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Gulf surface cleaner, but questions lurk far below

August 18th, 2010 . by TexasFred

Gulf surface cleaner, but questions lurk far below

WASHINGTON (AP) – Researchers are warning that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is a bigger mess than the government claims and that a lot of crude is lurking deep below the surface, some of it settling perhaps in a critical undersea canyon off the Florida Panhandle.

The evidence of microscopic amounts of oil mixing into the soil of the canyon was gathered by scientists at the University of South Florida, who also found poisoned plant plankton – the vital base of the ocean food web – which they blamed on a toxic brew of oil and dispersants.

Their work is preliminary, hasn’t been reviewed by other scientists, requires more tests to confirm it is BP’s oil they found, and is based on a 10-day research cruise that ended late Monday night. Scientists who were not involved said they were uncomfortable drawing conclusions based on such a brief look

But those early findings follow a report on Monday from Georgia researchers that said as much as 80 percent of the oil from the spill remains in the Gulf. Both groups’ findings have already been incorporated into lawsuits filed against BP.

Full Story Here:
Gulf surface cleaner, but questions lurk far below

I am not a scientist. I’m not a marine biologist. I don’t play one on the ‘net and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night, so, I’m no smarter than the average reasonably well educated Texan.

Science was one of my favorite courses in school. So much so, that even if it was a long time ago, I still remember those classes and the things we learned.

One thing that has always been taught in science class is this, OIL is lighter than water, and as such, if oil is poured in to water, the oil floats on top OF the water.

Ya don’t believe me? Look it up. :P

So, if everything we have been taught about practical science is true, how then is this oil that’s been spilled in the Gulf of Mexico suddenly a heavier oil that sinks to the bottom of some deep undersea canyon off of the Florida coast?

How does supposedly 80% of the spilled oil remain IN the Gulf? Or, to be more precise, UNDER the surface of the Gulf? In these ‘oil plumes’ that we’ve all head so much about? Doesn’t that tend to blow the ‘oil is lighter than water’ theory all to hell and back? :?

Both groups paint a darker scenario than that of federal officials, who two weeks ago announced that most of the oil had dissolved, dispersed or been removed, leaving just a bit more than a quarter of the amount that spewed from the well that exploded in April.

I don’t place ANY degree of faith in anything that comes out of the federal government. I feel we are lied to on a regular basis. Even when we don’t need to be lied to, even when the truth would work just as well as a lie. But the Feds are going to lie anyway. They’ve got to keep in practice.

In this case though, by remembering the simple applications we learned in basic science, could the Feds not be correct this time? Could the oil not have dispersed, evaporated, been skimmed, burned off, whatever the case may be? Is it possible that the Feds are telling the truth and we are all just too skeptical to believe what they say?

Could it be that the simple lessons of applied science still hold true today? The lesson that taught us that oil floats on water?

At the White House on Aug. 4, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco said: “At least 50 percent of the oil that was released is now completely gone from the system, and most of the remainder is degrading rapidly or is being removed from the beaches.?

That stands to reason, at least based on what we were taught growing up, but…

That’s not what the scientists from South Florida and Georgia found.

“The oil is not gone, that’s for sure,? University of South Florida’s David Hollander said Tuesday. “There is oil and we need to deal with it.?

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Gulf seafood declared safe; fishermen not so sure

August 3rd, 2010 . by TexasFred

Gulf seafood declared safe; fishermen not so sure

VENICE, La. – Seafood from some parts of the oil-fouled Gulf of Mexico has been declared safe to eat by the government, based in part on human smell tests. But even some Gulf fishermen are questioning whether the fish and shrimp are OK to feed to their own families.

Some are turning up their noses at the smell tests — in which inspectors sniff seafood for chemical odors — and are demanding more thorough testing to reassure the buying public about the effects of the oil and the dispersants used to fight the slick.

“If I put fish in a barrel of water and poured oil and Dove detergent over that, and mixed it up, would you eat that fish?” asked Rusty Graybill, an oysterman and shrimp and crab fisherman from Louisiana’s St. Bernard Parish. “I wouldn’t feed it to you or my family. I’m afraid someone’s going to get sick.”

Now that a temporary cap has kept oil from spewing out of BP’s blown-out well for more than two weeks, state-controlled fishing areas in Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi have slowly begun to reopen.

