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2010 May 26 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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BP Owns The Gusher

Gulf Gusher symbolThe Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service are conducting the standard accident investigation following the loss of the Deepwater Horizon. It is the same type of process that the NTSB conducts after a plane crash, and is not primarily concerned with the oil gushing in the Gulf.

Because they are concerned with the sinking of a vessel, they are talking to the people directly involved in the incident, and not having to put up with the spin from the executives of the companies involved. That is a failing of Congress.

McClatchy reports on todays’s session: BP worker takes 5th, making prosecution a possibility

WASHINGTON — A top BP worker who was aboard the Deepwater Horizon in the hours leading up to the explosion declined to testify in front of a federal panel investigating the deadly oil rig blowout, telling the U.S Coast Guard he was invoking his constitutional right to avoid self-incrimination.

The move Wednesday by BP’s Robert Kaluza raises the possibility of criminal liability in the April 20 explosion that killed 11 and five weeks later continues to spew hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day.

Wednesday’s government hearing in Louisiana, however, failed to determine why — despite unusual pressure and fluid readings on the rig — a BP official decided on the day of the explosion to proceed with removing heavy drilling fluid from the well and replacing it with lighter-weight seawater that was unable to prevent gas from surging to the surface and exploding.

BP made an incredibly stupid decision during Congressional testimony, and started pointing fingers at the other companies involved. Cops and DAs like to encourage this sort of thing as it provides them with a lot of information that there is no legal way of obtaining without the cooperation of the defendants. Even juveniles know better than to start pointing fingers, because those pointed at will respond.

We don’t know why it was done, but there is now no doubt that BP made the decision that resulted in the deaths of 11 people, the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon, and millions of gallons of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

May 26, 2010   Comments Off on BP Owns The Gusher


The Anchorage Daily News headline is fairly tame, Alyeska ‘may have dropped ball,’ official says.

They could have said “Millions of gallons of oil spilled in Delta Junction” to give people a sense of what happened. The back-up power system at a pumping station failed a test, and while people were trying to find out what happened to the generator, they forgot that valves open automatically when the power goes out and everything flows into a storage tank. They figured it out after the storage tank overflowed and the oil started pouring out on the ground. They also discovered that the storage tank wasn’t in great shape, and was in fact bulging.

So, why is this in the “Gulf Gusher” category?

The companies that own Alyeska and the pipeline are BP (46.9 percent), Conoco Phillips (28.3 percent), Exxon Mobil (20.3 percent), Koch Industries (3.1 percent) and Chevron (1.4 percent).

Alyeska president Kevin Hostler is a career BP executive who took over the Alyeska job in 2005.

On land or sea, BP can’t seem to keep “fail-safe” systems from failing.

Remind me again why BP is in charge of anything in the United States.

May 26, 2010   Comments Off on Multitasking

It’s Politics

If you are from this area the headline in the Local Puppy Trainer tells you everything you need to know: Peaden defends Crist after Gaetz blasts him over tourism.

State senator Durell Peaden, MD, Ob-Gyn, Esq., NRA, GOP represents North Okaloosa County, and was born in the area. He has sponsored most of Florida’s whacko gun legislation.

State senator Don Gaetz BA [religion and political science], GOP is Florida’s third wealthiest elected official and a retired health care industry executive from North Dakota via Jacksonville.

Charlie Crist is Florida’s orange Governor who recently became an independent when the RPOF [Republican Party of Florida] decided he was actually a communist for being publicly happy about receiving Federal stimulus funds, that enabled the Republican legislature to balance the state budget while pretending they weren’t actually raising any taxes.

The rest of the country when reading about this probably thinks it has something to do with the Gulf Gusher, but that’s the excuse, not the reason. Gaetz was acting as the spokesweasel for the state senate leadership who remembered at the last minute to pull the bill that would have authorized drilling within the 10½-mile limit in state waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Charlie has proposed a special session to put a constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would ban drilling in Florida’s waters. The leaders of the legislature are counting on income from selling drilling leases to close the humongous gap in next year’s budget while still pretending they aren’t raising taxes. They are hoping that everyone forgets about the oil spill by next Spring, so they don’t want to go on the record as supporting oil drilling while BP is still poisoning the Gulf.

