Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Update

This morning’s summary: From NRDC. Thank you.

On the morning after high drama on Capitol Hill, we are seeing plenty of political mop-up. The Republicans are still reeling from Rep. Joe Barton’s unfortunate “shakedown” comment. The Democrats are still dealing with President Obama’s poll numbers that continue to reflect the public’s distrust of what’s happening in the Gulf of Mexico and whether the president is really in control of it. Meanwhile, there’s good news and bad down in the Gulf where the oil leak continues to spew millions of gallons of oil into the sea. On the plus side, Adm. Thad Allen says one of the relief wells may be finished well before the anticipated August date – in just three or four weeks, making the effort to cap the spill move into high gear. But on a very down side, some analysts say the relief wells may not plug the spill until Christmas even if they begin operating in August.

Quotable quote:

“I apologize for using the term ‘shakedown’ with regard to yesterday’s actions at the White House … I retract my apology to BP,” Rep. Joe Barton said, apologizing for his apology.

National News

New York Times: Barton: What I really meant to say

Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton virtually stunned the nation when he used his time at Congressional hearings Thursday to apologize to BP. Calling the President’s action to force the company to pay $20 billion to an escrow account for oil spill victim—a shakedown. Barton took back his apology hours later: Fellow House Republicans issued a statement saying Barton had been wrong.

Read more from Bernie Becker and Carl Hulse

Also check out:

Politico: GOP rushes to clean up Joe Barton mess

Huffington Post: GOP leaders threaten to strip Barton’s seniority over BP apology

According to the Huffington Post, the inside story is that Republican House members threatened to strip Barton of his seniority on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He is, at this point, the ranking Republican on the committee and could be chairman if Republicans win a majority in the House in November.

Read more from Ryan Grim

New York Times: Analysts: relief wells may not stop spill till Christmas
The forecast is that the relief wells won’t be finished before mid-August, but industry analysts say the wells may not stop the spill until Christmas.

Read more from Laura Parker

Los Angeles Times: Coast Guard criticized for lax inspection of Deepwater Horizon

Members of the House Transportation Committee castigated the Coast Guard on Thursday for being insufficiently aggressive in tracking and inspecting foreign oil drill vessels such as the Deepwater Horizon. Because the rig was registered in the Marshall Islands, it was allowed to have a drilling manager in charge. As an oceangoing vessel under U.S. Law, it should have had a sea captain at the helm.

Read more from Kim Geiger and Tom Hamburger,0,491106.story

AP: Dead sperm whale found south of Gulf oil spill site

A dead sperm whale has been found floating 77 miles south of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The whale appears to have been dead for up to a week, and it is not known if it was killed by the oil spill.

Read more

Newsweek: The environmental legacy of the oil spill

According to Newsweek, there are lessons from past disasters: the longer the oil floats, the less toxic it becomes and get the oil off the beach, but don’t expect to get it all.

Read more from Ryan Tracy


CNN: Judge favored by BP has financial ties to oil industry

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes, the judge that BP wants to hear an estimated 200 lawsuits over the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, gets tens of thousands of dollars a year in oil royalties and is paid travel expenses to industry conferences, financial disclosure forms show.

Read more from Abbie Boudreau and David Fitzpatrick

New York Times: Obama’s twist of BP’s arm stirs debate on common tactic

It has happened with General Motors, Chrysler and government bailouts. Now that the White House has twisted BP’s arm, there is renewed debate about the reach of Presidential power.

Read more from David E. Sanger

New York Daily News: Image of Tony Hayward tells it all
Sure, BP CEO Tony Hayward look anguished as he spent the day Thursday testifying before a hostile congressional panel. But his face was juxtaposed next to the site of the spewing oil leak on most TV networks, and that harsh view told it all.

Read more:

Los Angeles Times: Oil companies push for status quo on environmental regulations for deep-water drilling rigs

The American Petroleum Institute filed documents last week with the White House arguing that environmental regulations for deep-water drilling rigs do not immediately need to be toughened because the Deepwater Horizon explosion was an unforeseeable event, not a failure of federal oversight.

Read more from Jim Tankersley and Jennifer Martinez,0,74784.story

Huffington Post: Oil greases the coffers of members of the House Energy panel
Money talks, that’s for sure, and it’s something that the oil industry knows really well. In a list of contributions to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, it’s clear that oil is hoping that lawmakers will do its bidding. It’s a well-known slippery slope in the halls of Capitol Hill. The question is whether money will do the job this time?

Read more:


Ask CBS News: Is Gulf Shellfish safe to eat?

It’s a question that people all over the country are asking. CBS correspondent Don Teague answers from Grand Isle, La.