Full Story Here:
Gulf seafood declared safe; fishermen not so sure

I’m not a scientist, I don’t play one on TV and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night, so, you’re going to have to take this as MY OPINION and not as some intensely well thought out, government funded project, or some, long, drawn out research project.

I just got off the phone, and after talking to some folks in South Louisiana, Cajun folks, some that were born Cajuns, some that are *imports* but have been living there nearly all their lives, the general consensus was this, FISH and SHRIMP — they wouldn’t hesitate to eat them. They are free swimmers. Crabs, not so much, they are bottom dwellers. Oysters, NO. Oyster beds are too sensitive to any disruption and may take a season or 2 to get back in good shape.

And besides, oysters are not recommended during HOT months anyway. Cold water kills the bacteria that is sometimes found in raw oysters, that bacteria thrives in warm water. It IS August after all. Yes, it is HOT.

One of my personal friends and blog comment makers, NativeSon, made this comment yesterday;

I heard last week from a reputable source (I can’t remember ’cause I’m “old?…) that if the new Dallas Cowboys stadium represented the Gulf of Mexico (total gallons of water…) Then the TOTAL AMOUNT OF OIL SPILLED WAS EQUIVALENT TO ONE 12 OUNCE CAN OF THE BEVERAGE OF YOUR CHOICE!!

comment number 4 by: NativeSon on THIS THREAD.

I wish I had a source to some scientific data to back that statement up, but I don’t. It too is an opinion based on something heard or read. I know there are those that will demand LINKS, but ya know, once in a while, opinion is all you’ve got. It will suffice in this case I believe.

Despite splotches of chocolate-colored crude that wash up almost daily on protective boom and in marshes east of the Mississippi River, Louisiana has reopened those waters to fishing for such finfish varieties as redfish, mullet and speckled trout, and will allow shrimping when the season begins in two weeks. Oysters and blue crabs, which retain contaminants longer, are still off-limits.

See? I really DO know what I’m talking about! :P

Smell tests on dozens of specimens from the area revealed barely detectable traces of toxic substances, the Food and Drug Administration said. The state of Louisiana has also been testing fish tissue for oil since May and has not found it in amounts considered unsafe.

Let’s once again face the FACTS. The Gulf of Mexico is a self-cleaning ecosystem.

As said above, I’m not a scientist, and I’m sure not a marine biologist, but I do read a lot.

The Gulf of Mexico is a dumping ground. The Mississippi River dumps more toxins into the Gulf than ALL the oil spilled since drilling began. Every sewage plant up river from the mouth of the Mississippi dumps into it.

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Congressman: Too much dispersant used in oil spill

August 1st, 2010 . by TexasFred

Have you ever looked at a story, and known that the people making the most noise were doing so because they were using that 20/20 hindsight we all hear so much about? And have you ever just known, had a feeling? There is NO WAY to win this one? Somehow, I have that feeling now!

Congressman: Too much dispersant used in oil spill

WASHINGTON (AP) — As BP inched closer to permanently sealing the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico, congressional investigators railed the company and Coast Guard for part of the cleanup effort, saying too much toxic chemical dispersant was used.

The investigators said the U.S. Coast Guard routinely approved BP requests to use thousands of gallons of chemical a day to break up the oil in the Gulf, despite a federal directive to use the dispersant rarely. The Coast Guard approved 74 waivers over a 48-day period after the Environmental Protection Agency order, according to documents reviewed by the investigators. Only in a small number of cases did the government scale back BP’s request.

Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., released a letter Saturday that said instead of complying with the EPA restriction, “BP often carpet bombed the ocean with these chemicals and the Coast Guard allowed them to do it.”

BP did not immediately return a phone call and a spokesman for the Unified Command Center in New Orleans did not have an immediate comment.

While the chemical dispersant was effective at breaking up the oil into small droplets to more easily be consumed by bacteria, the long-term effects to aquatic life are unknown. That environmental uncertainty has led to several spats between BP and the government over the use of dispersants on the water’s surface and deep underwater when oil was spewing out of the well.

Full Story Here:
Congressman: Too much dispersant used in oil spill

This entire ordeal is an unknown. When you are drilling oil wells a mile below the surface of the ocean, a mile down to the wellhead itself, you have already entered a hostile environment that a man can’t live or work in.

