Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary

From the good folks at NRDC.
This morning’s summary
The federal government and BP need lots of patience right now. And so do the people of the Gulf. The Gulf oil disaster is not over, and its impact will be felt for a long time on the people of the region. A new field is cropping up around the potential psychological effects of ecological disasters – which we will increasingly face as the climate unravels and when disasters like the Gulf oil spill occur, according to environmental scientists and psychologists. It’s predicted that post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression will rise among the population of the Gulf coast. Forced migrations will also feed mental illness. And there are few mental health services on the ground right now to help the people of the Gulf. Meanwhile, there are new delays in killing that renegade well caused by bad weather. BP is submitting a report today on its response to the oil spill and what went wrong. The presidential Oil Spill Commission is looking to take some lessons from the nuclear power industry on forming safety standards. And new rules go into effect for regulators on ties to the oil industry.

Quotable quote:

“We’ve run into a weather window that’s got us in a hold. If we can get to the blowout preventer sooner rather than later, we will do that.” Incident Commander Thad Allen.

National News

AP: Waves hamper raising key equipment in oil spill

Incident commander Thad Allen said Tuesday that seas were 6 feet or higher and they have to be closer to 4 feet for the work continues to lift out the 300-ton blowout preventer from the crippled Macondo well to be done safely. That means the work could be delayed until the weekend or longer.

Read more from Kevin McGill

Also see
CNN: Officials say effort to kill well still stalled

And this one

AP: Thad Allen: Friday or later before spill crews resume

Times Picayune: Oil spill commission using nuclear power industry as model

After the 1979 near meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant, the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations came into being to set safety standards. Now it’s being used as a model by the President’s Oil Spill Commission for the offshore drilling industry.

Read more from Mark Schleifstein

Smartmoney: BP report due on response
BP will be submitting a report Wednesday evaluating lessons learned in its response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The report to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulations and Enforcement will not cover the causes of the explosion. For that, we have to turn to several investigative teams probing the cause. Reports say the BP report says the offshore oil and gas industry is better equipped to deal with deep-water accidents because of lessons that BP learned battling its massive oil spill,

Read more:

Check this one out, too

St. Petersburg Times: Officials pledge to work more closely on oil spill research

About 100 academic scientists and representatives from BP, private companies and several federal agencies gathered for the first of three brainstorming sessions Tuesday at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. In the face of mounting criticism that scientists have been stopped at every turn by both the federal government and BP, the government says it is hoping to coordinate research without stepping on the independence of academic institutions.

Read more from Kameel Stanley

National Geographic: Millions of bird at risk as fall migration to oil-fouled Gulf Coast nears
Millions of Canada’s migratory birds, representing more than a hundred species, could be at risk when they return this fall to areas in the Gulf of Mexico affected by the oil spill.

Read more David Braun


Wall Street Journal: Strict rules for regulators on ties to oil industry

The Obama administration on Tuesday ordered federal offshore-oil regulators to recuse themselves from official actions involving companies that employ their family members or close friends. It also placed new restrictions on regulators’ oversight of companies they once worked for.

Read more

Check this one out, too
Reuters: U.S. govt sets new rules for offshore oil inspectors

And this

Chicago Tribune: Obama administration: New rules should put distance between drilling inspectors, oil industry,0,3135898.story


Times-Picayune: Companies complain BP late paying for services
Several companies and landowners involved with Gulf of Mexico oil spill response in St. Bernard Parish say they have not been paid by BP for their services. Parish President Craig Taffaro called on the oil giant Tuesday evening to resolve the issues and avoid potential work interruptions. “We’re calling on BP to step forward and make these things right,” Taffaro said. Among the bills not paid: fuel for boats, basic rent on the land, the use of a crane on a site and upgrades at the site, including electrical service and pouring limestone for a parking lot.

Read more:

AP: Official: La. oil command center to shut over rent

Tattaro says a Louisiana oil spill command center is shutting down over a dispute with BP over rent and other expenses. The company owes millions in rent and its policy of reviewing invoices before cutting checks has made some payments weeks overdue.

Read more

Press-Register: Food stamp applications jump in Mobile County
The Alabama Department of Human Resources paid a record 90,753 claims for food stamp benefits in July throughout Mobile County, distributing $11,972,419, officials said Tuesday. While the totals aren’t broken down by community, there’s no doubt that troubles related to the Gulf oil spill are fueling the numbers, according to Rose M. Johnson, director of Mobile County DHR.

Read more:

The Signal: Georgia State researchers studying Gulf oil microbes
Georgia State researchers will travel to Louisiana this fall to study those oil-eating microbes which seem to be helping out so much in the Gulf.

Read more from Daniel Beauregard

Orlando Sentinel: House appears unwilling to launch oil-spill session

Florida state politics heats up as the state legislature debates whether to hold special session on the oil spill.

Read more from Michael Peltier


Tuscaloosa News: Beginning of a long process for claims
This is just the beginning of a massive and unprecedented process involving five states, including Alabama, and we are sure there will be glitches, people who feel they were not treated fairly, and businesses that are not made whole again from inadequate compensation. And we are certain that it will take years to sort everything out, the Tuscaloosa News writes.

Read more: Guest commentary: The oil spill in the Gulf: the media and the facts

This is a guest editorial from a Naples Fla., banker, and he, like many in the region, are incensed about how media played out contributing to economic loss when many areas did not even experience an impact from the oil. “Alarm spread throughout the Gulf states as the media quoted so-called experts who predicted the oil could come ashore all down the Florida west coast and up the U.S. east coast as well as across the Atlantic. A resident of my hometown, Naples, has filed a $5 million lawsuit against BP claiming the smell of the oil is making her sick. The fact that the leak is 400 miles north of here and the prevailing winds are from the southwest speaks to the nonsense that has already developed,” Paul Slater writes.

Read more from Paul Slater

Tucson Citizen: What happened to the oil in the Gulf of Mexico
This writer looks into the reports on the amount of oil spilled in the Gulf and where it could be.

Read more from Jonathan DuHamel

Feature Scholastic News: 82 percent of kids polled are concerned about the oil spill and environment damage
As millions of children return to school, the Gulf oil spill and its aftermath provide a very teachable moment that is relevant to today’s environmentally interested kids. In a recent poll of 3,200 kids on the Scholastic News Online website, 82 percent say they are concerned about the oil spill, and 48 percent say they are most concerned about its effect on the animals and Gulf ecosystems. To help parents and teachers explain the events and recovery efforts, Scholastic Book Clubs has released an “insta-book” titled “Oil Spill: Disaster in the Gulf.”

Read more



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