Disenfranchised Citizen

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

Archive for the ‘Coast Guard’ Category

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.

Corexit, oil and seafood…oops!

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What me, worry?

Did you hear the one about the dishsoap safe Corexit, so mild it wouldn’t harm your most fragile of dishes? No? Okay, well…how about that whole seafood safety, oil didn’t enter the food chain thing? No, not that one either, huh?

Well, no worries, turns out you didn’t waste your time as that was all just one tremendous line of shit.

From British Petroleum’s own safety manuals, in regards to Corexit:

Warning – Eye and skin irritant. Repeated or excessive exposure to butoxyethanl (active ingredient in Corexit) may cause injury to red blood cells, kidney or the liver…Do not get in eyes, on skin, on clothing…use with adequate ventilation, wear suitable protective clothing, flush affected area with water…”

And…

“Excessive exposure may cause central nervous system effects, nausea, vomiting, anesthetic or narcotic effects…”

Yes, just like any dish soap I’ve used in the past…

The Louisiana Environmental Network is of course, all over this, asking many of the right questions…such as why were cleanup workers using this crap denied ventilators? In fact, why did BP and its contractors tell cleanup workers that protective clothing and special equipment were unnecessary, despite the fact BP’s own manual specifically stated protective equipment should be worn?

And, I might add, this same chemical, all two million gallons worth is what contractors and the Coast Guard were dropping from planes, and dropping in such a way that it reportedly fell onshore at times.

Oh…and the whole seafood safety, oil not entering the food chain thing we kept hearing so much about, or kept hearing so much about how it wasn’t happening?

Yeah, well, it did…

By way of  Library Chronicles, I give you Dr. Siddhartha Mitra with East Carolina University:

“Our research helped to determine a ‘fingerprint’ of the Deepwater Horizon spill; something that other researchers interested the spill may be able to use,” Mitra told ECU Now Blog. “Furthermore, our work demonstrated that zooplankton in the Northern Gulf of Mexico accumulated toxic compounds derived from the well.”

Yeah, and all those zooplankton are of the lower rungs in the food chain which essentially means that the fish eating the zooplankton? Oiled, and the fish that eat the fish that ate the zooplankton? Oiled…and you, eating the fish that ate the fish that ate the zooplankton?

Huh…we probably need a study.

So…to sum up…

We’ve been told over and over that all’s well, all’s getting better in the Gulf when it turns out the oil, that BP catastraphuk Deepwater Horizon oil? It did enter the food chain and if you’re eating the seafood and now starting to wonder about that oil, and as a result now feeling kind of dirty or unclean…well, you can listen to BP’s spokespeople, about their “safe as dish soap” dispersant and perhaps use it to clean up a bit, much in the same way the company used it to clean up the Gulf and besides, I hear it really cuts grease and just might soften your hands too, if by softening you mean, again from the manual:

“Defat and dry the skin, leading to discomfort and dermatitis.”

That’s kind of like softening, right?

I don’t know.

Perhaps one should ask Bob Dudley, or better yet ask LEAN, I think they’re more likely to give you an honest response.

Have a nice day.

The winds of change…

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Another Disenfranchised Citizen at the corner of Geary and Larkin, Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco. See ya soon...

Hello again…

Some of you out there are aware the moving days are upon me…just completed one move, literally down the street which helped pave the way for the big move, five weeks from today to New Orleans San Francisco. Originally, I wanted it to be New Orleans, but alas…you got yourself one fucked up governor down there and the only thing he likes better than giving no bid contracts to his campaign donors is to cut education and social services so…long story short…you got no jobs down there man! Not for a person like me…so I go to the one other place I enjoy so much and that would be San Francisco…

So, what does this mean for the Citizen…well…there gonna be somewhat of a pivot going on round here…

Now…never you fear, I got enough hatred of oil companies like BP and frankly any company who run roughshod over a populace with complicit politicians, government agencies, the courts…Looking at you Barbier and a bunch of asshole lawyers like Feinberg and the Plaintiff Steering Committee…

For example, if you haven’t seen this article yet, man…really, check it out:

BP Settlement Sells Out Victims

Wait, what? You mean to tell me the people of the Gulf Coast got screwed again?

