO-way, BP's "primary purpose in life was not to save the world."

Indeed, with corporation bosses - epitomized by Wall Street's darling and GE destroyer Jack Welch - eager to maximize short term profit at any cost, multinationals don't give a flying fuck about the planet, or 99.9% of its fauna and flora.

The green manifestos of multinational corporations have always been facades - pure PR spin to enable "ethical investment" from pension funds, churches and the like.

Global market capitalism, with regulators bought and owned by multinationals, is fundamentally incompatible with the health of our blue planet.

About all that is currently unknown is the scale of the Gulf of Mexico catastrophe. :mad:

Peter Lemkin
06-21-2010, 07:40 PM
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/6/2...1Gusher-in-Gulf

Bush/Cheney Exec Order 5/01 = Gusher in Gulf
by Gorette
- Bush/Cheney Exec Order 5/01 = Gusher in Gulf Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 06:26:04 AM PDT
Late last night I read the powerful, incredible New York Times expose on the knowing failure of oil corporations and intentional lack of the right safety equipment that caused the Gusher in the Gulf. I had just written a diary on Bush's Executive Order to give free rein to oil corporations! The link between the two could not be more clear: BP chose to do everything fast and dirty. Had they not ignore safety reports about faulty BOPs and shear rams failures, they could easily have avoided this catastrophe.

BP knew they were operating unsafely. Read the Times article.

The Bush/Cheney administration had empowered them to do so from May 2001. If Republicans are going to blame this disaster and its cleanup on Obama then let the true blame be placed on Bush/Cheney for enabling the oil industry to run roughshod over safety precautions, regulations and oversight.

Gorette's diary :: ::
The 2000s....ushered in an era of aggressive, government-backed offshore oil production. In May 2001, Bush, acting on recommendations from the oil industry, signed an executive order that required federal agencies to expedite permits for energy projects and paved the way for greater domestic oil exploration.

May 18, 2001. That was the day Bush and Cheney decided they could withstand a huge oil spill. But they probably deemed it unlikely because of the Republican belief that corporations will in self-interest avoid serious risks, and take precautions to avoid catastrophes. Only that is not true.

Bush/Cheney were aware of the many risks and gave Big Oil free rein while they restrained the good people at MMS who wanted to control the industry from doing harm.

. MMS commissioned reports. They knew what was unsafe.
. MMS did not require certain important practices.
. MMS made regulations they then did not enforce.

Giving the pretense of safety, they were effectively neutered by Bush/Cheney who got MMS to require a mere 30 days to approve permits.

Various studies and reports alerted the oil industry. Rig safety hinged on Blow Out Preventers which were at serious risk from failure. But this is not the only rig at risk!

One test showed that 45% of BOP's failed. An industry study four that in only six out of 11 cases had activated BOP's prevented a spill when loss of control of well had occurred. Yet they talk as if these BOP's are the "ultimate failsafe device," offering absolute safety.

..oil industry executives had long known (Blow Out Preventers) could be vulnerable and temperamental.

Other tests showed that two "blind" shear rams were necessary for safety --not just one. Today, 11 of 14 Transocean rigs have two, the other three were built prior to DW Horizon.

From the NYT article today & graphic on how shear rams work:

It was the last line of defense, the final barrier between the rushing volcanic fury of oil and gas and one of the worst environmental disasters in United States history.

Its very name the blind shear ram suggested its blunt purpose. When all else failed, if the crew of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig lost control of a well, if a dreaded blowout came, the blind shear rams two tough blades were poised to slice through the drill pipe, seal the well and save the day. Everything else could go wrong, just so long as "the pinchers" went right. All it took was one mighty stroke.

On the night of April 20, minutes after an enormous blowout ripped through the Deepwater Horizon, the rigs desperate crew pinned all hope on this last line of defense.

But the line did not hold.

Subsequent test show that only one side of the shears worked. They are extremely vulnerable in that one component not working can cause the whole device to fail.

The problems highlighted by these cases were common knowledge in the drilling industry.

Blind shear rams failed time and time again just as they did on the Deepwater Horizon.

Checks were done. They found seven which "**had never been checked**" for deepwater performance.

"This grim snapshot....illustrates the lack of preparedness in the industry to shear and seal a well with the last line of defense against a blowout."

But they moved into deeper water. The industry argued for fewer safety checks.

This is the kind of redundancy in safety mechanisms that the president is talking about, that his Commission will investigate.

The Times also states that the MMS had not acted on it's own expert's advice on how to minimize this shear ram failure and that the Obama administration needs to stop this. Even when MMS enacted a rule about it, they failed to enforce it.

So it is on all sides that the failures occured, due to the wink, the nod, the Executive Order by Bush/Cheney. A report (May 2000) from our own regulators concluded that a big spill from a deepwater oil well could be disastrous, having major, disastrous effects on wildlife and wetlands. Incoming Bush/Cheney ignored this report.

If Republicans are going to blame this disaster and its cleanup on Obama then let the true blame be placed on Bush/Cheney for enabling the oil industry to run roughshod over safety precautions, regulations and oversight.

Fortunately we now have a president who knows how to make things right and I have every confidence he will wipe out the Bush Executive Order on Expediting Permits to the oil industry:

Obama does the right thing.
One tool that the Bush Team used to approve MTR projects was an expedited permit process: Obama suspended this expedited process last week.

Government regulators told Bush/Cheney that a deepwater oil spill would be disastrous because:

McClatchy:
...there were few good ways to capture oil underwater.

They said in effect, SO WHAT? They cared only, only, for the oil corporations.

They did everything they could to squelch all oversight. Hearings by Congress to do their job and oversee the MMS? Forget about that. They put out the word. No hearings that would reveal their treachery of this administration and its directives to push forward on deepwater drilling and the lack of environmental impact studies.

As clear as anything: They put out the word: Restrain the regulators at MMS. MMS knew better. They had commissioned reports, they put out advice but stopped at requiring certain practices that were of great importance. They made regulations and did not enforce them. They were neutered, made ineffective by Bush/Cheney while giving the pretense of safety.

McClatchy:

The Minerals Management Service had never required any of these backup systems to be tested despite a report it commissioned in 2003 that said these systems "should probably receive the same attention to verify functionality" as the rest of the blowout preventer. The agency had also declined to take the modest step of requiring rigs to have these backup systems in place at all, though it had sent out a safety alert encouraging their use.

Yes, they did restrain MMS. How can we get MMS, they pondered, to approve drilling applications quickly? Let's simply make it impossible for them to do the job. We'll make it a requirement for MMS to make 30-day decisions on matters concerning the environmental impact of deep water oil wells. Thirty days. Not 60. Not 90. Not 120. But 30 days.

How many days does your local Wetlands Protection Act provide for consideration as to whether or not your building a dog house on your property will adversely impact wetlands? (Wetlands regulations are critical.)

Bush and Cheney, they both had oil interests or ties to companies working in that field. From the moment Cheney had his secret meetings with oil executives we suspected he had nefarious plans. He and George decided probably before they took over the White House that their administration was going to be oil friendly, above all else, at the expense of all else.

Environment? Oceans? Who cares? Sea life? Who cares? Jobs for the people? Who cares? Money for oil corporations? We care. That is their mentality, those are their values. Cronyism, corruption. That's GOP values. Forget that family values thing, unless it's our family.

The result of those GOP values? A spill the size of the Exxon Valdez every few days! Eleven lives lost! A huge oil gusher for months in our precious Gulf of Mexico and all the tragedy it entails.

They knew from the deepwater Shell Plan:

"Regaining well control in deep water may be a problem since it could require the operator to cap and control well flow at the seabed in greater water depths . . . and could require simultaneous firefighting efforts at the surface."

Now all of us have to bear the burden of having had that president and vice president who cared more about the interests of rich oil corporations/friends/family, than about the broader interests of the American people.

They care more about the interests of oil corporations than they do about jobs, about the economy, about people losing hope and a way of life. And many of their GOP friends and colleagues are exactly the same!

The GOP cannot--even now in the disaster's ongoing tragic effects--stop saying DRILL BABY DRILL. They shout it from the rooftops. They preach it on tv and in Congress. They have no common sense, no values, no care for anything else. Just give them their oil and fast. The earth to them is an expendable commodity, just as are rain forests, whales, the land, the marsh, the beach, the sea, the people.

All they can do now, the GOP is try to re-focus the people's interest onto the current administration, onto jobs lost temporarily from a time-out on drilling in deepwater of 24 oil rigs so they can be checked for safe operation and plans to deal with spills.


The GOP and some Democratic politicians gain from drilling because some get huge amounts from oil corporations. You can tell which ones get the most by listening to their speeches in favor of drilling. From Open Secrets, amounts from BP and Oil Industry totals: John McCain (R-AZ) $36,649 & $2,428,287, Mary Landrieu (D-LA) $16,200 & $329,100, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) $8,500 & $223,326, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) $8,500 & $408,400.

This McClatchy article is a must read, especially the paragraph down a ways that begins: "The 2000 Shell plan also cautioned that an oil gusher wouldn't behave the same way in deepwater..." And the next paragraph: "Among its other warnings ..." This will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I promise.

The Shell drill plan written in 2000 by MMS, describes what we are now experiencing. Catastrophic. It:

indicates that some federal regulators were well aware of the potential hazards of deepwater oil production in its early years...

Ed Jewett
06-22-2010, 02:45 AM
Jamie Gorelick, famed in yesteryear for her role on the 9/11 Commission [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Gorelick and elsewhere] and who also had a minor supporting role in Catherine Austin Fitts' "Dunwalke tales" [http://www.dunwalke.com/], is now making an appearance in the tale of the Deepwater spectacle.


Gorelick's challenge: Backing BP
By: Abby Phillip
June 17, 2010 04:44 AM EDT
When BP executives filed into the West Wing on Wednesday morning to meet with President Barack Obama, they were joined by at least one familiar Washington hand: former Clinton administration Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, who signed on earlier this month to represent BP in congressional inquiries linked to the massive oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
As one of the top lawyers in Washington and a former Justice Department official, it is no surprise that BP tapped Gorelick and her prominent law firm, WilmerHale, to do the nearly impossible: defend it against a deluge of legislative inquiries into the oil disaster.

And her role is not very different from the one played by another prominent Democrat, former White House counsel Greg Craig, who is now representing Goldman Sachs which until the oil spill was Washingtons favorite corporate pariah.

Speaking generally, the reliance on high-powered insiders results in corporations escaping penalties that are not as severe as they would otherwise face. The familiarity of the former prosecutor with the system enables them to think creatively about tricks to end up with resolutions that seem much more significant than they actually are, said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.

Still, Gorelick could easily have been on the other side of the table as one of the Obama administrations key players. Her role in the Clinton administration and her later service as a member of the 9/11 Commission made her a logical choice for attorney general.

But Gorelick has had her own share of controversies, which are widely believed to be why she is representing high-profile clients rather than working for Obama.

After leaving the Justice Department, Gorelick served for six years as vice chairwoman of Fannie Mae and got caught up in the mortgage agencys accounting controversy. In 2005, two years after Gorelick left Fannie Mae, a federal investigation into the public-private mortgage company found that accountants had falsified signatures to erase $9 billion in losses from the books. Eliminating those losses resulted in Gorelick and four other Fannie Mae executives taking away six- and seven-figure bonuses in 1998.

