Suspend British Petroleum’s Gulf Leases, again…

Nothing is over...
Nothing’s over…

It was over four years ago that British Petroleum unleashed their disaster in the Gulf Coast and for four years we’ve all been hearing about how BP will not rest until they “make it right” for the Gulf and all affected by the spilled oil from the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed eleven people and have harmed tens of thousands more. We hear it. We hear it all the time. To this day, the commercials play out across television, radio, on billboards and on the internet, yet what they say is still far from the truth.

Things in the Gulf are not all right.

Instead, they have become litigious and a company that’s reaped so much profit is now spending on so many lawyers to sift through their agreements for technicalities while disputing new environmental evidence, practices that though they may follow the letter of the law and allow those at BP to sleep at night, damages the spirit of their agreements with a region repeatedly violated, turning this four year old, ongoing disaster into nightmares for those across the Gulf Coast.

So, maybe it’s time for their leases to again be suspended by the EPA until they stop fighting, accept responsibility and truly make amends not only for the known damages, but for any succeeding damage to both people and the environment not yet uncovered. Suspend their leases until their following courses of action change:

The Supreme Court Appeal

In 2012, British Petroleum agreed to a settlement with people harmed by their oil spill, an arrangement with a complex methodology that takes into account a business’s location within certain zones along the Gulf Coast and a basic formula for lost revenues and recovery. Since this agreement, BP has been challenging that some of the methodology’s covered businesses couldn’t have been harmed by the spill and has argued, repeatedly in front of US District Court Judge Carl Barbier’s court that these businesses should not be paid. Barbier has consistently and repeatedly maintained that BP entered into an agreement and should abide, that BP agreed to pay businesses according to this formula as part of a compromise and it would be disingenuous to now try to pick apart the methodology they agreed to in his courtroom.

But BP is not backing down. They instead are asking the Supreme Court to protect them from their own decisions, from their own agreements and word will come down in October from the Supreme Court on whether they will hear this appeal. It’s four years after the spill. The national media is gone from the story. British Petroleum wants out of their agreement to “make things right.”

The Medical Settlements

When the Deepwater Horizon exploded, workers were hired by the thousandfold to clean up the oil, lay and replace boom, whatever was necessary to get as much of the oil out of the water as quickly as possible. Many of these clean-up workers didn’t have protective equipment and many non-oil clean-up workers also were affected by the toxins, just by living in the area or being on or near the water. This has understandably left a lot of people in the Gulf sick, and many more could become sick later. British Petroleum is now interpreting their medical settlements not by what will make people whole for these medical complaints, but by when they were diagnosed with their ailments…a calender date that has little to do with the severity of any medical consequences and everything to do with how much British Petroleum wants to pay to settle a bill for any possible medical care.

Again, it’s four years after the spill and the national media is gone from the story. British Petroleum wants to alter their agreement and it would seem, make things just right enough for their bottom line.

Ongoing Environmental Damage

And the oil is not gone, neither is the chemical dispersant they used. Environmental damage to the Gulf Coast continues with record dolphin and sea turtle deaths as well as extensive damage to coral that show the oil spill’s footprint is both deeper and wider than previously thought. Last year, beach monitors discovered more than 46,000 thousand tar balls and over one and a half tons of submerged tar mats, and there is also evidence that the “quickly evaporating” dispersant BP dumped all over the Gulf is still there, found in tests all over the region. In addition, the oyster situation is grim with thousands of acres of oyster beds producing less than a third of the pre-oil spill harvest. Also troubling is the complete lack of oyster larvae on all of these decimated reefs, places where the oil came ashore and would seem to forecast that the oyster yields will not improve any time soon.

When confronted with any of this evidence BP sticks to standard blame shifting, citing possible other causes or saying the evidence shows nothing conclusive, a shrug of the shoulders from the latest BP spokesman before moving on and really, why not? It would appear British Petroleum is counting on the nation no longer paying attention to how, or how not concerned BP really is with the Gulf and besides, didn’t you see the commercials, the bright and shining faces, the pastoral natural scenes of sunsets and water and birds and boats and…

BP is doing quite alright, thank you

Just ask their shareholders, who must be feeling pretty good about their investment these days, especially when BP recently came to an agreement with the EPA and are now resuming business with the Federal Government in the Gulf. In fact, at the most recent auction, British Petroleum was the “highest bidder on 24 offshore oil and gas blocks out of the 31 properties it pursued in auction.” This to go along with increased dividends for shareholders, several new oil rigs coming online and a 10% increased stock price projection based on their 2nd quarter earnings in 2014.

