Gulf Oil Spill Disastor/Summary

From the good folks at NRDC. We are close to the begining of this complicated story and disastor!!!!!!!
Today’s summary
High drama on the open seas. We’ve gone from a desperate situation to one that is almost over – sort of. No one is declaring victory yet, not BP and certainly not National Incident Commander Thad Allen. But the once out-of-control oil hole is nearly plugged. A new blowout preventer was placed on top of the well on Friday and the old one removed, taken away by federal authorities who will analyze what went wrong. Allen says the final kill could very well take place this week. But the Gulf oil crisis won’t be over anytime soon. In the coming months and years, we’re sure to learn about what the government and BP knew about the scope of the disaster, when they knew it, and whether they responded swiftly. In the short term, we are already seeing a kaleidoscope of changes in the Gulf, from the desperate struggle of many Gulf coast residents to survive economically to the valiant efforts of scientists to save the marine and wildlife coated with oil to the unknown threats to the food chain that are not completely understood. Claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg has been moving with great alacrity to deliver payments to oil claimants. And Allen is getting ready to turn his command over to the Department of Energy to carry out the recovery once the well is officially declared dead.

Quotable Quote
“This well does not constitute a threat to the Gulf of Mexico at this point,” said National Incident Commander Thad Allen. “The well has been effectively secured regarding any potential source of pollution.”

National News

Los Angeles Times: Well declared no longer a threat to the Gulf
With a new blowout preventer in place and a 5,000-foot column of cement filling its core, the BP well is no longer in danger of leaking oil, National Incident Commander Thad Allen said over the weekend. But the job is not yet over. It still must still be plugged from the bottom for the hole to be completely sealed. In the past, Allen has said it would take four days to complete the remaining drilling, and several days more to inject the material, conduct pressure tests. The timetable remains up in the air but now Allen is saying the final kill could take place this week.

Read more,0,1562600.story

Check this one out, too

BBC: Allen: BP well poses no further risk to Gulf The preventer – key spill evidence – grabbed from the sea
Investigators looking into what went wrong in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill are a step closer to answers now that a key piece of evidence is secure aboard a ship. Engineers took nearly 30 hours to lift the 50-foot, 300-ton blowout preventer from a mile beneath the sea – a huge clue that could provide the story about what went wrong on April 20 and who is to blame. Meanwhile, the Justice Department isn’t saying exactly where the blowout preventer is right now. So stay tuned.

Read more

Check this one out, too

And see this:

Allen Briefing: Gulf oil command will shift to Energy Department
National Incident Commander Thad Allen reports that he will be stepping aside as National Incident Commander when there is no further threat of discharge from the crippled oil well. Command responsibilities will shift to the Department of Energy at that point.

Read more:

Marketwatch: BP steps up plans to sell off assets
The bill is coming due for the Gulf oil spill, and BP has to find a way to pay it. New reports indicate that the oil giant is stepping up its asset disposal plans with a revived effort to sell all or part of its Prudhoe Bay stake in Alaska and an increase in its target for total asset sales, according to media reports. The company has put its stake in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay — worth around $20 billion — up for sale and is also in talks to sell up to $10 billion of other assets to its Russian joint venture TNK-BP.

Read more:

Check this one out, too Feds spend millions on Gulf oil spill
The oil has stopped seeping into the Gulf of Mexico, but federal spending in response to Deepwater Horizon disaster still is flowing. In total, 11 federal departments have issued contracts in response to the oil spill. As of Aug. 31, federal agencies have spent nearly $126 million in contracts to respond and recover from the April 20 BP oil spill. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been the largest federal spender, issuing more than $55 million in contracts.

Read more:


Politico: Democrats call for a 2nd drilling probe
The House is beginning to ratchet up its investigatory power in the wake of the second offshore drilling accident this year. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) on Friday sent Interior Secretary Ken Salazar a letter requesting a slew of documents, saying he is “alarmed” by the disaster aboard the Mariner Energy rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more:


Press-Register: Oil claims payments rise sharply in second week
In a week’s time, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility paid out almost seven times as much in individual and business claims as it did in the first week. As of Friday evening, the claims process now run by Kenneth Feinberg had paid out $47.4 million to nearly 6,000 claimants across the Gulf Coast. That’s an average of about $8,000 per claim.

Read more by David Ferrara

Also see claims facility website

AP: USF scientists take another trip to Gulf to study spill effects
Marine scientists from the University of South Florida are taking another trip out to study the effects of the Gulf oil spill. The USF College of Marine Science said a team of 16 left Saturday morning for a seven-day research trip to examine the impact of deep-sea oil plumes on fish, shrimp and other marine creatures.

Read more: NOAA reopens 3,000 miles of Gulf for fishing
Is there an all-clear sign on the Gulf or is it just wishful thinking that the waters are clear for fishing? On Friday, NOAA reopened 3,114 square miles of Gulf waters offshore of the western Florida panhandle to commercial and recreational fishing. The reopening was announced after consultation with FDA and under a re-opening protocol agreed to by NOAA, the FDA, and the Gulf states.

Read more By the numbers: Response to the Gulf oil spill
The administration has authorized deployment of 17,500 National Guard troops from Gulf Coast states to respond to this crisis; currently, 1,056 are active. More than 28,000 personnel are currently responding to protect the shoreline and wildlife and cleanup vital coastlines. More than 34.7 million gallons of an oil-water mix have been recovered

Read more:

Press-Register: Did FDA use lower standards to okay Gulf seafood?
We’re not out of the woods yet. A Press-Register examination of the process used to reopen state waters around the Gulf to commercial fishing suggests that the Food and Drug Administration used an imprecise testing method, less protective standards than after past oil spills, and seafood consumption estimates that may not account for the dietary habits of Gulf Coast residents.

Read more:

Times-Picayune: Another set of hearings scheduled on oil spill
The next hearings by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Spill and Offshore Drilling will be Sept. 27-28 in Washington. The subject of the hearings will be the response to the spill and ways to restore the environmental damage.

Read more:


Huffington Post: Sen. Carper: Latest platform accident evidence of energy dependence
Both explosions serve as graphic reminders that drilling for oil thousands of feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico remains a very risky business. This week’s accident also reinforces the need to create a culture of safety in this industry, much as the culture we have endeavored to create in our nation’s 104 nuclear power plants,” Sen. Carper writes.

Read more:

Press-Register: The summer from hell
From closed beaches in Alabama to closed waters in Mississippi and oily marshes in Louisiana, the summer of 2010 will be remembered for the oil spill that dealt a body blow to tourism, commercial and charter fishing, and the budgets of state and local governments, the Press-Register writes.

Read more:


Washington Post: The harsh lessons from Exxon Valdez spill
A group of professors, politicians and community leaders from Louisiana spent a week in Alaska recently, looking to learn from those who have been where they are headed. If Alaska is any indication, the first year after a spill is not the hardest. It’s the years afterward when the environmental, cultural and societal consequences really surface.

Read more:


BP’s daily costs for the oil spill

Mapping the response to the Gulf oil spill

Video of damaged preventer being removed



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