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I Don’t Get It

The Local Puppy Trainer has an article on a science conference at Baton Rouge:

“We’re certain it’s oil,” said Ernst B. Peebles, a USF biological oceanographer and chief scientist aboard the college’s Weatherbird II research vessel, the ship that did the sampling. “We’ve done the analysis.”

Peebles said laboratory tests were performed on water drawn from two layers of oil, a 98-foot thick layer found about 1,300 feet down and a second, even thicker layer found at a depth of about 3,200 feet.

The tests were performed on water brought up by collection bottles and passed through filter pads, a web of glass fibers that trap tiny particles in water.

Chris D’Elia, the dean of LSU’s School of Energy, Coast and Environment, said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco told scientists in Baton Rouge on Thursday that the oil under the water “did not look like they were in great concentrations.”

What is with Dr. Lubchenco? She has been downplaying things since she started commenting on the spill, and has seemingly been restricting information about what is going on under the water. This is her field, and she should be outraged by the damage this is causing in the Gulf. If she were a climate specialist, I might understand it, but oceans are her area.

June 5, 2010   4 Comments

The Oil Report

Gulf Gusher symbolYou should definitely go over to the Pensacola Beach Blog and see his A Trip Down the Emer-Oiled Coast: Friday June 4 BP Oil Spill Update. These are only the “scouts”, the main force is still off the coast.

Local officials are starting to realize how bad this is, according to the Pensacola News Journal, Resources for Florida lag as oil comes ashore. With thousands of wells in the northern Gulf, there are only about two dozen real oil skimming boats available, and many of those are designed for rivers, bayous, and bays, not the open Gulf.

Everything has been left up to the oil companies, and they haven’t funded an effective system. BP had to go to the factory for the specialized booms used for burning off the oil on the surface, because there wasn’t any available on the Gulf Coast.

The specialized skimmer systems can store the oil and put the water back as they move across the surface. Instead of that, they are collecting oily water and taking it back for processing, a very poor use of resources.

The local county property appraisers are trying to adjust to the new reality by asking the governor to allow them to downgrade property values this year instead of waiting until January of next year. The Pensacola News Journal has the story: Appraisers want taxes to show loss from oil spill. This is just another way that the oil spill is screwing over the Gulf Coast. Local governments and schools are going to take a huge revenue hit because of this spill.

June 5, 2010   14 Comments