Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by czacza, May 29, 2010.
May 29, 2010
It's so hard for me to wrap my mind around.
Since I live in the area that will soon be affected, it is of tremendous importance to everyone around here. I have that video running in the background whenever the computer is on. It is going to be devastating to the communities all up and down the coast.
This will be a defnining moment for decades to come for the people of the Gulf Coast.
Yes, I'm watching it, and it is devastating. Many of us are still reeling from Ike, which changed many of my friends' lives greatly.
Every morning I listen to NPR, which is featuring interviews with people living in communities (mostly in Louisiana) already directly affected by the spill. Wildlife is gone in many areas, and jobs dependent on the Gulf are in jeopardy.
I don't dare think "What else can happen?" It's hurricane season -- that's what else could happen.
I sit and watch areas that I love just filling with oil. It breaks my heart.
It is sad. And, something we will be recovering from for a very long time.
At this moment, the robot arms are working on something. Can't see the spill anymore.
Added: Okay, now I know why the robotic arms are moving. Their last effort in plugging the hole failed.
I read a while ago online that the top fill wasn't successful. I don't remember the source, though.
May 30, 2010
What horrible news.
Please don't misunderstand me...this is a tragedy especially for the people in the region. I can't imagine. But knowing how much wildlife has died because of this also absolutely breaks my heart.
No offense taken on my part. That is what bothers me the most as well.
We can pick up and move when we know something is coming. The wildlife has no control.
The problem is that no one knew this was coming. The people on the Gulf Coast, still ravaged from Katrina half a decade later, had no warning that this was about to happen.
A total nightmare in every possible way- ecological, psychological, financial-- you name it-- for the region!
I agree. This is devastating to wildlife.
This is such a sad and devastating situation for all involved.
Here's the official website of the clean-up efforts:
Right now all the birds have laid their eggs and many have hatched. Queen Bess Island is a primary nesting ground for our Brown Pelicans. There are nests and babies covered in oil. I hate to think of what all of this means for an area that was already so broken. Barataria-Terrebonne is a national estuary and the fastest vanishing landmass on the planet. And that was before the oil hit.
...yet it is so under-reported. It is a wonder why news media(papers, TV) continue to report every day, as if there are other stories out there. SHAMEFUL.
I have a semi-related question?
Why does BP own an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico? Are those international waters or ours?
BP doesn't own the rig -- they own the oil the rig is pulling out.
Go here for some decent info:
Missy, thank you for the link.
I didn't know that BP wouldn't let independent scientists check the actual oil flow. I hate to have any BP company shares at this moment. Their efforts are just not working. Their public relation tactics are sometimes shoddy. I am glad that the federal government finally stepped in and told BP to publicly show what is going on.
That's all superfluous and obscures the issue.
My point, is that this should be front page, 24-7 news. The pressure on this freaking corporation should be INTENSE, not to mention pressure on this GD gov't of ours.
Imagine if it was covered non-stop (e.g. like say 911 was in the days and weeks that followed that); people would be clamoring for answers, demanding effort/change. The feeling in the country would be much more tenious (it would be on everyone's lips). And it should!
Instead... and I'm sure by design... BP and the federal authorities, get to snake around at their leisure, hoping to come up with an answer while the people and animals continue to suffer. Meanwhile, we get to see news about Gary Coleman and the Boston Celtics/LA Lakers, and Jon & Kate... ridiculous is too soft a word.
I highly doubt he's not concerned.
I don't doubt he's not concerned, but his concern is not for the animals and the people. It's just to save his behind, and for the sake of BP.
BP was warned several times within the past 10 years about this issue, but they put it on the back burner to save time and money. They should be prosecuted and required to pay for everything related to the oil spill.
??? Did John Lee edit a post? To whom was he referring?
BP has a long-standing reputation as an unsafe company. Even before this accident and oil spill, my husband and I would cringe every time one of their ads came on TV, touting how well they treated the environment. We knew better:
Why BP is still operating is beyond me.
The reason this isn't dominating every news outlet and that the other stories run so prominently is that real news that people really have to think about doesn't sell newspapers or gain viewers. We get the news coverage that we pay for.
I was talking about the CEO, and said that I think he doesn't give a rat's behind about the situation. Granted, I guess I'm being a bit unforgiving...
Bumble, I would agree with you--but at this point, the cost of the spill and the penalty (prosecution) is unpayable--short of making the company go completely out of business and having every BP worker from the CEO down go to every person's house affected by this and beg for forgiveness.
I would submit that one could argue that this is one of the five or ten worst things that has ever happened to this country... yet the only thing we see on this is an update on the evening news (as if it's just on par with the next local kidnapped child, or the latest from TMZ).
