BP and the EPA Working in Symphony to Cover Up the Oil Spill?

Oil Spill Photos

From the very beginning, BP has been less than forthright about the damages and potential damages from the oil spewing out of the hole in the earth’s crust some 5000 feet below sea level and 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. 

From the very beginning, they have been arbitrarily underestimating the quantity of oil leaking from the exploded rig. 

From the very beginning, they have been plotting to sweep the majority of the mess under the saltwater carpet.  But how do you do that?  With very careful, very clever planning, and a little help from some friends at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Early on, BP began spraying and injecting solvents into offshore waters.  They claimed that dispersing the oil would be a good idea, better for the wetlands.  Even then, their plot was in place.  They knew that the truth was that the solvents would make the oil exponentially more toxic, (as would adding the solvent itself) but that didn’t matter.  Dispersal solvents would see to it that a large portion of that oil never floated to the top or showed up at the shoreline.  Why would they do that?  Simple enough: If it doesn’t rise to the surface or wash up onto the shores, BP doesn’t have to pay to clean it up.

Oil Spill Reaches Loop Current

Last week, some commented that the oil spill looked smaller, and expressed that this was a good thing.  Indeed, BP seized the opportunity to claim that the gas coming out of the pipe was the cause for that.  Surely it’s a good thing that the oil spill is getting smaller, right?  Uhm, no.  Unless BP is skimming off hundreds of thousands of gallons and hiding them away in an offshore tanker somewhere, it’s a bad thing – a very bad thing.  That oil has to be going SOMEwhere.  And so it is — under the surface of the ocean!  The solvents have seen to it that the oil doesn’t rise to the surface.  Instead, long “plumes,” rivers of oil hiding between about 4000 feet down and just below the surface.  How much oil?  Just one of them is over 10 miles long and about a mile wide.  How thick is anyone’s guess.

What has already come to shore?  Corexit dispersing solvents were reported days ago.  Then a couple days ago, it showed up in clumps beneath the surface at the shoreline.  But still, something was amiss.  Where did the rest go?  We noticed that it never seemed to make it to shore, that it seemed to be acting as though it were affected by a rip tide, being pulled out to sea instead of heading towards shore.  Our worst nightmares and BP’s fondest hopes and dreams were coming true.

How did this happen?  Take a trip back in time to when Exxon was developing the Corexit line of solvents.  One of their companies, Exxon Bio., was the one that performed the toxicology reports in the first place.  This leaves their numbers suspect.  Corexit is on the list of things approved for use in case of an emergency, for coastal cleanup.  The Notebook even tells exactly how to use the stuff, and what safety precautions to take.  One must spray it in droplets (not atomized) onto the surface of the spill, via airplane or boat.  NOWHERE in that set of instructions does it suggest that it be used UNDER the surface, let alone at 156 atmospheres of pressure in near-freezing temperatures.  To be sure it would be less toxic in cooler temperatures (as everything becomes more inert under such conditions.)  But nobody knows what those solvents will do at that depth and temperature, nor do we have any way of predicting with certainty that it will EVER come to shore from 50 miles away.

BP isn’t taking any chances.  They’re get those solvents out there to ensure that most of the oil isn’t ever seen.  Not even the 5000 barrels a day that they’ve lied it down to.  Over 400,000 gallons of toxic solvent sprayed upon and injected into the ocean, and the EPA has ordered another 800,000 gallons of the noxious stuff.  Spill, baby, spill!

Why would the EPA let them use this deadly spray, let alone let them use it in ways that it was never approved for?  The Clean Water Act specifically prohibits them from granting a permit to put such chemicals into US waters unless they know what it’s going to do (or could reasonably ascertain the result) and the EPA couldn’t possibly know well enough to predict.  BP was even claiming they have no idea what the repercussions might be.  (Then again, that could easily have been part of their ruse to later claim ignorance.)  Yet Lisa Jackson, the head of the EPA and a chemist, told them they could use anything on the approved list.  She never even questioned why they used something less effective and more toxic than other approved dispersing agents on the list.   When asked, Lisa Jackson was unable to justify why she did so, let alone why she ordered another 800,000 gallons of the same thing!

Now the streams of oil are spreading all over the Gulf, and it’s not 5000 barrels a day either.  It’s a LOT more than that… not to mention the additional toxicity of the hundred of thousands of gallons of Corexit being added to the mess.  But it’s okay, because out of sight is out of mind, right?

Not so fast, BP.  We’re not quite that blind or stupid.  Scientists found the oil you tried to bury with solvents.  And they found those solvents, too.  Corexit came to the grassy shores of Louisiana days ahead of the oil.  As this is being written, satellite images are showing the world just how big the spill is, how your 5000 barrels a day is really about 20 times that much. Even your purchased news stories are being found out.  And still, BP promises to pay.

Oh, you’ll pay, alright… we all will.

