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Topics: Blast at BP station kills 1, hurts 2, BP safety back in spotlight as explosion kills worker in US, BP to Pay $5.4 Million over Gender Bias Claims, Congress passes Restore Act, flood insurance extension in massive transportion bill, How The Mighty Mississippi Saved Shores From BP Deepwater Oil Spill, U.S. Nears BP Settlements, Judge allows spill defendant to give prosecutors BP documents, Ex-BP engineer charged in Gulf oil spill case wants details on charges against him, Anonymous hacks oil giant to help Arctic

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Sadly, BP's repugnant track record of leaving dead and injured workers remains intact. In one of their Colorado gas compressions stations one worker was killed and two suffered serious injuries. The news coverage has been extremely poor, probably in some part due to the horrible Colorado wildfires. It is difficult to imagine circumstances other than atrocious worker training or maintenance could be responsible for this needless tragedy.

Blast at BP station kills 1, hurts 2

Pressurized device blew during routine maintenance operation
Article Last Updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 9:46am

GEM VILLAGE – An explosion at a large gas compression station owned by BP killed one worker and seriously injured two others.

The plant was shutdown, and there was no remaining threat to workers or the public, she said. The blast was not related to any of the wildfires that have broken out in the area.

“The incident is essentially over,” Levy said.

One contract worker died and two contract workers were injured, she said. Eleven workers were on site during the explosion.

Residents in the area reported hearing the explosion.

La Plata County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dan Bender said it was not a flammable explosion; rather, one involving a pressurized device.

“There was pressure being put into a device, and that device failed,” he said.

Levy (local BP spokeswoman) said the blast occurred during a routine maintenance operation on a pipeline in which a device was sent through the system to collect data.

“We’re still investigating the exact nature of the incident, but we do know it did occur during this process,” she said.

The compression station is BP’s largest in La Plata County. It collects natural gas from well sites and sends it through another pipeline for storage. It handles about 30 million cubic feet of gas per day and prepares it to be sold on the market or stored.

It is on Bureau of Land Management land, said Shannon Borders, a BLM spokeswoman for Southwest Colorado.

BP did not release names of the three workers who were injured or killed.

I have not been able to find which "authorities" are investigating the explosion. Contracting out maintenance work allows BP to use the low cost bidder which very likely means the poorest paid, poorest trained workers that BP can buy. The BP worker carnage will likely continue unless and until authorities actually jail high-ranking BP execs or the EPA chooses to disbar them from U.S. government contracts. With large corporations like BP being able to buy politicians at will with pocket change that is not likely to happen.

BP safety back in spotlight as explosion kills worker in US

8:21PM BST 26 Jun 2012

BP said it was too early to speculate on the cause of Monday’s accident but that it took place during scheduled maintenance work to clean pipes. It said it was “deeply saddened” by the fatality.

Authorities are investigating and BP has also launched its own investigation. All three workers involved in the accident were contractors.

The British oil major is engaged in politically-sensitive negotiations with the US Department of Justice over a possible settlement of claims relating to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico accident, which killed 11 men and spilled millions of barrels of oil into the sea.

The company’s safety reputation was already tarnished by the 2005 explosion at the Texas City refinery, which killed 15 people.

It's hard not to wonder how many woman were not hired because of their gender and simply not told why. Shame on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for not providing details of the circumstances of the women being denied employment. I can't think of any logic that would lead the EEOC to conclude that BP promises to do better are worth any more than the proverbial bucket of warm spit. h/t Yasuragi

BP to Pay $5.4 Million over Gender Bias Claims

Jul 2, 2012 | 1:08PM
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Friday that BP Exploration and Production, Inc. has voluntarily agreed to pay up to $5.4 million to a group of women claiming they were denied jobs as clean-up workers because of their gender in the aftermath of the spill. The resolution comes out of an investigation by EEOC into complaints by several women in Louisiana and Alabama in 2010.

It's unclear under what circumstances the women were denied employment. Neither the EEOC nor BP would answer questions regarding the matter.

