Gulf Coast Disastor Summary

From the good folks at NRDC.
Matt
This morning’s summary:

The Gulf oil spill remains in the danger zone as the federal government becomes increasingly cautious about whether the containment cap will work. Late Sunday, Ret. Adm. Thad Allen disclosed new seepage has been detected not far from the oil well and ordered BP to monitor whether other seepage is occurring. Allen says the government may decide to keep testing the cap every 24 hours. The discovery of a seep and the unspecified anomalies suggest that the well could be damaged and that it may have to be reopened soon to avoid making the situation worse. In the meantime, the ‘A Whale,’ the giant ship that was supposed to be the big solution to gather up oil didn’t work and is leaving the Gulf. The oil spill continues to be a time bomb for President Obama and the costs of the catastrophe for BP are near $4 billion so far and mounting.

Quotable Quote:

“I authorized BP to continue the integrity test for another 24 hours, and I restated our firm position that this test will only continue if they continue to meet their obligations to rigorously monitor for any signs that this test could worsen the overall situation,” Ret. Adm. Thad Allen

National News

Times-Picayune: Oil seeping out on Gulf floor
There may be a new wrinkle in the desperate effort to stop the oil leak. Engineers discovered oil or natural gas seeping from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico at a location away from the well. Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen on Sunday evening agreed to allow a cap to continue to block the flow of oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, but ordered BP to report any discoveries of future seeps within four hours and to follow more stringent testing rules as the testing continues.

Read more by Mark Schleifstein:
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/07/oil_seeping_from_gulf_floor_ne.html

Check out this New York Times article, too
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/us/20oilspill.html?_r=1&hp

Washington Post: BP, federal officials confer on closed Gulf oil spill cap
For four days as everyone held their breath all around, the cap stayed on and the oil didn’t leak. Then, on Sunday, dueling announcements about what is to come next. BP told reporters that the cap seems to be holding so, “there is no target set to open the well back up to flow and it may stay shut until the relief wells are done. But then, Sunday afternoon Incident Commander Admiral Thad W. Allen said there may be additional extensions of the test in 24-hour increments indicating the well could be re-opened. The closest relief well is now just 100 feet vertically, and only four feet laterally, from the point it needs to reach. Officials say it could be several weeks before it reaches the target.

Read more from David A. Farenthold
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/18/AR2010071800814.html

Also see
Reuters: BP integrity well test may be extended
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1816543420100718

The Guardian: Gulf oil spill cap is holding, BP says
With so many false starts and setbacks, the announcements were cautious, but the oil spill cap is holding.

Read more from Ed Pilkington

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/18/gulf-oil-spill-bp-cap

Daily Beast: Is the leak really fixed?

A round up of the possible problems that may mean the spill is not yet over.

Read more

http://www.thedailybeast.com/big-fat-story/2010-07-17/is-the-oil-leak-fixed/?cid=hp:mainpromo2

Christian Science Monitor: Gulf oil spill: Fouling air as well as water

For months since BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil well blew, residents along the Gulf Coast, including many in New Orleans and other metro regions miles away from the shore, have said they smell fumes from the oil spill. Some have reported symptoms ranging from red eyes and runny noses to sinus infections and flu-like symptoms. This week scientists may release first results from studies on air quality.

Read more from Bill Sasser

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2010/0718/Gulf-oil-spill-Fouling-air-as-well-as-water

AP: Oil impact to linger for years

Up to 184.3 million gallons of crude has been spilled. Months from now, it could show up as far west as Corpus Christi, Texas, or as far east as North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Judging by a comparable-size 1979 spill off Mexico’s coast, tar balls and patties could keep washing ashore for decades.

Read more

http://www.suntimes.com/business/2506272,CST-NWS-bp18.article

Huffington Post: ‘A Whale’ gets beached

The Taiwanese vessel ‘A Whale’ was deployed last week along the oil-slicked Gulf Coast. But it’s been determined the skimmer didn’t collect enough oil. The U.S. Coast Guard says it was too big to maneuver around the smaller patches and ribbons of oil on the water. So it is being sent home.

Read more
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/18/a-whale-too-big-to-clean_n_650274.html

Press-Register: BP trying to buy up Gulf scientists
For the last few weeks, BP has been offering signing bonuses and lucrative pay to prominent scientists from public universities around the Gulf Coast to aid its defense against spill litigation, the Press-Register reports. It tried to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama university. Proposed contract language prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years.