Research, Editorial, and Opinion Submitted to the Protect The Ocean Blog by John Taylor


3 replies
  1. smlls says:

    The EPA should NOT be stopping ANYONE from trying to clean up this oil spill, REGARDLESS of
    whether or not they have life vests. THAT IS ABSURD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Do you all know what is going to happen when we start having gasoline shortages?
    With the administration stopping all drilling and exploration, we are going to FEEL this
    pinch, worse than in 1979 under Carter, when it hits. And it will hit HARD!
    This whole thing stinks to high heaven. With all the technology we have at hand all around
    the world, we could have had this thing plugged already!

  2. Dave says:

    It’s high time we stop using petroleum to make energy. This proves that it isn’t worth the trouble. If we survive this solvent raining down on us from the sky (after it begins to evaporate) then we really should ban petroleum entirely. Hemp for Victory!

  3. Bill Reeder says:

    Oil Spill Eater II
    23 Years of Denial
    Much of what was being reported about in 2011 as the aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill has not covered an important point: Oil is still leaking from the seabed floor BP well zone and millions of barrels are still submerged and residing in the water column–HOW WILL THE TOXIC GULF BE CLEANED UP
    There are many ongoing blog and media reports about the aftermath from the spill and millions being spent on studies to find out how marine life, water and other mediums have been affected. Further, as recent as Sept 13, 2011 reports on numerous sightings of new oil slicks in the vicinity of the original BP Spill are bringing attention back to the area. Lab tests showing it to be BP oil finally forced the admittance by the responsible oil company that it was their oil. Sadly, none of this coverage brings to light the most crucial issue; continued use of dispersants which do not remediate the oil and hence do not relieve the continued toxic stress on the ecosystem with adverse economic and health effects to Gulf Coast residents. And this cycle of new oil surfacing and repeatedly spraying Corexit to disperse it, has proven to compound environmental damage for which BP and government agencies enforcing destructive protocols should be held financially accountable.
    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits there are “trade-offs” to using Corexit, however their explanation of these and why they favor its use on their website, are absurd. (See EPA Link)
    The combined events of the BP Oil Spill and the application of this [outmoded] cleanup method (millions of gallons of Corexit(R)) resulted in high toxicity levels persisting in the GOM region until as recent as March 201l* – levels well above earlier official safety threshold standards set in 1999 which, for some unexplained reason, were raised by much higher percentiles within a few months after the beginning of the Deepwater Horizon blowout. [a means of blinding people from identifying potential public health and seafood contamination risks] .These toxicity levels are still adversely affecting human health and marine life in the region.  

    EPA and other federal agency statements announcing the clean up was successful and assuring the public that seafood was safe to consume and that the environment was safe to use were clearly premature and misrepresentative to the public, suggesting ineffective clean-up protocols and potential negligence on the part of the EPA.  The most recent scientific data on this issue are fact-based, and those facts are now being reported in scientific literature.  

    More notably, BP had made formal requests to use bio remediation clean up technology to avoid these toxic trade-offs and initiated testing on a product called Oil Spill Eater II (already approved and listed on EPA’s National Contingency Plan for Oil Spill Response) to replace Corexit. BP’s request, along with those from gulf state officials, including Governor Jindal of Louisiana, were denied by EPA and Regional Response Team officials. The EPA denial letter cited science that erroneously grouped this ready-to-deploy, proven clean up product with “questionable” remediation products examined. In a June 2010 EPA letter, BP’s official request was denied, (correspondence relevant to the issue-Attachment 5, 6). Per Gulf Rescue Alliance sources BP’s Chief Council referenced that letter and stated in a recent meeting that their hands were tied where the use of bioremediation (OSE II ) was concerned – “BP is bound by it”—bound by the EPA mandate [to keep using Corexit]. Consequentially it is estimated that BP could have saved an estimated $36 billion in clean up costs if they had deployed the EPA approved alternative to Corexit.
    Gulf Rescue Alliance (GRA) has voluminous documentation indicating the EPA arbitrarily blocked and continues to prevent the use of eco friendly bioremediation clean up technology in favor of Corexit despite ample science indicating it is fatally toxic to marine life and even humans.
    Bottom line: Use of bioremediation could have saved BILLIONS in clean up costs and result in an end point to the disaster. (See Economic Comparison article) BP’s attempt to use an alternative is a significant point and the resultant damage caused by Corexit is proving to be quite concerning for escalating clean up costs.
    We applaud Surfrider Foundation and the Center for Biological Diversity for its recent action of filing suit against the EPA over the use of dispersants reinforcing the case that EPA oil spill cleanup response protocols are wholly inadequate.
    While the EPA, NOAA and Coast Guard remain in denial and continue to roadblock the use of Bioremediation, perhaps this suit will open the door for permitting the deployment of safe and effective cleanup methods available and ready for use right now to stop the killing in the Gulf Waters. And if one had no regard for the marine life and saving the ecosystem, possibly the continued threat of loss in BP Stock value will incite action.
    While allowing Nalco Holding Company, the manufacturer of Corexit, to use up their existing stockpiles in the country, the UK has banned the product from further subsequent use. 


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