Tag Archives | Oil

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Entered Food Chain in the Gulf of Mexico

Deepwater HorizonVia ScienceDaily:

Since the explosion on the BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, scientists have been working to understand the impact that this disaster has had on the environment. For months, crude oil gushed into the water at a rate of approximately 53,000 barrels per day before the well was capped on July 15, 2010.

A new study confirms that oil from the Macondo well made it into the ocean’s food chain through the tiniest of organisms, zooplankton.Tiny drifting animals in the ocean, zooplankton are useful to track oil-derived pollution. They serve as food for baby fish and shrimp and act as conduits for the movement of oil contamination and pollutants into the food chain. The study confirms that not only did oil affect the ecosystem in the Gulf during the blowout, but it was still entering the food web after the well was capped.

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BP Atlantis Platform Faces ‘Present and Imminent Danger’ According to Whistleblower

Atlantis PlatformVia Common Dreams:
A whistleblower who has a standing lawsuit against BP has argued this week that the company's Atlantis Project, located 150 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, faces "present and imminent danger." The whistleblower, Kenneth Abbott, is a former BP contractor on the Atlantis. His lawsuit says that BP failed to keep required records of the safety systems for the Atlantis. Back in 2010, Food & Water Watch, which joined Abbott's lawsuit, warned that the massive Deepwater Horizon oil disaster foreshadowed another Gulf of Mexico disaster caused by BP's Atlantis platform. At that time, Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, said, “We have evidence that Atlantis is unsafe and is in danger of creating an even worse spill than the one caused by the Deepwater Horizon explosion.”
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A War Tax at the Gas Pump?

Gas PumpInteresting point of view from Jeff Klein on Counterpunch:

It’s hard to miss the higher cost of gas every time we fill up our cars these days, but the News Media doesn’t do a very good job of explaining why. There isn’t any mystery, though, if you read the financial press and oil industry sources: We’re paying extra for gas because of rising tensions in the Middle East and especially the scare over a possible US or Israeli attack on Iran. In effect, we’re paying a “war tax” at the gas pump, and the cost will only get higher unless we put aside the talk of war and get down to serious diplomacy to settle the differences in the region.

Here’s what the Wall Street Journal had to say recently, under the headline “Oil Rise Imperils Budding Recovery”:

Rising oil prices are emerging once again as a threat to the U.S.

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How To Stop Worrying And Love The Oil Sands

Ahni writes at Intercontinental Cry:

“Communication might be understood as both the conduit for and the actual substance of human culture and consciousness. Psychological warfare is the application of mass communication to modern social conflict.”
—Science of Coercion, Christopher Simpson, American University

Tendencies of psychological warfare (U.S. Army War College):

1. Destroys will and ability of enemy to fight
2. Deprives enemy of support of allies and neutrals
3. Increases internal will to victory

Effects of psychological warfare (U.S. Army War College):

* Dissension
* Distrust
* Fear
* Hopelessness

Given the challenges that we face as Indigenous Peoples in Canada, it’s important to take a step back every now and again, if only so we make sure we know what exactly is being placed in front of us. If we don’t than we run the risk of wasting what little time and resources we have to stop an untenable project like, for example, the proposed Enbridge pipeline–a project that threatens our cultural heritage, our health, the environment and our ability to exist as distinct Peoples.

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Oilsands Imperil Western Canada

250px-Athabasca_Oil_Sands_mapMike De Souza reports for the Vancouver Sun/Postmedia News:

Contamination of a major western Canadian river basin from oilsands operations is a “high-profile concern” for downstream communities and wildlife, says a newly-released “secret” presentation prepared last spring by Environment Canada that highlighted numerous warnings about the industry’s growing footprint on land, air, water and the climate.

The warnings from the department contrast with recent claims made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister Peter Kent that the industry is being unfairly targeted by environmentalists who exaggerate its impacts on nature and people.

