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Oil spill in the gulf of Mexico

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Old 05-22-2010, 05:07 PM
  #381
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Not so much...

http://senseofevents.blogspot.com/20...s-no-plan.html

Ya gotta hand it to 'em for trying though.
Thanks for the link, bookmarked.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:02 PM
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I just read in the paper about a new system that has been under development with actor Kevin Costner. Some type of new oil slinger technology to pump and seperate the oil from the sea water by spinning it and using centrifical force. Bp has expressed interest and is working to impliment the technology. It sounds promising and if it works they should have enough equipment to exceed the amount of oil being leaked now. My fear is from the dispersant and the effect that it will have long term. At least if its at the surface it should be able to be captured and seperated. As much of a disaster as this is now I view this as an opportunity to increase our technology and safety of offshore drilling in the future.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:13 PM
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I just read in the paper about a new system that has been under development with actor Kevin Costner. Some type of new oil slinger technology to pump and seperate the oil from the sea water by spinning it and using centrifical force. Bp has expressed interest and is working to impliment the technology. It sounds promising and if it works they should have enough equipment to exceed the amount of oil being leaked now. My fear is from the dispersant and the effect that it will have long term. At least if its at the surface it should be able to be captured and seperated. As much of a disaster as this is now I view this as an opportunity to increase our technology and safety of offshore drilling in the future.
Great point. I doubt any oil company ever really wanted to see this happen, now that they know, they will spend some bucks preventing the big losses. I'm sure being spanked a few times helps out a bit too. Nothing like a big hammer to get things done.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:08 PM
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I just read in the paper about a new system that has been under development with actor Kevin Costner. Some type of new oil slinger technology to pump and seperate the oil from the sea water by spinning it and using centrifical force. Bp has expressed interest and is working to impliment the technology. It sounds promising and if it works they should have enough equipment to exceed the amount of oil being leaked now. My fear is from the dispersant and the effect that it will have long term. At least if its at the surface it should be able to be captured and seperated. As much of a disaster as this is now I view this as an opportunity to increase our technology and safety of offshore drilling in the future.
You beat me to it. Costner bought the technology, which was developed in response to the Exxon Valdez spill, and turned it over to a team of scientists and engineers for improvement. He spent $25million of his own money to see this project through.

"The machines are essentially like huge vacuum cleaners, which sit on barges and suck up oily water and spin it around at high speed. On one side, it spits out pure oil, which can be recovered. The other side spits out 99% pure water", Costner's business partner said.

If all goes according to plan, "we could have as many as 26 machines in the Gulf. Our largest machine is 112" high, weighs 2 1/2 tons,and cleans 210,000 gallons of water PER DAY of oily water. We are hoping to have 10 machines out there, potentially cleaning over 2 million gallons of water a day."

Avatar director James Cameron has offered his underwater vessels to the cleanup effort.

I know it's fashionable now to bash Hollywood types as selfish narcissists, but here is one actor who has spent a considerable amount of his own fortune in service to mankind. If his machines work, he will be hailed a hero, and deservedly so.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:17 PM
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More Than Just an Oil Spill
By BOB HERBERT
Published: May 21, 2010

The warm, soft winds coming in off the gulf have lost their power to soothe. Anxiety is king now — all along the coast.

“You can’t sleep no more; that’s how bad it is,” said John Blanchard, an oyster fisherman whose life has been upended by the monstrous oil spill fouling an enormous swath of the Gulf of Mexico. He shook his head. “My wife and I have got two kids, 2 and 7. We could lose everything we’ve been working all of our lives for.”

I was standing on a gently rocking oyster boat with Mr. Blanchard and several other veteran fishermen who still seemed stunned by the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Instead of harvesting oysters, they were out on the water distributing oil retention booms and doing whatever else they could to bolster the coastline’s meager defenses against the oil making its way ominously and relentlessly, like an invading army, toward the area’s delicate and heartbreakingly vulnerable wetlands.

