Tag Archives | Gulf Coast Oil Spill

Fire On the Bayou; Conspiracy, Prophecy, and Dropping the Bomb on the Big Oozy

Anchor handling tugs battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon.

Anchor handling tugs battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon.

Disinfo visitor Shawn M alerted us to a New Orleans blog that raises some ideas on the Gulf Oil Spill Disaster we hadn’t heard before, such as a North Korean submarine being responsible for blowing up the rig. Conspiracy theories: we’ve got ‘em! From Big Medicine:

Strange days here in the Big Easy. Life goes on as normal, we still feel our Who Dat high from winning the Super Bowl, we have our new Mayor and the post Jazzfest hangover is gone. But looming like Katrina’s big brother offshore is the Big Oozy, the mega disaster that will impact the planet for generations. One scans the news, local and national and it doesn’t seem to be the Big story. Celeb antics, political gesturing and plain fluff obscures from the minds of men the massive event playing out miles off our coast.

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Gulf Coast Oil Spill Nets $270 Million for Transocean

PressTV reports:
Gulf Oil Spill SourceThe firm that owns the leaking oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has made a $270 million profit from insurance payouts, despite having caused a massive ecological disaster.

Transocean, the company contracted by BP to drill the well, brought the story to light in a conference call on Monday.

Transocean took out a $560 million insurance policy on its Deepwater Horizon rig, which was greater than the value of the rig itself.

The company has already received a cash payment of $481 million, with the rest due over the next few weeks.

The “accounting gain” arises because the compensation it will be receiving more than covers the $200 million that it has to pay to survivors and their families and for higher insurance costs.

Lamar McKay, the chairman of BP’s US arm, Steve Newman, Transocean’s chief executive, and managers of several other companies involved in the drilling are scheduled to testify in hearings in the US Congress later this week.

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Chemical Dispersants Being Used in Gulf Clean-Up Are Potentially Toxic

Tom Philpott writes for Grist:
BlowUp

We finally know the main two dispersants that BP and the U.S. government are using to treat the ongoing Gulf spill.

Both, by their maker’s own admission, have the “potential to bioconcentrate,” and both have “moderate toxicity to early life stages of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks,” according to a study by Exxon, the company that originally developed them.

Their use may be the least-bad course, given the importance of minimizing oil’s effect on coastal wetlands. But a little digging into the chemical makeup of these two substances, which are being dumped in vast quantities into the Gulf, reveals that they could potentially do far more harm than good, both to the Gulf and to humans who later eat from it.

As ProPublica reported Monday, information about dispersants is “kept secret under competitive trade laws.” I’ve spent the last several days trying to confirm what many in the ocean-ecology and public health worlds seemed to know, but no one would say officially: that two different dispersants sold under the banner of Corexit were being used in vast quantities.

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The BP Oil Spill and American Capitalism

BP_LogoTom Eley writes on the World Socialist Web Site:

The explosion on the BP oil rig Deepwater Horizon on April 20 off Louisiana’s coast, which took the lives of 11 workers and has resulted in a massive oil slick that threatens economic and environmental ruin for the Gulf Coast, stands as a powerful exposure of American capitalism.

Each day brings new revelations that federal regulators under both the Bush and Obama administrations aided and abetted BP and the oil industry as they disregarded safety and environmental precautions that might have prevented the disaster.

Some of the most recent revelations include:

• In 2000 the Minerals Management Service (MMS) requested industry advice on problems related to the cementing used around deep sea well caps to stop blowouts. The oil industry never produced recommendations, and no regulation was put in place.

• A 2002 study conducted by the MMS revealed that vital equipment on oil rig blowout preventers did not function.

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Recent History, Sander Hicks and a New York Green Party Senate Candidacy

With prognosticators claiming that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)’s re-election campaign is full-steam ahead, activist/writer/playwright/Brooklynite Sander Hicks is running for the Senate on a platform of “true transparency,” and economic and leadership policies focused on peace. We had an exchange about immigration, anthrax, the finer points of the alleged 9/11 cover-up, the BP oil spill disaster, the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and — that old, beaten-horse topic for Green Party candidates — in essence, the ambiguity of saying Republicans are worse.

Sander Hicks

1. On your campaign page, you hold up Cesar Chavez as an example of non-violence. In light of recent events in Arizona and the passage of controversial immigration legislation, how does Mr. Chavez’s opposition to illegal immigration function alongside your personal views of border control? (This is what I’m talking about.)

Is attempting to apply restrictions on human movements through the enforcement of borders ever inherently racist?

Any good labor leader will want to protect against strike-breakers. This is what Chavez was dealing with — illegals were being hired to cross picket lines and scab on the union.

The ideal immigration policy would make it easier to become a citizen. We need to create more jobs in this country so that we’re not at each others’ throats competing for a such a small number of jobs…

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The Gulf Coast Oil Spill: An American Chernobyl?

The World Socialist Web Site writes:
Oil Spillers

With each passing day, the scale of the disaster unleashed by the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico increases. Somewhere between 5,000 (the official estimate) and 25,000 (the estimate of some scientists) barrels of oil is surging into the Gulf every day.

Before it is over, millions, if not tens of millions of gallons of oil will be washed up on America’s wetlands and shorelines.Eleven workers are already dead in the latest industrial disaster in the American energy industry. Now, the fishing and seafood industry along the Gulf coast may be shut down for years, perhaps even a generation. The destruction of the fragile ecosystems of the region will likely be irreparable.

The disaster implicates one of the world’s largest corporations, British Petroleum, together with partners and subcontractors like Transocean Ltd., operator of the drill rig, and Halliburton, which carried out major operations on the wellhead only a week before the explosion.

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President Obama is the Biggest Recipient of BP Cash. (Yes, That BP of Gulf Coast Oil Spill Infamy…)

This doesn’t sound like change I can believe in. Hmm. Glad we have some Washington reporters still actually working at the Politico. Erikia Lovley reports:

While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

BP Funds Obama

BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Donations come from a mix of employees and the company’s political action committees — $2.89 million flowed to campaigns from BP-related PACs and about $638,000 came from individuals.

On top of that, the oil giant has spent millions each year on lobbying — including $15.9 million last year alone — as it has tried to influence energy policy.

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