Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary

From the good folks at NRDC.
Today’s summary
The well is finally dead after 153 days of anguish, financial distress and emotional turmoil. But the issue of deepwater offshore drilling is very much alive. The catastrophe spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Thousands of marine and wildlife have died. Thousands of Gulf coast residents are unemployed. In their efforts to control the spill, BP pumped nearly 2 million gallons of chemical dispersant into the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists are still unsure how the oil and dispersant will affect the environment long-term, but early data suggests that the ecosystem has suffered a deep blow. What have we learned from this disaster? As experts sift through the data, they are looking for ways to make offshore drilling safer and oil spills non-existent. The Obama administration is seeking to tighten regulations on drilling. There are plenty of lessons the oil industry needs to take home and embed in its future quest for oil. But at the end of the day, it will be weary consumers who push back and say, “Enough.” Make it safe or don’t do it at all. Look for alternative fuels and eliminate our fossil fuel addiction. Abandon the policies that drove us into a ditch. It has taken too many lives, too many livelihoods and kept the US hostage to arcane energy policies for far too long.

Quotable Quotes

President Obama: “Everything possible (will be done) to make sure the Gulf Coast recovers fully from this disaster.

“This road will not be easy, but we will continue to work closely with the people of the Gulf to rebuild their livelihoods and restore the environment that supports them,” Obama said in a written statement. “My administration will see our communities, our businesses and our fragile ecosystems through this difficult time.”

And this one, too
“This spill began with a bang, ends with a whimper, and leaves a number of issues still screaming for attention,” Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, said in a statement Saturday.

National News

Reuters: The well is finally dead
With a final shot of cement, BP Plc permanently “killed” its deep-sea well in the Gulf of Mexico that ruptured in April and unleashed the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the top U.S. spill official said on Sunday. BP pumped cement for seven hours on Friday, and finished a pressure test early on Sunday that showed the well was dead. “Although the well is now dead, we remain committed to continue aggressive efforts to clean up any additional oil we may see going forward,” National Incident Commander Thad Allen said.

Read more

Check this one out, too

And see Obama’s statement on killing the well

Wall Street Journal: It’s not over yet
BP PLC finally killed its rogue well, but navigating the gathering swell of litigation and official inquiries will prove just as hard as capping the leak. The company still has months of cleanup work and a barrage of probes that could be distractions for years. It faces billions of dollars in fines for polluting the Gulf of Mexico, civil lawsuits brought by oil-rig workers and fishermen, and complaints by its own shareholders angered by the sharp decline in the company’s stock price. It will take more than just a couple of aspirin to fix this.

Read more

Check this one out, too

BP: Tony Hayward surfaces to applaud killing the well
Tony who? Lest we forget, the former CEO Tony Hayward was quoted Sunday in a BP press release on the well kill. No reason given as to why he suddenly stepped forward. This is what he said: “This is a significant milestone in the response to the Deepwater Horizon tragedy and is the final step in a complex and unprecedented subsea operation – finally confirming that this well no longer presents a threat to the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. And he went on to say: “However, there is still more to be done. BP’s commitment to complete our work and restore the damage done to the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf coast and the livelihoods of the people across the region remains unchanged.”

Read more:

Check this one out, too
BP America’s statement on the end of the well

New York Times: BP may tap oil, gas reservoir beneath well
While BP plans to permanently abandon its stricken well in the Gulf of Mexico, with little but a plug left at the top, it may yet make use of the reservoir of oil and gas that the well tapped into. As amazing as it may seem, there are no technical or commercial reasons why BP — or another company – could not eventually produce oil from the formation, just a public relations problem.

Read more:

Bloomberg: BP may not drill in Gulf again for a long time
The BP Plc relief well that killed the worst U.S. oil spill may be last it drills in the Gulf of Mexico for some time. Just check out the official calendar and it looks like there’s no chance anytime soon. A ban on deepwater wells lasts until the end of November and Congressional elections on Nov. 2 may intensify public pressure on BP after tens of thousands of job were lost in oil exploration, fishing and tourism. A bill passed by the House in July and stalled in the Senate would bar BP from new offshore leases because of its safety record. And some analysts suggest that BP may sell the well to get a fresh start from the nightmare in the Gulf.

Read more


NPR: At the end of the story, the media is already gone
The Pew Research Center estimated that for the first hundred days of the disaster, almost a third of television news coverage was devoted to the spill. Last week, stories from the Gulf made up only about 2 percent of the news — even though people told the Pew pollsters that it was still the topic they were most interested in. So where has the media all gone? Isn’t this story sexy enough to keep covering?

Read more

AP: Barbour: Keep monitoring effects of oil spill
Well, it’s over. The well is dead, but its impact may be felt for a very long time. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says his administration will continue to evaluate economic and environmental effects from the disaster.

Read more

Times-Picayune: Oil spill not over for those who live along Gulf
Don’t tell anyone who lives along the Gulf coast that they have dodged a bullet. They haven’t. “It’s far, far from over,” one resident said. There’s oil in the sand. The water is not clear. The threat still is there for marine and wildlife.

Read more

Press-Register: Does Feinberg lack the personal touch?
It’s already looking brighter along the Gulf coast just hours after a spear was finally driven into the heart of the runaway oil well. But people along the coast know that recovery is not a short-term project, but a lengthy process. And they are still waiting for claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg to get up close and personal and deliver the emergency checks

Read more

Feature They may kill the well, but not the fear and despair
For many residents of the Gulf Coast, relief is a long way from coming even after the ‘final kill.’ Many will have to start to rebuild their lives and businesses, as unquantifiable damage has been done to the fishing and seafood industry, Gulf of Mexico residents are still coming to grips with the aftermath of the Deepwater horizon.

Read more


Tracking the oil spill in the Gulf

Timeline of Gulf oil spill

· The Gulf oil spill by the numbers,0,1061708.photogallery



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