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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Shell Alaska has dropped plans to drill in the Arctic waters of the Beaufort Sea this year and will concentrate on obtaining permits for the 2012 season, company Vice President Pete Slaiby said Thursday.
The recent remand of air permits issued by the Environmental Protection Agency was the final driver behind the decision, Slaiby said at a news conference.
hat tip: Washington’s Blog
Sunday, May 23, 2010
The government failed to properly ensure that BP used adequate safety measures, BP and their contractors were criminally negligent for the oil spill, and BP has tried to cover up the problem. See this.
But why hasn’t BP stopped the leak?
Some people assume that BP hasn’t stopped the oil leak because it’s people are wholly incompetent.
Others have asked whether BP’s $75 million liability cap is motivating it to stall by taking half-hearted measures until it’s relief well drilling is complete.
But there is another possible explanation: the geology – as well the deepwater pressures – at the drilling site makes stopping the leak more difficult than we realize.
Does the Geology of the Spill Zone Make It Harder to Stop the Oil Spill?
We can’t understand the big picture behind the Gulf oil spill unless we know the underwater geology of the seabed and the underlying rocks.
For example, if there is solid rock beneath the leaking pipes, with channels leading to various underground chambers, then it might be possible to seal the leaking risers and blowout preventer, with the oil flowing somewhere harmless under the floor of the ocean.
By Michael Collins
hat tip: opednews
There is no viable solution in sight for the out of control oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico. The stunning failure of British Petroleum (BP) raises the question – are these oil giants too big to exist? Are they too dangerous to function in our presence? BP has four permanent deep water structures and 28 boreholes operating at a water depth of greater than 5000 feet in the Gulf of Mexico. What’s next?
British Petroleum (BP) had the resources to drill the well but lacked the planning and ability to deal with its failure. The oil giant’s performance inspired ridicule by Jon Stewart in a recent Daily Show comment (“There will be blame“). The White House was not amused, however. Nobel Prize winning physicist and Secretary of the Energy, Steven Chu, is now in Houston with a team of cutting edge scientists tasked with mentoring BP and devising a viable solution as the oil giant continues to falter.
There is a well known history of oil company accidents including blazing oil rigs, the Exxon Valdez tanker leak, and the Prudhoe Bay pipeline collapse (another BP special). But nothing matches the collapse of BP’s Deepwater Horizon structure at the Macondo prospect, Gulf of Mexico.
By Chris Hedges
Posted on May 17, 2010
||U.S. Navy / MC2 Justin Stumberg
Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to be perhaps as much as 100,000 barrels a day, is part of our foolish death march. It is one more blow delivered by the corporate state, the trade of life for gold. But this time collapse, when it comes, will not be confined to the geography of a decayed civilization. It will be global.
Those who carry out this global genocide—men like BP’s Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who assures us that “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume’’—are, to steal a line from Ward Churchill, “little Eichmanns.” They serve Thanatos, the forces of death, the dark instinct Sigmund Freud identified within human beings that propels us to annihilate all living things, including ourselves. These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy. They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. The death they dispense, whether in the pollutants and carcinogens that have made cancer an epidemic, the dead zone rapidly being created in the Gulf of Mexico, the melting polar ice caps or the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.
The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them reside in a parallel universe of staggering wealth, luxury and splendid isolation that rivals that of the closed court of Versailles. The elite, sheltered and enriched, continue to prosper even as the rest of us and the natural world start to die. They are numb. They will drain the last drop of profit from us until there is nothing left. And our business schools and elite universities churn out tens of thousands of these deaf, dumb and blind systems managers who are endowed with sophisticated skills of management and the incapacity for common sense, compassion or remorse. These technocrats mistake the art of manipulation with knowledge.
by sherry mann
BP should read the EPA posters in many of its “service stations.”
EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response launched the “You Dump It, You Drink It” campaign to promote the proper management of used motor oil by “do-it-yourself’ consumers who change their own oil. According to the EPA, Americans who change their own oil throw away 120 million gallons of recoverable motor oil by dumping it on the ground, pouring it down storm drains, or putting it in trash cans. The penalty for anyone caught dumping used oil in Kentucky for example, may be fined up to $1,000.
The following is the text of these EPA posters aimed at service stations. Those suggestions in bold should be faxed to BP headquarters stat…especially number three.
Managing Oil Spills
“You dump it, you drink it.”
1) Take steps to prevent spills. Keep machinery, equipment, containers and tanks in good working condition and be careful when transferring used motor oil.
2) Have clean-up materials, such as rags, booms or sand, readily available.
3) Stop the oil from flowing at the source. If a leak from a container or tank cannot be stopped, put the oil in another holding container.
4) Contain spilled oil. Spread sand or other clean-up materials over the oil and surrounding area.
5) Clean up and recycle used motor oil. Remove the used oil from any clean-up materials, don’t mix it with anything and send it to a re-refiner when possible.
