tagged w/ Gulf of Mexico
One year ago we saw a crime of nature unparalled committed by BP. As the Deepwater Horizon exploded sending 11 men to their deaths, a tragedy of immense proportion began to play out on our tv screens, and a twenty four hour feed of the Micondo well was made available for us to witness the killing of the Gulf and the species that live there.
This "accident" by BP in league with Transocean and Halliburton that was so much in our consciousness then has been relegated to unimportant by our media and our government. This crime, unpunished, the criminals, now left free to continue the very behavior that led to this environmental catastrophe as they also repair their image as the stories of illness and death are covered up and ignored is a crime against nature and a betrayal of our future.
And they think we have forgotten. They think we will let it go. They think they have escaped justice. I say, they are wrong.
This link contains pictures of this ecocide that will sadden and outrage you. But they need to be seen. This needs to be kept in the public eye as much as possible. We need to keep the light on the criminals that not only are responsible for the Ecocide of the Gulf, but the ruination of the lives of so many people who live here whose stories have been ignored by this government and this complicit media.
As someone for who water is my heart this is beyond devastating.
So I hope we can use this thread to show that we have not forgotten and to post some truths that need to be seen and kept in the consciousness of the people. To show that we will never forget. And to show that those responsible for this crime will one day be brought to justice.
For the marinelife, the water, the people, the beauty, the future.
Thanks.One year ago we saw a crime of nature unparalled committed by BP. As the Deepwater... more
Phoenix Rising from the Gulf
The BP Gulf Oil Spill Revealed
The Gulf of Mexico is Dying
Posted on April 9, 2011 by concernedcitizensofflorida
A Special Report on the BP Gulf Oil Spill
Concerned Citizens of Florida...
By Dr. Tom Termotto
It is with deep regret that we publish this report. We do not take this responsibility lightly, as the consequences of the following observations are of such great import and have such far-reaching ramifications for the entire planet. Truly, the fate of the oceans of the world hangs in the balance, as does the future of humankind.
The Gulf of Mexico (GOM) does not exist in isolation and is, in fact, connected to the Seven Seas. Hence, we publish these findings in order that the world community will come together to further contemplate this dire and demanding predicament. We also do so with the hope that an appropriate global response will be formulated, and acted upon, for the sake of future generations. It is the most basic responsibility for every civilization to leave their world in a better condition than that which they inherited from their forbears.
After conducting the Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference for over seven months, we can now disseminate the following information with the authority and confidence of those who have thoroughly investigated a crime scene. There are many research articles, investigative reports and penetrating exposes archived at the following website. Particularly those posted from August through November provide a unique body of evidence, many with compelling photo-documentaries, which portray the true state of affairs at the Macondo Prospect in the GOM.
Please click on the above link to see tons of horrible facts.Phoenix Rising from the Gulf
The BP Gulf Oil Spill Revealed
The Gulf of Mexico... more
Restore and Protect the Gulf of Mexico
Next month the nation will mark the one-year memorial of all that was lost from BP's oil drilling disaster in the Gulf. The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling released its final recommendations for regulatory and policy changes that will make drilling safer and restore the Gulf in January.
It is high time that Congress and the White House to do their part to implement the needed changes to help restore and protect a healthy Gulf.
Click on the above link to use the easy form to call on our elected officials to take action for the Gulf of Mexico.https://secure3.convio.net/grn/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=201... more
CNN's Latest Headline...
Despite Gulf oil spill, rig owner executives get big bonuses
Despite Gulf oil spill, rig owner executives get big bonuses
By the CNN Wire Staff
April 3, 2011 10:23 p.m. EDT
Transocean executives get pay raises, bonuses, SEC filing says
Cash awards based in part on company safety record
Despite Gulf oil spill, company claims 2010 "best year in safety"
(CNN) -- Declaring 2010 "the best year in safety performance in our company's history," Transocean Ltd., owner of the Gulf of Mexico oil rig that exploded, killing 11 workers, has awarded its top executives hefty bonuses and raises, according to a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
That includes a $200,000 salary increase for Transocean President and Chief Executive Officer Steven L. Newman, whose base salary will increase from $900,000 to $1.1 million, according to the SEC report. Newman's bonus was $374,062, the report states.
Newman also has a $5.4 million long-term compensation package the company awarded him upon his appointment as CEO in March 2010, according to the SEC filing.
The latest cash awards are based in part on the company's "performance under safety," the Transocean filing states.
"Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate," the SEC statement reads. "As measured by these standards, we recorded the best year in safety performance in our Company's history."
The company called that record "a reflection on our commitment to achieving an incident free environment, all the time, everywhere," the SEC filing states.
The company did not respond to an e-mail from CNN seeking comment.
