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Oil Leak at Gulf of Mexico Oil Well

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Guest Paul

A damaged oil well may be leaking five times more oil into the Gulf of Mexico than officials first estimated. This view of the slick was captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite on Wednesday, April 28. The eastern part of the oily area is covered by streaks of clouds, but the reddish streaks shown in photos of the slick appear to be visible. It appears that a tendril of oil is reaching out toward the tip of the delta.

 

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Guest Aric

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has the potential to destroy the most productive fishery in the world, according to Mobile Baykeeper, the largest environmental advocate in the Gulf Coast. At the same time, Mobile Baykeeper is calling on the government to demand transparency, monitoring and caution in implementing crisis clean-up solutions that could make the situation worse, such as controlled burns and chemical dispersants.

 

The region that spans from the Mobile Bay Estuary all the way to Galveston Bay is the most productive fishery in the world, with 69% of all domestic shrimp and 70% of all domestic oysters at stake. As it becomes clear that the BP spill may exceed the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Mobile Baykeeper, an Alabama-based organization that works across the Gulf coast and a member of Waterkeeper Alliance, is calling on the government to put all available state and national resources to work to contain the damage before it's too late.

 

"BP should have been required to have a plan to contain a catastrophic spill like the one we've witnessed," said Casi Callaway, Executive Director of Mobile Baykeeper. "This ongoing hemorrhage of oil could continue over the next several months. Clearly, whatever containment plan BP had in place, if they had one at all, has failed the Gulf of Mexico and all those who benefit from its pristine waters and wildlife."

 

The Gulf of Mexico and its surrounding bays, inlets and estuaries are some of the most fertile breeding grounds in the world, with its U.S. coastline reaching from Florida to Texas. It is a highly productive economic region with industries related to fishing, agriculture and tourism, all of which could be affected by this disaster. The marshlands and estuaries located throughout the Gulf Coast provide important breeding grounds and nurseries for the fishing and shrimping industries. In 2008, according to the National Marine Fisheries Service, the commercial fish and shellfish harvest from the five U.S. Gulf states was estimated to be 1.3 billion pounds valued at $661 million. As of 2004, seven of the top ten busiest ports in the United States were located along the Gulf Coast as well. The discovery of oil and gas deposits along the coast and offshore has made it the heart of the U.S. petrochemical industry, with nearly 4000 oil platforms.

 

In addition:

 

* The Gulf of Mexico is the sixth largest economy in the world.

* Area Business and jobs related to tourism equal $20 billion annually.

* 52% of all crude oil and 54% of the nation's gas are produced in the Gulf.

* It produces $29 million dollars annually in agricultural crops and livestock.

 

 

Beyond the concerns over the affects of the initial spill, there are now fears that the clean-up plan may cause even more severe environmental impacts to the area. Burning the oil at sea leads to questions over air quality and the difficulty of cleaning up the oil that remains. Dispersant causes the oil slick to break up into smaller portions in the water column and/or sink the oil and add a new toxic pollutant to the massive problem. Although this may keep the oil from reaching shore in a major slick, this method leads to more harm to aquatic life, essentially hiding the problem from sight while risking a loss to the base of the food chain.

 

ABOUT MOBILE BAYKEEPER

 

Mobile Baykeeper was founded in 1997 to protect these vital resources, and became a member of the international organization, Waterkeeper Alliance in 1999. As a well known environmental organization in the Gulf coast region, Mobile Baykeeper boasts over 4000 members and works on all environmental issues in the watershed that impact public health. In addition to helping the community deal with individual environmental concerns, Mobile Baykeeper works on local, regional, and national issues. One of its biggest successes to date has been in preventing an onshore or open loop LNG facility from entering the Mobile Bay area. In addition, Mobile Baykeeper has completed a Water Quality Monitoring Database, is a founding member of the Mobile County Air Quality Study, and helped found the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) Reform Coalition.

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Guest Robert

BP announced today it has launched the next phase of its effort to contain and clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, with a significant expansion of onshore preparations in case spilled oil should reach the coast.

 

The company is today ramping up preparations for a major protection and cleaning effort on the shorelines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. To supplement its Houma, Louisiana incident command post, which oversees the offshore containment effort and onshore response in Louisiana, BP is now establishing a similar onshore incident command post in Mobile, Alabama to oversee the onshore response in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

 

Work will continue to complete installing marine protection booms along the coast. As well as 180,000 feet of boom already in the water, an additional 300,000 feet is staged or in the process of being deployed, with more on the way.