Peaden said it was about politics, and this is a rare event – he’s right. Gaetz knows that the state doesn’t have any money, and couldn’t do much in the way of media unless BP ponied up the cash. Charlie really squeezed to get Visitflorida to steal from another campaign to put out the ads it did. Hell, Gaetz was the one who told the local media that BP hadn’t sent the cash, despite promises. Florida finally got the cash yesterday.

Because I am cursed, Gaetz is my state senator, and his spawn is my state representative.

May 26, 2010   4 Comments

Halliburton Was Right

Gulf Gusher symbolHalliburton warned of a pressure build-up, but was told that later tests showed that the situation improved. It didn’t. McClatchy has the story: Gulf well ‘shouted’ warnings for hours before BP rig explosion

WASHINGTON — The crew of the Deepwater Horizon had a number of warning signs extending over five hours that conditions were worsening deep underwater before the oilrig exploded in the Gulf on April 20, BP’s own investigators told a House inquiry into the cause of the deadly accident.

Details of BP’s internal investigation provide fresh information about the extent of failures on the ill-fated rig, but the oil company’s inquiry skirts the central question: why were those warnings ignored?

BP is looking for a scapegoat for something that took place while a significant number of BP executives were on the rig. People need to remember that BP was holding a party on the rig when the “defecation impacted the ventilation”. The bosses were there.

This is BP’s own investigation confirming Halliburton’s statement. Yes, the cementing failed. It failed because it wasn’t designed to work without the drilling mud holding it in place until it finished curing.

May 26, 2010   Comments Off on Halliburton Was Right

More Lost Revenue

Gulf Gusher symbolBut not for BP.

With the deep Gulf closed to fishing and no accurate information on where the oil that BP has been hiding with dispersants is actually located, the Pensacola News Journal reports that the Billfish tourney is a no go

The 40th annual Pensacola International Billfish Tournament is the latest casualty of the oil spill.

The tournament, which was to take place July 4 at Palafox Pier Marina, has been canceled because the federal government has closed most of the blue water fishing areas, the Pensacola Big Game Fishing Club announced Tuesday.

The tournament was held for four decades with no regard for “special weather events”, but BP’s cost cutting has killed it. It was a major event for deep-sea fishing fans and pulled a lot of people from all over to Pensacola for the Fourth of July celebration.

We’ll probably have to cancel the fireworks, as they are set off on barges off-shore for safety reasons. People will worry about starting a fire.

May 26, 2010   Comments Off on More Lost Revenue

The Hits Keep Coming

Y’all know I’m just a guy with a website, so what do I know. McClatchy talks to the Experts: Legal issues driving BP’s oil spill stance. They had to talk to “experts” because people with websites couldn’t just read the publicly available information and realize immediately that BP was taking its orders from their legal department. OTOH, the lawyers actually work for BP, while all of their technical people come from “body shops”.

Rick Outzen of the Independent News blogging at The Daily Beast has a BP memo that was part of the discovery when their refinery blew up in Texas and killed 15 workers. It shows the “fun loving” side of BP.

Melissa Block of All Things Considered was down in Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish talking to fishermen about the effects of the spill.

If you listen pay attention to the end where a boat collecting water samples has come back. He has a bucket of water pulled up from the 30-foot bottom. The oil is on the bottom of the bucket under the water. That’s what the dispersant does, it makes the oil heavier than water so that it sinks and isn’t seen. Who cares about the oysters and crabs on the bottom? Who cares about the plants that the fish and turtles eat? No one can see it until the sea-life starts dying in what looks like clear water. Out of sight, out of mind.

May 26, 2010   Comments Off on The Hits Keep Coming