6) Remove, repair or replace the defective tank or container immediately.
According to the EPA, “used oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water – a year’s supply for 50 people.” So, if someone dumped the oil from a single oil change (which is an average of one gallon of oil), he could ruin the fresh water supply of 50 people and could face a $1000 fine–for a gallon.
by sherry mann
Mississippi Governor, Haley Barbour is still in political containment mode with such quotes as, “We’re going to fight it every step of the way, and we do not take for granted that this is going to be catastrophic” while millions of gallons of oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico, and the full cataclysmic nature of the recent BP drilling rig explosion will be taken for granted as a crude reality.
Although the AP (American Propaganda) prefers to discuss the economic ramifications, the greater aftermath will be felt in the natural world. Innumerable living creatures will die or be irreparably harmed from the suffocating, poisoning and starvation effects of the petrol-chemicals now in and around the Gulf, but it is the landfall damage caused by the fast approaching hurricane season which may outweigh even that devil’s brew.
Just three weeks from now, hurricane season will officially begin, and while I am by no means a weather expert, isn’t it common knowledge that when a hurricane passes through an area, it sucks up the water from one place and dumps it out everywhere else?
Of course, there are a number of unknown factors at play and even the experts don’t know how oil, seawater and hurricanes will interact.
by sherry mann
On this date (May 12) in 1962, Douglas MacArthur delivered his famous “Duty, Honor, Country” valedictory speech at the United States Military Academy. The original speech may be read here, but I have made small changes so that it might be a more fitting address from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico to a dying America 48 years later.
President Obama, British Petroleum officials, shareholders, and servicemen of the United Corporations of America. As I was leaving the hotel this morning, a doorman asked me, “Where are you bound for, General?” and when I replied, “The Gulf of Mexico,” he replied, “Beautiful place. Have you ever been there before? If so, you won’t recognize it today.”
No human being could fail to be deeply moved by such a setting as this, coming from a profession I have served so long and people I have loved so well. It fills me with an emotion I cannot express. But as look at these shores today–awash will the oil we have sacrificed so much for–this fitting reward symbolizes the moral code–the code of conduct of those like me who have served the US–the “defensive” arm of fine companies like Shell, Unocal and BP, we wore our uniforms proudly as we fought and often died for this “American way of life“.
What is the meaning of this medallion. For all eyes and for all time, it is an expression of the ethics of the American soldier. That I should be integrated with so feeble an ideal–yet somehow triumphant in its purpose as we can see, smell and feel here, arouses a sense of humility which will be with me always.
“Duty,” “Honor,” “Country”–those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, yet as an American soldier or oil consumer–what you will never be. They are your rallying points to build rhetoric when facts fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for it, and to create hope even when it is based on chains we can believe in.
By Greg Palast
hat tip: opednews.com
I’ve seen this movie before. In 1989, I was a fraud investigator hired to dig into the cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Despite Exxon’s name on that boat, I found the party most to blame for the destruction was … British Petroleum. That’s important to know, because the way BP caused devastation in Alaska is exactly the way BP is now sliming the entire Gulf Coast.
Deepwater Horizon in flames before sinking. Photo provided by D.Becnel
Tankers run aground, wells blow out, pipes burst. It shouldn’t happen but it does. And when it does, the name of the game is containment. Both in Alaska, when the Exxon Valdez grounded, and in the Gulf over a week ago, when the Deepwater Horizon platform blew, it was British Petroleum that was charged with carrying out the Oil Spill Response Plans (“OSRP”) which the company itself drafted and filed with the government.
A talk delivered to the New England Antiwar Conference, MIT, January 30, 2010.
by Peter Dale Scott
Hello everyone! I’m honored to be invited to this important anti-war conference. As I am in the final stages of editing my next book, The Road to Afghanistan, I have been turning down invitations to speak. But I was eager to accept this one, and to join my friends and others in debunking the war on terror, the false justification for the Afghan-Pakistan war.
Let me make my own position clear at the outset. There are indeed people out there, including some Muslim extremists, who want to inflict terror on America. But it is crystal clear, as many people inside and outside government have agreed, that it makes this problem worse, not better, when Washington sends large numbers of U.S. troops to yet another country where they don’t belong.1
A war on terror is as inappropriate a cure as a U.S. war on drugs, which as we have seen in Colombia makes the drug problem worse, not better. The war on terror and the war on drugs have this in common: both are ideological attempts to justify the needless killings of thousands — including both American troops and foreign civilians — in another needless war.
Why does America find itself, time after time, invading countries in distant oil-bearing regions, countries which have not invaded us? This is a vital issue on which we should seek a clear message for the American people. Unfortunately it has been an issue on which there has been serious disagreement dividing the antiwar movement, just as it divided people, even friends, inside the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s.