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Gulf Oil Spill Update May 4th

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Gulf oil spill: Florida braces for impact
May 4, 2010 | 3:45 pm

As the powerful Loop Current, a surge of warm water that circulates in the eastern Gulf of Mexico, moved north within 30 miles of the spill, scientists predicted that it would catch the the oil and sweep it around the Florida peninsula. The oil could then contaminate the Everglades National Park, along with mangrove swamps, coral reefs, sea grass and the animals and fish that depend on them, they said. Beaches in Miami and along Florida's eastern coast could be tarred.

“Where it hits will be devastating,” said James Fourqurean, a sea grass ecologist with Florida International University. “But it is not going to hit everywhere.”

“Filaments of the Loop Current are within tens of kilometers of the oil spill,” said Robert H. Weisberg, an oceanographer at the University of South Florida who has been modeling the movement of the spill. Once the current catches the spill, he said, “the speed of the current is such that it only takes a week before oil will be at entrance of the Florida straits and another week until it gets as far as Miami.… Whether the oil gets into the Florida Bay or the Everglades depends on what local winds are doing when oil is flowing past.”

Weisberg said he could not predict the exact timing. “But it appears to be imminent," he said. "It looks like it is going to happen sooner rather than later...The Loop Current moves very fast.” As for the oil's trajectory, he said, “Whatever comes will flow west of Dry Tortugas and towards Cuba before it comes back north.” For the oil to get into the vicinity of shallow water in the Florida Bay, Weisberg said, the current "would have to take oil into passes from south to north. It is difficult to get a lot of oil into the Florida Bay."




Gulf oil spill: Spill rate could be more than 10 times previous estimate, BP says
May 4, 2010 | 3:39 pm

BP officials Tuesday told congressional representatives that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill could grow at a rate more than 10 times current estimates in a worst-case scenario — greatly enlarging the potential scope of the disaster.

A handful of congressional Democrats and Republicans met with representatives from BP, Transocean and Halliburton in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill. Most walked away unimpressed.

A source who attended the meeting said company representatives had a “deer in headlights” look to them, and that the tenor of the conversation was that the companies “are attempting to solve a problem which they have never had to solve before at this depth … at this scope of disaster. They essentially said as much.”

“What we heard was worst-case scenario, with no good solutions,” said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the meeting.

BP officials said the spill rate could be as much as 60,000 barrels (2.5 million gallons) a day — far above the 5,000-barrel daily rate estimated up to now. At the higher rate of flow, the spill would surpass the amount leaked from the Exxon Valdez in a bit more than four days. That 1989 spill dumped 10.8 million gallons into Prince William Sound.

BP officials have said they have no way of measuring the actual flow from the spill.

-- Jim Tankersley




Gulf oil spill: Good weather to hold until at least Friday
May 4, 2010 | 1:45 pm

After recent squalls passed by, calm, sunny weather finally descended on the Gulf of Mexico region Tuesday, according to Shawn O’Neil, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Slidell, La.

Wind gusts slowed to a gentle 5-to-10 mph, headed south early Tuesday, and were expected to reverse by late in the day. Twenty miles out to sea, wells had subsided from as much as 10 feet in recent days to 3 feet or less.

This pattern of flip-flopping gentle winds is typical for the time of year in the Gulf region and is expected to hold through the week. However, the gusts may grow a little stronger on Thursday, O’Neil said.

The respite will end by Friday or so, when a new cold front is expected to bring rough weather and erratic winds. As with the last front, the winds are predicted to head strongly south as the front approaches, then switch toward the north as it passes over.

-- Jill Leovy




Gulf oil spill: Tests confirm oil is light grade
May 4, 2010 | 1:41 pm

Experts working to control the Gulf of Mexico oil slick got one piece of good news Tuesday: Tests on new samples appear to show that the material is typical Louisiana sweet crude, a light oil that can be either burned or readily dispersed.

Such oil is highly prized because it contains a high percentage of volatile components that can be used for producing gasoline and other industrial chemicals.

A preliminary test Friday on the first sample from the slick performed by environmental scientist Edward B. Overton of Louisiana State University appeared to show that the oil contained a higher-than-expected concentration of asphalt and other nonvolatile components.

Such materials are extremely resistant to degradation in the environment, which is why they are used to construct roads. They also are resistant to burning and extremely difficult to clean up once they reach the shore.

