Federal Government Covering Up Severity of Gulf Oil Spill? Posted on July 30, 2010 by Yves Smith It looks as if Team Obama has reverted to form. In a repeat of its perfromance post the financial crisis, it appears to believe that no problem cannot be solved by PR, which puts it in league with the perps. Hat tip Glenn Stehle: Post navigation ← Links 7/30/10 Should We Buy Fed’s Reports of Gains on AIG Bailout Vehicles? → Subscribe to Post Comments 43 comments android July 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm And with BP buying off Gulf scientists, it will be as if an oil spill never happened: http://blog.al.com/live/2010/07/bp_buys_up_gulf_scientists_for.html Friedman's Ghost July 30, 2010 at 1:27 pm Yep, nothing to see here folks. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming: Top 5 Broacast TV shows for week ending the 25th (18-49): 1 BACHELORETTE, THE ABC 3.4 4,419 2 HELL’S KITCHEN-TUE 9P FOX 3.2 4,228 3 AMERICA’S GOT TALENT-TUE NBC 3.0 3,937 4 WIPEOUT-TUES ABC 2.9 3,871 5 HELL’S KITCHEN Top Five Cable TV shows for week ending the 25th (18-49): 1 RIZZOLI & ISLES TNT 4.6 7,272 2 CLOSER, THE TNT 4.5 6,972 3 BURN NOTICE USA 3.7 5,871 4 NASCAR SPRINT CUP L (INDIANAPOLIS) ESPN 3.6 5,709 5 DEADLIEST CATCH: CAPTAIN(S) DISC 3.2 5,535 Enough said?!?! aet July 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm TV? Are they still making that crap? Anastasia Beaverhausen July 30, 2010 at 1:36 pm I actually heard on Bloomberg Radio yesterday that the oil is no longer visible because it’s biodegrading naturally. See, you tree huggers, the earth just sees damaging chemicals hurting it’s life forms and wills the pollution away instantaneously. I guess earth was asleep during Exxon Valdez since that part of the planet never fully recovered. aet July 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm Oil does indeed bio-degrade, and it does so faster in warmer waters, which is a better environment for the little bacteria that do all that work. Time heals all wounds. Anastasia Beaverhausen July 30, 2010 at 4:26 pm Yes and pay no attention to the Corexit you may one day eat. BP sprayed dispersant onto the surface of the slick and into the jet of oil and gas as it erupted out of the wellhead a mile beneath the surface. As a result, less oil reached the surface and the Gulf’s fragile coastline. But more remained under the surface. Fish, shrimp and crab larvae, which float around in the open seas, are considered the most likely to die on account of exposure to the subsea oil plumes. There are fears, for instance, that an entire year’s worth of bluefin tuna larvae may have perished. But this latest discovery suggests that it’s not just larvae at risk from the subsurface droplets. It’s also the animals that feed on them. “There are so many animals that eat those little larvae,” said Robert J. Diaz, a marine scientist at the College of William and Mary. Oil itself is of course toxic, especially over long exposure. But some scientists worry that the mixture of oil with dispersants will actually prove more toxic, in part because of the still not entirely understood ingredients of Corexit, and in part because of the reduction in droplet size. “Corexit is in the water column, just as we thought, and it is entering the bodies of animals. And it’s probably having a lethal impact there,” said Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Research Institute. The dispersant, she said, is like ” a delivery system” for the oil. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/29/scientists-find-evidence_n_664298.html required July 30, 2010 at 9:39 pm As I commented on HuffPo, Cue the FDA’s approval of Corexit as a food safe additive in 3…2…1… With the Obamas as spokespeople: Mmmm Mmmm Good! Aunt Deb July 30, 2010 at 1:40 pm Yeah, and look at Hiroshima! Good as new, thanks to the biodegradable nature of radioactivity. required July 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm very apt analogy! mikefromArlington July 30, 2010 at 1:55 pm Yes, of course. BP and the U.S. Govn’t are in cahoots! How logical! How diabolical of Obama. He puts out moratoriums and blocks expansion of drilling on the east coast again but what he’s really doing is secretly plotting with BP and oil companies. You guys are geniuses! DownSouth July 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm Oh, I don’t think BP is doing too bad by itself, or by the Obama administration, in dodging environmental regulations. And if the fat tail risks of drilling these high risk wells can somehow, magically, be made to disappear, I’ll bet anything will be possible. You name it—-east coast, west coast, Gulf coast, Alaska coast—-the sky will be the limit. required July 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm Except that the shoe fits Obama like a glove. Birdy July 30, 2010 at 2:17 pm I am a simple housewife and I am outraged at this massive cover-up. So much death that could have been diverted and so much stupidity at the top. We need the truth to make our world a better place – is not that self evident? Vesta July 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm Yes, yes and yes. It’s the same reason why I believe they “got rid of” Tony “I’ve become a villain for doing the right thing” Hayward and replaced him with an