TBD on Ning

With the burning of the oil in the gulf, I have a few concerns.
I know and knew some people who were greatly affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It seems like so long ago. 1989. The Supreme court finally ruled and people devastated by the negligence of this coroperation finally recieved their "compensation" 23 years later. The "compensation" after the courts got done was about ten cents on the dollar.

So here we are twenty four years later and I see it happening it again. It saddens me. I see the government hasn't done some of the things that were learned. They are supposed to have an environmental assessment team on site immediately. Yet it seem all they are worried about is what happens if the oil reaches shore and not the damage to the wildlife in the ocean. If you like shrimp I would be eating it sooner than later.

While I realize burning is the best way to handle the oil slick and it is better to keep it off shore, it's just the idea that this is nothing more than the cost of doing business. Just as with the Massey mine calamity.

I was wondering after the supreme court ruling, where corporations have the rights of an individual shouldn't they now have the same responsibility. If you spill oil in the water from a fishing boat you can lose your boat. I just think it is time that the people incharge of these corporations be held responsible. If the corporation is neglectful then the officers and board members should be charged.

I am more or less just venting here but would like to here what everyone thinks.

Tags: Oil, spill

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On a more serious note I came across this British documentary about BP's role in cleaning up the Exxon Valdez oil spill. It is rather long but does go to the culture of the company and their corner cutting.

Remember when this started 49 days ago, and this is what we were hearing.
Officials have been estimating the well is leaking at least 1,000 barrels, or 42,000 gallons, every day, but on Wednesday night raised the top range to 5,000 barrels

Now we are hearing this.
* Oil collected by cap system ramping up
* BP readying a second seabed system to siphon more oil

By Kristen Hays

HOUSTON, June 7 (Reuters) - BP Plc (BP.L) (BP.N) said on Monday that its cap system at a seabed oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico captured 11,100 barrels of oil on Sunday, up slightly from the previous 24 hours, and the company planned to increase that amount to 20,000 barrels.

The new figure on captured oil is about 58 percent of the high end of an estimate by U.S. scientists who had said the leak was spewing 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day. It was more than 40 percent of the highest government estimate of 25,000 barrels a day.

About 10,500 barrels of oil had been gathered from the well in the previous 24 hours.

"Optimization continues and improvement in oil collection is expected over the next few days," BP said in a morning update on its website.

U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said at a news conference in Washington that the cap effort was "going fairly well," although the ramp-up will establish how much oil the cap can contain and how much oil will keep leaking.

Allen said government scientists are working to establish a more solid leak rate. He said BP hoped to bring in 20,000 barrels per day from the well -- a comment that indicated government estimates of a flow of 12,000 to 19,000 barrels daily were low.
(Reporting by Kristen Hays; Editing by Bill Trott)

My feeling is it is probably much higher than even what this speculation is.
More information that shows BP's culture, In my opinion, this company not only needs to go away but some people need to go to jail.

Renegade Refiner: OSHA Says BP Has “Systemic Safety Problem”
97% of Worst Industry Violations Found at BP Refineries

By Jim Morris and M.B. Pell | May 16, 2010 Comment

Two refineries owned by oil giant BP account for 97 percent of all flagrant violations found in the refining industry by government safety inspectors over the past three years, a Center for Public Integrity analysis shows. Most of BP’s citations were classified as “egregious willful” by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and reflect alleged violations of a rule designed to prevent catastrophic events at refineries.

Training Exercises Showed Gaps in Government Preparedness Before BP Oil Spill
BP is battling a massive oil well spill in the Gulf of Mexico after an April 20 platform blast that killed 11 workers. But the firm has been under intense OSHA scrutiny since its refinery in Texas City, Texas, exploded in March 2005, killing 15 workers. While continuing its probe in Texas City, OSHA launched a nationwide refinery inspection program in June 2007 in response to a series of fires, explosions and chemical releases throughout the industry.

Refinery inspection data obtained by the Center under the Freedom of Information Act for OSHA’s nationwide program and for the parallel Texas City inspection show that BP received a total of 862 citations between June 2007 and February 2010 for alleged violations at its refineries in Texas City and Toledo, Ohio.