I agree that there is not enough coverage. Its not covered on my local news and when I do watch national news, I'm disappointed in the lack of attention to such a major issue.
This is the sort of thing that PBS does a good job on... and one reason that people keep complaining that PBS "is too depressing". (Yes, I've heard that, and in the wake of stories that needed the coverage PBS was giving. Grump.)
May 31, 2010
New evidence of criminal negligence in run-up to rig explosion
Failure of BP’s “top kill” means oil will continue to flow for months
By Joe Kishore
31 May 2010
Forty days after the explosion at the BP-leased offshore drilling rig, oil continues to flow unabated from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. After weeks of downplaying and covering up the extent of the disaster, government officials are now acknowledging that it is already the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of the United States … with no end in sight.
Over the weekend, BP reported its latest attempt to stop the flow—the so-called “top kill” method—had failed. It announced plans for a new tactic, involving cutting off the leaking pipe and attempting to cap the oil. The proposal is unlikely to succeed, and could result in a significant increase in the rate of the flow after the pipe is cut. Even if it works, it will only contain a portion of the oil gusher.
“The failure of the top kill magnifies the disaster by an order of magnitude,” Rick Steiner, an oil spill expert and marine conservationist, told the World Socialist Web Site. “The blowout will continue unquestionably over the next two months.”
BP is currently drilling separate wells designed to intersect with the existing well and plug the leak. These wells will not be ready until at least August, BP officials said on Sunday.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) has estimated that the flow is between 500,000 and 1 million gallons per day. At the higher range—which is still far smaller than the rate estimated by independent scientists—an additional 90 million gallons of oil will have been released by the end of August. In comparison, the Exxon Valdez released 11 million gallons.
If these reserve wells fail, the spill will continue until the entire reservoir is depleted. A BP spokesman said on Sunday that the company has no idea how much oil is in the reservoir.
With the collaboration of the Obama administration and the US Coast Guard, BP has sought to restrict media access to the worst affected regions, as oil has begun to wash ashore on the coast. A CBS news team reported it was threatened with arrest by the Coast Guard as it attempted to reach an oiled beach. The team was told the restrictions were according to “BP’s rules.” Other media have confirmed that access is being increasingly chocked off.
Nevertheless, the immense scale of the disaster is gradually coming out, with scientists discovering giant undersea plumes, in addition to the massive slick spreading across the surface of the Gulf.
Two plumes have already been discovered, but this is “just the tip of the iceberg,” said Steiner. “Some of the oil is probably down around the coast of Florida. There may soon be tar balls on the south east coast of the state.”
Making matters worse, the Atlantic hurricane season begins on Tuesday, and scientists anticipate that it will be a very active year. A hurricane in the Gulf will surge oil deep into the wetlands and inland. “The first good hurricane will transfer this in the storm surge right into the bayous,” Steiner said. Hurricanes could also severely disrupt the drilling of the two additional wells being drilled by BP.
The Obama administration continues to cover for BP, even as new evidence has emerged documenting the criminal recklessness of the company in the run-up to the disaster. Obama has gone from saying that he is “angry and frustrated” to declaring that the spill is “enraging and heartbreaking.” However, the administration continues to avoid any talk of accountability, while suggesting that neither BP nor the government could have possibly foreseen the catastrophe.
Carol Browner, the White House energy advisor, was asked Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press why BP had no contingency plan for the disaster. “t’s important to understand that these wells have been drilled for several decades now,” she replied. “There have not been these kinds of accidents.”
Browner refused to rule out future deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf, saying, “I want to see what the investigations tell us ….”
BP and the administration’s claims that an accident of this magnitude could not have been predicted is belied by an increasing mountain of evidence that BP deliberately ignored warning signs, with the help of the federal Minerals Management Service.
Citing internal BP documents, the New York Times reported on Sunday that engineers expressed concern as early as June 2009 about the well casing used in the Deepwater Horizon operation. A report by a BP engineer that month warned that the casing could collapse under the high pressure at the depths BP was drilling.
“This would certainly be a worst-case scenario,” Mark E. Hafle, a senior drilling engineer at BP, wrote in the report. “However, I have seen it happen so know it can occur.”
According to the Times, “The company went ahead with the casing, but only after getting special permission from BP colleagues because it violated the company’s safety policies and design standards. The internal reports do not explain why the company allowed for an exception.”
The Times goes on to report, “In April of this year, BP engineers concluded that the casing was ‘unlikely to be a successful cement job,’ according to a document, referring to how the casing would be sealed to prevent gases from escaping up the well.” The document also concluded that the casing was unlikely to fulfill regulatory requirements from the MMS.
“A second version of the same document says ‘It is possible to obtain a successful cement job’ and ‘It is possible to fulfill M.M.S. regulations.’” According to BP, the 180-degree shift in the evaluation was made after further testing.
