I Am Back and Here is Your Summary of the Oil Spill on the Gulf of Mexico Coast

I am back again from a conference on disabilities and that celebrated the anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. I am back to so much. Let me start with the way I usually do (so sad) and share a summary of the oil spill disator in the Gulf Coast by NRDC. It is nice to have an NRDC contact in D.C. .
Matt

This afternoon’s summary:

The Gulf oil spill has become its own special industry. There are plenty of losers in this colossal disaster, but there are groups of winners emerging, too. They include the lawyers and lobbyists from Washington to the Gulf coast and some unlikely sources such as Proctor & Gamble that makes the only authorized detergent to clean oiled wildlife. Hard to tell exactly what the bottom line is here. But it’s clear that while the cleanup workers are making $12 an hour, plenty of other experts are cashing in on the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. Meanwhile, there’s more bad news from an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. The center reports Coast Guard officials said the service does not have the expertise to fight an oil rig fire and that its response to the April 20 explosion may have made the crucial minutes and hours after the disaster worse.

Quotable Quote:
“We know that a significant amount of the oil has been disbursed and been biodegraded by naturally occurring bacteria,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, “Bacteria that breaks down oil are naturally abundant in the Gulf of Mexico in large part because of the warm water there and the conditions afforded by nutrients and oxygen availability.”

National News:

CNN: Dudley: The worst may be over
One hundred days after an oil well operated by BP ruptured in the Gulf of Mexico, and 13 days after crews finished capping the well to contain the gushing crude, the company’s incoming Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley says the worst may be over. He may be wrong but wouldn’t it be nice if he was right?

Read more:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/28/gulf.oil.disaster/?hpt=C1

Huffington Post: Who’s making money off the Gulf oil spill?
The cleanup workers are making $12 an hour to clean up the oil mess, but there are many others poised to make millions off this catastrophe. The Huffington Post outlines who they are. They include onshore oil companies likely to profit as offshore drilling is banned even temporarily. The lawyers, of course, on all sides, and the lobbyists, too. How about Procter & Gamble – makers of Dawn dishwashing liquid — the only product certified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to clean the oiled wildlife. And then there are oil companies in Canada and Australia benefiting from the oil moratorium in the Gulf , to name just a few beneficiaries of the worst environmental disaster in US history.

Read more:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/28/profiting-from-the-bp-oil-spill_n_661785.html#s119798

Report: Haphazard firefighting may have helped sink Deepwater Horizon
The Center for Public Integrity is reporting that the Coast Guard has gathered evidence it failed to follow its own firefighting policy during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and is investigating whether the chaotic spraying of tons of salt water by private boats contributed to sinking the ill-fated oil rig, according to interviews and documents

Read more by Aaron Mehta and John Solomon
http://www.publicintegrity.org/articles/entry/2286/

Wall Street Journal: BP chairman hangs on, but for how long?
BP PLC Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has survived the disaster that claimed his company’s chief executive, Tony Hayward. Now the question is whether his luck can hold out.

Read more:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703292704575393484101422788.html

Dow Jones: BP removes storm plug from relief well
BP PLC said Wednesday that one of its drilling rigs successfully removed a storm plug placed on a relief well at the Deepwater Horizon spill site, and it is preparing to run drill pipe into the well. The plug was put in place when the company evacuated the site last week to flee a tropical storm. The process of removing it is part of the company’s bid to kill the broken Macondo well, which has spewed millions of barrels of oil into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Read more:
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20100728-712488.html

CNN: Lockerbie hearing postponed; BP blamed
An irate Sen. Bob Menendez blamed stonewalling by outgoing BP CEO Tony Hayward and Scottish officials for forcing him to postpone a Thursday hearing into what role BP may have played in allowing the Lockerbie bomber to return free to Libya. “They have stonewalled. Each side has claimed innocence, each side has blamed the other,” Menendez complained, vowing to press the BP exec and the Scottish official to cooperate. “We don’t intend for this to be forgotten or swept under the rug,” Menendez added.

Read more:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/07/27/lockerbie.hearing.delayed/

AP: BP’s Gulf payments hit $256 million

BP says it has paid $256 million to people who have lost income or profits because of the massive Gulf oil spill. That includes $30 million over the past week.

Read more:
http://www.theolympian.com/2010/07/28/1318181/bps-gulf-damage-payments-up-to.html#ixzz0v0AUGTtG

Politics

Politico: Gulf state Republicans rip oil spill bill
The war is just beginning on Capitol Hill over oil spill politics. Gulf state Republicans are ripping the Democrats’ oil spill bill, 100 days after the oil rig disaster rocked the Gulf coast. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), went after House Democrats for their bill to tighten restrictions on offshore drilling and eliminate a liability cap for oil companies in lawsuits. Scalise said the measure would slam oil companies with $22 billion in taxes and drive companies out of the industry.

Read more:
http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0710/Gulf_state_Republicans_rip_oil_spill_bill.html

Fox: Oil spill could change fortunes of Gulf politicians
The BP oil spill may be choking the Gulf ecosystem, but for a few well-positioned coastal politicians it has breathed new life into their careers. That includes La. Gov. Bobby Jindal , who has been talked about as a national political candidate and Fla. Gov Charlie Crist who is running as a independent for the U.S. Senate. And then there’s Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour who is toying with a presidential run.

Read more:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/07/28/oil-spill-turn-political-fortunes-gulf-coast-politicians/

Regional

AP: Report: Oil causes 2,200 Gulf beach closings
Gulf beaches from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle have been closed or slapped with health warnings nearly 10 times more often this summer than last because of oil from BP’s massive deepwater leak, according to a report Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council. While many beaches were spared, more than 2,200 closings, health advisories or notices were issued by state or local authorities through Tuesday because of oil from the nearly three-month-long spill.

Read more by Kelli Kennedy
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/28/AR2010072803029.html?hpid=topnews

Feature:

AP: Portrait of the people whose lives will never be the same
A hundred days ago, shop owner Cherie Pete was getting ready for a busy summer serving ice cream and po-boys to hungry fishermen. Local official Billy Nungesser was planning his wedding. Environmental activist Enid Sisskin was preparing a speech about the dangers of offshore drilling. Then the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded off the coast of Louisiana, and in an instant, life along the Gulf Coast changed for good.

Read more:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hyxl4dbY0gbAokNHp1eXdYHkmLUwD9H869500

Graphics:

> Clarion-Ledger: Cartoon on the new BP chairman from Mississippi
http://www.clarionledger.com/opinion

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