Read more

AP: Amid stinging criticism, Adm. Thad Allen tours Louisiana coast hard hit by spill

Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen has been getting hit from all sides, from Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser who said he was “not the right man for the job,” and from Louisiana Gov, Bobby Jindal, for shutting down vacuum barges in the Gulf, but he still toured the coast Thursday, not responding to those comments.

Read more from

AP: No one is looking at the threat of methane in the Gulf
There are so many problems coming from the Gulf oil spill that it’s hard to keep track of all the dangers. But here’s another one” The crude gushing from the well contains vast amounts of natural gas that could pose a serious threat to the Gulf of Mexico’s fragile ecosystem.

Read more:

Times Picayune: Supply workers protest exclusion from fund for rig workers

There could be 18,000 to 24,000 workers on supply ships that service the rigs who are out in the cold with the President’s drilling moratorium, and they are not included in the $100 million fund now being set up by BP to cover oil rig workers who will lose jobs as a result of the ban.

Read more from

Palm Beach Post: BP lacks sense of urgency, scientist says

One South Florida researcher says she is not waiting for money from BP to research the effect of the oil spill on Florida shores, and she doesn’t trust the company’s involvement anyway because BP lacks a sense of urgency to find out exactly how the spill have affected the Gulf.

Read more from Kimberly Miller

New York Times: Cooper has become a loud voice for Gulf residents

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper reprises his angry man role from Katrina in becoming a loud voice for residents of the Gulf, calling on and calling out BP. This time around, his is not the only person in the media taking on an adversarial role.

Read more from Brian Stelter


New York Times: Drilling moratorium means hard times for Gulf rig workers

Not just fishermen or hotel and restaurant owners are affected by the spill.

The moratorium will affects tens of thousands of workers on the rigs, who will not be compensated anywhere near the money they make by the $100 million compensation fund … and they will lose their jobs entirely if the ban forces rigs to leave the Gulf.

Read more from Tom Zeller


CNN: Roland Martin: “Shakedown’ a sad joke

Commentator Roland Martin, says he is ashamed of Rep, Joe Barton for apologizing to BP for a so-called White House “shakedown.” He says, “You would think that a man who is always talking about government spending and fiscal conservatism would want a private company to foot the bill for an oil spill.”

Read more from Roland Martin Editorial: Gulf oil spill; compensation can’t wait

It’s unfortunate that British pensioners are taking a hit on BP stock, but the truth is that dividend money needs to come to the four states of the Gulf first, because compensation here can’t wait

Read more

USAToday: The arrogance of the oil industry
The accident exposed the fact that the other major oil companies are in no better position than BP to plug this sort of deep-sea blowout or clean it up.

Read more:

Times-Picayune: BP still lacks urgency

BP needs to get a sense of urgency about containing the oil at its source until relief wells are completed later this summer. If the company has trouble understanding that urgency, federal officials must make sure it does.

Read more


Freddie Mac: Relief for Gulf mortgage holders
Freddie Mac is the latest financial organization offering relief to suffering Gulf oil residents. Freddie Mac, one of the largest investors in residential mortgages, gave financial institutions the green light to suspend a borrower’s mortgage payments for up to three months or reduce payments for up to six months.

Read more:

ABC News:“ Spillionaires” hope to cash in as oil cleanup continues

Locals are diving into the cleanup and unearthing a goldmine, earning the nickname “spillionaires.” “We are probably doing double or triple what we normally do in a month like this,” said one lucky entrepreneur. BP has hired hundreds of contractors and spent $1.5 billion.

Read more from Matt Guttman and Enjoli Francis

Wall Street Journal: Medvedev sees risk to Euro

On the eve of his first state visit to the U.S. next week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev talks to the Wall Street Journal about threats to the euro, but also about what he fears could be the pending “annihilation” or “breakup” BP as it faces billions of dollars in fines and costs from the Gulf oil spill.

Read more from Gregory White, Robert Thomson and Rebecca Blumenstein

Wall Street Journal: BP investors’ enthusiasm gives way to doubts

Initial enthusiasm about the deal with the White House gave way to doubts as BP stock fell on the American Stock Exchange, although stocks rose on the London exchange.

Read more from Guy Chazan

Bloomberg: BP oil spill fuels Australian opponents to drilling

The Gulf of Mexico disaster is generating opposition to deepwater drilling off Australia, where the government is opening new exploration areas less than a year after that country’s third-worst oil spill.

Read more from James Paton


Gulf oil spill tracker

NOAA forecast trajectory through Saturday, June 19



One Response to “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Update”

  1. biohazard disposal Says:

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    […]Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Update « naturalistjourneys[…]…

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