The April 20, 2010, explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig injured 17 workers and killed 11 others, including nine Transocean employees, according to the SEC filing. It has been called the worst spill in U.S. history.
The well was capped three months later, but not before millions of barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf.
In January, President Barack Obama's National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling released a report that spread blame for the accident among Transocean, BP -- which leased the rig -- and Halliburton, which installed the rig's cement casing.
The commission said problems with deepwater drilling are "systemic" and that only "significant reform" will prevent another disaster.
Another report released March 23 determined that the oil spill was caused by a piece of drill pipe trapped in the rig platform's blowout preventer, a device intended to stop oil from flowing into the Gulf. The report was commissioned by various U.S. agencies, including the Interior Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
The Interior Department has said a much broader report that relies on additional sources of data -- including eyewitness accounts and photographs -- will be released this summer.
The oil spill has prompted a flood of lawsuits against BP, Transocean and Halliburton from a variety of plaintiffs, including owners of Gulf shore businesses who claim they suffered heavy financial losses because of the spill.
The plaintiffs also include Transocean shareholders who contend the company falsely claimed it had remedied past safety problems with its blowout preventers, prior to the Gulf spill.CNN's Latest Headline...
Despite Gulf oil spill, rig owner executives get big... more
The New York Times
April 3, 2011
BP Seeks to Resume Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico
By JULIA WERDIGIER and JOHN M. BRODER
LONDON — BP has asked United States regulators for permission to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, two company officials with direct knowledge of the application said on Sunday.
The petition comes less than 12 months after a rig BP had leased there exploded, causing a huge oil spill and killing 11 workers.
BP is seeking permission to continue drilling at 10 existing deepwater production and development wells in the region in July in exchange for adhering to stricter safety and supervisory rules, said one of the officials. An agreement covering existing wells could be reached within the next month but would not include new drilling, the official said.
The other official said, “We’re making progress but it’s not a yes yet.” Both people spoke on the condition of anonymity because talks on a possible agreement were continuing.
Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico was halted last summer as a result of the accident involving BP’s Macondo well, which spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil into the ocean. The ban was lifted in October.
Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the federal agency that overseas the development of resources in the gulf, said on Sunday that there was no deal with BP. Toby Odone, a spokesman for BP, declined to comment.
The regulator had recently started to permit some deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Royal Dutch Shell won approval on Wednesday to drill off the coast of Louisiana on the condition that rigorous new safety standards were met. Other companies that have been allowed to continue drilling in the region include Exxon Mobil, Chevron and BHP Billiton.
Granting permission to BP would be more controversial because the British oil company is still paying for costs related to the oil spill, the cleanup and the continuing civil and criminal investigations into the accident. BP so far has set aside more than $40 billion to cover those costs.
The Obama administration has spent 11 months dealing with the aftermath of the Macondo well blowout and writing new rules to try to prevent similar accidents. But last week President Obama, in a major statement on energy policy, said the administration was seeking increased domestic oil production, both onshore and off, as a means of reducing dependence on imported oil.
Also last week, the Justice Department confirmed that it was considering a range of civil and criminal penalties against BP, including potential manslaughter charges for the deaths of the 11 rig workers, as part of its ongoing investigation into the accident.
Allowing BP to resume operations in the gulf would send a mixed message — that the administration was trying to increase the safety of offshore drilling and punish bad actors, while at the same time answering critics in Congress and the oil industry who say the administration is choking off production and driving up energy prices.
What seems clear is that the Gulf of Mexico will not return to full production until all the major players — and BP is one of the biggest — are allowed to resume drilling.
BP is eager for that to happen, and its chief executive, Robert Dudley, has repeatedly said the company remains committed to its operations in the United States. Mr. Dudley has pledged to make improving BP’s safety record his priority. He set up a new division last year to monitor safety and suspended some operations in Alaska and the North Sea after the projects failed to meet the new standards.
Gaining permission to resume drilling in the gulf would help Mr. Dudley to move BP beyond its painful and expensive recent history in the region, which has eroded shareholder trust. It would also give BP a boost of confidence.
The British oil company suffered a setback in its expansion strategy last month when a Swedish court blocked a $10 billion cooperation agreement with Rosneft of Russia, which was supposed to give the company access to the Arctic.
John M. Broder reported from Washington, D.C. Clifford Krauss also contributed reporting.The New York Times
April 3, 2011
BP Seeks to Resume Drilling in the Gulf of... more
Transocean Ltd., owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, awarded millions of dollars in bonuses to its executives after “the best year in safety performance in our company’s history,” according to an annual report and proxy statement released yesterday.
Eleven people were killed, including nine Transocean employees, in the April 20 explosion and collapse of the rig, which gushed crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 86 days.