At the peak of the cleanup in July 2010, about 47,000 people were working on it, and up to 130,000 people are believed to have worked on the spill or have signed up to do so, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The federal government is currently studying 55,000 former cleanup workers to determine whether the workers are suffering negative health effects from chemical exposure during the cleanup.

Glenn McGovern, a New Orleans-based employment and personal injury lawyer, said in an interview that he had been contacted by several women in 2010 who claimed they had been discriminated against by BP or its contractors. "They specifically told [the women] they're not hiring women, they weren't strong enough, they couldn't take the heat," McGovern recalled the women saying.

As part of the settlement, BP will be required to implement contractual safeguards to make sure its contractors obey antidiscrimination laws, provide training for administrators who work with contractors, and designate an employee to monitor the company's compliance with the settlement.

The group of women who will be eligible to collect payments under the $5.4 million settlement has not been determined yet, but those from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida will be able to apply for the funds.

Finally, after two years Congress has finally managed to pass the Restore Act with will funnel BP fines to the affected states. There is no indication in the article about what strings, if any, are attached to the money. If past is prologue, it will go for boondoggle projects designed to line the pockets of politicians' favored contributors while human and environmental victims are left wanting.

It is also deeply disturbing that poor Louisiana residents will be suffering cuts in Medicaid when so many residents and cleanup workers are ill from BP's black monster.
Congress passes Restore Act, flood insurance extension in massive transportion bill

Published: Friday, June 29, 2012, 2:59 PM     Updated: Friday, June 29, 2012, 3:47 PM

WASHINGTON -- Shedding, at least for one day, its ultra-partisan and do-nothing, dead-locked image, Congress approved a far reaching bill Friday that funds transportation projects, distributes BP oil spill fines to the Gulf states, reauthorizes the federal flood insurance program and blocks a doubling of subsidized college loan interest rates.

It passed the House 373-52 and the Senate 74-19. All members of the Louisiana delegation voted for the measure, which now goes to the president, who is expected to sign it into law.

For Louisiana, the biggest provision is the Restore Act, legislation worth potentially billions of dollars to the state. A top priority for Louisiana lawmakers and supported by the Obama administration, it allocates 80 percent of Clean Water Act fines from the 2010 BP spill to Louisiana and the four other Gulf states.

The fines are estimated to total between $5 billion and $20 billion, with the final amount dependent on how much negligence the responsible parties are willing to admit to, or, if negotiations fail, the degree of negligence determined by a federal judge.

The Restore Act directs that the fines returned to the Gulf Coast states be used for ecological and economic recovery efforts. It sets up a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council to develop and finance a comprehensive plan for ecological recovery.

That was the good news. The bad news was that the bill will dig a deep hole in Louisiana's budget.

At the insistence of House GOP leaders, the bill will reclaim $650 million in Medicaid funding for Louisiana. During negotiations, the GOP leaders said the money was part of a larger sum paid the state in error and should be recouped.

The decision creates a $1.1 billion shortfall in the state's fiscal 2013 Medicaid budget, forcing cuts in care for the poor and uninsured, according to the Jindal administration.

The new flood insurance rules in the bill will force some homeowners and commercial property owners to pay higher premiums, up to 20 percent a year for the next five years. Rate increases currently are limited to 10 percent annually. The higher increases will be for second homes, vacation residences, properties with repetitive flood claims and commercial properties.

But it also will extend the program for five years, ending a process in which Congress regularly approved short term extensions. In four instances over recent years, the program briefly lapsed, forcing the postponement of house sale closings in communities where flood insurance is mandatory.

A provision that would have required homeowners living near federally financed levees to buy flood insurance was stripped from the bill in the final moments. Opponents said it's unfair to make people, who contributed to building the levees to pay for coverage are supposed to protect them. But others said Katrina proved, levees don't always work the way they are supposed to, especially with the design flaws discovered after the 2005 hurricane.

The flood insurance measure was added to the omnibus transportation bill because the changes in the flood program are expected to produce savings that lawmakers are using to offset some of the spending in the massive measure.