Bully.

So then…BP is fighting Deepwater Horizon business and medical settlements in court, is shifting blame on the environmental destruction they caused, the deaths to sea turtles, coral, dolphins and the decimation of thousands of oyster reefs all while minimizing the amount of oil and dispersant still in the Gulf and still washing ashore. In addition, they are again bidding on oil blocks for new oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, set to start reaping in even greater profits than before.

Again. Bully.

This is making someone right, yes…but not the Gulf.

This is seeking loopholes in settlement agreements to pay as little as possible to those they’ve harmed while laying the groundwork to make even more profit from the very region they’ve wrecked.

That’s not justice.

And in response, it would only seem fair to propose that until British Petroleum truly honors their words, they should not be permitted to continue in the Gulf. They should remain locked out from a region they’ve already harmed so much, at least until they truly account for themselves and follow the spirit of their agreements by sending their lawyers home. I understand this suggestion might seem extreme, but is it any less extreme than the belief that everyone impacted by their 2010 spill should receive complete restitution, that the coast should be rebuilt and that all medical bills should be paid, regardless of when the diagnosis occurred? I stand by those beliefs and for BP to meet this bar, it would be to keep their promises and their agreements. It would be to actually honor what they claimed they would do from the beginning: to make things right, because right now, every roadblock BP throws up in court dishonors their company, their promises and everyone affected who has to suffer, worry or leave their lives in the Gulf behind.

The EPA should suspend the leases until BP stops their squirming.

Suspend the leases and close BP’s wallets until they finally decide to open them for the purpose of paying for the damage they’ve done, without technicality, loophole or blame-shifting….and make them keep that wallet open as we continue to learn the extant of the damages they’ve caused as a result of their negligence.

Have a nice day.

And for continued coverage of Gulf Coast happenings, please continue to read:

Dambala at American Zombie.

David Hammer at WWL.

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Remembering…

Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fireTo the families that lost loved ones that day and to the families that lost loved ones after, to all the people who make their living off that water, the business owners and the families along the Gulf Coast…still thinking about and wishing you the best.

To BP who is still trying to weasel their way out of this, the Gulf is still not healed and won’t be for years, decades to come so stop with the commercials already…may the dolphins haunt your dreams, killer style, so you wake up screaming.

To Bobby, stop trying to let the oil companies off the hook for any past, present or future crimes…dude, you are not going to be President. Seriously. Not a chance, no matter how indignant you pretend to be.

Stay strong in the Gulf…

Have a nice day.

Reality is what you pay for…

Not BP's reality.
Not BP’s reality.

Making things right.

Let me just tell you how much I hate every possible phrasing of this sentiment.

Previous to the Deepwater Horizon, whenever I head this phrase used, it carried a certain ring of sincerity, of concern, of really trying to make amends for a wrong, but my how things have changed.

Now, “Making things right” is just a punchline, a big joke or at best a legal argument on whose version of “right” wins out. British Petroleum would contend they are doing everything they can and the Gulf is pretty much back to normal, but the people who do not live in British Petroleum’s commercials…well, they often have a different reality to discuss.

Recently, BP added up all the claims made by states and local governments on the Gulf Coast and came up with a total of $34 billion dollars.

Garret Graves, senior coastal adviser to the worst Governor in all human history, Bobby Jindal, was quoted as saying this about that figure, “Perhaps this helps BP to realize the size and scope of the problems they have caused the citizens of the Gulf…they have continued to try to downplay the significance the oil spill has had on us. BP hasn’t done itself any favors in gaining goodwill with anyone in the Gulf. With a few exceptions early on, they have been incredibly difficult to deal with and their credibility is subsurface.”

