Disenfranchised Citizen

Chicago, New Orleans and living a beautiful, angry life between the two…

Archive for the ‘British Petroleum’ Category

What’s ten billion dollars between friends?

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A thought on the negotiations: put this on the table between Eric Holder and Bob Dudley and then let them negotiate away…

Despite the continued insistence of public relations hacks employed by the oil company hell known as British Petroleum that all in the Gulf is either well, or quickly on the mend, troubles persist:

“Researchers are trying to determine whether more than 100 dolphins stranded on the Texas coast, most of them in Galveston, died because of the BP oil spill, a deadly algal bloom or some undetermined cause.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ruled last month that the dolphin deaths qualified as an “unusual mortality event,” said Blair Mase, NASA southeast region marine mammal stranding coordinator.

The strandings also come after a NOAA study found that dolphins in Barataria Bay on the Louisiana coast were in poor health because of exposure to oil. Dolphins in the bay, severely affected by the spill, had low weight and liver and lung ailments.”

And then there’s this:

“Gloom infects the hard-working shrimp and crab docks of this gritty fishing town as the second full year of fishing since BP’s catastrophic oil spill kicks into high gear.

Usually folks are upbeat and busy in May, when shrimpers get back to work in Louisiana’s rich waters. This spring, though, catches are down, docks are idle and anxiety is growing that the ill effects of the massive BP oil spill may be far from over.

An Associated Press examination of catch data from last year’s commercial harvest along the gulf — the first full year of fishing since the 2010 spill — reveals merit in the fishermen’s complaints. According to the analysis of figures obtained through public-records requests, seafood crops hit rock bottom in the Barataria estuary, the same place where some of the thickest waves of oil washed in when a BP well exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.”

So color my less cynical side surprised to read this:

“BP is pushing for a $15bn (£9.7bn) settlement with the American authorities to resolve all civil and criminal claims relating to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, substantially less than the $25bn demanded by the US department of justice.”

Okay, so an immediate question springs to mind:

What the fuck is there to even be negotiating about?

This damned company, by way of error kills eleven people and screws an ecosystem, then goes about obscuring flow rates during the response…is in negotiations to lower the dollar amount on penalties they’ll incur as a result of their very costly shenanigans…nice. This is the company taking responsibility. This is the company with all them fancy television commercials. This is the company whose smiling (dick)head Bob Dudley looks on warmly to reassure everyone not living on the Gulf Coast just how righteous, humble and truly sorry he and his corporation truly are…while on the Gulf, where people continue to pay attention, the facts do not bear this out…this guy…I tell ya.

He’s in negotiations with the justice department and reports are these talks are “accelerating.”

Yeah, but accelerating to what?

One more screw-job for the Gulf? One more in a really long list of shenanigans shoved onto a region, poisoning its environment for decades and almost destroying New Orleans, one of this nation’s great cities?

Unlike the Corps, BP must be held accountable, completely.

Maybe for the first time in what, who knows how long anymore, it’s time for the government to stop listening to what’s good for a company and pay closer attention to the people said company screwed.

Idealistic?

Maybe.

But after watching these GOP fucks this past year…it would seem idealism is the only thing they want us to have anymore.

Have a nice day.

In no way an attack on science…

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BP’s version…

Most who have followed the story of the BP Catastraphuk are familiar with the company’s enlisting of scientists and university research departments to silence them with non-disclosure requirements explore what has happened to the Gulf environment, to do the research so all the Gulf States can be made whole, well, complete, fixed like a motherfucker while Dudley sails off to the shareholders meeting, to Texas, into the sunset whilst nodding humbly to the throngs of his adoring fans beach-side…

However, Christopher Reddy and Richard Camilli will not be standing on them sands.

In an op-ed for the Boston Globe, these two Massachusetts scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute had some sharp words for British Petroleum…the same company they came to help at said oil company’s request, volunteering their time for the good of the Gulf:

“We responded by leading on-site operations using robotic submersibles equipped with advanced technologies that we had developed for marine science. We applied them to measure the rate of fluid release from the well and to sample fluids from within the well. We then volunteered our professional time to scrutinize this data and published two peer-reviewed studies in a respected scientific journal. We determined an average flow rate of 57,000 barrels of oil per day and calculated a total release of approximately 4.9 million barrels. BP claimed that it needed to better understand our findings because billions of dollars in fines are potentially at stake. So we produced more than 50,000 pages of documents, raw data, reports, and algorithms used in our research — everything BP would need to analyze and confirm our findings. But BP still demanded access to our private communications.