 

BP is mobilizing its full resources to fight the oil spill, which follows the sinking of the Transocean Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Mississippi Canyon 252 block. This includes efforts to stem the flow of oil into the water from the sub-sea well, to contain the spill offshore and to protect the Gulf coast.

"We are doing absolutely everything in our power to eliminate the source of the leak and contain the environmental impact of the spill. We are determined to fight this spill on all fronts, in the deep waters of the Gulf, in the shallow waters and, should it be necessary, on the shore," said BP Group Chief Executive Tony Hayward.

 

"In the past few days I have seen the full extent of BP's global resources and capability being brought to bear on this problem, and welcome the offers of further assistance we have had from government agencies, oil companies and members of the public to defend the shoreline and fight this spill. We are determined to succeed."

 

The massive offshore operation that has been running for a week has been addressing the spill on the surface offshore, both by skimming and collecting oil and by applying dispersants. There is concern, however, that weather and current patterns will shift and move the sheen closer to shore or onshore in the coming days.

 

The new onshore activity is focussed on five locations in the potentially affected states: Venice, Louisiana; Pascagoula and Biloxi, Mississippi; Mobile, Alabama; and Pensacola, Florida. Staging posts are in place stocked with people and material, including about 100,000 feet of boom, to protect the shoreline in each area.

Each of the states has oil spill response plans already in place and trained community groups and volunteers will also be available to aid the response to the oil spill and deploy resources.

 

Parallel to these, BP is today setting up offices in each of these communities manned by company staff to provide information on what is happening, what is being done and any developments. These will connect with local government officials, community and other groups to provide information on developments.

 

To harness the many offers of help BP has received, these offices will also collect names of any people wanting to assist with the response, and will co-ordinate identification of activities with which untrained personnel may be able to assist.

 

These efforts are in addition to the ongoing work with Transocean, MMS, the US Coast Guard, and the other organizations within the Unified Command to do everything possible to stop the flow of oil on the sea bed.

 

Efforts to stem the flow of oil from the well, currently estimated at up to 5,000 barrels a day, are continuing with six remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) continuing to attempt to activate the blow out preventer (BOP) on the sea bed.

By this weekend the Transocean Development Driller III is scheduled to spud a relief well intended to secure the existing well. Drilling of this well is expected to take two to three months.

 

Work is also continuing to produce a subsea collection system capable of operating in deep water to funnel leaking oil to the surface for treatment. This is expected to be ready for deployment in the next few weeks.

 

Preliminary estimates indicate that current efforts to contain the spill and secure the well are costing the MC252 owners about $6 million per day. This figure is expected to rise as activity increases. It is too early to quantify other potential costs and liabilities associated with the incident.

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Guest DC Worker

Emphasizing the importance of continued vigilance and interagency coordination in the response to BP/Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar yesterday announced the next steps for the investigation that is underway to determine the causes of the explosion, which left 11 workers missing, three critically injured, and an ongoing oil spill that the responsible party and federal agencies are working to contain and clean up.

 

Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Secretary Napolitano, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen, Secretary Salazar and DOI Deputy Secretary David Hayes also held meetings yesterday with BP, the responsible party in the oil spill, to discuss the response effort.

 

A coordinated response continues by federal, state and local partners while BP and other contractors work to stop the flow of oil and minimize its environmental impact. Approximately 1,100 total personnel are currently deployed and have used approximately 56,000 gallons of oil dispersant so far. Approximately 260,000 gallons of oily water have been collected. Nearly 50 vessels—including 16 skimming boats, four storage barges, 11 support vessels—and multiple aircraft are conducting containment and cleanup operations in the area.

 

A Web site has been established where photos, press releases and fact sheets are available at Deep Water Horizon Response. A toll free number has been established to report oiled or injured wildlife. To report affected wildlife, call (866) 557-1401. Individuals are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to the toll free number.

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Guest Kristina

On the same day oil giant BP reported that its quarterly profit jumped an astounding 135 percent to some $5.6 billion, a massive oil spill from a BP well continues unabated in the Gulf of Mexico, drawing nearer to crucial fishing areas, sensitive coastal wetlands, and beaches.