The federal investigation found that Gorelick was paid more than $25 million during her time at Fannie, and the huge compensation received by Fannie Mae executives later became a major issue in Congress.

When it comes to defending BP, Weissman said that Gorelick should feel some responsibility to defend the ideals that led her into government, especially given the importance of her former position as the Justice Departments second-ranking official.
Shes made a lot of money in her life, Weissman said. Does she wake up and say, I want to defend BP? Shes a free agent, but its a reasonable ethical question to ask yourself in that position. Presumably, you felt some public service instinct when you went into government. On one hand, youre trading in on that; on the other hand, youre betraying the ideals you believed in when you went into government in the first place.
Since leaving Fannie Mae, Gorelick has been a partner at WilmerHale and head of its Defense, National Security and Government Contracts Practice Group. Even with a Democrat in power, she has not shied away from representing clients with interests at odds with the Obama administration.
Earlier this year, student loan giant Sallie Mae made it a point to hire prominent Democrats, including Gorelick, and Democratic lobbyists from the Podesta Group to stop congressional legislation that would severely alter its role in the student loan industry. Their efforts were defeated, and the Obama administration succeeded in attaching a reform bill to the health care legislation that made the federal government the only lender to students effectively cutting out private companies like Sallie.

Gorelick has also represented Steve Rattner, a prominent Democratic fundraiser, against accusations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he arranged a pay-to-play deal that secured a $100 million investment from the New York public pension fund for his private investment management firm.

Despite the potential for ill will in Washington, Gorelick is only reprising a role for BP that she played in 2007, when the company was scrambling to deal with yet another oil spill, off the coast of Alaska. Then, the company was fined $50 million.

This time, the price tag is bound to be much higher. And BP will face intense scrutiny from Congress in the coming months.

Gorelick will have plenty of work and detractors.

They took her into this meeting, and they still got nailed for $20 billion. I would say that shes not yet earning her money, said Kenneth Green, a resident scholar on energy and the environment at the American Enterprise Institute. I think their concern now is to avoid criminal prosecution, so theyre trying to figure out how best to navigate the justice system to minimize their criminal risk.
Even if Gorelick has friends in the White House, Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said her connections are unlikely to save BP from paying the greatest possible price for the spill.

Of course, it helps if she has a good relationship with someone in the White House, but it doesnt mean theyre going to go soft on BP, she said. Theyre the villain of the world. Even a good lawyer can only help you so much.
http://images.politico.com/global/irides.jpg (http://www.irides.com/) 2010 Capitol News Company, LLC
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38645.html

Peter Lemkin
06-22-2010, 07:36 PM
....the Oil Industry lawyers said it "was killing an entire 'ecosystem of oil companies'".....I feel sick...not only are they ruled by law as 'persons', but they seem to have destroyed the concept of ecosystem, as well!:eviltongue::eviltongue::eviltongue:

Ed Jewett
06-22-2010, 11:52 PM
I understand what you are saying, Peter. (The Derrick Jensen themes are still valid....) But of course the sense of an inter-related string of business and economy built around the oil industry is also valid; there are many on he Gulf Coast clambering for more drilling, and there was a court ruling on it today giving a green light (or overturning) Obama's temporary ban... What the issue is from my POV is that the nation has failed to address peak oil along with the corporate electioneering and person-hood issues and the larger issues of fascist Wall Street/Chamber of Commerce influence on national policy. We still endorse companies eating mountains for clean coal, so seas, fish, cultures and beaches are not going to stop them from satisfying their voracious appetite. Now, too, we have to have that lithium in Afghanistan.

Magda Hassan
06-23-2010, 03:05 AM
Lord Coe says BP is 'trusted partner' of 2012 Olympics

Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Monday, 21 June 2010 14:58 UK

Lord Coe says BP sponsorship of 2012 Olympics is 'solid'

London Olympics chairman Lord Coe has said the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will not harm BP's sponsorship of the 2012 Games.
He said the oil giant was a "trusted partner", adding the spill "does not make a difference to us at all".
Lord Coe and BP regional vice president Peter Mather were attending an event to promote the London 2012 Cultural Weekend, which takes place in July.
BP is a top tier sponsor of the 2012 Games.
Lord Coe said: "They [BP] were with us during the bid and now they are with us as partners doing the delivery phase.
Share 'vision' "They are an example of a world class company who are working with us, sharing our vision and bringing it forward."
Mr Mather defended BP's actions in the oil spill crisis.
"Our focus as a company is 100% on the Gulf of Mexico, doing the right thing - doing the right thing on the seabed and our focus is also on the shore," he said.
Eleven people died when an explosion destroyed the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on 20 April.
Owned and operated by Transocean, the rig was being leased by BP.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/england/london/10366896.stm

Peter Lemkin
06-23-2010, 04:07 AM
I understand what you are saying, Peter. (The Derrick Jensen themes are still valid....) But of course the sense of an inter-related string of business and economy built around the oil industry is also valid; there are many on he Gulf Coast clambering for more drilling, and there was a court ruling on it today giving a green light (or overturning) Obama's temporary ban... What the issue is from my POV is that the nation has failed to address peak oil along with the corporate electioneering and person-hood issues and the larger issues of fascist Wall Street/Chamber of Commerce influence on national policy. We still endorse companies eating mountains for clean coal, so seas, fish, cultures and beaches are not going to stop them from satisfying their voracious appetite. Now, too, we have to have that lithium in Afghanistan.

I don't argue with what you are saying, I object to the cooptation of our language by the corporations/elites/PR folks turning words and concepts for living organisms and their interaction into boardroom terms; which, sadly, the MSM and the 'average Joe and Jane' swallow without blinking. An ecosystem of businesses is an oxymoronic term that demeans the word, the concept behind the word and philosophy that all life is important - not just those at the power peak of humankind - something lost on most of the society [and in my opinion, exactly the kind of hubris and shortsightedness, unnaturalness that which will kill human society and take along much of the other species, fairly soon!] :shot:

Ed Jewett
06-23-2010, 06:51 AM
I hear you, Peter, and don't disagree. We are going to have to reconfigure "how to go about business" in so many ways, but the games continue with the McChrystalline gambit, the politics of the Mexican border situation, and oh so much more.

Meanwhile..., though I cannot vouch in any way for anything here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1cC8stYR3k&feature=player_embedded

Ed Jewett
06-23-2010, 07:12 AM
It's raining oil?! ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un8co1d4zb4&feature=player_embedded#! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un8co1d4zb4&feature=player_embedded#%21)

Peter Lemkin
06-23-2010, 02:40 PM
Amazing.....and OH SO AMERICAN....the Judge involved has EXTENSIVE stock holdings in BP and BP connected corporations...he was appointed by Reagan...say no more....:damnmate:

A federal judge has struck down the Obama administrations six-month ban on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The White House imposed the ban last month as the BP oil spill spiraled into what many have called the worst environmental disaster in US history. But on Tuesday, US District Judge Martin Feldman called the suspension "heavy-handed" and "overbearing." A Reagan appointee, Feldman has extensive stock holdings in energy companies, including Transocean, which owned the Deepwater Horizon oil rig where the explosion occurred, and Halliburton, which also performed work at the site. Feldman also owns stock in two of BPs largest shareholders, BlackRock and JPMorgan Chase. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the Obama administration will appeal the ruling.

So much for 'blinded Justice' when one can make a decision based on one's own portfolio!.....:puke: (and class interests) :banghead:

Sickening that someone so biased would not have recused himself, or been challenged and removed! To say the judiciary is packed is an understatement....it is chock-a-block with the Corporatists and Ultra-Conservatives!:shot:

Keith Millea
06-24-2010, 05:05 AM
http://www.rense.com/general91/mill.htm

How The BP Disaster Could Kill Millions
By Terrence Aym

6-18-10
Disturbing evidence is mounting that something frightening is happening deep under the waters of the Gulf of Mexico-something far worse than theBP oil gusher. Warnings were raised as long as a year before the Deepwater Horizondisaster that the area of seabed chosen by the BP geologists might be unstable, or worse, inherently dangerous. What makes the location that Transocean chose potentially far riskier than other potential oil deposits located at other regions of the Gulf? It can be summed up with two words: methane gas.

The same methane that makes coal mining operations hazardous and leads to horrendous mining accidents deep under the earth also can present a high level of danger to certain oil exploration ventures. Location of Deepwater Horizon oil rig was criticized More than 12 months ago some geologists rang the warning bell that the Deepwater Horizon exploratory rig might have been erected directly over a huge underground reservoir of methane.

Documents from several years ago indicate that the subterranean geologic formation may contain the presence of a huge methane deposit. None other than the engineer who helped lead the team to snuff the Gulf oilfires set by Saddam Hussein to slow the advance of American troops has stated that a huge underground lake of methane gas-compressed by a pressure of 100,000 pounds per square inch (psi)-could be released by BP's drilling effort to obtain the oil deposit. Current engineering technology cannot contain gas that is pressurized to 100,000 psi.

By some geologists' estimates the methane could be a massive 15 to 20 mile toxic and explosive bubble trapped for eons under the Gulf sea floor. In their opinion, the explosive destruction of the Deepwater Horizon wellhead was an accident just waiting to happen. Yet the disaster that followed the loss of the rig pales by comparison to the apocalyptic disaster that may come.

A cascading catastrophe According to worried geologists, the first signs that the methane may burst its way through the bottom of the ocean would be fissures or cracks appearing on the ocean floor near the damaged well head. Evidence of fissures opening up on the seabed have been captured by the robotic submersibles working to repair and contain the ruptured well.

Smaller, independent plumes have also appeared outside the nearby radius of the bore hole itself. According to some geological experts, BP's operations set into motion a series of events that may be irreversible. Step-by-step the drilling team committed one error after another. Congressmen Henry Waxman, D-CA, and Bart Stupak, D-MI, in a letter sent to BP CEO Tony Hayward, identified 5 missteps made by BP during the period culminating with the explosion.

Waxman, chair of the Congressional energy panel and Stupak, the head of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations, said, "The common feature of these five decisions is that they posed a trade-off between cost and well safety." The two Representatives also stated in the 14-page letter to Hayward that "Time after time, it appears that BP made decisions that increased the risk of a blowout to save the company time or expense."

Called by some insiders investigating the ongoing disaster a "perfect storm of catastrophe," the wellhead blew on the sea floor catapulting a stream of mud, oil and gas upwards at the speed of sound. In describing the events-that transpired in a matter of seconds-they note that immediately following the rupture the borehole pipe's casing blew away exposing a straight line 8 miles deep for the pressurized gas to escape.

The result was cavitation, an irregular pressure variance sometimes experience by deep diving vessels such as nuclear submarines. This cavitation created a supersonic bubble of explosive methane gas that resulted in a supersonic explosion killing 11 men and completely annihilating the drilling platform. Death from the depths With the emerging evidence of fissures, the quiet fear now is the methane bubble rupturing the seabed and exploding into the Gulf waters.

If the bubble escapes, every ship, drilling rig and structure within the region of the bubble will instantaneously sink. All the workers, engineers, Coast Guard personnel and marine biologists measuring the oil plumes' advance will instantly perish.

