A Short Report from the Gulf Coast (Updated)

Posted on by

From reader Bubba in Alabama:

For a week I have been listening to my neighbors on the coast whine (on Facebook) about the “smell” of oil. I was delighted to get back to my kids there on Friday last, and find nothing of the sort. Of course, on Friday, the gloop hit the beach, literally. Tonight, I am sad to report, it smells like the world’s biggest bar-b-que, covered in lighter fluid. That is the best I can come up with. THis whole town smells like a giant bottle of charcoal lighter fluid was dumped on it, and yes, it does make you sick.

Do readers have other reports from the Gulf? First hand preferred.

Update 2:30 PM: More from Bubba:

Our little town is getting no help at all from BP. Gulf Shores/Orange Beach is getting little more. BP gave each state $25 million, as a down payment on cleanup. Alabama divided it up among the cities affected. Fairhope got $650k. They spent every dime “fucking booming”. $650k covers about 10 miles of shore line. The city hired a contractor to do it all. Our Gov. is pissed. Commander Thad was here this weekend, and he explained to Riley that the estuaries in LA were more important than the tourist areas on the beach – essentially, the beaches are easy to clean up, marshes are not. “FUCK BP” and “FBP” shirts are the fashion craze at the beach right now.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


    1. campbeln

      As flippant as this comment is, I personally do have to agree. If this had to happen anywhere, it did happen to one of the most “deserving” regions (karmically speaking, at least).

      The (stereotypical) states that want small government/less regulations/”free market” solutions get to experience just that.

      I can’t wait until all these red-states start suing en-mass due to illnesses caused from the spill/dispersant (damn litigiousness) and finally the call for some kind of (pinko/commie) health coverage for those affected.

      Now, I’ll agree with both outcomes whole heartily… and I am very sorry the crow they will eat comes with a 10w40 glaze… But somewhere deep down I still think “told ya so”…

      [dawning realization that I am not as nice a person I once thought I was…]


      1. Curmudgeon

        They’ll sue.

        And then they’ll vote for politicians who will openly pledge to cut gas prices by giving the oil industry immunity from frivolous lawsuits started by ambulance chasing trial lawyers.

        Red Staters aren’t happy unless they’re being Luntzed into shooting their own feet with both barrels.

        1. Anonymous Jones

          While I’m disappointed to the point of being sickened by your idea of writing off *all* the people in a certain State solely because a simple majority of voters in that State made a seemingly poor decision at the ballot box, I can’t help but admire the cheekiness in the line, “Red Staters aren’t happy unless they’re being Luntzed into shooting their own feet with both barrels.” Quite well put.

        2. NOTaREALmerican

          They must shoot off their feet in order to get even with “those people for what they did to this great and glorious nation”.

      2. Jojo

        Interesting observation Curmudgeon/Campbeln!

        I haven’t seen this aspect discussed in the MSM at all. I hope they pick up on this theme and run with it a bit.

        Too often in today’s under-educated America, a real, live experience is necessary for the best takeaway lesson.

      3. charcad

        And neither of you are likely as intelligent, diligent or attentive to details as you might once have been. Your boy Obama carried Florida by 52.7%. But when have mere facts – instantly available from the internet – ever stopped a liberal/progressive from engaging in emotional masturbation?

        Thanks for this display of modern liberalism/progressivism on parade.

        What ignorant uber-jerks.

        1. campbeln

          Hey HEY! You sight me ONE example where Phrenology has been discredited! Wait, wait… that was a discussion from another forum, my bad! ;)

          Now… *I* never mentioned Florida, you did. I also never mentioned who I voted for/my political leanings (other then obviously not being a “red-state” supporter).

          But thanks for painting me with that same brush you accused me of using (agh, the irony…). It was you who likened Florida to a red state, then blamed me/us for making that mistake! Seems you’ve taken on your NeoCon arguing techniques like a pro, so clap clap for you. If I wasn’t looking for it I just may have missed your strawman!


      4. BSharp

        Wanting the government to protect your property rights and wanting a smaller government have nothing to do with each other. Even Paulestinians believe the government has the responsibility to protect your property rights. This falls under that.

        1. Yearning to Learn

          does it?
          I would say that it doesn’t. According to a Paulite, wouldn’t BP have “the right” to do on their property what they wanted (drill a hole in a dangerous manner).

          in a Paulite world, how would a Floridian’s or Alabaman’s property rights have changed this outcome as example?

          1. BSharp

            No, you don’t quite understand the Paulestinian crowd. I recommend reading Ron Paul’s “Revolution”. It’s short and easy. Let me put it this way. I live near oil refineries and carbon black plants. They pump a massive amount of crap into the air that polutes the air I breath sitting in my front yard. From the viewpoint of your well-versed Paulestinian, this should not be allowed. The government should have come in long ago and told them they are infringing upon the property rights of nearby homeowners. And then maybe I wouldn’t have to deal with getting black gradou on my feet when I played outside as a kid. That’s unacceptable and should not be tolerated. It’s the same thing with drilling.

            Facts: The oil industry is responsible for about 17% of jobs in Louisiana. Politicians and people employed in this area obiously support them. But for you and anyone else to claim we, as a culture, had this coming to us because the state politicians decided to be opportunistic and bring in high paying jobs is incredibly offensive. And not only that, you don’t understand anything about the philosophy or the culture being destoryed.

            Les bonnes coutumes de mon pere. You don’t understand and never will. So maybe you should stop saying in your face while we’re suffering down here. ass.

          2. BSharp

            and that last comment is meant for the “they had it coming” crowd, not necessarily you for wanting to debate that philosophy.

          3. aet

            Too bad there aren’t centuries worth of legal precedents dealing with nuisance….oh wait.

          4. MG

            BSharp – I have read Paul’s book and it is not clear how negative externalities like pollution are dealt with especially when they are diffuse, difficult to attribute to a single source, or from a long distance. It is yet another example of where the liberteranism in his book breaks down/has clear limitations in practical applications.

        2. aet

          And if by “government” you are also referring to the independent judiciary, then I have to agree that government has a very large role to play in this situation.

      5. campbeln

        Many, MANY good points below regarding the diversive nature of American politics and America in general.

        My belief is that humanity learns best via mistakes, so my snark of “told you so” was meant more in the vein of “maybe ‘they’ will learn something from this” rather then a “ha ha, watch them wallow!”.

        No matter the intention, the comments below are valid and I apologize for helping to hijack the thread with a partisan masturbatory orgy of divisiveness… ’tis a slippery slope =(


    2. BSharp

      Hey, how about Obama’s, “Rigs don’t cause oil spills” comment. Does DC have it coming too? I guess so. They deserve this just like we do.

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        I’m predicting the Republicrats will be thrown out in the November election and the Replubicrats will clean things up.

        1. BSharp

          Use yer head parts and source this, but you are wrong. Properly operated rigs can cause oil spills. My only point is that saying red states had this coming is total crap. It’s not a political deal. This is about the need for the government to protect its citizens and that is that. I understand that the rest of the world loathes our willingness to risk our own coast to finance THEIR ADDICTION TO CHEAP OIL, but when you live in a poor state and that chance presents itself, it’s going to happen. And don’t sit their on you high horse and pretend like Virginia or California wouldn’t have taken on that opportunity as well if they were in our position. They most certainly would have.

          “4/2/2010: Speaking at a battery company in Charlotte, North Carolina, President Barack Obama falsely claims that Hurricane Katrina didn’t cause any offshore spills. In fact, there were 124 offshore spills for a total of 743,700 gallons, including six major spills. Obama’s defense of offshore drilling’s safety came just twenty days before one of the worst offshore oil rig disasters in US history”

          1. aet

            Properly operated oil rigs not being battered by Cat 5 hurricanes do not produce oil spills.

