Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster Summary

From the good folks at NRDC.

Today’s summary

Just what will the courts and the inevitable juries sitting in judgment believe when it comes time to judge BP and its liabilities in the Gulf oil spill? Already, BP is developing its own story line and other companies involved in the oil spill are doing the same thing. But there is one troubling piece of information emerging. BP issued its own ‘impartial’ report on what happened that become the worst environmental disaster in US history. Now we learn that BP lawyers were involved in writing the report. “They were actually quite effective at making sure that our thought logic was good,” one top official said. He said the team was careful not to have its “insights influenced, even subtly” by outside concerns. That may be a questionable assertion. As legal teams swarm over this disaster, it will be interesting to see who wins, who loses and when there is a stalemate over facts and fiction. Meanwhile, there is still plenty of finger-pointing. The White House remains defensive over its initial oil spill response and the judgment of one investigating panel that it was too slow. And the panel singled out Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for his grandstanding on the oil spill, causing problems and seriously distracting the serious work at hand.

Quotable Quote

“This was an unprecedented environmental disaster met with an unprecedented federal response which prevented any of the worst-case scenarios from coming to fruition,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said. “When we had information, we gave it to the public.”

National News

Wall Street Journal: Doubts raised about BP’s rig disaster report
BP’s own report into what caused the April 20 Gulf oil disaster is coming under scrutiny. It was supposed to be an impartial analysis of what happened. But critics were skeptical and now a BP executive is acknowledging that BP lawyers had a hand in the report but only to help “with the logic of the writing, not its conclusions.” Right!

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Business Week: BP considered quitting Gulf well weeks before explosion
If only BP had followed its instincts. It turns out that BP Plc considered quitting its Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico days before the drilling-rig explosion that killed 11 workers and caused the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, according to testimony to a federal panel investigating the blast.

Read more 4 most glaring errors cited by Obama’s spill commission
There’s been a comedy of errors at nearly every step of the way in the Gulf oil spill, beginning with the Coast Guard, which initially tracked the spill using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet before realizing the complexity of the endeavor required a more high-powered method. outlines 4 big mistakes in the 5-month disaster.

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CNN: White House still on defensive over oil spill response
The White House continues to fight back over a presidential commission’s harsh words about how it handled the early days of the Gulf oil spill. The Obama administration made public all information available throughout the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday in response to the preliminary report that criticized how it handled the disaster.

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See this one

Check this one out, too Feinberg: Oil spill claims being paid “as fast as we can”
There’s a strong wind at pay czar Ken Feinberg’s back these days. He said the $20 billion oil spill fund compensating victims of BP Plc’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is making payments “as fast as we can” after handing out more than $1 billion.

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Check out this one, too


USA Today: Seafood industry limps along
The oil spill is taking a toll on the Gulf coast’s seafood industry. There are 195 seafood processors across the Gulf Coast employing more than 9,000 workers and generating more than $1 billion in revenue a year, Seafood supply is down because fishermen have been employed with BP cleaning up the spill. And demand is down because long-time restaurants are skittish about serving Gulf seafood.

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The New York Times: Hard truths on the oil spill
The commission needs to call it as it sees it. And the White House needs to understand that the best chance of ensuring that this disaster is never repeated is to acknowledge and then confront what went wrong, The New York Times writes.

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Chattahbox: Commission: Jindal ‘caused problems,’ was serious distraction
Louisiana Gov. Jindal was the go-to guy for the media to get the sound bite and footage of an active lawmaker taking charge of the Gulf disaster. But the presidential commission investigating the spill thought otherwise. It slammed Jindal’s know-nothing political grandstanding, concluding that “the conflicts between federal responders and state government appear to have been most severe in Louisiana.” And worse, after “Governor Jindal named himself State On-Scene Coordinator,” his actions “slowed decision-making and caused problems in the response efforts.”

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AP: Oil spill becomes issue in La. Senate race
In the final month before the midterm elections, Louisiana’s Republican Sen. David Vitter is coming under attack from his Democratic opponent Charlie Melancon, for trying to protect companies like BP from financial liability in a massive oil spill. It’s a sensitive issue in Louisiana where thousands of Gulf coast residents have lost their livelihoods as a result of the worst environmental disaster in US history.

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Huffington Post: A new film asks: Will there be crude justice or true justice for spill victims?
A new film called Crude Justice is both heartbreaking and hopeful as it chronicles the fight for justice and the struggle of the hard-working people of the Gulf to make their lives whole again. The filmmakers interview people who say they are afraid they’ll be forgotten as the crisis recedes in the public mind. They also say they will never give up their fight. The filmmakers say they made Crude Justice to ensure that these stories are told and to hold both BP and the legal system accountable for what comes next.

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One Response to “Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster Summary”

  1. sales Says:


    […]Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster Summary « naturalistjourneys[…]…

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