As horrible as that is, what would follow is an event so potentially horrific that it equals in its fury the Indonesian tsunami that killed more than 600,000, or the destruction of Pompeii by Mt. Vesuvius.

The ultimate Gulf disaster, however, would make even those historical horrors pale by comparison. If the huge methane bubble breaches the seabed, it will erupt with an explosive fury similar to that experienced during the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens in the Pacific Northwest.

A gas gusher will surge upwards through miles of ancient sedimentary rock-layer after layer-past the oil reservoir. It will explode upwards propelled by 50 tons psi, burst through the cracks and fissures of the compromised sea floor, and rupture miles of ocean bottom with one titanic explosion.

The burgeoning methane gas cloud will surface, killing everything it touches, and set off a supersonic tsunami with the wave traveling somewhere between 400 to 600 miles per hour. While the entire Gulf coastline is vulnerable, the state most exposed to the fury of a supersonic wave towering 100 feet or more is Florida.

The Sunshine State only averages about 6 inches above sea level. A supersonic tsunami would literally sweep away everything from Miami to the panhandle in a matter of minutes.

Loss of human life would be virtually instantaneous and measured in the millions. Of course the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and southern region of Georgia-a state with no Gulf coastline-would also experience tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of casualties.

Loss of property is virtually incalculable and the days of the US position as the world's superpower would be literally gone in a flash...of detonating methane.

http://www.helium.com/items/1864136-how-the-ultimate-bp-gulf-disaster-could-kill-millions

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2010, 08:02 AM
This methane hydrate nightmare scenario might seem far fetched. It is NOT! Some believe that past similar events [natural, not BP-induced] caused some of the past extinction events in Paleo-history. Now that BP has possibly punctured a large methane hydrate deposit, it might just find a way 'up and out' and would very likely spontaneously ignite and explode. The 'event' could be any size - but it would NOT be hard to imagine an event damaging or destroying the coast of the entire Gulf. It would also put so much CO2 into the atmosphere, along with water and heat energy so quickly, it could well cause months or years of climate change......worldwide. Thank you BP. :cheers:

Ed Jewett
06-24-2010, 08:26 AM
You may not have to go back to paleo days. In the rush of text I've read recently, I remember some oblique reference to a recent event involving the mysterious deaths of a large number of people in a Third World country which, if my brain is working correctly, was Cameroon. See http://www.tvthrong.co.uk/nature-shock/nature-shock-series-finale-death-fog

Peter Presland
06-24-2010, 08:28 AM
This whole thing has the makings of THE defining event of an epoch well past its sell-by date. I recall using that expression about 9/11, and game-changing though that was/is, it was calculated and in planned furtherance of an agenda; The unfolding GOM catastrophe has the potential to dwarf 9/11 in terms of its effects on the Anglo American Imperial project and its sancrosanct creed of globalised growth controlled by the West. I'm stumbling on all manner of disturbing stuff that has a bearing on it too. Take this from the Henry Markov site for example. From an certain occult perspective, the GOM catastrophe too is claimed to be deliberate:



In 1903, Austrian banker, writer and occultist Gustav Meyrink (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Meyrink)(left, 1868-1932) wrote a novella, "Petroleum, Petroleum", part of a collection of short stories, which featured this Preface:

"To assure priority of this prophecy, I state that the following novella has been written in 1903. Gustav Meyrink".

The novella tells the story of Dr. Jessegrim who has made a fortune in the mescaline business.

He decides to go into oil.

All of Mexico was standing on caves which were partly at least filled with petroleum, and connected with each other. Jessegrim resolves to blast away the separations between the caves. After the last detonation, the oil was to flow from the underground deposit in Mexico into the ocean and form a glass surface, which continues to grow, taken by the gulf stream, soon covering the entire Atlantic surface. The coasts were barren and the population retreated into the interior of the land.
Instead of being arrested, in Meyrink's story, Jessegrim is hired as a consultant. He says: "If the oil continues to spill as it does, it will have covered the oceans of the world in 27 to 29 weeks and there will be no more rains, ever, as water can not evaporate anymore. At best, it will rain petroleum."

First widely criticized, this prophecy (of Dr. Jessegrim) becomes increasingly plausible as the hidden flow does not stop, and when it increases dramatically, panic grips humanity.
Cable from USA to EU: "Oil leaks increase constantly. Situation extremely dangerous. Advise immediately whether stink there is also unbearable". In Meyrink's occult circles, they were fantasizing about oil reserves gushing into the ocean, from the Gulf of Mexico, covering the oceans.

They postulated that an oil reservoir released into the oceans would be an apocalypse and possibly destroy the entire earth. It would start with a huge explosion. The culprit (a Dr. No figure, "Dr. Jessegrim") is motivated by blind hate of humanity. He destroys humanity via a "wrath of god" - the oil catastrophe.

Unlike dystopian stories like "1984" by George Orwell or "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, who made no such claims, Mayrink called his story a "Prophecy". At the beginning of the story, he states quasi in notary fashion:

"To assure priority of this prophecy, I state that the following novella has been written in 1903. Gustav Meyrink".

With the discovery of his prophecy concerning the oil catastrophe in the Mexican Gulf, Meyrink could become posthumously famous in 2010. The best-known story of Meyrink is "The Golem" (1915), one of the Cabalistic treatments of the golem-saga where rabbis breathe life into a clay monster who vanquishes their enemies.

Meyrink ran a banking house between 1889 and 1902 and circulated his entire life in the occult world of Christian and Jewish mysticism, theosophy and alchemy.

He was a member of the very influential Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a British secret society active at the end of the 19th and in the early 20th century. Its members included the Satanist, occultist, Cabalist, magician Aleister Crowley, a Freemason of the Old and Accepted Order of the Scottish Rite. He called himself "The Great Beast 666". It means that Meyrink was frequenting circles which welcomed the Apocalypse, which is exactly what he describes in "Petroleum, Petroleum": An apocalypse. And a planned apocalypse.

Around 1900, the "magician and mystic" Aleister Crowley, in reality a drug-addicted megalomaniac, traveled to Mexico. It has always been known that, due to the lack of real magic, one had always to help things along, which is why the only real background of magic is illusion - the representation of magic.

Until now, every magician was really an illusionist, who interprets a natural event as magical. Or, an illusion as a natural event (see the attacks of 9-11). And while some developed an honest and entertaining art form out of this, others insisted on selling their illusions as real magic or natural phenomena.

Meyrink was frequenting such circles. Not only the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, but also the "Germania" lodge, the first lodge of the Theosophist Society. It was founded by (widely regarded con-woman) Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who also founded the magazine "Lucifer".

Meyrink eventually realized that the so-called "sances" for contacting ghosts from the other side were "almost entirely relying on tricks or self-deception".

One needs to point out that back then, people apparently fantasized about oil reserves spilling into the oceans, and doing so in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, they believed this would become an apocalypse and could destroy the entire earth.

In Meyrink's story, the perpetrator is motivated by blind hatred of humanity: The destruction of the "crowd" was seen by Meyrink/Jessegrim as possible only through a "god-given scourge" - meaning, the oil apocalypse.

-----
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF 'PETROLEUM PETROLEUM' (http://gustavmeyrinkpetroleumpetroleum.blogspot.com/)

Makow Note: I posted this information because it is pertinent that Occultists have been considering this form of attack for over a hundred years. I don't know what, if anything, is going to happen.

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2010, 12:43 PM
The Well from Hell
http://www.petroleumworld.com/sf10062001.htm

By Christian A. DeHaemer

The Dwarves dug too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum... shadow and flame.

Saruman, The Lord of the Rings

There is something primordial about BP's quest for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It's an Icarus-like story of super-ambition; of reaching too far, delving too deep.

I don't know if you've stopped to contemplate what BP was trying to do...

The well itself started 5,000 feet below the surface. That's the depth of the Grand Canyon from the rim.

And then the company attempted to drill more than 30,000 feet below that Mt. Everest would give 972 feet to spare.

Furthermore, the company sought oil in a dangerous area of the seabed.

It was unstable and many think BP sought it out because seismic data showed huge pools of methane gas the very gas that blew the top off Deepwater Horizon and killed 11 people.

More than a year ago, geologists criticized Transocean for putting their exploratory rig directly over a massive underground reservoir of methane.

According to the New York Times , BP's internal "documents show that in March, after several weeks of problems on the rig, BP was struggling with a loss of 'well control.' And as far back as 11 months ago, it was concerned about the well casing and the blowout preventer.

The problem is that this methane, located deep in the bowels of the earth, is under tremendous pressure...

Some speculate as much as 100,000 psi far too much for current technology to contain. The shutoff vales and safety measures were built for only 1,000 psi.

It was an accident waiting to happen... And there are many that say it could get worse much worse.

Geologists are pointing to other fissures and cracks that are appearing on the ocean floor around the damaged wellhead.

According to CNN:

The University of South Florida recently discovered a second oil plume in the northeastern Gulf. The first plume was found by Mississippi universities in early May.

And there have been other plumes discovered by submersibles...

Some geologists say that BP's arrogance has set off a series of events that may be irreversible. There are some that think that BP has drilled into an deep-core oil volcano that cannot be stopped, regardless of the horizontal drills the company claims will stop the oil plume in August.

Need the mudlogs

Geologist, Chris Landau, for instance, has called for a showing of the mudlogs. A mudlog is a schematic cross sectional drawing of the lithology (rock type) of the well that has been bored.

So far, no one has seen them... BP keeps them hidden.

Mr. Landau claims:

It is a dangerous game drilling into high pressure oil and gas zones because you risk having a blowout if your mud weight is not heavy enough. If you weight up your mud with barium sulfate to a very high level, you risk BLOWING OUT THE FORMATION.

What does that mean? It means you crack the rock deep underground; as the mudweight is now denser than the rock, it escapes into the rock in the pore spaces and the fractures. The well empties of mud. If you have not hit high pressure oil or gas at this stage, you are lucky.

But if you have, the oil and gas come flying up the well and you have a blowout, because you have no mud in the well to suppress the oil and gas. You shut down the well with the blowout preventer. If you do not have a blowout preventer, you are in trouble as we have all seen and you can only hope that the oil and gas pressure will naturally fall off with time, otherwise you have to try and put a new blowout preventer in place with oil and gas coming out as you work.

Obviously, the oil and gas pressure hasn't fallen off

In fact... it's increased.

The problem is that BP may not only have hit the mother of high-pressure wells, but there is also a vast amount of methane down there that could come exploding out like an underwater volcano.

I recently heard a recording of Richard Hoagland who was interviewed on Coast to Coast AM.

Mr. Hoagland has suggested that there are cracks in the ocean floor, and that pressure at the base of the wellhead is approximately 100,000 psi.

Furthermore, geologists believe there are another 4-5 cracks or fissions in the well. Upon using a GPS and Depth finder system, experts have discovered a large gas bubble, 15-20 miles across and tens of feet high, under the ocean floor.

These bubbles are common. Many believe they have caused the sinking of ships and planes in the Bermuda Triangle.

That said, a bubble this large if able to escape from under the ocean floor through a crack would cause a gas explosion that Mr. Hoagland likens to Mt. St. Helens... only under water.

The BP well is 50 miles from Louisiana. Its release would send a toxic cloud over populated areas. The explosion would also sink any ships and oil structures in the vicinity and create a tsunami which would head toward Florida at 600 mph.