“Notwithstanding the tragic loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico, we achieved an exemplary statistical safety record as measured by our total recordable incident rate and total potential severity rate,” Transocean states in the filing. “As measured by these standards, we recorded the best year in safety performance in our Company’s history, which is a reflection on our commitment to achieving an incident free environment, all the time, everywhere.”
Transocean President and Chief Executive Officer Steven L. Newman received about $4.3 million in cash bonuses and stock and option awards. With other compensation—such as pension increases and cost of living, housing, and automobile allowances—Newman earned $6.6 million in 2010, almost $1 million more than in 2009.
His base salary, $900,000 in 2010, will increase 22 percent to $1.1 million in 2011.
Transocean built and staffed the Deepwater Horizon. It was leased by BP, which denied most executives bonuses in 2010. In justifying the bonuses, Transocean cites the increased burden on executives of responding to the spill:
Although in 2010 we made significant progress in achieving our strategic and operational objectives for the year, these developments were overshadowed by the April 20, 2010 fire and explosion onboard our semi-submersible drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon, off the Louisiana coast that resulted in the deaths of 11 of our colleagues, including nine Transocean employees, and the uncontrolled flow of hydrocarbons from the well for an extended period (the ‘‘Macondo Incident’’). As a result, many of our senior executive officers… dedicated a significant portion of their time in 2010 following the Macondo Incident to responding to the needs of the victims’ families, coordinating the involvement of additional resources required to stem the flow of hydrocarbons, including drilling rigs and personnel to drill relief wells and other operations as requested by the Unified Area Command, cooperating with the numerous federal, state, and local reviews and investigations into the incident, overseeing our internal investigation of the incident, and managing other demands stemming from these activities, in addition to performing their normal responsibilities.
Steven L. Newman
In the proxy, Transocean’s directors also ask shareholders to shelter “the Board of Directors and the executive management From liability for activities during fiscal year 2010.” The company is being sued by some shareholders for failing to monitor risk leading up to the spill.
Transocean contends it has no liability:
It remains our view that Transocean is contractually indemnified against all claims stemming from the environmental and economic impacts of the hydrocarbons spilled into the Gulf of Mexico from the Macondo well after the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon.”
http://blogs.forbes.com/jeffmcmahon/2011/04/02/transocean-bonuses-deepwater-horizon-gulf-spill/Transocean Ltd., owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, awarded millions of dollars... more
Los Angeles Times...
U.S. says Shell on track to start first new deepwater drilling in gulf since BP spill
March 21, 2011 | 6:49 pm
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Monday announced a step toward approval of the first new deepwater oil and gas exploratory drilling plan in the Gulf of Mexico since the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The plan, submitted by Shell Offshore Inc., details how the company aims to meet more stringent safety requirements in its proposal to drill exploratory wells about 2,950 feet beneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, roughly 130 miles off the coast of Louisiana, Salazar said in a statement.
The area was originally leased to the company in 1985. “This exploration plan meets the new standards for environmental review and marks another important step toward safer deepwater exploration,” Salazar said.
Michael Bromwich, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said his agency found no evidence that Shell’s plans would significantly affect the quality of the “human environment.” As a result, the agency determined that an environmental impact statement was not required and issued a “finding of no significant impact,” a step toward final approval of the plan.
Although Shell’s exploration plan will lead to the first new wells in the gulf since the worst offshore oil disaster in American history, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has already approved a number of permits to resume activity in shallow and deep water. The Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 workers and spewed more than 200 million gallons of crude into the gulf.
Facing growing pressure from the courts and Congress to speed up the approval process, the bureau has approved a permit for Houston-based Noble Energy to drill a so-called bypass well in 6,500 feet of water about 70 miles southeast of Venice, La.
The new well would track one started in April 2010 but plugged two months later, when the government established a moratorium on deep-water drilling in response to BP's well blowout. Noble's new drilling would go around the plugs to reach the oil.
Louis SahagunLos Angeles Times...
U.S. says Shell on track to start first new... more
Posted March 19, 2011
The Coast Guard is investigating reports of a potentially large oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico not far from the Deepwater Horizon site. According to a knowledgeable source, the slick was sighted by a helicopter pilot on Friday and is about 100 miles long. A fishing boat captain said he went through the slick yesterday and it was strong enough to make his eyes burn.
According to the Times Picayune, the Coast Guard has confirmed they are investigating a potentially large 100 mile slick about 30 miles offshore. They are going to a site near the Matterhorn well site about 20 miles north of the BP Deepwater Horizon site, according to the paper. The Matterhorn field includes includes a deepwater drilling platform owned by W&T Technology. It was acquired last year from TotalFinaElf E&P.
Also, another Louisiana fisherman reports that fresh oil is coming ashore near South Pass, LA, and that cleanup crews are laying new boom near the beach. He also reports that cleanup crews in four-wheeled vehicles were patrolling the beaches near the marsh filled coast spraying a substance on the beach.
