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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It looks good but now is when the presure on BP must be applied there are decades of work if they do indeed have the gusher stoped.


'Top kill' stops gulf oil leak for now, official says
Officials are cautionary but say drilling fluid has blocked oil and gas temporarily. Engineers plan to begin pumping in cement and then will seal the well

Reporting from Houma, La. —Engineers have at least temporarily stopped the flow of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico from a gushing BP well, the federal government's top oil-spill commander, U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said Thursday morning.

The "top kill" effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting. The top kill effort is not complete, officials caution.

Once engineers had reduced the well pressure to zero, they were to begin pumping cement into the hole to entomb the well. To help in that effort, he said, engineers also were pumping some debris into the blowout preventer at the top of the well.

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As of early Thursday morning, neither government nor BP officials had declared the effort a success yet, pending the completion of the cementing and sealing of the well.

Allen said one ship that was pumping fluid into the well had run out of the fluid, or "mud," and that a second ship was on the way. He said he was encouraged by the progress.

"We'll get this under control," he said.

Allen also said that, later Thursday, an interagency team would release a revised estimate of how much oil had flowed from the well into the gulf before the "top kill" effort began. The Coast Guard had estimated the flow at 5,000 barrels a day, but independent estimates suggested it was much higher, perhaps tens of thousands of barrels a day
Not to mention blow out preventer! (wink!) It all seems a bit sexual to me - surely they meant enwomb the well!
I don't know about the accuracy of this, but an insider claims another oil "leak" just 5-6 miles away from the one we have been worrying about:
Ideas anyone?? Guess the LA Times I posted the other day was a little premature.

BP's top kill effort fails to plug Gulf oil leak

By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press Writer Ben Nuckols, Associated Press Writer – 10 mins ago

ROBERT, La. – BP admitted defeat Saturday in its attempt to plug the Gulf of Mexico oil leak by pumping mud into a busted well, but said it's preparing yet another method to fight the spill after a series of failures.

BP PLC Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said the company determined the "top kill" method had failed after after it spent three days pumping heavy drilling mud into the crippled well 5,000 feet underwater.

"This scares everybody, the fact that we can't make this well stop flowing, the fact that we haven't succeeded so far," Suttles said. "Many of the things we're trying have been done on the surface before, but have never been tried at 5,000 feet."

It was the latest setback for the company casting about for ways to stop the crude from further fouling waters, wildlife and marshland. A 100-ton box placed over the leak failed after ice-like crystals clogged it, while a mile-long tube that sucked more than 900,000 gallons of oil from the gusher was removed to make way for the top kill.

Suttles said BP is already preparing for the next attempt to stop the leak. Under the plan, BP would use robot submarines to cut off the damaged riser from which the oil is leaking, and then try to cap it with a containment valve. Officials say the cutting and capping effort would take at least four days.

"We're confident the job will work but obviously we can't guarantee success," Suttles said of the new plan.

Just great! I feel so bad for the people and living beings in Louisiana
I do too WS. And now the denials start. It will be just the start I believe.

BP CEO disputes claims of underwater oil plumes

VENICE, La. – BP PLC CEO Tony Hayward on Sunday disputed claims by scientists that large undersea plumes have been set adrift by the Gulf oil spill and said the cleanup fight has narrowed to surface slicks rolling into Louisiana's coastal marshes.

During a tour of a company staging area for cleanup workers, Hayward said BP's sampling showed "no evidence" that oil was suspended in large masses beneath the surface. He didn't elaborate on how the testing was done.

"The oil is on the surface," Hayward said. "Oil has a specific gravity that's about half that of water. It wants to get to the surface because of the difference in specific gravity."

Scientists from several universities have reported plumes of what appears to be oil suspended in clouds stretching for miles and reaching hundreds of feet beneath the Gulf's surface.

Those findings — from the University of South Florida, the University of Georgia, Southern Mississippi University and other institutions — were based on initial observations of water samples taken in the Gulf over the last several weeks. They continue to be analyzed.

One researcher said Sunday that their findings are bolstered by the fact that scientists from different institutions have come to similar conclusions after doing separate testing.

"There's been enough evidence from enough different sources," said Marine scientist James Cowan of Louisiana State University, who reported finding a plume last week of oil about 50 miles from the spill site that reached to depths of at least 400 feet.

Hayward said BP's efforts are concentrated on fighting surface slicks

Ohh, what do scientist's know anyway!? I wondered if BP even bothered to consult with any about how to plug the "leak". (Calling this a leak is like calling Godzilla a lizard!