American. Optics, optics, optics. eric anderson July 30, 2010 at 3:46 pm Birdy wants the truth. The biggest source of petroleum in marine waters is natural seeps. If there was no drilling at all, there would still be a massive amount of seepage, leakage, spillage. Oil is natural and it seeps naturally. (And yes the earth has natural ways of adapting to it.) The second largest source is runoff from LAND, and oil from boating — or sometimes dumped from passenger vessels or airlines. Spills from drilling platforms or well heads is the smallest source. I don’t know if the National Academy of Sciences is a “truthy” enough source for the critics, but there it is, summarized in this web page from Texas A&M. http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oilspills.htm That is not to say a spill can’t cause big local problems, especially when it gets to land. You can read about cleanup and long term effects at the link above. This was a very bad and probably preventable spill. But apocalyptic predictions are likely to be wrong. The media exaggerates and emphasizes the sensational, without reflecting calmly on reliable data from previous incidents. We need honest regulators who won’t be lackeys for industry — approving the drilling procedures that led to this latest spill, for example. No argument there. How can this be done? This is part of a much larger problem — industry has captured the regulatory apparatus of government. Safety, common sense, practicality, and fairness go out the window when regulators are incestuous with the businesses regulated. This is why my mind boggles at the calls for “better regulation” to solve these recurring financial crises. Fix the system so that you can get accountability in the regulatory agencies. Otherwise you’ll get folks like “Turbo-Tax” Timmy making rules for his friends, while we go on to the next financial earthquake. When we start seeing heads rolling, we will at least have the potential for solving problems through laws and regulations. Instead, we see government types who “fail upwards.” In that environment, we are doomed no matter what rules Congress, in their infinite wisdom, imposes on industry. hibikir July 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm There’s a big difference between global numbers and local numbers. Let’s say that an entire city’s water supply has five drops of cyanide in it. Well diluted, it won’t kill anyone. Now say that we add one more drop of cyanide, a minor thing globally, but that the drop is added straight into your fridge’s drinking water reservoir. Now that single drop kills someone, while five drops didn’t kill anyone. See? It’s very easy to display statistics in a way that they say whatever you want them to say. Ignore the global statistics, and instead look at how much oil seeps into the Gulf of Mexico on an average year, vs how much there is now. It might not be a worldwide catastrophe, but it could well be one for the gulf. DownSouth July 31, 2010 at 9:54 am eric anderson said: “We need honest regulators who won’t be lackeys for industry… Fix the system so that you can get accountability in the regulatory agencies.” Do I sense a change of sentiment on your part? I thought the arguments from an avowed libertarian would be more along the lines of “We need no regulators” and “Eliminate the system because the corruption in regulatory agencies is immutable and impossible to control.” Vinny July 30, 2010 at 6:17 pm Just wait, folks. In a month or two, when everybody would have forgotten about this, Mr. Tony Haywood will join our glorious Obama cabinet. Vinny Phil July 30, 2010 at 8:25 pm http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7918000/BP-oil-spill-Was-Tony-Hayward-right-after-all.html DownSouth July 31, 2010 at 9:05 am Should it come as any surprise that conservative newspapers like The Telegraph would be front and center in the campaign to downplay the effects of oil spills? Francois T linked this video which documents the leading role The Telegraph played five years ago in creating and propagandizing the popular, but totally unscientific, myth of a new ice age. Then when The Telegraph’s imminent ice age—-which was totally a creation of media rags like The Telegraph and not climate scientists, is debunked, the AWG deniers embrace this as sure truth that the climate scientists were wrong. Aren’t campaigns of lies and disinformation fun? AndyB July 30, 2010 at 9:36 pm Hmm Hmm Hmm I wonder if enough time will lapse so that the rigs will move to Brazil to help with the Soros/Obama investment in Petrobras for its offshore drilling THAT IS FIVE TIMES DEEPER. THIS NON-TRANSPARENT PRESIDENT CAN BE SO TRANSPARENT WHEN YOU CAN CONNECT ALL THE DOTS. doc holiday July 31, 2010 at 12:09 pm New Discovery Confirms the Campos Basin Pre-Salt Potential http://news.seadiscovery.com/post/2010/06/23/discovery-confirms-presalt-potential.aspx The new pre-salt layer discovered, was the result of the drilling of 6-ABL-57D-RJS well, located in Albacora Leste field, below the sandstone layer producer. This discovery is situated 130 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, in water depth of 1,956 meters and at total depth of 4,536 meters. Hear: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAtH0RJzaN4 ==> In February 