Cleanup crews are still operating along the marshes and beach areas of Louisiana and other gulf states. The Bay Jimmy of Louisiana's Barataria Bay remains heavily oiled.
Oil is also being discovered in more populated areas too. With spring break coming, students and tourists are already heading to the Gulf to escape the winter up north. Recently a group of Missouri college kids came across oil off the beaches of Pensicola. "We were fishing with nets for shells, we call it shelling, and it was just brown, I thought it was shark poop at first," one incredulous student told local Pensacola station WEAR-TV.
http://www.weartv.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wear_vid_14489.shtmlPosted March 19, 2011
The Coast Guard is investigating reports of a potentially... more
Just as CEO's don't get out of bed in the morning plotting on who to kill today, regulations don't come about needlessly. They come about as the result of someone not doing something that should have.Just as CEO's don't get out of bed in the morning plotting on who to kill... more
"I have critically high levels of chemicals in my body," 33-year-old Steven Aguinaga of Hazlehurst, Mississippi told Al Jazeera. "Yesterday I went to see another doctor to get my blood test results and the nurse said she didn't know how I even got there."
Aguinaga and his close friend Merrick Vallian went swimming at Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in July 2010.
"I swam underwater, then found I had orange slick stuff all over me," Aguinaga said. "At that time I had no knowledge of what dispersants were, but within a few hours, we were drained of energy and not feeling good. I've been extremely sick ever since."
BP's oil disaster last summer gushed at least 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing the largest accidental marine oil spill in history - and the largest environmental disaster in US history. Compounding the problem, BP has admitted to using at least 1.9 million gallons toxic dispersants, including one chemical that has been banned in the UK.
According to chemist Bob Naman, these chemicals create an even more toxic substance when mixed with crude oil. Naman, who works at the Analytical Chemical Testing Lab in Mobile, Alabama, has been carrying out studies to search for the chemical markers of the dispersants BP used to both sink and break up its oil.
Poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from this toxic mix are making people sick, Naman said. PAHs contain compounds that have been identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic.
"The dispersants are being added to the water and are causing chemical compounds to become water soluble, which is then given off into the air, so it is coming down as rain, in addition to being in the water and beaches of these areas of the Gulf," Naman told Al Jazeera.
"I'm scared of what I'm finding. These cyclic compounds intermingle with the Corexit [dispersants] and generate other cyclic compounds that aren't good. Many have double bonds, and many are on the EPA's danger list. This is an unprecedented environmental catastrophe."
more at http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/03/201138152955897442.html"I have critically high levels of chemicals in my body," 33-year-old Steven... more
Deaths of baby dolphins worry scientists
By Vivian Kuo, CNN
February 24, 2011 8:27 p.m. EST
Dead baby dolphins found on Gulf Coast
Twenty-four dolphin calves have been found dead on shores of Alabama, Mississippi
Marine mammal experts say the number is very unusual
Total of 30 dolphins found dead; the cause remains a mystery
(CNN) -- Baby bottlenose dolphins are washing up dead in record numbers on the shores of Alabama and Mississippi, alarming scientists and a federal agency charged with monitoring the health of the Gulf of Mexico.
Moby Solangi, the executive director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS) in Gulfport, Mississippi, said Thursday he's never seen such high death numbers.
"I've worked with marine mammals for 30 years, and this is the first time we've seen such a high number of calves," he said. "It's alarming."
At least 24 baby dolphins have washed up on the shores of the two states since the beginning of the year -- more than ten times the normal rate. Also, six older dolphins died.
In January 2009 and 2010, no calf strandings were reported, compared to four in January 2011, the institute said. During the month of February for those years, only one calf stranding was reported each year.
Blair Mase, lead marine mammal stranding coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), echoed Solangi's concern.
"It's not common for this time of year to recover such young animals. When you put the numbers together, it's quite high compared to previous years."
The occurrence has prompted NOAA to designate these deaths as an "unusual mortality event" -- defined as a stranding incident that is unexpected or involves a significant loss of any marine mammal population.
While bottlenose dolphins are actually the most-frequently found stranding animal, the season usually begins in March, according to Mase.
"We receive reports of stranding year round. We get an average of 700 total every year in the Southeast," she said.
While scientists have seen baby dolphins wash up in the past, "This is not during the months that they should be," said Solangi. "We keep getting reports of new ones all the time, and February isn't over yet."
There have been 13 unusual mortality events involving dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico since 1991, Mase explained.
Marine mammals are particularly susceptible to harmful algal blooms, infectious diseases, temperature and environmental changes, and human impact, she said.
"Unfortunately we don't have a smoking gun here. We're looking at the possibility of an algal bloom but we don't see any evidence of a bloom going on in the water. Temperatures are a bit cooler, so we're looking into water temperature data and seeing if that has a role, but it's a little bit too early to tell."
