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2010 May 19 — Why Now?
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BP Psy Ops

Gulf Gusher symbolRick at the Independent News has an open letter from Chasidy Fisher Hobbs, Coastkeeper of the local Emerald Coastkeeper, Inc., a coastal environmental group. Apparently there have been angry words exchanged over the fact that the beaches aren’t covered in oil, and accusations of over-reaction.

It is pointed out that we don’t know what is going on, and the “facts” keep changing. We have a surface spill the size of New Jersey in the Gulf, and Bob only knows how much oil beneath the surface that could show up anywhere along the Gulf Coast from Texas to the Keys.

Rick also noted that Escambia County finally decided that it should start testing the water: Official statement on Water Quality

The plan is to take one sample on Pensacola Beach and the following week take a sample from Perdido Key and return to Pensacola Beach the following week and so forth as we proceed through the summer and fall season.

They understand that they are going to have to find the money to do the testing so they can say the water is safe to swim in, otherwise people are not going to accept assurances that you can go to beach. A lack of money is really hampering local efforts, and it takes forever to get approvals. BP is proving to be not unlike FEMA after Katrina.

McClatchy reports that Gulf oil spill may be 19 times bigger than originally thought

Steve Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., earlier this month made simple calculations from a single video BP released on May 12 and calculated a flow of 70,000 barrels a day, NPR reported last week.

On Wednesday, Wereley told a House of Representatives Energy and Commerce subcommittee that his calculations of two leaks that are on videos BP released on Tuesday showed 70,000 barrels from one leak and 25,000 from the other.

Congress is asking the right questions, and seems ready to demand some answers, while the Executive just defers to BP.

The other big question was: does size matter? To which all of the scientists responded, of course it matters. You can’t formulate a solution, if you don’t know the extent of the problem. For example, if you know the size of the pipe and the volume of the output for a given time period, you can calculate the pressure.

BP says it is calculating the flow from the surface area of the spill, at the same time it is dumping massive amounts of dispersant into the flow to prevent it from getting to the surface, so it obviously knows it is lying.

May 19, 2010   Comments Off on BP Psy Ops

Don’t Worry, BP Can Handle It…

Gulf Gusher symbolThe Mississippi Press reports that BP told feds it could handle oil spill 60 times larger than Deepwater Horizon. Looking at BP’s submission in the article I was reminded of a well-known Sidney Harris New Yorker cartoon. The Feds accepted a plan that essentially says “a miracle will happen” to deal with it.

Lots of stuff on clean-up, but nothing on stopping the oil from gushing out of the ground.

Thanks to years of anti-science bias by Republicans and Blue Dogs, NOAA says many maps key to oil cleanup are outdated. NOAA hasn’t been adequately funded for years, and is less capable than in was in the 1990s. In an era of GPS and satellite imaging, NOAA has maps that haven’t been updated for a decade because they haven’t had the money to do it. We have fewer weather radars, fewer weather offices, and fewer weather radio stations, because Congress has been cutting NOAA funding and preventive maintenance has been canceled.

The Coast Guard has also lost ground:

WASHINGTON — The massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill is growing despite BP’s effort to siphon some of the spewing crude from its ruptured deepwater well, the U.S. Coast Guard official leading the cleanup warned Tuesday.

BP doubled its estimate of the amount of crude being captured by a mile-long recovery tube to 2,000 barrels per day — but what percentage of the spill that is remains uncertain. BP has said it thinks that 5,000 barrels of crude a day are leaking from the well, but some scientists have said the figure could be 10 times greater or more, and a video made public Tuesday after the tube was placed inside the broken pipe shows clouds of crude oil still billowing into the sea.

Meanwhile BP is keeping data secret

WASHINGTON — BP, the company in charge of the rig that exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico, hasn’t publicly divulged the results of tests on the extent of workers’ exposure to evaporating oil or from the burning of crude over the gulf, even though researchers say that data is crucial in determining whether the conditions are safe.

Moreover, the company isn’t monitoring the extent of the spill and only reluctantly released videos of the spill site that could give scientists a clue to the amount of the oil in gulf.

BP’s role as the primary source of information has raised questions about whether the government should intervene to gather such data and to publicize it and whether an adequate cleanup can be accomplished without the details of crude oil spreading across the gulf.

CBS ran into BP’s secrecy effort: Heavy Sludge Oozes into Marshes of Louisiana

CBS News correspondent Kelly Cobiella reports it’s an ominous sight. The oil is thick and black and stretches about a quarter mile down a beach. It goes beyond the booms into the sensitive marsh lands which are home to migratory birds.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal flew over it Tuesday.

“This wasn’t just sheen, we were seeing heavy oil out there,” Jindal said. “This wasn’t just tar balls. It shows you how quick the oil showed up.”

When CBS News tried to reach the beach, covered in oil, a boat of BP contractors with two Coast Guard officers on board told us to turn around under threat of arrest. Coast Guard officials said they are looking into the incident.

The US Coast Guard is threatening to arrest US media for covering the pollution of US wetlands by a British corporation. Think about it.

While the tar balls on Key West came from somewhere else, the Oily brown pelican found in Destin came from the gusher. For those who don’t know, Destin is a coastal town in Okaloosa County very near the Walton County line.

May 19, 2010   7 Comments