2010, Deepwater Horizon commenced drilling an exploratory well at the Macondo Prospect (Mississippi Canyon Block 252), about 41 miles (66 km) off the southeast coast of Louisiana, at a water depth of approximately 5,000 feet (1,500 m). Julie July 31, 2010 at 3:41 pm Well, at least Brazil has stronger drilling safety regulations than we do. Publius July 30, 2010 at 9:57 pm I see no reason why PR will not accomplish the desired results. No one is able to rise up and throw out the rascals without it, and no one suspects the new rascals are lying now do they? I am reminded of an R. Cobb cartoon-perhaps all of them eh-from the days of Slow Death comics. Two men in a shelter huddled down trying to survive and one turns to the other and says “Did anyone ever tell you you look like a commie?” Scott July 30, 2010 at 11:24 pm Louisiana officials say? CNN? I don’t doubt the possibility the Feds might downplay the damage to the Gulf — and I have noticed a recent corporate media effort advancing this idea — but when did we start believing Bobby Jindal? Ronald July 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm The government does not understand the severity of the oil spill so no its not covering up rather its acting as it usually does which is to say behind the curve. If it actually understood what was occurring and how it impacted the lives of Gulf residents then it would have acted on a host of other environmental issues impacting the Gulf, none of which is on the table. They are busy in D.C.!!! michel July 31, 2010 at 6:30 am What we are seeing here is the paranoid style in American politics. Hostadter documented this on the right, what we see here is the same thing on the left. What, exactly, is wrong with what the Telegraph reports? The bird kill numbers are tiny compared to the Exxon Valdez case. Do you all believe that in fact there have been more than this? Quote: As for wildlife, the total number of animals found dead and covered in oil for the whole period is 1,296 birds, 17 sea turtles and three dolphins – that is less than one per cent of the birds killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. During the same period, 1,675 birds, 82 turtles and 53 dolphins were found dead without any outward signs of oiling. Is this in fact false? How, if so, has the government managed to falsify the observations? It is also alleged that the natural seepage in the Gulf is: Quote: Professor Geoffrey Maitland, an energy engineer at Imperial College, agrees that the Gulf is well adapted to oil spills because tens of millions of gallons naturally seep into it every year. The argument is that this has led to the evolution of a large population of oil eating bacteria. Is this false also? What is the correct number, if its not 10s of millions? What is so extraordinary about this is two things. One, its astonishing, the apparently low impact of the spill compared to Alaska. Two it is extraordinary how many people are instantly willing to attribute almost any degree of malevolence and falsehood to their own US government. This is really a very serious cultural development, and for the West as a whole, not just America. Of course, you will all argue that the real problem is the despicable conduct of the government, you are simply reacting to it. Yes, Hofstadter cited similar responses from his right wing paranoiacs back in the day. Still around today in the Tea Party for that matter. But, its the beam in my own eye that I so rarely see. As here. DownSouth July 31, 2010 at 9:25 am Here you use the same rhetorical strategy that you did yesterday in your defense of neoliberalism and global capitalism when you argued: This answers the question of whether the excesses of global capitalism and neoliberalism are comparable or worse, and the answer is no. Which is not to minimize them, it is simply to get things in perspective. The management of Enron or of Goldman was not comparable to the administration of Pol Pot. The right is heavily into the “paranoid style of American politics,” but so is the left, or so you claim. To make your case you cite an article from The Telegraph, which as is documented in the video I linked above is perhaps one of the most unapologetic torch carriers for right-wing lies and disinformation that exists. What I find most remarkable about your, and The Telegraph’s, tact is the total disregard for historical and scientific truth. DownSouth July 31, 2010 at 9:39 am And what a great world it is that people like yourself and Telegraph readers live in. Reinhold Niebuhr called it “a paradise of innocence.” Major oil spills don’t cause any great or long-lasting environmental damage. There is no global warming to fret about. And in the world of economics and finance, the fat tail risks associated with predation and looting can just be wished away. It’s like Disneyland. But unfortunately, most of us have to live in the real world. michel July 31, 2010 at 4:06 pm I think the paranoid style is common on both the left and the right. To consider that one’s government is generally malicious and mendacious as the most plausible explanation of most events is a marker of that. As to the Telegraph, the question is whether the scientists quoted in it are correct or not about the spill and the damage. I do not know. But they are