The IMMS said it has been able to perform full necropsies on a third of the 24 calves. The majority of the calves were too decomposed for a full examination, but the institute has taken tissue samples for analysis.
The institute does not have conclusive results on the causes of death.
Following the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion last April, which killed 11 workers and caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history, there has been heightened concern over the environmental impact.
Due to the government's ongoing litigation with BP, which owned the oil well that erupted into the Gulf of Mexico, NOAA said it must operate under specific protocol in handling the dead dolphins. That might mean a delay in seeing the necropsy results.
"In a world when we wouldn't be dealing with oil-spill protocols, we'd typically get results in about three weeks to a month," Mase said. "We aren't going to see results as quickly as we'd like to. We will be making sure these samples are collected, taken back and analyzed, but it could take several months."
While none of the 30 dolphins were found with any oil on them, Mase said the agency is not ruling anything in or out on the cause of death.
"Frankly, it's just too early to tell at this point. It's obviously on everyone's radar screen. Everyone's concerned about any impact of the BP oil spill, but we have to be very cautious as to identify any particular cause. We won't know until we have these samples analyzed and be able to identify the source."
The most worrisome concern is that dolphin stranding season has yet to officially begin, according to Solangi.
"Whatever it is, I hope it is just an anomaly. It certainly has connotations on reproduction and the population," he said.
"Unfortunately, I think this is not the end of what we will be seeing."http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/24/gulf.dolphins/index.html?hpt=C1
Deaths of baby... more
Baby dolphins, some barely three feet in length, are washing up along the Mississippi and Alabama coastlines at 10 times the normal rate of stillborn and infant deaths, researchers are finding.
The Sun Herald has learned that 17 young dolphins, either aborted before they reached maturity or dead soon after birth, have been collected along the shorelines.
The Institute of Marine Mammal Studies performed necropsies, animal autopsies, on two of the babies today.
Moby Solangi, director of the institute, called the high number of deaths an anomaly and told the Sun Herald that it is significant, especially in light of the BP oil spill throughout the spring and summer last year when millions of barrels of crude oil containing toxins and carcinogens spewed into the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil worked its way into the Mississippi and Chandeleur sounds and other bays and shallow waters where dolphins breed and give birth.
This is the first birthing season for dolphins since the spill.
Dolphins breed in the spring and carry their young for 11 to 12 months, Solangi said.
Typically in January and February, there are one or two babies per month found in Mississippi and Alabama, then the birthing season goes into full swing in March and April.
“For some reason, they’ve started aborting or they were dead before they were born,” Solangi said. “The average is one or two a month. This year we have 17 and February isn’t even over yet.”
Deaths in the adult dolphin population rose in the year of the oil spill from a norm of about 30 to 89, Solangi said.
Solangi is gathering tissue and organs for a thorough forensic study of the infant deaths and is cautious about drawing conclusions until the data is in, probably within a couple of weeks.
“We shouldn’t really jump to any conclusions until we get some results,” Solangi said. “But this is more than just a coincidence.”
The institute told the Sun Herald that it has collected 14 infant dolphins in the last two weeks and three in Mississippi today.
The institute has done a number of the autopsies, but no trend has emerged yet.
“Of the two calves on the table today, one appears to have had trauma,” Solangi said. “It was a very small calf.”
But he said that trauma to the body often occurs after a baby has died because the mother or other dolphins try to get the baby to breathe.
“I don’t believe the calf died because something hit it,” Solangi said.
“Some of the trauma you see in a baby dolphin death is the result of the mother or other animals around it trying to get it back. They don’t realize it’s dead until sometime later,” he said.
Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/02/20/2881134/baby-dolphin-deaths-spike-on-gulf.html#ixzz1EeAK3bMUBaby dolphins, some barely three feet in length, are washing up along the Mississippi... more
BP oil spill claims: Many complaints, few changes
By Catherine Clifford, CNN staff reporterFebruary 19, 2011: 5:05 PM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Now it's official: The agency in charge of doling out payments to victims of last year's massive Gulf oil spill has come up with its final set of rules on who will get how much money, and it's barely changed from earlier versions.
The Gulf Coast Claims Facility has taken criticism from both sides -- the U.S. Department of Justice said it was being too stingy with BP's $20 billion oil spill recovery fund (and many victims agreed), while BP, which was responsible for last year's disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, said it was being too generous.
The GCCF, headed by Kenneth Feinberg, former administrator of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, received more than 1,400 public comments in response to its draft proposal.
The changes to the final rules are relatively minor, although they could make a big difference for those affected by the tweaks. They'll come as good news to oyster processors, as well as victims who use accountants to help them file claims.
The final rules also promise to give claimants more data about the status of their claims, including how any payments were calculated and why.
