tagged w/ Oil Industry
Journal of Petroleum Technology, July 2012 “” Go to Page 18
Here we have a guest editorial about LENR appearing in a leading magazine of the oil industry.Journal of Petroleum Technology, July 2012 “” Go to Page 18 Here we have... more
One Battle at a Time:
In light of the activism taking place against the Koch brothers’ pet project, it would seem the courts are now taking notice and ruling accordingly – on the side of the people, which is as it should be.
http://veracitystew.com/?p=39809One Battle at a Time: In light of the activism taking place against the Koch... more
Detection of high concentrations of benzene, xylenes, gasoline range organics, diesel range organics, and total purgeable hydrocarbons in ground water samples from shallow monitoring wells near pits indicates that pits are a source of shallow ground water contamination in the area of investigation.
http://veracitystew.com/2011/12/14/fracking-investigation-yes-its-poisoning-the-water/Detection of high concentrations of benzene, xylenes, gasoline range organics, diesel... more
Nearly 19,000 questions were submitted on YouTube for Thursday's Google and Fox News Republican Primary debate in Florida. More than 100,000 votes were cast to help determine the questions...We took those 19,000 questions, which were asked among nine varying categories, and analyzed the words people used when expressing their perspectives
http://veracitystew.com/2011/09/23/gop-debate-word-clouds-speak-volumes-image/Nearly 19,000 questions were submitted on YouTube for Thursday's Google and Fox... more
With the nation’s attention diverted by the drama over the debt ceiling, Republicans in the House of Representatives are loading up an appropriations bill with 39 ways — and counting — to significantly curtail environmental regulation.
One would prevent the Bureau of Land Management from designating new wilderness areas for preservation. Another would severely restrict the Department of Interior’s ability to police mountaintop-removal mining. And then there is the call to allow new uranium prospecting near Grand Canyon National Park.
There is little chance that all the 39 proposals identified by Democrats will be approved by the Senate, which they control, or that a substantial number could elude a presidential veto. In fact, one measure — to forbid the Fish and Wildlife Service to list any new plants or animals as endangered — was so extreme that 37 Republicans broke ranks Wednesday and voted to strip it from the bill.
Although inserting policy changes into appropriations bills is a common strategy when government is divided as it is now, no one can remember such an aggressive use of the tactic against natural resources. Environmental groups and their Democratic allies in Congress worry that more than a few of these so-called riders could stick when both sides negotiate and leverage budget concessions in the fall.
“You have a fatal political momentum,” said David Goldston, director of government affairs for the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group. “They are going to load up this bill in an unprecedented fashion.”
Republicans frame their proposals — which are being debated and voted on this week on the House floor — as the best way to counter overreaching regulatory agencies.
The unusual breadth of the attack, explained Representative Mike Simpson, a Republican from Idaho, is a measure of his party’s intense frustration over cumbersome environmental rules.
“Many of us think that the overregulation from E.P.A. is at the heart of our stalled economy,” Mr. Simpson said, referring to the Environmental Protection Agency. “I hear it from Democratic members as well.”
But Democrats argue that the policy prescriptions are proof that Republicans are determined to undo clean air and water protections established 40 years ago.
Many of these new restrictions, they point out, were proposed in the budget debate earlier this year and failed. They are back, the Democrats say, because Republicans are doing the bidding of industry and oil companies.
“The new Republican majority seems intent on restoring the robber-baron era where there were no controls on pollution from power plants, oil refineries and factories,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman, a California Democrat, excoriating the proposal on the floor.
Environmental regulations and the E.P.A. have been the bane of Tea Party Republicans almost from the start. Although particularly outraged by efforts to monitor carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas linked to the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, freshmen Republicans have tried to rein in the E.P.A. across the board — including proposals to take away its ability to decide if coal ash can be designated as a toxic material and to prevent it from clarifying rules enforcing the Clean Water Act.
The appropriations bill in question covers the Department of Interior, the Forest Service and the E.P.A., and it was voted out of committee and onto the House floor strictly along party lines — with the Republicans prevailing 28 to 18. The bill cuts annual combined funding for agencies by 7 percent — and by nearly 18 percent for the E.P.A. alone — but it is controversial mostly because of the onslaught of policy changes.
