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Gulf Oil Spill and British Petroleum

May 12, 2010

(Note: I will post a number of articles on the current crisis with the Gulf Oil Spill….The first of these is a series of episodes from Democracy Now! which have appeared over the past weeks. Others will follow in the next few days. rjp)

Democracy Now! episodes on the Gulf Oil Spill

How Big Oil Bought The Secretary of the Interior

– BP, Other Oil Companies Opposed Stiffening Environmental and Safety Rules for Off Shore Drilling (NY Times – April 27, 2010)

– A Spreading Stain – The BP Oil Spill (Financial Times – May 6, 2010)

Ahab and Moby Dick

Daily Show (May 13, 2010) – First Segment

US Said To Allow Drilling Without Permits (NY Times – May 14, 2010)

Size Of Oil Spill Underestimated Scientists Say (NY Times – May 14, 2010)

– Corporate Stranglehold: How BP Will Make Out Like Bandits From Its Massive Still Gushing Oil Disaster (Alternet – May 26, 2010)

– Cousteau Jr. This Is A Nightmare, A Nightmare – (Yahoo News – May 26, 2010) Note – it starts with an advertisement but be patient – the news item will follow. Very disturbing.

Financial Times Series on the Gulf Oil Spill – a series of articles over the past few weeks (from May 30, 2010 back).  Useful

Years of Internal BP Probes Warned That Neglect Could Lead To Accidents (Jun3, 7, 2010) – Excellent investigative reporting on BP over the past 11 years. Also included important BP internal documents.

Devastating BP Oil Spill Was Inevitable As Government Failed To Learn From Past Tragedies. (New York Daily News. June 11, 2010) by Juan Gonzalez.

– The Ahab Parallax – A piece from the New York Times `Week In Review’ (June 13, 2010) comparing the current Gulf Oil Spill with the theme of Moby Dick. Well done and worth the read

The Spill, The Scandal And The President – (Rolling Stone – June 24, 2010 by Tim Dickinson) – This article is, unfortunately, excellent.  It has alot of information on the role of Ken Salazar, former attorney general and US Senator from Colorado.  Although not mentioned by name in this article, Salazar has long had close – if not intimate ties with Norm Brownstein and Steve Farber,  Denver lawyers and power brokers. Their law firm, among other things, lobbies for oil and gas deregulation both nationally and in Colorado.

Mine Workers Union and Families Sue To Open Federal Probe Into Deadly Massey Coal Mine Explosion – While our eyes – and that of the world – are riveted on the unending pollution to the Gulf of Mexico caused by the BP oil disaster – calling it a spill somehow doesn’t capture the extent of the damage – take a look and see how years of deregulation have affected US coal mining.

Gulf of Mexico Has Long Been Dumping Site (New York Times – July 30, 2010) – This is an excellent `background’ piece. Gives background on other oil spills and forms of pollution (massive dumping of WW2 weapons, among them) into the Gulf before the BP oil spill. Gives an interesting perspective on why it wasn’t the wise thing – even before the BP Gulf oil spill – to go swimming in the Gulf…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. The Destructionist permalink
    May 20, 2010 1:00 pm

    While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. Pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

    • May 20, 2010 2:43 pm

      thank you whomever you are. that said, the unknown dimensions of this crisis as you describe it above are staggering to contemplate.

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