They'll be bad news to local boat operators who helped with clean-up efforts, though; the final rules say boats used as part of a "Vessels of Opportunity" program can't get paid for any resulting property damage via the claims facility.
Under the new rules, oyster processors will now be eligible for four times their 2010 documented losses as a lump-sum payment. In earlier versions, only oyster harvesters could get that much.
Although the Facility's experts predict that the region will fully recover from the spill in 2012 (so claimants in most other fields are being offered a one-time check for double their documented 2010 losses), they estimate it will take oyster beds longer to return to normal.
The final methodology also offers to pay "reasonable costs" of claimants who work with an independent accountant on their claims, and to treat them as part of their losses. That offer should help claimants submit proper documentation to back up their claims; less than 17% had submitted completed 2010 documentation as of Friday, the GCCF said.
A big response
Feinberg issued his proposed rules for determining final lump-sum payments to oil-spill victims earlier this month, and opened up the criteria for public comment. In two weeks, he received 1,440 responses from individuals, businesses and public officials.
BP, for one, submitted a 24-page letter saying that the proposed methodology overstates the region's losses and that payments were too generous.
Others who submitted public comments -- mostly frustrated business owners and individuals -- complained they found the claims process unfair or overly complicated, or the payments insufficient.
In an outline of the final payment methodology, posted on the GCCF's web site late Friday night, the agency said that it "has carefully considered all comments," and made changes in response.
Earlier, the GCCF said claimants could accept a one-time lump sum payment option, which requires forfeiting the right to sue, and be paid two times their documented losses in 2010. That number is based on the GCCF's assumption that spill-related losses will taper off this year and next, to 70% of 2010 losses this year and 30% of 2010 losses next year.
In the final protocol, the GCCF said it still thinks this logic is "fair and reasonable." Part of the reason some commenters were upset about the payment strategy, it said, was because they just didn't understand how payments were being calculated.
The protocol lays out the methodology for determining final, lump-sum payments, which require claimants to waive any rights to sue BP or any other responsible party.
It also details the methodology for claimants to receive interim payments, a stop-gap way they can be reimbursed for substantiated, past damages on a quarterly basis without forfeiting the right to sue.
The protocol doesn't cover all options for victims seeking money, though. For example, they might request a one-time "quick-pay" option without giving up the right to sue, or hire a lawyer and seek redress in the courts. Participation in the Facility is completely voluntary.
Now that the final methodology has been published, the Facility will begin making final and interim payments. Thus far, the Facility has paid out nearly $3.5 billion. To top of pageBP oil spill claims: Many complaints, few changes
By Catherine Clifford, CNN staff... more
Latest News Updates As you install a kitchen sink you will invariably need to install a sink flange in the sink. Westhill-based ThinJack has extended its range of engineering services to include specialist consultancy for the oil and gas industry.Latest News Updates As you install a kitchen sink you will invariably need to install... more
1. 60-YEAR TERM IN LEVY SLAYING
WASHINGTON | The man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison. Ingmar Guandique was convicted in November of first-degree murder in Levy’s 2001 disappearance and death.1. 60-YEAR TERM IN LEVY SLAYING
WASHINGTON | The man convicted of killing Washington... more
BP reports annual loss after Gulf spill
By the CNN Wire Staff
February 1, 2011 6:13 a.m. EST
* NEW: BP is in court over a deal with Russia to explore for oil
* It resumes paying dividends, giving out 7 cents a share for the fourth quarter
* BP is selling off two American refineries, Texas City and Carson
* The oil giant set aside $40.9 billion to cover charges related to the undersea gusher
London (CNN) -- Oil giant BP suffered an annual loss for 2010 because of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, it announced Tuesday.
It reported a loss of $4.9 billion, but that includes $40.9 billion set aside pre-tax in charges related to the spill.
It will also start paying dividends to shareholders again, it announced. They'll get 7 cents a share for the fourth quarter of 2010.
Dividends were suspended in June 2010 amid a torrent of bad publicity about the undersea gusher.
Separately, BP is in court in London Tuesday over a deal with Russia's state-controlled Rosneft to explore for oil in the Russian Arctic. BP's Russian partner TNK-BP is seeking to block the deal.
An independent report into the spill ordered by President Barack Obama found that the Gulf of Mexico "disaster was both foreseeable and avoidable. The industry failed to manage the risk of an inherently dangerous operation," one of the commissioners told CNN last month.
"More than 14 million Americans live along the Gulf of Mexico. They have paid a grievous price for this disaster. Thousands were thrown out of work. Many have lost their homes," commissioner Frances Beinecke wrote in a special piece for CNN.
"2010 will rightly be remembered for the tragic accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and it is clear that as a result BP is a company in transition," said chief executive Bob Dudley, who took over after the spill.