            Picky, picky.

    3. scraping_by

      All those who sneer “deserve what they got” are going around the fact that the elections down there are, for the most part, rigged. The 2000 election in Florida, with its vote fraud, its counting comedy, its amazing appearing absentee votes, is the rule rather than the exception. The programmer in Florida who created the vote shifting macro for the local electronic voting machines has confessed in public — and been ignored. And don’t lets get started on Miami – Dade.

      I think of this as one more thing they have to bear from a government captured by criminals.

      If national elections were run by the national government, or the FBI could drop by and supervise elections at need (civil rights era Voting Rights Act?) maybe there wouldn’t be quite so many corporate enablers with public office.

      1. Skippy

        Yep can’t hack its RAM…well untill someone tried.

        E-Voting Machine Hack Steals Votes 2009


        The attack (PDF) doesn’t require any new code, either: “The attacker reuses short snippets of the existing system and recombines them in such a way that the computation they perform is exactly the computation he wants to carry out,” he says.

        The researchers exploited a buffer-overflow vulnerability in the Sequoia voting machine, which has built-in defenses against code injection into its RAM. “This is exactly the defense that our use of return-oriented programming defeats,” Schacham says.

        Brian Chess, CTO of Fortify Software, says return-oriented programming is an effective attack technique. “The lesson here is that there’s no substitute for good code,” Chess says.

        Unlike previous e-voting hacks that have been demonstrated, the UCSD, Princeton, and Michigan researchers didn’t have source code or documentation on the machine. “We were able to reverse-engineer the hardware and software of the AVC Advantage using only the physical artifacts — a voting machine and a memory cartridge — that an attacker could obtain by stealing a machine left unattended at a polling place the night before an election,” UCSD’s Shacham says.

        It took the researchers about 16 months of work and $100,000 to pull off the hack, he says. “It might take an attacker longer to reverse-engineer the machine without source, but even so, the total time and money it took for us to develop our attack was not very large,” he says.

        Skippy…just goggle it…years of it…IOTBP is right!

  1. Jojo

    Speaking of BP – looks like they are attempting to do some PR management by paying top dollar for certain advertising keywords on the major search engines. Smart idea…
    BP Buys ‘Oil’ Search Terms to Redirect Users to Official Company Website

    BP Spokesman Acknowledges Purchase ‘To Make It Easier for People to Find Out More About Our Efforts in the Gulf’ and Other Ways to Help

    VENICE, La., June 5, 2010 — Be careful where you click, especially if you’re looking for news on the BP oil spill.

    BP, the very company responsible for the oil spill that is already the worst in U.S. history, has purchased several phrases on search engines such as Google and Yahoo so that the first result that shows up directs information seekers to the company’s official website.

    A simple Google search of “oil spill” turns up several thousand news results, but the first link, highlighted at the very top of the page, is from BP. “Learn more about how BP is helping,” the link’s tagline reads.


  2. JJ

    These are some really wonderful comments. Yves, the quality of discussion= really continues to decline….

    First off — it shows why none of our larger societal problems are even close to soluble — our political dialog/culture is now far more interested in winning points and scoring points against the other side — the mean-spiritedness and vitriol on all sides is so much more common now that in the past.

    Second — are we all clear that this well was drilled and failed under the Obama Administration, no? (yes, as it would have been under a McCain administration). The same administration that advocated for more drilling a mere month before this catastrophe, right? OK, just wanted to be sure there.

    We are so eager to score points and inflict metaphysical middle fingers to people who voted (in a basic majority, no less) for McCain Palin that we hope their environment goes to hell. Nice. Oh, wait — if I am not mistaken, didn’t Florida go for Obama?

    1. Yves Smith Post author


      I know, and I don’t know what can be done. I think it is at least in part due to the fact that even though economics is also about politics (it was originally called “political economy” for a reason), the political side has become more and more evident in this post crisis phase. We are not good at all in America about talking across political lines (and this is not true in some other countries I have spent time in) and the anonymity of the Internet encourages snarkiness.

      One behavior I see too often is when one side in a “conversation” (read argument) decides he has to have the last word (as if that means he won, as opposed to merely was willing to keep going, no matter how effectively his argument had been refuted).

      I once stopped permitting comments for about two weeks to let readers know they needed to clean up their act. I may need to do that again.

      1. Toby

        Glad to see you saying this, Yves.

        It is an almost intractable problem when you combine open debate in a very partisan crowd of historically (in recent decades) poorly educated people. America, for all its promise, has lost its way, and this sad fact shows up again and again in the political vitriol spewed by millions of posters all over the internet. The Brits are similar, especially at the Guardian.

        I never know if it’s better to let the puss out in an orgy of immature bickering, or to censor. Tough one. People seem to be able to get hotter and hotter ad infinitum (renewable energy potential?), and yet censorship does not really educate anyone. As for the BP oil volcano, the child in me often thinks it serves us bad humans right, kind of like ‘we get the leaders we deserve.’ Perhaps we get the catastrohpes we deserve, but so do other species, and also those who do their best to live in a reasonable and fair way.

        As ever the roots of the problem are systemic. We have seen a demise in the quality of education over the years; because it’s not directly profit-making, it always gets put on the back burner, and there’s less and less money for the poorly educated unwashed as money conentrates increasingly to the wealthy. We have to ‘earn’ a decent education for all citizens by scrimping elsewhere, as if an erudite, mature and polite populace had no value.

        1. Jojo

          I don’t think it is a matter of poor eduction. There were always many poorly educated people.

          What happened was that the free and anonymous internet gave the dolts a voice, a means to express their idiocy to a wide audience that they really didn’t have before.

          Previous to the net, the main forum for expressing yourself publicly was in letters to the editor of your local paper (where editors generally eliminated much of the garbage letters) or perhaps at local political gatherings such as town meetings. Otherwise, you were generally constrained to piping off at the local tavern or if you were really fervent, you might distribute a mimeographed sheet to neighbors or on parked cars.

          Yves needs some volunteer hall monitors here with the power to arbitrarily delete posts here that don’t meet some minimum standard of civility and intelligence.

      2. Vladimira Lenina

        Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself, cannot stand”.
        Unfortunately, the lesson that you cannot have two fundamentally opposing worldviews co-exist in the same state for long was soon forgotten.
        There needs to be at least some common ground – some principles all parties can agree on – for a workable compromise to be achievable, but there is no such common ground.

        The full passage reads like this (wikipedia):

        “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.

        Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

        1. Bgno64

          re: House divided – absolutely, but the problem is that now, like before the Civil War, the mere notion of compromise is rejected as weak, a symptom of decline. By the 1850s “the great compromiser” (Henry Clay) was no longer a term of appreciation of approval – it was pretty much an epithet. Same holds true today, where “centrism” is seen as the problem; “centrists” are the incumbents, most likely to have been captured by the vested interests and not responsive to “the people,” whomever they are.

          1. tpn

            The irony of this is that the two “sides” have more in common then differences. What seems to be paramount in both camps is an interest in obfuscation of that point, hiding behind Palin vs. Commie smoke and mirrors, for a debate the seems more like sports radio then actual discourse. The rest of us sit by, some idly, some not, but equally powerless, watching the fiasco continue.

          2. NOTaREALmerican

            Things can only change if there’s enough hungry peasants. When I looked around last time, the restuerants where still full.

          3. aet

            What issue today faces America which is as unamenable to compromise, as the mid-1800s issue of human slavery?
            For cryin’ out loud….

      3. alex black

        Nah, I don’t think censorship is needed. An open forum gives plenty of rope to those who will manage to hang themselves, and there are enough smart and witty people here who will enjoy commenting on the swaying bodies.

        If the swaying bodies insist on the last word, we all know how to skim over things….

