Tag Archives: bp spill

Ancient Oceans

A healthy reef

By Robert C. Koehler

“Salt remnants of ancient oceans flow through our veins . . .”

Now, along with endangered species, the Gulf spill has given us a new category: endangered oceans.

The challenges presented by the disaster lay before us in their incomprehensible enormity. To what extent have the hundreds of thousands of gallons of the highly toxic dispersant Corexit 9500 that BP has poured into the Gulf aggravated the ecological horror? How will hurricane season complicate the cleanup? Will the flow of crude continue till Christmas? How many cleanup workers have gotten sick, and why? Might the “relief well” also blow?

We can’t solve our problems, as Einstein said, with the same kind of thinking we used to create them. This sums up the situation for me as well as anything — and pushes my despair up against the door of possibility. We’re at the far edge of the industrial age: the age of fossil fuels. How do we proceed beyond it?

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BP oil spill Corexit dispersants suspected in widespread crop damage

By Yobie Benjamin
San Francisco Chronicle

Just when you thought the damages BP could cause was limited to beaches, marshes, oceans, people’s livelihoods, birds and marine life, there’s more.

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Florida Panhandle Battles 2 Massive Oil Plumes

FL nearshore trajectory June 13, 2010

Perdido Pass and Pensacola Pass closed with the tide on Friday.

Florida Outlines Response to BP Gulf Oil Spill for June 13, 2010

By GovMonitor

Heavy impacts, in addition to tar balls and tar patties, have not been reported in Florida at this time.

A large plume of weathered oil has been detected nine miles south of Pensacola Pass. The plume is two miles wide and goes south for 40 miles. An additional plume of non-weathered oil was verified through state reconnaissance data.

The second plume is located three miles south of Pensacola Pass. Response assets, including skimming vessels, have been dispatched to the area.

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First, Do No Harm


By Robert C. Koehler

As Planet Earth continues to hemorrhage crude oil from its wound — with a worst-case estimate of as much as 100,000 barrels a day — we grope, beyond our anger and guilt, simply to imagine what damage we have done in the pursuit of human empowerment.

This is bigger than BP, blameworthy though the company may be. This is bigger than any sort of “us vs. them” scenario we can think of. It’s a crisis of civilization, which means all of us.

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BP Deepwater Oil Spill: The Oil in the Water, Seeps and Spills

By Heading Out
The Oil Drum

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida spoke on MSNBC on Monday, about the possibility of oil leaking up from the seabed in the vicinity of the Deepwater Horizon well that is currently spilling oil into the Gulf. (The implication being that the well casing had “sprung a leak.”) The story will inevitably grow, but it may well be that he is confusing two quite separate events.

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Democrats and the McCarthyite attack on detainee lawyers

By Glenn Greenwald

(updated below – Update II – Update III) 

Over at Balkinization, Law Professor Steve Vladeck has done a superb job highlighting a truly vile provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2011, which directs the Pentagon’s Inspector General to “conduct an investigation of the conduct and practices of lawyers” who have represented Guantanamo detainees and then report back to Congress.  That provision is the brainchild of GOP Rep. Jeff Miller of Florida, who has labeled efforts to represent detainees (specifically as part of the John Adams Project) a “treacherous enterprise” and smeared those lawyers as “disloyal.”  Vladeck thoroughly documents how the lawyer conduct that is targeted by the mandated investigation is so broad that it could easily encompass every act of defending Guantanamo detainees, and thus, standing alone, could serve to intimidate and deter lawyers from vigorously representing those detainees in the future.   

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New giant plume spotted: 22 miles long

By Matthew Brown and Jason Dearen (AP)

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

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

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125 oil recovery ships recalled after crews become ill

Four oil-cleanup workers fall ill; Breton Sound fleet ordered back to dock

National Guard troops and others help load boats with orange plastic booms at the Breton Sound Marina in Hopedale on May 5. (Vicki Smith AP)

By Times-Picayune
May 26, 2010, 11:05PM


Fishing boats helping clear oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill from Breton Sound have been called back to dock after four workers reported health problems Wednesday afternoon, Unified Command in Houma announced.

Crew members on three boats reported nausea, dizziness, headaches and chest pains Wednesday about 3:30 p.m. Four workers were taken to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero for treatment, one traveling by air, one by boat and two by ambulance. The other crewmembers refused treatment at the dock.

As a precaution, Unified Command directed all 125 of the commercial vessels that had been outfitted with equipment for oil recovery operations in the Breton Sound area, to return to their temporary accommodations in Breton Sound.

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IG report: Meth, porn use by drilling agency staff

By Matthew Daly, AP

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.

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US has approved 19 (or, 27) environmental drilling waivers since oil spill

By John Byrne
Raw Story

On May 14, President Barack Obama announced that oil companies would no longer be given license to bypass environmental reviews of their drilling projects.

“We’re also closing the loophole that has allowed some oil companies to bypass some critical environmental reviews,” Obama said.

But in the month since the BP-run Deepwater Horizon (above right) exploded and collapsed into the sea, its drill site spewing an unending current of oil into the open ocean, the US government has granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and 17 drilling permits.* Most are for deepwater drilling operations, similar to that conducted by the ill-fated rig.

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