Despite the misleading headline this is an important story. It is deeply troubling that no one thought to do the research on how a potential oil spill might move in the Gulf prior to the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo horror. I can distinctly recall at the time of the spill that there were many, many, many complaints that resources were being deployed to the wrong places based on 24 hour predictions that were being used by the Coast Guard.

Even worse, there doesn't seem to any indication that these types of studies might be important to do in other offshore drilling areas where rivers empty into the ocean. This type of data is essential for the most effective deployment of cleanup resources. Current water movement models won't be a whole lot better than by guess and by golly.
How The Mighty Mississippi Saved Shores From BP Deepwater Oil Spill

June 29, 2012

Now, a study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania published in PLoS ONE may help explain why much of the crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill never made it to land: The Mississippi River pushed back--and kept much of the oil offshore.

"We noticed that there was a big disconnect between the forecasts of where the oil was going to be the next day and where the oil actually was the next day," said Douglas Jerolmack, one of three geoscientists who used publicly available data sets to look at whether the force of the Mississippi River emptying into the Gulf of Mexico could have plausibly countered some of the effects of the oil spill.

The first place researchers looked was outside the usual scope of ocean circulation models that generally don't take "secondary" forces like major rivers emptying into the oceans into account when they predict where things (like oil) will travel in the ocean. They found that the Mississippi River had, in fact, protected the coastline.

"That maybe shouldn't be a surprise, because these computer models were not generated to forecast the movement of oil," he said. "They were generated to forecast the movement of water."

As the researchers looked through the data, what they found was a very fortunate combination of natural forces that protected the coastline. While ocean circulation models were predicting oil slick migration in the Gulf of Mexico--and potentially even along the eastern U.S. coastline--they weren't looking at the effects of secondary eddy slopes or Mississippi River hydrodynamics.

Instead, the data showed that, under conditions of relatively high river discharge and weak winds, a freshwater mound could form around the Mississippi River Delta and push back against the incoming water, keeping the oil from reaching the coastline.

"We recognized that there was a very persistent mound, a bump or a bulge, in the elevation of the sea surface in the vicinity of the Mississippi Delta," he said. "The model was able to predict the speed at which the oil moved away from this freshwater mound and how long it took for the oil to move away from the mound."

The researchers also studied what might happen if an oil spill happened during hurricane season, which generally begins around the first of June each year. High winds could counter the natural forces of the freshwater mounds from the Mississippi River emptying into the gulf.

The researchers have developed a new model for the physical mechanism and novel effect of the Mississippi River if, heaven forbid, there's another oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and science is asked to predict where the oil might migrate. Their work will be added to more complex ocean models and improve forecasts of slick migration for future spills.

For long, continuous oil spills like Deepwater--which will remain a possibility as long as oil drilling occurs in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico--researchers will need every tool they can find to predict daily oil slick migration. If science can predict where the oil will go, resources can then be deployed to the coastal areas most likely to be affected.

More rumors of a possible settlement between the Justice Department and BP as well as some indicating possible criminal charges against individuals. The Marianas mentioned in the article was the rig that was to be used to drill the Macondo. A replacement rig was needed because the Marianas suffered serious damage in Hurricane Ida which required extensive shipyard repairs.

Rumors are always flying about what is going on with the Justice Department but there has been nothing but a long empty silence about BP's debarment status within the Environmental Protection Agency.

U.S. Nears BP Settlements

June 28, 2012, 8:41 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is drawing closer to civil and criminal settlements with BP BP.LN +2.50% PLC and Transocean Ltd. RIG -0.16% over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, deals that will likely include billions of dollars in fines and penalties.

Settlement discussions have picked up speed in recent weeks, according to people familiar with the process, although details of the agreements being discussed remain unclear.

Based on government estimates of 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled—a figure BP disputes—civil fines for violating the Clean Water Act could range from $5.4 billion to $21 billion. The company could face another $28 billion in fines if the U.S. alleges criminal violations of the Clean Water Act or other laws.

