Another Gulf Oil Well goes boom . . . now has mile long slick

No one dead this time; relatively shallow water-

This well was in production, unlike the Deepwater Horizon, BP disaster.  It tells me that major oil pollution might have become a permanent feature of the Gulf of Mexico.

Oil sheen spreading from Gulf platform explosion. By Alan Levin and Julie Schmit, USA Today

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Added Sept. 3. There was an interesting article in the NYT today on this. Mariner Rig Accident Undercuts Efforts to End Drilling Moratorium. By John Collins Rudolf. From Green, NYT’s blog about energy and the environment.

The rig was owned by Mariner Energy and it is interesting that some of their executives were busy in Houston protesting against the moratorium on new deepwater drilling. The moratorium lasts until the end of November. It also seems these folks would rather engage in political protest rather than clean up their act. Certainly a bad omen for the future.

U.S. appeals court rejects moratorium on deepwater drilling in Gulf

Documents shows all judges had ties to the oil industry-

So do we have a problem with the neutrality of our federal courts?  The judge of the original jurisdiction in Louisiana’s federal district court who rejected the moratorium was loaded down with oil and gas stocks too.

Fortunately, the Administration said the Interior Department would immediately issue a new moratorium if it lost this appeal.

Story in the New York Times. Court Rejects Moratorium on Drilling in the Gulf. By John M. Broder.
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I have a problem with Governor Bobby Jindal saying the oil gusher has caused widespread job loss.  Therefore, let’s go full speed ahead with deepwater drilling on what are probably more botched permits so we can have jobs.  Oh yes, and he will want plenty of financial aid to deal with oil washing up.

The latest on oil and gas atrocities in the Gulf of Mexico

27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells, many probably leaking and more capable-
Gov’t and oil companies ignore them-

Gulf Awash In 27,000 Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells. By Jeff Donn and Mitch Weiss. Associated Press (reproduced in the Huffington Post)

I think many Americans are trying to ignore this ongoing disaster, but it will continue.  Findings like this say hundreds or thousands of smaller leaks are likely.

This didn’t just begin in the Bush Administration, but the Bush/Cheney Administration thoroughly corrupted the leasing and oversight of oil and gas. Then Obama’s Salazar didn’t fix it, though he promised when speaking on his first day as Secretary of Interior.

Gulf oil spill threatens birds migrating south from Montana

The effects of the continuing oil gusher have been localized so far. It will not remain that way-

This from the Missoulian. Gulf oil spill threatens birds migrating south from Montana. By Rob Chaney

It seems like the Texas coast is the most important for migrating birds from Montana.

Plans are being made to try to quickly create some artificial wetlands to attract wintering birds.

Alternate habitats for migrating birds considered. By Amy Wold  Advocate (Louisiana) staff writer

Oil spotted in Great Salt Lake wetlands

Chevron’s broken pipeline has not been contained completely in the Jordan River at SLC-

More bad news about the Utah “oil spill.”

Oil spotted in Great Salt Lake wetlands. By Judy Fahys. The Salt Lake Tribune

BP oil spill could spread to Atlantic Ocean

As the slick is posed to hit western Florida coast, a model predicts a much wider spread-

BP oil spill could spread to Atlantic Ocean. Christian Science Monitor.

This comes amid predictions that the gusher won’t be stopped until relief wells intersect the oil reservoir in August.  Even then, relief wells sometimes fail to work.

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Update  June 4. BP finally captures some oil from leaking well. MSNBC
Update June 4.
Scientists Warn Oil May Spread Up Atlantic Coast (good graphics and video). AP/Huffington Post

Oil gusher. Lost opportunity to redefine America’s political debate?

My opinion is the “spill” could be a gift to bring down the Cheneys, oil companies, “drill baby drill”-

With a huge natural disaster there is political danger, but also political opportunity. For the people living on the Gulf, and the fish and wildlife, it is all downside.  For the President there is a mighty political opportunity, but so far he has baubled the basketball while standing right next to the basket. He’d better recover and slam dunk it or the other team will soon have the ball. They are already calling it “Obama’s Katrina” now that it looks like the oil will gush until August, well into the hurricane season.

Let me explain.

In politics and government, there is what is actually happening, but for the average American who does not follow politics or current events much, it is what they think is happening.

What the public thinks is happening is the most important thing.

Most now understand the “oil spill” is a big disaster. They want it stopped and cleaned up, but they also want it explained. How could this happen after all the oil company ads saying how careful they are and all the political support for drilling.  The average person wants reassurance, and when angry they want justice. For there to be justice, there needs to be blame placed. A convincing story (a “narrative”) explaining all these things is what the public craves. Obama needs one quickly, a narrative before an alternative one about his aloofness is put firmly in place. Maureen Dowd’s latest column in the NYT certainly understands this. “Once More, With Feeling.” NYT. May 29, 2010.  The President has got to get angry and point the finger of blame. . . none of that “no drama, Obama.”  He needs drama, and a good melodrama requires a hero going after the villains.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bob Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management, to take over running MMS

Not sure what this will mean for BLMs programs, if anything

Bob Abbey, director of the Bureau of Land Management to take over running MMS. Huffington Post.

Obama to announce oil drilling and leasing moratoriums

Six month moratorium on new deep water well permits; lease auctions off Virginia and Alaska coast put in suspension. Partial ban on new spuds-

There is finally action by the Administration on oil leases and permits to drill in various places off-shore. It is expected that today the President will announce there will be no new deepwater wells spudded (to begin drilling)  in the next 6 months.  Oil lease auction sales in the western Gulf of Mexico and off the Virginia Coast are said to be canceled.  A freeze or cancelation of lease auctions is very important because once bought, cancellation of a lease by the government requires the government to repay the leaseholder. That can require a lot of money.