No way, say it ain’t so…

However…like I mentioned, there will be a pivot where I’ll also now be writing about some Bay Area stuff…like the coming fiscal and environmental tragedy called the America’s Cup…where you just know the city of San Francisco in general, and the people who can least afford it in specifics are all about to get financially hosed by a bunch of wealthy bastards on racing yachts…oh yeah, and then of course there’s San Francisco’s newly elected Sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi who is about to go to court on domestic violence charges…

Yeah, and I’ll be attempting to keep writing while I move cross-country, find a job, find an apartment..etc… Hell, I even had to go buy me a new smart phone for the task…

Oh, and by the way…want to know a huge similarity between California and New Orleans?

One big fucked up levee system courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers with a long legacy of mismanagement and shortcuts.

Anyways, wish me luck and I’ll see you back here tomorrow afternoon…

Have a nice day.

-Drake

More lies, more dead dolphins…

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So then it's agreed? The dolphins are all committing suicide in protest of fewer deep sea oil platforms to swim around. Wonderful...Bob, you good with that? Great. Okay, bring the Coast Guard in here...

It just keeps getting funnier, except it’s not…

In this past week, it has been reported how, in the immediate aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, British Petroleum had demanded via e-mail that it’s own expert be kept quiet when he gave his opinion stating 82,000 barrels of  crude a day were coming from the Macondo Well. In fact, two days after ordering his silence, BP publicly announced their estimate that the flow rate was only 1,000 barrels per day. And of course, this report comes on the heels of another showing how the White House had been trying to get the United States Geologic Survey to downgrade its flow rate estimates in public statements too, reducing the USGS estimate of at least 25,000 barrels of oil per day coming from the well to a number the NIC thought sounded better, 12,000 to 25,000 barrels or better still, the estimate a White House Communications officer suggested, 12,000 – 19,000 barrels per day. Oh, and who can forget the wrongful termination lawsuit being filed by August Walters where he claims to have been fired by BP a couple of months back because he wouldn’t modify clean-up data  to make the beaches appear cleaner on paper than they in fact truly were, thus allowing BP to say they’d turned the corner and in light if this data, come to an agreement with the Coast Guard to officially move from cleanup to restoration, all while eagerly anticipating the stock bump to come from such an announcement.

Yes, these are the assholes in charge making things right along the Gulf Coast, and yes, the oil company mentioned in the above paragraph is the same British Petroleum putting out all those feel good commercials telling you how everything is just swell now. Hey! The economy, the seafood and the jobs are back!

And now, today even, when it comes to that same oil company and that same government, I’m sure if you asked, they’d go on and on to tell you how it would be impossible for the low-balling of flow-rate numbers that lead to a potentially flawed cleanup response based on their bad data, and how the fact there is still more unaccounted for oil in the Gulf of Mexico than was spilled from the Exxon Valdez…yeah, they’ll tell you how none of this has anything to do with more dead dolphins…even if there still is oil along the Louisiana coast.

Of course not.

That would be fucking ridiculous, and potentially unprofitable…

However:

“Since the beginning of the month, 14 marine mammals, including a dozen dolphins, have been found along the northern Gulf of Mexico. Half of the dead dolphins washed up on the Louisiana coast. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls it an “Unusual Mortality Event” in the northern Gulf and next month will mark two years since it began. The tally so far: 630 dead.

The event started in February of 2010 – two months before the oil spill began. Still, the deaths raise a red flag with the Gulf Restoration Network. “The ongoing death of these dolphins speaks to the idea that we haven’t seen all of the impacts from the BP oil drilling disaster end yet,” said Dan Favre of the Gulf Restoration Network.

Ridiculous, indeed…

Read the article:

More dead dolphins wash up on Southeast Louisiana coast

Have a nice day.

BP: Cleanup, restoration and data-tampering lawsuits…

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August who? Nope...never heard of such an incompetent, lying son of a bitch...why do you ask?

