From the good folks at NRDC
This morning’s summary
Killing the Gulf oil spill well is like a movie running in slow motion. With lots of starts and stops, BP is now waiting for the weather to change, for high seas to calm down and for conditions to ripen once again to continue the final stages of operation to plug the well permanently. Meanwhile, there are plenty of disclosures and events taking place on land involving the worst environmental disaster in US history. New information reveals that equipment on the rig should have been checked more often before the April 20 disaster. BP and the federal government are headed toward a showdown over whether the $20 billion claims fund will be enough. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal complains that President Obama has not voiced enough support for restoration. And despite the drilling moratorium, more rigs are at work in the Gulf.
An editorial note: The Gulf Coast disaster summary will be moving to once a day beginning Sept. 1 and will arrive in your inbox weekdays by noon.
“The current weather pattern has nothing to do with tropical storms or depressions that are being generated further out in the Atlantic. These are locally induced weather systems … They are generating local sea states that are over the margins for safe operations” – Incident Commander Thad Allen
And he went on to say:
“And I would think right now it is reasonable to look at a two to three day delay. But if some reason the weather lays down we will go immediately. This will be the subject of go/no-go discussions that will be carried out frequently on a daily basis and probably more frequent now between our science team and the BP engineers in Houston.”
Bloomberg: High seas delay BP’s work at Gulf of Mexico well
Expect another two or three-day delay in the final work on the crippled well because of rough seas in the Gulf. Monday Adm. Thad Allen told reporters in a call from aboard a ship in the Gulf. Eight-foot waves were making the work impossible a mile below the surface.
Read more from Jim Poulson and Mark Chediak
Wall Street Journal: Weather delays progress at well site
AP: Federal engineers mistakenly thought failed equipment received independent inspection, now it’s being mandated
The equipment failures blamed for the Gulf oil spill might have been detected if the owners of the Deepwater Horizon continued to have the rig’s drilling equipment verified by independent experts – something federal regulators mistakenly thought was happening offshore. Now, the Obama administration has ordered every rig in the Gulf of Mexico to subject a central piece of drilling hardware – the blowout preventer – to certification by a third party before any can drill again.
Read more from Dina Cappiello
Al.com:$20 billion oil spill claims account could cause problems between BP, Feds
Is the $20 billion BP claims fund a down payment on what will be needed to make victims whole? Or it is the whole chunk of change? BP thinks it is. Vice President Joe Biden has called it a “down payment” on Gulf restoration, not the ceiling. The government and BP are headed for a collision, that’s for sure.
Read more from George Altman
Chron.com: Tough new rules for drilling regulators
With the ethics violations of MMS employees fresh in their minds, the Obama administration on Monday imposed an unprecedented conflict-of-interest policy on federal drilling regulators in a bid to put greater distance between inspectors and the offshore platforms and rigs they police. Among the rules: Bureau employees now must tell supervisors about any potential conflict of interest and submit formal requests not to be assigned inspections or other official duties when those conflicts arise.
Bloomberg: Maker of blowout preventer tries to delay removal
Cameron International Corp., the maker of the blowout preventer now being retrieved in the Gulf oil spill, lost a bid to delay removal of the key piece of safety equipment linked to the BP oil spill from the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig. Cameron unsuccessfully asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to postpone retrieval to allow photographing and recording current conditions in the blowout preventer. The company was turned down in no uncertain terms.
WSDU.com: Oil spill commissioners discuss drilling ban
Two members of President Barack Obama’s oil spill commission were in New Orleans on Monday meeting with leaders and examining the impact of the BP oil spill. One of those commission members is former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. He said the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico should be lifted, but only with enforcement of strict safety regulations.
Florida Independent: BP data reveals high stakes for Florida in oil spill claims process
Data released last week by BP shows that Feinberg’s decisions about how to disburse compensation could impact Florida more than any other Gulf state. Floridians filed more claims with BP than people from any other state, and when they got paid, they received the largest average payments — $3,397, compared to an average of $3,114 in Texas, the next-highest, and $2,378 in Mississippi, the lowest. But Floridians also saw the largest number of claims deferred to the claims administrator.
Los Angeles Times: Gulf beaches deemed safe for sea turtle hatchlings
The Gulf is now safe for the sea turtle hatchings, say officials, who have ended the relay of sea turtle eggs from the Gulf to the Atlantic coast.
Read more from Ludmilla Lelis
News Herald: Home, condo sales drop in July
The county’s condo and single-family home sales declined year-to-year by nearly one-third in July in Bay County, Florida.
Times Picayune: Jindal hoped for more from President Obama on oil spill
In polite political language, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said he appreciated the weekend visit of President Obama to New Orleans but wished he had gone further to support an end to the drilling ban and more emphatically, more BP participation in a Gulf coast recovery.
CNBC: Gulf working rigs up despite moratorium, analysts
The number of offshore oil and gas drilling rigs working in the Gulf of Mexico has increased slightly in recent weeks, and the number available has remained steady despite the U.S. drilling moratorium, analysts said Friday. Analysts predicted rigs would flee the Gulf after the U.S. government imposed a temporary ban on deepwater drilling and licensing of shallow water work grew more complicated due to new safety demands. Only two mobile rigs left.
Blogger News Network: Do we have Pinocchio in our midst?
This writer is not at all convinced the real story about the effects of the oil spill is getting out. “I have to admit that I am rapidly becoming a believer that every time a see a BP or government official spew forth the latest update, I see their nose’s grow.”
Read more from Simon Barrett
MSNBC: This woman’s nose stands between you and Gulf seafood
If you can believe it, the modern technology now being employed by NOAA to determine if Gulf seafood is safe includes the noses of 30 individual ‘sniffers.’ They are called “expert sensory assessors”. This is a profile of one of them.
Read more from JoNel Aleccia