But Overton now thinks that the first sample he received may have been contaminated. “I was alarmed, but now I am a lot less alarmed,” he said Tuesday. “But we still don’t know much about it. We need 40 to 50 samples,” not the four or five that they already have.

A thin layer of oil floating on the surface of water reflects more light than the water itself, creating a rainbow effect when viewed at the proper angle. It is thus called a sheen, much like shiny hair is said to have a sheen. A heavy layer of oil tends to be less reflective than a thinner layer. The more the oil spreads from the wellhead, the thinner it becomes.

-- Thomas H. Maugh II




Gulf oil spill: Lawyers joust for clients
May 4, 2010 | 11:50 am

Turf battles have broken out among lawyers from Louisiana to Alabama who are vying to represent Gulf Coast fishermen who are out of work or want to help British Petroleum with cleanup efforts.

The disputes intensified after New Orleans U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Barrigan, in an emergency hearing Sunday, ruled that BP cleanup contracts contained language that was over-broad.

Among the provisions on which she ruled was one that required volunteers to indemnify BP from any accidents or damage to the vessel during the recovery effort and to rely on their own insurance, with BP as an "additional insured" party.


Another provision required them to refrain from making statements to the media without written approval from BP, while another demanded a 30-day written notice for vessel operators to pursue any claims against BP.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano asked BP to stop circulating the multipage agreements. The company has publicly acknowledged the agreements were “a mistake” and “a misstep.”

In an interview, BP spokesman Bill Salvin said the company had removed the contested language from the standard marine-vessel-charter contracts it had been using in the recovery effort.

“We never intended for anyone to sign away their rights,” he said. “We only wanted to get people to help clean up the spill as quickly as possible.”

The ruling was hailed by the fishermen's legal team, the Gulf Oil Disaster Recovery Group, as a “first major victory” on behalf of those affected by the spill.

That Louisiana legal team and others are attracting new clients throughout the Gulf Coast fishing industry. Mississippi and Alabama lawyers, meanwhile, are trying to sign up local fishermen before out-of-towners get the business.




Gulf oil spill: Economy can be challenged by 'sudden and costly crisis at any time,' Obama says
May 4, 2010 | 9:36 am

President Obama said Tuesday that working to contain environmental damage from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill poses a significant challenge to the nation and pledged to explore all options for replacing threatened jobs.

He told a group of business leaders that the huge spill “is a reminder that the nation's economy can face a sudden and costly crisis at any time.”

“Wherever possible, I would like to see the people most affected by the disaster involved in the cleanup,” Obama told the annual meeting of the Business Council, an association of chief executive officers.

That might soften the effect of job losses in industries like fishing and tourism that are the most directly affected by the spill caused by an explosion on a BP-leased drilling rig that is pouring 200,000 gallons of oil a day into Gulf waters.

“We are committed to preventing as much of the economic damage as possible by working to contain the impact of this potentially devastating spill,” Obama said. “We will continue to explore every possible option to create jobs and support local economies” while continuing to monitor potential damage to the environment and to the regional and national economies.

“Obviously, there's going to be a significant challenge and we are going to be working overtime to make sure that we mitigate its impacts,” Obama said.

As to the larger economy, Obama said he welcomed signs of a rebound but said too many people are still out of work and many businesses remain closed. “Spurring job creation and economic expansion continues to be our No. 1 domestic economy,” Obama said.

He also put in a plug for legislation now before the Senate to overhaul the nation's financial regulation system to reduce chances of another major financial crisis.

Obama said he recognizes that many controversies still surround the effort but said a common-ground, common-sense solution is within grasp.

--Associated Press




BP races to contain damage, limit costs
May 3, 2010 | 5:02 pm

BP is in a race not only to keep environmental damage to a minimum, the London company is working to limit costs, which analysts said could easily exceed the $3.5 billion needed to clean up after the Exxon Valdez, if an untried and untested temporary fix failed in the next two weeks.

Even if the temporary solution succeeds, which involves placing a kind of canopy over the well that looks like an inverted funnel, the costs will still be very high.

Fadel Gheit, managing director of oil and gas research for Oppenheimer and Co., said in a note to investors Monday that if BP succeeds in stopping the leak within the next two weeks, “costs could be under $1 billion. If all failed until the relief well is completed in 90 days, costs could be significantly higher.”