Of those, 760 were classified as “egregious willful” and 69 were classified as “willful.” Thirty of the BP citations were deemed “serious” and three were unclassified. Virtually all of the citations were for alleged violations of OSHA’s process safety management standard, a sweeping rule governing everything from storage of flammable liquids to emergency shutdown systems. BP accounted for 829 of the 851 willful violations among all refiners cited by OSHA during the period analyzed by the Center.

Top OSHA officials told the Center in an interview that BP was cited for more egregious willful violations than other refiners because it failed to correct the types of problems that led to the 2005 Texas City accident even after OSHA pointed them out. In Toledo, problems were corrected in one part of the refinery but went unaddressed in another. Jordan Barab, deputy assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, said it was clear that BP “didn’t go nearly far enough” to correct deficiencies after the 2005 blast.

“The only thing you can conclude is that BP has a serious, systemic safety problem in their company,” Barab sai
This sad story just keeps getting worse.
Sorry Pru, That's the first I have heard of it. I did think it was a little strange how the video was narrated. Sounded nothing like a news reporter. I did cruise around the site a bit, and it SEEMS legit.
Here is something that makes the oil slick very personal.

My opinion:
Even though this spill is awful.
There is still hope.
This goo is organic and there are natural creatures that love to eat it.
I’m not going to eat a oil soaked crab though.
These people have cost themselves jobs, for themselves and thousands of others.
All of the licensing people, BP, the contractors are all responsible.
This drilling project should of never happened. No-one had a clue of what to do if they had a major leak.
Have patience while they clean up the mess.
Stop drilling? This is the only source for a fuel that we can put in our cars.
Notice the countries that have oil derricks are prosperous and their people are working.
I did some searching after you posted, I came up with an opinion piece that I feel answers what you have posted. You sound like you are spouting much of what BP and people of their ilk will put forth in the coming decades.


Little Homer museum saved spill for history

Now that the BP Gulf spill has eclipsed the Exxon Valdez spill as the largest in U.S. history, telling the story of the oil spill will be a battle involving one of the most powerful corporations in the world and local folks who feel its bite most acutely. Alaskans have experience in such matters.

Soon after the 1989 Exxon spill the Pratt Museum in Homer set up a small display consolidating information and personal reactions to crude oil coating the beaches of Southcentral Alaska. Locals and visitors came to the exhibit because they could get accurate facts from a trusted institution.

Then museum director Betsy Pitzman and her staff decided the exhibit was important enough to be expanded for a national audience. Grants were obtained and the little museum began production of a traveling exhibit that would be called "Darkened Waters: Profile of an Oil Spill." Funding sources dictated a "balanced" advisory board determine the message of the displays that would be produced by professional designers. The board consisted of environmentalists, fishermen, agency representatives, Pratt Museum staff, oil company representatives, and me.

Meetings were tense. Most of us wanted to portray the spill as huge, environmentally devastating, preventable, and Exxon as the culpable party. All that would have been needed for prevention were a few escort tugs to guide loaded tankers through the islands and reefs of Prince William Sound and reasonable personnel practices (non-recovered alcoholics don't pilot tankers). We wanted to send the message that you can't clean up a spill of that magnitude, you can only try to prevent it by best practices.

The oil company representatives, however, wanted the exhibit to focus on a drunken captain running the big tanker onto the rocks. Unfortunate, but accidents happen. And they wanted everyone to know about how much money they spent in clean-up (ineffectual as it was). For the sake of shareholder profits and deregulation, Exxon wanted to erase from public consciousness awareness of the catastrophe they caused, and a national exhibit threatened that strategy. And they were obviously honing their arguments for litigation: He was drunk, it's not our fault, accidents happen, we cleaned it up, it's going to be fine.

After one long, contentious meeting an exhausted Betsy Pitzman quietly stated to a small group of us getting ready to go home: "They want us to forget, but we want to remember."

Remembering is the basis of history. Remembering is accurately telling the story of life's triumphs and tragedies. It is true there are usually two sides to every event, but it is also true that sometimes one side is wrong. Sometimes "balance" is a lie and someone's trying to manipulate the message.