 

Statement of Athan Manuel, Director of Sierra Club Lands Protection Program

 

"Our hearts go out to the families of those still missing after last week's drilling rig disaster. This terrible tragedy is a sad reminder that oil is dirty, dangerous, and deadly. Instead of risking our lives, our coasts, our clean air, and our security by perpetuating our addiction to oil, it's time to build a clean energy economy that means more jobs, less pollution, and real energy independence. More offshore oil drilling has no place in a clean energy future."

 

* DIRTY: Oil continues to pour from the leaking well--a well drilled using the most advanced technology available--at a rate of 42,000 gallons a day. It could be weeks before the well, located in some 5,000 feet of water, is capped. Meanwhile, the ever-growing spill now covers more than 1,800 square miles of ocean--an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. The massive spill threats environmentally-sensitive and economically-important coastal areas of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

 

* DANGEROUS: The Huffington Post reports today that Big Oil, including BP and Deepwater Horizon operator TransOcean, "aggressively opposed new safety regulations proposed last year by a federal agency that oversees offshore drilling -- which were prompted by a study that found many accidents in the industry."

 

* DEADLY: Eleven workers from the Deepwater Horizon remain missing after last week's explosion. In 2005, an explosion at BP's Texas City Refinery killed 15 workers. In response to safety violations at that facility, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration levied a record fine of $87 million against BP, which BP promptly challenged in court.

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Guest Defenders of Wildlife

A top NOAA official says the Gulf Coast oil spill is a major blow to the U.S. economy and the environment. David Kennedy is the acting administrator for the National Ocean Service, a branch of NOAA that manages coastal and marine resources.

 

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Guest Guest

For our government to allow corporations to drill offshore without any plan, not even an idea, as to how to stop an oil leak, is ridiculous, stupid, and inhuman to the people and wildlife that will be affected by this spill for generations to come.

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Guest Jamie Huggins

It gets better: everyone's favorite company, Halliburton, may be responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf.

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Guest greenzen

That floating oil should be fair game. Anyone with a boat can skim the oil off the water. BP should have to pay these skimmers market price.

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Guest greenzen

The United Kingdom should guarantee the environmental clean up.

 

BP plc (formerly The British Petroleum Company plc then BP Amoco plc) is a British global energy company. with its headquarters in St James's, City of Westminster, London.

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On April 20, a fire and explosion occurred onboard our semisubmersible drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, working approximately 41 miles offshore Louisiana on Mississippi Canyon block 252. Of the 126-member crew, 115 were safely evacuated. Despite exhaustive rescue efforts, eleven crew members lost their lives, nine of which were Transocean employees. Our entire Transocean family has been saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts and prayers remain with all who have been affected by this horrible tragedy.

 

http://www.deepwater.com/fw/main/Home-1.html

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This is a tribute to the 11 men missing from the Deepwater Horizon.

Jason Anderson
Dewey Revette
Donald Clark
Stephen Curtis
Dale Burkeen
Roy Kemp
Karl Kleppinger
Shane Roshto
Adam Weise
Gordon Jones
Blair Manuel

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Guest Human

Since there will be no more off shore drilling in this country for years, and perhaps decades to come, it's a hollow tribute.

 

Inevitably Politics will be brought into this.

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Guest HUMAN

The agency who is PRIMARLY responsible for investigating this incident is?

 

http://www.mms.gov/offshore/

 

Just so everyone knows.

 

Safety Alert on the Deepwater Horizon Explosion and Fire Resulting in Multiple Fatalities and Release of Oil

On April 20, 2010, a loss of well control occurred and resulted in an explosion and fire on the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon. Eleven lives were lost in this incident and the MODU subsequently sank. As of the date of this safety alert the well has not been secured, and the resulting release of oil has been declared a spill of national significance with oil threatening sensitive coastlines and resources in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

At the time of the accident, the Deepwater Horizon was operating 52 miles from shore in 4,992 feet of water with a subsea BOP stack. After the Deepwater Horizon sank, ROV’s confirmed that the riser was bent over and still attached to the BOP and that oil is flowing from leaks in the riser above the BOP. Numerous attempts to actuate the BOP have failed.

 

 

While the exact causes of this event are now under investigation, the tragic nature of this accident compels operators and drilling contractors to inspect their drilling equipment and review their procedures to ensure the safety of personnel and protection of the environment.