Significantly higher than the $3.5 billion it took to clean up after the Exxon Valdez spill? Gheit said yes, in reponse to that specific question, in an email.

Gheit added that BP may have a lot of bills coming in that go beyond the actual clean up. That’s because of all the important infrastructure in the Gulf area, and everything that travels through it, if ports and shipping are shut down becaused of widespread contamination.

According to the Energy Department, there are four power plants that draw water directly from the Gulf for their cooling systems. Oil could foul or damage them. Eleven refineries could be affected if shipping is stopped, by running out of oil. If oil production platforms are shut down, it will stop operations representing 24% of the nation’s crude oil production.

Federal law might keep a lid on lost wages and economic suffering. A law passed in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska makes BP responsible for clean-up costs. But the law sets a $75 million limit on other kinds of damages. Analysts said it was unclear whether that law deals with economic and commercial damage.

“BP is trying several approaches to achieve that -- some for the first time -- but if they are unsuccessful, the spill could spread with catastrophic consequences for the environment and the economies of the Gulf States,” Gheit said.

BP won’t be able to rely on any insurance company for help shouldering the costs. The company self insures its operations “except in those circumstances in which it’s mandated by other regulatory or partner-related constraints,” BP’s Chief Financial Officer Byron Grote told investors and analysts last week during the company’s quarterly earnings call.

“So with respect to this specific incident, it’s all BP self-insurance, which we’ve determined over the course of time is a much more economic way for a company like BP to manage its risk factors,” Grote said.

--Ronald D. White




Gulf oil spill: Smaller offshore spills aren't uncommon
May 3, 2010 | 2:48 pm

Gulf Restoration Network, a group focused on ecological issues affecting the Gulf of Mexico, offers the following statistics on spills in the gulf:

"According to statistics on drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf from the Minerals Management Service, there have been 172 spills in the Gulf of at least 2,100 gallons in the last ten years. In 2008 alone, 125,034 gallons of oil and other toxic materials were accidentally discharged! Sadly, 65 individuals have lost their lives working offshore in the Gulf during that same period."

A glance at the charts compiled from the oil spill database of the Mineral Management Service shows there were 63 spills of more than 50 barrels in the gulf from 2004 to 2009. Some of those spills were a combination of oil, petroleum products and chemicals such as glycol and zinc bromide, according to MMS. Total barrels: 132. At 42 gallons per barrel, that's 5,544 gallons.

That's roughly the amount [update: of barrels] that BP says is gushing daily from the blown well head 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. There have been disputes over that spill rate, with one environmental group and a Florida oceanographer suggesting oil is gushing at five times that rate.

-- Geoff Mohan




BP to use domes to capture giant US oil spill
by Mira Oberman Mira Oberman – Tue May 4, 7:26 am ET
VENICE, Louisiana (AFP) – Winds pushed a giant slick towards fragile wetlands on the United States coast Tuesday as efforts intensified to bottle up a ruptured oil well causing the growing environmental disaster.

Beleaguered energy giant BP said it had prepared the first of three giant domes to collect oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and channel it into a waiting tanker.

But a political tempest spread across the US, with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger backing away from a contentious proposal to drill for oil off the state's southern coast.

At least 210,000 gallons of crude a day has been streaming from a well below the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank on April 22, two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers.

A slick now covering the size of a small country has already touched Louisiana and is moving along the coast.

Shifting winds meant the oil could be pushed into a current that would take toward a wide area of the Florida coast, forecasters said.

"The magnitude of this spill is daunting," said Michael Sole, Florida's secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Weekend storms grounded aerial sorties of dispersants and prevented skimming vessels from mopping up the growing 130-mile (200 kilometer) by 70-mile (110 kilometer) slick.

But an army of more than 2,500 responders and some 200 boats took advantage of better conditions Monday to lay out miles of protective booms, relaunch skimming vessels and train local fishermen for the clean-up effort.

"If we can get the seas to lay down for us we can make a dent," said Petty Officer Curtis Ainsley, leader of a coast guard team surveying the slick and installing mobile protective boom stations on boats.

"As soon as we can get the vessels here and the booms laid down we can get started skimming."

Florida Governor Charlie Crist added 13 more counties to the six already covered by a state of emergency.

The region boasts some 40 percent of US wetlands -- prime spawning waters for fish, shrimp and crabs and a major stop for migratory birds -- and cleaning up a maze of channels accessible only by boat would be all but impossible.

BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said the company had fashioned the first of three domes designed to be placed "over the leak sources and allow us to collect the oil, funnel it up through pipework to a drill ship called Enterprise on the surface."

He added that the company expects to load the fabricated containment chamber on Tuesday "and we hope to have the system up and operating within a week."

Efforts to contain the leak are costing more than six million dollars a day, the company said in a statement.

BP has been operating a fleet of robotic submarines in the murky depths for more than a week to try to activate a 450-tonne valve system that should have shut off the oil after the initial accident.

One has also been pumping dispersant directly into three leaks, but its impact on the amount of oil reaching the surface. was not immediately known.

BP began operations on a relief well Sunday, penetrating the sea floor as it began drilling down to approximately 18,000 feet so that special fluids and then cement can be injected to cap the oil.

With this process expected to take up to three months, attention is focusing on giant containment structures to be deployed to cover the leaking pipe a mile down on the seabed.

Suttles admitted there would be "technical challenges" in trying to sink a 65-tonne structure so deep, but added that physics was to some extent in BP's favor despite the extreme pressure.

With BP facing fierce criticism and political fallout from the disaster driving a new environmental debate, the disaster convinced California officials that a proposed drilling project off the Santa Barbara coast, northwest of Los Angeles, should not go ahead.

"It will not happen here in California," Schwarzenegger told a news conference.




What the Heck is BP Putting in the Gulf?
— By Kate Sheppard | Tue May. 4, 2010 6:55 AM PDT

With the remains of the Deepwater Horizon rig still spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day, BP and federal response teams are scrambling for solutions. BP has bought up more than a third of the world's supply of dispersants, or chemical substances used to break up and sink oil to prevent it from hitting land. The problem is, no actually knows what chemicals are in many of these dispersants, or the impacts they may have on marine ecosystems.




BP to use domes to capture giant US oil spill
by Mira Oberman Mira Oberman – Tue May 4, 7:26 am ET
VENICE, Louisiana (AFP) – Winds pushed a giant slick towards fragile wetlands on the United States coast Tuesday as efforts intensified to bottle up a ruptured oil well causing the growing environmental disaster.

Beleaguered energy giant BP said it had prepared the first of three giant domes to collect oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and channel it into a waiting tanker.

But a political tempest spread across the US, with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger backing away from a contentious proposal to drill for oil off the state's southern coast.

At least 210,000 gallons of crude a day has been streaming from a well below the Deepwater Horizon rig that sank on April 22, two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers.

A slick now covering the size of a small country has already touched Louisiana and is moving along the coast.

Shifting winds meant the oil could be pushed into a current that would take toward a wide area of the Florida coast, forecasters said.

"The magnitude of this spill is daunting," said Michael Sole, Florida's secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection.

BP began operations on a relief well Sunday, penetrating the sea floor as it began drilling down to approximately 18,000 feet so that special fluids and then cement can be injected to cap the oil.

With this process expected to take up to three months, attention is focusing on giant containment structures to be deployed to cover the leaking pipe a mile down on the seabed.

Suttles admitted there would be "technical challenges" in trying to sink a 65-tonne structure so deep, but added that physics was to some extent in BP's favor despite the extreme pressure.




BP: “This was not our accident”
Published by Andy Rowell May 4th, 2010

In the middle of potentially America’s worst environmental disaster, BP is attempting to squarely shift the blame for the Deepwater Horizon disaster from itself to Transocean.

As BP’s CEO Tony Hayward prepares to meet key Congressmen in Washington today, you can see part of BP‘s PR strategy in play with the simple message: We are not to blame, although we will clean up the mess.

Speaking on the BBC yesterday, Hayward said: “This was not our accident … This was not our drilling rig. This was not our equipment. It was not our people, our systems or our processes. This was Transocean’s rig. Their systems. Their people. Their equipment.”

So when Congressmen grill Hayward later today, they should grill him over BP’s record of trying to oppose enhanced safety features on the rigs.

They should grill him about putting profit over safety and the environment.

Brent Coon, a lawyer who sued BP over a previous deadly oil facility explosion, is now representing a 24-year-old roustabout who was working on the rig at the time of the blast.

“BP stands apart, heads and shoulders above all the rest of them, with respect to their conduct,” argues Coon. “It’s like they just don’t care.”

