Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Disastor Summary

From NRDC.

This morning’s summary

Add the boom fiasco on the Gulf spill disaster to the insults and injuries being endured by everyone involved with this catastrophe. In the scramble to find something, anything to stop that leaking oil, BP turned to booms as one way to block the seeping crude. Now comes word that containment-boom makers and their vendors that ramped up the supply for BP PLC after the April 20 spill say the oil company suddenly stopped accepting deliveries weeks ago, leaving them with millions of dollars in unused product. Will these boom-makers be eligible for BP’s $20 billion escrow fund or will they be shut out of this too? Meanwhile, a tropical depression is heading straight for the spill site, forcing a halt in the relief well drilling. National Incident Commander Thad Allen said the well will have to be tested to make sure the “bottom kill” can go forward once the storm leaves the area. Claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg takes over the claims distribution in about two weeks and promises that spill victims will get their checks far more promptly than BP has been delivering them.

Quotable Quote

“People who have been waiting, waiting, we will process those claims immediately,” Claims Administrator Kenneth Feinberg.

And this

“I’m not sure we know that … I don’t want to prejudge whether we are going to do it or not going to do it. It will be conditions-based.” Incident Commander Thad Allen, indicating that tests will be done on the well after the storm to determine if the “bottom kill” or relief well will actually be done.

National News

AP: Tropical depression forms in Gulf, heads for spill

The National Hurricane Center says a tropical depression has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and it is heading toward the oil spill site off the coast of Louisiana. BP and Coast Guard officials had already decided to stop drilling on a relief well on Tuesday before forecasters declared the storm off the southwestern part of Florida was a depression. It was expected to strengthen slowly and become a tropical storm on Wednesday.

Read more

Also see

NOAA: Tropical storm warning issued for New Orleans

AP: Gulf oil spill permanent plug on hold due to incoming storms

The final target takes another turn. Now that the drilling is on hold as storms pass through, Incident Commander Thad Allen, who earlier this week insisted that the bottom kill or relief wells be completed, is now saying there would have to be some further testing before that is done.

Read more

Palm Beach Post: BP’s claims process expected to be revised in two weeks

Kenneth Feinberg, the administration’s Claims Administrator, takes over in two weeks and says he intends to ride to the rescue of Gulf oil spill victims who have been waiting in desperate limbo for help. People who have been put off repeatedly by BP will be paid first. Feinberg promised that he will begin issuing payments to individuals within 24 hours of getting the Gulf Coast Claims Facility up and running on Aug. 23. Business owners will start getting checks within seven days after.

Read more from Dara Kam

Huffington Post: Federal judge handling most spill lawsuits owned stockin Gulf oil spill companies, It is an extraordinary and ironic turn of events and it probably has shrimpers, fishermen, small business owners, relatives of rig workers who died and other ordinary and put-upon Gulf residents biting their fingernails down. It turns out that US District Judge Carl Barbier who was picked to preside over the bulk of the lawsuits filed so far was the subject of controversy earlier this summer when it was discovered that he owned stock in Halliburton and Transocean. The District Court refused to make him disqualify himself from that case.

Read more from Michael Kunzelman

Wall Street Journal: Boom makers say BP left them adrift

Containment-boom makers and their vendors that ramped up supply for BP after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill say the company suddenly stopped accepting deliveries weeks ago, leaving them with millions of dollars in unused product.

Read more from Ann Zimmerman

Mother Jones: BP cover-up

This account criticizes the U.S. government and BP for the too-sunny pronouncement that all is well in the Gulf. The deep layers of underwater life are in peril, according to scientists. “Far offshore, far from sight, far beyond the typical royalty-paying boundaries, BP and its partners have transformed themselves into modern-day pirates, operating beyond law or conscience. Their reckless quest has endangered and perhaps condemned not just the Gulf Coast, but the largest, richest, most pristine, most biologically important, and last completely unprotected ecosystem left on Earth: the deep ocean,” Julia Whitty writes.

Read more from Julia Whitty

Regional No oil left on the waters off Florida coast

Gov. Charlie Crist and the Florida Cabinet got an encouraging update Tuesday on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection Secretary said there is almost no oil left on the surface of the waters. He said some tar balls are still washing up on beaches, but that they’re cleaned up relatively easily. About 8,000 to 10,000 pounds a day are being removed.

Read more

WTVD Raleigh-Durham, N.C.: Local man who cleaned oil spill says he’s sick

A North Carolina man who went to help fight the oil spill says he was accidentally sprayed with cleanup chemicals and his leg swelled up like a balloon. He is fighting for medical coverage, and local health officials are investigating.

Read more


NPR: Louisiana fishermen may get bonuses for their catch

Louisiana has a plan to help encourage fishermen to go out and start catching seafood again: getting BP to pay the fishermen a bonus over market prices. BP is reviewing the proposal, which would pay fishermen a guaranteed premium.

Read more from Sarah McBride

New York Times: BP station owners face long road to recovery

While the worst may be over for the BP brand, anxiety and dissatisfaction remain high among station owners and distributors. Some complain of a lack of public relations support from BP.

Read more from John Collins Rudolf


Forbes: Comics rein during Gulf crisis, give Obama a break

An examination of the “comic” coverage of the Gulf spill finds that it was largely framed by mocking the Brits–or mocking anyone who could be framed by the disaster, from BP CEO Tony Hayward to Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and even God (who will not rest, said Jon Stewart, until New Orleans is destroyed). But President Obama was the target of just one joke in the six weeks after the spill, compared with 52 for his predecessor during the six weeks after Katrina. And even this solitary joke involved the Bush administration.

Read more from Trevor Butterworth

AP: Via Vogue Italia? Oil-inspired spread stirs muck

If the editors of Vogue Italia wanted this issue to get noticed, they sure hit the mark. The models, prone and dirty, draped on beaches and slathered with oil, make a statement about the Gulf oil spill and the environment. The issue has touched off fierce debate across the internet. Evocative or just plain opportunist?

Read more


US News: Obama’s moratorium on offshore oil drilling is killing Gulf economy

“There is still some clean up work to be done, not just of the oil that remains, but of the economic damage that the government’s response to the spill has done to the Gulf region.” By some estimates nearly 50,000 workers on the frontlines of the oil industry and another 150,000 in supporting positions have been thrown out of work by the Obama administration’s moratorium on offshore drilling. According to the writer, “There’s a crisis coming – and the administration has yet to reveal how it plans to deal with it.”

Read more from Peter Roff

The Huntsville Times: Oil spill causing topsy-turvy tourism shift this year

Even within a single state the competition is heating up for scarce tourism dollars after the Gulf oil spill. This time it’s between Northern Alabama, with its mountain and camping destinations and the Gulf coast, which has lost about a third of its tourism business.

Read more from John Peck

CNN: Gulf oil spill: America’s worst environmental disaster?

Early on during the disaster, the president called it the worst ever environmental disaster in America, but CNN revisits that claim and finds other disasters that surpass it.

Read more from Alan Silverleib


Spinner: Jack Johnson raising $70,000 for Gulf relief

Soft-rocker Jack Johnson, already known as an environmentalist, pledges to donate $70,000 to Gulf recovery efforts from his “To the Sea” tour which starts Friday and stops at several communities directly affected by the oil spill.

Read more


NOAA: Tropical storm forming in Gulf


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