Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Update

Again, from the good folks at NRDC. BP is trying hard to bring co-conspiritors to the criminal negligance side of this case…we shall see.
Today’s summary

BP was striking first Wednesday morning with a detailed report about what it believes went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon on April 20. The 193-page report, complete with a 29-minute video on its website, spreads the blame around, and was critical of its own workers’ conduct, but it defended the design of its well and it was careful in its assessments. It lists its employee errors and those of Transocean, the rig owner, and Halliburton, a contractor. Transocean struck back immediately attacking the oil giant. BP risks opening itself up to greater legal liability if it takes a large part of the blame for the disaster, but if it doesn’t do this it will likely be accused of evading responsibility. BP’s report is far from the final word on possible causes of the explosion. Several divisions of the U.S. government, including the Justice Department, Coast Guard and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, are also investigating the cause of the disaster. There’s one missing piece in this analysis: the blowout preventer that failed to stop the oil from leaking from the well off the Louisiana coast. It was raised from the water Saturday. Investigators haven’t inspected the preventer yet or issued any pronouncements on what it showed. But we’re sure it will provide a more complete picture of what happened and where the fault lies.

Quotable Quote
“We have said from the beginning that the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon was a shared responsibility among many entities,” BP’s new CEO Bob Dudley said.

National News

Bloomberg: BP report points finger at own employees, other firms
Trying to get out ahead of the PR wars on the oil spill, BP Plc issued its own internal report Wednesday, faulting some of its own engineers for the largest environmental disaster in US history. BP cited at least eight errors of judgment and equipment failures that caused the explosion that sank the rig. Chief among those also responsible, the company claims, are Halliburton, which provided cement for the blown-up Macondo well, and Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon. BP said its team aboard the doomed oil rig Deepwater Horizon “incorrectly accepted” results of a negative pressure test aboard the rig before the blast.

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And check this out

See BP’s 193-page report and video on its investigation Transocean slams BP’s report
Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon drill rig that exploded April 20th in the Gulf of Mexico, Wednesday slammed BP’s internal report released at 7 am et that had accused Transocean of shared responsibility in the matter.

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Marketwatch: Chevron exec urges end to oil moratorium
The oil industry, having learned from the Gulf oil disaster, is ready to go back to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico using improved practices — and “that is why the federal government should lift the drilling moratorium in the area,” Gary Luquette, president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production, said Tuesday. “We have identified the gaps, we have been responsive to the gaps, and we are making progress and improvements so we don’t have another incident again.”

Times-Picayune: Feinberg acknowledges he was caught ‘off guard’
Two weeks into Kenneth Feinberg’s reign as the oil spill claims administrator, he’s failed to live up to expectations he set for the process — and he admits it. Feinberg said he was caught off guard by the complexity of the Gulf Coast claims, particularly in comparison with the 9/11 compensation fund he administered after the 2001 terrorist attacks. In his own defense, Feinberg says, “The amount of money going out is absolutely first-rate,” adding that his rough start already “exceeds anything BP did.”

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Dow Jones: Is BP’s $10 million enough to study ill health effects from spill?
BP announced on Tuesday that it will donate $10 million to support studies of potential public-health issues stemming from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The money will go to the National Institutes of Health through the company’s Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. It comes out of a $500 million pot of money set up by BP for 10 years to study the impact of the oil spill. But is $10 million enough or is BP just throwing some more ‘guilt’ money at the disaster?

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Business Week: No dead zones expected from Gulf oil spill
Federal agencies have concluded that BP Plc’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico hasn’t caused “dead zones,” areas where oxygen levels fall too low to support most marine life.

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Check out NOAA’s statement

McClatchy: The long arm of BP
BP, the energy giant responsible for the largest offshore oil spill in history, helped develop California’s framework for teaching more than 6 million students about the environment. It’s just one more example showing how BP has been influencing the debate and ideas around the oil industry.”I’d hate to see how a section in future textbooks mentioning the BP oil spill will look,” said Lisa Graves, executive director for the Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy.

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Bloomberg: One of the world’s smallest seahorses faces extinction because of oil spill
Dwarf seahorses, one of the world’s smallest species of seahorse, could “virtually disappear” because of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the chemicals used to clean it up, according to the Zoological Society of London.


Miami Herald: It’s up to the Senate to help restore Gulf, writes president of National Audubon Society
Now it’s up to the Senate to follow the House and vote for legislation to restore the Gulf in the wake of the biggest oil spill disease in US history. The two-week clock starts ticking on Sept. 13. An American treasure – its largest wetlands region – can and must be restored. For the sake of the people and wildlife of coastal Louisiana, is this too much to ask, writes David Yarnold, president and CEO of the National Audubon Society

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Times-Picayune: BP’s real record
Throughout the Gulf oil spill, BP’s high-ranking officials have touted what they call the firm’s culture of safety and responsibility. But that self-proclaimed culture of safety is not what’s reflected in the shortcuts BP engineers took on the Deepwater Horizon rig, ignoring warnings and leading to the death of 11 workers and the worst oil spill in the nation’s history, the Times-Picayune writes.

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Feature The disappearing marshlands
Long before BP’s blowout menaced the Gulf of Mexico, an oil industry-related coastal crisis of another kind began unfolding all over the Mississippi River coastal delta. The marshlands started disappearing, an outgrowth of all the oil pipelines laid down to transmit oil across the region. Since the 1930s, more than a third of it has vanished, an area the size of Delaware. Each year, 15,300 acres more disappear, according to Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.

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