Representative Norm Dicks, Democrat of Washington and ranking minority member on the appropriations committee, said Republicans were adding provisions unchecked to the law and getting away with very little scrutiny. He expected even more regulatory rollbacks to be added to the bill this week. The bill is under open debate on the House floor, and policy changes requested by members but not included by the appropriations committee can now be added one by one to the bill, in addition to the 39 riders that came out of the committee.
“It is already like a wish list for polluters,” Mr. Dicks said, “and it is going to get worse on the floor.”
Conservatives have been adding amendments at a furious pace. Earthjustice, an environmental advocacy group, counted more than 70 anti-environmental amendments filed as of Wednesday morning and was monitoring for more.
Dave Conover, a senior vice president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington analysis and advocacy group, and a former Republican staff member with the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, said the large number of provisions was less about policy and more a way for the conservatives in the House to signal the depths of their discontent with a broken political process.
“It is clear that the Senate is not going to pass all these appropriations,” said Mr. Conover, adding, “And the message is that in a down economy excessive environmental regulations are a bad move.”
But Mr. Goldston of the Natural Resources Defense Council said that although most of the policy attachments would never become law, the Republican appropriations flurry was still unnerving — and could pose more reason for concern in coming months. ”We are then going to be in a situation again where the Senate and president face the question of whether they are willing to shut down the government or appease a motley group in the House over a spending bill,” he said. “No one knows how that plays out.”With the nation’s attention diverted by the drama over the debt ceiling,... more
Los Angeles Times...
China moves to contain newly disclosed oil spills
By Jonathan Kaiman | 6:13 p.m.
The June incidents at two platforms that are jointly owned by U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips in the Bohai Sea were only reported last week.
By Jonathan Kaiman, Los Angeles Times
July 14, 2011, 6:13 p.m.
Reporting from Beijing—
China is moving to contain two oil spills in the Bohai Sea off the nation's northeast coast amid complaints from environmental groups and online activists that it took weeks for government regulators and an oil company to publicly disclose the incidents.
The spills occurred below two platforms jointly owned by U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips' China subsidiary and the state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, creating a 320-square-mile oil slick that's reportedly spreading.
The State Oceanic Administration, China's coastal regulator, on Wednesday ordered ConocoPhillips to shut down operations at the platforms located at an oilfield known as Penglai 9-13.
Though the first spill occurred June 4 and the second June 17, the incidents were not disclosed to the public until July 5 by the State Oceanic Administration.
Environmental activists said attempts to cover up the spills were thwarted when word leaked online, possibly from a whistleblower.
Officials at CNOOC have denied a cover-up. The coastal regulatory agency could not be reached for comment.
ConocoPhillips said in a statement that it estimates between 1,500 and 2,000 barrels have leaked into the sea due to seepage from a naturally occurring fault. The company said it has contained the spill to trace amounts, equal to a few liters a day and that no oil had reached shore.
Activists remain deeply skeptical about the severity of the spills given China's notoriously weak enforcement of environmental laws, which they say favor economic interests above all.
The spills come a year after one of the worst oil disasters in Chinese history, when explosions rocked two pipelines in the coastal city of Dalian. Although the government said 11,000 barrels of oil were spilled back then, independent experts put the amount at 650,000 barrels.
The Dalian incident came on the heels of another environmental disaster, in which the state-owned Zijin Mining Group Co. waited nine days before disclosing a chemical spill in Fujian province that polluted a river that had been heavily relied upon for its fish.
Ma Jun, head of the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, a nongovernmental organization in Beijing, said China's disclosure laws for such disasters were vague and fines for polluting were too small.
"For decades, China's policy is to promote economic development," Ma said. "So all of these companies have enjoyed some special protection."
The stiffest penalty oil companies can face for polluting waters in China is about $30,000. By comparison, BP may face tens of billions of dollars in penalties after last year's spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In recent days, Chinese state media have criticized regulators for being weak.
"We cannot help but wonder: Is the [State Oceanic Administration] a serious watchdog that exists to prevent bigger incidents from happening, or a loving parent who is overprotective of his own child?" read an editorial in the English edition of the Global Times.
Chinese oil demand has soared to fuel its sizzling economic growth. To keep up, the country has had to increasingly rely on foreign sources, including suppliers from some of the most volatile regions in the world.
