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Oil spill in the gulf of Mexico

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Old 08-18-2010, 01:47 AM
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Default "Lawyers not yet born look set to work on this one too"

Lawyers not yet born look set to work on this one too
Published by Andy Rowell August 11th, 2010

When the Exxon Valdez oil spill happened the chair of the Trustees panel said simply: “lawyers not yet born will work on this one”.

His prediction essentially came true as the spill lawsuits grinded backwards and forwards through the courts as Exxon did everything in its power to delay and derail the legal process.

As the focus of BP’s disaster shifts momentarily from the ocean to the courtroom it looks likely that lawyers not yet born look set to work on this one too. And BP looks set to have lost round one.

The oil giant had been trying to get the legal action against it moved to Texas, where any jury and judge would be seen as much more sympathetic.

But the case will now be heard in New Orleans after the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation argued that the “geographic and psychological ‘center of gravity’” lay in the City.

“Without discounting the spill’s effects on other states, if there is a geographic and psychological ‘center of gravity’ in this docket, then the Eastern District of Louisiana is closest to it,” said the Judicial Panel.

So now over 300 lawsuits, including wrongful-death claims by families of the 11 workers killed in the original explosion, will be heard by New Orleans-based U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier.

It looks set to be one of the biggest legal cases in U.S. history.

However many more cases could soon be filed. Texas lawyer Brent Coon called the 300 filed so far as the “front end of a wave”, as he estimates tens of thousands of people have retained a lawyer but not sued.

“The majority of the cases have not entered the court system,” said Coon, who represents hundreds of fishermen, restaurant owners, retailers and others who have sued BP or its partners. He estimates that the total number of claims “already far exceeds $20 billion.”

Some injured workers, out-of-work fishermen and others may also try a twin track approach: simultaneously pursuing a lawsuit while seeking a claim under the BP fund. If they receive money from the fund, however, they would probably have to drop legal action.

Although Judge Carl Barbier has already come under pressure after it was revealed he once held bonds issued by Transocean and Halliburton two companies caught up in the disaster, the decision to hold the hearings in New Orleans is being seen as a good news for the plaintiffs.

John Coffee, a professor at Columbia Law School, said the selection of New Orleans was a “victory for plaintiffs”. He said: “The decision is not surprising to me because the eastern district of Louisiana is the logical centre of gravity.”

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal also said: “This decision is welcome news for Louisiana and our people, who have been at the epicenter of this tragic event. Today’s ruling fittingly notes if there is a ‘geographic and psychological center of gravity’ when it comes to the oil spill, Louisiana is certainly closest to that point”.

He added: “Our people have been severely impacted by the spill, and ultimately, these hearings are about bringing justice to them so they can be made whole again.”

The bad news for BP is that the criminal investigation into the spill is also centered in New Orleans. A team led by senior Justice Department environmental crimes litigator Howard Stewart has rented about 22,000 square feet of office space just blocks from the federal courthouse.

But at least some of the litigation will happen in Houston. Separate civil claims filed by BP investors will be consolidated under U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison in the oil city.

http://priceofoil.org/2010/08/11/law...-this-one-too/

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Old 08-18-2010, 10:17 PM
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I'm in Fouchon now. Dozens of shrimp boats are going out. Let's hope they have a good harvest. Local business is also hoping the ban gets lifted soon. Companies that support the oil industry continue to lay-off or pull out of the area.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:31 PM
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Default Giant plume of undersea oil "missing" from official report

Gee I wonder why...

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/08/19-8

BP Oil Spill: Scientists Find Giant Plume of Droplets 'Missed' by Official Account
A 22-mile plume of droplets from BP's Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico undermines claim that oil has degraded

by Suzanne Goldenberg

Scientists have mapped a 22-mile plume of oil droplets from BP's rogue well in the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, providing the strongest evidence yet of the fate of the crude that spewed into the sea for months.

The report offers the most authoritative challenge to date to White House assertions that most of the 5m barrels of oil that spewed into the Gulf is gone.

