Wednesday, June 30th, 2010
The companies now threatening to sue BP have only themselves to blame.
Call me a hard-hearted bastard, but I’m finding it difficult to summon up the sympathy demanded by the institutional investors now threatening to sue BP. They claim that the company inflated its share price by misrepresenting its safety record. I don’t know whether this is true, but I do know that the investors did all they could not to find out. They have just been presented with the bill for the years they spent shouting down anyone who questioned the company.
They might not have been warned by BP, but they were warned repeatedly by environmental groups and ethical investment funds. Every year, at BP’s annual general meetings, they were invited to ask the firm to provide more information about the environmental and social risks it was taking. Every year they voted instead for BP to keep them in the dark. While relying on this company for a disproportionate share of (more…)
Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Rep. Ed Markey has been among BP’s toughest critics in Congress following the Deepwater Horizon blowout, accusing it, among other things, of lowballing its estimates of oil flow.
Markey is at it again. As you may have read, the Boston Democrat released an internal BP document that shows that early company estimates for worst-case oil flow scenarios were far higher than the company has ever acknowledged — up to 100,000 barrels per day if all containment mechanisms were to fail. Take a look at the document for yourself.
The document is not dated, but a statement from Rep. Markey that accompanied its release said (more…)
Monday, June 28th, 2010
In a series of images taken in and around the Gulf of Mexico in late June, a team of independent photographers have documented the ongoing fallout from the Deepwater Horizon spill. Collected as part of the TEDxOilSpill project, the photos — taken from chartered airplanes, fishing boats, and coastal communities across the region — will be shown at a June 28 conference in Washington, D.C. coordinated by TED Conferences, LLC. “From the source to Gulf Shores [Alabama],” says one of the project participants, “we saw oil ranging from sheen to much heavier all the way (more…)
Monday, June 14th, 2010
The catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico has been portrayed as a one-of-a-kind disaster, a perfect storm of bad equipment, bad planning and bad luck.
But it’s far from the only spill that’s taken place this year – or even the only spill occurring in the Gulf right now.
On June 7, the Mobile Press-Register reported that the Ocean Saratoga rig has been leaking into the Gulf since April 30. Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff confirmed the next day that “small amounts of oil” were leaking from the wells beneath the rig, about 10 miles from Louisiana’s southeastern coast. (more…)
Monday, June 7th, 2010
Lessons from the Deep: If the unstoppable hose at the bottom of the Gulf has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t know much about the ocean. Don’t know how to stop a leak, don’t know whether deepwater oil floats or sinks — and know even less than we thought about the oceans’ role in global warming. This week Yale Environment 360 reported that the last Ice Age may have ended when a giant belch of carbon dioxide erupted from seabed. Add similar revelations about the world’s bajillions of microbes, and it seems we know almost nothing at all. (more…)
Friday, June 4th, 2010
The horror emerging from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico continues to lay its nightmare before a nation – and a world – of stunned witnesses. With the tragedy of native waterfowl now being found smothered in petroleum along the marshes of Louisiana comes continued reports that the American people have been prevented by BP officials from seeing images of the slaughter. According to reports by photojournalists, television producers and others (more…)
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Three groups of researchers are now reporting evidence of large plumes of oil far below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. This growing proof that an unknown quantity of oil from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon rig is now accumulating in deeper waters of the gulf comes after BP chief executive Tony Hayward said his company found “no evidence” of such plumes. Hayward also maintained that oil is lighter than water and thus will float to the top of the gulf. (more…)
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Comprehensive federal environmental regulation does not come easily. First, there is the difficulty of crafting scientific regulations. Then there are the entrenched interests to be combated, both in the private sector, and with the states and local governments who may have had authority prior to federal regulation. Compounding these issues is the high cost of regulation and enforcement itself. Criticisms abound from the right–too much regulation–and the left–too little. (more…)
Monday, May 31st, 2010
The End of the World…Or the End of the World As We Know It? The Gulf oil nightmare deepened, as crude oozed deeper into Louisiana’s wetlands and British Petroleum sputtered in its attempt to “top kill” the leak. Yet as the Deepwater Horizon officially surpassed Exxon Valdez to become America’s worst oil spill, another, quieter event seemed destined to compete with it in the history books. Craig Venter created a bacterial cell that is, as he called it, “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.” (more…)
Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
For almost a month, BP monitored oil and natural gas gushing from the broken riser and blow-out preventer with remote operated vehicles (ROVs). And for almost a month, they kept all of that video to entirely to themselves. But that’s about to change.
In the hours and days immediately following the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drill rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the federal response was centered on firefighting, search and rescue. For nearly three days, although the rig was burning, the wellhead and riser assembly were still in tact and there was no leaking oil to speak of. And then, the worst-case scenario happened: the Deepwater Horizon sank.