Seeking a safer alternative, the government has invested billions of dollars in boosting its offshore oil production.
"With more and more interest invested into offshore oil exploration, there's a really urgent need to start improving" environmental safety measures, said Li Yan, the climate and energy campaign manager at Greenpeace East Asia.
If "measures are not taken, this could just happen again," Li said.
It remains to be seen how much damage to wildlife has been caused by the Bohai Sea spills.
Zhai Yuxiu, deputy director of the National Center for Quality Supervision and Testing of Aquatic Products, said that even slight differences in water temperature and quality could be catastrophic for the area's fishing industry.
"The pollution will absolutely have an influence," he said.
This week, a coalition of 11 Chinese environmental advocacy groups announced plans to file a joint lawsuit in hopes of garnering more transparency in the oil industry.
Alex Wang, a Chinese environmental law expert at UC Berkeley Law School, said there was little hope of the lawsuit reaching court.
"In China, incidents of this magnitude are seldom ever handled in the courts," Wang said. "They'll almost always be handled by the government."
Kaiman is a special correspondent. Nicole Liu in The Times' Beijing bureau contributed to this report.
.Los Angeles Times... China moves to contain newly disclosed oil spills By... more
Wake me from this twilight zone nightmare, please ?!? Considering the high price that each driving American has paid for gasoline throughout the decades, in the form of wars on the middle east to protect oil industry interests, the higher cost of monopoly controlled and exclusively used fossil fuels, the cost of pollution cleanup, and our decreased health from poisoned air, why, when the oil industry has been making heretofore unheard of profits, is there even discussion in Washington about adding yet another gasoline consumption tax upon the consumer?
The typical consumer is flat broke! We are underemployed, loosing our homes, without insurance, and many without food to eat. Yet, words are floating around Washington regarding a mileage based gasoline consumption tax, possibly layered upon the already existing gasoline consumption taxes at the pump. Excuse me for thinking, but every time one pumps gas, isn't that person already paying tax based upon the miles which they have already driven, and will be driving? How is such a new plan different is essence, and why is the administration considering another consumer tax when it's THE OIL INDUSTRY THAT HAS ALL OF THE MONEY, and benefits the most from our gas consumption? This seems everything from "ass backwards" to making no sense to me. Does it make sense to you?
Even the "notorious" Newsmax is railing against the idea; of course, they rail against anything Obamaesque, without considering that we would shout "tax the oil industry" for transportation and energy development funding! Read Newsmax's spin here:
http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/gas-tax-tracking-obama/2011/05/05/id/395346?s=al&promo_code=C36B-1Wake me from this twilight zone nightmare, please ?!? Considering the high price that... more
Well, you know what they say: A gift of a billion here, and a gift of a billion there, and suddenly they have given our asses away!
Not only do the Repubs want to further subsidize oil, but oil doesn't pay any royalties on the oil which they take from the gulf now. Further, not only do they not pay any income tax in the U.S., but our government GAVE THEM millions of dollars of our tax money. This is a three ring heist and fleece of epic proportions, and it leaves little wonder that this country is penniless.
Check out a different tally on these oil numbers and facts from MSNBC:
Also, check out Taxpayers for Common Sense's report:
High Reward From Targeting High Risk
Volume XVI No. 7: February 18, 2011
When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton supposedly observed "because that's where the money is.” Not a bad maxim, and for a Congress hungrily seeking cuts they should go where the waste is. Or at least where it will likely occur.
Cue the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress, which released its biennial "High Risk" report that highlights "problems impeding effective government and costing billions of dollars each year.” The usual suspects made the list: Medicare and Medicaid waste, poor enforcement of tax laws by the IRS, the Department of Defense's questionable weapons procurement process. But the GAO added a new player to the list that has long been in our waste sights: The Department of the Interior's management of revenue from gas and oil leases.
The GAO has made it no secret that our nation's oil and gas royalties are not measuring up. In 2008, they reported revenues from oil and gas production had gone down for 93 of the 104 total resource owners. Examining the program further, the GAO found that over the last two years the Department of the Interior (DOI) - the agency charged with assuring the public's revenues are collected - has made continual blunders with the collection of company-reported data and offers unreliable sales data that doesn't reflect market prices for oil and gas. Furthermore, DOI is restructuring its oil and gas programs under a severely constrained resources environment. All of this led GAO to slap a "high risk for waste” tag on the program.