Under a settlement, the fines would most likely be much less, said Thomas Claps, a former trial attorney who does legal analysis for Susquehanna Financial Group LLP. He estimated that BP faces between $7 billion and $10 billion in civil Clean Water Act fines and between $5 billion and $10 billion in criminal penalties. Mr. Claps estimates that Transocean could face $700 million to $1.2 billion in fines.
BP, Transocean and the Justice Department declined to comment.

Even if the government reaches settlements with the companies, it could still pursue criminal charges against individuals for their actions before and after the spill. Prosecutors have already charged former BP engineer Kurt Mix for allegedly obstructing justice by deleting text messages that the blown-out well was spewing more oil than the company disclosed publicly. Mr. Mix has pleaded not guilty.

Several employees who worked on the doomed well are cooperating with the government, but in recent weeks prosecutors have told others they are considering filing charges against them, according to people familiar with the proceedings. A grand jury in New Orleans has continued to hear testimony in recent weeks.

Investigators have considered bringing criminal charges against BP and current and former employees of the company for allegedly filing false information with regulators about drilling operations on the Deepwater Horizon and another Transocean rig, the Marianas.

The government is also exploring whether BP officials made false statements to members of Congress about the rate at which oil was escaping from the well and whether workers tried to withhold from the government details of efforts to plug the well.

Kurt Mix's attorney has claimed that the data that the Justice Department (DOJ) is accusing his client of destroying is duplicated elsewhere so the case has always seemed a bit odd other than putting pressure on Mix to roll over on his bosses.

It's not good news that the Justice Department will not be able to use the information it receives outside the case against Kurt Mix. If the documents prove no ill intent on Mix's part so much for DOJ rolling over Mix and their efforts will be for naught.

A few "amens" are in order for Professor Uhlmann's comments that it's time for the DOJ to stop dealing with trivia and get on with going after those criminally responsible.

Judge allows spill defendant to give prosecutors BP documents

June 27, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Kurt Mix, a former BP drilling engineer charged with destroying evidence about the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has won court permission to give prosecutors confidential company documents that his lawyer argued could clear him.

U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled on Wednesday that Mix could submit to the Justice Department information that BP claimed was confidential under attorney-client privilege. Duval did not rule on whether the information will be admissible at trial.

And the judge ordered the government not to use the evidence for any purpose other than determining how it wants to proceed with Mix’s case, according to the order, making it uncertain how the material may play into the federal government’s civil and criminal investigations into the Gulf disaster.

Mix — the only person so far to face criminal charges related to the deadly oil spill — is accused of obstructing justice by deleting more than 200 text messages from his iPhone in the weeks following the April 20, 2010 blowout of BP’s Macondo well.

The texts included a message sent on May 26, 2010, in which he speculated that an attempt to plug the Macondo in an operation called a top kill would not work because of the amount of oil gushing from the well a mile beneath the Gulf surface, according to a criminal complaint filed in April.

David Uhlmann, a former head of the Justice Department’s environmental crimes section who now teaches law at the University of Michigan and is following the Macondo litigation, said the judge “struck a reasonable balance between the defendant’s right to present a defense and BP’s attorney-client privilege claims.”
“Without knowing more about the content of the documents in question,” he added, “it is impossible to know whether disclosure will persuade the government to proceed differently with regard to the charges against Mr. Mix.”

That uncertainty about the significance of the documents underscores another point, Uhlmann said. “It is time for the government to move beyond questions about iPhone messages and on to the real matter at hand,” he said, “which is determining who is criminally responsible for the worst accidental oil spill in history.”

Without seeing the messages to his BP supervisor that Mix deleted it is difficult to say whether or not the Justice Department really have a case. Unsurprisingly, the emails Mix's attorney released are nothing but boring trivia, most of which is personal.

Mix's attorney also claims that Mix was "was cooperating by providing information demonstrating what he know about the flow of oil and the "top kill" effort to plug the well." The statement does not indicate if Mix was cooperating with any government entity as opposed to being a BP lapdog.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. BP was probably being cheap and stupid in not keeping Mix in a position where he was totally financially dependent on them.