Now, many people have called Hoagland a fringe thinker and a conspiracy theorist. And they may be right... But that doesn't mean he isn't on to something.

EPA finds high concentrations of gases in the area

The escape of other poison gases associated with an underground methane bubble (such as hydrogen sulfide, benzene, and methylene chloride) have been found.

Last Thursday, the EPA measured hydrogen sulfide at 1,000 parts per billion well above the normal 5 to 10 ppb. Some benzene levels were measured near the Gulf of Mexico in the range of 3,000 4,000 ppb up from the normal 0-4 ppb.

More speculation of doom

The Oil Drum , an industry sheet, recently ran an article about the sequence of events that tried to stop the oil spill.

The upshot of industry insiders was that after trying a number of ways to close off the leak, the well was compromised, creating other leaks due to the high pressure. BP then cut the well open and tried to capture the oil.

In other words: BP shifted from stopping the gusher to opening it up and catching what oil it could.

The only reason sane oil men would do this is if they wanted to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed... And that sort of leak known as a down hole leak is one of the most dangerous kind.

No stopping it

It means that BP can't stop if from above; it can only relieve the pressure.

So, more oil is leaking out while BP hopes it can drill new wells before the current one completely erodes.

BP is in a race against time... It just won't admit this fact.

According to the Oil Drum:

There are abrasives still present, a swirling flow will create hot spots of wear and this erosion is relentless and will always be present until eventually it wears away enough material to break it's way out. It will slowly eat the bop away especially at the now pinched off riser head and it will flow more and more. Perhaps BP can outrun or keep up with that out flow with various suckage methods for a period of time, but eventually the well will win that race, just how long that race will be?

... No one really knows...

Which leads us back to Mr. Landau's point about the mudlogs and why BP won't release them.

I don't know... Maybe I'm wearing my tinfoil hat too tight this morning... But this stuff seems possible if it's only a worst case scenario.

What strikes me as odd is the way the leadership of BP and the Obama administration is acting.

BP is running around apologizing to everyone they can find. Obama says give us $20 billion in escrow and $100 million for the people Obama put out of work on the oil rigs due to his six month ban and BP says, "Sure thing mate, no problem."

And all of this in a 20-minute meeting?

I've been dealing with oil companies for a long time and it just doesn't add up...

Contrast it, for instance, with the Exxon situation in Alaska or the Union Carbide disaster in India.

Exxon fought tooth and nail for its shareholders; it appealed court rulings for 19 years. Union Carbide wasn't settled for 25 years.

BP is rolling over like a simpering dog. Why?

The only reason I can think of is that the company knows better if not as well as the Obama administration does that it will get worse.

Much worse.

I've put together a list of oil cleanup stocks for the readers of my Crisis & Opportunity . Many are running, and one has pulled back into a solid buy range. Three more are on my buy list.

All I know is that this spill isn't even half over.

Oil in the Gulf will lead the news-cycle for the foreseeable future.

And the companies that make products that stop, absorb, or disperse oil have an endless supply of work.

Their share prices have nowhere to go but up. :wavey:

Peter Lemkin
06-24-2010, 12:52 PM
After Earlier Troubles, BP Says It Restored Cap [so, relax...everything is just fine!:bandit:]:bird:

BPs effort to contain the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico suffered another setback on Wednesday when a discharge of liquid and gases forced the company to remove the containment cap that for three weeks had been able to capture much of the oil gushing from its damaged well.

Adm. Thad W. Allen of the Coast Guard, at a briefing in Washington, said a remote-controlled submersible operating a mile beneath the surface had most likely bumped a vent and compromised the system. Live video from the sea floor showed oil and gas storming out of the well unrestricted.

By evening, the cap was back on, nestled in place on the eighth try after about 90 minutes of effort. Live video showed remote-controlled submersibles frequently moving hoses out of the way so that the cap could be lowered over the spewing oil.

The company said the funneling of oil and gas through a pipe to the drill ship Discoverer Enterprise began shortly after the cap was properly positioned. John Curry, a BP spokesman, said collection would return to full capacity as conditions permit.

Another system, connected to a drill rig, the Q4000, continued to operate throughout the day, siphoning oil through a separate pipe near the seabed.

The incident was yet another complication in BPs two-month struggle to contain the tens of thousands of barrels of oil spewing into the gulf every day.

On Tuesday, BP said it had been able to capture 16,665 barrels of oil through its containment cap, two-thirds of the total recovery operation. But at 8:45 a.m. local time on Wednesday, workers noticed liquids escaping from a valve connected to the Discoverer Enterprise.

A technician with knowledge of the situation said that gas had apparently flowed up the part of the pipe containing warm water used to prevent the formation of icelike hydrates. Out of concern that more gas might come up, creating the potential for an explosion, the Discoverer Enterprise was moved about 50 feet away, taking the cap with it, said the technician, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the work.

Also Wednesday, Admiral Allen said that two people working with the overall response efforts had died. One was the operator of a vessel assisting the cleanup in Gulf Shores, Ala., who was found dead on his docked boat. The other person died in a swimming pool accident. Neither death appeared to be directly related to the peoples specific duties in the effort, Admiral Allen said.

Stan Vinson, the coroner in Baldwin County, Ala., said the man found dead on his boat was William A. Kruse, 55, of Foley, Ala. He was a charter boat captain hired by BP. A single wound to the victims head appears to be self-inflicted, said Edward Delmore, the police chief of Gulf Shores, Ala., in a statement.

As oil gushed fiercely from a mile under the surface on Wednesday, some beleaguered fishermen in the gulf received a reprieve. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association said it opened a small portion 8,000 square miles of previously closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico because it had not observed oil in the area. One area, south of Mississippi, had only been closed since Monday.

Two-thirds of the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico are still open for fishing, and the oceanic agency said the closed area now represented 78,597 square miles.

Still, Florida residents directly experienced the effects of the oil: tar balls and oil mousse (with the consistency of sludge) washed up on the shore of Pensacola Beach and caused several areas for swimming to be closed, said a spokeswoman for the Incident Command in Mobile, Ala.

In Washington, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday that he was preparing new evidence to support a six-month moratorium on deep-water oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and was prepared to vigorously challenge a federal judges ruling on Tuesday that the drilling ban was unjustified.

Appearing before a Senate committee, Mr. Salazar said the pause in the drilling of 33 deepwater wells in the gulf was essential until the causes of the April 20 BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil leak were fully understood.

A federal judge in New Orleans ruled Tuesday that the moratorium Mr. Salazar imposed in May was not supported by the facts or law and was causing extreme economic distress throughout the Gulf Coast. The Obama administration quickly announced that it would appeal the ruling, and Mr. Salazar promised a new order within days to justify the drilling halt.

But Mr. Salazar left open the possibility that the moratorium could be revised or even lifted for certain types of wells in the gulf before the six months are up.

At the same hearing, the man whom Mr. Salazar and President Obama have designated to oversee reforms of offshore drilling said he planned to create an investigative unit to root out corruption and speed reorganization of the office.

The overseer, Michael R. Bromwich, who was appointed director of the Minerals Management Service last week, said in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee that the new investigations team would report directly to him and would work closely with the Interior Departments inspector generals office, which has issued several tough reports on misconduct at the minerals service in the last decade.

Mr. Bromwich, a former inspector general in the Justice Department, said the unit would quickly act on charges against agency officials or the companies they are supposed to regulate.

Also in Washington on Wednesday, the House voted to grant subpoena power to the commission appointed by President Obama to investigate the accident and recommend ways to make offshore drilling safer. The bill, sponsored by Representative Lois Capps, Democrat of California, passed by a vote of 420 to 1.

Ed Jewett
06-24-2010, 01:53 PM
History Channel video on methane explosions (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25BE42PzZZc)

Jan Klimkowski
06-24-2010, 06:43 PM
You may not have to go back to paleo days. In the rush of text I've read recently, I remember some oblique reference to a recent event involving the mysterious deaths of a large number of people in a Third World country which, if my brain is working correctly, was Cameroon. See http://www.tvthrong.co.uk/nature-shock/nature-shock-series-finale-death-fog

Ed - thanks.

The gas in question in these African incidents was CO2, and it's definitely worth posting the entire article here:


Nature Shock Series Finale: Death Fog

The documentary series examining freak occurrences in the natural world concludes. In 1986, a mysterious natural disaster claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 people at a lake in Cameroon. Scientists initially believed an underwater volcanic eruption was to blame, until the evidence pointed them towards an astonishing new scientific phenomenon.

On 21 August 1986, disaster struck a remote corner of north-west Cameroon. Nearly 2,000 people dropped dead by Lake Nyos without any obvious signs of injury or struggle. The following day, news of the staggering scale of the tragedy reached the outside world.

Father Anthony Bangsi, a missionary in the village of Subum, recalls the awful event. He was a witness to the aftermath of the terrifying incident that virtually wiped out an entire village. Neither Anthony nor any of the locals could explain what happened at Lake Nyos.

American lake expert George Kling was one of the first outsiders on the scene. There was some evidence to suggest that a volcanic eruption under the lake was to blame for the incident. Bodies were burnt and people recalled smelling volcanic gases like sulphur in the air. However, Kling could find no proof of lava flows, fire fountains or any traces of volcanic gases. Moreover, the temperature of the lake was actually cooler than normal. Kling concluded that a volcano could not be responsible for the tragedy. What, then, was the cause?

Officials turned to Icelandic volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson, who had investigated a similar incident in Cameroon two years earlier. In 1984, Sigurdsson was dispatched to the volcanic Lake Monoun to probe 37 very similar deaths. As in the disaster at Nyos, the victims died in one night without any sign of a struggle. Sigurdsson was asked to confirm that an eruption was to blame, but his tests also showed no evidence of volcanic activity.

A sample taken from the bottom of Lake Monoun provided a possible answer. The water was found to contain large amounts of carbon dioxide, a natural gas that, in sufficient quantities, can kill through suffocation. Sigurdsson formulated a hypothesis called lake overturn. He postulated that an unprecedented natural disaster could occur when a large concentration of CO2 stored in a lake erupts to the surface.

However, Sigurdssons theory was deemed too controversial as nothing like it had ever happened before. It was ignored by his fellow scientists, and his suggestion that other lakes in the region be checked for high levels of CO2 was rejected by the Cameroon government. This mistake led to the massive loss of life at Lake Nyos two years later.

Back at Nyos, George Kling decided that Sigurdssons theory could be right. His own investigation found large quantities of CO2 in the deep water of the lake. He concluded that this natural gas erupted in a toxic cloud that poisoned three lakeside villages. This cloud would have been invisible, silent and odourless, rendering it the perfect killer.

The theory was supported by the discovery that the burns on the victims bodies were in fact inflicted by frostbite from the cold carbon dioxide and not from hot volcanic gases. Kling also found research from the US Air Force that proved exposure to CO2 can lead to hallucinations where victims imagine they smell sulphur. These extraordinary revelations paved the way for new safeguards to prevent any repeat of the tragic accident at Lake Nyos.

Peter Lemkin
06-25-2010, 03:58 AM
BP's Blowout Preventer is Leaning and Might Fall Over
from Washington's Blog by George Washington

As I have previously noted, it is now clear that there is damage to BP's well beneath the sea floor.