      4. NS

        As the economic and ecologic disaster unfolds, the conversation will increasingly be focused on policy, politics, sociology in combination with economics.

        Unfortunately, rather than positive discourse, we’ve been conditioned to go for the carotid every time to claim victory, whether or not it is prudent or constructive. The means to slay opponents in ‘debate’ doesn’t matter, as long as one ‘wins’ witty/snarky or not. Humor is one thing, tasteless and just plain mean is another. (although when thinking and commenting about those who looted the nation. I too am guilty of horrifying thoughts of what to do with them that would frighten H.P.Lovecraft)

        Politicians, media are all guilty of fostering this mentality within the population. We’ve become disconnected from neighbors and communities as we view them as the ‘enemy’ if they aren’t lock-step with popular notions and beliefs, be they economic, be they political. The internet produces even more vile behavior as anonymity grants that ability without real consequences. What one would say to someone directly, face to face, is the guide few use. Providing constructive opinion/analysis/POVs/data to a conversation or debate should be a guide but there are no real uniform ‘rules of engagement’ on the internet.

        It is the internet, with the good of finding quality information and discourse also includes the bad. How one deals with it as a blogger is varied from free-for-all to heavy handed and draconian moderation that takes up valuable time and resources.

        Overall, this blog is very tame in the quantity harsh and unworthy comments in comparison to many I’ve personally encountered, which keeps me reading daily.

        Finally, people are angry, frustrated and increasingly frightened. This is expressed as individually as people are, so patience is required to understand voices are venting as a control mechanism. Blogs provide something constructive to do when we are powerless otherwise to affect change.

        1. aet

          I for one shall not complain about the flavour of the free ice cream.
          I enjoy this blog, and I hope my comments are not too obscure, or in any way insulting.
          As to solutions to the problems being discussed herein, well…people are free to do what they wilt.
          Not being an American (I am a Canadian) , I don’t even see any difference at all between the Reps and the Dems.
          Although there must be some, eh?
          Sometimes in truth there is no daylight visible between our two major parties….but it is not nearly as “co-extensive” as the shared policies between the Dems and the Reps.
          But I cannot share the despair which some express asto the vitriolic tone of the debates in the blogs.
          Words are always better than sticks and stones.
          And I notice that Americans forget their petty differences quickly when confronted by something which truly threatens.
          But does anything truly threaten America?
          On this point, it seems that I am a contrarian.
          But what do I know?
          For I am a FOREIGNER.

      5. Jojo

        You need a better commenting system here, Yves.

        One suggestion would be a simple thumbs up/down indicator like other sites have. Then if the negatives outweighed the positives, the post could be auto hidden unless a person choose to manually click on it and view it.

        Doing this would eliminate much of the exposure the asshats here crave.

        Two (and/or) implement an ignore function. Again, if you take away their exposure, most of the riffraff will depart for other pastures.

        1. aet

          Perhaps, Jojo, if you start your own blog, you can institute whatever system that you wish to keep the “riff-raff” out.

    2. attempter

      First off — it shows why none of our larger societal problems are even close to soluble — our political dialog/culture is now far more interested in winning points and scoring points against the other side — the mean-spiritedness and vitriol on all sides is so much more common now that in the past.

      Yup, there’s the Status Quo Lie once again, in a particularly malevolent incarnation.

      The aggressors and vandals could run wild for years, as destructively and scabrously as their heartlessness desired, and that was just fine. That was “normal”, “natural”, the baseline.

      And now that their villainy has become so extreme and so brazen, and the devastation resulting from their crimes is so complete, and the infinite evil and stupidity of their ideology is so manifest, that some among their victims are starting to fight back, including returning some of the same hatred we’ve endured all these years, NOW suddenly that’s bad.

      NOW it’s suddenly “can’t we all just get along”, “let’s try to reach out”, “you’re only trying to win points”, “you’re being mean-spirited”, and all the rest of the whining of the remorseful wife-beater now that he’s temporarily in the lock-up and hung over.

      Of course we know exactly how they’ll go back to acting the moment they feel strong again. We know exactly how the fascist coward-bully type is. We’ve had the infinite misfortune of being subject to their vile predominance for far too long.

      It’s of course a lie that the vitriol is “more common now than in the past”. It was already omnipresent in the Bush bubble/war years. It couldn’t possibly achieve greater magnitude. They’re only whining now because now they’re getting back some of what they dished out all those years.

      I also love the “all sides” part of the lie as well. As always, when the bully has his way that’s the perfectly normal way of the world. It’s only when the unionist/environmentalist/woman/black/atheist or whomever, or in this case simply the general victim of the corporate tyranny, gets uppity and dares to start fighting back, that suddenly the conduct is so horrible. Someone looked away for years, decades, centuries while a jack-booted thug stomped on a peasant; the second the peasant regains his feet and gets in a lick or two, that same collaborator, now as a self-appointed “referee”, runs over to separate them, squealing “both sides are wrong!”. But he really means only the peasant is wrong. The peasant is always wrong. The worker is always wrong. The anti-corporatist is always wrong. The freedom-lover is always wrong.

      My point isn’t that being rude or nasty is “good” or “right”. It’s that these concern trolls thought it was good and right as long as it was all one way, all from the top down. Only where it’s from the bottom up do they suddenly have a problem with it.

      And as far as what’s really obstructing “solutions”?

      It’s clear that the one and only reason the problems aren’t solvable is because the gangsters who have seized control of the government, media, and society in general (including those among the populace who most aggressively let themselves be astroturfed to support these criminals) set up obstructions against every attempt at even the most meager “reforms”.

      1. Doug Terpstra

        OMG, thank you, Attempter, that SO need to be said.

        I am amazed at how long-suffering ‘liberals’ have cowed to and appeased these absolutist, moralizing super-patriot, flag-waving chickenhawks who sling the “palin’ around with terrorist” epithets so recklessy, and cry “lock ’em up and torture the [alleged] terrorists” and then cry foul “you hurt my feelings”, when someone stands up and says “enough, you idiots! eat your just desserts”.

        May this finally be the time when Progessives grow a hard spine and stand resolute for their convictions. Too bad Obama is not among us.

        1. JTFaraday

          Obama doesn’t pal around with terrorists, Obama is a terrorist.

          And, frankly, gloating that BP gassed the rednecks in Alabammy really isn’t much better.

          1. attempter

            Well, as I said I wasn’t sticking up for the comments as such, if only because it is callous toward many who don’t deserve it as well as the environment.

            But I’ll certainly stick up for anyone who fights back against an aggressor, against any sham mediator whose way of collaborating with fascism is to say “you’re both equally wrong”, and indeed to blame the victim for refusing to sit still and shut up in his god-given role as eternal victim.

        1. aet

          And if liberals, in my book, are people who believe in liberty ie liberty from government duties and taxes, sin0ce when did a large chunk of America become anti-liberty?

      2. aet

        Yeah, back in the late 70s and early 80s it was the right-wingers who started shouting and hurling insults to win the debates.
        Funny, they always do talk about the “tone”of the debate, whenever they start to lose.
        It’s all recent, post 1980, this change in tone, in American political discourse….a right-wing TV network springs into existence, seemingly out of nowhere, while simultaneously, the “equal-time” Rule is discarded by Ronald Reagan’s FCC.
        So yeah iI think there’s been a big fat thumb applied to the “scales of debate”: a deliberate sloping of the “level field of discussion”, tilting the board.

    3. NOTaREALmerican

      Re: it shows why none of our larger societal problems are even close to soluble

      Why does there have to be a solution? Perhaps there’s actually no problem? The nobility is screwing the peasants and the peasants are turning on each other, that means there’s no problem to solve. The only people that think there’s a problem are those that aren’t successfully screwing the peasants.

