Summary Of Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disator

From the good folks at NRDC.
Today’s summary
The Gulf coast disaster has moved from a rescue effort to a recovery one. Federal officials are searching for the next steps in repairing the Gulf as well as what went wrong and how to keep it from happening again. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus releases a report today spelling out what needs to be done for the Gulf. He says the goal is to create a steady stream of money and a consistent governmental focus on a restoration project that will last years. And he calls for directing penalties collected from the oil spill to repairing the region. Meanwhile, Ret. Adm. Thad Allen questions whether BP should have been in charge of the oil spill response given that the oil giant caused it. The president’s commission investigating the oil spill heard some discouraging testimony Monday from an oceanographer who maintains that more than 50 percent of the spilled oil remains in the Gulf. The Obama administration is expected to decide later this week when to lift the offshore oil moratorium in the Gulf. And a new Gallup poll finds there’s been a 25 percent hike in depression among Gulf residents, not a statistic to be taken lightly.

Quotable Quote
“It is clear that as we move forward, there must be a seamless transition from response to recovery,” Navy Secretary Ray Mabus wrote in his report on repairing the Gulf.

And this one
“We should use the BP fine (as much as $19 billion) to establish an endowment to restore, understand and sustain the coastal and marine environment in perpetuity,” said one witness at the President’s Oil Spill Commission

National News

Politico: Mabus report: Use penalties from oil spill to repair Gulf
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus unveiled his recovery plan today to repair the Gulf Coast. It calls for using penalties collected from the environmental disaster. “The Gulf took the risk and the Gulf took the damage and the money should be dedicated to going back there,” Mabus said. His plan creates task forces and designates agencies to oversee the effort; it also includes economic development, community planning, ecosystem and environmental restoration, public health efforts and assistance to individuals and businesses affected by the spill.

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Check this one out, too
New York Times: Panel: BP should pay for Gulf restoration

And this one

Washington Post: Oil spill commission questions BP’s response
BP and government testimony at the president’s Oil Spill Commission claimed at a hearing of the presidential oil spill commission that the initial underestimation of the flow rate of the Macondo well had no impact on the response to the spill. But there was one persistent question: Did BP and the Coast Guard make a mistake by calibrating their initial response plans at the surface and at the sea floor to handle the smaller estimate of gushing oil? “It was a very significant error,” said commission co-chair Bob Graham.

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See this one, too

AP: Public distrust grew over Gov response to oil spill
The Obama administration’s repeated low estimates of the huge BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico undermined public confidence in the government’s entire cleanup effort, leaders of the president’s oil spill commission said Monday. One likened the mistakes to Lt. Col. George A. Custer’s disastrous decisions at Little Bighorn.

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Politico: Moratorium decision coming soon
Watch for interim rules this week to see how the Obama administration plans to end the Gulf oil drilling moratorium before the Nov. 30 deadline. Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said Monday he expects to issue interim rules and a key report later this week that will signal the administration’s next move on offshore drilling.

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AFP: More than 50 percent of oil still in Gulf of Mexico
More than half the oil released from the BP remains in the Gulf of Mexico, a witness told the presidential commission investigating the oil spill on Monday. Oceanographer Ian MacDonald said that while much of the oil was dispersed, evaporated or removed by burning and skimming, the “remaining fraction — over 50 percent of the total discharge — is a highly durable material that resists further dissipation.”

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Businessweek: Lawmakers eyeball Feinberg’s claims process
When there’s money involved, there’s always a good chance Congress will jump into the act. In the latest case, claims czar Ken Feinberg will be meeting this week with Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del) who is focusing on how Feinberg determines eligibility for payments.

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Press-Register: Feinberg to give rejected claims a second look
Claims czar Ken Feinberg announced Monday that the 2,000 individuals and businesses denied payment from his operation will get a second look, and he expects many will be ruled eligible.

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Gallup: 25 percent hike in depression among Gulf residents
Mental health is a hidden problem most of the time. But a new Gallup-Healthways Emotional Health index finds residents of Gulf Coast counties have been experiencing a decline in their overall emotional health in the 15 weeks after the onset of the BP oil spill

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See this one, too

Propublica: Feinberg taken to the woodshed over slow payments
A top Justice Department official has written a strongly worded letter to claims czar Kenneth Feinberg describing the pace of his payments as “unacceptable” and demanding that he improve his operation. “As the present pace is unacceptable, the GCCF needs to devote whatever additional resources — or make whatever administrative changes — are necessary in order to speed up this process.” Since the Sept. 17 letter, Feinberg has started making changes to speed up the process.

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Bloomberg: Allen: BP in charge of spill created potential conflict of interest
Retired Adm. Thad Allen made it clear Monday that putting the company responsible for an oil spill in charge of the cleanup creates a potential conflict of interest. “We need to really think about what we mean by the concept of responsible party and how we want that to work in the future,” Allen testified before the presidential commission investigating the spill.

Read more:

Check out this one, too
Allen’s legacy still being shaped by BP spill

Times-Picayune: National Geographic channel relives oil spill Tuesday night
For two hours tonight, the National Geographic Channel returns to the dark days of summer. It is a chilling revisit to the BP oil catastrophe, the months-long efforts to end it and the scientific speculation about the likely years-long ecological impact of the spilled oil and sprayed dispersants. It’s called “Can the Gulf Survive?” and relives the disaster, humanizes it with a visit with people who have been, and will continue to be, most affected by the spill.

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New York Times: Never mind oil, think wind
The Atlantic coast has more energy to give as wind than it does as oil or gas, according to a study sponsored by the environmental group Oceana. The group argues that using wind turbines to make electricity instead of drilling rigs to produce hydrocarbons would not only cut the chance of accidents like the Deepwater Horizon spill in the gulf but would also reduce the use of coal on land, the group said. And in light of the devastating impact of the Gulf oil spill, it’s an idea whose time has come. “The development of offshore wind means reliable energy, good paying American jobs and independence from fuels that pollute our air and drain our economy,” said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del.

Read more


NASA satellite view of the Gulf oil spill


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