When an employee of BP refuses to go along with the corporate narrative that all’s swell with Gulf cleanup, does BP change the narrative to make it more accurate? Does it admit there may be some problems, that they might not have done everything they promised to do?

No, instead they run some feel good commercials enforcing their narrative about Gulf health.

Oh…and that employee?

Fired.

So says a lawsuit for wrongful termination filed by August Walters, a former employee of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization (GCRO) as State Planning Lead “for the purpose of developing a descriptive plan to accomplish the cleaning of oil caused by the BP spill.”

From the article:

According to the suit, Walter’s job involved creating plans for the clean-up, known as Shoreline Treatment Recommendations (STR), which were prepared and approved with the oversight of the U.S. Coast Guard Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) “to be in compliance with federal and state environmental rules and regulations.” BP would then be responsible for implementing the plans. But, Walter claims, in May and June of 2011 he “began to convey his concerns that BP Mississippi operations were intentionally not following the plans for clean up delineated by U.S. Government, the Coast Guard and the Department of the Interior.”

“Cory Brown, BP’s Deputy Operations Branch Director/Response Lead conveyed that he was defying the [recommendations] by insisting that BP was only picking up tar balls and not other smaller oil debris as required by the” Shoreline Treatment Recommendations. In September of last year, Walter told BP that he was required to inform stakeholders that the company was not following his recommendations.

And, what allegedly followed next is what one might expect from British Petroleum…a campaign to discredit Walters within the company, the suggestion that the data should be skewed because to move from cleanup plans to restoration plans would be good for the company stock, and threats that he was being watched, so if he continued to do his job correctly, lawfully, he would be reported to his superiors.

On November 3rd, according to another article, Walters was called into a meeting with BP’s vice president of operations, Carla Fontenot who informed him BP’s primary objective was to gain the confidence of the Coast Guard so that cleanup could move to another phase even though BP was still in violation of the cleanup plan.

By November 8th when Walters still had not complied by skewing data, he was placed on leave.

On November 9th, he was fired.

Oh, and also on November 9th, BP and the Coast Guard announced that 90% of the oil had been cleaned up and BP said it was moving from cleanup to Gulf restoration.

And months later, articles continue to appear in various newspapers, questioning this change from cleanup to restoration when oil continues to wash ashore, hinder wetlands and lie in tar mats on the seafloor, just waiting for the next storm to bring it all up on the beaches again, especially when this change to restoration no longer holds British Petroleum accountable for long-term monitoring or continued cleanup of the beaches.

As Garret Graves, Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman, puts it:

“The whole discussion goes back to legacy response,” Graves said. “You have more oil unaccounted for right now than was spilled during the Exxon Valdez. Tell me what would happen if the Coast Guard in Alaska had said, ‘We’re not going to clean this up. Let it naturally degrade.’ ”

Read the articles:

Lawsuit Claims Former BP Employee Was Fired For Refusing To Skew Clean-Up Data

Fired Over Cleanup Data, BP Worker Says

Have a nice day.

BP serving free lemonade in the French Quarter…

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Extra ice, please...

So, I saw another BP commercial the other day, and it seemed a bit…disingenuous.

I mean, we all want the Gulf to be okay. We do. It’s our finest hope that lives so rudely interrupted by BP’s catastraphuk can get back to normal…but these advertisements, the ones that make it look like maybe the oil spill was the best thing that could’ve happened to the Gulf, the way it brought entire communities together, singing Kumbaya and building spiritual alters to Bob Dudley’s benevolence?

Really, British Petroleum needs to knock it off…

If BP pisses in a glass and tells everyone it’s lemonade…sure, the people might believe it until they pick up the glass, but then they’re going to wonder why it’s being served so warm, and that’s really what BP’s doing, serving warm lemonade nationwide.

Since the beginning of this thing, 20 months ago, this oil company has been in public relations mode, spinning selective facts at a million dollar pace, and over the past couple of weeks, it’s only amped up and would seem poised to continue throughout the football playoffs, tailor-made for a nationwide audience.

“I’m glad to report that all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy!” BP representative Iris Cross says in one TV spot to an upbeat soundtrack.

