Gulf Oil Spill Update

Disaster Still Going. From the good folks at NRDC.

This morning’s summary:
There’s plenty of drama on the high seas these days and in the courtroom, too, all of which are adding to the tensions in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Late Wednesday, BP announced it reinstalled the containment cap after a sudden problem forced the oil company to remove the cap 11 hours earlier, caused thousands of gallons of oil to flow into the Gulf. The government signaled it would impose a more flexible ban on new deepwater drilling after a federal judge overturned an initial moratorium as too far-reaching. Oil companies, trying to stop the government from keeping the ban in place, swiftly returned to court to ask the judge to enforce his ruling, accusing the Obama administration of choosing to “ignore and disobey it.” Meanwhile, a new report says the federal government delayed by five weeks deploying high-tech sensors that could accurately measure how much oil was spewing out of the BP well because officials thought the well would be capped or shut down within a relatively short time span. With so many wrong moves, we may be doomed to failure in a sea of oil for a very long time.

Quotable Quote:

This is a war. Every hour, every day matters. Maybe they don’t see the oil from Washington [but] we see it every day on our coast – Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal

National News

MSNBC: Containment cap again collecting oil
The containment cap was back on the gushing oil well at the bottom of the Gulf Wednesday night, but it was off for 11 hours after being bumped by an undersea robot.

Read more

And check this out

See this one, too:

Times Picayune: Oil lawyer: Drilling moratorium injunction defied
A standoff is developing between marine service companies in the Gulf and the Obama administration. While the White House asks a federal judge to “delay” his ruling overturning the drilling moratorium, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar indicated that he was working on a “pause” instead of a “ban” on drilling with some more refined safety procedures and some relaxed constraints. But drilling service companies were heading to court, claiming the White House was trying to make an end run around the judge’s ruling.

Read more;jsessionid=DED20C09F23BC3F1E9785EF00157F588?contentguid=WIVb9pMU&full=true#display

Read this one, too
Politico: Obama accused of defying court on drilling ban

Also see

Reuters: U.S. administration appeals decision blocking drilling ban Government delayed measuring rate oil flow for weeks

An astonishing admission from the federal government: it did not measure the flow of oil gushing from the ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico for five weeks because officials believed the well would be capped or shut down very quickly.

Read more from Bob Brewin

Propublica: Internal document contradicts BP’s claims on oil flow

Propublica reprints a document from BP showing at the outset that the company estimated the spill at up to 100,000 barrels a day if containment failed despite what it was telling the public.

Read more from Sasha Chavkin

Wall Street Journal: BP relied on faulty U.S. data

In shades of what could be Big Oil’s defense, BP and other companies based their plans for responding to a big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on U.S. government projections that gave very low odds of oil hitting shore, even in the case of a spill much larger than the current one. The government models, which oil companies are required to use but have not been updated since 2004, assumed that most of the oil would rapidly evaporate or get broken up by waves or weather.

Read more from Neil King and Keith Johnson

Huffington Post: BP halts watchdog lawsuit on technicality

A lawsuit filed by watchdog group Food & Water Watch against the U.S. Minerals Management Service alleging that BP’s Atlantis oil rig is unsafe has been suspended for 60 days on the basis of a technicality — the oil giant claimed it didn’t have enough notice to respond to the complaint.

Read more from Lucia Graves

NOAA: NOAA opens up more than 8,000 of fishing closed area in Gulf of Mexico

NOAA has opened more than 8,000 square miles of previously closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico. More than 78,000 square miles of the Gulf remain closed to fishing.

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Fox Mental health fallout spill just beginning

Two deaths in the Gulf Wednesday, one a cleanup worker from exposure to the heat and one a despondent boat captain who took his own life, show in very real terms the suffering and mental health issues rising from the disaster.

Read more from Karlie Pouliot,2933,595202,00.html

Also see: Los Angeles Times: Gulf Oil Spill: Boat captain, despondent over spill, commits suicide

CNN: Jidal outraged at stop in dredging operations

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had harsh words for government authorities on Wednesday after sand-dredging operations to protect the state’s coastline from the BP oil disaster were halted due to environmental concerns.

Read more

Also see:
Los Angeles Times: Gulf oil spill: barrier island berm plans run aground

YouTube: Raining Oil in Louisiana?

What goes up must come down. In this case, oil gushing from that pipe in the Gulf is evaporating into the air and coming down with the rain in Louisiana.


Times Picayune: Gulf of Mexico oil spill health concerns take center stage
It was noisy and a bit unruly Wednesday as New Orleans residents met with local officials, Coast Guard and BP reps and asked questions—lots of them. And they wanted answers, about health, about the claims process and what will happen to their communities.

Read more from Michele Krupa;jsessionid=66503D99A1082140357C01A36B9DDBA9?contentguid=HiGjgvsj&full=true#display

Oklahoma Daily: Researchers seek grants to study oil spill
As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, Oklahoma University researchers are applying for grants to fund research into exposure to oil. They say the research could provide valuable information if oil contamination were to occur in Oklahoma. The National Institutes of Health is funding research relating to the impact of the oil spill.

Read more:


Fox News: Energy Secretary Chu looked to BP to help ‘save the world’ in 2007 video

Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who was working at UC Berkeley, says in a 2007 video, “There’s been a lot of excitement that’s been growing over the last several years and now with partnering with BP we will have the resources to actually carry out some of the things we want to do in order to help save the world.”

Read more


Newsweek: Oil spill’s worst-case scenario?

As time goes on, it is almost impossible to comprehend, but the worst-case scenarios keep coming. Newsweek reports on this report that has caused enormous anxiety on the web: “It’s possible that hydrocarbons are leaking out the bottom or sides of the well. If so, they might erode surrounding sediments and undermine the foundation upon which the 450-ton blowout preventer sits. If such leaks aren’t sealed off in time, the entire structure could topple over…” causing a wide-open blowout.

Read more from Jeneen Interlandi

New York Times: BP is pursuing Alaska drilling some call risky

Some environmentalists in Alaska are calling for the government to take another look at a BP project in Alaska that is scheduled to begin drilling in the fall. On that project, the feds allowed BP, instead of regulators, to write the environmental review. Critics are warning about a replay of the Gulf spill.

Read more from Ian Urbina

Commercial-Appeal: Right decision on moratorium, better energy policy needed
A federal judge in Louisiana made the right decision this week to block a six-month moratorium on new oil drilling projects in the Gulf, the Commercial-Appeal writes.

Read more:

AP: Gulf spill garbage mishandled from Mississippi to Florida
Just what are public officials to do about the growing mound of garbage from the Gulf oil spill – now estimated at 1,300 tons? An AP spot check finds that garbage is being mishandled, not disposed of in any sort of efficient way.

Read more:

Palm Beach Post: The next tragedy: Dolphins
Wildlife researchers in Florida are bracing for the next tragedy: dolphins. The number of dolphins turning up dead or trapped in the Gulf of Mexico disaster is growing,

Read more from Christine Stapleton


AP: Pelicans rehabbed from oil spill released in Texas

More than five dozen brown pelicans rehabilitated from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been released in Texas, the largest release since the oil spill disaster began.

Read more


Ø Map showing where oil has washed ashore

Ø Map showing spewing oil once containment cap removed


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