So Mr. Hayward it is your accident.

And no matter what you think, the public rightly believes you are to blame.





Lessons for Deepwater Horizon that come directly out of the history books
Juliette Jowit guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 4 May 2010 18.13 BST

It was a Saturday in June when workers on a drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico hit a soft patch 3,600m below the sea floor. Worried that the softer mud would stop circulating to keep pressure even, workers immediately tried to remedy the problem. But it was not enough: the following day drilling equipment ignited leaking oil and gas and caused a massive explosion and the burning platform collapsed into the ocean.

The Ixtoc 1 disaster in 1979 became what is still the world's second worst-ever oil spill. The worst was off the coast of Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1991.

Ixtoc 1 owners, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the Mexican state oil company, could not cap the well for 10 long months, by which time an estimated 90m gallons of oil had escaped. Much of it evaporated, was dispersed by chemicals or burned off in the fire, but the remainder drifted in a greasy slick up to 60-70 miles long on to the US coastline, damaging wildlife, fishing and tourism. A report for the US government later concluded that the lost oil, equipment and clean up cost Pemex $498m - more than US$1bn in today's money - and there were claims for damages of more than $400m, making it "probably the most expensive oil spill in history".




Track the Gulf of Mexico oil spill movement in animated graphic
By Dan Swenson, The Times-Picayune
May 02, 2010, 11:49AM

This animation of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was created using actual overflight information and forecast models from the NOAA and Unified Command.

The red dot is the location of the Deepwater Horizon oil well, which exploded on April 20, releasing oil into the Gulf near the Louisiana coast that has yet to be contained. Eleven rig workers died in the explosion.

The animation begins Aprill 22, the day the first image of the spill via flyover was released.

Through May 4, 2010 (May 4 is the forecasted area)




BP makes progress toward ending spill
Tuesday, May 04, 2010 By Richard Rainey

As BP announced small steps Monday toward containing a spewing oil well a mile below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, southeast Louisiana parishes rallied their residents to their own defenses against the spill's attack on the local environment and economy.

Bad weather -- with some swells reported to reach 17 feet -- crimped response efforts during the weekend and much of Monday as crews around the Gulf region worked to contain the plume of oil rising unfettered since the oil rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20 and sank a day later. Officials estimate 210,000 gallons of light crude are leaking into offshore waters each day.

As speculation mounts about the spill's ultimate impact on Gulf Coast states, New Orleans' 8th U.S. Coast Guard District commander, Rear Adm. Mary Landry, said stopping the leak remainsthe top priority.




Gulf Oil Spill Spin: Was The Obama Administration There On Day One?
ERICA WERNER | 05/ 4/10 06:26 AM |

WASHINGTON — To hear Obama administration officials tell it, they've been fully engaged on the Gulf Coast oil spill since Day One, bringing every resource to bear and able to ensure without question that taxpayers will be protected.

Not quite.

Take President Barack Obama's repeated claims that BP will be responsible for all the costs associated with the devastating spill that began after an oil rig operated by the company exploded April 20, killing 11 workers and later sinking.




U.S. oil spill could hit Atlantic tuna
May 03, 2010

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico could have a serious long-term impact on tuna stocks off Atlantic Canada.

The Gulf is the spawning ground for bluefin tuna that migrate to the Atlantic region.

"Many fish are going down to the Gulf to spawn," said Jackie Savitz, a marine biologist with Oceana, an international conservation group based in Washington.

"The larvae of the fish is actually the most sensitive life stage to the toxic effects of oil. And one fish that's spawning right now down there is the bluefin tuna."

There is already concern for the health of the Atlantic bluefin tuna population. It has fallen 90 per cent since the 1970s, and the World Wildlife Fund says the species faces a serious risk of extinction. Stocks in the western Atlantic are in better shape than in the east, and the oil spill strikes at an economically important fishery in Atlantic Canada.

"It's definitely going to have some effect on the spawning mass and the juveniles," said Walter Bruce, chair of the P.E.I. Tuna Working Group.

"The bigger fish, the giants as we call them, most of them I would think, are out of that area by now and on their way this way. So it may not affect the next few years … but 10 years down the road we could see a big decline in the catch."

Oyster fishers could benefit
The spill has also shut down one of the largest oyster fisheries in the U.S., which could bring a sales boost for other oyster producers.