Recently-retired Shell Oil President John Hofmeister told MSNBC yesterday:

The question is whether there is enough mechanical structure left at the base of the reservoir to hold the cement when they start pouring cement in [from the relief well].

***

The more oil we some coming out, the more it tells you that the whole casing system is deteriorating. The fact that more oil would be coming out rather than less oil, would suggest that the construction within the pipe is offering no resistance whatsoever, and were just getting a gusher.

Popout


Newsweek gives a balanced view regarding the risk of a total structural failure of the well:

The likelihood of a complete collapse is difficult to assess, in part, engineers and legislators say, because BP hasnt shared enough information to evaluate the situation. But a handful of clues suggest that the company is concerned. On Friday, BP spokesperson Toby Odone acknowledged that the 45-ton stack of the blowout preventer was tilting noticeably, but said the company could not attribute it to down-hole leaks. We dont know anything about the underground portion of the well, he said. But, the stack is tilting and has been tilting since the rig went down. We believe that it was caused by the collapse of the riser. The company is monitoring the degree of leaning but has not announced any plans to run additional supports to the structure.

As many have speculated ... concerns over structural integrity are what led BP to halt top kill efforts late last month. When it was digging this particular well, the company ran out of casingthe pipe that engineers send down the holeand switched to a less durable material called liner. This may have created several weak spots along the well that would be particularly vulnerable to excessive pressure or erosion. So instead of sealing the well, the company has been focused on trying to capture the oil as it flows out the top.

At this point, some experts say, additional leaks wouldnt matter much. Its very possible that there are subfloor leaks, says [Roger Anderson - an oil geophysicist at Columbia University]. But that doesnt change the strategy moving forward. The linchpin of that strategy involves drilling relief wells that would absorb all possible leaks, both at the top and the bottom of the hulking, teetering structure. Relief wells are drilled straight down into the sea bottom. After running parallel to the existing well for a few thousand meters, they cut in and intersect the original well bore. BP is drilling two such wells, one on either side of the main well. Once they are complete, the company will use them to pump heavy fluid and cement into the main well, stopping the oil at its source. The approach usually has a 95 percent success rate.
But to work, the well must be sealed as far down as possibleif its sealed too high, oil could still escape through any leaks beneath the seal. In this case, relief wells will have to drill down to 5,500 meters, and that takes time, at least until August. The real question now is whether the entire structure can hold out long enough.

One of the dangers which the relief wells are racing against is that the blowout preventer (BOP) is leaning ... and might fall over.

The well casing itself is attached to the BOP. And - as discussed below - the BOP is very heavy. So if the BOP fell over, it would likely severely damage the structural integrity of the casing.

As Think Progress points out:

In a press teleconference Monday, National Incident Commander Thad Allen announced that the riser package is tilting 10 or 12 degrees off perpendicular, twice the 5.5 degree tilt of the Leaning Tower of Pisa:

The entire arrangement is kind of listed a little bit. I think its 10 or 12 degrees off perpendicular so its not quite straight up.

As the Times-Picayune notes:

The integrity of the well has become a major topic of discussion among engineers and geologists.

"Everybody's worried about all of this. That's all people are talking about," said Don Van Nieuwenhuise, director of geoscience programs at University of Houston. He said the things that BP has being doing to try to stop the oil or gain control of it have been tantamount to repeatedly hitting the well with a hammer and sending shock waves down the pipe. "I don't think people realize how delicate it is."

"There is a very high level of concern for the integrity of the well," said Bob Bea, the University of California Berkeley engineering professor known to New Orleanians for investigating the levee failures after Katrina, who now has organized the Deepwater Horizon Study Group. Bea and other engineers say that BP hasn't released enough information publicly for people outside the company to evaluate the situation.
***

When wells are drilled, engineers send links of telescoping pipe down the hole, and those links are encased in cement. The telescoping pipe, called casing, unfolds like a radio antenna, only upside down, so the width of pipe gets smaller as the well gets deeper.

The cement and layers of casing are normally quite strong, Van Nieuwenhuise said. But with the BP well, there are several weak spots that the highly pressurized oil could exploit. BP ran out of casing sections before it hit the reservoir of oil, so it switched to using something called liner for the remainder of the well, which isn't as strong. The joints between two sections of liner pipe and the joint where the liner pipe meets the casing could be weak, Van Nieuwenhuise said.

Bill Gale, an engineer specializing in fires and explosions on oil rigs who is part of Bea's Deepwater Horizon Study Group, said the 16-inch wide casing contains disks that are designed to relieve pressure if necessary. If any of those disks popped, it could create undesirable new avenues for the oil to flow.

Bea said there are also concerns about the casing at the seabed right under the blowout preventer.

Van Nieuwenhuise said he's never actually heard of oil from a blown out well rupturing the casing and bubbling up through the ocean floor. He would consider that an unlikely, worst-case scenario.

A more likely problem, he said, is that oil could find its way into open spaces in the casing string, known as the annulus, and travel up the well in areas where it isn't supposed to be. This scenario could be one reason why more oil than expected is flowing at the containment cap that BP installed earlier this month to collect the oil.

Bea is more concerned about the worst-case scenario than Van Nieuwnhuise. In an answer to a question, Bea said, "Yes," there is reason to think that hydrocarbons are leaking from places in the well other than the containment cap.

"The likelihood of failure is extremely high," Bea said. "We could have multiple losses of containment, and that's going to provide much more difficult time of trying to capture this (oil)."

Meanwhile, observers monitoring the video feeds from the robotic vehicles working on the sea floor have noticed BP measuring a tilt in the 40-ton blowout preventer stack with a level and a device called an inclinometer.

***

Bea said BP isn't sharing enough information for others to know. If there is oil and gas escaping from the sides of the well, it could erode the sediments around the well and eat away at the support for all the heavy equipment that sits above. Bea said reports that BP is using an inclinometer is significant news. "It tells me that they are also concerned," he said.

Here are videos of BP measuring the tilt of the BOP.

While the BOP weighs 40 tons, the riser package as a whole weighs over 450 tons. If the BOP and riser package fell over, it would inflict severe damage to the attached well casing.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Money-saving measures BP took while designing the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico appear to have dogged efforts to bring the massive oil spill under control.

Documents released by congressional investigators show that modifications to the well design BP made last year included a reduction in the thickness of a section of the casing steel piping in the wellbore

The modification included a slight reduction in the specified thickness for the wall of a 16-inch-diameter section of pipe toward the bottom of the well, according to a May 14, 2009, document.

***

The condition of the well also limits how much oil and gas can flow into containment systems now being used successfully to capture some of the flow. Even if a vessel could capture all the hydrocarbons gushing from the well, some would have to be released to keep well pressure under control.

Marvin Odum, president of Houston-based Shell Oil, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell, told the Houston Chronicle last week that the integrity of the well casing is a major concern. Odum and others from the industry regularly sit in on high-level meetings with BP and government officials about the spill.

If the well casing burst it could send oil and gas streaming through the strata to appear elsewhere on the sea floor, or create a crater underneath the wellhead - a device placed at the top of the well where the casing meets the seafloor - that would destabilize it and the blowout preventer.

The steel casing used in oil wells is strong, said Gene Beck, petroleum engineering professor at Texas A&M, but pressures deep in a well are powerful enough to split strong steel pipe or "crush it like a beer can."

The strength and thickness of casing walls are key decisions in well design, he said. If the BP well's casing wasn't strong enough, it may already be split or could split during a containment effort.

BP spokesman Toby Odone said the decision to reduce the pipe thickness was made after careful review. The company said it doesn't know the condition of the well casing and has no way of inspecting it.

BP is drilling two relief wells to intercept the Macondo well near the reservoir and plug it with cement. A rupture in the Macondo well casing probably wouldn't affect that effort, said Donald Van Nieuwenhuise, director of geoscience programs at the University of Houston.

"When they start the bottom kill the cement will try to follow oil wherever it's escaping, so it would actually hide a lot of sins in the well bore," Van Nieuwenhuise said.

So far there are no signs that the section of the pipe below the sea floor is leaking.

The blowout preventer has been listing slightly since the accident, but officials believe that may have happened when the Deepwater Horizon sank while still attached to the well via a pipe called a riser.

***

But the longer the well flows uncontrolled the more likely it is that the well casing could be damaged or the blowout preventer damaged further. Sand and other debris that flows through the pipes at high velocity can wear through metal over time, said Van Nieuwenhuise.

The chances of the well eroding from underneath and the blowout preventer tipping may seem unlikely.
"But everything about this well has been unlikely," said David Pursell, an analyst with Tudor Pickering Holt & Co

Indeed, oil industry expert Rob Cavner says that he wouldn't be surprised if the BOP ended up falling over entirely:

http://georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2010...eaning-and.html

Peter Lemkin
06-25-2010, 04:00 AM
Gulf Methane Levels 1 Million Times Above Normal Are Depleting Oxygen And Creating Marine Dead Zones
from zero hedge by Tyler Durden

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/gulf-meth...t=Google+Reader


Reuters is so not getting the administration's latest round of taxpayer bail out funding when mainstream media comes knocking on Obama's door looking for handouts. The media company has shockingly decided to release some of the truth about the biosystematic genocide currently happening in the Gulf: "As much as 1 million times the normal level of methane gas has been found in some regions near the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, enough to potentially deplete oxygen and create a dead zone, U.S. scientists said on Tuesday. Texas A&M University oceanography professor John Kessler, just back from a 10-day research expedition near the BP Plc oil spill in the gulf, says methane gas levels in some areas are "astonishingly high." Luckily, America is gradually realizing that the entire food chain in the southeast is about to be turned around on its head, leading to a massive and unprecedented ecological disaster, which will certainly wipe out thousands of species and result in not only a surge in unemployment (that's a given) but outright loss of life (at statistically significant levels), and the anger is mounting. Perhaps the one good thing to come out of the worst ecological disaster in world history will be the sudden, and jarring awakening from the generational slumber for most of America, and a long overdue overhaul of a broken political and economic system.

More from Reuters:

Kessler's crew took measurements of both surface and deep water within a 5-mile (8 kilometer) radius of BP's broken wellhead.

"There is an incredible amount of methane in there," Kessler told reporters in a telephone briefing.

In some areas, the crew of 12 scientists found concentrations that were 100,000 times higher than normal.

"We saw them approach a million times above background concentrations" in some areas, Kessler said.

The scientists were looking for signs that the methane gas had depleted levels of oxygen dissolved in the water needed to sustain marine life.

"At some locations, we saw depletions of up to 30 percent of oxygen based on its natural concentration in the waters. At other places, we saw no depletion of oxygen in the waters. We need to determine why that is," he told the briefing.

Methane occurs naturally in sea water, but high concentrations can encourage the growth of microbes that gobble up oxygen needed by marine life.

Kessler said oxygen depletions have not reached a critical level yet, but the oil is still spilling into the Gulf, now at a rate of as much as 60,000 barrels a day, according to U.S. government estimates.

"What is it going to look like two months down the road, six months down the road, two years down the road?" he asked.

No commentary necessary, suffice it to say we sincerely urge Whitney Tilson to hedge his BP holdings with at least a few puts.