The presentation noted figures from the Canadian Energy Research Institute, a collaboration among industry, government and academics, that estimate the oilsands sector is responsible for more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs in Canada, and will contribute more than $1.7 trillion to the country’s economy over the next 25 years.

But it warned that Alberta and other parts of Western Canada are facing a steep economic and ecological price tag for failing to crack down on the industry’s collateral damage…

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Shell Nigerian Oil Spill Far Worse Than Reported

Photo: Vin Mullen (CC)

Photo: Vin Mullen (CC)

Emily Gertz reports for Talking Points Memo:

A Shell deepwater drilling site off the Nigerian coast that the company reported leaking on Wednesday may have spilled up to 2.4 million gallons, according to nonprofit environmental satellite monitoring group SkyTruth.

If so, that’s far worse than indicated in statements made so far by Royal Dutch Shell, which has put the amount of oil leaked at the Bonga offshore site at “less than 40,000 barrels,” (1.7 million gallons).

“That could mean anything from 1 gallon to 1.7 million gallons,” John Amos, founder and president of satellite-imaging nonprofit SkyTruth told TPM.

Oil must be at least 1 micron (1/1000th of a millimeter) thick to be seen from a satellite, according to Amos. The visible rainbow sheen, he says, means that the oil could be anywhere from .3 to 10 microns thick, depending on two different sets of guidelines.

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Niger Delta Villagers Vs. Oil Giant Shell’s Destruction of Their Land

OginisOnce again, unregulated Big Business makes everything better. John Vidal writes in the Guardian:

Goi is now a dead village. The two fish ponds, bakery and chicken farm that used to be the pride and joy of its chief deacon, Barrisa Tete Dooh, lie abandoned, covered in a thick black layer. The village’s fishing creek is contaminated; the school has been looted; the mangrove forests are coated in bitumen and everyone has left, refugees from a place blighted by the exploitation of the region’s most valuable asset: crude oil.

A long-awaited and comprehensive UN study exposed the full horror of the pollution that the production of oil has brought to Ogoniland over the last 50 years.

The UN report showed that oil companies and the Nigerian government had not just failed to meet their own standards, but that the process of investigation, reporting and clean-up was deeply flawed in favour of the firms and against the victims.

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Leaked Documents Reveal BP’s Control Over Iraq’s Oil

oilThe Iraq War probably didn’t start out being about oil — it just seems to be ending that way. Oil industry watchdog PLATFORM London gained access to a leaked copy of a contract between BP and the Iraqi government which reveals the extent to which the company has gained control over Iraq’s resources. New Left Project writes:

BP was awarded the 20-year deal at an auction in June 2009, but suspicions were raised when the company did not sign the contract until four months later. The Iraqi government said nothing had changed in the interim, only “clarifications” – claims that the leaked contract show not to be true.

PLATFORM obtained from a reliable source a version of the Rumaila contract with BP/CNPC dated 8 October 2009. This leaked version was compared with the official model contract, dated 23 April 2009, which formed the basis of the first bid round.Several key changes were made, including:

> BP could opt to be paid for oil not produced as a result of OPEC quotas or Iraqi infrastructure bottlenecks.

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U.S. Govt. May Be Squelching Scientist Over Arctic Oil

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Why is this all too believable? Bob Berwyn reports on the latest skirmish in the battle over Alaska offshore oil drilling for Summit County Citizens Voice:

Last summer’s Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico clearly showed the conflict between science, energy policy and politics, and the looming battle over drilling in Arctic waters will be no different, as a watchdog group claims that federal scientists are being muzzled and harassed over their efforts to disclose potential impacts of energy development in the fragile Arctic marine environment.

Dr. Charles Monnet, a senior federal scientist working the Arctic has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated by the Interior Department’s Inspector General. Such inspections are not uncommon, but what’s unusual in this case is that the researcher says he has no idea what the investigators are looking for.

But a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog and whistle-blower protection group, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, says the investigation is designed to interfere with scientific research that points out the dangers of Arctic drilling.

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