While Rory McLellan of the P.E.I. Shellfish Association takes no joy in it, he expects the closure of the fishery in the Gulf of Mexico will mean higher prices for oysters coming out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

"While the animal is not exactly the same as ours, some of the markets are the same," said McLellan. "If, God forbid, they're not able to save that shoreline, it should increase demand for oysters coming in from Canada."

The oil spill began April 20 after a drill rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana. Officials estimate it is spilling nearly 5,000 barrels a day, and it could be months before the flow is stopped.




Big Oil Fought Off Rules Requiring Equipment To Prevent Blowouts
First Posted: 05- 4-10 06:03 PM | Updated: 05- 4-10 06:30 PM

For over a decade, the oil industry has aggressively fought safety regulations intended to prevent accidents and blowouts on offshore oil drilling rigs.

Among the provisions opposed by oil giant BP and drilling contractors are those regarding equipment and procedures that are being closely examined for their role in the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers.

The International Association of Drilling Contractors, a trade group which includes Transocean, the firm that operated the Deepwater Horizon rig, objected in 2000 to a proposed requirement to use blind-shear rams, a type of blowout preventer which seals out-of-control oil wells by pinching off the pipe. Due to a failure of that device on the Deepwater Horizon, the rig's crew was unable to prevent the massive gush of oil that still spews from the bottom of the ocean.

Claiming that the rate of accidents and incidents "is approaching zero," the group tried blunting the agency's argument that many previous incidents could have been ameliorated if the equipment had been used.




As BP’s oil disaster devastates gulf region, Landrieu and Boehner call for expanding oil drilling
May 4, 2010

While some in the “drill baby drill” crowd have been chastened by reality, others have not. Think Progress has the story of those who still seem in denial of the unfolding disaster.

As BP’s massive oil disaster in the Gulf continues to devastate the ecosystem and economy of the region, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has a novel proposal: expanding oil drilling. Roll Call reports that, yesterday, Boehner said the “tragedy should remind us that America needs…[the] Republicans’” pro-drilling energy plan:

House Republican leaders are once again sounding the drumbeat for passage of their sidelined pro-drilling energy reform package, even as state and federal officials scramble to stem a massive Gulf oil spill.

“This tragedy should remind us that America needs a real, comprehensive energy plan, like Republicans’ ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy,” House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday in a statement.

The GOP proposal, which was first rolled out in the summer of 2008 and has made multiple appearances since then, would, among other things, open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration and lift the moratoriums on drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Meanwhile, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), “perhaps the oil industry’s best friend in the Democratic Party,” is using the tragedy to call for “accelerated” oil revenue sharing from the federal government and to demand that we “not…retreat” from further drilling:

Despite the threat to her state — the second-largest U.S. seafood producer — Landrieu has repeatedly called on colleagues not to “react with fear…not to retreat” from plans for more drilling, once the BP investigation is complete.

She has drawn parallels to the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident that contributed to freezing the development of new nuclear power plants for decades.

“Our country needs this oil, there is no question about that,” Landrieu said May 2 in an interview with WWL-TV in New Orleans. “We have to produce this oil at home unless we want to be completely reliant. We’ve got to investigate, fine, clean up and do the research necessary to make sure this will never happen again. We have to continue to go forward.”

Several dozen environmentalist groups, like the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Greenpeace, wrote to senators this morning in opposition to expanding offshore drilling. “Expanding exploration and drilling into previously protected and remote areas is unacceptable when it is clear that we are not capable of responding to oil spills in a timely manner,” the groups write. MoveOn is launching an ad campaign calling on President Obama to reinstate the ban on new offshore drilling.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2010/apr/29/deepwater-horizon-oil-spill-map
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/03/bp-oil-spill-2010-latest_n_561320.html#s87984
LA Times Photo Gallery
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/gulf-oil-spill
LA Times Gulf Oil Spill Coverage
WhiteHouse.gov
http://www.epa.gov/bpspill/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_spill
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_drilling_rig_explosion#Oil_spill

FYI, there is a reason why the leak is getting worse as the days go on. The hole is getting BIGGER. The theory is that there is abrasives on the hole that is eroded the metal around the well head. So far the well head is not open fully.

So yeah...this might not be BP lying about the numbers but basically underestimating how bad things were and shit happened and it kept getting worse.
Tags: alabama, environment, environmentalism, florida, louisiana, mississippi, oil
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