"These results indicate that efforts to book-keep where the oil went must now include this plume," said Christopher Reddy one of the members of the team from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

The report, which is published in the journal Science, also said the plume was very slow to break down by natural forces, increasing the likelihood that oil could have travelled long distances in the Gulf before it was degraded.

"Many people speculated that subsurface oil droplets were being easily degraded," said Richard Camilli, the lead author of the paper. "Well we didn't find that. We found it was still there."

At the heart of the debate is the rate at which naturally occurring microbes have consumed the oil from the runaway well. Even by the White House estimates, about one quarter of the oil was siphoned away from the well, skimmed off the surface, or burned. But the White House, in a high-profile briefing, earlier this month suggested that microbes had eaten as much as 50% of the remaining oil.

The study reinforces earlier reports from research voyages led by scientists from the University of Georgia and Texas A&M University who detected the presence of deepwater plumes of oil.

But the authors argued that theirs was more authoritative as it is the first to be published in a major peer-reviewed journal since oil began pumping into the ocean from the broken well four months ago. The authors also noted their access to superior technology including one of the few underwater robots available outside the oil industry.

According to their findings the deepwater plume measures 22 miles long, 1.2 miles wide and 650 feet high.

The team took around 57,000 samples from the plume during a 10-day research voyage at the end of June. It found that the plume was not made up of pure oil but a combination of toxic oil compounds including benzene and xylene.

The study puts the White House and government scientific agencies in an increasingly awkward position after a high-profile announcement two weeks ago that the oil was broken down or had been cleaned up.

A team led by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that just over a quarter of the 49m barrels of oil remained in the Gulf as a light sheen on the surface or degraded tar balls washing ashore.

It also raises new questions about the strategic decision taken by the Obama administration to use nearly 2m gallons of chemical dispersant Corexit to break up the oil, including some on the ocean floor 5,000 feet below the surface.

The administration faces further pushback today in a congressional hearing on the fate of the oil and the safety of seafood from the Gulf.

Ian MacDonald, an oceanographer at Florida State University, said the White House accounting for the oil is misleading and that only 10% of the oil that spewed into the Gulf has been removed from the ocean. Jane Lubchenco, the NOAA chief and herself a marine scientist, has stood by the government estimates.


© 2010 Guardian News and Media Limited

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Old 08-20-2010, 10:09 AM
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Default They all lied to you

We have in our media news that the officals in the States lied to you since the occurance of the "good news" at about the 6th of August that the oil "dematerialised". I could fill up your webpage with links to our continental online-pages/newspapers about these lies. I didnt want to post links 2 weeks ago as I wanted to be sure that our newspapers didnt behave inappropriate before I post links. Here is one of the most conservative newspapers on german, you have the opportunity to translate the article with software. The date it occured was the 6th. You dont get this problem under control before there will occure somebody like Mr. W. Buffet and the state attorney who didnt want anymore to bear the falseness of the banks.

http://www.welt.de/wissenschaft/arti...geblieben.html

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Old 08-23-2010, 04:51 PM
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So today I find out the I have to re-send all my paperwork to the government. all this time was for nothing.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by racer-x6 View Post
So today I find out the I have to re-send all my paperwork to the government. all this time was for nothing.
Explain more please?
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:11 PM
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Explain more please?
I have to start over on sending all the paperwork for loss of business. I feel like all this time I was just getting put off till they handed it over the the government.

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Old 08-23-2010, 05:14 PM
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I'll be out of business before i get some help.

but it's ok now, the fishing is back open............lol
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:30 AM
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I'll be out of business before i get some help.

but it's ok now, the fishing is back open............lol
Sorry to hear about double pw filing, nobody lies to do that.

As for fishing resuming, they better think again;

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/...ish-crabs.html

On Friday, Inter Press Service reported:

Danny Ross, a commercial fisherman from Biloxi… said he has watched horseshoe crabs trying to crawl out of the water, and other marine life like stingrays and flounder trying to escape the water as well. He believes this is because the water is hypoxic. …

David Wallis, another fisherman from Biloxi… [said] “I’ve seen crabs crawling out of the water in the middle of the day. This is going to be affecting us far into the future.”