Our concern is not simply invasion of privacy, but the erosion of the scientific deliberative process.”

And so British Petroleum goes to the judge, seeking the writings that contain much of the deliberative process, one where scientists question and challenge each other, push their colleagues to go deeper, be even more accurate, playing devil’s advocate against their colleagues and their own conclusions…you know, communications ripe with fragmented ideas.

And…BP wants…

“BP was able to use the federal courts to gain access to our private information. Although the presiding judge magistrate recognized the need to protect confidential e-mails to avoid deterring future research, she granted BP’s request.”

BP gets.

And now that they’ve gotten, what do you think might happen to those e-mails in court, as the topic turns to that magic flow-rate number of 57,000 barrels of oil per day? Or the total of 4.9 million barrels released into the Gulf, when that little fact comes up?

One might think a BP lawyer could obscure conclusive facts by reading off fragments from these e-mails…taking the smallest part to impugn the conclusions of the whole.

One might…

Yes, those more realistic about the sham that is the court of law cynical could certainly think this, but personally, I hardly think it possible, what with BP’s long history of integrity, sound science, culture of openness, safety and responsibility to not only their shareholders, but to the environment both land and sea, and all the people of this earth and beyond…

However, Reddy and Camilli have a different opinion:

“Our experience highlights that virtually all of scientists’ deliberative communications, including e-mails and attached documents, can be subject to legal proceedings without limitation. Incomplete thoughts and half-finished documents attached to e-mails can be taken out of context and impugned by people who have a motive for discrediting the findings. In addition to obscuring true scientific findings, this situation casts a chill over the scientific process. In future crises, scientists may censor or avoid deliberations, and more importantly, be reluctant to volunteer valuable expertise and technology that emergency responders don’t possess.”

No way. BP overreaching on information control, gearing up to discredit the science, the very people they turned to for help, all in order to serve their own interests? Utter insanity…and to prove this point, up to the microphone marched another BP spokesperson who said the company’s subpoena was, “in no way an attack on science.”

Well of course not, that would be ridiculous…and entirely irresponsible.

Have a nice day.

Today would be that day…westward.

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No, I can't afford to live in this neighborhood...pretty though huh?

By the time any of you read this, I will have left my comfy confines in the Midwest for a far more uncertain future on the West Coast…San Francisco to be exact. Got some money saved, a lot of social work experience, several contacts and possibilities and a 2nd job interview already scheduled for three days after my arrival…

Oh, and did I mention the San Jose Sharks are in the playoffs? If ur around, I’ll be at the Outsider on Geary Street watching the games.

Anyways, the past two years of writing this blog have been frustrating, fascinating and fun. I’ve met a lot of good people in the New Orleans area and plan to meet more. My change of scenery isn’t the end of this blog, however, it will be a bit spotty the coming weeks as I’ll be writing it on a shitty laptop over wi-fi connections until I get things all set up.

Furthermore…this cross country move will be my fourth of this type. Every previous transition has been one solely of great adventure, possibility and new experience…good things all, but this time it is bittersweet. Although it does contain that similar sense of thrill and excitement, it’s also tempered by sadness.

Those who know, know why.

Enough said…

Alright then, a couple of links before I go, for those not already in the loop…

Of course I will stay informed about all things New Orleans the next four days as I drive through Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Nevada and California…how can one not with Editilla around, putting together the New Orleans Ladder?

BTW…fuck Sean Pamphilon, what an asshole.

And of course I will stay informed about the upcoming Stanley Cup Playoffs by way of Fear the Fin.

BTW…fuck the Blues, Go Sharks!

So then, I’ll be looking forward to seeing you all back up here soon…and I’ll also be looking forward to May 12th, more than anything.

Have a nice day.

-Drake

A couple of quick questions about oil induced political ignorance…

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He's betting the House on the fact that you, dear reader, are a complete moron...

So, I was reading an article/book review in Time magazine about the Deepwater Horizon where the writer, a Mr. Bryan Walsh separates people into two camps…people who can’t forget about the oil spill and say the region still hasn’t recovered (Dead coral, dolphins, depleted shrimp catches, health problems, tar balls still and oil entering the food chain…etc…) and the people who just want to forget all about the oil spill, mainly people in the oil industry and Republicans who complain that offshore drilling has slowed under Obama.