Ex-BP engineer charged in Gulf oil spill case wants details on charges against him

Published: Monday, July 02, 2012, 7:37 PM     Updated: Monday, July 02, 2012, 7:48 PM

A former BP engineer who is the only person criminally charged to date in connection with the 2010 BP oil spill asked a federal judge Monday to order the Justice Department to spell out the charges against him in greater detail. The engineer, Kurt Mix, was charged in May with obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting text messages that showed BP was deliberately underestimating the spill's size. His attorneys say none of the messages contained "substantive" information about the spill.

Now, they are asking prosecutors for a "bill of particulars" better explaining the indictment's charges -- in particular, which of the deleted messages forms the basis of the charges.

At issue are "over 200" deleted text messages with a person listed as "supervisor" in the indictment and "over 100" deleted text messages with a person listed as "contractor."

The motion also wants prosecutors to explain how deleting the messages affected the federal grand jury in New Orleans that was investigating possible criminal actions involving the oil spill.

In their indictment of Mix, prosecutors said they had eventually recovered most, if not all, of Mix's messages to the two individuals.

Mix's attorneys also want to know which grand jury proceeding Mix allegedly obstructed, including the date the grand jury was empaneled, the issue or issues it is or was investigating, and when the investigation or investigations began.

In support of the motion, the attorneys appended what they say are all of the messages sent by Mix from his iPhone to the contractor. Those texts -- running from May 13, 2010, about three weeks after the oil spill began, until Aug. 20, 2011 -- cover such mundane topics as trips to California and Alaska, the borrowing of vehicles, setting up lunches and the results of a pet's surgery.

However, the attorneys did not append the messages supposedly sent to the supervisor. Last week, U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. agreed to allow Mix to disclose other evidence that he claims will exonerate him, but that couldn't be revealed because it was covered under the attorney-client privilege.

Mix claimed that the supposedly exculpatory evidence will show that at the same time he was deleting the messages in October 2011, he was cooperating by providing information demonstrating what he know about the flow of oil and the "top kill" effort to plug the well.

An affidavit by FBI Special Agent Barbara O'Donnell filed in support of Mix's arrest and indictment alleges that some of Mix's messages prove that BP officials knew tens of thousands of barrels of oil were leaking from the BP Macondo well blowout each day, despite telling the government, the public and BP's investors that it was only releasing 5,000 barrels a day.

It's difficult to understand why Greenpeace decided to take on Anonymous's PR baggage but they have. I hope this doesn't drive away people who are opposed to Arctic drilling. We really need all the friends we can get. That said, one does hope that the information that is being dug up will result in some substantial, successful shareholder lawsuits agains big oil.
Anonymous hacks oil giant to help Arctic
June 30, 2012

Environmentalists challenging Arctic oil drill hopefuls gain Anonymous hacking support

As a global fleet of Arctic destroyers speeds toward one of the last unspoiled places on earth where Shell’s mission is to drill in the pristine waters off the coast of Alaska and the Arctic, Greenpeace, that is shadowing oil giants' vessels, has received aid from Anonymous hackers to help save the Arctic. An Anonymous message has been issued Saturday indicating that hacking is only Phase One of the Arctic Operation, #OpSaveTheArctic, a message hailed by many and spread by Greenpeace on Twitter.

"The Arctic receives Anonymous support," Greenpeace posted on Twitter Friday evening, a Tweet that has since been Retweeted 147 times.

Greenpeace activists and supporters from around the world have been taking action to stop dangerous oil drilling plans for the pristine Arctic waters, a feature on its home page these days in its attempt to head-off this new Alaskan oil rush.

"In February, as Royal Dutch Shell was finalising its protracted plans to start exploring for oil off the coast of Alaska, Greenpeace members from around the world were meeting in Buenos Aires to figure out how to stop it," Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent for the Financial Times reported Friday.

CyberZeist, an apparent Anonymous affiliate, according to Twitter posts and the Anonymous artwork on its Leakster website, has just posted an announcement including its success in hacking Exxon on the 26th.
CyberZeist further explains that non-renewable energy companies "want to open up a new oil frontier to get at a potential 90 billion barrels of oil.

"That’s a lot of money to them, but it’s only three years’ worth of oil to the world."

