Archive for dispersants

VIDEO- What they don't want you to know about the oil disaster: "People were basically treated as collateral damage by BP."

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BP lies newsweek
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About a week ago, I posted BP still hasn’t paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups. As you well know, BP destroyed lives, businesses, the environment, plant life, sea life, and wildlife. They accepted criminal liability in the 2010 oil disaster and were supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.

Additionally, tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP’s negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.

For years I've covered their atrocities (BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes), including their use of Corexit, a chemical dispersant that breaks up the oily mess and makes it appear as if it has diminished or even disappeared. Actually, the tiny globs are still around, lingering and endangering lives and the health of anyone who comes in contact with it.

Dispersants accelerate the absorption by the skin of toxic chemicals, and they continue to damage the gulf because they are also easily absorbed into the food chain. Blood tests have shown that oil and dispersant chemicals are “causing big health problems.”

I’ve ranted endlessly about the toxic and lasting effects that chemical dispersant has had on Gulf residents, sea life and wildlife, and complained about how little press coverage the topic has gotten.

Thankfully, a film called "The Big Fix" exposed this, the biggest environmental coverup ever... and Rachel Maddow is right there with them:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow:

BP admitted in court that while they were saying publicly and saying to Congress even, that their gushing well in the Gulf of Mexico was only leaking 5,000 barrels a day, that was it, merely a flesh wound. while they said that publicly, not only was that wrong, but they knew it was wrong.

BP as a company internally was having all sort of discussions about how it wasn't 5,000 barrels a day. It was more like 60,000 barrels or maybe even 140,000 barrels a day. But publicly, they kept assuring everybody that it was no big deal, only five.

The important part was not just that BP was wrong or that they didn't know the answer and they were guessing. The important part in their culpability, of course-- the reason they ended up paying the largest corporate fine in history of corporate fines was not because they got it wrong-- it is because they did know the truth and they lied about it. They lied about it publicly, they lied about it to Congress.

"Newsweek" published some remarkable new reporting on the question that ... was expressed to me the most by people who live on the gulf coast and make their living on the water there, three years ago in the middle of that spill, this is what folks worry about more than anything. And now, 3 years later, we are starting to get some answers  about it.

Mark Hertsgaard, Newsweek:

These people were basically treated as collateral damage by BP. As part of BP's coverup, they were willing to sacrifice the health of these workers, hundreds and possibly thousands of them, and also coastal residents, a little 3-year-old boy we write about in this story who was fine until he started breathing this stuff in. And now he got terribly sick.

And let's not forget the gulf eco system where 33%, one-third of the seafood we Americans eat comes out of that gulf. That too was terribly damaged by this use of Corexit. Which is an Orwellian term if I've ever heard one, Corexit as a name for a dispersant. Once you put that with oil it is 52 times more  toxic.

dispersant 2Here's what Nalco has on its Corexit web page:

Prompt deployment of Nalco COREXIT® oil spill dispersants is one very effective and proven method of minimizing the impact of a spill on the environment. When the COREXIT dispersants are deployed on the spilled oil, the oil is broken up into tiny bio-degradable droplets that immediately sink below the surface where they continue to disperse and bio-degrade.  This quickly removes the spilled oil from surface drift…reducing direct exposure to birds, fish and sea animals in the spill environment.  By keeping the oil from adhering to wildlife COREXIT dispersants effectively protect the environment.

BP we care

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BP still hasn't paid billions of dollars in fines, other payments to Gulf Coast, environmental groups

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suck it bp

If you have an ounce of logic in you, then you know that the longer we wait to repair what BP destroyed, the more difficult it will be to fix their mess. BP accepted criminal liability in the 2010 gulf oil disaster and was supposed to pay a $4-billion fine.

And tests confirmed, and Hurricane Isaac exposed, that globs of oil found on Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill. The area is still suffering the consequences of BP's negligence and they should be falling all over themselves to rectify that.

BP has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and environmental crimes, because:

BP we care

USA Today:

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the spill in 2010, but only a small fraction of the billions in fines and other money owed by BP has trickled in for use on restoration projects, environmental groups say.

Local, state and environmental groups are banking on money from several sources

However, BP is proud to use their money to pay people to go on the Tee Vee Machine and say reassuring things like this:

bp adbp ad smaller

And they lavish us with ads like this repeatedly force ads like this down our throats:

Here's what's really going on:

Gulf Coast groups say the region is still struggling.

Environmental groups say an unusually high number of sick dolphins are washing up on shore. They're also finding tar balls on beaches, particularly after big storms.

USA Today has all the gory details.

If you really want to get your blood boiling, read this via the Government Accountability Project:

On April 19, 2013, GAP released Deadly Dispersants in the Gulf: Are Public Health and Environmental Tragedies the New Norm for Oil Spill Cleanups? The report details the devastating long-term effects on human health and the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem stemming from BP and the federal government's widespread use of the dispersant Corexit, in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. [...]

Conclusions from the report strongly suggest that the dispersant Corexit was widely applied in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion because it caused the false impression that the oil disappeared. In reality, the oil/Corexit mixture became less visible, yet much more toxic than the oil alone. Nonetheless, indications are that both BP and the government were pleased with what Corexit accomplished. The report is available here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three

"We will clean this up. We will make this right."

We won't hold our breath.

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Please consider not swimming in the Gulf of Mexico

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Photo via geologist James "Rip" Kirby. "Ultraviolet light revealed orange blotches — dispersant-mixed oil."

Please read "Oil from Deepwater Horizon spill still causing damage in gulf 2 years later, scientists find". Hugh Kaufman (senior policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response) sent it to me in an email, and it deserves to be widely read.

