I thought the oil was gone.
I thought the relief wells were on target.
I thought emergency relief payments were to be issued within 48 hours, the blow out preventer was coming to the surface, British Petroleum’s internal investigation had found itself innocent, Corexit was biodegrading, the oil plumes had disappeared, the Gulf’s waters were being reopened because all was clear, nobody was really getting sick, fishermen were happily returning to work, Bob Dudley had just been appointed British Petroleum Pope of all things efficient and green, while Barack Obama was born in a manger under a shiny star, and presented gifts of crab, shrimp and oysters by horse-riding representatives of the FDA, NOAA and the EPA on the new Christmas of August 29th.
Apparently, something went wrong.
Man, you leave the news cycle for five days and the official narrative officially goes to shit.
Oil is being found in the Mississippi Sound, a place that has recently been reopened for fishing by Mississippi’s DMR in coordination with the NOAA and the FDA. Oil is also being found in Pensacola Bay, Grand Isle and any number of other areas. In Pensacola Bay last week, BP officials were denying the reports of found oil until the Pensacola News Journal was supplied with two of the company’s own reports to the county about their cleanup efforts. One of the local fisherman, working for BP was quoted in the article saying, “BP says it’s all gone, but it’s not. I’ve known it was out there for a month. We were recovering it in a boat … scooping it up out of sand and dumping it into bags. They’re just trying to keep it quiet. Out of sight, out of mind.”
And, it isn’t only the oil that refuses to go away quietly, the dispersant Corexit also staged a triumphant return and not only in the Gulf of Mexico, now its being found in swimming pools. As reported on Florida Oil Spill Law: “Our heads are still swimming,” stated Barbara Schebler of Homosassa, Florida, who received word last Friday that test results on the water from her family’s swimming pool showed 50.3 ppm of 2-butoxyethanol, a marker for the dispersant Corexit 9527A used to break up and sink BP’s oil in the Gulf of Mexico. The Scheblers report a history of rashes, diarrhea, sick pets and children, and their neighbors are complaining of similar symptoms, some of whom don’t want to go on record. Nalco, the company that produces Corexit states their product largely biodegrades in 28 days, and since British Petroleum says they have not used Corexit since July 19th and yet the water in the pool was tested on August 18th it would certainly appear that someone is being less than truthful about not only the oil in Pensacola Bay, but the use of the dispersant, let alone near the coast and/or its properties.
Speaking of illness, the Alabama Press Register is reporting that so far 197 people have been treated for oil related health issues, a number that continues to rise despite Obama’s friendly swim a few weeks back. The President, of course would seem to have outstanding health care, being president and all, while the 197 families thus far affected? Many of them, not so much. Oh yeah, and the state of Alabama recently filed suit against British Petroleum and Transocean for attempting to cover up the oil’s effects and their use of Corexit, done without fully understanding the environmental impact of two million gallons of poison being dumped into the water and not near the coast.
The wildlife apparently ain’t doing so well either; miles of dead fish were discovered in lower Plaquemines Parish at the mouth of the Mississippi River. This accompanies several other reports of similar kills throughout the Gulf. Dr. Cake, a biological oceanographer feels they are directly related to the BP catastraphuk, and the combination of oil and dispersants throughout the water column. Meanwhile, despite the Louisiana DHH releasing a seafood safety report that found no evidence of oil in the seafood, tests performed by independent scientists are coming to very different conclusions, discovering unhealthy contamination in Louisiana oyster and crab sampled in Louisiana’s Atchafayala Bay, Pass-a-Loutre and Redfish Bay. It is results like these why many fishermen are refusing to trawl for shrimp and why two of Coastal Alabama’s foremost marine experts, Dauphin Island Sea Lab Director George Crozier and Robert Shipp, chairman of the University of South Alabama’s Marine Sciences Department are saying the submerged oil is threatening organisms that form the basic building blocks of the food chain.
Oh yeah, and remember when BP reported that BP’s internal investigation of BP had found BP innocent of the Deepwater Horizon explosion? Well, not so fast according to Reuters. The news agency now reports that BP’s internal probe has placed some of the blame on mistakes made by its engineers, claiming they misread pressure data that indicated a blowout was imminent. British Petroleum has also apparently discovered the value of hiring contractors. By use of contractors, British Petroleum can maintain that when cleanup workers aren’t paid, or people charge they are still using Corexit, BP can say well, we would never do such a thing, but our contractors might.
Oh, and it isn’t only cleanup workers notbeing paid. Ken Feinberg’s much ballyhooed claim that all would receive their emergency payments within 48 hours, yeah…that didn’t happen either. Amy Weiss, Feinberg’s spokesperson acknowledged there have been some delays, “In the first few weeks…we may be short of our 48-hour goal,” Weiss said in an e-mail.
This is not the way I left things five days ago; this is a sad state of affairs.
We got sick people, dead fish, oil in the water and dispersants in swimming pools. BP’s denying, then admitting and when they can’t figure anything else out, they blame it on contractors. Oil’s everywhere, the seafood, the marshes, the beaches, the seafloor and floating through the water in the water column. The blowout preventer hasn’t been raised. Seafood safety is still in doubt. Cleanup workers aren’t getting paid. Corexit is apparently still being used. And to top it all off, Feinberg’s much heralded 48 hour payments are behind, giving Gulf Coast residents precisely what they didn’t need right now, yet another public figure in this Catastraphuk who didn’t live up to his words.
And still, no goddamned relief wells.
Is it time yet to declare the official version, that all is well and/or rapidly improving in the Gulf of Mexico officially dead?
Sure would seem so.
So, in light of all these recent events, I feel it only fair to issue a warning:
To all those in charge, or not in charge depending on the investigation, my next vacation is in two months. These last five days I’ve been away have really gone badly for you so by October 30th, you all probably want to get your story straight.
I don’t want to come back again to more bad news. I don’t want to have to start taking this personal.
Who knows, when I get back next time on November 2nd, I could be reading how Bob Dudley secretly collects Hitler propaganda while beating his wife and Barack Obama was actually born in Kenya after all, secretly brought to Hawaii under cover of night by the EPA in a Coast Guard plane that is spraying dispersant even where they don’t find oil, you know…just for fun.
So guys, if you can’t get the Gulf right, can you at least start telling the truth? About anything?
Really, is that too much to ask?
Have a nice day.