Hey Gulf Coast and Beyond, Meet Your New BFF…Corexit 9500

Corexit

So, we’ve all heard the name, read about its use, but how much do we really know about our new friend, Corexit 9500?…well, we know less than the EPA does but so what the hell else is new…the actual ingredient concentrations in this stuff is considered a trade secret, but the Nalco Holding Company that makes it was so kind as to at least share, in private of course (Can we citizens really expect any different?) with the EPA who then despite its ban in Europe, gave the go ahead. Of course they did, cause if there’s one thing we know in the good old US of A, it’s that those pesky Europeans with their safety laws, those constraints on (some) corporations…all that “for the people, for the protection of the people” bullshit…well, over here we got us a thing called corporate know-how and lobbyists and something I heard once about this thing called “bootstraps” such as pulling yourself up by or maybe that was hanging yourself from…I don’t know, doesn’t matter though cause most importantly this isn’t Europe where those Frenchmen are…you know, the ones that wouldn’t help us kick ass?

But, I digress…

Corexit 9500:

It’s a product line of solvents primarily used as a dispersant for breaking up oil slicks. BP was using Corexit 9527, but that was deemed too toxic so now we’re using it’s younger brother, you know…the “slow” one. The idea is that when you spray this stuff on an oil slick, it breaks the oil up into smaller, little globules that sink underwater, you know, creating plumes (yes, the same ones that BP denies the existence of). So why are plumes better than oil slicks? BP states that the oil will be less harmful in the deeper sea than in the coastal regions, course no oils slick has ever been this big before except that one in Mexico…and nobody has ever used this much Corexit before…ever.

Anyways, in the middle of May, the EPA, despite previously approving this stuff suddenly had a change of heart and ordered BP to stop using it within 72 hours and find something less toxic. Well, BP listened to what the EPA had to say and then said…”Nah…we’re going to keep using it anyway.” BP stated that it was the only dispersal available in the amount they needed, save one…Sea Brat 4, but that one is considered even more toxic than Corexit. The EPA, following this rebuke of its authority then reportedly went out for beers, congratulating themselves that somebody, anybody had at least taken the time out of their busy day to listen to them for a change. Furthermore, during a later game of darts the EPA reported to the press, firmly, that this was progress and next time, in no uncertain terms they would strongly consider the possibility of enforcing one of their decisions. After all, they said, being heard is half the battle, and they feel they won, hands down.

So, Corexit is now and again, the dispersal of choice…considered to be 54.7% effective in breaking down Louisiana Crude and the estimates are that over a million gallons of this stuff have been dropped into the Gulf of Mexico as of a month ago, so we are probably at double that by now. Another dispersal, called Dispersant (catchy) has been shown to be 100% effective, but oops, not enough of that around and besides, Dispersant is far less harmful to seal-life than Corexit, BP’s wonder drug, and less harmful has proven to not be BP’s forte.

What’s that you say? Corexit is harmful to sea life? You betcha…you see, as it bonds to the oil it sinks to a depth that cannot be cleaned, sinking so far down that it could very well end up killing the plankton by depriving the water of oxygen, and thus, killing everything else up the food chain. At least this is the opinion of Joe Taylor, an environmental engineer in Daphne who made this claim to WKRG news, saying also that Corexit  “will kill the Gulf of Mexico.” And of course, the large and larger oil plumes that all these pesky fish and such keep swimming through and dying, or at least ingesting has less than happy effects…and since Corexit also travels within the food change, when the little fish get eaten by big fish, the bigger fish become increasingly toxified.

Well, bully…

But hasn’t its actual toxicity level been adequately tested?

No, not really. According to the manufacturer these are mere details, though they assure that it’s harmfulness to humans is low, course, anyone working with it is supposed to wear a ventilator… What? How can it be relatively harmless if one must wear a ventilator? Well, the manufacturer might respond to this by saying “Louisiana still has some holdover pussy rules made back in the day when the French still ran things.” So, no worries… oh, but wait a minute… apparently the EPA has an opinion too: in Alaska, during the Exxon spill they said Corexit is potentially harmful to red blood cells, the liver, and may irritate eyes and skin, and they then told of cleanup workers who when subjected to this stuff suffered from respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders.

Odd.

This is Corexit, a toxic batch of mixed messages with no apparent truth except the one you aren’t being given. It’s the lesser of two evils when compared to crude oil even though it is apparently harmful to everything that exists everywhere….except humans, so sayeth BP and even though the EPA might disagree, they approved it so screw ’em, what do they know? Up to two million gallons may have been dumped into the Gulf of Mexico by now, so welcome to your new BFF, courtesy of BP and The EPA.

It does seem to me that British Petroleum is trying to have it both ways…fines levied against oil spills, gushers, catastrophucks are amassed by the amount of oil spilled, gushed or fucked, so to claim that oil plumes (the products they use is designed to create) don’t exist would seem to me as positioning themselves legally…meanwhile the EPA is not much better. They claim this stuff is safe to use, then say it is too toxic and demand BP stop using it, then BP refuses and suddenly it is okay for use again.

This is worse than thinking one side is lying to us.

Here, we know that both sides are…we just don’t know at what time so of course this gets all back to trust: when British Petroleum has been as non-forthcoming as the government, and then when either company does decide to talk to us, they throw out facts and figures that inevitably turn out false…so how are we supposed to trust? Do they not understand this as a problem? They gave us bullshit spill rates. They told us things were safe, then changed their mind. They rush out workers to the beach when Obama shows up, only to have them leave shortly after he leaves. They deny the existence of the oil plumes the product they use is designed to create. They say that they are giving reporters open access only to deny reporters time and time again, all the while claiming these denials are lies, oftentimes to the very same reporters they are denying with these lies. They claim that this isn’t having a devastating effect on wildlife and then fisherman talk about BP burning the carcasses of  dead sea turtles and dolphins.

Corexit, we’re told, is the lesser of two evils and this sounds like every other presidential election I’ve had the misfortune of witnessing, and like every candidate on the campaign trail…

Believe what?

Believe who?

Believe how?

Your times of belief are over, you sick bunch of bastards…

Something else though…

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricanes…

Now, I’m not an expert in meteorology, but I know enough to know the basic way a hurricane works is that they are tropical depressions then fueled by moisture in the air over warm water. So, how much of this Corexit, some of which enters the air, gets dropped back from the hurricane in the form of rain, and what happens when this rain falls on land, and not back into the Gulf? Corexit takes 28 days to biodegrade, so even if they were to stop using it now that’s roughly another month for a hurricane to go through the gulf and pick this stuff up before dropping it over the gulf states…what catastrophuk might this then cause? Two million gallons poured in so far…2,000,000 gallons of this crap that we know kills everything but humans, which it only harms at a low rate. Has anyone checked out the possibilities of this scenario?

Cue Thad Allen of the Coast Guard: “We are doing this without a manual.”

Perfect.

Someone else to believe in apparently, maybe I should just go back to trusting Joe Lieberman…after all, we are in a time of war.

Have a nice day…

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