We're not surprised with the tag. A few years ago regulators from the agency were found to be in bed with industry – figuratively and literally. The GAO doesn't go as far to estimate the public's loss of revenue, but one thing is clear: Our policy makers must hold the Department of the Interior more accountable to ensure taxpayers are getting their fair share of money from oil and gas production. This is the least we could ask for since the federal government is already giving an estimated $40 billion in subsidies to the oil and gas industry over the next ten years.
In the other, usual areas of fraud, mismanagement, and waste of our money, GAO also examined the high risk of Medicare and Medicaid payments and the government's management of excess federal property.
Although the GAO finds significant progress has been made over the last decade, a 2011 report found 45,190 underutilized excess buildings remained in federal hands, and the number is increasing. Furthermore, these buildings account for $1.66 billion annually in operating and maintenance costs. The GAO reports that attempts to rid the federal government's involvement with these properties has been stymied by poor corrective actions from the General Services Administration (GSA) and Office of Management and Budget, financial limitations, and competing stakeholder interests. We're happy to see that the FY11 spending bill currently being debated in the House of Representatives cuts the GSA facilities budget by $1.7 billion (sound familiar?) to get their attention.
As potentially the biggest elephant in the room, the GAO estimates billions in Medicare and Medicaid funds are lost to improper payments. In 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services estimated improper payments accounted for more than $70 billion in taxpayer dollars. Although the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services has made progress to target improper payment rates, more must be done to profile fraud, streamline payment systems, and better manage payment for services. Eliminating these improper payments would cut the budget by more than House Republicans are targeting in the FY11 spending bill.
TCS lauds GAO's continual update of its High Risk list. As Congress and the Administration proceed in their efforts to reduce federal spending, this report offers a great starting point to rightfully collect the public's fair share, and reduce our trillion-dollar deficit.Well, you know what they say: A gift of a billion here, and a gift of a billion there,... more
What is it?
Does that pollute the air? Is it toxic? Is it safe? Does that contaminate our water? Is climate change man made?
Many other are the questions people ask about environmental issues.
Most people are now undecided. Even when confronted with real proof, remain DOUBTFUL and somehow confused.
Where is the truth?
Mainstream news do not cover the illnesses that people report every day caused by the fossil fuel industry contamination, do not cover the damages on our Nature, do not show any of this.
The mega corporations are poisoning our World and no one holds them accountable.
They insist on emitting CO2 levels above the safety net, and it's a money machine we almost can't stop. They are almighty, and the billions they spend on propaganda only further their agenda making it harder for people to know the truth.
Also, most people with a regular degree of knowledge find themselves not qualified to argue on a technical, scientific level especially if delved into details about issues like climate change or chemical elements like aspartame, fluoride etc.
They turn into insecure, confused human beings.
The FACTORY OF DOUBTS was born, sponsored by the powerful few on top of the economy and politic. It is causing a stall of the mass or a paralysis of the self thinking process in people.
When in doubt if to go left or right, up or down, you stall your self as you keep thinking what to do. Ultimately you will never follow a direction, will not bring a difference in your life and this world.
The factory of doubts is not aimed at convincing you of the opposite of what is true but clearly aimed at installing doubts.
How do we defeat this act of terrorism against our minds, our sanity and common sense?
More importantly, how do you know who's lying?
Shall we all get a PhD and start arguing about technicalities to find out the truth?
Shall we get trapped on a ping-pong argument with no end in sight?
"Myth debunked!" Then: Debunking the "Myth debunked!" and so on?
We need to move forward and actually change things for the safety of the people and the planet but how?
We need to drop the scientific, religious arguments which have no end in sight especially because power and a flawed political system stand in the way of the truth.
We can control the bad guys with rationalism, common sense and logic.
If something makes sense to you, believe in it and go for it. The inner voice inside all of us works, at least for the majority, and all we have to do is listen to it!
Next time you feel overwhelmed by different voices, ask your self these simple and logical questions:
Would you drink water that contains pesticide, pharmaceuticals, rocket fuel etc?