          1. aet

            Oh, and the class of nobles appears to be shrinking in number.
            That can’t be good in the long term…

    4. Stelios Theoharidis

      Now lets be clear about a few things. As much as I am not fond of them, we can’t blame this on the posse of mavericks.

      We have about a 60% max voter turnout in this last Presidential election, it hovers closer to 50% so we are at most saying about 30% of the population voted for one individual or another. Interim elections range at about 35% which means 17.5% being responsible then. You can’t justify some sort of Karma based on that calculus.

      However, the Minerals Management Service and the regulatory effectiveness of a number of different federal insitutions have been cut short by a mentality that accompanies laissez-faire theories of capitalism. Unions in the minerals extraction industry have also been put down by the same ideological grouping. They have a tendency to focus more on employee safety, Massey for example was vehemently anti-union. I am not sure about BPs union relations.

      But, implementation was on both sides of the democratic and republican isle. More so on the right but also by the moderate leaning left of which I consider both Obama and Clinton. I think we can clearly say that breakdown of the MMS was under Bush, it wasn’t cleaned up effectively under Obama. But, there has been alot going on since he came into office, not all of which I approve of. It was congress that pushed a 30 day environmental impact statement limit for these wells which was impossible for anyone to do in a decent manner.

      I don’t like this mean spiritedness, it is unproductive. I mean did the poor black people that died in Katrina have anything to do with Global warming, if it has an impact on hurricane frequency and intensity. Did they bring the people into power that failed in upgrading the infrastructure around that area (which environmental hazards professionals were calling a disaster in the making for the past 10 years. No and No. But what happens is the poor are ultimately the most vulnerable to shocks like this. We should however have no issue with identifying the culprits and putting them out of office or in jail depending upon their role.

      By the way anyone read Palin’s new coloring book…..zing

      1. Rex

        “We should however have no issue with identifying the culprits and putting them out of office or in jail depending upon their role.”

        If that was true we might have a chance to get out of our ugly messes. As far as I can tell, by the time any candidate makes it through the machine to get on a ballot and have a chance of getting many votes, that candidate is more likely to bow to the oligarchs than help solve the real problems.

        I voted for Bush in 2000, but soon realized I made a big blunder. Not enough other people had noticed this by 2004. By 2008 I was so ready for that change Obama promised. Now I’m looking at a lame health bill, little promise of fixing anything that caused the financial meltdown, the wars continue, nobody got prosecuted for crimes. Not much change I can believe in. On the spill disaster, I don’t know that the government has any way to really fix it, other than maybe prevent another in the future. With our oil thirst that could easily fail to happen too.

        So I don’t see how we how we have any functional leverage to fix things with our votes and rein in the culprits. I’m tempted to go back to my earlier philosophy, “don’t vote it only encourages the bastards.”

    1. Jojo

      And what if it does? What is the point of your comment? How does it advance the conversation? Please explain.

      1. Jed1571

        Typing this from uptown, New Orleans I can say that the smell has been pretty strong on only a few occasions since the spill. I’ve assumed it’s the combination of wind and currents.

        It’s well described in the initial post, but my take on it is that it smells like new blacktop.

  3. burnside

    Satellite shows a substantial tendril of the slick far off our coast. No visible problems today, no odors. Forecast is for strong onshore winds all day, however, so the story may be different by this evening. Sarasota.

  4. Vinny

    Okay, let’s calm down and not lose focus on who is to blame for this. Let us not even try to suggest that the reponsible parties for this disaster may be the ignoramuses who voted one way or another. Thus, in order to remain focused on the issue, please allow me to list the two (2) parties responsible for this:

    1. British Petroleum (a.k.a. “BP”), a FOREIGN, greedy, corrupt, and criminal corporation. The acts of this FOREIGN, greedy, corrupt, and criminal corporation have caused this catasttophy, and have let to people losing their lives, which also makes this a MURDEROUS corporation. This British Petroleum is in amost every way synonymous to the Mafia. It is a criminal organization.

    2. Tony Hayward, the FOREIGN-sounding CEO of British Petroleum, the FOREIGN, greedy, corrupt, and criminal mafia corporation mentioned avove. Mr. Hayward is fully responsible for the criminal activities of British Petroleum, including the loss of human lives caused by his criminal decisions. Therefore, Mr. Tony Hayward, the FOREIGN-sounding CEO of British Petroleum is, under stete and federal law, a murderer that needs to be arrested and prosecuted for first degree murder.

    Thank you for allowing me to clatify this matter for all readers of this blog, regardless of whom they may have voted for.


    1. Bill Wilson

      BP = Standard Oil (Indiana)

      Don’t forget BP is a result of the BP-Amoco merger in the late 90’s. Amoco’s history traces back to Standard Oil (Indiana). Foreign?

      1. Vinny

        I don’t know, but I’d think the word “British” in “British Petroleum” might be a a dead giveaway this is British company…lol

        And, that Tony Hayward sure don’t sound American to me…


    2. Jeff


      If you own an SUV, you are responsible.
      If you voted for less regulation, you are responsible.
      If you used the term ‘tree hugger’, you are responsible.
      If you are ‘sceptical’ about Peak Oil, you are responsible.
      If you say your ‘way of life is non negotiable’, you are responsible.

      We are responsible. Peak oil means we have to engage in increasingly riskier extraction since We refuse to alter our behaviour. Some of us drive big cars, some of us vote for less regulation. Corporations are responsible to their shareholders to maximize profits, period… perhaps we need to rethink that, but unless and until we do, it was you and me.

      1. NOTaREALmerican

        However, if you don’t have kid’s you’re not responsible; for the past or the future.

      2. aet

        Not if “responsible” means “legally answerable for”, it doesn’t.
        And that is what ‘responsible” means to me.

        1. aet

          Put another way: who shall compel me to answer for BP’s oil spill?
          Upon what theory of justice?

          1. aet

            But if ‘responsible” means “will eventually pay for”, well, ie by higher prices for oil, then, I agree.

      3. LeeAnne

        Glad you mentioned that. We definitely need to rethink corporate shareholder responsibility.

        That issue is not being discussed but it is the elephant in the room –a big part of the problem of today’s Wall Street finance system.

        The idea that corporations’ primary responsibility is to shareholders is a fairly recent phenomena that did not exist prior to the 1980s. I’m not a lawyer but its worth researching to learn the details of when and how that seeped into the law.

        These things can’t happen without the complicity of the US university system.

        I happened to be researching a Banking 101 course back in 2001 when I was shocked to see in an old textbook that the CFO’s primary responsibility is to shareholders.

        That change is a corruption of the corporations purpose and structure. Corporations have traditionally been responsible to their customers first and employees. Shareholders were then rewarded if they were lucky, all stocks being a gamble unless you’re an insider writing the terms of your own stock options of course and exempt from insider rules.

        Recent discussion of Wall Street finance begs the question of corporate behavior and incentives.

        As recently as the 1960s heads of major multinational US corporations could openly admit they knew NOTHING about the stock market. Business executives were experts in their industries.

        It takes a totally different mentality to watch the stock market, fluctuations in your company’s stock price, talk to Wall Street M&A guys on new offerings, financial public relations and such.

        The corruption resulting from corporate incentives to concentrate on their stock price is now complete. Wall Street TRADERS have risen to the top of the finance corporate structure over professional managers to such an extent that they are running the US government financial and monetary system as well as foreign policy.

        Just witness how much time Hank Paulson spends in China and how much money Goldman Sachs has made there. So much so that even the Chinese worry about it.

        Hank Paulson, even as Secretary of the Treasury represented no one other than Goldman, Sachs here as well as in China.

