Barbier rules out RICO charges, turns back Anadarko; Strange vows continued pursuit of BP; Kent Wells' deceptive graphics; NA archeological finds revealed and threatened by spill clean-up; Capping stack anniversary taken to the streets in LA; Guerilla theater disrupts BP-funded opera; BP's "new and improved" safety protocols appropriate for all, says BOEMRE; Latest lobbyists for BP? Spies!; BP can't even haul by land without mishaps.
You are in the current Gulf Watchers BP Catastrophe - AUV #538. ROV #537 is here.
|Follow the Gulf Watchers tag by going clicking on the heart next to the Gulf Watchers tag at the bottom of this diary.||Follow the Gulf Watchers Group by going here and clicking on the heart next to where it says "Follow" in the Gulf Watchers Group profile on the right. You will have to scroll down a little to see the profile.||Bookmark this link to find the latest Gulf Watchers diaries.|
Gulf Watchers Diary Schedule
Wednesday - afternoon
Sunday - late morning
Friday Block Party - evening
Please be kind to kossacks with bandwidth issues. Please do not post images or videos. Again, many thanks for this.
Barbier Throws Out Rico Charges
Despite accusations that BP was deceptive in claiming safety standards and protocols that did not exist, federal judge Carl Barbier has ruled out racketeering charges against the company.
Gulf residents and businesses alleged that BP defrauded regulators in connection with the safety of its drilling operations, its ability to respond to any oil spill, and its response to the actual spill. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO law, was originally enacted to combat the Mafia.
Additionally, Barbier set aside a lawsuit brought by Anadarko against BP, seeking to exempt themselves from fines to be paid by BP and its partners.
[Barbier] stayed Anadarko's claims because its contract with BP required arbitration of such disputes, rather than litigation. BP was the majority owner of the well that blew out. Anadarko owned a minority stake. Transocean owned the rig that BP was leasing to drill its Macondo well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico.
Anadarko brought suit against BP claiming that BP alone, through their own actions, is responsible for the Macondo blowout.
BP asked U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier to stall the lawsuit, contending that a partnership agreement required the companies to first attempt arbitration to resolve disputes. Barbier today sent the claim to arbitration.
“Plaintiffs’ failure to allege a direct relationship between BP’s alleged defrauding of government regulators and their economic injuries is the fatal flaw,” said Barbier.
The three key partners in Macondo -- BP, Transocean, and Anadarko -- had, according to BP, agreed to take all disagreements to arbitration before seeking court remedies.
While declining to comment on Barbier's ruling, BP spokesman Scott Dean sent an e-mail stating: "Anadarko has blatantly disregarded its responsibilities to the residents of the Gulf Coast by failing to pay its fair share of the costs relating to the accident and resulting spill. BP remains focused on ensuring that Anadarko lives up to its obligations."
What BP does about their own obligations is, of course, anyone's guess.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, lead attorney in all states' suits filed against BP, vows he'll continue to hold BP to their (empty) promise to "make whole again" the victims of the spill.
“That’s what we’re after, holding them accountable to that promise,” Strange said at the Foley Civic Center. “They can either do it voluntarily or the court’s going to make them do it, we’re going to make them do it.”
Speaking of ridiculous, remember all those charts behind Kent Wells during his mid-crisis briefings? The ones that showed all that progress? Yeah, well, turns out... not so much. But they sure did look like progress, didn't they?
Stephen Few does for images what George Lakoff does for language.
In an article called BP Oil Collection – Is the Effort Really Improving?, Few discusses a particular slide Wells showed, that would seem to indicate a steady rise in oil collection during the spill.
[Wells] talks about adjustments that they’ve made to the siphon, then says “Here you can see how we’ve continued to ramp up.” But is this really what’s happening?
Oil-spill cleanup turns up Indian relics in Fourchon area
Pottery, weapons, bones both human and animal, all critical finds from the area's mound dwellers of more than a millennium ago have been unearthed during clean-up efforts. But just as quickly as these extraordinary finds are revealed, they are at risk of being lost to oil damage or erosion before they can be properly studied.
