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BP Allegedly Stops Using Chemical Underwater Dispersals…

..And Claims No Negative Impacts

This just in, along with BP’s self-aggrandizing claims that they have 400 people working on the oil spill: Supposedly, they have stopped using underwater chemical dispersing solvents to keep the oil from reaching the surface. We would like to claim a victory, or at least call it success, but it’s so hard to get a straight answer out of BP that it’s not quite time for a celebration. It wasn’t all that long ago that they said there was no oil coming out from the well. Then it was a small amount, a few thousand gallons. Yesterday that turned into over 2 million gallons a day. Now they’re going to say they’ve stopped using oil spill clean up solvents. So it could be millions of gallons that were affected by the solvents that are 4 times more toxic than the oil itself, even. Read more

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! Read more

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Gulf Oil Spill: BP Trying To Hide Millions of Gallons of Toxic Oil?

BP Embraces Exxon’s Toxic Dispersant, Ignores Safer Alternative

It has been confirmed that the dispersal agent being used by BP and the government is Corexit 9500, a solvent originally developed by Exxon and now manufactured by Nalco Holding Company of Naperville, IL.  Their stock took a sharp jump, up more than 18% at its highest point of the day today, after it was announced that their product is the one being used in the Gulf.  Nalco’s CEO, Erik Frywald, expressed their commitment to “helping the people and environment of the Gulf Coast recover as rapidly as possible.”  It may be that the best way to help  would be to remove their product from the fray.  Take a look at some of the facts about Corexit 9500:

A report written by Anita George-Ares and James R. Clark for Exxon Biomedical Sciences, Inc. entitled “Acute Aquatic Toxicity of Three Corexit Products: An Overview” states that “Corexit 9500, Corexit 9527,  and Corexit 9580 have moderate toxicity to early life stages of fish, crustaceans and mollusks (LC50 or EC50 – 1.6 to 100 ppm*).  It goes on to say that decreasing water temperatures in lab tests showed decreased toxicity, a lowered uptake of the dispersant.  Unfortunately, we’re going to be seeing an increase in temperatures, not a decrease.  Amongst the other caveats is that the study is species-specific, that other animals may be more severely affected, silver-sided fish amongst them.

Oil is toxic at 11 ppm while Corexit 9500 is toxic at only 2.61 ppm; Corexit 9500 is four times as toxic as the oil itself.  Sure, a lot less of it is being introduced, but that’s still a flawed logical perspective, because it’s not a “lesser of two evils” scenario.  BOTH are going into the ocean water. Read more