Would you eat food that contains unknown chemicals and artificial elements?
Shall we continue to breathe millions of pounds of toxic gases released into the air by exhaust car pipes, oil factories etc?
Shall we continue to support this contamination?
The answer to all these questions above is what makes more sense to you.
Then, when it comes to climate change, do you need to know if it is man induced or just a natural cycle to take a stand?
"Yes", someone might say, but the answer to that is gone because doubt was produced, and you can kiss it goodbye as sad as it sounds.
In the worst case scenario, supposing environmentalists are wrong and the fossil fuel industry is right, we will have reduced CO2 levels. We will also have reduced poisoning of our water, food that comes from coal mining, oil and gas drilling.
However, if the fossil fuel industry is wrong and we, the environmentalists are right, will be facing disaster, no slow downs, no redemption chances will be left.
Now, listen to that inner voice I talked about before and what makes more sense?
Do we need to keep on arguing until it's going to be too late?
Climate change exists independently from who or what is inducing it, and its damages are real!
Why aren't we doing anything about it? Why aren't we trying to find a solution?
The solution to climate change is actually relatively independent from the cause.
We can all agree that with reforestation and by stopping deforestation, climate will be less out of balance; Instead, we continue with our destructive andazzo.
Finally, what are you going to decide?
Will you keep on taking chances by eating and drinking contaminants in our food and water? Gamble with our health and the future of our children?
Shall we focus on the solution or keep up the argument? Will you choose the worst-case scenario where we got nothing to lose or the other where we will face doom?
By all means listen to your self, ignore influencing external factors that to a degree or another have an agenda.
It certainly isn’t about putting people before profits.
We have seen this happening for a little more than a century since a political system allowed corporatism, monopoly, exploitation or the "get rich at the expense of others" scheme to proliferate among us.
Photo by phogel:
Join The Organic Movement:
http://current.com/groups/organicgreen/What is it? Does that pollute the air? Is it toxic? Is it safe? Does that... more
As ThinkProgress(http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/23/david-charles-koch/)and others(http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/)have reported(http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer) , Koch Industries and its billionaire owners, Charles and David Koch(http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/04/01/koch-pollution-astroturf-2deca/) , have played a leading role in the apparently successful(http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2010/07/22/cap-and-trade-is-dead-really-truly-im-not-kidding-whos-to-blame/)effort by polluters to stymie Senate passage of comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.
Not content to simply stop progress, however, the Koch brothers and various Koch-funded organizations have also been actively trying to roll back existing clean air and clean energy laws — both at the state and national levels. David Koch, who lives in New York City and whose company is based in Kansas, is secretly(http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/19/david-koch-prop23/)bankrolling the Proposition 23 effort to roll back California’s landmark clean energy law. Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity helped make opposition to “cap-and-trade” a Tea Party talking point and then launched its so-called “Regulation Reality(http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/03/20/regulation-propaganda-tour/?wpmp_tp=1) ” tour to attack Supreme Court-mandated Clean Air Act regulations being finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Today, a new Koch-backed national(http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/08/17/17greenwire-oil-group-climate-bill-supporters-clash-in-sum-86272.html)effort to protect the energy industry, dubbed “Rally for Jobs,” begins with rallies in Texas and will continue next week with events in New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio. While the American Petroleum Institute, Big Oil’s Washington lobbying arm, is the “presenting sponsor” of the Rally for Jobs tour, several Koch-backed groups are also involved(http://rallyforjobs.org/partners/) :
> • FreedomWorks, whose Koch-founded precursor,
> Citizens for a Sound Economy, received some $5.7 million
> from Koch foundations.
> • Americans for Prosperity, which received at least $5.1 million from
> Koch Foundations from 2005-2008(http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/)
> and is an offshoot of the Koch-founded Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation,
> which itself received more than $6 million from Koch Foundations
> • The American Highway Users Alliance, of which Koch Industries is a member
> • Americans for Tax Reform, which received
> $60,000 from Koch Foundations from 1997-2008.
> • The Institute for Policy Innovation, which received
> $35,000 from Koch foundations.
> • The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association,
> of which Koch Industries is a member.
> • The National Taxpayers Union, which has received
> $20,000 from Koch foundations.