The CyberZeist website states:

"Previously classified government documents say dealing with oil spills in the freezing waters is “almost impossible” and inevitable mistakes would shatter the fragile Arctic environment. We’ve seen the extreme damage caused by the Exxon Valdez and Deepwater Horizon disasters - we cannot let this happen in the Arctic.

The energy giants targeted by the operation, according to Anonymous include:

1). Exxon Mobil Corporation
2). Shell Petrochemical Corp.
3). BP Global - British multinational oil and gas company
4). Gazprom Corporation
5). Rosneft Petroleum Corp. - Russia
Earlier this week, Bloomberg News identified six of the energy companies targeted in the recent series of “coordinated covert and targeted cyberattacks” and said that the victims "could face legal liability for choosing not to disclose them to shareholders."

Arctic sea ice has already disappeared by 75% in the last 30 years.

"Is 3 years of oil worth digging up the #Arctic for?" asks Greenpeace Africa on Twitter, answering, "No!"

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:
6-19-12 06:02 PM Gulf Watchers Tuesday - BP Hides Documents With DoJ Cover - BP Catastrophe AUV #590 Lorinda Pike
6-05-12 04:30 PM Gulf Watchers Tuesday - Court awards BP scientists' private emails - BP Catastrophe AUV #589 peraspera
6-03-12 06:30 PM Gulf Watchers Block Party: "Look at Your Fish" Phil S 33
5-22-12 06:04 PM Gulf Watchers Tuesday - BOP Mandates and "Dangerous" Opt-Outs - BP Catastrophe AUV #588 Lorinda Pike
5-20-12 06:25 PM Gulf Watchers Block Party - What Unique Place Names Lurk Where You Live? (and some music...) Lorinda Pike
The last Mothership has links to reference material.

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.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Wishing everyone a delightful Fourth of July (15+ / 0-)

    Sorry that the diary is a bit briefer than usual. My internet connection was up and down like a jumping jack for over a week. The cable guy only came to the rescue this morning.

  •  Two very familiar comments, re: BP (7+ / 0-)
    “There was pressure being put into a device, and that device failed,”
    “The incident is essentially over,” Levy said.
    And, people die.... again......

    Just part of doing business, I guess......Bastards!!!!!

    (Thx for your tireless work, Pera.)

  •  Double posting in diary? (5+ / 0-)

    It looks like you accidentally quoted all the stories over again inside the diary.

  •  Bless you for catching that. (4+ / 0-)

    I tried copying and pasting the same pre-formatted HTML and it did it again. I removed some formatting and that seemed to fix the duplicates.

    •  It's enough - more than - that you do all this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      steadfast and intelligent reportage. Sorry you're having to do battle with formatting gremlins. ((pera))_

      The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of
the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate. (Hopi)

      by DawnN on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 03:54:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Pera (6+ / 0-)

    The FF's at BP continue on their way, always leaving a mess for others and the planet. As ever.
    I am surprised that I am still surprised by their dangerous practices...the organization is apparently still rotten through and through.
    Thank you for your hard work, very appreciated.
    Hope all the dear GW's have a wonderful July 4th!

    Think what you are doing today. -Fred Rogers

    by JanL on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 02:50:51 PM PDT

  •  Thank you as always. What I can't understand (7+ / 0-)

    is why at the most minimum (oh besides no deepwater or Arctic drilling) relief wells are not co drilled as a requirement. It's kind of like double hulls on tankers. They had to be made to do it.

    No relief well, no well. I am not arguing this is good just the better thing they could require.

    Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

    by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 02:57:29 PM PDT

  •  Sorry I'm late... (7+ / 0-)

    I was dancing with plumbers. All better now.

    Good diary as usual, pera. Thanks.

    The pressurized container stuff - I used to help teach a dive class. We had to have the tanks checked all the time. All the time, as in often...

    And even then when we filled the empty tanks we immersed them up to the valves in a 55-gallon drum of water while being filled, just in case one should explode.

    It ain't rocket science, just paying attention.

    BP apparently still can't be bothered with ensuring their workers' safety.


