Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster Update

Thanks NRDC for this summary!!!!
This morning’s summary:

Nothing is easy in this catastrophe – not shutting off the spigot or cleaning up the mess. Although the Coast Guard had trained for the possibility of cleaning up a disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it had never anticipated that oil would spread across such a broad area and break up into hundreds of thousands of patches as the current spill has done. President Obama is feeling the agony of the Gulf right now and is starting to express it. In an interview Tuesday morning on NBC’s Today show, Obama said, “And I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.” You can say it anyway you want, but nothing takes away from the heartbreaking images of the chocolate-covered penguins or the marshes coated with oil that looks like fudge. There may be some breakthroughs in the coming days as BP brings in bigger ships to handle the rescued oil and puts on a bigger containment cap to capture the spill. But it’s still a long two months until the relief wells make it to the bottom of the ocean when they are expected to provide real relief. In this case, time does not march on.

Quotable quote:

“I don’t think any plan envisioned (oil patches) would get out that far and disaggregate,” said Adm. Thad Allen. “If anything is taxing our resources, it’s the breadth.”

National News

Los Angeles Times:, Obama defends role; Would have fired Hayward

Speaking to NBC’s Matt Lauer in an interview aired Tuesday, the President defended what some have criticism as his too-cool and cerebral response to the Gulf oil spill. He said: “I’m talking to these folks because they potentially have the best answers – so I know whose ass to kick.” He also said he would have fired BP CEO Tony Hayward by now over the controversial comments Hayward made if Hayward were on his team. “He wouldn’t be working for me after any of those statements,” Obama said.

Read more

See this, too

New York Times: Dispersal of oil means cleanup to take years

Now it is war on many fronts. The newest obstacle the Coast Guard is facing is the intricacy of cleaning up oil that has broken into “hundreds and thousands” of patches traveling in different directions across the surface of the sea, says Adm. Thad Allen.

Read more from Joseph Berger, Brian Knowlton and Henry Fountain

Also check this out this:,0,6497340.story

AP: Well cap catches more oil; spill is breaking up into patches; outlook gloomy

On the surface of the Gulf, the oil is breaking into patches. Below the surface containment is now collecting increasing amounts of oil from the well but not enough. But BP says it is designing a new cap to replace the first one next month that will have a tighter fit and hopefully withstand hurricanes.

Read more from Harry R. Weber and Ray Henry

Wall Street Journal: Obama to reopen shallow oil drilling

The Obama administration indicated Monday that it is preparing to release new rules on shallow offshore drilling as it receives increasing pressure from residents of the Gulf states in response to the loss of jobs and incomes from an offshore drilling moratorium.

Read more from Laura Meckler and Jonathan Weisman

ABC News: Poll: BP oil spill response rated worse than Katrina

By a 2 to 1 margin, Americans in a new ABC News poll say they would like to see criminal charges against BP, and 69 percent say the government mishandled this disaster worse than it handled Katrina.

Read more BP should have known about problems
The investigative publication,, looked into the records of internal investigations over the past decade warning senior BP managers that the company repeatedly disregarded safety and environmental rules and risked a serious accident if it did not change its ways..

Read more:

New York Times: How much oil leaking? No one knows

Despite the promising reports that have been given, there is really no consensus among experts on exactly how much oil is flowing. One expert thinks the cap has made it much worse than the 20 percent increase BP projected. The rate of flow will determine how much BP is fined.

Read more Justin Gillis and Henry Fountain

Der Spiegel: Expert recommends killing oil-soaked birds

Silvia Gaus is a German animal biologist at the Wattanmeer National Park along the North Sea. She says the middle-term survival rate for oil-soaked birds is under one percent, and it is more humane to help them die.

Read more,1518,693359,00.html

NOAA reopens 339 square miles fishing area in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA has reopened a portion of the Gulf it closed as a precautionary measure last week.

Read more

CNN: Hollywood kicks in – Gulf disaster is an “enormous wake-up call”

Actor Sam Waterston, a longtime environmental activist, had always opposed offshore drilling, but thought the risks were low—until the Deepwater Horizon, he says. Now he is taking part in an event July 10th with the group Oceana, founded by actor Ted Danson, to call for alternative sources of energy.

Read more from Todd Leopold

Huffington Post: Thad Allen supports pre-emptive relief well drilling as safety net

As a presidential commission begins its work on the questions generated by this disaster Adm. Thad Allen suggests that pre-emptive relief wells be drilled before drilling starts at any site for protection against another incident.


Read more from Sam Stein


Times-Picayune: Obama expects BP to foot bill for lost wages lost because of drilling moratorium

The Obama administration expects offshore oil rig workers who lose wages as a result of the administration’s moratorium on deepwater oil and gas exploration to be reimbursed by BP, a White House spokeswoman said Monday.

Read more from Bruce Alpert

Times-Picayune: BP sets up payment plan for sand berms in Louisiana

BP has given Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal a check for $60 million to start construction of sand berms for the barrier islands—to be followed by five more checks of $60 million each.

Read more from Richard Rainey

CNN: Ground zero for oil disaster suffers double whammy from moratorium

The motto for Lafourche Parish, Louisiana is “feeding and fueling America.” It is ground zero for the oil spill. On the one hand, the fishermen are out of work. On the other, up to a tenth of the residents who work for oil companies, will lose their jobs to a drilling moratorium.

Read more from Jessica Ravitz

Palm Beach Post: Crist starts loan program for businesses hurt by oil spill

Gov. Charlie Crist Monday activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, to provide emergency, short-term loans to small businesses in 26 counties expected to be affected by the drifting oil, including Palm Beach County.

Read more from Adam Playford


Wall Street Journal: BP is starting to look like ‘takeover bait”

The idea that BP might one day file for bankruptcy, particularly as part of a merger that would enable it to cordon off its liabilities from the spill, is starting to percolate on Wall Street. Given the plunge in BP’s share price — the company has lost more than a third of its value since Deepwater Horizon blew — some bankers and analysts say BP is starting to look like takeover bait.

Read more from Andrew Ross Sorkin


CNN: UK takes a lesson from Gulf oil spill
Britain will step up its inspection of North Sea drilling rigs following the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the UK government announced Tuesday.

Read more:


Atlanta Journal Constitution: BP shouldn’t be allowed to stall in paying the billions it owes

BP so far has paid only half of the 37,000 claims filed so far on the oil spill. This editorial argues that it shouldn’t be allowed to stall on the many small businesses that have suffered as a result of the spill. Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez, many of those economic victims are still waiting to be paid.

Read more by Cynthia Tucker Will BP get the Bhopal treatment?

After 25 years in the courts, the Indian executives of Bhopal, responsible for the gas leak disaster that killed 3,000 people in 1984, only received a slap on the wrist. Andrew Arnold of asks if BP will get similar light treatment.

Read more by Andrew Arnold


NOAA forecast trajectory through Wednesday

Los Angeles Times: Capping the oil well,0,3336650.graphic

Los Angeles Times: Breaking up an oil slick,0,1568248.graphic



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