  5. Norman Girouard

    I emailed this to BP two days ago. My initial problem is that I don’t know how to rapidly get this simple plan to anyone that could make a difference. It needs to be read and implemented or an explanation as to why it would not work. How could I get this message noticed? I don’t particularly care who gets credit for it, but that leak should have been stopped weeks ago. Norm
    The plan:
    My plan is to insert a long, heavy steel device, somewhat pointed for ease of insertion, and gradually tapering to a size slightly larger than the inside diameter of the leaking pipe. The leak would be slowed down or stopped immediately. It would look like an elongated plum bob. Once inserted, its shape would guide it further down into the pipe. Once pushed down to its stopping point inside the pipe it’s shape would seal off the flow a lot or at least slow the flow significantly or maybe even stop it. It needs to be heavy enough to counteract the pressure, but light enough not to damage the already installed pipe casing. If the pipe is sawed off fairly flat it will be best.
    The longer it is the more it will extend below the ocean floor and the more lateral stability it would give to the pipe. If too top heavy especially above the ocean floor, it could possibly cause the pipe to tilt, or bend. To save time, a simple crude device of this type could be fabricated quickly, used initially and if necessary replaced by an improved version later.
    It should also include a way to pump mud into it to seal any remaining leaks, and even a way to pump oil out. The main thing is to get it stopped. If necessary, the top part of it could include a cap to fit over the outside of the pipe but it may complicate things.
    From what I saw there is equipment in place below the recent cut and I don’t know what problems the gadgets below the cut will have on my plan. It would have been really good if more pictures had been available sooner. In my opinion, the term “CAP” is causing a lot of tunnel vision when plugging is and simpler and faster way to stem the flow until the relief wells are completed.

    1. Vinny

      “The main thing is to get it stopped.”

      Wrong. The main thing is to enable British Petroleum to continue to extract oil from that site, regardless of the damage it causes in the Gulf. The main thing is for this criminal corporation to continue to SELL oil extracted from that site, and the Obama administration will do anything in its power to assist that. Period. That is the main thing, my friend.

      So, thank you for your brilliant idea, but it will regrettably never be implemented as long as it adversely affects the profits and worldwide criminal activities of British Petroleum, the criminal, greedy, FOREIGN, mafia-style, gangster corporation mentioned above. And, stopping oil flow from the site will negatively affect the profits of British Petroleum, a greedy, criminal, FOREIGN, gangster mafioso corporation.

      BTW, have I mentioned British Petroleum is a criminal, greedy, FOREIGN, mafia-style organization of gangsters?

      PS — I think forgot to mention, but British Petroleum is a criminal, greedy, FOREIGN, mafia-style organization of gangsters :)

      1. food

        When the Ixtoc spill happened in 1979 in the Gulf, it gushed for ten months. PEMEX paid to clean up, but avoided paying any compensation with their claim of sovereign immunity. The steps leading up to the Ixtoc spill track closely with
        Deepwater Horizon’s. Ixtoc was not as big a spill as Deepwater Horizon, but the oil did coat many miles of beach, with countless lifeforms destroyed. My point is that these things happen, and if you are really looking for a finger of blame, you might not want to absolve yourself. I don’t. I drive a truck, I sit back, comfortable in the belief that my government actually bothers to regulate. But this is all bullshit. The reality is, my government is corrupt, and I aid and abet the problem by doing nothing but desire cheaper gas as I drive and drive and drive. You’ll forgive me if I view your constant chant of “evil mafiosos” with a bit of disdain. Admit your role.

        1. food

          I should clarify that in no way shape or form do I absolve BP/Transocean of wrongdoing. It was their operation, their responsibility, their failure.

          But I would be a liar to deny my role in all this.

    2. John L

      Stopping this blowout from the top down is a very, very bad idea. BP stopped the ‘top kill’ process a week ago because there is a weak point in the riser below the BOP, about 1000′ below the sea bed, and it’s feared that if they pressurize the whole arrangement the casing will rupture. That will put the entire oil reservoir into permeable sea floor, where it will be uncontrollable until the pressure equalizes. That’s also why they aren’t trying to tightly fit their collection cap onto the equipment; they don’t want a higher pressure anywhere in the system for fear of a rupture.

      The only way to stop this blowout is with the relief wells, currently being dug and hopefully will be in place by August.

      1. Rex

        John, thanks for the rational reply on the well situation. What you stated is what I have gathered too.

        For those who now totally despise BP it is easy to believe they are piping the oil up to the surface so they can sell what they gather. I agree with you that they are doing this because it is the only rational option left to them until the relief wells are complete and they can stop it at the bottom.

  6. Dagan

    As much as I’ve tried to ease my family’s concerns that it wouldn’t make it here (while knowing in my heart it was inevitable) I will report that yesterday, while swimming with my 20mo-old daughter, on the famous Siesta Key Crescent Beach (Sarasota), I washed some powdery white sand from my hands and rubbed my hands on my face to refresh in the heat only to catch a waft of marina-like exhaust on my skin. I’ve lived in Manhattan for the last decade and moved here to raise this little darling on the beach… Some luck. About all this city has going for itself right now are the beaches…. It’ll become a ghost town if/when the inevitable occurs. I’m just picturing a hurricane picking up all this toxic seablood and raining it down on us… Should’ve rented.

    1. Vinny

      My friend, reading your post put tears in my eye. It really did.

      I grew up in Tarpon Springs, just north from where you are. Much of my family is still there. I still have a home there, and I am planning to go there in a few weeks, not knowing what I will find on the nearby Howard Park Beach.

      All that coast, from Tarpon Springs, south to Marco Island is where I spent more than half of my life. There you find 5 of the 10 top rated beaches in the world, and to think that it is now all so close to being destroyed by this foreign criminal British Petroleum and this impotent administration we voted in the White House is making me very angry.

      My friend, please save some clean, oil-free, Florida sand in a bottle for me and my 4-year old daughter. :(


      1. charcad


        I live a bit south of Englewood at Cape Haze. This particular report from Siesta Key is very early.

        http://www.heraldtribune.com/ Don’t worry. This New York Times property will let everyone know when the first drop of oil arrives at Anna Maria. They’ll be right on the ball. Every bit as aggressive as they’ve been in pursuing real estate fraud once the fraudsters stopped placing millions of dollars of advertising with them.

        That marina-like smell is most likely from a local marina. Horrible! All that fuel with lubrication oil mixed in.

        I think every last powerboat should be banned! Save the environment. And also all sailboats with fiberglass hulls! Conserve the oil! And also all wooden hulled boats! Save the trees! Sport fishing should be banned! Save the sea life!

        (I’m not a boater. And the above is a little satire. It’s my opinion of the depth of hypocrisy of the faux environmentalists surrounding me here. It’s every bit as deep as BP’s Deepwater Horizon. Or the great Progressive icons at Martha’s Vineyard who promote wind power for everyone everywhere except their own beachfront views.)

        1. charcad

          p.s. Beachfront homes should also be outlawed. They degrade the environment and interfere with the sea turtle reproduction cycle. Condemning them under eminent domain at $1 each is more than adequate compensation. These selfish Republican-Palin minded environmental destroyers should be thankful they’re not charged for the cost of demolitions and cleanup.

          Now there’s a thought. Yes. CHARGE these environmental haters superfund fees to demolish their beachfront dens of consumerist hedonism and restore the environment which belongs to all of us to a pristine state.

          1. Dagan

            Charcad – i’m headed to the beach now. Will report back. I think it’s early too but to be honest, there’s not a marina nearby and I’m there every morning with the young’n. As for the Herald, just a rag with it’s own agenda.

          2. charcad

            there’s not a marina nearby and I’m there every morning with the young’n.

            Say what? I live fairly close to you. We’re next door neighbors in the blogosphere scheme of things.