 

Therefore, MMS and the USCG issue the following safety recommendations to operators and drilling contractors:

 

Examine all well control equipment (both surface and subsea) currently being used to ensure that it has been properly maintained and is capable of shutting in the well during emergency operations. Ensure that the ROV hot-stabs are function-tested and are capable of actuating the BOP.

Review all rig drilling/casing/completion practices to ensure that well control contingencies are not compromised at any point while the BOP is installed on the wellhead.

Review all emergency shutdown and dynamic positioning procedures that interface with emergency well control operations.

Inspect lifesaving and firefighting equipment for compliance with federal requirements.

Ensure that all crew members are familiar with emergency/firefighting equipment, as well as participate in an abandon ship drill. Operators are reminded that the review of emergency equipment and drills should be conducted after each crew change out.

Exercise emergency power equipment to ensure proper operation.

Ensure that all personnel involved in well operations are properly trained and capable of performing their tasks under both normal drilling and emergency well control operations.

 

Both MMS and the USCG are conducting a joint investigation of the Deepwater Horizon accident. The findings and lessons learned will be documented in a report that will be made public as soon as possible.

 

For additional information contact Ms. Melinda Mayes (MMS – 703-787-1063) or Mr. Eric Christensen (USCG – 202-372-1210). For other Safety Alerts issued for OCS oil and gas activities, go to the MMS web site at http://www.mms.gov/safetyalerts/

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Guest LAW

President Obama delivered remarks on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico before talking about the economy. He explained that while BP is ultimately responsible for the costs of cleanup operations, the government has been discussing the response effort with BP and is prepared to help affected communities.

 

He announced that there are now five staging areas to protect sensitive shorelines along with federal response personnel in the area and response vessels and aircraft on the scene. The President also said that Secretary Salazar will conduct a thorough review of the oil spill and report on additional precautions and technologies that should be required to prevent future accidents.

 

So, let me be clear. I continue to believe that domestic oil production is an important part of our overall strategy for energy security, but I've always said it must be done responsibly, for the safety of our workers and our environment. The local economies and livelihoods of the people of the Gulf Coast as well as the ecology of the region are at stake. And we're going to continue to update the American people on the situation in the Gulf going forward.

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Guest EPA

With the prevalence of vapor concerns from oil near the Gulf coast and the controlled burning to help contain the spread of oil, air quality is a health concern. EPA has initiated an air monitoring effort to ensure the safety of local residents and track any developing air quality changes. At www.airnow.gov you can see the latest air quality data from around the country including areas along the Gulf of Mexico. Current air quality is shown with maps that are animated with color-coded pollutant concentrations according to the EPA’s Air Quality Index (AQI). The animated contour maps – much like radar images showing precipitation – display the hourly formation and movement of ozone or particulate pollution.

 

EPA’s national AIRNow center receives real-time air quality data – measuring ozone and particulate matter –100 agencies across North America, including Canada, as well as air quality forecasts from more than 370 U.S. cities.

 

EPA Sampling Plans Across the South and Southeast

 

EPA is conducting air sampling and air monitoring along the potentially-impacted Louisiana coastline and other Gulf Coast states to assess air quality in response to the controlled burning from the British Petroleum Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. These sampling efforts will help to determine any environmental and air quality impacts to the inhabited areas around Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

 

Air Monitoring on Gulf of Mexico Coastline

 

On April 28, 2010 EPA began performing real-time air monitoring for particulate matter in the Venice-Boothville area of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Initial tests from smoke released on April 28 showed the Louisiana coast had not been affected because an off-shore breeze was blowing away from land and out to sea during that time. Monitoring will continue as the burning may produce emissions that impact the coast with changing wind direction.

 

Particulate Matter

 

EPA's Air Quality Index (AQI) tracks levels of particulate matter (PM) and ozone across the country, including along the Gulf Coast. These data are available publicly daily for the nation at http://www.airnow.gov, and specifically for the Gulf Coast at http://gulfcoast.airnowtech.org/.

 

You may see elevated levels of PM along the Gulf -- in the moderate range, for example -- but those levels are not elevated because of the presence of the oil. It is not uncommon to see elevated levels of PM or ozone along the coast at this time of year from other man-made sources (factories, power plants, cars, etc.). The only time that the BP Gulf spill might affect levels of PM along the coast is when the oil is being burned.