Yeah, except, it’s not true.

“They talk about areas being all open. There are areas that are still closed,” said A.C. Cooper, a shrimp fisherman in Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana. He listed some bays and fishing spots that he says the state still has closed due to oil contamination. “It’s bogus, it’s not the truth.”

That’s right…fishing areas still closed…20 months later.

“And the economy is showing progress, with many areas on the Gulf Coast having their best tourism season in years,” Cross continues, beaming away.

Again, not entirely true.

Bridgette Varone, head of the Gulf Coast chapter of the Mississippi Hospitality & Restaurant Association, said restaurants reported similar revenues in both 2010 and 2011 for the month of June, one of the busiest months, “I wish we had better news to report,” Varone said. “We didn’t blow any socks off.”

And…

“The numbers on our shrimp are way down,” Cooper continued, “They (BP) make it sound like they’re doing a lot, but they’re not doing much to help the fishermen out … I got good fishermen struggling to pay their bills right now.” In addition, the head of the Louisiana Shrimp Association, a commercial shrimpers group, called it “BP propaganda…When you have a lot of money, you can pretty much get any point across,” Clint Guidry complained. “It’s kind of like indoctrination.”

I don’t know, that sounds a lot like extraneous details…one might even call it unimportant anecdote…

Tom Mueller, a BP spokesman, said the ad campaign was highlighting “facts,” not “anecdotes.”

See?

So step right up and grab a glass…British Petroleum has spared no expense, even hiring two chefs, Emeril Lagasse and John Besh to serve up the lemonade, along with fish tacos and seafood jambalaya to tourists in town to catch the football games at the Superdome…

Because the seafood, it’s safe, get it?

Right.

Maybe if you have three shrimp per year…but if not, there might be a bigger problem, because when it comes to testing seafood coming out of the Gulf:

“The FDA is not only allowing PAH levels 100 to 10,000 times higher than normally considered safe….in fact, the FDA guidelines for testing are inadequate to begin with.  From not testing the entire organism’s body to grossly underestimating the amounts of seafood consumed by the average seafood eater…we should be very concerned about FDA guidelines for Gulf seafood.”

Hmm, it would seem some scientists aren’t drinking the lemonade.

Course, if British Petroleum wanted to make the argument things are fine with the ecology, the economy and the seafood they might want to make sure they’ve not left well over a million gallons of oil in the Gulf…but when it comes to transitioning away from cleanup towards restoration, British Petroleum also served a few pitchers to the Coast Guard, who approved of the transitional plan despite scenes such as:

“…Lafourche (Parish)… BP and the Coast Guard have still not removed three land bridges and two sheet-pile closures in Fourchon installed during the spill to keep oil from getting through breaches on the beach into interior marshes. “We are hesitant to remove them because of the oil. It’s collected above and below them,” Charlotte Randolph (Lafourche Parish President) said. “We don’t want to pull them out and allow that oil into marshes.”

Or as Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority Chairman Garret Graves put it:

“The whole discussion goes back to legacy response,” Graves said. “You have more oil unaccounted for right now than was spilled during the Exxon Valdez. Tell me what would happen if the Coast Guard in Alaska had said, ‘We’re not going to clean this up. Let it naturally degrade.”

Seems to me like there’s a lot more work to do, regardless of what the advertisements say and British Petroleum needs to learn, no matter how many times they say it, no matter how much money they have, public relations spin is still a lie, the truth is still out there and that truth remains below the surface of the water, in the marshes and on the dinner plates…

BP needs to have continued monitoring for oil in the Gulf with cleanup response at the ready. BP needs to be pushing sincere testing of Gulf seafood, instead of testing geared towards an end result. BP needs to stop shoving their self-proclaimed innocence down people’s throats and/or smothering them with rosy, tourist advertisements that deny the problem.

Or hell, go ahead, make your tourist advertisements, but make them honest…let people know that sure, coming on down to the Gulf for a vacation can be safe, fun and relaxing…but that your company still has so much more to do, and you intend to do it, for reals…and you don’t intend to withdraw your efforts while turning up the volume on your commercials, because here’s the thing…if you dumb bastards keep lying about the Gulf, by the time you don’t need to lie anymore, nobody will believe you’re telling the truth.