> • The Natural Gas Supply Association, of which
> Koch Industries appears to be a member.
> • The Texas Prosperity Project, on whose board of directors
> sits Bill Oswald, Government & Regulatory Affairs Director at
> Koch Industries.
> • The Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce,
> which recently held an event sponsored by Flint Hills Resources
> a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries.(http://www.fhr.com/about/default.aspx)
The Rally for Jobs tour is the latest astroturf attempt by Koch and the rest of Big Oil to use the economic anxiety gripping the nation to stave off any new attempts to crack down on the industry’s emissions and to block new accountability measures in the wake of the BP oil disaster. The front group’s (http://rallyforjobs.org/) website uses standard energy industry boilerplate repeating the false claim that increased energy use and economic prosperity are inexorably linked:
> More energy equals more jobs, higher incomes and greater
> economic growth. We must come together to tell Washington
> that our livelihoods depend on the oil and natural gas
> industry and consumers who rely on access to affordable
> energy will not be overlooked.
Just yesterday, the Center for American Progress (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/08/good_jobs_new_markets.html) released a report showing that a concerted national energy efficiency program (i.e using less energy, not more) could create 625,000 sustained jobs over ten years, spark $500 billion in investment, and save ratepayers $64 billion that they could then use more productively.
The Rally for Jobs website also implies that the federal government is blocking energy production and somehow threatening jobs, presumably referring to the Obama administration’s deepwater drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil industry and some elected officials have been fearmongering over the moratorium for months, but a front page New York Times article from last week noted that job losses as a result of the drilling ban have simply “(http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/25/us/25drill.html?_r=1) failed to materialize.” Further underscoring how unreliable the claims of the oil industry often turn out to be, just two of the 33 deepwater rigs idled by the moratorium have actually left the Gulf.
It seems that politics and the fall election may also have played a role in selecting the tour’s stops. Canton, Ohio and Mokena, Illinois, the sites of two stops next week, are not generally known for their role in oil production, but they do happen to be home to vulnerable freshman House Democrats–both of whom voted for comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation last year. Indeed, Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, noted that “we have always encouraged our employees to (http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2010/08/17/1) engage in political activities.”
If this all sounds strangely familiar, it’s because (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Energy_Citizens) many of the same Koch-backed groups participated in a nearly identical effort last summer. The so-called “Energy Citizens” campaign was widely mocked as the (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/business/energy-environment/19climate.html) height of energy industry astroturfing, especially after documents were uncovered showing that 15 of the 21 Energy Citizens events were actually (http://www.grist.org/article/2009-08-21-energy-citizens-rallies-organized-by-industry-lobbyists/) planned by oil industry lobbyists.
It seems that when it comes to astroturf groups protecting polluters, almost all roads eventually lead back to the “Kochtopus.”As ThinkProgress(http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/23/david-charles-koch/)and... more
Chemical dispersants help hide the spill -- it is the Corp's favorite technique.
The damage will be affecting us for decades to come.
The ripple affect will be coming in the next couple of years.
Make this information live so that we can make change.
StradChemical dispersants help hide the spill -- it is the Corp's favorite technique.... more
By Sarah Laskow, Media Consortium Blogger
Image courtesy of Flickr user talkradionews via Creative Commons license.President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders spent this week trying to stand up to the oil industry. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Obama pushed BP to siphon $20 billion into a escrow fund that will cover liability claims, and Congress grilled BP CEO Tony Hayward and other oil bigwigs as to how they were protecting the country’s coastal waters.
While these developments are promising, mopping up the current crisis and guarding against future incidents will take more momentum than a speech, a meeting, or a few hearings can deliver.
BP’s escrow fund indicates that the company is willing to take some responsibility for the damage this spill has visited on the Gulf Coast. But not everyone in Washington is pleased with the fund. As TPMDC’s Eric Kleefeld writes, “some Republicans have come out strongly against it—with the sum total of charges being that it will turn into a political slush fund procured through dirty Chicago thug tactics that will be paid out to ACORN.”
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) became the poster boy for this sentiment when, at a Thursday hearing, he apologized to BP for the president’s actions. TPM sheds some light on the Congressman’s possible motivation. It seems Barton might have his own interests at heart, not the needs of the spill’s victims (or of the Republican Party—by the end of the day, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) forced Barton to retract his apology).