He said the company would "emerge from this episode as a company that is safer, stronger, more sustainable, more trusted and also more valuable."
The company also announced it is selling off two American refineries, Carson and Texas City, which was the site of a disaster in 2005.
Fifteen people were killed and about 170 injured in an explosion at the Texas City, Texas, refinery in March of that year.
BP agreed last year to pay $15 million in fines to resolve Clean Air Act violations related to two fires and a leak at the refinery, unrelated to the 2005 explosion the Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department said in September.
It was the largest penalty ever recovered for Clean Air Act violations, the EPA said.
The sale of the two refineries is part of a plan to sell off $30 billion in assets this year, after setting out to divest itself of about $22 billion in assets in 2010.
CNN's Per Nyberg contributed to this report.BP reports annual loss after Gulf spill
By the CNN Wire Staff
February 1, 2011... more
The latest development in the Gulf is how an incomprehensible bacterium is remarkably eating up the methane gas. It appears that engineered designer genes have also been used to remove the gas just as they have been used to consume the oil. The common denominator is that neither of these microbes are natural microorganisms. This should come as no surprise.
Microbiologist David Valentine at the University of California at Santa Barbara stated,
“Within a matter of months, the bacteria completely removed that methane. The bacteria kicked on more effectively than we expected.”
It sounds to me that this created synthetic genome microbe far exceeded the engineering and programming expectations.
According to a Fox Business report,
“This discovery offered a rare glimpse into the remarkable abilities of an obscure family of microbes in the depths of the Gulf”.
I agree. It is scientifically incomprehensible that any natural microorganism could do this and synthetically engineered microbes are definitely obscure by comparison.
University of Georgia microbiologist Samantha Joye, who has been independently analyzing methane from the Gulf of Mexico, also agrees with me. She said,
“It would take a superhuman microbe to do what they are claiming.”
So it has, Samantha. It was specifically engineered and its “superhuman” genetics were created synthetically.
In a January 7, 2011 article, the UK Register wrote how the scientists were particularly
“surprised at the speed with which the bacteria consumed their enormous meal”.
They also brought up the fact that earlier studies elsewhere in the world suggested methane levels around Deepwater Horizon would be well above normal for years ahead. It’s remarkable what highly engineered designer genes can do.
On January 6, 2011, the Christian Science Monitor reported how the study’s leaders boldly stated that rates of methane decomposition after the Gulf oil spill
“were faster than had ever been recorded in any other place on the planet.”
That’s because these are not natural microbes. You can’t compare apples to grapefruit.
TRACE ELEMENTS ADDED TO THE GULF
In the same CS Monitor report, University of Georgia microbiologist Samantha Joye stated how
“[The Gulf] is not well stocked with trace elements the bacteria need to survive – among them, copper, which bacteria specifically use to deal with the methane. Shortages of copper, as well as other trace elements, likely would have slammed the brakes on the exponential growth in bacterial populations needed to get rid of the methane in fewer than four months.”
The same applies to hydrocarbon-eating bacteria that consume oil, except that iron is needed more than the other trace elements. Since copper and iron are not prevalent mineral elements normally found in the Gulf of Mexico, the synthetic bacterium eating both the oil and the methane would not be able to do so at the remarkable speed they have without such essential earth elements. The only possible way these synthetic bacterium could have done this is by adding the required elements to the Gulf. Spraying a highly dissolved or colloidal mixture of trace elements onto and into the Gulf of Mexico would be absolutely required to accomplish this.
In our October 21, 2010 research article The Gulf BLUE PLAGUE (BP): It’s Not Wise To Fool Mother Nature, we had revealed the abnormally high amounts of elements found in the Gulf and that it was being sprayed along with or separately from the oil dispersants. In August 2010, rain water samples were tested by the Coastal Heritage Society of Louisiana where rain coming directly from the Gulf had unusually high concentrations of iron, copper, nickel, aluminum, manganese, and arsenic.
Without a doubt, the synthetically created bacterium introduced into the Gulf of Mexico to consume the oil and gasses were – and continue to be – fed these essential trace elements. Otherwise, they could not have thrived or reproduced at the accelerated rate they have. The continued spraying in the Gulf by aircraft and by boat is not Corexit or other oil dispersal chemicals. Consider the current spraying to have the same effect of adding liquid fertilizer to your crops.
SYNTHETIC MICROBES MUTATING NATURAL MICROORGANISMS
In early December, 2010 the research vessel WeatherBird II, owned by the University of Southern Florida (USF), went back to the Gulf of Mexico for follow-up water and core samples. As reported by Naomi Klein on January 13, 2011 in Hunting the Ocean for BP’s Missing Millions of Barrels of Oil,
“…these veteran scientists have seen things that they describe as unprecedented …evidence of bizarre sickness in the phytoplankton and bacterial communities…”
This “bizarre sickness” in the indigenous Gulf microorganisms is the direct result of the synthetic microbes that are still creating genetic sicknesses by mutating the DNA of the natural microbes. We had alerted our readers to this in DNA Mutations Confirmed in Gulf of Mexico on September 28, 2010 when we stated,
“DNA mutations are occurring within the Gulf of Mexico at a microscopic cellular level. The obvious effect this has on marine life as well as humans is a Pandora Box of unknowns.”
