Disenfranchised Citizen

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Posts Tagged ‘barataria Bay

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.

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.

“It’s like you’re in bed with BP.”

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Don't worry about it, they've almost got a plan...

Approaching nine months after the Deepwater Horizon exploded, spilling 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, sensitive marshes off the coast of Louisiana are still covered with oil. Friday, state and local representatives took the media on a tour of Barataria Bay, showing an area where the oil continues to destroy the marshes and also where protective boom is gone or has been eaten away by the oil to the point of being useless.

While Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish gave a press conference to highlight the continued destruction of Louisiana’s protective wetlands, he was interrupted by Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Lauer who said, “Clearly there is oil here in the marsh but we are working as a team to find a best way to clean it up…it’s a high priority.”

“It’s like you’re in bed with BP,” Nungesser replied.

Interesting…

The Coast Guard is working on a plan.

Almost 9 months later.

When asked, Lauer gave few details as to what this plan entailed. They also couldn’t explain why there are no protective measures in the marsh to keep things from getting any worse. Lauer did however emphasize that “No one has ever said, it’s over, we’re going home.”

Ah…I see, but what does BP say?

British Petroleum spokesman Daren Beaudo said in an e-mail that with the exception of the occasional tar ball, there is no evidence of significant amounts of oil from the blown out well reaching the Louisiana shoreline since the end of August.

Ah…I see, perhaps he should tell that to the residents of Grand Isle, Louisiana, where some company’s oil is continuing to wash ashore…

From the Times-Picayune: BP has scaled back its cleanup efforts from 48,000 workers during the summer to 6,000 now. That has prompted some local officials to complain in recent weeks that the work has slowed down on the heels of the 2011 tourism season. Earlier this week, Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts also complained that clean up on the beaches of Grand Isle was at “neutral.”

Elsewhere along the Gulf Coast, tar balls are washing up in Perdido Key, Florida, on Gulf Shores, Alabama, and the shores of Mississippi. The oil is still coming ashore in four Gulf Coast states, but as we found out yesterday, the NOAA and the Coast Guard are working on a plan, all while BP denies and cuts down the amount of cleanup workers.

“This is the biggest cover-up in the history of America,” Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser told reporters, gesturing with his gloved right hand, which was covered in oil.

Agreed.

Have a nice day.

An Open Letter to the Remaining Oil in the Gulf of Mexico

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Is this you? It sure looks like you. Liar! Stay out of Chandeleur Sound!

I thought we had a deal.

When we released our pie chart back on August 4th, that prop we used to show everybody watching the networks just how 75% of the oil had been removed from the Gulf, we did so under terms of a certain agreement, one that it disappoints us to find you have not kept. You know, we didn’t ask you to hide forever, but we did discuss how you might take things a bit more “low profile,” at least for awhile, and for about a half a day we were pleased with the arrangement. We felt that all parties were on the same page.

Remember?

The nice lunch we had, which we paid for I might add, we didn’t even ask you to leave a tip, not that we’re trying to say you’re cheap, far from it, if anything you’re more expensive than any of us could have ever imagined, but at the end of that lunch we felt our arrangement was formalized. We agreed to stop hitting you with so many dispersants, and you agreed to stay out of sight.

We shook on it, remember? And we still can’t get the stain off our hands.

So, what happened?

Why do you continue to so viciously flaunt yourself all over the Gulf? Did we not keep our word? Did we not fulfill our part of the bargain?

We believe we did.

And in return, what did you do? In just the past week alone, you go ahead and show up in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, Lafourche and Terrebonne Parish, you let your picture get taken from the beaches of Fourchon to Grand Isle to East Bay. We already removed the boom from there…we barely have skimmers anymore! That was just two days ago and you are such an asshole!

Okay, sorry…sorry…but you know, what about Mississippi? Horn Island? More pictures? This is what you call “lying low,” “taking a break,” “going on vacation?” You chose Barataria Bay to go on vacation?!

It’s like you don’t remember our conversation at all. Picture after picture after picture…meanwhile, we still try to pretend a deal is in place, that your behavior is just an aberration, a last hurrah so to speak. We get everybody on board to talk about how damage in the Gulf is winding down. The oil is gone. We get the damned NOAA to say how they don’t see any oil on the surface, and then you start popping up everywhere.

People are going to start thinking there’s still a huge mess down here, and that was not part of the deal.

We are getting tired of waking up and reading quotes like this:

“The government, both state and federal, is pushing to open all these fishing areas back up and say it is OK, but this is a load of shit,” said Clint Guidry, a Louisiana fisherman from Lafitte, Louisiana, “It’s not OK. They claim 75 percent of the oil is gone or accounted for, but there’s still oil coming in. There is more oil in many of our bays, right now, than there has ever been.”