In the weeks preceding the explosion on April 20, there were many signs of problems, including sudden and repeated releases of gas from the well.
“On at least three occasions, BP records indicate, the blowout preventer was leaking fluid, which the manufacturer of the device has said limits its ability to operate properly,” the Times reported. Loss of well control led to a halt of operations, but no assessment was made as to whether or not the drilling should continue.
“After informing regulators of their struggles, company officials asked for permission to delay their federally mandated test of the blowout preventer, which is supposed to occur every two weeks, until the problems were resolved, BP documents say.” After first denying this request, the MMS reversed itself.
According to the Times, “When the blowout preventer was eventually tested again, it was tested at a lower pressure—6,500 pounds per square inch—than the 10,000-pounds-per-square-inch tests used on the device before the delay. It tested at this lower pressure until the explosion.”
In other words, both BP and government officials were aware the well was causing major problems that could lead to a blowout, and that the blowout preventer itself was experiencing problems. Yet BP, with the agreement of the government agency, decided to rig the tests and ignore the warnings of a potential disaster so it could continue drilling
Tony Hayward, CEO of BP: "The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation."
If you want continuous coverage (which I sometimes have to break from just to keep from crying), I recommend you listen to NPR. I know that BP coverage dominates the morning hours between 6 and 8 a.m.
Original question: What is the source of this story?
Okay, I looked it up -- partly because I was a journalism major, and partly because of bias in the story -- it's from the World Socialist web site.
You know, BP is the major source of this problem, yet everyone else is being blamed. I think it deflects from the gravity of the situation -- and reminds me of the schoolyard rant: "Why am I in trouble? So-and-so was doing something, too!" The focus should remain on BP.
There are reports the BP knew of potential safety issues on this rig LAST fall.
First of all, I want to offer my deepest prayers to everyone living in the areas that will be or have been affected by this disaster. I cannot imagine seeing the lands I love being ruined by such a preventable event. I know I was very upset at the condition of Long Island beaches due to erosion--that's not even a fraction of what the Gulf Coast is dealing with.
Second of all, the 1990 Oil Pollution Act limits liability to (I believe) $75 million. I hope Congress succeeds in raising that liability cost. At this point, a corporate takeover will occur by Exxon or Shell. However, I want to see BP pay. They've made their money off of us for over a century, it's about time they own up and take responsibility--especially in something that was preventable.
As for the CEO's comments, they need to stop. I remember when this first happened and he tried blaming everyone else but his own company. It's a terrible, terrible thing--stop running and deal with it.
The one good thing that I pray comes out of this is that our government finally realizes that we need to expedite other means of energy. I never much trusted those "10 year plans" anyway--in 10 years, the status of Congress and our government changes--the time is now.
Anyway, my wishes are with all of you in Gulf Coast.
Missy- I sent you a PM!
Thank you. It is hard. For the past 15 years I have worked very closely with Wildlife and Fisheries and other agencies to help teach others about the plight of our coastal wetlands and what they really mean to the state. Right now my heart is breaking for the land and the animals, but there are other issues, too. Healthy wetlands can drop storm surges significantly, they filter toxins (as they are unfortunately doing now), they serve as nesting grounds for so many creatures, and as a major stop on the largest migratory bird path. I think we will see repercussions of this spill for years to come.
Whatever politics led to it can't be changed now; all we can do is look to the future and try to fix this. I can't even begin to imagine what would happen if a tropical storm, or God forbid, hurricane was to enter the Gulf right now.
Jun 1, 2010
BP CEO Tony Hayward laments, "I want my life back."
Oh gee, Mr. Hayward. Forget the millions of human lives your company has greatly devastated as a result of this... not to mention the countless animals who've been wiped out.
No--let's focus on Mr. Hayward's life, and getting it back on track. F.N.P.o.S.
Jun 2, 2010
I think the most important thing is not to play the blame game, but to work together to find ways to mitigate this disaster. With that in mind, many of the people I know have signed up to be trained to clean up the spills on the beaches. We all have opinions on why this happened and how it could have been avoided, but that doesn't solve the present situation.
The rig seems to be a deepwater port (at least BP seems to be indicating it is). A summary of the act includes:
$75 million is barely a blip in the radar screen for BP and wouldn't precipitate a takeover at all; they'd just pay it. But the act's exclusion of deepwater ports could mean a couple of things. They could be deemed a "responsible party" and have their liability limited to $350 million. That's still not nearly enough to bankrupt BP. Seeing them pay such a pittance would be no cause for joy. It would be a tragedy that would indicate to every other oil company that they can continue with business as usual.
I share your hope that this will lead to better investigation of other, better sources of energy.
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