Gulf Oil Spill: More BP Coverups?

Just when we thought it might be turning around, BP admits that things could very well get worse first. Reviewing their oil spill clean up actions, one begins to wonder just whose side they’re on. At times, they don’t even seem to be looking after their own best interests, and they’re certainly not focusing on ours. For example, they’re in the process of attaching a valve on the main pipe, but acknowledge that doing so will likely not reduce the output, since oil will still come out of two other leaks at a greater rate. They then add that they’re working towards implementing containment cones — huge hollow steel lids that will go over the top of the leaks, collecting the oil and pumping it to surface before it has a chance to escape the area. That should work… but perhaps not soon enough. Why, then, don’t they attach a hose to the top of the pipe with the new valve, collect THAT oil at the surface by opening the valve again once the hose or pipe is installed? That would relieve pressure on the other two leak spots while allowing collection and containment of the largest leak point. Apparently, that would make too much sense.

How bad? BP admitted that it could be 60,000 BARRELS — 3 million, 300 thousand gallons — per day. That’s ten times as much as they’ve been estimating up until now!

Casting stones isn’t going to help anything. They certainly didn’t want this mess. It was an accident, right? Yet BP seems characteristically stingy. For example, BP stepped up lobbying this past year, spending almost 16 million dollars in attempts to court Washington’s favor. It’s not working, but that’s hardly the point. They offered a meager $25 million to be spread across four coastal stages as an initial deposit on the funds that will be required to assist residents in those states. Needless to say, the government said “No, that’s not enough.” $16M in lobbying and now they have the audacity to present just 25 million? Even as a start-up amount, it is hard to take such a sum as a serious show of good faith.

Representatives of BP, Transocean Ltd, and Halliburton have all been summoned to appear before the Senate Energy Committee as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week. Amongst the questions will be what problems led to the explosions on the rig, the failure of the failsafe systems, and to determine if efforts to contain and clean up the spill are adequate. It is thought that this will be just the first of several such meetings, according to Representative Bart Stupak (D, MI) the subcommittee chairman. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Minerals Management Service are also conducting their own investigation, examining the explosion an the oil spill cleanup process.

Representatives from all three companies, BP, Transocean, and Halliburton, admit that they don’t know if the oil spill will be caught up in currents and carried on through the Keys and into the Atlantic. Of course not. But no one has asked them to be prophets, simply honest. The use of dispersal solvents just about guarantees that this will happen, and the toxicity of the oil will be greater than it would have been, had it simply been allowed to float to shore.

Bill Nelson, (D, FL) has joined with two other Democratic senators, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, to bring forth a bill which would raise the liability cap to $10 Billion, and vow to make the legislation retroactive, so that it will apply to this spill as well as any in the future. So far, legal experts have not yet weighed in on whether such a law would be considered lawful and applicable against BP for a situation which has already occurred.

Meanwhile, the five coastal state’s Attorney Generals are already strong in their demands, and in preparation for legal battles sure to come. Mississippi has started taking photos for a before/after comparison of damage done. That recording includes counts of fish and birds, pictures and video of the areas. The idea is to be able to present Before and After pictures demonstrating the level of devastation Mississippi has suffered as a result of the oil spill. What. What is painfully clear is that, no matter what the figure may be, damage is being done which money cannot mend.

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

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1 reply
  1. Shower Cubicle · says:

    the oil spill in mexico really affected the eco system around that area, it would take years to clean those mess `

    Reply

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