The museum prevailed but despite its national significance it was hard to find a venue for the Darkened Waters exhibit. Most large museums receive a substantial amount of corporate giving from oil companies and their executives often serve on museum boards. Altruism has nothing to do with it. Through donations corporations generate favorable publicity, but moreover create dependency and therefore are in a position to stifle an exhibit the industry deems detrimental to its interests. It almost worked in this case. Museums in Alaska and across the country were frightened of incurring lost oil company donations should they host the Darkened Waters exhibit.

But finally the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History stepped forward and, after a pilot exhibit at the Oakland Museum, Darkened Waters opened on the Mall in Washington, D.C., in 1991. Sen. Ted Stevens, then a friend of big oil and Bill Allen, the oil spill clean-up contractor and emerging oil lobbyist, was furious.

With the Smithsonian's lead, other museums got on board and Darkened Waters toured the country. A small remnant of the exhibit is still in the Pratt Museum, spreading its message of oil spill impact and prevention.

Now in the Gulf, BP is employing the same tactics Exxon used to minimize its malfeasance. It was an accident, bad judgment by the tool pusher, the Gulf will recover, there's not as much oil as you think, everything's fine. Then there's Rush Limbaugh blaming the spill on environmentalists because they lobbied for strict on-shore regulations "forcing" the oil companies to drill in deep water. To quote that eminent American political philosopher Bugs Bunny, "What a maroon!"

I hope there is a courageous little museum in Louisiana or Mississippi with enough guts to accurately tell the story of the BP spill

Read more: http://www.adn.com/2010/06/11/1319552/little-homer-museum-saved-spi...
I like to think that I support the environment. But do I really? This current oil fiasco in the gulf that is being called a "spill" is possibly the worst disaster that we as a nation have ever suffered. The effects will probably last for decades. As near as I can tell they still don't have it under control. People have been killed. No one can accurately predict how many lives will be altered and how many will be ruined.

The big question, "What do we do now" seems to be getting less attention than trying to figure out who to blame. Can we stop drilling for oil in places that are dangerious to the environment? How do we play a major roll in world affiars if we do not have enough oil to meet our needs? What are our needs?

Is being able to put enough fuel into our vehicles to enable us to travel wherever we want our biggist need? Is having enough fuel to generate the energy we need to run our A/C and heaters our biggist need?
Having enough fuel to move goods from where they are to where they are needed,or maybe just wanted. Is that it? How about defense? Is having enough fuel to run our military's systems needed to protect us our biggest need? How about all those trucks, tanks, artillery, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles? Can we run an adequate military using solar energy?

I'm not sure that Darroll is so far off the mark on this one.

What are our alternatives?
Robbie I won't disagree with you on the long term changes that must come out of this, but my main concern when I started this thread was the people who are going to be directly affected for the decades to come. And by the way BP has handled this so far. It is right out of the playbook developed in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez. I came across another article and I think the best I have so far found as to what will happen.
I have only included the final paragraph but I would highly recommend reading the whole piece.



Riki Ott, a biologist who was working for Cordova fishermen during the Exxon Valdez spill and has since authored two books on the event, is also working with Gulf communities from her new "base camp" in bayou country. She's also been trying to promote safety precautions among spill workers.

Her message? BP's pledge to make communities whole means, "We'll see you in court." The lesson from Cordova is to not wait for BP. "We wasted time waiting for Exxon to make us whole," she said.

"Here's the scary thing -- who really learned the lesson? I think it was the oil industry, and what they learned was, take very aggressive measures to control the images," Ott said, referring to the difficulties that news media and environmental groups have had in getting to spill sites, including restrictions imposed by the Coast Guard and the FAA.

"No cameras, no evidence, no problem. They are like a house afire here, trying to capture one agency after another and use these agencies to shield themselves from liability, from the public, from the media. Exxon didn't have it down quite this good," Ott said.

Read more: http://www.adn.com/2010/06/11/1319427/gulf-spill-victims-learn-from...
I read allot and what I read about the Valdez spill was it was refined crude? Nothing will eat that stuff.
The oil used to ooze out of the ground in Oklahoma and California, Wyoming and the bugs/microbes would eat it.
I’m sure BP will have the mess cleaned up. Do any companies really lose money? This loss is a tax right off and we end up paying for it anyway. If it did not work that way we would have no businesses.
I believe in happy endings and not what I see on TV or hear on the radio.
It was heavy crude, no refining till it gets to Washington




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