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No Improvement — Why Now?
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No Improvement

Gulf Gusher symbolThe winds and waves are pushing the oil further west, washing tarballs ashore on Texas beaches, which leaves only Mexico and Cuba to complete the set of people with Gulf beaches.

The beach clean-up is garbage. Every time the tide comes in the oil under the sand rises and stains the beach anew. There are reports that in some places contractors are just moving clean sand over the top of the dirty to hide the problem. That, of course, just increases the total amount of sand that is contaminated.

The Pensacola News Journal carries a report on part of the problem: Oil buried in sand hidden from easy cleanup.

BP is still stalling paying for the clean-up. Rick Outzen writes about one of their gimmicks: BP says county boom contracts excessive

BP Incident Commander Bryant Chapman sent Florida DEP Secretary Mike Sole an email on June 30 regarding a request for reimbursement of $3.5 million of the operational costs incurred by Escambia County that were “above and beyond the costs covered by the $50 million granted to the state of Florida.” Chapman gave Sole a list of expenditures that BP would not reimburse.

Chapman wrote DEP: “Boom was contracted at rates above market levels and used a rental agreement versus the preferred method of purchasing.”

Yes, purchasing boom is probably cheaper than leasing it, but the contracts also cover installation and maintenance. Local counties don’t have the skills, equipment, or manpower needed for oil booms, nor would a county purchasing department know what the market price of booms was. Local counties in Florida, which has no off-shore oil wells, don’t have the experience to deal with the problem, so they have to hire outside companies. If BP didn’t want to pay for it, they should not have screwed up and had the well blow out. BP caused the problem, and they are responsible for the costs of their pollution.


1 paintedjaguar { 07.08.10 at 1:19 pm }

People keep talking about “The Cleanup”. What does that even mean as long as there is still an uncapped gusher out in the Gulf? I don’t mean to say that palliative measures are useless or to denigrate the sincere efforts of many people, but a lot of what’s been going on looks to be merely cosmetic, or even counterproductive. Maybe I’m cynical, but lately every time someone says “Cleanup”, I hear “Public Option”.

2 Badtux { 07.08.10 at 6:47 pm }

Yeah, cleaning the beaches when there’s dinner-plate-sized clumps of oil washing ashore and more of’em out there in the surf as far as the eye can see sure seems an exercise in futility. But if booms and such could keep the oil out of the estuaries, that would definitely be useful.

In other news — today the Obama administration successfully obtained a guilty plea from Osama bin Laden’s chef for the crime of providing bin Laden with Compote of Mass Destruction. Don’t you feel safe now? And we finally found out why the FBI rounded up the Russian spies who, err, never did any spying… turns out they want to trade these spies for some actual genuine certified U.S. spies the Russians have in jail. Shades of the cold war!

And some people wonder why I’m cynical…

– Badtux the Cynical Penguin

3 Bryan { 07.08.10 at 10:37 pm }

Hell, if a decent booming and skimming plan had been put in place immediately, the only problems would have been the Gulf beaches, but BP is still bitching about the money people are spending to close the passes to the Gulf, so there is no oil in the bays and bayous.

As long as BP’s story was no more that 5,000 barrels/day, they were going to mount a major response, because it wouldn’t be necessary for that flow rate.

They have botched this job from the beginning. If you keep the oil on the sand, you can clean the sand with soap and hot water, and return it to the beach, but you can’t do that with wetlands.