A fisherman named Donny Campo tried to hide his anger with wisecracks, but it didn’t work. “They put us out of work, and now we’re cleaning up their mess,” he said. “Yeah, I’m mad. Some of us have been at this for generations. I’m 46 years old and my son — he’s graduating from high school this week — he was already fishing oysters. There’s a whole way of life at risk here.”

The risks unleashed by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig are profound — the latest to be set in motion by the scandalous, rapacious greed of the oil industry and its powerful allies and enablers in government. America is selling its soul for oil.

The vast, sprawling coastal marshes of Louisiana, where the Mississippi River drains into the gulf, are among the finest natural resources to be found anywhere in the world. And they are a positively crucial resource for America. Think shrimp estuaries and bird rookeries and oyster fishing grounds.

These wetlands are one of the nation’s most abundant sources of seafood. And they are indispensable when it comes to the nation’s bird population. Most of the migratory ducks and geese in the United States spend time in the Louisiana wetlands as they travel to and from Latin America.

Think songbirds. Paul Harrison, a specialist on the Mississippi River and its environs at the Environmental Defense Fund, told me that the wetlands are relied on by all 110 neo-tropical migratory songbird species. The migrating season for these beautiful, delicate creatures is right now — as many as 25 million can pass through the area each day.

Already the oil from the nightmare brought to us by BP is making its way into these wetlands, into this natural paradise that belongs not just to the people of Louisiana but to all Americans. Oil is showing up along dozens of miles of the Louisiana coast, including the beaches of Grand Isle, which were ordered closed to the public.

The response of the Obama administration and the general public to this latest outrage at the hands of a giant, politically connected corporation has been embarrassingly tepid. We take our whippings in stride in this country. We behave as though there is nothing we can do about it.

The fact that 11 human beings were killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion (their bodies never found) has become, at best, an afterthought. BP counts its profits in the billions, and, therefore, it’s important. The 11 men working on the rig were no more important in the current American scheme of things than the oystermen losing their livelihoods along the gulf, or the wildlife doomed to die in an environment fouled by BP’s oil, or the waters that will be left unfit for ordinary families to swim and boat in.

This is the bitter reality of the American present, a period in which big business has cemented an unholy alliance with big government against the interests of ordinary Americans, who, of course, are the great majority of Americans. The great majority of Americans no longer matter.

No one knows how much of BP’s runaway oil will contaminate the gulf coast’s marshes and lakes and bayous and canals, destroying wildlife and fauna — and ruining the hopes and dreams of countless human families. What is known is that whatever oil gets in will be next to impossible to get out. It gets into the soil and the water and the plant life and can’t be scraped off the way you might be able to scrape the oil off of a beach.

It permeates and undermines the ecosystem in much the same way that big corporations have permeated and undermined our political system, with similarly devastating results.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/22/op...erbert.html?hp
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:44 AM
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WASHINGTON — Federal regulators responsible for oversight of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico allowed industry officials several years ago to fill in their own inspection reports in pencil — and then turned them over to the regulators, who traced over them in pen before submitting the reports to the agency, according to an inspector general’s report to be released this week.

The report, which describes inappropriate behavior by the staff at the Minerals Management Service from 2005 to 2007, also found that inspectors had accepted meals, tickets to sporting events and gifts from at least one oil company while they were overseeing the industry.

Although there is no evidence that those events played a role in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the report offers further evidence of what many critics of the Minerals Management Service have described as a culture of lax oversight and cozy ties to industry.

The report includes other examples of troubling behavior discovered by investigators.

In mid-2008, a minerals agency employee conducted four inspections on drilling platforms when he was also negotiating a job with the drilling company, a cover letter to the report said.

And an inspector from the Lake Charles office admitted to investigators that he had used crystal methamphetamine, an illegal drug. Investigators said they believe the inspector may have been under the influence of the drug during an inspection.

The report was provided to The New York Times by a person familiar with the investigation who is not authorized to speak to reporters. Previous inspector general investigations of the minerals agency have focused on inappropriate behavior by the royalty-collection staff in the agency’s Denver office.

The new report describes similar activities and improper relationships with industry representatives in the leasing and inspections staff in an agency gulf region office in Louisiana.