Too much dispersant. Not enough dispersant. Just the right amount of dispersant. It starts to sound like the tale of Goldilocks and The Three Bears.

The truth of the matter is this, at the depth this spill occurred there is NO written criteria for an emergency response. There is no prior incident to compare to this disaster. Everyone involved, the Coast Guard, the EPA, BP, Halliburton, everyone, all of them, are shooting in the dark and hoping to come up with a solution.

So, then we get this;

Despite Rule, BP Used Dispersant, Panel Finds

The Coast Guard approved dozens of requests by BP to spread hundreds of thousands of gallons of surface oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s directive on May 26 that they should be used only rarely, according to documents and correspondence analyzed by a Congressional subcommittee.

In some cases, the Coast Guard approved BP’s requests even though the company did not set an upper limit on the amount of dispersant it planned to use.

The dispersants contributed to “a toxic stew of chemicals, oil and gas, with impacts that are not well understood,? Representative Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, the Democratic chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, wrote in a letter sent late Friday to Thad W. Allen, the retired Coast Guard admiral who is leading the federal response to the oil spill.

In a conference call on Saturday morning, Admiral Allen and Lisa P. Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator, said they had worked together closely and had come very near to achieving the agency’s goal of reducing dispersant amounts by 75 percent.

Full Story Here:
Despite Rule, BP Used Dispersant, Panel Finds

He said, she said, we said, they said, and still, none of them have ANY real idea regarding what to do simply because none of them have ever faced a situation even similar in the past.

One thing is a certainty, the Gulf of Mexico has taken a HUGE environmental hit. Will it recover? I don’t know, but I have to guess that at some point we will find out. The long term results may show more devastation than we can imagine at this time.

The most important thing right now,for me at least, is the cleanup, and then monitoring the Gulf, and all of it’s inhabitants, land and aquatic, for signs of health dangers. Dangers that we can’t begin to comprehend nor understand at this point in time.

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BP taps new American CEO, reports $17 billion loss

July 27th, 2010 . by TexasFred

BP taps new American CEO, reports $17 billion loss

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The American picked to lead oil giant BP as it struggles to restore its finances and oil spill-stained reputation pledged Tuesday that his company will remain committed to the Gulf region even after the busted well is sealed.

Robert Dudley will become BP PLC’ (BP)s first non-British chief executive, the company said as it reported a record quarterly $17 billion loss and set aside $32.2 billion to cover costs from the spill.

BP ended weeks of speculation by confirming that gaffe-prone Tony Hayward will step down Oct. 1. The London-based company is seeking to reassure both the public and investors that it is learning lessons from the April 20 oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers and set off the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.

“We are taking a hard look at ourselves, what we do and how we do it,” BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told investors during a webcast presentation on the company’s earnings. “What we learn will have implications for our ways of working, our strategy and our governance.”

Full Story Here:
BP taps new American CEO, reports $17 billion loss

I have had a few things to say about BP and the Deepwater Horizon disaster, this being my most verbose offering, Workers on Doomed Rig Voiced Concern About Safety, but I have to tell you, I have no sympathy for BP or anyone connected to this travesty, especially the POTUS.

I bear more intense animosity towards Barack Hussein Obama over HIS words, and lack of deeds, than I do against BP CEO Tony Hayward for his stupid “I want my life back” remark.

I suggest you watch this video.

Oil Spill Timeline from RightChange on Vimeo

There is very little that BP can ever do to restore their credibility. There is absolutely nothing that Barack Hussein Obama can do to instill ANY level of confidence or credibility in his so-called, highly touted, but not yet exhibited leadership.

I detest people like James Carville, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, they are left wing shills, that’s all they are and all they will ever be. So, that leads me to ask this; how damned bad is President Barack Hussein Obama when the likes of the aforementioned lefty shills are blasting him? We know they’re not doing it out of a sense of *Fair and Balanced* journalism.

And just when you think it can’t get ANY worse…

Oil spewing from well near Louisiana marsh

Adding insult to the Gulf’s injury, an oil platform hit by a tugboat early Tuesday is now spewing oil and natural gas near a Louisiana marsh area.

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