This afternoon’s summary:
From the good folks at NRDC. This summary is the best one I have seen.
Vice President Joe Biden was on the Gulf coast Tuesday for his first visit since the oil spill occurred on April 20. He spent time at the command center in New Orleans and talking with local people about the impact of the oil spill. But he may not have seen the most devastating effects of the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The coastline is being destroyed. New reports every day show the expanding Gulf spill hitting the beaches and marine and wildlife. Fishermen are being idled and the spill is hurting the restaurant industry. BP and the Coast Guard sent oil-scooping skimming ships in the Gulf of Mexico back to shore Tuesday because nasty weather from Tropical Storm Alex churned up rough seas and powerful winds. BP has met its July 1 deadline to pay the U.S. government for the initial costs of responding to the Gulf oil spill, forking over $71 million. The story is still expanding and there is no end game yet.
We believe we have compromised significantly, and we’re prepared to compromise further – Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) on proposed climate change legislation after a meeting with President Obama.
MSNBC: Spill skimmers sent back to shore due to storm
Tropical storm Alex is blowing over the Gulf Tuesday with 25 mph winds and waves up to 12 feet and that has sent the oil skimmers back to shore and disrupted cleanup efforts along the coasts of Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana.
Times Picayune: Biden makes an oil spill visit
Vice President Joe Biden arrived in New Orleans Tuesday morning ahead of the worst of the bad weather forecast to meet with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Incident Commander Thad Allen.
Read more from Paul Rioux
CNN:Vice President to assess oil spill efforts in Gulf area
CBS/AP: Alex looms over Gulf spill but may actually help
The tropical storm plowing across the Gulf of Mexico is sending oil skimmers back to port and make containment booms useless, even from far away. But the rough weather also might give nature a hand in breaking down crude from the massive oil spill and the winds could help the oil evaporate faster.
ABC News: Tropical Storm Alex could slow cleanup
With so much unknown yet about Tropical Storm Alex, the big worry is that the damage it could cause is to push the oil further into the delicate coastal marshlands near Louisiana and Mississippi.
Read more from Ray Sanchez
AP: Hurricane 2010: Storm could slow cleanup or help with spill
Propublica: Scientists predict larger dead zones in Gulf this year
Federally-funded scientists predicted a “larger than average” dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico this year, but said it’s unclear what the oil spill’s effects on the dead zone will be. Dead zones are underwater areas where oxygen levels are so depleted that they’re inhospitable to most marine life
Read more from Marian Wang
Propublica: Gulf cleanup, foreign assistance and Jones Act confusion
Propublica answers readers’ questions about the Jones Act and whether it is blocking foreign assistance in the cleanup of the Gulf oil spill. So far it is not. A few foreign vessels are helping, because the spill zone falls three miles outside state waters, but most countries have been offering to sell supplies, not help cleanup for free.
Huffington Post: A giant supertanker arrives to help out
It’s a case of sending in the Calvary, A massive, newly-retooled supertanker that its owner claims could skim millions of gallons of oily water a day is now in the Gulf of Mexico. The 10-story tall, 372-yard long Taiwanese-owned behemoth may be the answer to all the smaller skimmers now sent back to port because of the weather in the Gulf of Mexico.
Read more by Dan Froomkin:
Politico: Democrats, Obama willing to scale back energy, climate change bill
During a White House meeting Tuesday with President Obama and skeptical Republicans, key Senate Democrats offered to scale back their ambitious plans to cap greenhouse gases across multiple sectors of the economy. Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman told reporters after the 90-minute West Wing meeting that Obama held firm in his calls for a price on greenhouse gases. But they said the president acknowledged that he could agree to a more limited climate and energy bill than the senators had previously drafted.
Read more from Darren Samuelson
Bloomberg: Gulf oil spill may be damaging U.S. consumer confidence
The worst oil spill in U.S. history may have played a role in the unexpectedly large drop in consumer confidence last month, according to John Ryding chief economist at RDQ Economics LLC in New York.
Read more from Carlos Torres
CNN: As oil creeps into Mississippi, frustration flows from coastal mayor
Connie Moran, mayor of Ocean Springs, Miss., is mad at both federal and state officials. They promised skimmers and vessels to meet the oil at the pass because they could see it coming toward the coast. So far – no boats. She says Gov. Haley Barbour should have shown “a greater sense of urgency” before the oil arrived on the Mississippi coast.
Read more from Ethan Harp
Propublica: Relief wells getting close, but could take a few tries
Even though the effort to drill a relief well is within 20 feet of the rupture well in the Gulf, it could take several attempts to hit the mark. In fact, relief wells rarely work on the first try, industry experts say.
CNN: Gulf Coast beaches update
A roundup on the status of beaches along the Gulf coast states.
AP: BP meeting deadline for payments to government for oil spill response
BP has met its July 1 deadline to pay the federal government for the initial costs of responding to the Gulf oil spill–BP paid two bills totaling about $71 million earlier this month. The administration says the oil company is still reviewing a third bill for $51.4 million.
MSN: Forensic accountant crucial in Gulf oil spill
The lawyers had already landed. Now here come the accountants, especially forensic accountants who are going to have to untangle the money and liability mess about who owes what to whom as the spill and the damage continue.
ABC News: BP Station owners to get financial relief
BP has stepped up with limited aid to help gas station owners hardest hit by the consumer boycotts. Distributors will get a break on prices, and, in turn, will have discretion to give discounts to individual station owners.
AOL News: Who decides how safe is safe?
This is new territory. It is very unclear who should decide if the seafood is safe, and how it is tested. Everyone has an agenda. BP wants to limit liability. The fishing industry wants to go about its business. The regulators are unclear. After a two-week investigation, AOL tells the buyer to beware.
Read more from Andrew Schneider
Los Angeles Times: Tough-talking Parish president has become face of frustration for Gulf Oil Spill
Everybody in America knows Billy Nungesser now. The president of Plaquemines Parish has been wall-to-wall on the news media as the one true regular-guy voice of the victims in this disaster. For example: “When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration missed the mark predicting where oil from the massive Gulf of Mexico spill would go, he didn’t hide his anger. The agency “should know when a snail farts with all the crap they have in Washington,” he bellowed.
Read more from Holbrooke Mohr
Arizona Republic: ASU experts say oil spill shows need for new approaches
The problem is that science works slowly, so even if everyone says an oil spill like the one in the Gulf should never happen again, that doesn’t help, according to Arizona State cosmologist Professor Lawrence Krauss. The dollars have to go into research now before another disaster.
Read more from Derek Quizon
MSNBC: Hurricane tracker