I don’t care who BP pays to hand out fish tacos in the French Quarter, it doesn’t fix the Gulf, and it doesn’t make everything fine again…

And no amount of warm lemonade will change that fact

Have a nice day.

Romney: I like being able to fire people…

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Ever see that South Park episode where people defecate out of their mouths?

Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate one pundit described as the candidate who most looks like the guy who laid you off during the recession had this to say in New Hampshire today:

“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

Granted, the line was taken out of context as he was discussing how people dissatisfied with the service they are getting should be able to take their business elsewhere…but seriously, this is politics so you can take your “out of context” and put it in the same fucking coal bin as your “it’s not a lie, it’s spin…” argument.

All of them…this charade…Republican and Democrats where these tools march around stages, smile insincerely and tell you whatever you want to hear, whatever they think we need to hear to make us feel better, more positive, as completely in the dark as possible…

Well, I like being able to fire people too…

And I’d like to fire the entire mainstream news media for participating in this bullshit charade, then heading off to the bar to pat each other on the back for the service they’ve done for nobody.

And speaking of bullshit disservice…

How about Chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh, doing their part to feed the BP Public Relations Machine…

Mitt!

There’s some firing to do…

But more on that for tomorrow…

Have a nice day.

Written by Drake Toulouse

January 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

BP, Batman and the Joker’s natural oil seeps…

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So when British Petroleum says...

Okay…so riddle me this Batman:

In August, fresh oil slicks are discovered near the Macondo well site. BP denies they are there. The Coast Guard denies they are there. Bonnie Shumaker, pilot for Wings of Care flies out and takes pictures, proving the oil is there. BP then admits the oil is there as does the Coast Guard, after confirming BP admitted it too, but both say the oil is not from the Macondo reservoir. Then reporters from the Alabama Press Register take a boat out to the slicks, take samples, have it tested and sure enough, it is from the Macondo reservoir.

Hmm…

BP responds to this by sending an ROV down to look at the well-head. They don’t release the video, but they assure everyone still paying attention the well-head isn’t leaking, nope…not at all…it must be residual oil being released from the collapsed pipes and equipment on the seafloor. In response, Transocean sends an ROV down to check the collapsed pipes and equipment and says…nope, no oil leaking from there.

Hmm…

And this month, BP denies they are still checking into this oil. Then a pilot flies over, and confirms several large oil-related vessels operating at the surface above the Macondo well. BP says…oh, those ships, and yes, they then confirm they are conducting a study to track the oil from seabed to surface.

Track what from where?

In an emailed statement late Friday, a representative from BP verified that several vessels are in the vicinity of the Macondo well: “There are several vessels there participating in a study of natural oil seeps. This study has been ongoing for the past month or so. Data continues being collected and we provided an update on the natural oil seeps at the SETAC [Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry] conference in Boston this week. … The study is documenting the specific locations of these seeps and is seeking to track oil flow from seabed to surface,” BP wrote.

Natural oil seeps?

To which Stuart Smith, a New Orleans attorney replies:

If there are seeps in the area, they are not natural. I can assure you of that. BP was required to conduct a seafloor survey prior to applying for a permit to drill. If these seeps were not discovered during the survey – which they apparently weren’t – they must be related to the disaster and the heavy-handed methods used to attempt to seal the well.

To which BP quickly responds:

When we used the word “natural,” we meant it in the way that plastic surgery is meant to “naturally” erase the effects of aging, a bit of botox, a brow-lift, a cheekbone implant, a face-lift, a slight ear raise, and then the smallest of nose jobs…and voila! The seafloor is naturally leaking oil, natural as a smile from Jack Nicholson’s Joker…

Or in other words…

Robin: “Natural” is to nature, like animals are in nature and animals have fat…and this fat can be used to make soap and when we use soap, we typically are trying to remove dirt from our skin and what is skin but a part of the human body which is composed of 70% water, water like what’s found in the Gulf of Mexico…and all that Gulf water is above the seafloor…the seafloor! So what does it mean, Batman?”

