Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Update From the Good Folks At NRDC

This morning’s summary:

We’re watching an oil giant squirm right now. Not sure of which message to convey, BP’s public relations efforts are scattered across the winds. Dealing with the biggest environmental catastrophe in U.S. history, the British government is weighing in to help BP deal with the cleanup. Yes, BP wants to do everything it can to help out this catastrophe. But does it really? There are indications that BP’s estimates of how much oil is gushing into the Gulf have been way off. Independent scientific teams reviewing the oil spill for the federal government estimate that the Deepwater Horizon well has most likely spewed 25,000 to 30,000 barrels of oil a day before the oil pipe was cut and capped. No matter how you cut it, that is far more than BP has publicly estimated. Remember BP originally said it was 1,000 barrels a day. There is much more information to learn about BP and the doomed Deepwater Horizon. Right now, “They are making it up on a daily basis,” Rep. Ed Markey told MSNBC on Thursday. Nevertheless, the important goal now is to stop that oil spill and then pick up the pieces. We already know that BP will be in court for years, and the people of the Gulf coast will be suffering for many years to come.

Quotable Quote:

“Our administration is not going to rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of the Gulf are able to go back to their lives and their livelihoods” – Adm. Thad Allen

National News

ABC News: Obama requests meeting with BP executives

President Obama has formally requested a meeting with the top officials of BP at the White House on June 16. The request was made by Adm. Thad Allen, National Incident Commander, in a letter sent Thursday, saying that “time is of the essence” in resolving the issues in the Gulf.

Read more from Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

Also see
Politico: The Whiteboard

Washington Post: Scientists offer varied numbers, on size of BP leak
It’s just as the scientists have been saying for weeks, only now it’s official, but no less shocking. Finally the government put the number of barrels flowing from the Gulf oil spill from 20,000 to 40,000 a day—which makes it at least five times the size of the Exxon Valdez leak. Put it another way: It’s roughly one Valdez spill every week, nearly two Olympic-size swimming pools of oil every day.

Read more from Joel Achenbach and Juliet Eilperin

Also see this article: Why do the oil estimates keep changing?

CNN: Obama meets with relatives of Gulf oil explosion victims

They are the ones who have lost the most to the disaster, and been paid the least attention—the families of the 11 men who died on the Deepwater Horizon. President Obama brought them to the White House Thursday for a private meeting. They talked about their loved ones, maritime compensation law and regulation.

Read more

Also see
AP: Obama says he won’t forget Gulf oil spill families

AP: Murkowski measure fails to block EPA from regulating greenhouse gases
The Senate has rejected a bid to stop the Obama administration from imposing regulations on greenhouse gases, giving a boost to President Barack Obama as he pursues broader clean energy legislation.

Read more

Propublica: Rise in offshore spills raises wider questions on drilling
There’s the Ocean Saratoga Rig in the Gulf, the Trans-Alaska pipeline and a collision with a tanker and another vessel in January. There are other accidents and oil spills taking place not getting the attention of the Deepwater Horizon.

Read more from Sasha Chavkin

Huffington Post: Chemical dispersants: What’s being dumped in the Gulf?
Interactive journalism. This week the EPA listed ingredients for the two dispersants that are being used in the Gulf: Mother Jones and the Huffington Post are asking if readers can help figure out what’s in these chemicals.

Read more


AP: Congress frees cleanup money for Gulf oil spill
Legislation is on its way to President Obama for his signature to remove the $100 million limit that the Coast Guard can spend on the spill from a government trust fund used to pay cleanup costs. The Coast Guard would run out of money to fight the spill next week if the spending cap is not lifted.

Read more from Stephen Ohlemacher

Los Angeles Times: Gulf oil spill: Anger mounts on Capitol Hill
Local officials from the Gulf states were on Capitol Hill venting their frustrations and begging for help—money and organization.