Tampa Bay Online gave further insight to this in an interview with Dr. John Paul, an oceanography biology professor at USF, regarding the oil plume they had discovered 40 miles off the Florida Panhandle:
It was found to be toxic to microscopic sea organisms, causing mutations to their DNA. If this plankton at the base of the marine food chain is contaminated, it could affect the whole ecosystem of the Gulf.
“The problem with mutant DNA is that it can be passed on and we don’t how this will affect fish or other marine life,” he says, adding that the effects could last for decades.
In Naomi Klein’s article, she describes how Paul introduced healthy bacteria and phytoplankton to Gulf water samples and what happened shocked him. The responses of the organisms “were genotoxic or mutagenic”. According to Paul, what was so “scary” about these results is that such genetic damage was “heritable,” meaning the mutations can be passed on.
Genotoxins pass on genetic changes to successors who have never been exposed to the original gene. Healthy microorganisms are then genetically changed and will pass on their DNA mutations to their descendants. This is a genetic chain-reaction as each mutated microbe interacts with and affects other microorganisms, especially with regards to the food chain:
“…the phytoplankton, the bacteria, and the [microorganisms] that graze on them – the zooplankton – seem to be the most potentially impacted.” – Dr. David Hollander, USF Marine Geochemist: December 6, 2010: Video interview on WeatherBird II.The latest development in the Gulf is how an incomprehensible bacterium is remarkably... more
The Turtle Hospital is located in Marathon, Florida (in the heart of the Florida Keys) on Overseas highway at mile marker 48.5, Bayside.
2396 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Florida 33050
The Turtle Hospital
The Turtle Hospital opened its doors 1986 with four main goals: 1) rehab injured sea turtles and return them to their natural habitat, 2) educate the public through outreach programs and visit local schools, 3) conduct and assist with research aiding to sea turtles (in conjunction with state universities), and 4) work toward environmental legislation making the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles.
The Turtle Hospital (Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. The Hidden Harbor Motel provides the space and buildings needed to house and care for the sea turtles. The Turtle Hospital offers Guided Educational Experiences to public daily 7 days a week. Please call 305-743-2552 for further information and reservations.
The Turtle Hospital contains up-to-date equipment needed to perform a variety of surgeries on different species and sizes of sea turtles. More than half of this equipment has been donated by local hospitals and doctors, and some equipment has been donated by environmentally- friendly organizations and individuals.
A variety of turtle ailments are treated at the Turtle Hospital including flipper amputations caused by fishing line and trap rope entanglements, shell damage caused by boat collisions, and intestinal impactions caused by ingestion of foreign materials such as plastic bags, balloons, and fishing line and/or hooks. The most common surgery performed is the removal of debilitating viral tumors that affect over 50% of the sea turtles in the Keys and around the world.
The Turtle Hospital and the University of Florida have been doing cooperative research into the causes of fibropapilloma, the devastating viral tumors which affect sea turtles. This is currently the only known disease affecting wild animals on a global basis. The virus has been successfully transmitted (proving that it is infectious) and current research concentrates on isolating the cause.
The Turtle Hospital has successfully treated and released over 1000 Sea Turtles since its founding in 1986. The turtles are released in a variety of ways and at different locations depending on species. Greens are taken either to Pigeon Key via ambulance or they are taken to a spot 20 miles north of Marathon in the Florida Bay. Loggerheads are usually released at Pigeon Key or launched off a boat into the gulf or ocean. Kemp’s Ridleys are taken 70 miles west of Key West out to the coral reefs of the Dry Tortugas.The Turtle Hospital is located in Marathon, Florida (in the heart of the Florida Keys)... more
"Today is Canada Day - or as others refer to Canada, America's Mini-Me." Stand-up comedian Chris Martin delivers his final set before retiring due to Alzheimer's July 1, 2010 at Cozzy's Comedy Club's open mic in Newport News, VA.
http://www.chrismartincomedy.com"Today is Canada Day - or as others refer to Canada, America's... more
"People in Mississippi always get confused when they go to a Harry Potter movie. They think they're going to see a movie about wizards." Stand-up comedian Chris Martin plays the race card at Cafe Diem Comedy Night June 7, 2010. David C. Wingfield is MC.
http://www.ChrisMartinComedy.com"People in Mississippi always get confused when they go to a Harry Potter movie.... more