RANGER AGAINST WAR: Gulf Coast Tragedy <

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Gulf Coast Tragedy

NOAA graphic of oil slick, 5.1.10
"The Size of Puerto Rico"

A wild weird clime that lieth, sublime

out of space . . . out of time!

--"Dream-Land", Edgar Allen Poe


There is one thing I really hate, and that is an outright lie. I hate lies from people, companies and the press. We are getting all three regarding the environmental impact of the blowout April 20th of the Deepwater Horizon Oil rig.

Why does this get to be on an anti-war site? Because Halliburton had just cemented the pipe on the ocean floor 20 hours before the explosion. Because Thad Allen is our new Condi Rice. Because the turnover rate on catastrophes and lies being fed the public are speeding up.

WaPo quotes Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, appointed Saturday by Obama to lead the government's oil spill response (Admiral Allen was in charge of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina -- brilliant choice) :

"We're breaking new ground here. It's hard to write a plan for a catastrophic event that has no precedent, which is what this was," Allen said, defending the company against not writing a response for "what could never be in a plan, what you couldn't anticipate" (Pressure Grows for Action by BP.)

Thad Allen has been tapped to be our new Condoleeza Rice -- Who could have known?

But how can a drilling company NOT anticipate a blowout when drilling a mile into the seabed? Why are there blowout protectors
if such an eventuality could not be anticipated?

The facts are always seamier. This had to do with money, and the Wall Street Journal is the one who reported this fact (Leaking Oil Well Lacked Safeguard Device):

"The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch [an acoustic switch] used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills.

"[R]egulators in two major oil-producing countries, Norway and Brazil ... require them. Norway has had acoustic triggers on almost every offshore rig since 1993.

"The U.S. considered requiring a remote-controlled shut-off mechanism several years ago, but drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness," according to the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, which overseeing offshore drilling.

Here are some more facts, from the AP today (Gulf Oil Spill Quickly Balloons, Could Move East):

--"The Coast Guard
conceded Saturday that it's nearly impossible to know how much oil has gushed since the April 20 rig explosion, after saying earlier it was at least 1.6 million gallons ..."

"Even at that rate, the spill should eclipse the 1989
Exxon Valdez incident as the worst U.S. oil disaster in history in a matter of weeks. But a growing number of experts warned that the situation may already be much worse."

--"The oil slick over the water's surface appeared to triple in size over the past two days, which could indicate an increase in the rate that oil is spewing from the well, according to one analysis of images collected from satellites and reviewed by the University of Miami."

--Due to the rig's position "at the end of one branch of the Gulf Stream [the oil] ... would flow around the southern tip of Florida and up the eastern seaboard."

"It will be on the East Coast of Florida in almost no time," said Hans Graber, executive director of Miami University's Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing."I don't think we can prevent that. It's more of a question of when rather than if."

--"As bad as the oil spill looks on the surface, it may be only half the problem, said University of California Berkeley engineering professor Robert Bea, who serves on a National Academy of Engineering panel on oil pipeline safety.

"'There's an equal amount that could be subsurface too,' said Bea. And that oil below the surface 'is damn near impossible to track.'" The surface slick is currently the size of Puerto Rice.

--"Louisiana State University professor Ed Overton, who heads a federal chemical hazard assessment team for oil spills, worries about a total collapse of the pipe inserted into the well. If that happens, there would be no warning and the resulting gusher could be even more devastating because regulating flow would then be impossible"

--"It is of grave concern," David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press about the spill. "I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling."

--Dr. Moby Solangi, director of the nonprofit the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss., said this is birthing season for the roughly 5,000 dolphins along the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts.

"It's very bad timing," he said. "We're looking at a colossal tragedy."

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Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Lisa,
The wonder of it all is why, with all the expense, wars and catastrophes, oil is still cheaper than solar, geothermal and wind.


Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 9:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

another strange twist in almost all economic processes is when producers realize that efficient production is counter to their profit motive.

evert oil producer in the world is looking at the millions of barrels going into the gulf with one eye, while watching the price of crude go up with the other.

strange, how the solutions to problems, like trying to reduce dependance upon foriegn oil by pumping domestically, often quickly become problems themselves.

ya'll ready for some wind farms yo?

Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 9:53:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yes, cheaper for us, not the for the organisms that have no vote.


Yes, why not wind farms? Oh, we don't like our views obstructed. We like to live in a deluded state where fuel just magically gets dispensed from those metal pumps at the station, and when they turn the wall switch on, the house gets cool.

I have a friend getting his doctorate in solar fuel cell technology, but he will have to work in Europe as there is no money funding his work stateside.

Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 11:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

supply and demand.

Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 7:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wellp, Halliburton done fucked up again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 10:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Y'know, pretty soon, the planet's gonna run outta places for Halliburton to f*ck up ...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 11:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

Not only devastating to the wildlife that makes the Gulf and it's coast their home but isn't this also were a good portion of the Western Hemisphere's migratory birds winter? I think by the time all is done this will be an ecological disaster to rival, if not eclipse, the Chernobyl incident. Thanks Halliburton and BP.

Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 7:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Yes, this is our Chernobyl. You are correct about the migratory birds. This is also breeding/birthing time for many sea life.

I'm sure Halliburton execs will feel real bad, as the price of petrol climbs.

Sunday, May 9, 2010 at 10:17:00 AM GMT-5  

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