respectable people who publish peer reviewed stuff. Their arguments are to be taken seriously. If they appear in the Telegraph, the Guardian, the WSJ or the New York Times. That makes absolutely no difference. Who these neoliberals everyone keeps talking about are, I have no idea. I am not, so far as I know, one of them, and no-one I know is. Dwight Baker July 31, 2010 at 8:34 am BP not a mystery how they do what they do? Dwight Baker July 31, 2010 Dbaker007@stx.rr.com Folks very soon the hell to pay will hit our Federal Government and BP right between the eyes. Has all this been some kind of a sin sick cover-up contrived by the hucksters hired by BP to spin the webs of deceit to include all to bring about the appearance that all was OK on the home front? That appears to me the most plausible cause of action. None and I mean NONE in our Federal Government has had a clue what to do, and have impotent in taking actions needed to deter wrong actions taking place by the military style of BP on the coast. BP talks as ones who care by submit they are the ones who care less. Mr. Dudley is just another goon wearing a Brooks Brothers suit but underneath he is a raging wolf like all the rest in the higher tiers of BP. The proven sexual deviant Lord Browne once headed up BP as Chairman but was pushed down because of the criminal wrangling that occurred in Canada. But his two fair-haired boys who had survived all the cut backs in BP engineering have been on guard here. Hayward first then Dudley now but believe me they are one in the same. Now how when and who pulled the trigger on dumbing down all our Federal Folks that went to oversee BP actions? Was money whores booze or other illicit things used to pull them in the web? I simply don’t know and at this time I could care less. WHY that is for a good prosecutor to find out and believe me they can. Please read the next entry by me to see how this might all end up with us winning and BP loosing out more than they ever dreamed in paying and paying, may take us acting like a real nation free and sovereign people to take back our producing properties the BP has drilled and take all that income and put it back for all those suffering for lacks on our Gulf right now caused by BP. The medical maladies are far greater and worse than many have an idea. But there are cures if we get with it right now and get these thousands of people treated before the viral infections grow to out of control cancers and the like. Fl July 31, 2010 at 10:58 am July 30, CNN Nungesser: “Thad Allen went to the BP school of how to deny. He’s in denial.” http://www.youtube.com/user/OilFlorida#p/u/2/Fxbz-4FrhKM Realist July 31, 2010 at 11:52 am Yes there is less oil in the gulf today than there was yesterday. Yes the wind and the weather has acted in a natural way to disburse the oil and its contaminants. Yes there is oil in the sea grasses and marsh soils. No one is denying that this is the largest ecological disaster in our country ever. What I get tired of hearing is Nungesser continuously blaming the federal government for their misfortunes. Louisiana sold their souls to big oil, the chemical industry and all sorts of high environmental pollutants generations ago. They always want something for nothing. These people pay limited state or federal income tax. Paying as little as you can is a way of life. It is a manor of honor. Every person from Louisiana that I have known, and I have known many, all have cash stashed underneath floor boards from under the table ventures. You are not a true Louisianan unless you are in support of under the table activities. Have you ever been there. These people have been trashing their environment for generations. The canals and bayous and their tannin colored waters have been an illicit dumping ground for generations. If you are too far from the bayou to dump your old refrigerator, worn out tires, and car motor or engine oil hell the road side will do. Eat your Po-boy in the car and throw your trash out the window. That’s the way its done. Your bayous have been disappearing for generations by people who claim that they love their environment but have always looked the other away if a buck was involved. My little contribution to environmental pollution will not make a difference. That is their answer to everything. What you can not see you can not complain about. Now today you can see the pollution in the grasses. Nungesser’s bellyaching isn’t about the pollution it’s about the money. It’s always been about the money. michel July 31, 2010 at 4:08 pm “No one is denying that this is the largest ecological disaster in our country ever.” Well, they are. Rightly or wrongly, they are claiming that the Exxon Valdez disaster was far, far worse. They could be wrong, but respectable scientists are actually arguing that, and it will take more than bare assertion to prove the contrary. They are citing numbers. doc holiday July 31, 2010 at 11:52 am The next part of this magic show will be the sparkling increase in revenue from the GOM, and the glittery employment increases — along with the correlated sweet smelling upward trends in fish harvests and tourism. In the other hand, under the other shell, oil production will spike upward as deep water drilling goes deeper and deeper. Obviously Thad