I've written endlessly about the toxic, and lasting, effects that chemical dispersant has had on Gulf residents, sea life and wildlife, and how little press it's gotten. If it weren't for Hugh, I'd have never seen the Tampa Bay Times article. I hope this gets around, because it is alarming, to say the least:

...Tiny globs of it, mingled with the chemical dispersant that was supposed to break it up, have settled into the shallows, mingling with the shells, he said. When Kirby shines his light across the legs of a grad student who'd been in the water and showered, it shows orange blotches where the globs still stick to his skin.

"'If I had grandkids playing in the surf, I wouldn't want them to come in contact with that,' said Kirby, whose research is being overseen by the University of South Florida. 'The dispersant accelerates the absorption by the skin.'...

It gets worse:

[B]iologists are finding signs of lingering — and perhaps growing — damage throughout the gulf, from the bottom of the food chain to the top [...]

When scientists examined the sturgeon that swam upriver last year, they found "significant levels" of DNA fragmentation in the 300-pound fish that could have been caused by exposure to the oil spill, said wildlife service chief investigator Glenn Constant.

"It can lead to a number of abnormalities, such as cancer, tumors, challenges to their immune systems," Constant said. Reproduction could falter, too, he said.

Scary stuff.

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VIDEO: This is how Gulf seafood is tested for safety

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Hugh Kaufman (senior policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response) one of my best sources and someone I consider a friend, appeared in the movie "The Big Fix" and was one of the people providing technical expertise (along with Jacque Cousteau's son, Riki Ott, and others) on the environmental and public health impacts of the BP disaster.

He keeps me posted on all things environmental, and I want to return the favor by introducing you to the film. The official website is here.

This particular clip is a must-see:

Enjoy your next shrimp dinner.

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BP Gulf Oil Spill: Republicans block subpoenas for Big Oil executives

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I'm speechless. See, according to the GOP, regulations and accountability are too costly. Lives aren't.

Via The Hill:

Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday rejected an attempt by Democrats to subpoena the CEOs of BP and the other companies blamed for last year’s massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, offered a motion to subpoena the CEOs of BP, Halliburton, Transocean and Cameron. But in a 17-13 party-line vote, every Republican on the committee voted to table the subpoena request.

Republicans have put the CEOs from the companies responsible for the worst offshore oil spill in our history into a witness protection program, when they should be helping to produce these witnesses before the committee so they can answer questions about their spill,” Markey said in a statement after Wednesday’s vote. [...]

Last year’s oil spill dumped 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf and resulted in the death of 11 rig workers.

And more from Nola.com (please link over):

"For these companies," said Markey "CEO doesn't just mean Chief Executive Officer, it also stands for Continuing to Evade Oversight."

Of course, Darrell Issa is too busy scrambling around for something, anything, on President Obama to provide any responsible oversight in his own committee. Well, that and trying his level best to destroy the EPA; and this committee is just as reprehensible.

To quote my friend and frequent source Hugh Kaufman (senior policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response):

Thank you Teabagger Republicans for being a wholly owned subsidiary of BP and their cronies. A dark day for democracy.

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VIDEO- The Big Fix: A Film that Exposes the Biggest Environmental Coverup Ever

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Trailer for the documentary on the oil disaster; the film premiered at Cannes 2011:

One reviewer, Stuart Smith, says:

It’s a brilliant piece of work, exceeding all hype and expectation. The audience at the screening I attended was completely blown away by both the stunning cinematography and the jaw-dropping evidence that the BP spill involved a coverup at the highest levels of the industry, the military and the Obama Administration.

Ouch.

Added:

Hugh Kaufman, (senior policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response) said to me (sarcastically) in an email:

Thank God NRDC is still in the Gulf and telling us what is REALLY going on down there.

And he also sent this:

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is standing by its declaration that the Gulf of Mexico seafood is safe to eat, but for the first time it’s warning anglers that some fish are sick and may pose health problems if handled or eaten raw.

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VIDEO: One Year After the BP Oil Disaster, No Help, No Hope for the Sick

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Via On the first anniversary of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, that killed 11 people and dumped millions of gallons of crude into the ocean, BP has filed two lawsuits for damages. But while the company is looking for others to blame and fighting for big money in the courts, it's locals who're paying the price with their health. RT's Gayane Chichakyan reports. Even a year after the largest accident in the history of oil exploration, not much has changed in terms of safety regulations in the U.S.

Scott Roberts, the director of the documentary 'Gas Hole' says the corporations don't have to alter anything because of America's oil addiction.

Once again, my best source for all things BP, and an all around good guy, Hugh Kaufman, (senior policy analyst with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response) sent me an email with a link that I want to share with you.

He is quoted in this piece from AllVoices:

"There's no way you can be working in that toxic soup without getting exposures," said Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) office of solid waste and emergency response. Kaufman likened the situation to the World Trade Center cleanup after 9/11, which left workers with long-term respiratory problems despite repeated official claims that workers did not need respirators because the working conditions were safe. "It's unbelievable what's going on. It's like deja vu all over again," he said"Louisiana Environmental Action Network

What is so hard about learning from mistakes? What is so difficult about learning, period? People are sick and dying, and without people, how will the almighty corporations be able to prioritize profits over... people?

A year after the BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico there is no help and no hope for those who have been made sick from the oil and the dispersants used. The federal government is embarking on a long term study of the 55 000 people who were hired and volunteered to try to clean up the mess caused by the oil blowout. BP has gifted the federal government with $10 million to help with the costs of the study expected to take ten years. [...]

BP's $10 million gift looks pretty picayune next to the damage they have done.

Watch the video and then tell me everything his hunky dory. I'm talking to you, BP, U.S. agencies, and our bought-and-paid-for Congress. Come on people, stop being such gasholes.

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