Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Today in BP Oil Disaster: Day 57

Posted By on Tue, Jun 15, 2010 at 4:11 PM

  • When disaster strikes in our backyard, we're not allowed to know anything about it and we're not the experts anymore — or so it seems, thanks to BP's refusal to let media in on anything on the ground.
    From Scott Walker's now-viral report from Grand Isle, to Bigad Shaban's tweets and photographers and videographers getting kicked off public beaches — there is a massive disconnect from Thad Allen's, Ken Salazar's and Doug Suttles' pointed, no-B.S. statements allowing media to cover what they need to cover, and the people on the ground.
    Walker spoke with media lawyer Mary Ellen Roy to answer, "Can they do that?" Short answer: No.

  • Mac McClelland from Mother Jones, who has been an all-star reporter on the Gulf, has had repeated run-ins with access problems. Here's a 17 minute interview with her on NPR, explaining how much of a disaster, communication- and other-wise, this thing has become.

  • Proceeds from this T-shirt from Threadless supports the Gulf Restoration Network. Here's a closeup of the design, dubbed "peliCAN":
    click to enlarge " width=

  • Did the Deepwater Horizon rig pass the test?

    Tony Buzbee, a Houston attorney with a long record of winning settlements from oil companies, is representing Halliburton service supervisor Christopher Haire, who helped perform safety tests on the rig on April 20, the day of the blowout that killed 11 workers. That afternoon, Halliburton contractors performed negative pressure testing, a routine safety check that creates a sucking effect to test for leaks in a well's cement and casings. Haire helped with two negative pressure tests, both of which indicated potential problems with the well the rig had been drilling, known as Macondo. Buzbee says that statements he's taken from Haire suggest that an alleged additional test was not actually completed. Haire was injured when the rig exploded; Buzbee says his client is "focusing on his medical treatment" and unavailable for comment.

  • While the nation contemplates the legitimacy of Gulf seafood safety, local chefs take to the streets.

  • According to the Better Business Bureau, these are the best oil-related charities to donate to:

    American Bird Conservancy

    Defenders of Wildlife

    Ducks Unlimited

    EarthShare

    Environmental Defense Fund

    Friends of the Earth

    Greenpeace Fund

    International Fund for Animal Welfare

    National Audubon Society

    National Wildlife Federation

    Natural Resources Defense Council

    Nature Conservancy

    Oceana

  • The New York Times' Campbell Robertson files a lengthy report on how poorly organized BP's efforts have been from the beginning, and how the "worst case scenario" has always been the case.

    For much of the last two months, the focus of the response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion has been a mile underwater, 50 miles from shore, where successive efforts involving containment domes, “top kills” and “junk shots” have failed, and a “spillcam” shows tens of thousands of barrels of oil hemorrhaging into the gulf each day.

    Closer to shore, the efforts to keep the oil away from land have not fared much better, despite a response effort involving thousands of boats, tens of thousands of workers and millions of feet of containment boom.

    From the beginning, the effort has been bedeviled by a lack of preparation, organization, urgency and clear lines of authority among federal, state and local officials, as well as BP. As a result, officials and experts say, the damage to the coastline and wildlife has been worse than it might have been if the response had been faster and orchestrated more effectively.

  • ... and Glen Beck says something stupid.

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