British Petroleum, however, strongly disagrees with Graves and especially that $34 billion dollar figure, calling it “substantially” overstated and the methods used to calculate it as, “seriously flawed.”

Sigh…

It’s no secret that British Petroleum has had a spin machine in such overdrive these past couple of years they’ve had to replace the ball bearings seven times, but what BP doesn’t seem to understand is that no matter how much money they spend on corporate image and down home folksy commercials to give their side of things, the facts keep trickling in…

Oil is still coming ashore on the barrier islands. Wildlife and habitat are still threatened. The erosion that occurred as a result of this spill ain’t coming back. There is far more not known about the effects of that oil than is currently known…oh, and remember that $1 billion dollar promise British Petroleum made, meant to fund early restoration efforts over a two year period?

Well, the Gulf Restoration Network recently reported that the two year timeline is coming to a close and BP has only programed $70 million dollars, less than 10% of what they promised.

From the GRN:

“Stop stalling and fully fund all projects necessary to repair the damage from your oil and dispersant, including marine restoration. Specifically, Cat Island, a critical coastal habitat for the Louisiana brown pelican, is vanishing while you sit on the $1 billion you promised to spend.  Allocate these early restoration dollars faster without demanding huge credits towards your ultimate liability. ”

BP is not fulfilling their promises.

And this fact, like many others, has been left out of BP’s commercials. It does not fit the reality BP is paying for and the above is just one example.

Making things right…my stomach turns at the sound of “making things right.” And upon hearing this phrase for the umpteenth time one must ask…

Right, for who?

Go to the Gulf Restoration Network and send BP an e-mail:

Click Here

Have a nice day.

What’s ten billion dollars between friends?

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.

A couple of quick questions about oil induced political ignorance…

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

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

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

Hmm, did I say anger?

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

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

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

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

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

A “serial environmental criminal…”

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

Huh…

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

Read the article:

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

Have a nice day.

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

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.

In Bob Dudley’s world…

The view from the picture window in Bob Dudley's living room...

Mr. Bob released a British Petroleum sustainability report where in its pages, he brags about his company’s new commitment to safety, and also its commitment to it’s responsibilities along the Gulf Coast as a result of their catastraphuk.

So there.

You see, what isn’t already fine is just getting better.

So, if anyone beyond the five Gulf Coast states is continuing to pay attention to all this oil spill stuff and/or the activities of British Petroleum in general, please…stop, now. Besides, have you seen gas prices lately? Damn, that Obama sure is a dick…if he let us drill wherever and however we wanted to, gas would only be thirty-five cents a gallon…so you know, we should probably all do what the GOP says we should do, go to war with Iran as soon as possible and remove any remaining restrictions on oil speculators and probably, just for safety’s sake, reduce the capacities of our oil refineries because, again, Obama wants gas prices high, what a dick, and we here at BP are 100% committed to safety and restoring the Gulf Coast, which in turn is almost 100%, right right?

Nahhhhh….

BP Whistle-Blower Seeks Shutdown of Atlantis Oil Platform

“BP Plc’s (BP/) Atlantis platform, its second-largest oil producer in the Gulf of Mexico, should be shut down until it’s proven to comply with U.S. safety and environmental laws, a whistle-blower’s lawyer told a judge.”

And…

BP Cherry Point Fire: Washington Crews Fight Flames At State’s Largest Oil Refinery

“Fire crews doused a dramatic blaze that broke out Friday at Washington’s largest oil refinery, sending up towering flames and creating a thick plume of black smoke visible for miles.”

And…

BP Has 2 European Refinery Fires in 3 Days

“A fire seriously burned one person and inflicted minor injuries on another Tuesday at BP PLC’s Lingen refinery in northwest Germany, the second blaze in three days at European refineries owned by the U.K. oil major, following a separate incident Sunday at its Castellon facility in Spain. Tuesday’s fire also is the second serious accident at its Lingen facility this year. The troubles have once again thrown the spotlight on BP’s refining safety record, which reached its nadir with a 2005 fire and explosion that killed 15 people and injured more than 170 others at its refinery in Texas City, Texas.”