            Siesta Key in Sarasota County is just one vast marina. I doubt there’s a spot on the entire island more than 600 yards from a boat dock. I invite everyone reading to check it out for themselves via Google Earth. The east side on the intercoastal waterway is lined with docks, as is the mainland on the other side of the waterway. The north end of the island is dissected with miles of yacht accessible canals.

            The weekly pleasure boat traffic and in out of Big Pass on the north end has to be in the 1000s for most of the year.

            Now let’s start discussing the jet skis on the Gulf Side…

          3. Dagan

            Charcad – you are correct sir. Plenty of power boats throughout the intercoastal and the canal systems of siesta. It is entirely possible that a morning boater blew out and it came around big pass. I would hope this is the case. However, this early in the morning (I.e. 9:30) there have yet to be the steady flow of cruisers that would spew enough to get around the corner there and the only boats out in the gulf were the parasailers. Again, entirely possible it was them as well. The one catch is that my pregnant wife with a dog’s nose, went out like 2 hrs later and got the same result. I will say, having just returned from from Crescent, there was no evidence of same today. Let’s hope you’re right for at long as possible. Good luck.

          4. charcad

            I would hope this is the case. However, this early in the morning (I.e. 9:30) there have yet to be the steady flow of cruisers that would spew enough to get around the corner there

            “This early in the morning”? 930am??? Every day there’s a procession of sport fishing boats sallying out before the sun comes up. They cruise out to shallow banks about 10-15 miles offshore. This is a daily ritual at every pass through the barrier islands from Tampa Bay south to Chokoloskee Island in south Collier County.

    2. Ronald

      Those who enjoyed beaches just south of Santa Barbara before the drilling found beautiful beaches free of oil but today after years of drilling its impossible to walk the beaches without cleaning your feet and hands with oil base solvents to get the sticky black stuff off. Yet the GOM and West Coast spills reflect our desire for cheaper available fuel so nobody to blame but our ongoing lifestyle.

      1. Guest

        The big lie since the 1969 spill off the coast of Santa B is that there was always seeping oil and that tar covered feet after a walk on the beach was the norm.

        Do not underestimate the power of PR by both the government and big oil. The media is lazy and perhaps corrupt as they simply read press releases as of they are fact.

        The US Fish and Wildlife Service is part of the corrupt Department of the Interior.

        They are grossly underestimating the impact on wildlife e.g. to date 525 birds have been killed as a result of the oil.

        check out this report on attempted cover up by BP


        1. different guest

          I too have always heard that the tar on Santa Barbara’s beaches had always been there. This seemed plausible since the Chumash were said to have collected tar to seal their canoes, but of course there might have been much, much less than there is now. The platforms certainly leak some oil, since I have seen from the air slicks emanating from platforms. I was wondering if either of you could shed some more light on the tar and if you know of any concrete information about how *much* less there was before the drilling and/or the 1969 spill.

        2. SteveW

          “The big lie since the 1969 spill off the coast of Santa B is that there was always seeping oil and that tar covered feet after a walk on the beach was the norm.”….

          yep. In the same mold, we shall soon hear “that explosive diarrhea you contracted from that lettuce you ate is normal. After all the lettuce field is downstream from that big hog farm which feeds America’s insatiable demand for all things bacon. Since you bought an egg McMuffin once, you have to live with it.”…..


    3. NOTaREALmerican

      Come on… A little toxic waste never hurt anybody. There’s billions of Chinese and Indians proving this every day. Real Americans are going to prove we’re as good as the Chinese and Indians. Only pansy liberals are complaining about living in toxic waste, because they’re not REAL Americans!

      I predict – in 30 years – REAL Americans will still be happily living and optimistically reproducing in all our toxic waste states.

  7. Tim

    The seabirds and dolphins and shrimp and all the other marine life now dying as a result of this spill, who was it they voted for again?

  8. Tony Hayward, CEO, British Petroleum

    Open letter from Tony Hayward, CEO, British Petroleum

    Dear Americans,

    First, I hope you appreciate how difficult it was for me to take time out of my busy schedule to write this.

    Second, I want to reiterate that the United States of America is important to British Petroleum. In fact, it as is important as is British Petroleum to the United States of America. We honestly think of the United States as an equal partner, okay. I want to reassure all Americans that British Petroleum and myself do not, in any way, think of the United States as a lesser, inferior, partner. I hope I made myself clear.

    Third, I want to restate that, “I want my life back”. While I feel pity for the American workers who died when my Deep Water Horizon sank, I hope you also realize the disruption this has caused in my personal life, as well as the loss of profitability for British Petroleum. Trust me, it was not easy to replace those highly-skilled workers, in whom British Petroleum has invested a great deal of expensive training. I hope you appreciate this much.

    Fourth, I want to respond to some who have said British Petroleum is a criminal, mafia-type organization of gangsters. While I shall not waste my time disputing that British Petroleum (“The Organization”) has been involved in numerous global criminal activities, I also would like a little credit for the fact that since I became the new “Don” of the Organization, our criminal activities have been scaled back by at least 5 percent on a year-to-year basis. Please do understand that this was not an easy decision, considering how highly profitable activities such as prostitution, human trafficking, extortion, gambling, money laundering, terrorism, and murder, have been for British Petroleum and myself personally. Nonetheless, I, as the new Don, have made the decision to limit British Petroleum’s criminal activities to the absolute minimum. I want to promise all Americans that in five years, British Petroleum will be a completely legitimate operation, with only limited criminal activities.

    Thank you for reading this, and also for appreciating my taking time out of my busy schedule for you.


    Tony “Don” Hayward, CEO, British Petroleum

    1. attempter

      See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? That’s all our corporate liberals wanted to hear.

      That’s all they want to hear from any racket.

  9. Ronald

    While Vinny is upset about the spills impact on his backyard
    the oil and gas industry is busy remodeling the landscape throughout the U.S. and Canada. Hopefully more folks might become aware of what these various technologies are doing to other people’s backyards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Coal Mining:
    Mountain-top mining,
    widespread in the Appalachians, involves blasting the tops off of mountains and dumping the waste rock into valleys, where it buries streams and pollutes them with sulphate and heavy metals. It has irreversible impacts on river life and human health, the scientists warn. Their calls appear to be falling on deaf ears.

    Hydraulic Fracturing

    industrial process used in completing oil and gas wells known as Hydraulic Fracturing.
    A method of stimulating production by opening new flow channels in the rock surrounding a production well. often call a frac job. under extremely high hydraulic pressure, a fluid (such as distillate, diesel fuel, crude oil, dilute hydrochloric acid, water, or kerosene) is pumped downward through production tubing or drill pipe and forced out below a packer or between two packers. the pressure causes cracks to open in the formation, and the fluid penetrates the formation through the cracks. sand grains, aluminum pellets, walnut shells, or similar materials (propping agents) are carried in suspension by the fluid into the cracks. when the pressure is released at the surface, the fracturing fluid returns to the well. the cracks partially close on the pellets, leaving channels for oil to flow around them to the well. see explosive fracturing, hydraulic fracturing.

    Oil Sands extraction
    “It’s like a beach sand that’s laden with oil,” says John Rogers, vice president for investor relations at Calgary-based Suncor, which pioneered oil sands operations in Alberta. This “beach” covers an area roughly the size of Utah, located about 500 miles north of the U.S. border. “It’s the largest oil basin in the world next to the largest oil market in the world,” Rogers says. Since 1967, his company has been producing oil in the heart of the sands, the town of Fort McMurray, in a process similar to strip mining. Huge electric shovels excavate the sand and load it into 200-to-400-ton trucks. Suncor and the other Alberta producers–Syncrude of Fort McMurray and Canadian Natural Resources Limited of Calgary as well as multinationals like Shell–dig enough oil sand every two days to fill Yankee Stadium. The rigs rumble on 10-foot-tall wheels to upgrading plants, where the sands are mixed with hot water to extract the bitumen–a thick, sticky form of crude oil. It is then treated with chemicals to remove minerals and water.