And I just gotta ask, which I know puts me in that first group…forget about the oil spill? Seriously? You’d have to be pretty boiled over with distracted emotion to forget about millions of barrels of oil and millions of gallons of Corexit being dumped all over our nation’s main source of seafood, among other things…

Hmm, did I say anger?

Yeah, the GOP, they’re really, really angry…at Obama and the new Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOERME) with it’s new (kind-of) safety regulations and (kind-of) oversight.

GOP Rep. Doc Hastings is beside himself pissed, issuing subpoena’s every chance he gets…but with all that anger, being so focused and all…I gotta ask, “Hey, GOP, what about BP?”

Can you spare a bit of your angry jackassery for the dipshits at British Petroleum?

As this article points out, by way of a review of Abrahm Lustgarten’s book, Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon:

“What had been a company with a history of safety—even dullness—was turned upside down. And while profits and market share increased, the accidents started piling up. In 2005 a major explosion occurred at BP’s Texas City refinery, killing 15 workers. Employees had complained for months of the dangerous conditions at the refinery, but nothing was done. The next year a major spill occurred in BP’s Prudhoe Bay, Alaska facilities, resulting in more fines for the companies. Even before Deepwater Horizon, BP was cited far more often by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration for safety violations than any other company. As Scott West, a former EPA official who had investigated the company in Alaska, told me after the spill, BP was a “serial environmental criminal.”

A “serial environmental criminal…”

So, Obama and BOERME play it safe, a move necessitated by the fact that British Petroleum played it anything but and thus caused the United State’s worst environmental disaster of all time and now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the oil industry and the GOP are maintaining that it is Obama who’s the asshole in all this?

Huh…

Well, in my opinion, you guys should all go and kind of eat some shit…and that goes double for you, Vitter, you self righteous-hypocritical prick. Maybe you might listen to reason at the next BOERME meeting if they bring you a pair of diapers and a bible, ass.

Read the article:

Nearly Two Years On, Did the BP Oil Spill Have to Happen to BP?

Have a nice day.

Lawyers, guns and money…now featuring the Feds!

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The door to Eric Holder's office...

In the Gulf of Mexico, the government serves two fundamental roles:

1. They are the protective savior, providing certain corporations and clean-up contractors legal cover for any consequences that might arise from the manufacture and use of poisonous products.

or…

2. They are an overprotective savior, goose-stepping boogeymen who don’t know shit about marine life, and waste everyone’s time getting in the way of big oil and natural gas.

Man…it’s a damned if you do situation that’s almost enough to make one sympathetic towards the Obama administration…almost, but not quite.

Anyways…

Nalco, the makers of “safe as dish soap” Corexit, and other companies involved in cleaning up the oil filed a motion in Judge Barbier’s court asking the judge to dismiss them from liability because their product is safe they were operating on behalf of the feds, and therefore feel they are entitled to immunity from any later health claims.

You see, Nalco only manufactured the stuff, it was the government and BP who actually used it, and that is not Nalco’s fault.

And you see, the clean-up companies only didn’t provide proper protective gear to cleanup workers, it was the government and BP who actually…uh provided…who uh, what, no? Look damnit, the clean-up contractors were working for the government and therefore feel they too should be given immunity from the consequences of all their bullshit money saving, PR working tactics to score contracts and make everyone happy, well, everyone except the actual workers.

You know?

Jesus…

Thank God that Plaintiff Steering Committee is in place to put a stop to this kind of corporate dodge. I mean, after the actions of the banks in ’08, what with their causing, then benefiting from the recession at the expense of so many, you just know the attorneys aren’t going to sit still and let yet another group of companies screw the people for their own financial benef…wait, what?

“In mid-February, the plaintiffs steering committee filed a motion saying that it believed that BP would ultimately be responsible for any health issues associated with responding to the spill, so it asked the court if it could remove the clean-up, responder and dispersant defendants from its complaint so it could concentrate on BP. The plaintiffs said that such a move would dismiss the companies from the litigation, but not let them entirely off the hook.”

The PSC filed to remove Nalco and the clean-up companies because going after all these companies would be too hard? Because they just wanted to focus on BP? What, are they not getting paid enough to handle such complexities?