Yeah…the safety record of BP…really, what else do I need to add, except to put out there, once again, I don’t care how many times Bob Dudley wants to go on and on about his company’s safety record…just saying it does not make it true…but of course, now, let us get back to the Gulf where happy fishermen are singing songs on their way out to the Gulf of Mexico, where the waters literally teem with safe fish to catch, with no evidence of oil, out on the water where a rainbow greets each man, woman or child who drops a cage or a net or casts a rod…while on shore all the seafood processing companies are whirring to life, barely able to handle the quantity of catches being brought to their doors or for that matter, find enough employees to work all the necessary shifts…

Oh, wait…

BP oil spill in Gulf entered food chain, means new health concerns

“Studies conducted on the effect of the 2010 BP Deepwater explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on the environment have shown that traces of the oil spill were found in the zooplankton, presenting a hazard for the gulf food chain and possibly human health.”

And…

Gulf fisheries in decline after oil disaster

“Henry Poynot, the owner of Big Fisherman Seafood in New Orleans, has been selling seafood for 28 years. Al Jazeera asked him how his business was doing. “2010 was the worst year we’ve had in 15 years,” he said. “Then 2011 was worse than 2010. Some of this was the economy, but most of it is due to BP. BP has taken its toll.”

There is reality and there is Bob Dudley’s world.

In Bob’s world, he runs a safety oriented company committed to the health and well-being of all, a company committed to being responsible corporate citizens and stewards of the world.

Meanwhile, in reality, seafood catches are way down, seafood processors are working with seafood from other coasts in order to stay operational and oil has entered the Gulf Coast food chain, and not just any oil, but Deepwater Horizon oil…Bob’s oil…and BP’s safety record? It sucks. It’s the worst, with three fires in the past few months at their refineries while a whistle-blower has demanded BP shut down one of its largest oil platforms in the Gulf because it is not up to safety regulations…

Not up to safety regulations.

An oil platform of BP’s in the Gulf of Mexico, not up to safety regulations.

Yeah, that’s going to end well…then again, maybe it will. I suppose it just depends on two things…

1. Do you live on or near the Gulf Coast or far away? And 2. Whose world do you live in, Bob Dudley’s or everyone else’s?

Have a nice day.

Corexit, oil and seafood…oops!

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 documents are confidential because everything is fine…or not.

This was a horrible tragedy, or it wasn't, which spawned terrible human and environmental consequences...maybe.

The word is out.

The National Marine Fisheries Service have prepared a number of documents, data about Gulf fisheries and fishers to help the legal types better determine the status of fishing in the Gulf both before and after the spill. Involved lawyers will now be able to read over these documents and answer, for themselves perhaps, a number of questions: the fisheries are okay, or they’re not. The seafood is safe to eat, or it’s not. The water is clear of oil, of toxins, of dispersant residue, or it’s not…or worse yet, maybe the fisheries haven’t been okay for a long time and now they’re just a  hell of a lot worse…

Or they’re not.

Good information to have, answers to questions many of us have been waiting for – so the data from the report, it indicates what?

I don’t know.

Nope.

But what I do know is US Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan has determined this information is not for you, the public to know, not right now, maybe not ever…why? Because you are not a member of the Plaintiff Steering Committee, BP’s legal team or the Justice Department. So even though your tax dollars paid for the study…and even though that study could be a pretty good indicator of the Gulf’s health, and the health of the fish from the Gulf you’re presently eating…

You are on a need to know…

And just like way too much else in this catastraphuk, from the spill’s flow rates to the amount of dead wildlife to a real understanding of Corexit dispersant – it’s health effects and the amount that was used: you don’t need to know…

Really.

And your happiness may just depend on it.

Read the article:

Oil spill documents must stay confidential, judge rules

Have a nice day.

Another coincidence, BP settlement style…

Great job boys! With lawyers like you, who needs moralities?

The settlement between British Petroleum and the Plaintiff Steering Committee has been reported to be $7.8 billion dollars, and also without a cap. This means that when all is said and done, if the settlement amount exceeds this monetary figure, well…so be it as British Petroleum has maintained the $7.8 billion dollar amount is only an estimate…could be more, could be less.