This is unacceptable.

We’ve been talking amongst ourselves. The consensus is we suspect you think you have us beat, that enough people have found out about the danger of dispersants that we wouldn’t try spraying anymore, but see it from our side. Your actions are making us look defensive and this is something we cannot have. British Petroleum is the only bad guy here, it’s what we said. It’s what we laughed about over hurricanes at that bar on Grand Isle, remember, that little place on the beach?

This is intolerable.

You, are a liar.

You think we won’t resume using disperants but you need to understand, as long as we claim we aren’t using them anymore the press will believe us, at least the important press, because as you will quickly find out if you do not cease and desist, the important press is losing interest in you. The reporters want stories to cover in a climate that isn’t so goddamned hot. Besides, what else can they report about you and your ilk. Look, oil. Look, clean it up. Look, it’s killing birds, marshlands, and getting people sick. It’s getting old and the American public has an even quicker attention span than the media, so dispersants?

No problem.

We deny it. They’ll believe it. You’ll die, along with what’s left of the ecosystem, yes…but more importantly, we get you…first. The long term affects are anyone’s guess and we’ll just have to worry about that later.

So keep that in mind before you continue on this errant path.

We’ll be watching, and we’ll be doing our damnedest to make sure nobody else is.

Honor the deal.

Sincereley,

The Administration…you know which one.

Have a nice day

Wanna know a secret? Shhh…there’s still a ton of oil in the Gulf of Mexico

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It's okay...BP and Thad Allen say that oil is not really there...go watch TV

A funny thing has happened in the Gulf of Mexico these past couple weeks…that oil spill?

It’s over, the oil spill is more or less over, all taken care of so you can switch the channel now.

The fisherman will be back at work soon, the oil isn’t in the marshes, it’s not on the beaches and it certainly isn’t flowing out of the Macondo Well. The wildlife, all good, didn’t you see that they relocated the sea turtle eggs and they’re now hatching on a different coast? And British Petroleum put up 20 billion dollars that will take care of everybody. No one has to suffer, not really…not anymore. Yeah, we’ll still have the occasional tar ball for a little while, but just send out your kids with toy shovels and a bucket so they can scoop it up and carry it over to a very tanned lifeguard in his chair; he’ll contact BP right away.

Tragedy yes, terrible…agreed.

It took a very long time to solve this problem, BP knows, they understand, but the important thing is its solved. Didn’t you hear? Skimmers are being sent home…no oil to clean up anymore, not really, at least not any that Thad Allen can find because the dispersants have gotten rid of it all. Those closed fisheries? They’ve started to reopen, no matter if they are still toxic and the EPA and FDA haven’t been trustworthy on the effects of the spill…these are mere details. With few minor exceptions, all is going according to the plan. They’re even removing boom now, it was doing more damage than good, don’t ya know…British Petroleum and the Coast Guard would like to thank you for your patience, America. Though we’re certainly not out of the woods, the clearing is in view and that view is a beautiful sunset over a body of water that in very short order, will be crystal clear again. In fact, it’ll be even better than before…

Well, that’s a version anyway.

Unfortunately, it is quickly becoming the official version for too many mainstream media outlets.

Oh yeah, and it’s bullshit.

From Riki Ott’s outstanding article in the HuffingtonPost:

Regarding the hard to find oil:

Bay Jimmy on the northeast side of Barataria Bay was full of oil. So was Bay Baptiste, Lake Grande Ecaille, and Billet Bay. Sitting next to me was Mike Roberts, a shrimper with Louisiana Bayoukeepers, who has grown up in this area. His voice crackled over the headset as I strained to hold the window. “I’ve fished in all these waters – everywhere you can see. It’s all oiled. This is the worst I’ve seen. This is a heart-break…”

Regarding the safety of chemical dispersants:

The dispersants used in BP’s draconian experiment contain solvents such as petroleum distillates and 2-butoxyethanol. Solvents dissolve oil, grease, and rubber. Spill responders have told me that the hard rubber impellors in their engines and the soft rubber bushings on their outboard motor pumps are falling apart and need frequent replacement…plastic corks used to float the absorbent booms during skimming operations dissolve after a week of use…medical doctor Ted Schettler and others warn that solvents can rapidly enter the human body: They evaporate in air and are easily inhaled, they penetrate skin easily, and they cross the placenta into fetuses. For example, 2-butoxyethanol is a human health hazard substance: It is a fetal toxin and it breaks down blood cells, causing blood and kidney disorders.