    But the oil companies estimate that 80 percent of the sands are too deep to be mined. Enter in situ processing. By injecting steam into oil sands underground, producers loosen the bitumen and suck it out of the sands. Toronto-based Imperial Oil, 70 percent owned by Exxon, pioneered the process known colloquially as “huff and puff” in its megaproject near the town of Cold Lake. Now numerous firms are using a refined version of the process, “steam-assisted gravity drainage,” which injects steam and extracts bitumen through two separate wells.

    1. Vinny

      We definitely need to change our lifestyle. I think that can actually happen, if only this spineless president showed some leadership and started educating the public. But, seeing how he handled the banking crisis and now this oil spill, I’m not holding my breath for that. Probably, late at night, when nobody’s around the Oval Office, he gets on conference calls with “W” and Sarah Palin and together they chant, “Drill, baby, drill” for a few hours…lol


      1. Ronald

        Just a guess but the recent situation in the gulf probably triggered a National Security alert. Our energy policy impacts our foreign policy , just bringing this up to remind folks that while Obama was sitting on his hands they were probably trying to come up with a best case PR.
        The administration and MSM initial approach to the spill points in that direction but events have finally forced them to become more open but lets be honest it appears very phony and put on so its my guess they consider Deep water off shore drilling to be in our national interest and will pursue that objective once the public interest in this event has calmed down.

        1. charcad

          Of course it impacts “National Security” policy. I happened to be one of the people working on CENTCOM war plans back in 1989. i.e. Probably before anyone here knew a CENTCOM existed or what it did.

          When the brief cold fusion boomlet occurred our reaction was we could probably start winding down our shop in a very few months. We at least knew what we were all about.

          I don’t think any of the present elites in Washington, New York or Jerusalem want the USA to break its addiction to foreign oil. Or even anyone living on Siesta Key for that matter. People who can afford Siesta Key can readily afford $6/gallon gas and higher. It’s the working families who take it up the whazoo. Who knows? It might even make the tradesmen hungrier.

          You know, all the people the Democratic Party elites pretend to care about starting in the Septembers of even numbered years.

          1. aet

            Just a note about the style: insulting your readers in the first paragraph does not help to persuade.

            People are aware of the US Armed Forces, and most Armed Forces have a unified command structure, ie, a CENTCOM..

    2. charcad

      Injecting steam underground. Polluting the earth with global warming. Get me my smelling salts, Irma. And the nitro!

      Even worse are the massive quantities of montmorillonite being injected into the earth during drilling. This stuff might not ever bio-degrade. It’s scientifically known the constituent elements of montmorillonite don’t ever biodegrade. They’ll be there for billions of years.


      Look at that chemical formula. Shocking!

  10. Rob

    What were the long term effects of the Ixtoc I oil spill in 1979? Or the long term effects of the spills listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills ? I’m not trying to be a jerk and generally fall on the left of the political spectrum, but I don’t see the long term consequences of this accident being catastrophic. I do think that the sensibilities of many Americans may be offended when they are awoken to the fact that their lifestyle is fueled by some rather dirty businesses that they never see. But aside from the media fracas around this event, I struggle to see any long term consequences.

    1. aet

      I agree. Ever the optimist: but here’s a reason,a Q & Aof relevance:

      “Are the conditions good for the microbes that can degrade these types of hydrocarbons?

      Right now, conditions seem to be ideal for microbial degradation. But we need to do additional lab experiments to figure out what is regulating microbial activity.”



      A site to which NC brought my attention.
      Thanks NC.

  11. Ronald

    Very little is know about the so called long term effects given the small amount of research that has been done. Champotón region impacted directly by the spill still has physical reminders of its impact. The other issue is that when these events occur unless it is located near a major civilian center it doesn’t get much attention except from lawyers and environmental organizations. Hopefully you will be spared any impact from such an event in your backyard hate to see you pissed off like Vinny!

    “The blow-out of the Ixtoc I exploratory well in the Bay of Campeche on June 3, 1979, resulted in the release of about 475 000 metric tons of oil to the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The authors calculate that approximately 24 000 metric tons of oil landed on Mexican beaches, about 4000 metric tons landed on Texas beaches, and about 120 000 metric tons, or 25 percent of the total, sank to the bottom of the Gulf. Since thorough studies of the ecological damage in Mexico have either not been carried out or the results have not been released, the authors estimate biological damage from the spill on the basis of data in the literature, laboratory experiments, and experience with similar spills elsewhere. They calculate that some 15 000 km2 of the Gulf of Mexico can be regarded as poisoned by the Ixtoc I oil, although damage to lagoons was less than expected. The full extent of the damage remains unknown.”


    “Juan Antonio Dzul was a teenager when the Ixtoc 1 oil rig collapsed in June 1979 in the Gulf of Mexico, 70 miles from the fishing town of Champotón where he grew up and still lives. The memory of the huge spill that followed is etched on his mind.

    “The oil covered the reefs and washed up on the shore. Fish died and the octopuses were buried under the oil that filled the gaps between the rocks where they live,” he recalled in a phone interview. “Even today you can find stains on rocks a few centimetres deep, and if you stick something metal in them the smell of oil still escapes.”

    Champotón was one of the first and worst-hit areas reached by the estimated 3m barrels of oil that poured into the sea over the next nine and a half months. The Ixtoc disaster is still by far the largest peacetime spill, as well as a lesson-packed forerunner of the disaster in progress, as the Deepwater Horizon also exploded and sank after a blowout preventer failed.”


    1. aet

      Any body got any info on the biggest dspill of all-time, in war or peace? with references?
      thanks in advance!

  12. Guest

    here is the link to the Fish and Wildlife Service daily BP Death count. Note the links for the most recent days are not properly formatted and therefore do not work. I have included a corrected link for the June 6 numbers at the bottom of this comment. Note that US Fish and Wildlife is part of the Department of the Interior, which is corrupt. The numbers appear to be grossly understated and in addition most would say that for every dead creature collected there are ten that would never be found. Add to that the giant undersea oil plumes, the million plus gallons of dispersant and hidden devastation is unimaginable.

    Daily Wildlife Collection Reports

    corrected link for June 6

    What the Spill Will Kill
    BP Buys ‘Oil’ Search Terms to Redirect Users to Official Company Website

    must watch video on the impact that is hiddent



    a great blog by a marine scientist


    1. Ronald

      The bird and marine life count does seem very low with many including yourself assuming they are understated. I wanted to pass along another possibility which is that the GOM itself including the marshes,tide lands, and islands which provide the greatest cover for marine life have been significantly impacted by industrial effluent generated by the large concentration of chemical,oil and gas companies located in the GOM these discharges over time have significantly impacted the number of marine and bird life. The other issue is the shrimp processing industry which accounts for 54 million lbs of shrimp processed in 2006, these numbers suggest that a major source of the marine food chain has been significantly depleted further reducing marine life.
      We have seen no evidence of a large significant fish kill, that is beaches covered with fish or other marine life all pointing to a reduced level of marine biology probably created by the intensive industrial concentration of chemical,gas,oil and shrimp industries all culling the once thriving marine and bird life of the GOM.

  13. Doc Holiday

    Re: ” Dozens of dead, oiled birds have been found in other Gulf states, the majority of them in Louisiana.”

    > All we can do now is wait for the “final” counts:

    See: “At the time, the Amoco Cadiz incident resulted in the largest loss of marine life ever recorded from an oil spill. Mortalities of most animals occurred over the two months following the spill. Two weeks following the accident, millions of dead mollusks, sea urchins, and other bottom dwelling organisms washed ashore.

