Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary

From the good folks at NRDC.
Matt
Today’s summary

Even though the blown out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has finally been killed, the economic and environmental debate is far from over. A special commission studying the Deepwater Horizon incident said the early predictions about the amount of oil spilled into the Gulf were terrible underestimates. The Obama administration appears to be edging closer to a decision to end the moratorium on deepwater oil and gas drilling before its original Nov. 30 end date. Gulf Coast lawmakers have attacked the moratorium for causing more job loss and exaggerating the region’s economic problems. Meanwhile, National Incident Commander Thad Allen stepped down on Friday, passing the baton to Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft to command the response in the Gulf oil spill. Allen is joining the Rand Corp. as a senior fellow. The Gulf claims fund is expected to pass the $1 billion mark in payments this week although separating fraudulent claims from valid ones is an ongoing job. And BP is still casting around for money to fund the $20 billion bailout fund. It named oil fields in the Gulf as collateral for the claims fund, a sign that it is confident that deepwater oil drilling will return to the Gulf.

Quotable Quote

“We’ve paid approximately 50,000 claims to the tune of about $825 million so far. That’s in five weeks since I took over. BP paid $400 million in four months – Claims Administrator Kenneth Feinberg.

National News

New York Times: Louisiana: Ret. Adm. Thad Allen steps down, joins Rand Corp.
Ret. Adm. Thad W. Allen stepped down as planned on Friday as the National Incident Commander of the Gulf oil spill, transferring oversight duties to Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft. He is joining Rand Corp. as a senior fellow where he will work on homeland security, ocean policy and defense issues.

Read more from Campbell Robertson
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/02/us/02brf-allen.html?_r=1&hp

Also see
AP: Allen steps down from oil spill response
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/10/01/business/AP-US-Gulf-Oil-Spill.html?_r=2&hp

New York Times: Claims payments to pass $1 billion this week
BP’s payments for claims to the Gulf oil spill victims is expected to pass the $1 billion mark this week. The victims claim fund is moving from the emergency claims process to the final negotiation phase for final payment, and that’s where the real difficulty lies, separating rampant fraud from the real and sometimes terribly tragic stories of valid victims.

Read more from Jonathon Schwartz
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/us/03feinberg.html?_r=1&hp

Also see
PBS: Feinberg: Gulf oil spill claims paid more quickly but tough calls ahead
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2010/10/gulf-spill-claims-getting-paid-more-quickly-but-tougher-decisions-await.html

Los Angeles Times: Increase in levels of some cancer-causing toxics recorded since BP spill
Levels of some cancer-causing oil compounds rose significantly in the waters off the Louisiana coast during the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Oregon State University researchers.“It’s an incredibly huge jump in concentration in a natural environment,” said Kim Anderson, an OSU environmental toxicology professor, who found a 40-fold increase in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, from May to June.

Read more from Bettina Boxall
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-oil-cancer,0,4356960.story

AP: Another round of oil spill hearings asks “Why?”
The fifth series of federal hearings into the oil spill disaster begins today as the U.S. Coast Guard-Bureau of Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement investigative panel sifts through evidence looking for details about pressure tests, decision making and BP’s safety culture.

Read more
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jkw96R1Vg_Yf4D-3YIWCo7M__6vgD9IKNS0O1?docId=D9IKNS0O1

Health News Digest: Gulf oil lingering on sea floor
Oil from BPs Deepwater Horizon is still sticking to and covering parts of the sea floor for some 80 miles or more around the site of the now-capped well, according to researchers from the University of Georgia. As recently as three months ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported finding no evidence of oil accumulating on the sea floor in the Gulf. Some researchers say NOAA misled the public by announcing prematurely that much of the oil simply disappeared.

Read more
http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/Environment_380/Gulf_Oil_Lingering_on_the_Sea_Floor.shtml

Politics

The Hill: Republican urges Obama to crack down on Cuban drilling plan
Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan Friday urged President Obama to take action against a proposed Cuban offshore oil drilling operation. Media reports last week said that Cuba is considering deep water oil drilling 50 miles from the Florida coastline as soon as next year. Buchanan said the plan could endanger the Gulf coast because a BP-like spill could occur.

Read more from Jordan Fabian
http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/122221-republican-urges-obama-to-crack-down-on-cuban-drilling-plan

AP: Hawaii hosting oil spill response meeting
Officials from Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii are expected to attend the annual meeting of the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force on Wednesday. Participants are due to talk about methods used to clear the oil, including burning and the use of dispersants. They’re also expected to discuss possible public policy changes resulting from the spill.

Read more
http://www.wkrg.com/gulf_oil_spill/article/hawaii-hosting-pacific-oil-spill-response-meeting/1017301/Oct-03-2010_12-04-pm/

Regional

Wall Street Journal: No BP aid for laid-off shallow-water rig workers
As BP’s billions are spread along the Gulf Coast to compensate everyone from bartenders to real estate brokers for income lost this summer, employees of one industry seem to have been excluded from the payouts: shallow-water rig workers.