Batman: “Obviously Boy Wonder, it means we need to have done what Stuart Smith suggests…a full survey of the seafloor around the Macondo Well so we will finally know what the hell is going on down there…”

Drake: “Seriously, how many times does BP get to creatively tell the truth?”

Read the article:

Breakthrough in the Macondo Mystery: BP Admits to New Activity at Deepwater Horizon Site

Have a nice day.

Feds, Coast Guard, join BP to prove they’ve learned very little…

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This was very unlikely to not have happened, or not ever happen again...maybe...

In two developments this past week, British Petroleum officially welcomed the Coast Guard and the Federal Government to their party that history forgot. Behind the ivy covered walls, steel doors and security guards of BP headquarters, Bob Dudley toasted Coast Guard Captain, Julia Heim and BOEMRE head, Michael Bromwich, celebrating a rousing relapse of maritime irresponsibility and forgetfulness. Toast completed, Bob turned on the tequila fountain, shaped like a deepwater oil rig, and they all took an extra shot for luck…

Whereupon a few Gulf Coast journalists decided to go and wreck the party by writing a few editorials to ask Julia and Michael…um, what the hell, remember the whole oil spill, corporate irresponsibility thing?

Julia and Michael, you remember all that, right?

Well, apparently Julia, the Coast Guard Captain, doesn’t remember shit because while the Coast Guard signed an agreement with BP, transitioning the clean-up portion of the response towards one of coastal recovery, she seemed to forget a few very important details. Not only does the agreement allow BP to pretty much weasel their way out of any more clean-up and its accompanying costs, she forgot to specify any long-term monitoring of the Gulf Coast. Captain Hein also left out any part where BP continues to pay for aerial monitoring of the Macondo well site.

Yeah, bang-up job, Ms. Hein.

So, all this means that if/when oil comes into the Louisiana wetlands and marshes it will now be up to the public to discover and report it. Then, the state will have to prove it is actually BP oil, which as the oil degrades will become increasingly impossible to do, which in turn will leave the state on the line to pay for the clean-up. When Tropical Storm Lee hit on Labor Day and dumped tar mats, tar balls and other assorted tar products…BP’s clean-up was very slow and when the next storm hits, it will be even slower, or not come at all…thanks to the Coast Guard and their bullshit agreement. Not to mention all those oil slicks they kept discovering this fall by the Macondo Well. Remember? BP and the Coast Guard denied the slicks even existed, until they were photographed by a non-profit group. Then they denied the slicks were in the vicinity of the Macondo site, until it was shown they were, and finally, they then denied the oil actually came from the Macondo well until journalists had tests run, proving them wrong for a third time.

Now, any more monitoring is on the state dime.

Garret Graves, chairman of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority said of the Coast Guard’s relationship with BP, it’s “like they’re a victim of Stockholm Syndrome,” referring to a phenomenon in which hostages become sympathetic to their captors, but I disagree. The Coast Guard never seemed like a hostage at all, more of  a willing participant or co-conspirator in this agreement, one which Louisiana representatives refused to sign, a fact Julia and the Coast Guard simply ignored, going ahead with the agreement regardless. No, that ain’t a hostage, that’s someone with an open invite to party with Bob.

Which brings us to the other party guest, Mr. Michael Bromwich…

This individual currently runs what was formerly the MMS, that lovely regulatory agency that was doing blow and hookers with the oil company reps they were supposed to be monitoring. No wonder the Deepwater Horizon blew up, hard to see a design flaw in the specs when the design prints are on a table covered with empty beer cans. Now, as we all know, the MMS is the BOEMRE, a much more catchy acronym that stands for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, and with this new moniker came a brand new seriousness about safety, or so we’ve all been told, but then they go and release to the public a draft called the “Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement.” The point of the BOEMRE’S OCSOGPEIS is to analyze and weigh the “environmental implications of continued drilling in federal waters between 2012 and 2017,” also, “the economic analysis associated with the new impact statement projects the potential for future spills and the damage they might cause based on all “spills from 1964-2010 excluding the catastrophic Deepwater Horizon (DWH) event.””

