Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary

From the good folks at NRDC.
This afternoon’s summary:
We’re nowhere near the end of the Gulf oil crisis but there are a few glimmers of hope emerging. Five leaks in and around BP’s well are more like “drips” and aren’t yet reason to worry, said retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen. He extended testing of the experimental cap by another day, which means the oil well will remain shut while testing continues on its strength. BP is waiting for government approval. The final closing of the well would still have to be performed by a relief well “bottom kill,” scheduled now to begin in late July or early August but it could come sooner. Boardroom intrigue continues to follow BP with the latest word that BP’s Gulf man-in-charge, Bob Dudley, may replace CEO Tony Hayward. Changing the chess pieces around doesn’t really change the cold hard facts. It might, however, change the outcome. Meanwhile, a new weather watch is emerging. A tropical wave that has drenched Puerto Rico, Haiti and the Virgin Islands could — if it hits the site of the BP oil spill in the Gulf — delay cleanup and well-closure efforts by as much as two weeks,

Quotable Quote:
“Even if they’re 100 percent successful at containing the leak, we know there are tens of millions gallons of oil still in the Gulf that could threaten our coast,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said. “We were the first state to get oil, and we’ll be the last state to get oil.”

National News

Wall Street Journal: Moratorium didn’t drive rigs from Gulf
When President Obama imposed a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, there were doomsday predictions that it would drive oil drilling companies away forever from the region. That hasn’t happened, according to The Wall Street Journal. Some 31 of the 33 rigs that were operating in the Gulf when the Deepwater Horizon exploded remain there.

Read more by Angel Gonzalez:

Bloomberg: Dudley may replace Hayward as BP CEO
There’s plenty of boardroom intrigue underway about the future of BP and its CEO, Tony Hayward. The Times of London reported on Tuesday that it’s likely “I want my life back” Hayward would be out of office by October. The newspaper reports Wednesday that Bob Dudley, BP’s new point man in the Gulf, is the front-runner to replace Hayward. Most people don’t really care. Let’s just get that spill cleaned up!

Read more:

Bloomberg: Senate hearing July 29 on Lockerbie bomber and BP
Questions about BP and the Lockerbie bomber are not about to die. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the case July 29. Meanwhile, British PM David Cameron met Tuesday night with a group of senators who will lead the congressional hearing into the matter, aiming to deflect their calls for a full probe with the offer to review documents and release more information.

Read more by Robert Hutton:

NPR: New storms may be headed to Gulf
It’s still the beginning of hurricane season, and it’s no time to abandon caution when it comes to the weather. Storms are threatening to delay BP’s undersea efforts to permanently plug the leaky well in the Gulf of Mexico. Ret. Adm. Thad Allen said Wednesday that if a storm moves into the Gulf, ships would have to leave and BP couldn’t observe the capped well.

Read more:

Check this out, too:

Los Angeles Times: Weather may force BP to move faster on ‘static kill’
Looking over its shoulder at potentially bad weather, BP could try an operation by this weekend to permanently seal its breached Gulf of Mexico oil well with a ‘static kill.’ Ret. Adm. Thad Allen said time is of the essence because of the potential for severe weather coming from the Caribbean. BP is not attempting to get the casing in place until it gets federal approval.

Read more:,0,7622175.story

AP: Messy cleanup as damaging as oil spill
There are 5,600 vessels taking part in the oil spill cleanup on the Gulf of Mexico, making the largest fleet assembled since the Allied invasion of Normandy, according to the Coast Guard. There are hundreds of helicopters, bulldozers, Army trucks, ATVs, barges, dredges, airboats and workboats, too. All of that is making the oil spill cleanup just as damaging to the Gulf as the spill itself. “Absolutely nothing you do to respond to an oil spill is without impacts of its own,” said Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Read more by Cain Burdeau:

Wall Street Journal: Here come the lawsuits
BP is getting hit from every possible legal angle as individuals and entities file suit against the oil giant over the Gulf oil spill. Public pension funds in New York and Ohio say they hope to be the lead plaintiffs in what could be a class-action lawsuit against BP PLC, whose share price has plummeted because of its months-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The funds allege that BP, the oil giant in which they had invested, made “false and misleading statements” about its safety protocols and record, as well as its ability to respond to a major oil spill—causing its stock to trade at “artificially inflated prices.”

Read more:


Reuters: That Allen Touch
In some ways, Ret. Adm. Thad Allen, an apolitical can-do kind of guy, seemed an odd choice for a high-profile, deeply political administration endeavor, but Allen’s background gave him a unique set of credentials to respond to a disaster of this scale. “I keep running into these things throughout my life,” he said recently. “This is obviously the most complicated, challenging event I’ve ever been involved in.” But the administration has found a highly-competent individual to lead the way through an unprecedented crisis that the Gulf coast will be living with for many years to come.

Read more by Jeff Mason:


AP: BP cuts number of skimmers in Gulf
BP says it has reduced the number of boats skimming for oil in the Gulf of Mexico by more than a quarter. The move comes after BP stopped oil from barreling into the Gulf of Mexico last week. It has some worried the oil giant is forgetting its promises to clean up the damage.

Read more:

Times-Picayune: Jindal: Too soon to declare victory in Gulf spill
Although BP’s ruptured well had been capped for five days, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Tuesday “it’s much too early to declare victory.” He cited a Coast Guard report indicating that of the up to 5.4 million barrels of oil that have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, about 1.6 million barrels, or 67 million gallons, remain in the water.

Read more:

AP: Real estate agents want piece of BP’s $20 billion fund
Everyone wants a piece of BPs $20 billion compensation fund. The administrator of the escrow account said Wednesday he’s been besieged by real estate agents and brokers, demanding that they become eligible for payments.

Read more by Larry Margasak:,0,7768106.story

Housing Watch: Oil spill bogs down Gulf real estate market
The value of property along 600 miles of coast between Louisiana and Clearwater, Fla., may decline a minimum of 10 percent over the next seven years, according to one economist.

Read more from Alec Foege


Times-Picayune: Speed up seafood testing to reopen LA. Commercial fishing
The American public’s confidence in Gulf seafood has taken a serious hit. Having state and federal testing completed to show that the area’s seafood is safe is important. The FDA should make efforts to process the state seafood samples faster and help Louisiana fishers get back to work sooner, the Times-Picayune writes.

Read more:


NOAA spill trajectory Wednesday through Friday



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