Gulf Oil Spill – May 12, 2010 – Wednesday PM

Hear is some more info. I got on the Gulf Oil Spill from NRDC!!!!

Another Frustrating Day in Congress

It was another frustrating day Wednesday for members of Congress as they questioned three top oil executives about the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill that is still spreading. The frustration of one lawmaker boiled up Wednesday morning as he tried to get some answers from the executives at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “I just wish you had a little more humility here today. Each of you is flaying about with no clue about how you are going to get out of this mess,” said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. “You need to do better … you need to prepare better for the clicking time bomb out there.” As the morning went on, the questions got tougher even with assurances from Lamar McKay, president of BP America. “We will emerge stronger, smarter and safer,” he said. But panel member Rep, Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., put her concerns succinctly: “No one on this panel has owned up to making a mistake,” she said.

National News

AP: Oil Well’s Blowout Preventer Had Leak

Congressional investigators may be getting somewhere quickly in figuring out what caused the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Investigators said Wednesday that a key safety device known as the blowout preventer used in the BP oil rig in the Gulf had a hydraulic leak and other problems that likely prevented it from working as designed. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that BP had informed his House committee that at some point when the well was being closed with cement an influx of methane entered the wellhead, indicating that cementing the well had not produced needed pipe integrity.
Knowing the source of the problem doesn’t help stop the leak but it may prevent the same thing from happening at other locations.

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Also see:

Washington Post: White House seeks to lift limits on oil spill liability

Reacting to an alarming environmental crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama is putting his weight behind legislation efforts to lift liability caps for oil spills. The administration announced Wednesday that it is sending a wide-ranging spill-response package to Capitol Hill that includes raising the $75 million cap on economic damages. It would also seek to accelerate assistance to people left unemployed by the spill, expand eligibility for food stamps and raise an 8-cent-per-barrel oil tax by 1 cent. The bill would apply to future spills, but White House officials say they also want legislation to impose measures retroactively on BP.

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Dallas Morning News: EPA: Effect of dispersants unclear

BP is putting a lot of faith in chemical dispersants released in the Gulf of Mexico to help break up the devastating oil spill. But a top Environmental Protection Agency official warns that the agency doesn’t know if chemical dispersants will work to break up the oil slick off the Gulf Coast – or what impact the chemicals might have on the environment. Jim Jones, the EPA’s deputy assistant administrator in charge of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, told a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee panel on Tuesday that the Coast Guard and the EPA have authorized BP to test the dispersants underwater, “at the source of the leak.” Whether it really works is anybody’s guess.

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Washington Post: Compromise climate bill unveiled

A compromise climate bill was unveiled Wednesday by Sens. John F. Kerry and Joseph I. Lieberman. They hope to attract votes in the wake of the public’s concern over the massive oil spill in the Gulf. The bill is different from the House-passed climate bill in several respects. Iit seeks carbon reductions from separate sectors of the economy rather than imposing a nationwide cap, and it provides more incentives for both new nuclear power and offshore oil drilling — it still faces a steep hill in attracting the 60 votes needed for passage.

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Boston Globe: States may get a bigger voice on oil drilling

The unfolding disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is giving the states new fuel in the debate. Sen. John F. Kerry, (D-Mass.), acknowledging the mounting anger over the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, has changed his signature climate change bill to give states more say over offshore drilling, the Boston Globe is reporting. States would be allowed to veto plans for any drilling within 75 miles of their shores. In addition, they could veto plans for drilling off neighboring states if they can show significant impacts.

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Politico: Surge in support for new energy policies

Environmental groups see rise in public support for new energy policies. They say domestic drilling has been “tapped,” and Congress should redirect its efforts to making renewable fuels more accessible by increasing tax credits for those who use renewable fuels and extending tax credits that are about to expire.

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AP: Political patience wears thin as Gulf spill spreads

The public isn’t very interested in “maybes” or blank stares when it comes to an explanation of what happened in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. “If this is like other catastrophic failures of technological systems in modern history, whether it was the sinking of the Titanic, Three Mile Island, or the loss of the Challenger, we will likely discover that there was a cascade of failures and technical and human and regulatory errors,” said Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Lawmakers’ focus is on what failures may have led to the disaster. The corporate finger pointing prompted an admonishment from Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of oil-rich Alaska that “we are all in this together” in trying to shut off the oil and find a safer way to exploit vital energy. The investigation continues with no end in sight.

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USA Today: A tiny company, a big idea: Hair Booms

There may be something to the citizen-drive to collect hair to help stop the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. A tiny non-profit in San Francisco thought it had an idea worth testing on the Gulf Coast oil spill: Try using booms created from old pantyhose stuffed with hair from pet and beauty salons to sop up the oil. Neither the oil company nor other scientists put much stock in the idea. But now tens of thousands of “hair booms” are fast clogging the postal system and filling donated warehouses around the Gulf region. Among the problems: It’s unclear whether the volunteer-made booms are usable; they haven’t been tested in an actual major oil spill; and BP, the oil company responsible for cleaning up the spill, hasn’t returned the non-profit’s phone calls. That hasn’t stopped volunteers from moving ahead with an idea that just may have a second act.

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Miami Herald: Witness: ‘black rain” fell after rig exploded

Alwin Landry was standing watch on a support boat next to the Deepwater Horizon when he heard a thunderous hiss, and saw a geyser of mud and gas and a green flash. He said the explosion looked like black rain. He gave testimony Tuesday in federal hearings in Louisiana along with other eyewitnesses. Search and rescue pilots said they flew over the Gulf for 80 hours looking for survivors and it was like looking for tennis balls in the water.

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The Klaxon: Citizens grab control of the spin

Citizens of the Gulf Coast (and around the country) are being proactive. They are engaged and ready to be involved. Why in this age of information sharing would they sit around and wait for BP and the United States government to save the day? Volunteers have taken matters into their own hands by mitigating the disaster in imaginative ways.

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Also read:

Ø Gulf oil spill crisis driving up seafood prices

Ø ABCNews: No press allowed? ABC reporter turned away from command center

Ø MSNBC: Beaches hope to attract visitors in oil spill limbo

Ø Reuters: Is 1.4 million feet of boom enough?

Ø Birmingham Business Journals: Beware of fraudulent lawyers along Gulf

Ø NOAA press release: NOAA scientist leads rapid response team for contamination

Ø NOAA press release: 93 percent of Gulf fishing sites remains open

Ø Does Fla. Need a $75 million PR fix to deal with spill fallout?

Ø 2 Reno, Nev., companies helping with oil cleanup

Ø Times-Picayune: Jack-up barges to be deployed in St. Bernard Parish waters to fight Gulf oil spill


MSNBC slideshow on oil spill

MSNBC chart: How much oil?


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