Monday, June 14, 2010

Today in BP Oil Disaster: Day 56

Posted By on Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 4:20 PM

• President Barack Obama arrived in Biloxi this morning. He'll spend the next two days on the Gulf Coast with stops in Theodore, Ala., and Pensacola, Fla. before flying back to Washington to deliver an address to the nation regarding the oil spill. The deets: Tuesday night, 7 pm CST, 15 minutes or so, all major networks.

• The National Hurricane Center gives this thing a 60% chance of becoming Tropical Storm Alex this week.

click to enlarge alex

Every time we're told BP is doing everything they can do, we soon learn they're not:

Under intense US pressure, energy giant BP presented a new plan to roughly triple the amount of oil it is capturing from a ruptured Gulf of Mexico well by the end of June, to more than 50,000 barrels a day.

"After being directed by the administration to move more quickly, BP is now stepping up its efforts to contain the leaking oil," the official said Monday on condition of anonymity.

"They have now outlined a path to contain more than 50,000 barrels of oil per day by the end of June, two weeks earlier than they originally suggested," the official said.

• As the estimated amount of oil continues to go up, so do estimates of BP's losses:

The spill’s cost may reach $40 billion, bank Standard Chartered Plc estimated last week, triple the $12.5 billion price tag Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. projected on April 30.

“The government has a lynch mob mentality,” said Fadel Gheit at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, rated by StarMine as the most accurate active analyst on BP. “It’s in nobody’s interest to bankrupt BP, but that’s what Obama is doing right now. Crippling BP is not going to make them clean the spill better.”

• ABC News' Dalia Fahmy puckers up and smooches some BP behind in a profile of "BP Bigwigs":

It has been a tough couple of months for Tony Hayward. As the CEO of BP, the company responsible for the largest oil spill in US history, Hayward has been accused of everything from incompetence to lack of integrity. Life is set to get a little bit tougher for the 52-year-old Ph.D. geologist this week. ...

While Hayward sometimes comes across as arrogant, those who know him says he's friendly, smart and easygoing. He does, however, have a penchant for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

• Here's a new interactive map to track the oil, the closures and the rest in real time.

A portrait of the mood in Barataria Bay:

Oil-caked birds, stranded sea turtles, globs of gooey brown crude on beaches, coated crabs and mats of tar have been found throughout the inlets and mangroves that dot the bay. The oil has coated the water with a rainbow sheen and is threatening the complex web of wetlands, marshes and bayous that make up this ecological and historic treasure.

Everything from crabbing to bait fishing is shutting down, and the anger on the bayou is palpable.

A good question: What do they do with all the crap after they clean it up?

• And Senate Democrats have written to Hayward, asking him to put $20 million in escrow to compensate victims of the oil catastrophe. The letter includes this:

While we are pleased that BP has admitted liability for such damages and vowed to provide full remuneration for economic losses and clean-up costs, history has taught us that corporations often fail to live up to their initial promises.

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