Either way, consider the plaintiffs paid.

So yeah, I guess that sounds pretty good and hey, at least more of the people who’ve been waiting all this time while their lives were torn asunder, at least now they will finally…wait, what?

The settlement is different for those with seafood claims? What do you mean, it’s different?

From David Hammer’s article in the Times Picayune:

“In the BP oil spill case,  a key component of the proposed class-action settlement between private plaintiffs and BP is a $2.3 billion set-aside for seafood claims, the only part of the settlement that’s capped. That’s what BP is willing to pay to compensate commercial fishing vessel owners, captains and deckhands, as well as oyster leaseholders and harvesters.”

Perfect.

So there is a cap for part of this settlement, and it’s geared specifically for those making seafood claims…Okay, well now, $2.3 billion dollars is still a lot of money. The actual amounts paid to the plaintiffs couldn’t possibly exceed this amount, could they?

Short answer?

Yes.

After the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska, it wasn’t until four years later the herring fishery collapsed, ruining the livelihoods of so many for years, not to mention the damage to the ecosystem.

But we’ve all heard the reports of the differences here…couldn’t possibly happen in the Gulf. The BP scientists were all over this and the Gulf is so much bigger, and the water is warmer and that makes all the difference, yes?

Perhaps…perhaps in the Gulf, it won’t take four years.

It may only take two…

From Stuart Smith’s blog –

The docks and marinas in hard-nosed fishing communities like Pointe-aux-Chenes and Venice, Louisiana, should be bustling this time of year, but today they are eerily quiet and undisturbed, like a world frozen in perpetual limbo – waiting, hoping, praying for the Gulf’s once-bountiful (even legendary) fisheries to produce again. Current reports from up and down the coast indicate the situation is dire indeed.

The oysters have been wiped out. The harvest for 2010 was the worst in more than four decades. And there’s been little improvement since then as oystermen continue to report catches down as much as 75 percent, from Yscloskey to Grand Isle. Some estimates put this year’s harvest at roughly 35 percent of the normal yield – and that’s if we’re lucky. Crab catches are in steep decline. Brown shrimp production is down two-thirds. And the white shrimp season was even worse, leading to descriptions of “worst in memory” and “nonexistent.”

Also, from an article by Dahr Jamail –

“I was at a BP coastal restoration meeting yesterday and they tried to tell us they searched 6,000 square miles of the seafloor and found no oil, thanks to Mother Nature,” Tuan Dang, a shrimper, told Al Jazeera while standing on a dock full of shrimp boats that would normally be out shrimping this time of year. Dang’s fishing experience has been bleak. “Normally I can get 8,000 pounds of brown shrimp in four days,” he explained. “But this year, I only get 800 pounds in a week. There are hardly any shrimp out there.”

When he tried to catch white shrimp, he said he “caught almost nothing”. He is suing BP for loss of income, but does not have much hope, despite recent news of an initial settlement worth more than $7bn. “We’d love to see them clean this up so we can get our lives back, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”

Song Vu, a shrimp boat captain for 20 years, has not tried to shrimp for weeks, and is simply hoping that there will be shrimp to catch next season. His experience during his last shrimping attempts left him depressed. “The shrimp are all dead,” he told Al Jazeera. “Everything is dead.”

And experts estimate it could be years before things get back to normal.

That’s years of running up against this cap in the settlement the Plaintiff Steering Committee has agreed to with BP.

That’s years of potential catastrophe with no recourse.

Years, all while British Petroleum continues to make billions of dollars in profit while the Gulf continues to suffer, all as a result of British Petroleum’s actions…and let’s not forget that along with this cap, the settlement also negates punitive damages, and this is not a coincidence, not at all. This is a hasty agreement that leaves thousands in the lurch for what could very well be the collapse of the Gulf’s fisheries…

 And this is British Petroleum, business as usual.

Read the articles:

In BP oil spill case, court names mediator in $2.3 billion seafood claims settlement

“Everything Is Dead”: Gulf Fisheries Collapse Nearly Two Years After BP Oil Spill

Gulf fisheries in decline after oil disaster

Have a nice day.