Corexit Letter from Louisiana Senator to Obama

1/16/2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
The President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500

Re: The environmental impact of dispersing Corexit during and after the oil spill

Dear Mr. President;

The BP incident in the Gulf of Mexico has now been acknowledged as the greatest manmade disaster in history but there is yet another manmade disaster that must not be overlooked and has not been adequately addressed in the recently released report of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

That second major disaster has been caused by the unnecessary use of the toxin Corexit dispersant. In early May of 2010 just after the crisis began, I requested that our Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell use whatever legal means were necessary to stop the use of this toxin. Shortly thereafter, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal requested that the use of this toxic dispersant be discontinued because of the long-term environmental damage. And still later, it was reported in the media that you also ordered BP to stop using Corexit. Surprisingly, I also read in the media that they even refused your request.

Mr. President, my concern is that this toxic and damaging chemical is still being used and it will compound the long-term damage to our state, our citizens, our eco-system, our economy, our seafood industry, our wildlife and our culture. [Read more...]

Why is BP Still Stalling?

For 40 days now, the oceans of the world have been contaminated by the disaster in the Gulf.  The resulting oil spill has spewed tens of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf, with no end in sight.  Another million gallons of toxic Corexit dispersing solvents have been poured into the waters, both on top and below… and still we witness one hair-brained scheme after another from the “experts” at BP.  Top Hat, Top Kill, talk of stopping it up with golf balls (as if a fluid under pressure wouldn’t find its way through THAT filter?) and never much sense or likelihood of success in any of them.  At this point, one simply must wonder why BP is stalling. [Read more...]

Gulf Oil Spill: Dispersal Chemicals Threaten Ocean/Wetlands Ecology

By now, most everyone knows about the unprecedented oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and that it landed in New Orleans last Friday morning.  Already, animal rescue groups are on the scene — much faster than Federal responses.  But what IS the Federal response?  Their first actual step was to put down some 600,000 feet of floating barrier, in attempts to contain the oil, slow it’s reaching land, while they sprayed “dispersal” chemicals on the oily surface of the Gulf.   Now they’re talking about releasing another kind of dispersal chemical underwater — one that would somehow stop the oil from rising to the surface in the first place.  Before any chemicals were sprayed or introduced, some long, hard looks at their impact are in order.

If it’s a solvent, obviously that’s a No.  If it’s a bacterial agent designed to eat the oil, that too has real concerns.  No matter what it is, it’s certain to have an impact.  There is no such thing as a free lunch, and the chemicals/agents themselves are a foreign and harmful substance.  If it’s biological, it will still upset the balances.  What to do, then? [Read more...]