    Diving birds constituted the majority of the nearly 20,000 dead birds that were recovered. The oyster mortality from the spill was estimated at 9,000 tons. Fishermen in the area caught fish with skin ulcerations and tumors.

    Some of the fish caught in the area reportedly had a strong taste of petroleum. Although echinoderm and small crustacean populations almost completely disappeared, the populations of many species recovered within a year. Cleanup activities on rocky shores, such as pressure-washing, also caused habitat impacts.”

    From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amoco_Cadiz

    > Hopefully the First Family will play on the beaches there this Summer, along with their friends from the oil lobbies… hopefully, they also own property near beaches, so they can take part in the clean-up….

  14. Jim in MN

    First off, thanks to Yves for understanding that we do need some political economy along with our economy. And that politics and religion are always tough to discuss. Showing fortitude there!

    Now, as a lifelong environmentalist but also a lifelong critical thinker, let me offer a distilled (ahem) viewpoint:

    1. We will basically burn all the oil. We have no technology that can compare with the energy storage and economic characteristics of gasoline. In thirty years, maybe. I like pairing cellulosic biodiesel with plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology personally. It would work technically. But the cost, scale up and delivery infrastructure is truly formidable.

    2. Climate change policy (for those interested in that aspect) really comes down to a battle to leave some coal in the ground. That is a highly contested battlefield.

    3. Energy security policy (i.e. paying bad people for oil) is mostly nonsense. They will sell us the oil. We’d be better off treating Eurasia in general as a neighbor and demonstrating our own democratic, middle class, capitalist values for the next thirty years instead of indulging in realpolitik fantasies and wasting lives and treasure trying to control the planet.

    4. Environmental regulation of oil and gas production should be relentless and demand the highest quality of technology and care. If you can pass the test, by all means, baby, drill away. But the regulatory failure here is so deep as to require a political and public opinion response that will drive most deepwater production away from our shores.

    Bottom line: We are and will remain addicted to oil. We can make it safer and we should. It will cost more to do this. Too bad. Just like cheap capital and fantasy asset valuation, illusions are dangerous and hangovers hurt.

    Of politics it can be said that the Founders had it right but for one critical flaw, stemming from the innovative technology of the corporation (barely then invented). Corruption has crippled our Republic. The public has barely any way to even discuss this. Can a new party fix it? Or is the flaw terminal, and what then? What if capitalism is not compatible with democracy at scale? Which gives? Personally I think that as with most problems, more hard work, creativity and communication can lead to a solution. But I am not seeing a lot of hard work, creativity and communication on political levels. Until I do I remain merely a faith-based optimist.

    1. NOTaREALmerican

      What if the problem is that the “founding fadders” didn’t take into account addictive human psychology and the ability of the smart amoral scumbags to manipulate the dumbasses. Perhaps democracy itself only works during very unique times under very special conditions.

      1. Jim in MN

        Two enduring quotes:
        “If all men were angels, no government would be necessary” (Hamilton)
        “A Republic, Madam–if you can keep it” (Franklin in response to a query on the outcome of the Philadelphia Convention).

        I think they knew what they were up against. Worth a try, though….

      2. aet

        I doubt your analysis is correct, in that men have been flawed so for a very long time, and the Founding fathers, IMHO, were not blind.

    2. aet

      Gee I don’t know…corruption can go a long way to preserving liberty in a dictatorship, or royal, system.

      1. aet

        That is: corruption becomes a tool for liberty, against the despotic rule of the State.

        1. aet

          Or rather, it MAY become so.
          But corruption, nevertheless, may yet serve to preserve the liberty of people, under some forms of political arrangement.
          I suppose it varies with the justice,or otherwise, of the Rulers.

  15. BSharp


    This is from Mike Roberts, aka the Louisiana Bayoukeeper, a post titled “Summer of Tears”. I highly recommend reading his first hand account of what the barataria bay area looks like right now. Despite how hard it is for “Bubba from Alabama” to hear it’s more important to keep it out of the marshes, it is. I’m just tired of us having to compete for limited resources. There shouldn’t be limited resources for this.


  16. LeeAnne

    “Mr Barbour is known as one of the most vocal pro-oil voices on the US political scene, receiving almost $700,000 from oil and gas industries in his past two campaigns. From 2000 to 2007, his lobbying firm was also paid $2 million for representing oil and gas interests. “Mr Barbour is known as one of the most vocal pro-oil voices on the US political scene, receiving almost $700,000 from oil and gas industries in his past two campaigns. From 2000 to 2007, his lobbying firm was also paid $2 million for representing oil and gas interests. ”

    When are the American people themselves going to be ashamed of supporting a system that operates like this one?

    1. carping demon

      I’ve seen this today on every blog I watch about the spill, and it’s simply erroneous. Watch the interview. Nelson does not “confirm” anything.

      “Andrea we’re looking into something new right now, that there’s reports of oil that’s seeping up from the seabed… which would indicate, if that’s true…”

      That is not a confirmation of anything. Nothing in the rest of that rambling sentence, or in the rest of the interview indicates that this statement is anything other than a simple allusion to Matt Simmons’s comments of last week. There’s really nothing new in the interview.

    2. Rex

      From that link:
      “Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC: Now let me understand better what you’re saying. If that is true that it is coming up form that seabed, even the relief well won’t be the final solution to cap this thing. That means that we’ve got oil gushing up at disparate places along the ocean floor.”

      Let’s hope that was just an ill-informed over reaction. I have come to the conclusion that they stopped trying to cap the well and shifted to piping oil to the surface because they thought the well casings could not take the back pressure from a top cap. This could also imply some leaks out of the well through the seabed. But that does not mean the the relief wells can’t eventually close the well. They are drilling down to the bottom of the well where the earth structure should be more solid. Pumping mud and cement there should be able to block the flow below any leaks from the bad well into the sea bed.

      But that won’t happen for months.

  17. Doc Holiday

    Of the 300 turtles verified from April 30 to June 6, a total of 248 turtles stranded dead, 22 stranded alive. Three of those subsequently died. Three live stranded turtles have been released, including two that were found in Mississippi and released after rehabilitation in Ten Thousand Islands, Florida. There are 41 turtles in rehabilitation.


  18. Doc Holiday

    Captain Brent “Hollywood” Shaver, 59, who operates a charter fishing boat in Florida and Alabama waters, laughed when asked about BP’s comment that there aren’t underwater oil plumes.
    “They’re crazy,” he said in a June 7 interview. “You know, when you spill diesel fuel in the water they always tell you not to put dish soap on it because it just makes it sink. That’s what is happening here. It’s sinking.”


  19. more of same

    “These are huge volumes of oil, many kilometers of oil, and to have oil in many cubic kilometers of water suggests a very significant total amount,” said Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University in Tallahassee, who is doing separate research on the spill.
    MacDonald estimates the well is leaking 26,500 barrels to 30,000 barrels a day, six times more than the figure that BP and the government used from April 28 to May 27. On June 7, the company captured more than 7,500 barrels in a 12-hour period, during which excess oil leaked around the cap.

  20. more and more

    o the government agency in charge of the science of the oil spill has taken oil plume water samples gathered by the University of South Florida to a lab for a final set of tests.

    Those results from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will arrive Tuesday, shortly before 11 a.m., said USF spokeswoman Vickie Chachere.

    NOAA and USF scientists will hold a joint news conference at that time to release the results of the “fingerprint” testing — tests that may match the chemical signature of the undersea oil to oil from the blown-out BP well.

    THe news conference had been originally scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, but was pushed back to allow more time to receive NOAA’s test results.

    Figuring out whether that oil is from the blown-out BP well is significant; recently BP has denied the existence of vast, underwater oil plumes.

    “The oil is on the surface,” BP’s Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward has told CNN. “There aren’t any plumes.”

Comments are closed.