The report found that employees from the Lake Charles office had repeatedly accepted gifts, including hunting and fishing trips from the Island Operating Company, an oil and gas company working on oil platforms regulated by the Interior Department.

Taking such gifts “appears to have been a generally accepted practice,” said the report, written by department’s acting inspector general, Mary L. Kendall.

The investigation also found that at least two employees from the Lake Charles office of the minerals agency had admitted to using illegal drugs during their employment.

The report said the findings of the investigation had been presented to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana, which declined prosecution.

At least seven inspectors cited in the report as having been involved in inappropriate or illegal activities were still employed by the agency when the report was completed in March. Interior officials said the employees cited in the report would be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a personnel review.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said that he found the report “deeply disturbing,” and that the actions it found were why, “during the first 10 days of becoming secretary of the interior, I directed a strong ethics reform agenda to clean house of these ethical lapses at M.M.S.”

Mr. Salazar added that he had asked the inspector general to expand her inquiry to determine if any of the inappropriate behavior had persisted after he put the new ethics rules in place in 2009.

The inquiry began after investigators at the Office of the Inspector General received an anonymous letter, dated Oct. 28, 2008, addressed to the United States Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, alleging that a number of unnamed minerals agency employees had accepted gifts from oil and gas production company representatives, the report said.

On April 12, Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the minerals agency, received the report for review. The findings were to be released this summer.

But after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Office of Inspector General sought to speed up the report’s release because it was too relevant to wait, a minerals agency official said.

This month, the Obama administration reorganized the agency in an effort to address conflicts of interest in its structure.

Shown the report, Representative Nick J. Rahall II, Democrat of West Virginia and the chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, said the agency was clearly dysfunctional. “These newly revealed ethical lapses among agency personnel puts M.M.S. in the penalty box indefinitely,” Mr. Rahall said.
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:47 AM
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The report said the inspector general had developed confidential sources “who provided additional information pertaining to M.M.S. employees at the Lake Charles District Office, including acceptance of a trip to the 2005 Peach Bowl game that was paid for by an oil and gas company; illicit drug use; misuse of government computers; and inspection report falsification.”

One of the confidential sources described regulators allowing company officials to fill out inspection forms in pencil after which inspectors would “write on top of the pencil in ink and turn in the completed form.”

Industry watchdogs say that much of the inappropriate behavior found by the Office of Inspector General had stopped with the new administration. But some repercussions continue.

Some industry experts have speculated that the Deepwater spill and the report’s findings could explain the sudden resignation this month of Chris C. Oynes, who led the Gulf of Mexico region for the Minerals Management Service for about 12 years until he was promoted to a senior position in Washington in 2007.

Mr. Oynes is not mentioned in the inspector general’s report, and Interior Department officials have declined to answer questions about his resignation.

In a cover letter to Mr. Salazar, Ms. Kendall, the acting inspector general, said she wanted to emphasize that all the conduct highlighted predated Mr. Salazar’s tenure and his January 2009 revamping of the ethics code.

She added, “Of greatest concern to me is the environment in which the inspectors operate — particularly the ease with which they move between industry and government.”

Some in Congress had been trying to get rid of Mr. Oynes for a while. In 2007, Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, Democrat of New York, voiced outrage that Mr. Oynes was, at the time, being promoted to gulf regional director at the minerals agency.

“It is completely ridiculous that M.M.S. would take the person most likely responsible for the royalty rip-off and put him in charge of the whole show,” she said, describing Mr. Oynes as the person who signed 700 of the 1,100 1998-99 oil and gas leases with missing price thresholds that limit royalty relief, to the agency’s associate director of the Offshore Minerals Management Program.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:39 PM
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Just keeps getting better down here.
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Old 05-27-2010, 08:56 PM
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Just got back today from a cruise out of New Orleans to Mex. We were supposed to leave out last Saturday at 4pm. But it was pushed back to 9pm due to the oil. I assume it was so 3000 people on the ship wouldnt see it.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:44 PM
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"The ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there," Limbaugh said. "It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is."
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