I'm on that little island at the bottom of the Darling reserve.
Bubbabuddhist wrote:When the Valdez oil spill occurred, Robert Bly penned this prose poem, I thought I would dig it out and post it:The Dead Seal Near McClure's Bay
Walking north along the point, I find a dead seal. From a few
feet away, he looks like a brown log. The body is on its back, dead only a
few hours. I stand and look at him. There's a quiver in the dead flesh:
My God, he's still alive. And a shock goes through me, as if a wall of my
room had fallen away.
His head is arched back, the small eyes closed; the whiskers sometimes
rise and fall. He is dying. This is oil. Here on its back is the oil
that heats our houses so efficiently. Wind blows fine sand back toward
the ocean. The flipper near me lies folded over the stomach, looking like
an unfinished arm, lightly glazed with sand at its edges. The other flipper
lies half underneath. And the seal's skin looks like an old overcoat,
scratched here and there -- by sharp mussel shells maybe.
I reach out and touch him. Suddenly, he rears up, turns over. He
gives three cries: Awaark! Awaark! Awaark! -- like the cries from
Christmas toys. He lunges toward me, I am terrified and leap back,
though I know there can be no teeth in that jaw. He starts flopping
toward the sea. But he falls over, on his face. He does not want to go back
to the sea. He looks up at the sky, and he looks like an old lady who has
lost her hair. He puts his chin back down on the sand, rearranges his flippers,
and waits for me to go. I go.
The next day I go back to say goodbye. He's dead now. But he's not.
He's a quarter mile farther up the shore. Today he is thinner, squatting
on his stomach, head out. The ribs show more: each vertebra on the back
under the coat is visible, shiny. He breathes in and out.
A wave comes in, touches his nose. He turns and looks at me -- the
eyes slanted; the crown of his head looks like a boy's leather jacket bending
over some bicycycle bars. He is taking a long time to die. The whiskers
white as porcupine quills, the forehead slopes . . . . Goodbye, brother, die
in the sound of the waves. Forgive us if we have killed you. Long live your
race, your inner-tube race, so uncomfortable on the land, so comfortable in
the ocean. Be comfortable in death, then, when the sand will be out of
your nostrils, and you can swim in long loops through the pure death,
ducking under as assassinations break above you. You don't want to be
touched by me.
I climb the cliff and go home the other way.
NewsCore, 11 August 2010
Scientists questioning reports that three quarters of the 4.9 million barrels released in BP's Gulf oil spill have been cleaned up.
"There's not enough information in there [NOAA's report] to make anybody with any kind of quantitative or ecological background believe it," said James Cowan, an oceanographer at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.
"There are some big questions I'd like to see addressed before we can confidently say we're over the hump."
NOAA accounted for the oil from the spills in the following way last week: It said a quarter of the spill was captured, burned or skimmed off the ocean; another quarter was transformed into tiny droplets either naturally or with the help of chemical dispersants; another quarter dissolved.
The fourth quarter likely either landed on the beach as tarballs or remains in the water.
ABC News wrote:BP oil spill bill tops $8 billion
Oil giant BP says the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has cost the British company $US8 billion ($8.79 billion) so far.
The figure includes the cost of the spill response, containment, relief well drilling, static kill and cementing, grants to the Gulf states, claims paid and federal costs, BP said in a statement.
The April 20 spill was triggered when an explosion ripped through the Deepwater Horizon rig, killing 11 workers and sinking the huge offshore platform two days later.
The flow of oil into the sea was not fully stemmed until July 15.
BP has forecast the disaster will cost a total of about $US32.2 billion, after pushing the group into a $US16.9 billion loss in the second quarter - the biggest quarterly loss in British corporate history.
The statement says BP has agreed to set up a $US20 billion compensation fund for residents affected by the spill.
'Dramatic steps' needed to prevent future oil spill
A major US report into the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has called for wide-ranging reforms to prevent another disaster.
Nine months after the worst offshore oil spill in US history, a seven-member presidential commission has pinned the disaster on a significant failure of management, but co-chair Bob Graham says regulation is also to blame.
"If dramatic steps are not taken, I'm afraid that at some point in the coming years another failure will occur and we will wonder why," he said.
The commission recommends increasing budgets and training for regulators, lifting the liability cap for damages when companies drill offshore and giving more weight to science when making decisions about drilling.
Weeks after an explosion on BP's Deepwater Horizon offshore platform killed 11 workers and set record amounts of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, US interior secretary Ken Salazar broke up the federal agency that oversaw rig safety and sold leases to oil companies.
But the commission called for even tougher measures, recommending the US government "create an independent agency within the Department of the Interior with enforcement authority to oversee all aspects of offshore drilling safety".
"The central lesson to be drawn from the catastrophe is that no less than an overhauling of both current industry practices and government oversight is now required," the seven-member panel said in the report.
Baby dolphins dying along oil-soaked US coast
Baby dolphins are washing up dead along the US Gulf Coast at more than 10 times the normal rate in the first birthing season since the BP disaster, researchers said.
Some 17 baby dolphin corpses have been found along the shorelines of Alabama and Mississippi in the past two weeks, The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies said.
"The average is one or two a month. This year we have 17, and February isn't even over yet," said Dr Moby Solangi, director of the Gulfport, Mississippi-based institute.
"For some reason, they've started aborting or they were dead before they were born."
Dr Solangi is awaiting results from a necropsy performed on two of the dolphins to determine a cause of death.
But he called the high numbers an anomaly and said the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which unleashed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over three months, likely played a role.
