Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/public/wp-config.php on line 27
2010 May 03 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Way To Go, Rick

Rick Outzen, the editor and publisher of the Pensacola Independent News a local weekly, where he blogs, also writes for The Daily Beast. His Beast post, BP Tries Damage Control, got Rick an invite to Keith Olbermann’s show tonight.

If not the first, Rick was one of the first to report on BP’s efforts to get people to sign away their rights to sue, an effort directed mainly at fishing boat operators.

Go read the whole thing about the problems local people, governments, and organizations are having trying to deal with BP. The people in this area aren’t the most sophisticated in the world, hell, they vote for Republicans, but they know how to deal with disasters. Our emergency management people are experienced professionals who know how to plan, and execute those plans. The current head of FEMA is the former head of Florida’s emergency management agency. BP is the choke point in the system, and they have to approve before plans can be implemented.

BP has contracted with a Delaware wildlife rescue group to take care of oil soaked critters. I’m sure they are fine people, but what do they know about sea turtles and dolphins, or any of the other inhabitants of the Gulf? That was an insensitive decision that will cost BP in the end.

May 3, 2010   Comments Off on Way To Go, Rick

Just When You Think…

It can’t get worse, more reality creeps in.

Via Digby [and a number of others] from the New York Times: Tax on Oil May Help Pay for Cleanup

Under the law that established the reserve, called the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, the operators of the offshore rig face no more than $75 million in liability for the damages that might be claimed by individuals, companies or the government, although they are responsible for the cost of containing and cleaning up the spill.

This means that BP is on the hook for all of the costs of clean-up, but their liability is capped at $75 million for the associated losses suffered by others because of the spill. The Feds have a fund that will cover another $1 billion in losses, but that is not going to be enough.

The law creating the fund was passed under Reagan. The tax that supports the fund and the liability limits were passed during Bush 1, and is one of the earlier examples of privatizing profits while socializing risks.

Before I forget… you will notice that the latest date on the Minerals Management Service report on failed blow out preventers was 1999. The Hedgemony discontinued those reports and a lot of others that might have provided people with needed data when opposing drilling or other corporate actions.

[Updated based on looking at the text of the laws involved.]

May 3, 2010   Comments Off on Just When You Think…

The Rice Stuff

Gulf Gusher flagIt looks like the pain may be spread around as the Pensacola News Journal is reporting that the oil may be pulled into the Loop Current within the next day.

The Loop Current will take the oil down to the Florida Strait between Florida and Cuba and then out to the Gulf Stream, to head up the Eastern Seaboard on its way to Britain. It will coat our reefs and the Keys, and can wash up anywhere on the East Coast. Welcome to our nightmare, y’all.

Over the weekend 20 sea turtles were found dead along Mississippi beaches. It is time for them to come ashore and lay their eggs on the beaches. Instinct tells them where to go and they need a lot of food for the effort, so they have to pass through the oil and eat the polluted fish.

In an article about BP’s containment boxes this gem pops out:

Another spokesman, Steve Rinehart, said the oil will flow into the chamber and then be sucked through a tube into a tanker ship at the surface.

BP did not build the containment devices before the spill because it “seemed inconceivable” the blowout preventer would fail, Rinehart said.

“I don’t think anybody foresaw the circumstance that we’re faced with now,” he said. “The blowout preventer was the main line of defense against this type of incident, and it failed.”

It’s the Rice defense- “I don’t think anybody could have predicted …” Ms Rice was also involved with the oil industry.

Unfortunately for Mr. Rinehart, McClatchy reports that Decade-old report cited failure of oil rig safety system

Citing a Minerals Management Service report, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said there were 117 failures of blowout preventers during a two-year period in the late 1990s on the outer continental shelf of the United States.

As the Times [the real one in London] reports BP warned of rig fault ten years ago.

There are multiple sources that note that Norway and Brazil require additional equipment because they don’t trust blow out preventers.

May 3, 2010   2 Comments