Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary

From my friends at NRDC.

This morning’s summary

We’re seeing the fallout from the Gulf oil spill, both on land and in the water. Public hearings are shining the spotlight on some of the flaws of the Deepwater Horizon in the hours and days before the April 20 explosion. Another BP official refused to testify before the panel on Tuesday. Predictions of big economic problems from the ban on drilling in the Gulf have not materialized. Scientists complain that there is a blackout on spill information from both BP and the federal government. The crisis for out-of-work Gulf residents is escalating and so are the health problems of cleanup workers exposed to the oil. The future is still unclear for the Gulf recovery, but we’re starting to see what may be a new phenomenon – microbes quickly eating up the oil. Now there is a new idea – use robots to clean up future oil spills. That may be a good idea. A better one is to work harder to prevent another oil spill from ever happening.

Quotable quote:

“We’ve seen an increase in substance abuse issues. We’ve seen an increase in domestic violence. In a crisis like this, you don’t see a big spike right at the beginning. It takes awhile” Scott Sumrall, director of disaster preparedness and response at the Mississippi Department of Mental Health

National News

Los Angeles Times: Halliburton employee cautioned BP about well design choices

In testimony Tuesday, a Halliburton employee said that, two days before the rig blew, he warned BP officials there was a serious problem. On April 18, Jesse Gagliano, a Halliburton technical advisor, sent a document to BP warning that its design to use fewer centralizers, which keep a pipe centered in the bore hole, could result in a “SEVERE” gas flow problem.

Read more from Rong Gong-Lin II

Los Angeles Times: Key BP official refuses to testify

Another BP employee is refusing to testify in the investigation into the cause of the oil spill disaster. Brian Morel, a BP drilling engineer, probably would have been asked to explain an e-mail message he wrote in which he rejected a suggestion that experts believe would have resulted in a safer and more costly well design. BP’s two top officials on the rig also have refused to testify.

Read more

New York Times: Dire predictions for drilling ban in Gulf not yet seen

When the Obama administration called a halt to virtually all deepwater drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico, oil executives, economists and local officials complained that the six-month moratorium would cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost revenue. Yet the worst of those forecasts has failed to materialize,

Read more from John M. Broder and Clifford Krauss

Huffington Post: Years after one oil spill, report finds increase in respiratory problems and cancer risk in workers

The NRDC’s Gina Solomon writes that, even though the Prestige oil spill of 2002 in Spain was different in many ways, it could guide scientists to understand the health effects now emerging from the Gulf oil spill.

Read more from Gina Solomon


AP: Gulf oil spill hits workers hard; aid groups out of money

The flow of oil may be easing, but not the crisis for the people in the Gulf. In fact the out-of-work shrimpers who found work for BP in the cleanup are getting more desperate as aid groups run out of money, homeless shelters fill up, and the demand for drug and alcohol counseling surges.

Read more from Kevin McGill and Tom Breen

PR Newswire: National Service Agency convenes nonprofits and government agencies to respond to social service needs from Gulf oil spill

The needs are growing. The aid agencies have run out of money. It is a new crisis in the Gulf. Today the Corporation for National and Community Service convened the largest strategy session to date to discuss a national service response to the mounting needs of Gulf residents affected by the Deepwater Horizon BP Oil Spill.

Read more

Los Angeles Times: Oil spill jitters: a false fish kill alarm

Louisiana officials backed off alarms they had sounded Monday about a Gulf of Mexico fish kill, saying that the kill was far smaller than they had reported and was the result of low oxygen levels unrelated to the BP oil spill.

Read more

Times-Picayune: Realtors tap national catastrophe adjusters to administer spill claims

It’s not just shrimpers who have viable claims for losing business from the spill.

There is now a pool within the Claims Fund for realtors who have lost commissions from the drop in sales of properties around the Gulf. National Catastrophe Adjusters said that it has been named to oversee a $60 million fund to pay Realtors who lost business during the Gulf oil spill.

Read more from Kathy Jumper Lake Pontchartrain Basin foundation planning to monitor effects of the Gulf oil spill

Now that the claims administrator is up and running, so are various groups around the Gulf, including a group that wants to monitor Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans. Not unlike its past efforts to monitor water quality in South Louisiana, the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation has created an oil spill monitoring plan to track the Deepwater Horizon spill’s impacts on the environment.

Read more from Christine Harvey

CB online: Wormholes at abandoned oil well site intrigue scientists studying the effects of the BP spill

Scientists want to know if underwater black wormholes at abandoned well sites could mean that the creatures could be helping to clean up the Gulf oil spill.

Read more by Janet Mcconnaughey


New York Times: Will robots clean up future oil spills?

The obviously outdated technology of boom-burn-disperse now being used in the Gulf is a stimulus for entrepreneurs (and not just Hollywood actors like Kevin Costner) to come up with new technologies to clean up spills.

Read more from Tom Zeller, Jr.

WLOX TV: Star power visits Gulfport to support Gulf oil research

Academy-award winning actor Morgan Freeman and television star Ted Danson greeted fans and supporters as they boarded the Oceana Latitude Tuesday morning. The 170-foot vessel is docked at the Port of Gulfport this week. The actors were there to support the research vessel, and they took the opportunity criticize offshore drilling.

Read more from Tram Pham-Bui


Politico: More BP problems, the Trust Fund

While it was a victory for Barack Obama to demand the $20 billion claims fund from BP, there are serious problems with it, according to these writers. “BP’s scheme enlists the government as a virtual partner in its Gulf oil and gas production, and the company uses that partnership to shield itself from punishment.”

Read more from Brian Weissman and Tyson Slocum

New York Times: Information blackout

One scientist is talking about the extreme imbalance of resources for independent researchers in the Gulf and the overall effort to keep scientists quiet about their findings on the oil spill. “The problem is that researchers for BP and the government are being kept quiet, and their data is unavailable to the rest of the community. When damages to the Gulf are assessed in court or Congress, there might not be enough objective data to make a fair judgment.”

Read more from Linda Hooper-Bui

Time: Make the claims process fair
In the short-term at least, however, Feinberg can’t help but do better jobs with the claims process than BP has. Given his experience running the 9/11 fund, there’s probably no one in the U.S. better prepared to take over this process than Feinberg. But that doesn’t it will be fair, Time magazine writes.

Read more:


Christian Science Monitor: Is oil spill to blame for oily blobs in vital Gulf sea life?

Weeks ago scientists discovered oily blobs in the larvae of the blue crab. This is very serious because the crab is on the lower end of the enormous and rich food chain of marine life in the Gulf. Scientists are following the thread to see how the oil might have entered the food chain.

Read more from Bill Sasser



One Response to “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary”

  1. jc Says:


    […]Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary « naturalistjourneys[…]…

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