So far, teams of archaeologists hired by the oil giant have visited more than 100 sites and sent back a growing list of finds to labs for radiocarbon dating and other tests, though extensive excavations haven't been done. Scholars have also accompanied cleanup crews to make sure they don't unwittingly throw away relics.
The locations of the sites have not been revealed so as to prevent looting.
Prehistoric artifacts had been found and recorded on the headland before the spill, but not to the extent now being done. Travirca began finding more of them while keeping watch for BP's black oil last summer on a remote stretch of beach that looks onto the silhouettes of oil rigs and platforms. The headland was one of the hardest-hit spots.
Much more detail at the link.
Photos from the Times-Picayune - NOLA.com
Photos of anti=BP demonstration in New Orleans at the one-year anniversary of the placement and closing of the capping stack..
‘Guerilla Ballet’ disrupts BP-sponsored opera event in Trafalgar Square
Three ballet dancers interrupted BP’s third and final Summer Screen in Trafalgar Square, 30 minutes before the scheduled broadcast of the opera Cinderella began. The disturbance took the form of a short piece of dance based on Swan Lake , with the classic tale used as analogy for BP’s controversial investment in the Canadian tar sands ,. The performance featured the White Swan being smeared by an oily substance and suffocated with a cloth. The crowd of opera-lovers were very receptive, greeting the grand finale with applause and cheers.
I love that story. Makes me happy.
BP vows to tighten its standards for any future drilling in Gulf
I'm sorry... I need a few moments to stop laughing.
(Wild laughter cascades through the halls of Gulf Watchers)
Okay. I'm better now. Thanks.
Signaling its desire to resume Gulf Coast operations, the oil giant BP said Friday that it is ready to implement more stringent standards for any future drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP PLC promised improved drilling practices on Friday as the company balances twin aims of rebuilding investor and public confidence after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and not admitting flaws in its own procedures.
BP said that with regard to its drilling operations in the Gulf in the future it will:
The Houston Chronicle makes this important point:
Although BP is a financial partner in several offshore oil and natural gas projects launched since last year's spill, the company has not received the government's permission to take the lead role in operating any new wells.
We know BP is dishonest enough to present wildly misleading graphics (see above), arrogant enough to lie about the amounts of oil both spilled and collected during the Macondo disaster (see anywhere), and immoral enough to negotiate the release of a convicted terrorist to the nation that backed him (see perfidy). What else could they possibly do to demonstrate their utter contempt -- now that Tony's videos have been yanked by a judge from the internet -- for all human life forms with which they must "cooperate" in order to reap their filthy reward?
Why, they could hire former spies to do their lobbying!
As you might expect, that practice has caused some raised voices. As you may not have expected, those raised voices have little to do with the absolute cynicism of such hirings.
A top spy is at the centre of a row after being hired by BP as a highly-paid lobbyist immediately after taking early retirement.
Of course it had.
On a Long Haul: Truck pulls hundreds of tons through Belmont County
Granted, this isn't really big news, unless you're stuck in a West Virginia traffic jam caused by a 407,000-pound turbine BP will be using to generate power.... Still, it has a certain familiar feeling to it...
At Bellaire Harbor, situated near the East Ohio Regional Water Authority's sewage treatment plant, it will be placed on barges and floated down the Ohio and then the Mississippi River. It is expected to arrive in Baku, Azerbaijan, in four months.
Oops, sorry -- that's not the funny part. This is the part that's... well... maybe not so funny, when you really think about it...
Dubbed a "superload," it reached the Ohio Valley Mall after 11 a.m. following a couple of delays due to mechanical problems, including when a hydraulic line on the hauling truck burst and had to be fixed.
Can't these bastards do anything without mechanical failures causing leaks?
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:
|7-15-11 08:11 PM||Gulf Watchers Block Party--WTF? Nobody home?||Phil S 33|
|7-13-11 03:50 PM||Gulf Watchers Wednesday -Hey BP... We Haven't Recovered! - BP Catastrophe AUV #537||shanesnana|
|7-10-11 12:13 PM||Gulf Watchers Sunday - Generating an Alternative Reality - BP Catastrophe AUV #536||Lorinda Pike|
Previous motherships and ROV's from this extensive live blog effort may be found here.
Again, to keep bandwidth down, please do not post images or videos.