    "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

    by Lorinda Pike on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 05:18:48 PM PDT

    •  I had to read the story several times (6+ / 0-)

      before I could believe that I wasn't reading things wrong. Regular testing of containers and valves is second nature to anyone who has worked with pressurized containers of any kind for over five minutes.

      Sorry to hear about the plumbing. Hope you didn't have to end up entirely funding the plumbers' children's college educations to get things fixed.

      •  As long as the cats don't demand a higher (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DawnN, peraspera

        education, I'm in the clear - no kids. But the bill wasn't terribly high, and they did a good job on short notice before a holiday!

        "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

        by Lorinda Pike on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 11:12:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pera!! I am so sorry to be so late. Please forgive (7+ / 0-)

    my rude behavior. The day got away from me in a rather big way.  

    I have to go and read the diary.

    Thank you so much for every diary.

    I am doing this feng shui thing where you throw out 27 things
    a day for 9 days. While rooting around, I found a bunch of early  Gulf Watchers stuff. Just touched my heart deeply. That was a
    very emotional time with a lot of long, long nights with people who would grow to be precious friends forever.

    And, we are still here.


    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Tue Jul 03, 2012 at 07:21:44 PM PDT

  •  happy 4th to all... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JanL, Phil S 33, peraspera, Lorinda Pike, DawnN

    hoping the holiday finds everyone in good spirits

    everyone stay cool.. or luke warm anyway!

  •  A whole bouquet of Oopsy Daisies in NC (4+ / 0-)

    I found out about this just today and it is very disturbing not just for the outcome but for the petty intransigence of the NC GOP legislative majority.

    NC's Governor Perdue vetoed a bill that would allow fracking in the state. The legislature held a vote to override the veto.

    The vote was close. So close, in fact, that a single vote made the difference.

    But that vote was made in error and, contrary to historical precedent, was not allowed to be corrected. NC uses a red/green button system to record votes. Rep. Carney pushed the wrong button.

    Rep. Becky Carney, a Democrat from Mecklenburg, said she accidentally voted late Monday to override the governor's veto after asking fellow Democrats to uphold it. The House voted 72-47 against the veto—with Carney's vote clinching the number of votes needed for the override.
    She panicked. She hit a different button to turn on her microphone and called to the House speaker on the dais. He didn't recognize her. So she rushed to the front, 20 steps from her seat in the eighth row down the red-carpeted middle aisle.


    The NC legislature has routinely allowed Representatives to correct mistakes even when, as in this case, the vote changes the outcome. The rules do state that votes cannot be changed when doing so changes the outcome but that rule is regularly waived.

    Not this time.

    A maneuver by Wake County Republican Paul “Skip” Stam prevented her from changing her vote, giving the GOP a historic one-vote margin of victory.

    "It was a huge mistake,” Carney said afterward. “I take full responsibility.”

    Democrats denounced Stam’s quick parliamentary maneuver as a dirty trick that resulted in the passage of a landmark energy overhaul that could create a natural gas production industry in the state.


    A sad day for NC and the environment.

    "If we want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, we need to reduce the number of our senators dependent on fossil fuel contributions." - Rodney Glassman

    by Darryl House on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 07:19:53 AM PDT

  •  ot : Scoundrel's Ode to Higgs Boson... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, peraspera

    he bird was daydreaming about quantum theory and decided to do a little ditty in honor of the tiny thingie...

    I hear they found a thing today,
    with such a funny name, you say,

    What in the world is a Higgs Boson?
    and where in tarnation did IT come from,

    what does it mean, what can it be..
    a new particle means nothing to me..

    So I say to you that it must be the glue
    that makes everything real, including you

    So without this little thing you say
    nothing would be the way it is today

    and you and I and all we see
    would simply spread for all eternity

    so they found this little  thing today
    let us hope it never goes away.

    •  ::laughing and blowing kisses:: Well done, boid. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AnotherAmericanLie, peraspera

      The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of
the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above the water.
See who is in there with you and celebrate. (Hopi)

      by DawnN on Wed Jul 04, 2012 at 03:51:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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