Read more from Richard Simon and Margot Roosevelt

Christian Science Monitor: Is it time for Pentagon to take over?
The Christian Science Monitor analyzes the call from Fla. Sen. Bill Nelson and others for the military to take over the operation in the Gulf.

Read more from Peter Grier

Politico: Minerals Management Service investigation expands
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.)is expanding the investigation on the Minerals Management Service. Rahall is seeking information about regulators who have held positions inside the oil industry.

Read more from Jake Sherman

AP: Sensenbrenner, BP investor and GOP congressman
Wisconsin GOP Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is the No. 2 Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and owns thousands of shares of BP stock. He has criticized the White House for its criticisms of BP but refuses to recuse himself from votes that might involve BP.

Read more from Jim Conrad

CNN: Senator: “Outrageous” for BP to skip safety hearing
Sen. Patty Murray blasted BP on Thursday for failing to attend her subcommittee’s hearing on oil and gas worker safety.

Read more from Ed Hornick

CNN: BP denies it has ordered cleanup workers not to talk to reporters
BP denied that it has ordered workers not to talk to reporters, but on Thursday it was clear on one public beach that cleanup workers would not go anywhere near CNN cameras. And one worker at a wildlife center told CNN that he had signed a document saying he would not talk to the news media.

Read more


Miami Herald: Oil from the spill reaches Pensacola waterways
Brown gooey oil slopped into the Perdido and Pensacola passes Thursday, the first confirmed invasion of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster into Florida’s inland waterways.

Read more from Jennifer Lebovich and Carol Rosenberg

CNN: Oil shows up near Alabama beach resort town
Oil from the massive spill in the Gulf has moved into the inland waterway along coastal Alabama, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard to close Perdido Pass, the main water access route for fishermen and boaters in the popular resort town of Orange Beach.

Read more from Shelby Lin Erdman

Times Picayune: Jindal says Obama still doesn’t get moratorium’s economic impact
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose political fortunes have risen as he battles for his state, told a shipyard full of angry workers that he doesn’t think the White House gets it when it comes to a drilling moratorium. Jindal has asked the president to shorten the six-month interval to keep oil rigs and jobs from leaving the Gulf.

Read more from David Hammer

Los Angeles Times: Gulf residents lawyering up
“Oil damages? You May Be Entitled to Compensation,” reads a billboard in LaFourche Parish, Louisiana – 200 lawsuits and counting, none so far on behalf of the fish and the birds.

Read more from John Schwartz

Also check out this article by Sonia Smith

Business Week: Oil spill could hit property values
The Gulf coast oil spill is affecting everything on the sea and the land, too. A forecast by CoStar Group Inc., predicts that Gulf Coast property values may drop by at least 10 percent. Losses may total more than $4 billion along the 600-mile stretch from the Louisiana bayous to Clearwater, Fla. “It’s just another blow to an already depressed real estate market,” one analyst said.

Read more by John Gittlesohn:


Wall Street Journal: BP’s U.S. shares rebound
B:P shares were up on Wall Street Thursday after taking a big hit the day before.

Read more

RTT News: London Mayor blasts “anti-British rhetoric” as BP’s stock value plummets
The mayor of London has lashed out at anti-British rhetoric coming from Americans at BP. He says the company is paying a “very very heavy price” for “an accident.”

Read more

Also see

New York Times: US Fury at BP stirs Backlash Among British

Wall Street Journal: Gulf disaster spawns lab for scientists
Awful as the accident is, the spill is an unexpected gift for some scientists—a chance to study a vast marine event that no lab test or field trial could match.

Read more from Gautam Nauk


New York Times: Can the U.S. punish BP Shareholders?
The editors of The New York Times asked a roundtable of financial experts.

Read more

New York Times: BP’s mess, and Wall Street’s
Wall Street, BP: What these two disasters — one financial, the other environmental — prove beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the right incentives no longer exist to get corporate executives to do what they should want to do, and what they must do, to prevent such calamities from happening.

Read more from William D. Cohan





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