 

Volatile Organic Compounds

 

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are not tracked in the Air Quality Index, but EPA is monitoring VOCs along the Gulf Coast. VOCs can be smelled at levels far below levels that might be of any concern. To date, levels of VOCs detected are far below any level of concern. We will keep monitoring them closely and will keep the public informed.

 

At present, EPA's initial screening for VOCs show very low levels (3 or less). People along the affected area smell these compounds but being able to smell them does not mean that they are present at harmful levels. The gas-station like odor described by Gulf Coast residents likely includes compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene, and naphthalene.

 

EPA Deploys Air Monitoring Aircraft to BP Spill

 

On April 28, 2010 EPA deployed the ASPECT, a twin engine aircraft designed to assist in the collection of air sampling data as well as photo documentation of environmental incidents.

 

http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/

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Guest FWS

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees have joined the response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Booms to capture and deflect anticipated oil are being deployed at Breton National Wildlife Refuge, LA, where thousands of brown pelicans and shorebirds are currently nesting.

 

There are 20 coastal National Wildlife Refuges that could be affected. This is avian nesting season with sea turtle nesting season coming right behind. Gulf sturgeon are congregating in coastal waters for upstream migration and manatees are migrating back into summer areas.

 

The Service expressed its regret at the loss of life from the explosion and fire that triggered the release of oil.

 

The Service is conducting aerial flights to identify any oiled wildlife. British Petroleum has contracted for bird and wildlife rehabilitation experts from around the country to treat oiled wildlife. A toll free number has been established to report oiled or injured wildlife. To report affected wildlife, call 866-557-1401. Individuals are urged not to attempt to help injured or oiled animals, but to report any sightings to the toll free number.

 

National Wildlife Refuges along the coast are on alert and assessing potential threats, submitting priority areas for protection, and planning for anticipated oil landfall. At this point, Breton National Wildlife Refuge appears to be most endangered by the oil slick.

 

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Guest Independant Thinker

I am starting to better understand offshore drilling thanks to NPR. In todays discussion they discussed the fact that this well is one mile below the surface. The water pressure does not allow any type of manned submersible to fix the problem. The only way the leak can be observed and repaired is remotely. And there is no guarantee that can be repaired at all.

 

One well head out of a 40,000 well heads can cause such a catastrophe is horrific. There is some speculation that this may be sabotage, but it human error is more likely.

 

The rig was manufactured in North Korea. It is managed by a Swiss company and the well was done by Haliburton.

 

The show mentioned some type of remote acoustic device that could have shut the well off. But, was not on the rig. This device is required in Brazil and other countries, but not in the United States. Supposedly the requirement was taken off the table because it cost too much.

 

The spill is already larger than the state of Rhode Island and it appears the Gulf stream may take the spilled oil all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.

 

NPR also mentioned that BP may not be insured to pay for this disaster. Will BP be able to pay the entire tourism and fishing industry it has effected. Especially if the spill keeps growing. It looks like we will have to foot the bill on this one and hope we get payed back later.

 

NPR also mentioned all the wildlife grasses that protect New Orleans from hurricanes may be wiped out. I feel sorry for the people down there. Another Katrina does no one good.

 

Oil is a dirty business. I wonder if we should be drilling in places that we cannot safely contain. I understand we cannot turn off those 40,000 well heads, because we need the oil for our cars and factories, but maybe the energy companies will start to think about investing in offshore wind power as well.

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Guest Wiki

The British oil company BP has said it will pay the cleanup costs from a severe oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

In a statement on its website posted earlier today, BP pledged to take responsibility for cleaning up after the Deepwater Horizon oil well ruptured, adding it would pay what it called "legitimate and objectively verifiable" compensation for claims of damage or injury.

 

"We are responsible, not for the accident, but we are responsible for the oil and for dealing with it and cleaning the situation up," said BP chief executive Tony Hayward on the TV show Good Morning America, claiming the company was not at fault for the collapse of the oil rig itself, whose equipment was provided by another company, Transocean.

 

Transocean spokesman Guy Cantwell responded by saying: "We will await all the facts before drawing conclusions and we will not speculate."

 

The Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20 and killed eleven workers. The cause of the disaster is not known.