“Barton’s number one career campaign contributor, Anadarko Petroleum, has 25% ownership in the well where the April 20 rig explosion occurred,” Justin Elliott writes. “The firm, which has given Barton $146,500 over the years, has been sent a bill by BP for cleanup costs.”
As far as the clean-up efforts, Mother Jones’ Mac McClelland reports that the company is not doing all it can for Elmer’s Island Wildlife Refuge. McClelland talked to one clean up worker who said:
“They’re up to 120 guys on Elmer’s now, but I can’t see any considerable difference. They’re only working five sites and it’s eight miles of beach. No one seems concerned about cleaning it up. The contractors are getting their money; they don’t care. They’ve got all these people out there, but they’re not accomplishing anything.”
So far it doesn’t seem like BP—or the oil industry—is learning from these failures, either. Also at Mother Jones, Kate Sheppard reports that as bad as BP’s clean up response has been, at this week’s hearing, the public “got a glimpse of how ridiculous it was on paper.” The clean up plan, Sheppard writes, referenced a deceased sea turtle expert and ways to protect walruses and sea lions, which do not live in the Gulf Coast.
“It gets even worse,” Sheppard says. “The other four oil giants are using almost the exact same plans.”
The next disaster?
BP, at least, needs solid disaster plans, and not just for spills like the one in the Gulf. As Truthout reports, the Deepwater Horizon site isn’t the only BP project that poses a safety risk. In Alaska, the Prudhoe Bay oilfield is host to “a long list of safety issues that have not been adequately addressed,” reporter Jason Leopold writes. Marc Kovac, a BP employee, told him:
“The condition of the [Prudhoe Bay] field is a lot worse and in my opinion a lot more dangerous. We still have hundreds of miles of rotting pipe ready to break that needs to be replaced. We are totally unprepared for a large spill.”
More energy disasters
These sorts of dangers are not limited to BP’s operations or the oil industry. As Forrest Whittaker writes for The Texas Observer, “In the past three months, each of the three major fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—has had its own Kaboom! moment. It’s almost like Mother Nature is trying to tell us something about our energy policy.”
In addition to the BP spill, Whittaker is thinking of the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion in April, and two more recent blowups of natural gas wells in Texas.
“On June 7, workers struck a 36-inch gas pipeline near Cleburne, causing a massive eruption of flames seen miles away,” he writes. “One worker was killed, and eight others were severely injured. An eyewitness described the heat from 300 yards away as “unbearable.” The next day, another pipeline explosion in the Panhandle killed two workers when their bulldozer punctured another gas pipeline.”
GritTV reports on yet another oil spill—this one in Utah, where a hole in a Chevron pipeline starting pouring thousands of gallons of oil into a Salt Lake City creek a week ago.
“Oil is a messy business, even when it’s legal,” filmmaker Joe Berlinger tells GritTV’s Laura Flanders.
In Colorado, on-shore drilling is most definitely legal, and BP is looking to restart natural gas drilling there, the Colorado Independent reports.
“[BP] found the jackpot,” Josh Joswick, a Colorado organizer, said. “Not only are they on top of the most productive coal-bed methane field in the United States, they are paying next to nothing compared to what they would be paying elsewhere.”
The BP disaster in the Gulf is resonating here, too. “Several much smaller incidents in Colorado and neighboring states are quietly highlighting the need for increased onshore oil and gas drilling regulation,” the Colorado Independent’s David O. Williams writes.
There is an opportunity right now for lawmakers at the federal and state level to push for real reform; it’s not clear yet that anyone’s jumping at that chance.
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"A BP gas station in Ohio wants you to know you're responsible for small spills made when you leave the pump unattended. What about gigantic spills made when ignoring safety warnings? Oh, they're just happy, ignorable accidents. [Flickr via @BigBoxCar]""A BP gas station in Ohio wants you to know you're responsible for small... more
'Well control' problems reported in March, BP e-mails show
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 31, 2010 2:16 a.m. EDT
(CNN) -- BP reported problems controlling the undersea well at the heart of the largest oil spill in U.S. history and won a delay in testing a critical piece of equipment in March, according to documents released Sunday.