Okay…okay…now true, the PSC did ask for dismissal without prejudice, meaning they can re- file against these companies later, but in doing so…didn’t they just help Nalco and the cleanup companies bolster their case for getting themselves dismissed “with prejudice,” or in other words, dismissed for real? It sure would seem so…the PSC takes a half-step and Nalco sees that half-step and raises them a full, all the while arguing they were just following orders, man…it ain’t them, it was the government. We didn’t tell the Feds to dump two million gallons of this poison into the Gulf, we just brought it in on tanker trucks. They asked. We delivered. Yes, right, and the banks were just trying to turn a profit under the law, they didn’t do anything wrong either.

Recession? What recession?

Cancer cluster? What cancer cluster?

Dolphin deaths off the Louisiana coast?

Huh? What dolphin deaths?

“From February 2010, NOAA has reported 180 dolphin strandings in the three parishes that surround Barataria Bay — Jefferson, Plaquemines and Lafourche — or about 18 percent of the 1,000 estimated dolphins in the bay. Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it had found 32 dolphins in the bay underweight, anemic and showing signs of liver and lung disease. Nearly half had low levels of stress hormones that help with stress response, metabolism and immune function.

Lori Schwacke, a NOAA scientist, said the dolphins’ hormone problems could not definitely be tied to the oil spill but were “consistent with oil exposure.” Over the same period of time, NOAA says 714 dolphins and whales have been found stranded from the Florida Panhandle to the Texas state line, with 95 percent of those mammals found dead. Normally, the region sees 74 reported dolphin deaths a year.”

So then, it would appear that something is not only wrong in the courthouse, something is very wrong with the wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico, especially around Louisiana where the oil spill flowed the heaviest…and in response to all this death and dying, the feds stepped in to ban the seismic equipment used by oil and natural gas companies to find geologic deposits for drilling. These seismic surveys are done with air-guns that emit pulsing sounds known to disturb marine mammals and could also disrupt mother and calf bonding for the dolphins. Okay…government being cautious…good and how long is the ban in effect for? Just until the beginning of May when calving season ends.

Again…good, so everybody’s happy, right?

Of course not…

Global Geophysical Services Inc. the company being paid to do these surveys and therefore having no conflict of interest dispute the dangers of their testing, saying, “We see no hazard to them (the dolphins) whatsoever.”

Oh, okay…well there you have it then. The company also notes that since the government has stepped in with their new unnecessary regulations, they have had to lay off thirty people…so there. Man, just give it a day until Jindal’s giving a speech somewhere to talk about what a rat bastard Obama is…

What a drag to be a fed these days.

Not only should the government provide immunity to companies that manufacture poisons or perhaps lack proper cleanup gear, thus causing health problems for untold amounts of people, but the government should stop enforcing regulations that protect marine life in the same Gulf where all those toxic poisons were dumped.

Total drag, these two roles of government in the Gulf:

You exercise a  lack of caution, companies demand you provide legal immunity.

You exercise any caution, companies demand you get out the way of big business because you’re costing money and jobs.

It’s gotta almost be enough for Obama to grab a seismic air-gun, march into Barbier’s courtroom and point it at not only the defendants, but the entire Plaintiff Steering Committee and I for one, wouldn’t mind if he did.

Hell, I might even meet him there to see if he’d let me pull the trigger.

That’s the one role I think I’d like to play.

Read the articles:

Should Gulf oil spill dispersant, clean-up companies stay in the litigation?

Feds stop oil company’s tests in Gulf amid concerns over dolphins

Have a nice day.

Another day, another dose of bad news – dolphins, coral and crab…

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Bob says prove this is BP oil...oh, you did? Okay...Bob says prove the media's paying attention...

It isn’t getting better…

Well, okay yes, some things are improving, sure…I mean, it is more difficult to actually see the remaining oil from BP’s catastraphuk, not too much is washing ashore these days which means the tourist industry is thriving again and that’s great, if you happen to be an owner or employee of such service oriented industries…but if you’re making you’re living or giving a damn about what’s happening below the water’s surface in the Gulf, then all those rosy prognostications coming from the BP camp are just so much bullshit bent on appealing to the markets and the government board types who do the approving of deep-sea oil leases…

We’ve all heard by now about the dolphins, especially those in Barataria Bay, the sicknesses and the strandings…essentially all the sick and dying dolphins that appear to be suffering from oil toxicity according to a study done by the NOAA…

Okay…well, a new study, this time by scientists at Haverford College have found “compelling evidence” that the BP oil, so wonderfully sunk and kept out of sight by the millions of gallons of toxic Corexit dispersant dumped by the oil company, has seriously impacted deep-sea coral.