US authorities have filed the first criminal charges over the 2010 BP oil spill disaster which left 11 people dead and saw millions of barrels of oil pour into the Gulf of Mexico.
Former BP engineer Kurt Mix, 50, faces two criminal charges, accused of obstructing justice by trying to delete hundreds of text messages from his mobile phone.
The messages between Mix and his supervisor have been partially recovered and show BP knew for weeks the spill was much larger than the official company estimates, and that its so-called "top kill" effort to plug the leak was failing.
BP said on Friday it reached a $7.2 billion deal to settle claims from fishermen and other private claimants affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill ahead of the start of a blockbuster US trial.
The settlement does not affect what is anticipated to be tens of billions in fines and claims from the US government and the coastal states and local governments impacted by the spill.
New Orleans, LA - "The fishermen have never seen anything like this," Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. "And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I've never seen anything like this either."
Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University's Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.
Cowan's findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP's oil and dispersants.
Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP's 2010 oil disaster.
At the federal government level, the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency - both federal agencies which have powers in the this area - insisted Al Jazeera talk with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA won't comment to the media because its involvement in collecting information for an ongoing lawsuit against BP.
Annapurna wrote:Yesterday it was on TV for the first time that they think it will get transported to Europe via gulf-stream ....
We have a word for the maximum credible accident in nuclear plants:
Super-GAU. This sure is it with oil.
....all the animals...I feel so sorry for them...
Couldn't possibly happen if we used solar panels and wind.
What a mess.
RobertAustin wrote:Nuclear plants simply means disaster.. We need to find answer for our energy crisis in the form of renewable sources..
Appeals Court Rules BP Must Pay Gulf Oil Spill Claimants
A U.S. appeals court has rejected BP’s attempt to stop Gulf businesses from collecting what the oil company called “fictitious losses” from the 2010 Gulf oil spill, saying that BP is required to reimburse companies and individuals even if they don’t submit proof that their losses came from the spill.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans decided 2-1 to uphold a December ruling on BP’s claim, and also said that an injunction on BP payments to some businesses enacted in October should be lifted.
“The settlement agreement does not require a claimant to submit evidence that the claim arose as a result of the oil spill,” Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick wrote. Because of this, BP will have to stick with the settlement it agreed to in 2012, despite the fact that its terms “are not as protective of BP’s present concerns as might have been achievable, but they are the protections that were accepted by the parties and approved by the district court,” the judge wrote. In 2012, BP said the settlement was “good for the people, businesses and communities of the Gulf and is in the best interests of BP’s stakeholders.”
'The Great Invisible' Wins Best Doc Award at SXSW Film Festival
The BP oil spill documentary follows the lives of those in the Gulf Coast who have been affected by one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history.
BP Tries To Pay Less For The Gulf Oil Spill, Again
BP is asking a federal judge to cap the amount of Gulf oil spill-related fines it must pay at $12 billion, which is almost a third less than the amount U.S. prosecutors are seeking from the company. ...
BP also tried last month to avoid some of the steeper fines associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which killed 11 people and spilled an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. ...
Scientists are still working to determine the impact the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had on the Gulf, but some of the findings so far have been grim. Last month, a study discovered a 1,235-square-mile “bathub ring” of oil on the deep ocean’s floor, an oily patch that’s about twice the size of the city of Houston, Texas. That finding came just days after BP argued in Politico that it “didn’t ruin the Gulf.”
Millions of gallons of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill didn’t get cleaned up, and instead settled in the sediment of the Gulf of Mexico’s floor, a new study has found.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, found that 6 to 10 million gallons of oil from the spill are buried in the seafloor. The researchers measured the amount of carbon 14 — a radioactive carbon isotope that’s found in organic material but not found in oil — in an approximately 24,000 km² area of sediment near the spill site, a process which allowed them to see what parts of the sediment were low in carbon 14 and thus contained oil.
The study sought to determine two things: whether oil had, in fact, settled on the seafloor, and how much of it had settled. ... Regardless of the amount, however, Chanton said that sedimentation was a “new phenomenon” that hadn’t been heavily observed or studied after previous oil spills.
“Everyone thinks oil is very buoyant and that it just floats on the surface,” Chanton said. So in the past, sedimentation of oil hasn’t been a main concern for scientists and cleanup workers. The federal Oil Budget Calculator, which was developed to determine where the oil of the Deepwater Horizon spill ended up in the short term, didn’t include efforts to figure out how much of the oil ended up in the Gulf’s sediment.
At least 20 animal species are still suffering from the effects of the largest oil spill in U.S. history nearly five years after it occurred, according to a National Wildlife Federation report released Monday.
The common loon, blue crab, red snapper, and sperm whale are among the animals named in the NWF’s report, Five Years And Counting: Gulf Wildlife in the Aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Those animals only make up a small portion of the 13,000 species in the Gulf, the federation’s president told reporters on a phone call Monday, implying the difficulty of determining the spill’s total long-term impact on animals.
“Given the significant quantity of oil remaining on the floor of the Gulf and the unprecedented large-scale use of dispersal during the spill, it will be years or even decades before the full impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is known,” the report said. “It is clear that robust scientific monitoring of the Gulf ecosystem and its wildlife populations must continue — and that restoration of degraded ecosystems should begin as soon as possible.”
The report comes just a few days after BP filed papers in federal court arguing its businesses would be threatened by fines for its historic April 2010 spill, which saw an estimated 210 million gallons of oil gush into the Gulf of Mexico.
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