(This picture has been linked and not copied!)
After the Exxon Valdez oil spill the $75 Million cap on oil spills became federal law. Under that law, any company that owns oil that is spilled is strictly liable for all the costs of cleaning it up.

The practical effect of "strict liability" in the current BP mess means the government only has to prove two things:
1. BP owns the oil.
2. It was spilt.
Once those two things are proved (or legally admitted by BP), BP must pay all clean-up costs, no matter how high they go. Period.

If BP can show that no violations of regulation or law governing drilling occured, its liabilty for non-clean up costs/damages is limited to $75 Million. If there were such violations, BP faces unlimited liability for all other damages.

Any damages in excess of $75 Million will be paid to claimants by the US Government from money collected via a tax on all oil producers for just this purpose. This law was enacted after the Valdez spill to spare individual plaintiffs the burden of proving that a producer was negligent while also making it more likely that plaintiffs would collect, since the fund has grown very large since its start.

Contrary to popular opinion, most oil producers don't have anywhere near the kind of money needed to pay all the damages from a spill. They could sell the company and give all the money to plaintiffs and it would still not cover the damages. The BPs and Exxons of the world are the exception, not the rule, in American oil production.

The cap law was the answer to the problem, but it is not perfect. Free-market fans say, "Too bad! If paying spill damages destroys some company, then other companies will make sure they don't spill oil." The problem with this position is that it doesn't help some poor Alabama shrimper stay in business after he collects a measly $23,000 on $700,000 in damages after some independent like Anadarko busts out in the process of settling spill claims.

In other words, the American public is demanding a product that can only be obtained by dangerous work that can - and does - cause billions in damages when it goes awry. The companies who do this dangerous work pay billions in taxes collectively so the big companies can survive if they screw up, while the smaller companies will most certainly go belly-up in similar circumstances despite having paid into the damages pool all those years.

All these times, taxes and tears can be put to better use. It is true that other energy sources are nowhere near as cheap as oil right now. So what do we do now?

Some people are suggesting that the tax that pays for the damages above $75 Million should be spent on coming up with new energy sources instead. They say that if another spill happens, we play it straight-up: if you spilled it, you pay for it until you go broke. If that means plaintiffs get pennies on the dollar, so be it. Otherwise, they say, we will never get any energy alternatives to the capitalist market.

It's a big risk, but this may be the moment that public opinion will support such an approach.

What do you think?
I think the big unknown here is criminal Negligence. Being that BP has track record and they are curently on probation,I have no problem with them being sold off to pay everything.
Also the use of despersants seems to be used only to hide the oil and should be considred evidence tampering.
Oil spill's scope threatens Gulf's endangered marine life

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/28/95041/bps-massive-spill-threa...

WASHINGTON — As the magnitude of BP's oil spill becomes clearer, scientists fear that the volume of oil, the depth of the leak and the chemical dispersants the company is using will combine to threaten a vast array of undersea life for years.

At risk are such endangered species as Kemp's ridley sea turtles and the Atlantic bluefin tuna, as well as the Gulf of Mexico's 8,300 other creatures from plankton to birds. The contamination, some say, is likely to undo years of work that brought some wildlife, such as the brown pelican, back from the brink of extinction.

"It's probably going to be one of the worst disasters we've ever seen," said Paul Montagna, a professor of ecology at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi.

"Instead of creating a typical spill, where the oil goes to the surface and you can scoop it up, this stuff has been distributed throughout the water column, and that means everything, absolutely everything, is being affected," he said.

Further complicating the toxic effects of the oil, the chemical dispersants — used as never before a mile below the surface — have changed the crude in ways that will keep it from breaking down.

The dispersants have modified the oil, keeping it in a form that's "much gooier and much oilier, and that has a lot of us worried, because it means the stuff is not going to degrade very easily," said James H. Cowan Jr., a professor of biological oceanography at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Because of the high pressure deep underwater, it's harder for dispersants to break up the oil, he said.

"A lot of us suspect that we may be dealing with this for decades," Cowan said.

BP's use of the dispersants also is likely to keep the damage hidden.

Larry Crowder, a professor of marine biology at Duke University, said the dispersant, Corexit, had kept much of the oil off the beaches, making it "harder to get 'Film at 11' about the effects." Many species that are killed by the oil in the water will die and sink out of sight.

"That may be the preference of the oil companies: to keep the damage out of sight, out of mind," Crowder said.


Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/05/28/95041/bps-massive-spill-threa...
Do the dispersants attach to the oil possibly causing an altered specific gravity which in turn keeps the oil from reaching the surface? Could this be the cause of the "oil plumes"?
They think it is possible, this is all uncharted science.




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