Wait, what?

So, when this agency estimated environmental impacts and possibilities of a spill by analyzing data from the past, they decided to leave out the economic and environmental impacts of the biggest oil spill in United States history?

Why, because it screwed up the curve?

Believe it or not…that’s precisely why. From the report and accompanying article, “If a more recent period is chosen (1990-2009)” for the risk analysis. For instance, using only the 19 years prior to the BP spill in the environmental analysis, the report concludes, this would further “decrease the anticipated environmental costs” of continued drilling.”

You see, if we just kind of leave out the whole millions of barrels spilled, millions of gallons of Corexit dispersant dumped, eleven people dead thing from last summer, well then, deepwater drilling not only looks more economically beneficial but damnit, wouldn’t you know it is environmentally sound, too? Really, no fooling.

Course another take on it could be: “By omitting the nation’s largest environmental disaster from its calculation of the environmental costs of drilling, BOEMRE continues to bury its head in the sand and pretend that the Deepwater Horizon accident never happened,” Catherine Wannamaker, with the Southern Environmental Law Center, said in an emailed statement. Wannamaker said that even low-probability events such as the Deepwater Horizon blowout must be included when looking at the economic and environmental costs of offshore drilling, “BOEMRE tries to move forward without truly accounting for these risks and costs,” Wannamaker said. “This is not a responsible course of action for a supposedly reformed agency.”

How much you wanna bet Ms. Wannamaker never gets invited to any of Bob’s parties.

Well, she wouldn’t be the only one because it sure seems these get togethers are not meant for you and I, especially if we have a vested interest in not only ensuring BOEMRE fulfills its responsibilities by monitoring the oil companies and all of these wells, but also that British Petroleum is not allowed to walk away from their responsibilities in the Gulf as they seem hell-bent on doing, with the complicity of BOEMRE, the Coast Guard and the Obama Administration.

Remember back when the oil spill first happened? Congress was truly up in arms and they promised to regulate this, enforce that, do whatever they had to do to ensure a preventable tragedy such as the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon could never happen again…so they declared, promised, wrote out in blood, but when push came to shove, Congress passed nothing. Well, the Coast Guard’s bullshit agreement and BOEMRES skewed numbers are just more of this same pattern. Both agencies like to talk about the unlikelihood of such catastrophic events. Yeah, that’s great and all, this ongoing unlikelihood…but it sure as hell don’t keep the coast safe and it didn’t keep those eleven men on the Deepwater Horizon alive.

What the Gulf Coast and this entire country needs, right now, is for the government to finally step up and proceed with true regulation and actual enforcement of industry, because if there’s one thing we know, they sure as hell aren’t going to do it themselves.

Have a nice day.

British Petroleum says to hell with public relatons, we’re gonna screw everybody we can…

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Sick kids? Yeah...I know, like Christmas and oil spills all wrapped together...

It’s official.

“Making things right,” has been declared dead.

The priest has been to the hospital, performed last rites and was then thrown through the glass doors and spit upon by current British Petroleum CEO Bob Dudley, who whipped around, his black duster flapping lazily in the fall breeze, before he strode back into the hospital. Word is he was heading towards the pediatric ward to see if he could dash the hopes of any sick children, pull out their IV’s, blow his nose on their lunch trays.

And in the process, BP’s entire public relations department had a panic attack…

Why? What happened? How has this come to be?

Well, British Petroleum is trying to screw over participants of the VoO program still, while shrugging their shoulders at non-payment of workers and businesses who lost money as a result of the drilling moratorium. Oh, and didn’t you know they’ve signed an agreement with their trusty sidekick, the Coast Guard to agree the clean-up is for all intent and purposes over and when it comes to the trial beginning in February, those two big ‘ol reports the government did? They want those reports excluded from the trial, as well as any other litigation brought against BP in the past…

Making things right, for British Petroleum…but for the Gulf Coast?

