You are in the current Gulf Watchers BP Catastrophe - AUV #497. ROV #496 is here.
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Topics:BP asking to return to Gulf; Dudley says they now have a culture of safety. Hopeful signs among brown pelicans rescued from the oily Gulf. Feinberg still doesn't get it and claimants are fed up. Wilma Subra, Louisiana chemist investigating spill pollution and its effects, to receive Human Rights award.
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|Less than a year after the Deepwater Horizon explosion that killed 11 men and resulted in 4.9 billion barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico , BP is seeking permission to resume drilling in the Gulf. According to two BP officials speaking anonymously,an agreement could be reached with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement to resume drilling at 10 production and development sites within a month.
BP is seeking permission to continue drilling at 10 existing deepwater production and development wells in the region in July in exchange for adhering to stricter safety and supervisory rules, said one of the officials. An agreement could be reached within the next month but would not include new drilling, the official said.
This request creates a delicate situation for the Obama administration, seeking to increase domestic oil production as part of its new energy policy.
Just last week, the Justice Department confirmed that it was considering a range of civil and criminal penalties against BP, including potential manslaughter charges for the deaths of the rig workers, as part of its ongoing investigation into the accident.
Dudley's desire to return to the Gulf so soon might just have something to do with with a 10 billion dollar deal gone bad, rather than a sudden improvement in its culture of safety(not).
Gaining permission to resume drilling in the gulf would help Mr. Dudley to move BP beyond its painful and expensive recent history in the region, which has eroded shareholder trust. It would also give BP a boost of confidence.
The BOERME has said it will award drilling permits to any company that can meet the new, more rigorous safety requirements. Dudley, BP's CEO claims to have made safety his priority. BP was a major player in the Gulf, and full oil production will not return to the Gulf without them. BP insists that it needs to return to drilling to be able to pay for the cleanup and compensation costs. Some members of Congress and the oil industry itself is accusing the administration of driving up energy prices by not handing out permits. Seems to me that Michael Bromwich finds himself between a rock and a hard place. Let's hope our own Lorinda Pike is right about him growing a pair!.
|If you were worried about your BP stock falling, or Bob Dudley having a few million shaved off his end of year bonus, don't worry. BP sells Arco Aluminum for 680 million. ARCO, formerly Anacondo, is based in Louisville, Kentucky and will now be owned by a consortium of Japanese companies.
The Japanese consortium is made up of Sumitomo Light Metal Industries, Furukawa Sky Aluminum, Sumitomo Corp., Itochu Corp., and Itochu Metals Corp. .
|On a more positive note,rehabilitated pelicans return to new home. Of the more than 600 oiled pelicans rescued from the Gulf oil slick last year ,cleaned and nursed back to health, 140 were relocated to the Georgia seaside. After migrating further south for the winter, there is evidence that they are returning to their new home.
Among the 250 brown pelicans roosting on a sand bar on Georgia's Atlantic coast, wildlife biologist Tim Keyes managed to find a few with the numbered bands around their feet that identify them as survivors of a disaster more than 500 miles away.
Other rescued pelicans have returned to their relocated homes in Texas, while some went back to their old home in Louisiana.
Scientists aren't sure how many have chosen to stick with their new locations versus those that opted to go back to their old homes. And just because they survived the winter doesn't necessarily mean they escaped harm altogether.
The ability to reproduce following the trauma of being oiled is a large concern. Studies of brown pelicans following a 1990 oil spill in California showed no breeding activity.
"Being captured oiled and going through all the rigmarole it takes to get the oil off them is all really stressful on any bird," said Greg Butcher, director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society.
Brown pelicans were close to extinction in 1970 and so were closely watched until they were taken off the endangered species list in 2009. That means there is plenty of data to compare current numbers to and to see how the oil as effected populations in the coming years. Meanwhile, in Georgia, the signs are hopeful.
It was last June and July when Coast Guard planes arrived on the Georgia coast with crates carrying roughly 70 rehabilitated pelicans each trip. The birds were released near some boat docks in the port city of Brunswick, 60 miles south of Savannah.
|Last week Kenneth Feinberg met with claimants in Mathews, Louisiana. Sounds like he is still giving folks the same old run around.
"My name is Anna Luke. I don't need to say anything; you know me. I was promised by you not once, not twice, but three times that you will handle this. I'm asking you to stay good to your word."
The standard Feinberg line, "I'll look into it.", seems to wearing thin for the people affected by the oil.
The abandoned Wal-Mart in Mathews has been reincarnated as the Lafourche Parish government building. For the meeting, a corner of it has been set up with a podium facing the table where Feinberg and a panel of officials sit. The rows of chairs for members of the public are full, so lots of people stand around the edges.
Seems that Feinberg frequently interrupted those that came forward.
FEINBERG, INTERRUPTING A person complaining about not being compensated for paralyzing headaches: "You gotta demonstrate that the physical injury is due to the spill. We are paying physical injury claims."
That line doesn't seem to be working for Feinberg anymore. One woman drew applause from the crowd when she responded to this line.
. She says her husband's diagnosis says clearly that he's sick "due to chemical exposure." But there's been no compensation; she had no choice but to finally pay his ambulance bill, putting it on her credit card just today. When Feinberg responds that he'll look at her claim, her shoulders sink. "I work in the claims business," she says. "If I 'look' at a claim all…day…long, it won't get paid."
Clearly, Obama overestimated Feinberg's ability to handle this job, or else Feinberg is cracking under the pressure. In either case, he should be replaced.
|Louisiana environmental activist, Wilma Subra,is being honored in June at the 9th annual Human Rights Award Gala as the domestic recipient. As a chemist, Subra first did testing for corporations, and uncovered harmful pollutions and conditions that she could not report because of her position.
Finally, she decided she could no longer work for the corporations doing so much harm to so many. So, she went into business for the people-forming the Subra Company, to provide testing and knowledge on behalf of Louisiana citizens in the fight to protect their lives and livelihoods. Bringing her expertise in chemistry and microbiology to bear, Wilma now provides scientific evidence for communities to back up their claims when it comes time to go toe to toe with corporate criminals.
Subra has been working tirelessly on behalf of the Gulf communities since the Macando explosion. She has openly criticized OSHA and the Food and Drug Administration regarding the safety of clean up workers and the safety of consuming Gulf seafood. She has been one of few experts seeking to document and raise attention to the ongoing health problems that have been associated with the oil disaster.
Subra, who does research for the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, offered a scathing indictment of the way authorities, both public and private, have handled public health issues since the spill.
Subra, basing her opinion on toxicity levels in blood, soil and water samples, says that the health effects of the spill will be greater and last longer than either the oil industry or the government will acknowledge.
|Interesting that ongoing coverage of what is really going on in the Gulf, as far as health issues and pollution, come from Al Jazeera.|
PLEASE visit Pam LaPier's diary to find out how you can help the Gulf now and in the future. We don't have to be idle! And thanks to Crashing Vor and Pam LaPier for working on this!
Previous Gulf Watcher diaries:
|4-03-11 12:06 PM||Gulf Watchers Sunday - A Bonus for Death - BP Catastrophe AUV #496||Lorinda Pike|
|4-01-11 06:13 PM||Gulf Watchers Block Party: Déjà Vu edition -- again||BlackSheep1|
|4-01-11 08:25 AM||Gulf Watchers Friday - They Want It All and They Want It Now - BP Catastrophe AUV #495+||Lorinda Pike|
Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.
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