:dancing:

Peter Lemkin
06-25-2010, 02:26 PM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riki-ott/

She's done some very good work on BP controlling the news coming out of the Gulf and 'disappearing' dead animals, arresting those who try to take photos of what is really going on, etc

Orange Beach, Alabama -- While President Obama insists that the federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP's spill in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP -- not our president -- controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say things are out of control in the gulf.

Even worse, as my latest week of adventures illustrate, BP is using federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability.

For example, while flying on a small plane from New Orleans to Orange Beach, the pilot suddenly exclaimed, "Look at that!" The thin red line marking the federal flight restrictions of 3,000 feet over the oiled Gulf region had just jumped to include the coastal barrier islands off Alabama.



"There's only one reason for that," the pilot said. "BP doesn't want the media taking pictures of oil on the beaches. You should see the oil that's about six miles off the coast," he said grimly. We looked down at the wavy orange boom surrounding the islands below us. The pilot shook his head. "There's no way those booms are going to stop what's offshore from hitting those beaches."

BP knows this as well -- boom can only deflect oil under the calmest of sea conditions, not barricade it -- so they have stepped up their already aggressive effort to control what the public sees.

At the same time I was en route to Orange Beach, Clint Guidry with the Louisiana Shrimp Association and Dean Blanchard, who owns the largest shrimp processor in Louisiana, were in Grand Isle taking Anderson Cooper out in a small boat to see the oiled beaches. The U.S. Coast Guard held up the boat for 20 minutes - an intimidation tactic intended to stop the cameras from recording BP's damage. Luckily for Cooper and the viewing public, Dean Blanchard is not easily intimidated.



A few days later, the jig was up with the booms. Oil was making landfall in four states and even BP can't be everywhere at once. CBS 60 Minutes Australia found entire sections of boom hung up in marsh grasses two feet above the water off Venice. On the same day on the other side of Barataria Bay, Louisiana Bayoukeeper documented pools of oil and oiled pelicans inside the boom - on the supposedly protected landward side - of Queen Bess Island off Grand Isle.

With oil undisputedly hitting the beaches and the number of dead wildlife mounting, BP is switching tactics. In Orange Beach, people told me BP wouldn't let them collect carcasses. Instead, the company was raking up carcasses of oiled seabirds. "The heads separate from the bodies," one upset resident told me. "There's no way those birds are going to be autopsied. BP is destroying evidence!"

The body count of affected wildlife is crucial to prove the harm caused by the spill, and also serves as an invaluable tool to evaluate damages to public property - the dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sea birds, fish, and more, that are owned by the American public. Disappeared body counts means disappeared damages - and disappeared liability for BP. BP should not be collecting carcasses. The job should be given to NOAA, a federal agency, and volunteers, as was done during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

NOAA should also be conducting carcass drift studies. Only one percent of the dead sea birds made landfall in the Gulf of Alaska, for example. That means for every one bird that was found, another 99 were carried out to sea by currents. Further, NOAA should be conducting aerial surveys to look for carcasses in the offshore rips where the currents converge. That's where the carcasses will pile up--a fact we learned during the Exxon Valdez spill. Maybe that's another reason for BP's "no camera" policy and the flight restrictions.



On Saturday June 12, people across America will stand up and speak out with one voice to protest BP's treatment of the Gulf, neglect for the response workers, and their response to government authority. President Obama needs to hear and see the people waving cameras and respirators. Until the media is allowed unrestricted access to the Gulf and impacted beaches, BP - not the President of United States - will remain in charge of the Gulf response..

Magda Hassan
06-26-2010, 01:57 AM
BP Has Built An Artificial Island To Get Around Offshore Drilling Ban In Alaska



http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b0cf4040000000000c7e1c7-315-236/iceberg.jpg
The offshore drilling moratorium that is falling apart in court (http://www.businessinsider.com/louisiana-court-defies-obama-overturns-drilling-moratorium-2010-6) already contains one major loophole -- and there's little surprise which company is threading the needle.
BP plans to begin drilling two miles under the sea just miles away from a delicate wildlife reserve in Alaska. The company will get around the deep-water moratorium by constructing an artificial island -- 31 acres of gravel -- and registering as an onshore rig.
Not exactly the safest operation, reports Rolling Stone (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/120130):
Here's what BP has in store for the Arctic: First, the company will drill two miles beneath its tiny island, which it has christened "Liberty." Then, in an ingenious twist, it will drill sideways for another six to eight miles, until it reaches an offshore reservoir estimated to hold 105 million barrels of oil. This would be the longest "extended reach" well ever attempted, and the effort has required BP to push drilling technology beyond its proven limits. As the most powerful "land-based" oil rig ever built, Liberty requires special pipe to withstand the 105,000 foot-pounds of torque the equivalent of 50 Mack truck engines needed to turn the drill. "This is about as sexy as it gets," a top BP official boasted to reporters in 2008. BP, a repeat felon subject to record fines for its willful safety violations, calls the project "one of its biggest challenges to date" an engineering task made even more dangerous by plans to operate year-round in what the company itself admits is "some of the harshest weather on Earth."
Don't expect the White House to crack down on the loophole. Just the opposite: Ken Salazar said yesterday he would issue a new version of the moratorium (http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/06/drilling-oil-moratorium/1?csp=34) that could include provisions to allow drilling in areas where reserves and risks are known.
http://www.businessinsider.com/bp-liberty-artificial-island-alaska-2010-6

Jan Klimkowski
06-26-2010, 12:27 PM
BP accused of killing endangered sea turtles in cleanup operation

Environmentalists press Obama administration to put a halt to BP's 'burn fields' to dispose of oil from the Gulf spill

Endangered sea turtles and other marine creatures are being corralled into 500 square-mile "burn fields" and burnt alive in operations intended to contain oil from BP's ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama administration confirmed today.

The killing of the turtles which once teetered on the brink of extinction has outraged environmentalists and could put BP into even deeper legal jeopardy.

Environmental organisations are demanding that the oil company stop blocking rescue of the turtles, and are pressing the US administration to halt the burning and look at prosecuting BP and its contractors for killing endangered species during the cleanup operation. Harming or killing a sea turtle carries fines of up to $50,000 (33,000).

"It is criminal and cruel and they need to be held accountable," said Carole Allen, Gulf office director of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project. "There should not be another lighting of a fire of any kind till people have gone in there and looked for turtles."

The Obama administration, confirming the kills, said BP was under orders to avoid the turtles. "My understanding is that protocols include looking for wildlife prior to igniting of oil," a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said. "We take these things very seriously."

The agency this week posted a single turtle spotter on the burn vessels, but government scientists are pressing for more wildlife experts to try to rescue the animals before the oil is lit or at the very least to give them access to the burn fields.

"One can't just ride through an area where they are burning and expect to be safe while looking for turtles. We don't expect that, but we would like to access those areas where we suspect there may be turtles," said Blair Witherington, a sea turtle research scientist at Florida's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

More than 425 turtles are known to have died in the spill zone since 30 April, Noaa said.

Conservationists say the losses could imperil the long-term survival of the creatures. All five species of turtles found in the Gulf are endangered or threatened: the Kemp's Ridley most of all.

But in a video posted on YouTube, Mike Ellis, a skipper from Venice, Louisiana, accuses BP of chasing away a boat of conservationists trying to rescue turtles caught in the oil and weed a few miles away from the leak.

"They ran us out of there and then they shut us down," said Ellis.

On days when the weather is fine and there is relatively no wind, BP conducts up to a dozen "controlled burns", torching vast expanses of the ocean surface within a corral of fireproof booms.

Biologists say such burns are deadly for young turtles because oil and sargassum the seaweed mats that provide nutrients to jellyfish and a range of other creatures congregate in the same locations. The sargassum is also a perfect hunting ground for young sea turtles, who are not developed enough to dive to the ocean floor to forage for food.

Once BP moves in, the turtles are doomed. "They drag a boom between two shrimp boats and whatever gets caught between the two boats, they circle it up and catch it on fire. Once the turtles are in there, they can't get out," Ellis said.

The heartbreak for conservationists is that the convergence of sargassum and oil offers the best chance of finding young turtles before they suffocate on the crude. But it can also be deadly.

"When they breathe and come to the surface, they get a mouthful and a bellyful of toxic substance that is very much like wallpaper paste," said John Hewitt, the director of husbandry at the New Orleans aquarium. "If we don't remove them and clean them up, in three or four days that probably spells the end of the turtle."

Since the spill, the aquarium has taken in 90 sea turtles, scrubbing the oil off their shells with toothbrushes and washing-up liquid.

Even before the fires, the two-month gusher in the Gulf of Mexico was threatening the long-term survival of sea turtles.

"This is the worst calamity that I have ever seen for sea turtles," said David Godfrey, executive director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy. "This is really the cradle of sea turtle reproduction for the western hemisphere."The threat to the turtles could continue well after the gusher is capped. The oil spill is turning vast expanses of the Gulf into a dead zone, killing off the jellyfish, crabs and conches that are the staples of an adult diet.

Conservationists are also worried about the survival of the next generation of loggerhead turtles, which are about to climb up on to badly oiled shorelines to begin their nesting season. "They are doomed" said Godfrey.

Godfrey said his organisation was working on plans to dig up about 1,000 nests, or 100,000 eggs, from nesting grounds in the Florida Panhandle and transfer them to hatcheries for safekeeping. "It is a last gasp measure to save 100,000 young sea turtles," he said. "We need every one of these turtles to survive."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/25/bp-accused-of-killing-turtles

Jan Klimkowski
06-26-2010, 12:33 PM
The Sunday Times: MI6 'Firm' Spied on Green Groups

By Maurice Chittenden and Nicholas Rufford

Published on Sunday, June 17, 2001

A PRIVATE intelligence firm with close links to MI6 spied on environmental campaign groups to collect information for oil companies, including Shell and BP.

MPs are to demand an inquiry by Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, into whether the secret intelligence service used the firm as a front to spy on green activists.

Insider reports effectively scuppered Greenpeace campaigns against oil firms in the Atlantic and the North Sea.

The firm's agent, who posed as a left-wing sympathizer and film maker, was asked to betray plans of Greenpeace's activities against oil giants.

He also tried to dupe Anita Roddick's Body Shop group to pass on information about its opposition to Shell drilling for oil in a Nigerian tribal land.

The Sunday Times has seen documents which show that the spy, German-born Manfred Schlickenrieder, was hired by Hakluyt, an agency that operates from offices in London's West End.

Schlickenrieder was known by the code name Camus and had worked for the German foreign intelligence service gathering information about terrorist groups, including the Red Army Faction.

He fronted a film production company called Gruppe 2, based in Munich, but he also worked in London and Zurich. His company was a one-man band with a video camera making rarely seen documentaries. He had been making an unfinished film about Italy's Red Brigade since 1985. Another of his alleged guises was as a civil servant of the Bavarian conservation agency in charge of listed buildings and monuments.

One of his assignments from Hakluyt was to gather information about the movements of the motor vessel Greenpeace in the north Atlantic. Greenpeace claims the scandal has echoes of the Rainbow Warrior affair, when its ship protesting against nuclear testing in the South Pacific was blown up by the French secret service in 1985. A Dutch photographer died in the explosion.

Both BP and Shell admit hiring Hakluyt, but say they were unaware of the tactics used. Shell said it had wanted to protect its employees against possible attack.