Regarding the downplaying of the dangers by BP, the Coast Guard, OSHA, NIOSH, the FDA and the EPA:

BP insists that solvents “disappear” after only a day or two. Retired toxicologist and forensic chemist John Laseter disagrees. Laseter told me that solvents “solubilize” or become soluble in oil and remain a threat for up to two months. He said the oil-solvent mixture sticks on biological tissue – gills of fish, the organic film coating sand grains and raindrops – and can wreak havoc. He told me that the dispersants are “almost certainly” making the oil penetrate more deeply into the skin and could very well be causing the rashes in the Gulf. The Mobile television station WKRG took samples of water and sand from Orange Beach, Gulf Shores, Katrina Key, and Dauphin Island. The test was nothing fancy. The on-air reporter simply dipped a jar into the ocean and another into some surf water filling a sand pit dug by a small child. In the samples, oil was not visible in the water or the sand, but the chemist who analyzed them reported astonishingly high levels of oil ranging from 16 to 221 parts per million (ppm). Except for the Dauphin Island sample — that one literally exploded in the lab before testing could be completed. The chemist thought maybe the exploding sample contained methane or 2-butoxyethanol.

Yet Mr. Dudley, soon to be CEO of British Petroleum believes it is time to scale back cleanup operations…

Hey Thad Allen, meet the new boss…same as the old boss!

Really, read the article,

Oilgate!     BP and all the President’s Men (except one) Seek to Contain Truth of Leak in the Gulf (Photos and Video)

Have a nice day.

But Thad Allen Gave Me A Backstage Pass…

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Seriously yes, free access...seriously. As sure as I am at the World Economic Forum, the press will have access to the World Economic Forum...oh, what about the Gulf?

A great comprehensive article from the Gambit covering all aspects of the journalists’ plight in Southern Louisiana…an article that appears to think reporters are still having some troubles with access to the Gulf…craziness, perhaps we should just ask the big guys…the men in charge what the truth really is:

Thad Allen issued this statement: “I put out a written directive and I can provide it for the record that says the media will have uninhibited access anywhere we’re doing operations, except for two things, if it’s a security or safety problem.  That is my policy.  I’m the national incident commander.”

Doug Suttles of BP is on record saying the company “fully supports and defends all individuals’ rights to share their personal thoughts and experiences with journalists if they so choose.”

Course, then there is the reality of press access:

  • On June 5, sheriff’s deputies in Grand Isle, La., threatened an AP photographer with arrest for criminal trespassing after he spoke to BP employees and took pictures of cleanup workers on a public beach.
  • On June 6, an AP reporter was in a boat near an island in Barataria Bay, off the Louisiana coast, when a man in another boat identifying himself as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife employee ordered the reporter to leave the area. When the reporter asked to see identification, the man refused, saying “My name doesn’t matter, you need to go.”
  • According to a June 10 CNN video, one of the network’s news crews was told by a bird rescue worker that he signed a contract with BP stating that he would not talk to the media. The crew was also turned away by BP contractors working at a bird triage area — despite having permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to enter the facility.
  • On June 11 and 12, private security guards patrolling in the Grand Isle area attempted repeatedly to prevent a crew from New Orleans television station WDSU from walking on a public beach and speaking with cleanup workers.
  • On June 13, a charter helicopter pilot carrying an AP photographer was contacted by the Federal Aviation Administration, which told the pilot he had violated the temporary flight restriction by flying below 3,000 feet. Both the pilot and photographer contend the helicopter never flew below 3,000 feet. However, the federal government now says helicopters in the restricted area are allowed to fly as low as 1,500 feet.

And these are only a handful of incidents.

The article in the Gambit cites so many more which would suggest Thad and Doug are not telling the truth about reporter access. It would also appear that when it comes to accessing to the oil spill, the marshlands and beaches, the law is on the reporters’ side…

Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based school and resource for journalists, says BP doesn’t have any right to restrict citizens from anything other than BP’s private property.

“They can keep you off the oil rig, but they cannot keep you from a beach or a wetland, and it doesn’t matter how much they’re spending on the cleanup — they don’t own the property,” McBride says.

Course then there is the BP law…and British Petroleum law is in an alternate reality where, in fact, well, basically just take everything Kelly Mcbride says and reverse it…because as everyone has learned these past few months, what BP says, goes. It’s been this way since April 20th and the government, despite their assurances to the contrary, are still allowing it.

After all, those who control the information, control the perceptions of reality…

Read the article…

Blackout: Media Shutout on the Louisiana Coast

Have a nice day, but don’t talk to any reporters about it.

That might be illegal.

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