Lease sales and spudding in the Arctic Ocean (oh, my god, they were going to do that?) are on hold.

Meanwhile, we are waiting to see if BP was successful in their “top kill” of the big oil gusher under the Gulf of Mexico.

It occurs to me that one reason why the Administration might have been slow on this is that BP holds an important card.  If BP walks away, it’s not like the government has the knowledge or the resources to kill the gushing, ruined well.

AP source: Obama extends stop on deepwater wells. By Erica Werner and Charles Babington. Associated Press.

Update on May 28. U.S. to stop drilling already underway on 33 deepwater rigs! Reuters.

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Tracking the Oil Spill in the Gulf (map). New York Times.

Members of Congress say abolish Minerals Management Service

Agency inspectors have still been accepting oil company gifts-

Lawmakers assail Minerals Management Service. By Perry Bacon Jr., David A. Fahrenthold and Steven Mufson. Washington Post Staff Writer. The agency might be beyond the ability to be reformed.

Oil has now entered the Gulf Loop current and heavy oil reaches the marshes

The only good news is that BP now says it is collecting 5000 barrels a day of the oil gusher-

Gulf Oil Spill: Oil Has Entered Loop Current, Officials Say. Associated Press. So, some of the oil is now off to Florida and maybe even to the East Coast. So far the main part of the oil remains north of the power Loop current. How long will this hold?

Getting oil out of marshes where it does the most damage is much harder than off the beaches. Unfortunately, the heavy black stuff is now going into the marshes. They will soon yellow and die. Will the Oil Kill the Bayou? By Steven Gray. Time Magazine.

BP says it is capturing 5,000 barrels of oil a day from gulf spill. By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson. Washington Post Staff Writers

Wildlife group targets Discovery with anti-Sarah Palin ad campaign

“Discovery just redefined obscenity on TV: Sarah Palin as an Alaska wildlife show host” . . . copy from anti-Palin ads-

Defenders of Wildlife launches petition drive to stop Discovery Communications from launching a Palin-hosted wildlife show.

I don’t know, maybe she could show us the way to clean oil off birds and turtles, or maybe a recipe for shrimp substitutes?

Wildlife group targets Discovery with anti-Sarah Palin ad campaign. Los Angeles Times.

Is BP’s remedy for the spill only making it worse?

Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior

Ken Salazar, Secretary of Interior

The chemical dispersants BP is dumping in the Gulf of Mexico are a cosmetic solution only. And they’re toxic.
By Joseph Romm.
Salon Magazine.

AND MORE MALFEASANCE

U.S. exempted BP’s Gulf of Mexico drilling from environmental impact study. By Juliet Eilperin. Washington Post Staff Writer.

The Department of Interior did not require an environmental impact statement on the lease at Deepwater Horizon. Only a CE (categorical exclusion) was done. This is the kind of analysis, or rather lack of it, done for constructing short fences, or repairing a government campground.

The CE was issued on April 6, 2009.

NOAA Warned Interior It Was Underestimating Threat Of Serious Spill

Administration brushed aside the warnings-

“National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration officials last fall warned the Department of Interior, which regulates offshore oil drilling, that it was dramatically underestimating the frequency of offshore oil spills and was dangerously understating the risk and impacts a major spill would have on coastal residents.”

Story in the Huffington Post. NOAA Warned Interior It Was Underestimating Threat Of Serious Spill. By Dan Froomkin.

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Not to give Obama Administration exclusive discredit for the oil gusher.  The zanies are undeterred.

Sarah Palin: ‘Drill here, drill now’. The Alaskan’s support for off-shore oil-drilling undeterred by Gulf spill. By Mark Silvea in the Swamp, Chicago Tribune’s Washington Bureau.

Oil gusher is Act of God says Texas’ secessionist governor Rick Perry. Austin News. KXAN. By Catenya McHenry. Governor “Good Hair” continues say it could have been an Act of God.

Gulf oil spill could hit Louisiana coast Thursday night

Oh yes, let’s drill for a lot more off-shore oil. They have great, green technology now!

Although this Administration is not responsible for this huge oil leak, it highlights their boneheaded policy of greatly expanded off-shore drilling.  It looks like this could be almost as bad as the 1989 Alaska catastrophe with the Exxon Valdez . . .  and the petroleum keeps leaking out of the wrecked bottom of the oil platform. It could take 90 days to stop the leak!

The oil is now just offshore. It will hit a wildlife management area first!

4/30. As oil spill hits Louisiana coast, critics assail Obama’s offshore drilling plan. By Steven Mufson and Michael D. Shear. Washington Post Staff Writer

4/30. New. Gulf Coast oil spill could eclipse Exxon Valdez. Video. By Cain Burdeau And Holbrook Mohr. Washington Post.l

4/30. Update. Video. Oil reaches the coast.

Gulf oil spill could hit Louisiana coast Thursday night. By Steven Mufson. Washington Post.

Growing Gulf of Mexico oil leak called spill of ‘national significance’. Greenspace in the Los Angeles Times.

Oil Execs Called To Testify Before Congress On Gulf Coast Spill, Consumer Pricing. Huffington Post.

The slick as seen from space. NPR

Gulf oil spill and BP profits. Dallas Morning Tribune blog. By Todd Robertson.  And I thought BP referred to “beyond petroleum”. Now they tell me it has always been British Petroleum. grrrrr!

Major oil terminal beneath Redoubt Volcano could result in huge oil spill

Status of Drift River terminal is not known due to homeland security secrecy-

Will a natural disaster trigger an oil spill disaster? We don’t know because of lingering secrecy from the Bush Administration.

Story: “Drift River Oil Terminal sits in harm’s way of volcano. SECRECY: Citing homeland security, officials give out little information about the plant’s status.”  By Tom Kizzia. Anchorage Daily News.

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