Schlickenrieder was hired by Mike Reynolds, a director of Hakluyt and MI6's former head of station in Germany. His cover was blown by a female colleague who had worked with him. Last night he refused to comment.

Reynolds and other MI6 executives left the intelligence service after the cold war ended to form Hakluyt in 1995. It was set up with the blessing of Sir David Spedding, the then chief of MI6, who died last week. Christopher James, the managing director, had been head of the MI6 section that liaised with British firms.

The firm, which takes its name from Richard Hakluyt, the Elizabethan geographer, assembled a foundation board of directors from the Establishment to oversee its activities, including Sir Fitzroy Maclean, Ian Fleming's model for James Bond. Baroness Smith, the widow of John Smith, the late Labour leader, was a director until the end of last year.

The company has close links to the oil industry through Sir Peter Cazalet, the former deputy chairman of BP, who helped to establish Hakluyt before he retired, last year, and Sir Peter Holmes, former chairman of Shell, who is president of its foundation.

MPs believe the affair poses serious questions about the blurring of the divisions between the secret service, a private intelligence company and the interests of big companies. Hakluyt refutes claims by some in the intelligence community that it was started by MI6 officers to carry out "deniable" operations.

Norman Baker, home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, called on Straw to make a statement. "The fact that this organization [Hakluyt] is staffed by people with close ties to MI6 suggests this was semi-official," he said.

Rod Macrae, communications director of Greenpeace International, said: "We are aware of the budgets these big companies have at their disposal to get information. The use of a friendly film maker may sound bizarre but if you go back to when Rainbow Warrior was sunk, one of the French agents appeared in our New Zealand office as a volunteer."

Hakluyt was reluctant to discuss its activities. Michael Maclay, one of the agency's directors and a former special adviser to Douglas Hurd when he was Conservative foreign minister, said: "We don't ever talk about anything we do. We never go into any details of what we may or what we may not be doing."

How Agent Camus Sank Greenpeace Oil Protests

WITH his shoulder-length hair tumbling over the collar of a leather jacket and clutching a video camera, Manfred Schlickenrieder cut a familiar figure among left-wing political parties and environmental groups across Europe for almost 20 years.

Whenever there was a campaign being organized, he was there to make a "sympathetic" documentary.

His political credentials seemed impeccable: he had once been chairman of the Munich branch of the German Communist party and the bookshelves of his office held the works of Bertolt Brecht, the Marxist playwright and poet.

One step ahead: Schlickenrieder had the right credentials

Behind the facade, however, Schlickenrieder was a spy working for both the German secret service and for Hakluyt, a private intelligence agency based in London's West End and set up by former officers of MI6, the secret intelligence service. His codename was Camus after Albert Camus, the existentialist author of L'Etranger.

Hakluyt paid him thousands of pounds to inform on the activities of Greenpeace, Anita Roddick's Body Shop and other environmental campaigners. The BND, the German equivalent of MI6, allegedly paid him 3,125 a month living expenses.

The rewards of espionage brought him a spacious flat overlooking a park in Munich and a BMW Z3, the sports car driven by Pierce Brosnan in GoldenEye.

The spying operation for Hakluyt began in April 1996, when Mike Reynolds, one of the agency's directors and a former MI6 head of station in Germany, was asked by Shell to find out who was orchestrating threats against its petrol forecourts across Europe.

The threats followed an outcry over the oil giant's attempts in 1995 to dump the disused Brent Spar oil platform at sea and allegations of environmental damage caused by its oil drilling in Ogoniland, Nigeria.

Schlickenrieder approached environmental groups and far-left organizations including Revolutionrer Aufbau, a Zurichbased communist group. He was finally betrayed to the group by a female colleague.

Last week Shell confirmed it was Hakluyt's client until December 1996. The company said that some of its petrol stations in Germany had been firebombed or shot at. "We did talk to Hakluyt about what intelligence they could gather," said Mike Hogan, director of media relations at Shell UK.

In May 1997, Reynolds asked the German spy for information on whether there were legal moves within Greenpeace to protect its assets against sequestration in the event of it being sued by an oil company. Two months later, Greenpeace occupied BP's Stena Dee oil installation off the Shetland islands in an unsuccessful publicity stunt to stop oil drilling in a new part of the Atlantic. Schlickenrieder sent a report saying that Greenpeace was disappointed with its campaign.

He sent an invoice to Hakluyt on June 6, 1997, billing the agency for DM20,000 (6,250) for "Greenpeace research".

Commercial target: Anita Roddick's Body Shop campaigns were monitored carefully. Photograph: Mike Lawn

BP confirmed it had hired Hakluyt, but said it had asked the company to compile a report based only on published sources of information. BP has longstanding links with MI6. John Gerson, BP's director of government and public affairs, was at one time a leading candidate to succeed Sir David Spedding as head of MI6.

Schlickenrieder continued working for Hakluyt until 1999. He made a film on Shell in Nigeria called Business as Usual: the Arrogance of Power, during which he interviewed friends of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Nobel prize nominee, who was hanged by the military regime in 1995 after leading a campaign against oil exploration.

Schlickenrieder sent a letter to a Body Shop executive saying he had been researching the activities of Shell in Nigeria, and asked about plans for further activities. Greenpeace said yesterday that Schlickenrieder's activities had effectively sunk its campaign against BP's oil exploration in the Atlantic.

Fouad Hamdan, communications director of Greenpeace Germany, said: "The bastard was good, I have to admit.

"He got information about our planned Atlantic Frontier campaign to focus on the climate change issue and the responsibility of BP. BP knew everything. They were not taken by surprise." He added: "Manfred filmed and interviewed all the time, but now we realize we never saw anything."

Copyright 2001 Times Newspapers Ltd.

http://www.shellnews.net/2004%20Documents/sundaytimes/sundaytimesspied8april.htm

Magda Hassan
06-29-2010, 12:55 AM
Stupak: BP Won't Let House Panel Talk to Employees


House investigations panel chairman says BP refusing to let his panel question some employees


The Associated Press
2 comments (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/comments?type=story&id=11015587)
By HARRY R. WEBER AP Business Writer

ATLANTA June 25, 2010 (AP)


The chairman of a House panel investigating the Gulf oil spill said Friday that BP won't let members talk to several employees who may have critical information about what led to the catastrophe.
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., told The Associated Press that BP PLC has cited its own investigation as its reason for denying access to the employees.
BP spokesman David Nicholas said in an e-mail that BP "has not objected to providing access to any of the specific BP employees that the committee has requested, and we continue to cooperate with the committee." He would not elaborate.
BP was leasing and operating the Deepwater Horizon rig when it exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and blowing out the well that has now gushed as much as 131.5 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.
"They have been slow in bringing forth documents and witnesses we want to talk to," Stupak said of BP.
He also said information gathered so far shows it could be difficult for the government to prosecute anyone for the spill because of vague environmental laws and other challenges.

"And remember, in a criminal case you have to prove intent," he said. "That's very, very difficult in a situation like this."
Stupak said there are a half-dozen people his committee wants to question, but hasn't been able to. Stupak, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, did not say whether some of those people work for companies other than BP that were involved with the Deepwater Horizon.
He also said he isn't ready to issue subpoenas yet.
Among the people Stupak's committee wants to talk to is BP well site leader Donald Vidrine, one of the top two BP officials on the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the blast.
Vidrine was scheduled to testify earlier this month at a hearing in Kenner, La., where government investigators were questioning rig workers. But Vidrine had a health problem and didn't testify, a Coast Guard official said at the time.
Vidrine told investigators three days after the explosion that at one point before the blast he had a call from the rig floor and that there was a problem "getting mud back" from the well. Some time later, there was an explosion, he said.

Stupak described Vidrine as an "important piece" of the puzzle as investigators try to determine what happened.
Vidrine has repeatedly declined to speak to the AP, and BP has ignored several requests for information on his status with the company.
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11015587

Peter Lemkin
06-29-2010, 06:20 AM
Stupak: BP Won't Let House Panel Talk to Employees


House investigations panel chairman says BP refusing to let his panel question some employees


The Associated Press
2 comments (http://abcnews.go.com/Business/comments?type=story&id=11015587)
By HARRY R. WEBER AP Business Writer

ATLANTA June 25, 2010 (AP)


The chairman of a House panel investigating the Gulf oil spill said Friday that BP won't let members talk to several employees who may have critical information about what led to the catastrophe.
Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., told The Associated Press that BP PLC has cited its own investigation as its reason for denying access to the employees.
BP spokesman David Nicholas said in an e-mail that BP "has not objected to providing access to any of the specific BP employees that the committee has requested, and we continue to cooperate with the committee." He would not elaborate.
BP was leasing and operating the Deepwater Horizon rig when it exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and blowing out the well that has now gushed as much as 131.5 million gallons of oil into the Gulf.
"They have been slow in bringing forth documents and witnesses we want to talk to," Stupak said of BP.
He also said information gathered so far shows it could be difficult for the government to prosecute anyone for the spill because of vague environmental laws and other challenges.

"And remember, in a criminal case you have to prove intent," he said. "That's very, very difficult in a situation like this."
Stupak said there are a half-dozen people his committee wants to question, but hasn't been able to. Stupak, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, did not say whether some of those people work for companies other than BP that were involved with the Deepwater Horizon.
He also said he isn't ready to issue subpoenas yet.
Among the people Stupak's committee wants to talk to is BP well site leader Donald Vidrine, one of the top two BP officials on the Deepwater Horizon at the time of the blast.
Vidrine was scheduled to testify earlier this month at a hearing in Kenner, La., where government investigators were questioning rig workers. But Vidrine had a health problem and didn't testify, a Coast Guard official said at the time.
Vidrine told investigators three days after the explosion that at one point before the blast he had a call from the rig floor and that there was a problem "getting mud back" from the well. Some time later, there was an explosion, he said.

Stupak described Vidrine as an "important piece" of the puzzle as investigators try to determine what happened.
Vidrine has repeatedly declined to speak to the AP, and BP has ignored several requests for information on his status with the company.
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=11015587

What is strange is that the House has all the authority it needs to compel anyone in the USA to speak under penalty of perjury or refusing to answer a subpoena of Congress , if they want.....but as the big Corporations run the Congress and rest of the Government, perhaps they are backing off from asking embarrassing questions of their Masters. Won't be the first time; nor the thousandth....

Magda Hassan
06-29-2010, 08:08 AM
And the problem with corporate person hood since they are an abstract creation, is that there is nothing to throw into the slammer.

Helen Reyes
06-30-2010, 09:28 AM
Just a random thought here:

If you put vegetable oil or animal fat in a soup while it is being prepared, the oil floats to the surface and keeps heat from escaping, because the water doesn't evaporate as fast and the oil forms a sort of seal.

If you follow the Gulf Stream past Cape Hatteras, past Findhorn Institute in Scotland and all the way up, it hits the arctic sea ice somewhere between Norway and Greenland. It would hit the arctic ice, that is, if the normal mechanism of heat transfer were disturbed.

Peter Lemkin
06-30-2010, 11:35 AM
Just a random thought here:

If you put vegetable oil or animal fat in a soup while it is being prepared, the oil floats to the surface and keeps heat from escaping, because the water doesn't evaporate as fast and the oil forms a sort of seal.