"We are in the midst of a well control situation on MC 252 #001 and have stuck pipe. We are bringing out equipment to begin operations to sever the drillpipe, plugback the well and bypass," Scherie Douglas, a BP regulatory advisor, told the district engineer for the U.S. Interior Department's Minerals Management Service in a March 10 e-mail.
In a follow-up e-mail to the district engineer, Frank Patton, Douglas reported the company wanted to get a plug set in the well before testing the blowout preventer, the massive device used to shut down the well in case of an emergency.
"With the give and take of the well and hole behavior we would feel much more comfortable getting at least one of the two plugs set in order to fully secure the well prior to testing BOPs," she wrote.
When Patton told BP he could not delay a test any longer than it took to bring the well under control, the company won a postponement from David Trocquet, the MMS district manager in New Orleans, Louisiana, the documents show. Trocquet ordered BP to make sure its cement plug was set up and to verify its placement, according to his reply. The messages do not indicate how long the test was postponed.
The exchange was among the documents released Sunday by leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is looking into the disaster that killed 11 workers aboard the drilling platform Deepwater Horizon and uncapped a gusher that is now fouling the northern Gulf of Mexico. BP has been unable to activate the well's blowout preventer since the explosion, resulting in up to 19,000 barrels (798,000 gallons) spewing into the Gulf every day.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week," BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said those questions are being addressed by an investigation led by the Coast Guard and the MMS, which oversees offshore oil drilling. BP, rig owner Transocean Ltd. and oilfield services company Halliburton have blamed each other for the disaster
"There were issues of well control, signs out there, and there are strict procedures that are written," Dudley said. Those procedures allow the rig owner "to walk through well control," he said.
"That's what the investigation will take minute by minute," he said. But he said the failure of the well's blowout preventer is a "very troubling" issue that will have repercussions throughout the oil industry.
"It is the piece of equipment that is not expected to fail, and that's going to have implications for everyone around the world," Dudley said.
BP's design of the well has also come under scrutiny in the New Orleans hearings held by MMS and the Coast Guard. BP drilling engineer Mark Hafle testified Friday that he made "several changes to the casing designs" to address problems with the well's cement walls and leaking drilling fluid. But he said the problems had been addressed.
"No one believed there was going to be a safety issue with pumping that cement job," he said.
Halliburton performed the cementing work on the well, and Halliburton worker Christopher Haire told the New Orleans hearings Friday that BP kept changing the dimensions of the well's casing. Meanwhile, BP's investigation "raised concerns about the maintenance history, modification, inspection, and testing" of the blowout preventer, committee chairman Henry Waxman, D-California, reported earlier this month.
The New York Times reported Sunday that BP documents indicated the company had "serious problems and safety concerns" with the rig's well casing and blowout preventer for months. Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who leads an Energy and Commerce subcommittee, said he has seen documents that confirm the Times report.
Other witnesses at congressional hearings into the spill have raised concerns as well. Stephen Stone, a laborer on the doomed rig, told the House Judiciary Committee last week that the Transocean crew had to stop drilling four times in the space of 20 days because of the loss of drilling "mud" -- "either because the underground formation was unstable, or because drilling too quickly caused the formation to crack," he said.
And Doug Brown, the rig's chief mechanic, told the Judiciary Committee that cuts to Deepwater Horizon's engineering staff left the crew with a backlog of preventive maintenance to perform. When they complained, he said, "We were always told, 'We will see what we can do.' "'Well control' problems reported in March, BP e-mails show By the CNN Wire... more
With the recent Deepwater Horizon disaster, the number of people killed in BP-related industrial operations has risen to 26. In March 2005, fifteen workers at the BP Texas City refinery lost their lives in a plant explosion that a key regulator agreed was "completely preventable."
http://looncanada.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/its-deja-vu-all-over-again-bp-texas-city-plant-explosion-in-2005-killed-fifteen/With the recent Deepwater Horizon disaster, the number of people killed in BP-related... more
As gazillions of litres of oil surge into the Gulf of Mexico, the good folks at British Petroleum continue to engage in the age-old art of covering their corporate behinds.
http://looncanada.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/bps-blame-shifting-equipment-fails-catastrophically/As gazillions of litres of oil surge into the Gulf of Mexico, the good folks at... more