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Guest Kane

Here comes the pundits. Right-wing radio talker Rush Limbaugh unleashed a conspiracy theory suggesting that someone intentionally blew up the rig in order to "head off more oil drilling":

 

LIMBAUGH: I want to get back to the timing of the blowing up, the explosion out there in the Gulf of Mexico of this oil rig….Now, lest we forget, ladies and gentlemen, the carbon tax bill, cap and trade that was scheduled to be announced on Earth Day. I remember that. And then it was postponed for a couple of days later after Earth Day, and then of course immigration has now moved in front of it. But this bill, the cap-and-trade bill, was strongly criticized by hardcore environmentalist wackos because it supposedly allowed more offshore drilling and nuclear plants, nuclear plant investment. So, since they’re sending SWAT teams down there, folks, since they’re sending SWAT teams to inspect the other rigs, what better way to head off more oil drilling, nuclear plants, than by blowing up a rig? I’m just noting the timing here.

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Guest DC Worker

Al Jazeera looks at what engineers are facing in trying to stem the flow of oil.

 

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Guest Coyote

Here comes the pundits. Right-wing radio talker Rush Limbaugh unleashed a conspiracy theory suggesting that someone intentionally blew up the rig in order to "head off more oil drilling":

 

Isn't Rush Limbaugh the drug addict who wanted all the drug addicts put to death with the obvious exception of himself?

 

He's a Rat-Fink in my estimation.

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Guest Disaster Capitolism


Here it is! Rush Suggest Oil Rig Explosion To Be False Flag Event On Earth Day. I would be a shame to WASTE this catastrophe.

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Guest LAW

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, 5/5/10

 

Q And on the oil spill, Senator Reid has said he would support a cap for liability of $10 billion. Is that a number that the White House would support, as well?

 

MR. GIBBS: I think $10 billion was in the legislation that Senator Menendez and others introduced on Monday. After I got the question here about the $75 million cap for -- obviously the three exceptions that we talked about, willful misconduct, gross negligence and not paying attention to -- or in violation of federal regulations that removes that cap -- OMB was working on -- in the process of working with the Hill on legislation to lift that cap.

 

I have not gotten from them a number whether it would be $10 billion or something in that neighborhood. We would be in favor of significantly -- lifting that cap, a cap put in place in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 so at least 20 years old.

 

Q So you don't have a specific number?

 

MR. GIBBS: I don't have a specific number. I would reiterate, Jeff, that as the President said, BP is going to get a bill for the recovery, the cleanup and the damages cost.

 

Q Robert, does the White House believe it was a mistake for this categorical exemption to be granted to BP for Deepwater Horizon? MR. GIBBS: That’s part of the investigation. I don’t know the answer.

 

Q Okay. So that’s something that you’re looking into presently?

 

MR. GIBBS: I would say -- as the President asked Secretary Salazar to undertake a 30-day review of what happened, that would certainly be part of the process under which he would evaluate it.

 

Q Ed Markey said yesterday -- I'm quoting him here directly -- “I'm of the opinion that boosterism breeds complacency and complacency breeds disaster. That, in my opinion, is what happened.” Do you have any reaction to that? And he’s saying there was something complacent about the federal regulators, meaning Minerals Management Service, dealing with this particular granting of the exemption.

 

MR. GIBBS: I'll be honest with you, Major, I think it would be premature to know -- I'm unaware that we know exactly what happened, and I wouldn’t want to comment on that until we had a sense of exactly what happened.

 

Q -- happened?

 

MR. GIBBS: Again, I don’t know that it’s the -- I mean, again, you heard Secretary Hayes and others say that these -- that there were individual inspections of blowout preventers and rigs very recently. So I think that -- I think I'd wait until we had something more concrete from Secretary Salazar as to making a determination on that.

 

Suffice to say, though, that would certainly be part of, as I said, his review.

 

Q Some have noted that while senator and while running for President, Senator Obama received $77,000 in contributions from BP. Taking note of that --

 

MR. GIBBS: From employees.

 

Q From employees, and also the BP PAC.

 

MR. GIBBS: The President --

 

Q Not -- as a senator, he received PAC contributions; obviously not as a candidate. To any who might see that as a part of this equation, you would say what?

 

MR. GIBBS: I'm sorry?

 

Q Receiving money and a regulatory decision at the Interior Department during his presidency.

 

MR. GIBBS: I would say that’s silly and ridiculous.

 

 

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