If you follow the Gulf Stream past Cape Hatteras, past Findhorn Institute in Scotland and all the way up, it hits the arctic sea ice somewhere between Norway and Greenland. It would hit the arctic ice, that is, if the normal mechanism of heat transfer were disturbed.

Not enough oil for that...but MORE than enough to cause toxic effects on living organisms and ecosystems!:viking:

Ed Jewett
07-02-2010, 01:48 AM
Snuffysmiths New Blog the Gulf of Mexico DataStream
http://snuffysmith-horizonoilvolcano.blogspot.com/

Ed Jewett
07-02-2010, 03:39 AM
Underwater Camera Live...

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/07/oil-gusher-worse-than-ever.html

Peter Lemkin
07-02-2010, 06:05 AM
Underwater Camera Live...

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/07/oil-gusher-worse-than-ever.html

Oh, my, looking very bad and getting much worse......I think it will soon crack deep down [the pipe] under the pressures and become a virtually uncontrollable and much more destructive event that will go on for years and years and years....

No one is talking about alternative energy and the abandonment of the exploiting the last bits of oil - which are, for the most part, the most dangerous - more so when the watchdogs in regulating agencies are owned and the personnel of the Oil Companies [recycled via the revolving door and bribes]. Well from Hell is an apt description...the worst is soon to come.....BP is the big villian in this - as is the Oil Industry, in general and the blindness of humanity to the use of fossil fuels and resulting environmental damage...for the next few hundreds of years......

Magda Hassan
07-02-2010, 06:46 AM
No one is talking about alternative energy and the abandonment of the exploiting the last bits of oil - which are, for the most part, the most dangerous - more so when the watchdogs in regulating agencies are owned and the personnel of the Oil Companies [recycled via the revolving door and bribes].
This is Obama's chance to usher in nuclear energy as the new 'green' alternative. And there is no alternative in Obama's world. :help:

Thanks Ed for posting the website. Cudos to Snuffy for a good job. :congrats:

Magda Hassan
07-02-2010, 09:36 AM
http://www.brasschecktv.com/page/886.html
There's a lot of talk about BP being a British company.

Actually, the ownership and control of the company is a lot more complex.

Some facts not reported in the news:

1. 29% of BP is owned by JP Morgan and US companies own 39% of it total

2. Halliburton, one of the main contractors on the rig, is considered the party responsible for failing to cap the well properly. They moved their headquarters out of the US to Dubai recently.

3. The former CEO from 1997 to 2009 who was ousted by a sex scandal was also Chairman of Goldman Sachs. Goldman sold a massive amount of its BP holdings in early 2010 and one of its employees bragged in an e-mail in early April that they were "shorting" the Gulf and looking forward to huge profits from an environmental disaster there.

Keith Millea
07-02-2010, 05:35 PM
http://www.counterpunch.org/poems07022010.html

Another poem from my step sons uncle.I thought I would place it here.

And earth has owned me.
--Daniel Smythe

Because nature owns me I love the world.
I love the wind that blesses the oceans
and fields, I love the storms, the meadows healed
with sticks and leaves, the flowers in motion,
the grass thick with weeds. Not knowing heaven
my place is on earth with its seeds and rebirth.
For some, this is a long thought-out given:
our planet, with its equators girth, breath,
and eternal spin, brings out the worst
in humans. We commandeer, put demands
on her flesh, that mortal, live wound, then test
her ability to respond. The land
wont always reinvent. Before we hand
this curse to our young, pray for a last stand.

Leonard J. Cirino is the author of twenty chapbooks and fourteen full-length collections of poetry since 1987 from numerous small presses. He lives in Springfield, Oregon, where he is retired, does home care for his 96-year-old-mother, and works full-time as a poet. His 100-page collection, Omphalos: Poems 2007, was published in spring, 2010 from Pygmy Forest Press. A 64-page selection, Tenebrion: Poems 2008, will be from Cedar Hill Publications, in 2010. His 100-page collection, The Instrument of Others, is due from Lummox Press in 2010. His full-length collection, Chinese Masters, is from March Street Press, 2009. Cirino will be the featured poet at the Outsiders Art Festival, Lincoln, NE, in August 2010. He can be reached at cirino7715@comcast.net (cirino7715@comcast.net).

Keith Millea
07-02-2010, 05:58 PM
http://www.counterpunch.org/mokhiber07022010.html
July 2 -5, 2010
Limiting BP's Liability in the Gulf

The Case Against Kenneth Feinberg

By RUSSELL MOKHIBER
Kenneth Feinberg is an expert.
His expertise?
Collusive class actions.
Limiting the liability of toxic tortfeasors.
And covering up corporate and governmental wrongdoing.

Thats the take of public interest attorney Rob Hager.
Feinberg is now working to limit the liability of BP in the Gulf oil spill case.
But Hager first ran into Feinberg while litigating the Agent Orange case back in the 1980s.

Hager was representing Vietnam veteran Don Ivy.
Federal court judge Jack Weinstein was seeking to impose a settlement on thousands of such cases brought by veterans against the companies that made Agent Orange the dioxin-laced herbicide used in Vietnam.
Weinstein even had a settlement figure in mind $180 million half of what the chemical companies were willing to settle for.

He brought in Feinberg to do his dirty work, Hager told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week.
Weinsteins mission was to limit the liability of the defendants, Hager says. Thats very clear.
Weinstein felt that lawyers would be encouraged to bring more toxic tort cases into the federal courts if the Agent Orange litigation were successful.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals called the $180 million settlement a nuisance value settlement.
And Weinstein wanted to make sure that the settlement amount was viewed as a nuisance value settlement.

He didnt want it to go up to what the defendants were willing to pay which was at least double $360 million or even much more if Weinstein had actually allowed the case to go before a jury.
That number would just keep going up.
Agent Orange victims could have obtained the largest recovery in American history because of the number of veterans involved, the bad actions of the defendants in covering up the fact that their product had dioxin in it, and the predictably favorable attitude of juries toward the claimants.

So, it was looking to be a major historic case. And Weinstein put a lid on it and kept a lid on it, saving Dow, Monsanto and the other chemical companies from potential bankruptcy.
And Feinberg helped him do that.
More important for our purposes, Feinberg learned at the knee of the master how to do this how to keep the companies off the hook of liability for massive tort.
That $180 million figure was Weinsteins figure it wasnt a negotiated figure between the parties.

Weinstein needed somebody like Feinberg to go out and make the threats that Weinstein was going to direct a summary judgment against the veterans on proof of causation.
That would be inappropriate for a judge to do. But Feinberg was able to do it because everything that Feinberg did was off the record.
Theres a very sparse record of what Feinberg did during Agent Orange because it was in the interests of the lawyers ultimately to keep their mouths shut and make sure at the end of the day their legal fees were adequate.

Feinberg was brought in by Weinstein for this very important role of fixing the settlement.
And then Weinstein appointed Feinberg to help distribute the funds.
For the most part, Hager says, the plaintiff lawyers representing the veterans were part of the problem.
They were colluding with the companies and with Weinstein and Feinberg to limit the damage to the companies.
There were exceptions lawyers like Victor Yannacone who had the trust of the veterans.

But lawyers like Yannacone were eventually pushed aside.
Yannacone was generally opposed to the settlement. There is an interesting quote in a book by Peter Schuck Agent Orange on Trial. Its on page 200.
In that book, Yannacone tells of a meeting between himself and Feinberg where Judge Weinstein was looking on.
Yannacone says that Feinberg offered him the role of executive director of the settlement fund if he cooperated by supporting the settlement and also that his legal fees would be affected accordingly.
Feinberg claims he was only asking Yannacone to help convince the veterans who were still loyal to Yannacone at that point to approve the settlement.

Now Yannacone's account may or may not be true. But the fact that Yannacone told that to an author indicates his attitude toward how the case was handled and Feinberg's role as Weinstein's agent.
The lawyers who took control of the Agent Orange litigation and pushed aside Yannacone became fabulously rich, Hager said.
Feinberg too became wealthy as a result of the collusive class actions.
During the period after Agent Orange until at least the late 1990s the heyday of the collusive class actions plaintiffs lawyers were getting fabulously rich and Feinberg was getting rich with them by colluding in settlement class actions to keep people out of court, Hager said.
In the Gulf oil spill case, Hager says Feinbergs job is to save BP as a viable company.

Feinbergs job is to get BP through this whole thing without the trauma of bankruptcy, where shareholders and managers are replaced, Hager said.
In fact, without the trauma of a very big impact on their bottom line at all.
If they lose a few quarters of profits maybe even a year of profits without eroding their assets, and they go on to be just as profitable as they have been in the future thats success to Feinberg, and a hiccup for the company.
If the potential and future claims exceed the assets of BP if they predictably do now, or in the future will then the victims should become the owners of BP as fast as possible before the assets get siphoned off, Hager said.

You cut out the shareholders, and fire the managers.
The judgment creditors become the owners. And BP would be operated for their benefit. That would be the just thing to do.
This might also be the rare situation where the government should stand in for the victims as parens patriae.
But as he has throughout his career, Feinberg is working for the corporation not for its victims.
A quick glance at his law firms web site feinbergrozen.com makes this clear.
His clients are Fortune 500 companies like Altria, Eli Lilly, Exxon, GE, Pfizer, Purdue Pharma, and Shell.

Feinberg told the Washington Post that one case Agent Orange changed my entire professional career.
In his book, Feinberg writes that Fortune 500 companies suddenly wanted me to settle everything. My life changed overnight. . .I helped create a whole new area of practice. . .I became a settlement guru.
This new area of practice was the collusive class action tort settlements invented by Weinstein in Agent Orange in 1984.

(Hager has written an article about collusive class actions (http://books.google.com/books?id=Pfp15YuUjZkC&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=collusive+class+action+settlement&source=bl&ots=ChNraksOhR&sig=2rSdufoPz9UGsvlk9d0d7ZpZkHI&hl=en&ei=Hc4iTNamJJPlnAfDwsEm&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CC8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q&f=false).)
Judge Weinstein brought Feinstein back to try to settle the asbestos cases, the DES cases and the case of the nuclear contractors at Shoreham, Hager said.
And now President Obama has brought him in to limit BPs liability.
We know who Feinberg is, Hager says.
The real question is what is Obama's motivation in appointing this guy when he has followed a career of helping corporations escape the consequences of inflicting massive injuries and helping government to cover-up its misdeeds?

Is there a written agreement governing the BP $20 billion fund?
The White House did not return calls seeking comment.
Hager says we dont know.
But I wouldnt be surprised that there is no written agreement, Hager said. Feinberg is going to get some money. Both Obama and BP trust him. Hes done this so many times in the past. Hes covered everybody who needed to be covered. It is the service he provides.

Is there an agreement covering Feinbergs fee?

We dont know that either, Hager said. He might have said well work it out later. Hes already made a lot of money doing these things.
In 9/11, he notionally waived his fee. But he got 1.2 percent of the total $7 billion for administrative costs. So, he was spending a lot of money during the whole three years or so that he was working on that case. He had his very substantial costs covered. Over $80 million in three years.
So, he has the flexibility to make all kinds of different deals here.
He may even waive his fee in the BP case.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of Corporate Crime Reporter (http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/).
[For a complete transcript of the Interview with Rob Hager, see 24 Corporate Crime Reporter 27(9), July 5, 2010, print edition only.]