Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster Summary

From the good folks at NRDC.
Matt
Summary
The six-month anniversary of the oil spill is Wednesday but it’s nothing to celebrate. The Feds report the oil is pretty much gone from the sea. But scientists still give the Gulf bad grades when it comes to its environmental health. BP is still on the hot seat as it works to recover from this disaster. It’s shuffled its top personnel in the Gulf and has raised $1.8 billion in an asset sale to pay for the Gulf. It has said that it intends to stay in town until the oil disaster is fixed. And that may be a long time because it may be years before the full impact of millions of gallons of oil spewing into the sea is finally assessed. And in one show of good faith, the oil company waived the $75 million cap on damages for some oil spill claims. The future is out of its hands. It’s up to Congress now to come up with tougher environmental regulations and harder rules for the oil industry. That may be wistful thinking for environmentalists since it’s widely predicted that the House of Representatives will flip sides to Republican control on Election Day in two weeks, and it’s well-known that the GOP is hostile to environmental concerns and more partial to the oil industry that are big Republican donors.

Quotable Quote
“We trawled for over 10 days trying to catch tar balls, and in all those trawls that we made we caught one tar ball,” reports Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukumft.

National News

Times-Picayune: Feds report little oil left in Gulf
It’s hard to believe the oil is gone. But the federal government’s top responders to the oil spill are reporting on-the-water findings that couldn’t have been imagined at the height of the crisis four months ago: very little recoverable oil still in the water or at the bottom, few trace amounts of dispersant chemicals and no samples of contaminated seafood in open water or in the marshes.

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

AP: BP to waive $75 million cap on some liability claims
BP has said repeatedly it’s committed to the Gulf until it is cleaned up and the company would pay all legitimate claims. Monday, it made good on its promise when it informed a federal judge Monday that the company is waiving a $75 million cap on its liability for certain economic damage claims spawned by the massive Gulf oil spill.

Read more
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/18/AR2010101805151.html?hpid=sec-business

AP: Six-month anniversary: Gulf still gets a bad grade
The six-month anniversary of the Gulf oil spill is Wednesday but it will take much longer to see the full effects of the largest offshore oil spill in US history. In an informal survey, 35 researchers who study the Gulf lowered their rating of its ecological health by several points, compared to their assessment before the BP well gushed millions of gallons of oil. On a scale of 0 to 100, the overall average grade for the oiled Gulf was 65 – down from 71 before the spill.

Read more
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/18/gulf-oil-spill-6-month-an_n_766907.html

Check this one out, too
http://www.kktv.com/home/headlines/Oil_Spill_May_Have_Had_Less_Impact_On_Overall_Health_Of_Gulf_105249293.html

Wall Street Journal: BP shuffles oil spill personnel
The face of BP’s top players in the Gulf of Mexico is changing. BP’s Gulf of Mexico head Monday survived a management reshuffle but three executives closely involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster’s response are leaving their positions, the company said Monday. One of them, Doug Suttles, one of the public faces of BP’s response to the disaster, will move to another job after his position as Upstream chief operating officer disappeared after the division was split.

Read more
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20101018-709707.html

New York Times: BP raises $1.8 billion in asset sale
Nice to have a big pocketbook. BP is still into selling its assets to pay for the biggest environmental disaster in US history. On Monday, the oil giant raised $1.8 billion to help pay for the cost of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by selling assets in Venezuela and Vietnam to its own joint venture in Russia.

Read more
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/business/global/19oil.html?hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1287432049-fOMv1DU1Ln1XpGV4JbPeiQ

Bloomberg: Oil industry asks judge not to scrap drill ban lawsuit
The legal fights continue. U.S. regulators haven’t let deep- water drilling resume in the Gulf of Mexico despite lifting a moratorium last week, so an industry lawsuit should continue, opponents of the ban said.

Read more
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-18/oil-industry-asks-judge-not-to-scrap-drill-ban-
lawsuit.html

AP: BP to link bonuses to safety performances
Money talks. And it certainly does in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. In the latest example, BP has announced BP employees’ performance on safety issues will be the only measure for awarding fourth-quarter bonuses, the British oil company said Tuesday as it tries to tighten performance and clean up its image after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Read more
http://blog.al.com/wire/2010/10/bp_to_link_bonuses_to_safety_p.html

Regional

Times-Picayune: Louisiana hotline to help oil claims
About half of all Louisiana applications to BP’s oil spill claims fund don’t have basic information and the state has decided to do something about it help them. It’s set up a hotline and is paying 10 nonprofit partners to help residents affected by disastrous oil spill get their money.

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

News Herald: Grant targets oil spill victims
Gulf Coast Workforce Board officials have received a $1.1 million emergency from the US Labor Department to provide scholarships to workers who lost their job as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Read more
http://www.newsherald.com/news/oil-87862-panama-spill.html

Feature

USA Today: Where the oil spill isn’t over
Much of the Gulf Coast has returned to normalcy since the Macondo well 50 miles offshore of Louisiana was permanently capped last month, ending the worst marine oil spill in U.S. history. But in marshy areas such as Bay Jimmy, La., where the oil had some of its strongest impact, the fight against the crude onslaught continues, even as fewer workers fight it.

Read more
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2010-10-19-oil19_ST_N.htm

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