Forget Katrina. This is more like Big Oil’s Chernobyl.
From time to time, we here at TPC like to post different points of view, ones that we may or may not agree with. This is one of those times. Consider it food for thought, or a springboard for discussion.
Take a look at these headlines that my Twitter pal AltaKocker sent me, and then please follow the links and read the stories. I’ll include some of the commentary he added.
Another Gulf oil spill: Well near Deepwater Horizon has leaked since at least April 30:
The Deepwater Horizon is not the only well leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico for the last month.
A nearby drilling rig, the Ocean Saratoga, has been leaking since at least April 30, according to a federal document.
While the leak is decidedly smaller than the Deepwater Horizon spill, a 10-mile-long slick emanating from the Ocean Saratoga is visible from space in multiple images gathered by Skytruth.org, which monitors environmental problems using satellites.
At least one expert, Ira Leifer, who is part of a government team charged with estimating the flow rate, is convinced that the operation has made the leak worse, perhaps far worse than the 20 percent increase that government officials warned might occur when the riser was cut.
Dr. Leifer said in an interview on Monday that judging from the video, cutting the pipe might have led to a several-fold increase in the flow rate from the well.
Dr. Leifer is correct, the “remedy” has increased the amount of oil being released by orders of magnitude. That’s why they can recover so much oil.
They were hoping to use the PR of recovering oil as a shield [...] but instead BP and the government has created a bigger mess. And BP will say that they don’t have to pay because they only did what the government told them. This major pollution increase falls squarely on the back of BP and POTUS! So when POTUS asks “whose ass to kick,” the answer is, perhaps, his own.
“Not fail safe”, indeed:
The trained sniffers will be deployed where needed, when suspicions are raised about seafood being illegally culled from closed waters, or even to test fish from open waters. No agency has yet reported finding or stopping any tainted seafood from getting to market.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has also been sampling seafood both in closed and open waters, and sending it off for chemical testing, with more than 600 fish and shrimp processed to date.
State and local inspectors are fanning out across the region to docks, seafood processors and restaurants, some now armed with specially trained noses. [...]
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has a role with its own inspectors, though the agency said it only has “several seafood specialists” currently in the Gulf area.
A friend of mine, who owns a restaurant, will NOT purchase seafood that might be from the Gulf, because there is NO reliable Government seafood inspection program to assure safety.
And via another Twitter pal, Emptywheel, BP Well Bore And Casing Integrity May Be Blown, Says Florida’s Sen. Nelson:
Oil and gas are leaking from the seabed surrounding the BP Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico, Senator Bill Nelson of Florida told Andrea Mitchell today on MSNBC. Nelson, one of the most informed and diligent Congressmen on the BP gulf oil spill issue, has received reports of leaks in the well, located in the Mississippi Canyon sector. This is potentially huge and devastating news. [...]
[C]ontrary to the happy talk propounded by BP, the Obama Administration and the press, the likely success of the “relief well” effort on the first try in August is nowhere near a certainty; and certainly nowhere near the certainty it is being painted as.
Marcy Wheeler (Emptywheel) had a lot to say. Please go read her comments. She ended with this:
[I]f Senator Nelson is correct about the breach of fundamental well integrity, the game is close to over for the Gulf of Mexico. We shall see where this goes from Nelson’s initial comment. But make no mistake, Nelson is a careful guy not prone to overt hyperbole, and he clearly understood the ramifications of what he was saying.
It also means, of course, that BP and the Obama Administrations continue to give the American public short shrift in the truth and honesty departments. How surprising.
If Sen. Nelson is correct, this BP mess could get a lot uglier for years to come.
This e-mail news alert just came in:
WASHINGTON (AP) Obama spending Monday, Tuesday inspecting Gulf oil damage in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
The good news, from what I heard from Jean Michel Cousteau (www.oceanfutures.org) on the Thom Hartmann show today: Clean energy will get a kick start. He sees a rosier future ahead.
I’ll focus on that.
As Natalie Wood said in Miracle on 34th Street, “I believe… I believe… Even though it’s silly, I believe.”