“We would not expect deep-water corals to be impacted by a typical oil spill, but the sheer magnitude of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its release at depth make it very different from a tanker running aground and spilling its contents,” said Helen White, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Haverford College, “Because of the unprecedented nature of the spill, we have learned that its impacts are more far reaching than those arising from smaller spills that occur on the surface…”

They found the damaged and dying coral 4300 feet below the surface of the water, showing Bob Dudley’s bullshit to be ever reaching…and then, a bit closer to the surface from Houma Today:

“Ever since the oil spill, it seems to me that it’s diminished completely.”

That is one full-time crabber’s view of what has happened the crab catch since the oil spill.

It is a belief that shows up in statewide and local numbers. Statewide, the crab catch in the first seven months of the year has gone from an average of 28 million pounds from 2006-09 to 17.7 million in 2010 as the oil spill was happening to 22.5 million in 2011. This year, anecdotal evidence suggests the picture could be even worse.”

Though no direct link has yet to be found between the depleted catches of not only crab, but white shrimp and brown shrimp, it would seem quite clear that when one pays attention to when this downturn began and asks what changed…one quickly recalls the death of eleven men, the dumping of oil and dispersants and a smiling CEO as BP’s oil profits continue on, and continue climbing…and with so many studies being worked on, completed throughout the Gulf, what have we yet to find out?

What are we not aware of yet? Twenty years later, has Alaska completely recovered from the Valdez?

No, no they haven’t.

And two years later, has BP’s safety record improved?

No, no it hasn’t…

My point?

Simply put, we don’t know the half of what is and what has gone wrong out there in the Gulf as much as those with an agenda love to claim we do…therefore, British Petroleum must continue to be held accountable for their irresponsibility, demonstrated not by their press releases or bullshit public relations advertisements but by their actions of today…and tomorrow…and the day and the month and the year after that. There’s a long way to go…a long way…and whereas BP stopped suffering a long, long time ago, the people who’ve been affected by the oil company’s shortcuts, mistakes and profit mongering are still living with the pain, every day.

We’re closer to the beginning, then the end…and BP shouldn’t forget that, not even for a minute because the people living along the Gulf?

Forgetting is not even an option.

Have a nice day.

Barataria Bay dolphins seriously ill, says the NOAA…

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Using his amazing powers of concentration to miss the whole point...entirely...again...

The NOAA performed comprehensive physicals on 32 dolphins from Barataria Bay last year and among the illnesses they found were low weight, low blood sugar, and cancer of the liver and lungs.

Also found in half the dolphins were abnormally low levels of stress hormones that regulate the immune system, suggesting the dolphins are suffering from adrenal insufficiency.

And surprise…the NOAA feels these ailments are probably related to toxic substances in all that petroleum from BP’s Deepwater Horizon Catastraphuk.

From the article:

“The findings we have are also consistent with other studies that have looked at the effects of oil exposure in other mammals,” Dr. Lori Schwacke added, citing experimental studies of mink that were dosed with oil. Some of those minks developed adrenal insufficiency.”

In addition, the strandings of dolphins continue…

Though the rate has returned to normal along the Florida coast which was furthest from the spill, the stranding rates continue to be abnormally high along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

“In Barataria Bay alone, with a population of about 1000 dolphins, 180 strandings have been reported since February 2010. In a normal year about 20 dolphin strandings would be reported in all of Louisiana.”

180 vs. 20…

Whereas I, a laymen, would of course find this story alarming…liver and lung cancer in dolphins? Screwed immune systems? Adrenal insufficiency and nine times as many strandings of dolphins along the state of Louisiana?…Well, I just have to wonder what someone much more involved in all this might think, someone like Bob Dudley. What would he think of all the illnesses being suffered by one of the most beautiful and intelligent animal species the world has to offer?

Right.

I forgot…

“Lori Schwacke, the lead scientist for the health assessment, said the findings were preliminary and could not be conclusively linked to the oil spill at this point…”

That’s about all Bob ever sees.

Read the article:

Gulf Dolphins Exposed to Oil Are Seriously Ill, Agency Says

Have a nice day.

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