will retire with a massive BP pension plan and the Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, NOAA, NASA, FCC, DOJ, FBI, The Führer’s Homeland Security Fascist PR Blitzer’s, and dozens of retarded agencies, including EPA as the largest red herring ever caught with its soiled panties down way the F below its ankles ….. where was I….. ? Oh yes, I was thinking why its so F’ing important to vote the year, how important it is to get a different mafia-backed crook into the same shit-pile political train wreck, and how important it is that we all vote for change — and the importance of cleaning up the sewer in Washington DC, where the corruption and lobbying cancer has morphed into an evil empire …. Remember to vote! doc holiday July 31, 2010 at 12:30 pm It gets better… Cover it up & Hype it Washington briefs: BP asked to fund $500M tourism promotion for Gulf Coast Read more: Washington briefs: BP asked to fund $500M tourism promotion for Gulf Coast – Phoenix Business Journal http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2010/07/26/daily32.html The U.S. Travel Association wants the federal government to establish a $500 million fund, paid for by BP, to promote tourism in the Gulf Coast region. >>> This is so F’ing retarded … and of course the fishing industry will need a few billion to help influence people, I mean consumers, who will start to pay extra $$$$ for Corexit-tainted seafood, which actually improves sexual function and increase IQ …… LOL See my online webpage for products in development; this Unified Grande Theory also stops obesity dead in its tracks and changes grey hair to golden brown …. Bawhahahha ejackson July 31, 2010 at 2:37 pm People believe what they want to believe. Just like those of you that continue believing that the oil spill is still there and that the media is covering it up, so too do people believe that the US government started 9-11 and they are covering up that conspiracy as well. The simple fact is that the surface oil has evaporated, and the underwater oil is being consumed by bacteria, hence why oxygen levels are depleted – it’s being used up by bacteria to digest the oil. Is this a horrible environmental catastrophe? Yes. Should BP pay huge fines and pay for every cent of the clean-up? Yes. But let’s not go crazy here and start conspiracy theories about how things are worse but Obama is covering it up. For crying out loud, I despise Obama, but the conspiracists here have forced me to defend him, despite how distasteful that is. doc holiday July 31, 2010 at 3:37 pm But let’s not go crazy here and start conspiracy theories… ==> Yes, by all means tell us all about the BP facts and help us all filter out all the distortions and bullshit and help us find something besides lies and manipulation. I’m happy your here to help clear up the 100 days of none-stop lies by BP and the government. Where do we start — day one, or your post? doc holiday July 31, 2010 at 3:27 pm COREXIT® 9500 Gumbo Scientists Find Evidence That Oil And Dispersant Mix Is Making Its Way Into The Foodchain First Posted: 07-29-10 06:27 PM http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/29/scientists-find-evidence_n_664298.html Recipes anyone? doc holiday July 31, 2010 at 4:07 pm Yum, yum!! What’s for dinner? Producers hope Louisiana commercial fishing reopening calms seafood safety concern ==> After 100+ days of the greatest oil well blowout and millions and millions and millions of gallons of dispersant, and untold amounts of oil and various crap floating along the coast ……. all is well, and its time to pig out! Remain calm, the FDA and EPA are going to eat seafood everyday and test themselves for long-term health impacts, reactions and indigestion…. “These waters have been carefully examined in terms of oil contamination and in terms of the safety of the seafood,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, in town Friday to announce the reopenings east of the river with a slew of state fisheries, seafood and restaurant officials. “And we all feel very comfortable standing here today that the products that will be harvested from these waters will be safe, wholesome and delicious for consumption.” John August 1, 2010 at 12:40 am Remember the EPA and the World Trade Center site? Safe. A-OK. Dead and dying workers 9 years later. If you know what is good for you you won’t be eating any seafood from the Gulf for a long long time. Mee Mee August 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm There is going to be a dvd of a seminar that was given in Seminole at SPC college in Florida. They said that the oil did not hit Pensicola beaches. Yet they were hitting BP up for money for mental health clinics because of the lost business..(.as if the milliions who lost homes and jobs in this economy don’t, but thats not the point here)…. Go to youtube and look up the oil spill in pensicola. You will see the governer talking about it as he leans over oil – not tar balls- on the beach. There are many other north Florida videos posted as well. They say it is only the “perception” that is keeping people away. That is so not true. Ruby Abbate August 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm Classic fairytale – little red riding hood Comments are closed. Tip Jar Please Donate or Subscribe!