Read more from Ryan Dezember
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20101003-703533.html

The Root: Post-spill recover: Who benefits?
Literally hundreds of grass-roots and advocacy organizations from Alabama through Texas have worked from Day 1 of the spill to help Gulf Coast residents, but they say the President’s new Long Term Gulf Coast Restoration Support Plan, while an important step forward, does not address the concerns of all Gulf Coast residents.

Read more from Brentin Mock
http://www.theroot.com/views/post-oil-spill-recovery-who-benefits

DailyComet.com: More federal fishing waters now open
Officials opened more than 5,600 square miles of federal fishing waters off the southeast coast of Louisiana Friday, prompting some optimism from some local seafood businesses. But there was also continuing concern from an environmental consultant about the standards the government is using to determine the safety of seafood and the presence of contamination in fishing waters that were closed for nearly five months.

Read more from Robert Zullo
http://www.dailycomet.com/article/20101002/ARTICLES/101009891/1212?Title=More-federal-fishing-waters-now-open

Business

Washington Post: Rating BP’s management
Even before he officially took over as CEO of BP last Friday, Bob Dudley had started making changed. He started ousting entrenched leaders, restructuring the organization and reassessing how employees earn their pay. But will it work?

Read more from Jena McGregor
http://views.washingtonpost.com/leadership/post_leadership/2010/09/rating-bps-management-shakeup-strategy.html?hpid=topnews?hpid=smartliving

Times Picayune: United effort sought to promote tourism, seafood after Gulf of Mexico spill
Louisiana Lt. Gov. Scott Angelle said Friday he is trying to arrange a meeting with officials from three other Gulf Coast states that have been affected by the BP oil spill so they can jointly make a pitch to the company for regional tourism and seafood promotion money.

Read more from Ed Anderson
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/10/united_effort_sought_to_promot.html

Pensacola Business Journal: Slick fix for businesses’ spill struggles
The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is keeping many businesses afloat while they wait out the recovery fund’s sluggish claims process.

Read more from Carlton Proctor
http://www.pnj.com/article/20101003/BUSINESS/10030348/1003/BUSINESSJOURNAL/Slick-fix-for-businesses–spill-struggles

Reuters: BP to finance spill fund with Gulf fields
BP, which faces U.S. opposition to drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico, named fields in the Gulf that it will use to help finance its $20-billion US fund for victims of the worst oil spill in U.S. history. A BP spokesman declined to comment on whether the move means the U.S. government has told BP, or the company expects, it will not be banned from future drilling.

Read more
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business/finance+spill+fund+with+Gulf+fields/3613249/story.html

Read more from Jon Mooallem
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/magazine/03turtles-t.html?_r=1&hp

Editorial

Times-Picayune: Thad Allen offers lessons for BP
Ken Feinberg has the luxury of doling out BP’s money without having to worry about BP’s bottom line. It would sure be nice to believe that the people in charge of the Gulf cleanup did, too, the Times-Picayune writes.

Read more
http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/10/post_29.html

The Post and Courier: Lessons of Gulf oil spill should spark clean-energy development
The Gulf oil spill makes the case for support for clean energy if there ever was one. “The bottom line is that our response to this disaster cannot be just about making oil platforms safer, or reforming the oil spill response plans of multinational corporations. We need to move to a new national energy platform,” writes The Post and Courier.

Read more from Clinch Heyward
http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/oct/02/02heyward/

NewsHerald: Gulf oil spill: Lingering disaster?
It is vitally important for the federal government to set aside adequate funding to study the real effects of the oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico because the State of Alaska is still enduring the impact of the Exxon Valdez spill more than 20 years later. “If there is a difference between what Alaskans faced in 1989 and what Gulf Coast residents face today, it may only be a matter of size and scope,” S. Brady Calhoun writes.

Read more from S. Brady Calhoun
http://www.newsherald.com/articles/lingering-87436-long-oil.html

Feature

New York Times: The BP-spill baby-turtle brigade
A look back at the extraordinary efforts by volunteers to take sea-turtle eggs from the imperiled Gulf waters and transplant them to the Atlantic. “Fortunately, a vast and well-organized infrastructure of volunteers was already in place: people who, for years, happened to have been honing some of the very skills that the survival of these imperiled animals suddenly hinged on — not because they saw such a crisis coming, but basically because they really loved turtles.”

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2 Responses to “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disastor Summary”

  1. Joe Arias Says:

    well hopefully we learned from the oil spill and the consequences why we don’t have alternative energy by now is beyond me

  2. Hearing Aids Reviews Says:

    Great post!
    Thank you for posting this.

    Regards,
    Jack from Hearing Aid Reviews

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