Read more by Ben Raines:
http://blog.al.com/live/2010/07/bp_buys_up_gulf_scientists_for.html

Politics

FoxNews: Obama trying to shift oil spill “off the front page,” Senator says

Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter on Sunday accused President Obama of trying to move the BP oil disaster “off the front page.” Vitter says the President has not visited the state since early June and said Obama is trying to sweep the crisis under the rug.

Read more

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/18/vitter-accuses-obama-shifting-oil-spill-page/

Politico: Oil spill takes a toll on all, but Gulf minorities feel marginalized again

In good times, it is a regional gumbo of ethnic groups. Now in another story about race and economic trials in the face of disaster in the Gulf, politics in the region are roiling again. In particular, regional interest groups of black, Native American and Asian fishing communities are colliding with the politics of scarce resources.

Read more from Ben Sandmel

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/07/15/oil-spill-takes-a-toll-on-all-but-gulf-minorities-feel-marginal/

Times Picayune: Gov. Bobby Jindal’s image is polished by Gulf oil spill

One of the few winners in the Gulf oil spill saga is Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose political star is burning brightly.

Read more from Jan Moller

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/07/gov_bobby_jindals_image_is_pol.html

Business

Wall Street Journal: BP mulls big post-spill restructure, report

Directors at BP have begun canvassing shareholders about plans to restructure the oil major in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, U.K. newspaper the Sunday Times reports.

Read more

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bp-mulls-big-post-spill-restructure-report-2010-07-18

CBSNews: BP oil spill costs hit $3.95 b
The cost of the Gulf oil spill keeps rising for BP. On Monday, the oil giant said its costs had reached $3.9 billion, including $207 million in claims filed by Gulf coast residents.

Read more:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/07/19/business/main6691405.shtml

Regional

Dailycomet.com: Cleanup pay will be deducted from oil claims

Fishermen in the Gulf who have been renting out their boats and helping with the cleanup are livid after being told that their wages for cleanup will be deducted from their payments for damage claims.

Read more from John DeSantis

http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20100718/FEATURES12/100719385/1292?Title=Cleanup-pay-will-be-deducted-from-oil-claims

Palm Beach News: Where will spilled oil go?

A robotic submarine glider is being launched off the coast of the Florida Keys to join eight other gliders that are now working under the Gulf to try to predict the movement of the oil spill.

Read more from Ben Chambers

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/where-will-spilled-gulf-oil-go-three-months-809772.html

Business

SiFyNews: BP’s 2012 London Olympics sponsorship at stake over oil spill fallout

British Petroleum’s sponsorship of the 2012 London Olympics could be at risk if the oil giant is found guilty of negligence in the Gulf of Mexico leak.

Read more

http://sify.com/news/bp-s-2012-london-olympics-sponsorship-at-stake-over-oil-leak-in-gulf-of-mexico-news-international-khstkdfbhaa.html

Editorial

Buffalo News: A second oil disaster: Federal shutdown of Gulf oil well drilling is huge blow to already battered region

This editorial criticizes the Interior Department for creating a “second oil disaster” by shutting down all of offshore drilling and not being able to sort out “the routine from the risky.” “But, just as it should not have taken BP this long to plug the bleeding hole, it should not take the government that long to sort the routine from the risky and put at least some of that key sector of the Southern economy back to work,” the Buffalo News writes.

Read more

http://insurancenewsnet.com/article.aspx?id=208315&type=newswires

Feature

AP: Battle against oil blob goes on

The AP visits the command center in Southern Louisiana where officials are tracking the blob of oil slick in the Gulf and coordinating the work of 40,000 people trying to contain it.

Read more from Pauline Arrillaga

http://www.statesman.com/news/nation/battle-against-oil-blob-goes-on-808928.html

Graphics:

Ø Video: USA Today asks Gulf residents: Has the oil spill changed you?
http://projects.usatoday.com/news/voices/how-has-oil-spill-changed-you

Ø USA Today cartoon: BP installs a cap
http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/Editorial-Cartoons/G373

Ø Map showing oil impact along Gulf coast
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/oil-spill-environment-recreation-map.htm

Ø Numbers outline impact of Gulf disaster
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/oil-spill-environment-recreation-map.htm

Ø Tracking the oil spill
http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/04/29/interactive.spill.tracker/index.html?hpt=T2

Ø Map: Impact of the oil disaster
http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2010/gulf.coast.oil.spill/interactive/map.impact.google/index.html?hpt=T2

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