Suck it.

When it comes to the VoO Program, 500 more fishermen have alleged in court they signed a contract with BP which states they would be paid a daily wage regardless of whether their boats are used until the contract is complete, which only occurs upon final decontamination of their boats. Turns out however, BP really scrimped on the decontamination supplies so many fishermen are still waiting for this, with unusable, oily boats. And of course, British Petroleum doesn’t want to actually pay these fishermen for waiting around for BP to complete their terms of the contract, so they actually sent out a new “transitional” contract, hoping some people would actually sign it and, you guessed it, the decontamination language is gone. Oh, and they sent this contract out in large part to Vietnamese fishermen who can’t read English.

Huh, fraud much?

So, on to that agreement with the Coast Guard; it’s a government plan to end most of BP’s responsibility for pretty much any more clean-up of any more oil that might contaminate beaches in the future. Not entirely, however…BP can still be on the hook for further cleaning, but first it must be proven the oil washing up is actually from the Macondo Well, which conveniently enough the company concedes, will be ever harder to prove as the oil continues to degrade. Also in this agreement, it is not specified who, if anybody, will be involved in long-term monitoring of the Gulf, regardless the lessons learned from continued problems with the major spills in Mexico and Alaska, problems which are continuing twenty years later. It should be noted Louisiana officials refused to approve of this Coast Guard plan, but BP and the Coast Guard had a novel solution for this potential problem…they have decided to just ignore Louisiana so therefore, no more problem.

Next, we come to that drilling moratorium. Bob and British Petroleum feel this moratorium is not their fault so they should not be responsible for any loss of income people or businesses may have suffered over those five months. You see, this was a solid case of arbitrariness at its best…that Obama character just loves to shut down drilling for no apparent reason. In fact, word is next week he’s going to pull the plug on every nuclear plant in the country, shutting them all down for six weeks because, well…because he’s the president and he can. Seriously though, of course the worst environmental disaster in the history of the United States had nothing to do with that moratorium. That kind of cause and effect is more crap logic from business hating Democrats so this is why Bob feels BP should be totally off the hook on this one. To prove it, he plans to find the nearest bar where he will not only explain this in greater detail, but he’ll also show any fellow patron how natural gas fracking has nothing to do with earthquakes in Oklahoma…all while he does whiskey shot after shot until he’s sober.

Finally this week, BP has decided this whole trial thing in February just ain’t right, as is. British Petroleum went to a lot of trouble to buy so many scientists and science departments in Universities across the Gulf Coast, and thus being bought, unable to testify against them at trial. So it kind of flies in the face of that to have those two huge investigations by unbought government scientists and the resulting reports used against them at trial. Fair’s fair, right right? Hell, the Coast Guard report even said British Petroleum was ultimately responsible for the whole deal. This would be why they have asked for said reports to be excluded, oh and also excluded should be any other litigation brought against BP in the past, especially from places like Texas City and Prudhoe Bay. Bob would appear to feel this is certainly understandable as the last thing BP needs is their long record of mishaps be used to show a long pattern of mishaps.

Hey, details!

And the BP public relations department has officially passed out.

Really, who could blame them? They’ve been forced to eat this whole “Making things right” slogan for well over a year and it’s hard, really hard when your company CEO appears only concerned with making things right for the company shareholders, focused for the most part on the legal technicality and what he is legally obligated to do, instead of just sucking it up and doing the right thing, period.

I mean, hey, don’t get me wrong…the $20 billion escrow fund was a good thing in spirit…but Feinberg’s handling of it is a whole nother story and it almost seems at times this escrow fund’s main goal was to provide PR cover for BP to try and screw everybody and everything else they possibly could.

It’s kind of like the mediocre student whose content to just pass the course, rather than excel…yeah, Bob’s getting a D-.

So, to the Gulf Coast?

It would appear more and more, that unless you got the law, you are now officially on your own…not that you haven’t (really) been this way for a long enough time already…let’s just say BP finally ripped their mask clean off as it would appear they’ve decided moral bankruptcy and greed is back in style…

Have a nice day.

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