Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster Update

From the good folks at NRDC
morning’s summary:

On Day 87 of the biggest environmental disaster in US history, the oil stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, at least temporarily. Just to see the image on the screen of the oil well with no gushing volcano was a beautiful image to behold. But this is not the finish line. It is only a temporary fix. Tests over the next 48 hours will determine if the cap can take the pressure or whether there will be other leaks and cracks. The permanent solution is still a few weeks away – the relief wells that will put a permanent end to the flowing oil. And that’s why there was no overwhelming joy at the command center in the Gulf or among the weary people of the region who have endured this hell for three months. There is still enormous damage to the environment and the economy. The politics of the oil spill are likely to play out in the mid-term elections in November. On Friday morning, President Obama told reporters he is optimistic about the progress the rescue effort is making. “We’ve still got a big job to do.” But he repeated that BP is going to be paying for the damage to the environment and paying the people whose lives and livelihoods have been damaged.

Quotable Quote
We’ve got an enormous amount of work to do but we are making steady progress … We won’t be done until we actually know we have killed the well – President Obama

National News

AP: Day 2: It’s capped! BP says it’s far from the finish line

The worst oil spill in U.S. history remains capped for a second day Friday, suggesting that the well integrity test was continuing. BP now will watch pressure readings to look for signs that any new leaks may develop. Depending on what the test shows, BP may have to open the well back up, according to BP Vice President Kent Wells. But BP is encouraged by the early signs.

Read more:

Check this one out, too
Guardian: BP may have oil spill under control

Huffington Post: BP Exec: Gulf oil spill stopping is “a great sight’ but ‘far from the finish line’

Everyone is pleased but cautious. Doug Suttles, the company’s chief operating officer, told reporters on Dauphin Island, Ala., Thursday that the effort to permanently stop the flow of oil is “far from the finish line.”

Read more

MSNBC: Gusher stops, BP might still have to siphon oil

The fact that the cap was holding up under pressure tests led many to believe that the new system would keep the oil from flowing until a relief well is dug by mid-August to plug the well. But National Incident Commander Thad Allen issued a statement later in the day, saying it is “likely” that “we will return to the containment process using this new stacking cap connected to the risers to attempt to collect up to 80,000 barrels of oil per day until the relief well is completed.”

Read more

AP: Oil spill probe now includes abandoned wells

The House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has broadened its inquiry, now questioning whether tens of thousands of abandoned oil and gas wells are leaking or even being monitored for leaks. The AP reported last week that the wells are not routinely inspected.

Read more from Jeff Donn

New York Times: A grilling on oil dispersants

The EPA director told a Senate hearing Thursday that the heavy use of dispersants in the Gulf oil spill is “unprecedented and troublesome,” but use of the chemicals have been sharply reduced in recent weeks. Scientists have called for a study of dispersants for weeks, saying they believe the dispersants will kill marine life.

Read more from Matthew Wald

Telegraph: BP admits to lobbying UK over Libya transfer scheme but not

Lockerbie bomber

According to the London press, BP said it pressed for a deal over the controversial prisoner transfer agreement with Libya amid fears any delays to negotiations would damage its “commercial interests” and disrupt its billion dollar drilling operations in the region. But it denied claims that it had been involved in negotiations concerning the release of Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber freed by Scottish authorities last year.

Read more from Andrew Hough

Los Angeles Times: Congress to probe BP Lockerbie accusations

Members of Congress are ramping up inquiries into the associations between BP and the Lockerbie terrorist.

Read more from Richard Simon and Geoff Mohan

Times Picayune: Mental health impact of oil spill may last for years

The wreckage of the Deepwater Horizon rig may have stopped spilling oil into the Gulf of Mexico at least as of Thursday — but the mental health effects of the disaster will be felt for years, according to a leading behavioral scientist who examined the social fallout of the Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska two decades ago.

Read more from Bill Barrow


Wall Street Journal: BP shares rise as oil leak is halted

After news the oil had stopped BP’s American shares shot up 7.6 percent to $38.92, the stock’s highest level since June 4. After hitting a 14-year low in late June at $26.75, the stock has recovered 36 percent of its slide since the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig.

Read more from Donna Kardos Yaselovich

Bloomberg: Lawsuits against BP now top 300

There are now about 300 lawsuits and 100,000 individual damage claims against BP, totaling in the billions. Among them: A new wave of suits by munipalities, blaming BP for budget shortfalls due to losses in revenue for local businesses.

Read more


Los Angeles Times: Gulf oil spill: Cash may flow from BP fund soon

Payments could begin within a few weeks from a $20-billion fund BP set aside to pay for the economic effects of its spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the fund’s top administrator told hundreds of Houma, La., residents at a town hall meeting Thursday afternoon.

Read more from Nicole Santa Cruz U.S. Surgeon General in Panhandle for spill

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin visited Pensacola, Fla. Thursday on a trip to look into mounting mental health and other concerns in the region.

Read more from Melissa Nelson

AP: Sea Turtles from Gulf oil spill rescued

There was a launch from Cape Canaveral this week, but not the usual kind.

Fifty-six Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle hatchlings were launched into the Atlantic, after their eggs were brought from the Gulf and incubated in a climate controlled building at the space center, and, if it works, thousands more will follow. Why should we care? It is one of the very few species on earth that dates back to the time of the dinosaurs.

Read more from Brian Skoloff

USA Today: Residents of Cocodrie, La., stay put despite oil spill

It’s as far out as an outpost can be. Cocodrie, La., is on the tip of Louisiana Rte. 56 as it dead ends at the Gulf. Residents are worried their way of life has changed forever but they are not planning to budge.

Read more by Judy Keen:


CNN: Obama not celebrating Gulf news yet

Inside the West Wing of the White House, President Barack Obama’s top aides call it “the G’s” — the Gulf oil spill and the Greek debt crisis, two major crises that have slowed the administration’s mo-jo, though officials are hopeful it will get better before the midterm elections.

Read more from Ed Henry

Los Angeles Times: Gulf oil spill: BP made “reckless decisions,” Waxman says

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Ca) on Thursday called out BP for a “series of reckless decisions” that led to the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 people and started the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The committee passed the “blowout prevention act.”

Read more from Richard Simon


CNN: How should the Gulf oil spill affect this country’s energy policy?
This was the question CNN’s Jack Cafferty put to viewers Thursday and coming back was a robust number of responses saying this country should look into alternative forms of energy.

Read more from Jack Cafferty’s-energy-policy-going-forward/

Wall Street Journal: The natural gas revolution

The oil spill is now turning attention to newly discovered reserves of natural gas.

Read more from John Deutsch

Washington Post: The oil spill fades as an issue

As could be expected with an issue that burned this white hot for so long, the oil spill is holding fewer eyes as the most important topic of the day. A new Gallup poll shows that only seven percent of Americans polled say it is the most important issue of the day, down from 18 percent in June.

Read more from Chris Cilizza


CNN: Fishing trip becomes a nightmare for Gulf fire’s first responders

They were three buddies out for a day of fishing in the Gulf, but they became some of the very first responders to the Deepwater Horizon as it blew up, ehlping get to people in the water and helping guide the Coast Guard to the wreckage—spending 36 hours in the water. They have never been thanked by BP or even contacted for information. They are now suing BP for emotional stress.

Read more from Ashley Fantz


Ø New York Times: Tracking the spill in the gulf/interactive map

Ø New York Times: Sealing the capping stack,0,7895382.graphic


One Response to “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster Update”

  1. zad carlos Says:

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