Summary of the Gulf Coast Oil Disastor

From the good folks at NRDC
This afternoon’s summary:
The crisis isn’t over yet. But it’s not the same uncontrolled calamity that it was a month ago, or two months ago, when Macondo mocked the technological skills of the world’s petroleum engineers and oil was slathering birds and turtles and tar balling hundreds of miles of coastline. But BP is closing in on the solution. The ‘static kill’ has worked its miracle and cut off oil from the damaged well for the first time in 107 days. It now looks very much like a harmless hole clogged with 13-pound-per-gallon gunk. Engineers are debating whether the ‘bottom kill’ is really needed, but Incident Commander Thad Allen says the spill won’t be dead and over until the relief wells do their work, too. Federal waters are reopening gradually to fishing. Meanwhile, a new federal report declares that the oil slick, the once-horrific expanse of red-orange mousse and silver sheen, has largely dissipated. Millions of barrels of oil have been dispersed by chemicals, skimmed by boats, burned, weathered, evaporated and devoured by the Gulf of Mexico’s permanent oil-eating microbial workforce. Plenty of questions still remain: Are 2 million gallons of dispersants poured into the Gulf safe? Where are the 26 million gallons of oil still unaccounted for? Just how and when will the people and the economies of the region recover?

Quotable Quote
“We are transitioning to a greater focus on cleanup … This government will be there every step of the way to do this work,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.

And this, too
Incident commander Thad Allen says the ‘static kill’ will “allow us to have high confidence there will be no oil leaking into the environment, and we have significantly improved our chances to finally kill the well.”

National News

USA Today: Obama: Gulf spill nearly over, recovery long way to go
The long battle to stop the Gulf Coast oil spill “is finally close to coming to an end,” President Obama proclaimed Wednesday in a speech to the AFL-CIO. In addition to stopping the gusher, most of the oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico has been captured or dispersed, Obama said. The clean-up is not over, Obama said, including the ongoing help to people who have been hurt by the spill that began back in April.

Read more:
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2010/08/obama-battle-against-oil-spill-is-close-to-an-end/1

AP: Gulf rescue effort isn’t over
The containment effort isn’t over. Crews performing the so-called “static kill” effort overnight now must decide whether to follow up by pumping cement down the broken wellhead. Federal officials said they won’t declare complete victory until they also pump in mud and then cement from the bottom of the well, and that won’t happen for several weeks.

Read more by Harry Weber:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100804/ap_on_bi_ge/us_gulf_oil_spill

See this, too
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/2010/08/oil_spill_is_it_over.htm

Times-Picayune: BP hasn’t decided whether to cement ‘static kill’
BP and federal officials have not yet decided if the runaway Macondo well will be cemented as part of the ‘static kill,’ National Incident Commander Thad Allen said Wednesday. The static kill involves pumping mud in through the top of the well in an attempt to overcome the flow of oil. It’s possible BP will next pump cement in from the top of the well, but that decision has not yet been made.

Read more by Kimberly Quillen
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/08/bp_has_not_yet_decided_if_gulf.html

USA Today: Allen: “High confidence” no more oil will leak into Gulf
Retired admiral Thad Allen, who oversees the government’s response to the Gulf oil spill, says he has “high confidence” no more oil will leak from the BP site and the chances of killing the well outright have “significantly improved.”

Read more:
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/08/white-house-high-confidence-no-more-oil-will-leak-from-bp-site/1

Check this one out, too
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hSsGsiZ18JYxHwuLGeC7Tu4T2nLwD9HCR0BO0

DigitJournal.com: Scientists question use of dispersants on Gulf spill
Long after the disaster on the Gulf fades from the news, senators and scientists will be asking questions about the use of dispersants to tame the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, expressing concerns about the long-term impacts of what is being called a “toxic brew.” A congressional hearing Wednesday delved into just this issue about whether it was safe for BP to pour 2 million gallons of the dispersant, Corexit, into the Gulf.

Read more:
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/295509

Check this one out, too
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/04/AR2010080402917.html?referrer=emailarticle

And see this:
Washington Independent: Administration defends use of dispersants in Gulf
http://washingtonindependent.com/93666/administration-defends-use-of-dispersants-after-oil-spill

Business

Wall Street Journal: BP shares jump above $40, then fall
BP shares popped above $40 Wednesday for the first time since May after it said the ‘static kill’ was a success, but then it fell back to under that magic number.

Read more:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704017904575409440314793662.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Politics

New York Times: Moderate Democrats want drilling compromise on bill
The oil drilling legislation is not dead yet. Negotiations by moderate Democrats on liability and revenue-sharing provisions in the oil-spill response bill yanked from the Senate floor Tuesday may prove key to passage of the measure this fall.

Read more
http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/08/04/04greenwire-moderate-senate-democrats-seek-compromise-for-42874.html

Regional

Reuters: Gulf coast: Land of opportunity
The Gulf coast is the place to be for hundreds of contractors and thousands of workers swarming over the region, hoping to cash in on the country’s worst oil spill. Here’s an example: Louisiana-based Shaw Group won a $360 million contract to dredge up the land and construct massive sand berms to protect barrier islands from the encroaching oil. At the Black Velvet Oyster Bar & Grill in Buras, Louisiana, sales are up 30 to 35 percent.

Read more:
http://www.cnbc.com/id/38433060/Spill_Makes_Gulf_Coast_the_Land_of_Opportunity_for_Some

Editorial:

Kansas City Star: Religious leaders see a bigger culprit in oil spill: Corporate greed
Religious leaders and scholars are clamoring for more corporate accountability in the wake of what they call the destruction of God’s creation in the Gulf of Mexico, and they may have found a partner in their battle cry: the American business school.

Read more:
http://www.kansascity.com/2010/08/04/2127899/religious-leaders-see-a-bigger.html

Times-Picayune: New Orleans mayor: End drilling moratorium on Aug. 29
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu added his voice to the chorus of calls from local leaders to end the drilling moratorium with a suggestion steeped in symbolism: “End the moratorium now. In fact, Aug. 29 would be a good date.” He didn’t find it necessary to explain how that would coincide with the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Read more by David Hammer:
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/08/mayor_mitch_landrieu_suggests.html

Feature

Washington Post: BP falls victim to murky world of advocacy-for-hire
The Institute for Energy Research asked BP to contribute $100,000 for a media campaign it was launching in defense of the oil industry not too long ago. Although BP took a pass, the group’s advocacy arm went ahead with a campaign — only instead of defending BP, it vilified the company as a “safety outlier” in an otherwise safe industry. The campaign’s Web site features dozens of images of the burning rig in the Gulf of Mexico, oil-smeared birds and other environmental devastation from the spill.

Read more:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/03/AR2010080306818.html?sid%3DST2010080103581&sub=AR

Graphics:
NOAA chart of marine life oiled by the spill or found dead
http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/posted/2931/
WildlifeYesterdayTodate_August_3_2010pdf_1_.841483.pdf

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