This has been a common occurrence since BP started spilling oil into the Gulf.

The Post Chronicle noted on August 12th:

Some local fishermen say they are seeing strange behavior by marine life -- mullets, crabs and other creatures which normally stay well under water have been sighted congregating on the surface -- and they relate this to the spill.

***

"It looks like all of the sea life is trying to get out of the water," said Alabama fisherman Stan Fournier. "In the 40 years I have been on these waters I've never seen anything like this before."

The Advocate-Messenger pointed out on July 31st:

Besides potentially maintaining higher levels of toxicity, the oil trapped in the water column is also suffocating the ocean, causing radical drops in oxygen levels never before seen, [Monty Graham, a biological oceanographer specializing in plankton at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab on the coast of Alabama] said.

Following the oil and methane spill, Graham’s measurements of oxygen levels in the waters where he studies plankton dropped to two to three times lower than normal, to a level so low most animals cannot tolerate it.

That suffocating effect is why all kinds of sea animals have been showing up in greater and greater numbers, closer and closer to shore — they can’t breathe in their normal habitats anymore.

And AP wrote in June:

Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water just off the Florida coast. Mullets, crabs, rays and small fish congregate by the thousands off an Alabama pier. Birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again.

Marine scientists studying the effects of the BP disaster are seeing some strange — and troubling — phenomena.

Fish and other wildlife are fleeing the oil out in the Gulf and clustering in cleaner waters along the coast. But that is not the hopeful sign it might appear to be, researchers say.

The animals' presence close to shore means their usual habitat is badly polluted, and the crowding could result in mass die-offs as fish run out of oxygen. Also, the animals could easily get devoured by predators.

"A parallel would be: Why are the wildlife running to the edge of a forest on fire? There will be a lot of fish, sharks, turtles trying to get out of this water they detect is not suitable," said Larry Crowder, a Duke University marine biologist.

Tragically, when sea animals crowd into shallow water in an attempt to escape pollution, they can quickly use up all available oxygen.

As the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection writes:

The warmer water is the less dissolved oxygen it is able to hold. If the fish schooled very tightly in shallows very close to shore for any reason, they may have simply used up all the oxygen that was available to them and died.”

Update: Bloomberg reports on August 23rd that scientists confirm that this is related to the oil spill:

BP Plc’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may be exacerbating a natural phenomenon that causes fish, crabs, eels and shrimp to swarm the shoreline to escape oxygen-depleted sea waters.

Called "jubilees" by locals because of the opportunity to scoop up seafood in buckets, they typically appear during the summer along the Gulf Coast. This year, scientists say jubilees have occurred in open water for the first time, raising concern that low-oxygen areas are expanding because of the more than 4 million barrels of oil BP’s Macondo well leaked into the Gulf.

Low oxygen in the water because of oil and methane from the BP spill contributed to a “jubilee-like effect” in late June off the coast of Fort Morgan, Alabama, at the mouth of Mobile Bay Monty Graham, a senior marine scientist at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, said in a telephone interview. Catfish, shrimp, crab and flounder piled up along an offshore sandbar, until the sharks moved in, Graham, 45, said.

“Most of us believe it had something to do with the oil,” said Robert Shipp, 67, chairman of the Marine Sciences Department at the University of South Alabama. There was a “consensus” among faculty at the University of South Alabama and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab that oil played a part in the event, which was “quite different” from the naturally occurring jubilees in the Gulf’s Mobile Bay, Shipp said.

***

“Oil residues on the bottom and in the water columns could exacerbate and make worse this phenomenon,” Kent Mountford, an environmental historian who has studied estuarine ecology for 46 years, said in a telephone interview. Mountford, 73, works for Cove Corp., an environmental consultancy, in Lusby, Maryland.
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Old 08-25-2010, 01:52 PM
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I just thought this was interesting....
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