Gulf Coast Dolphin Death Toll Rising. Scientists clamor to figure out why 12 times the normal rate of dolphin deaths are being observed along the Gulf States. Results from an examination of 89 dead dolphins that washed up immediately after the Gulf oil spill have not been publicly released, but scientists concluded those dolphins "died from something environmental during the last year." Despite a steady drumbeat of stories in the media claiming that the Gulf has already been mostly cleaned up thanks to "teeny little janitors," getting far less media and public traction are more recent reports finding that the Gulf's sea floor is in fact still very much oily and dead. [more inside]
Even as the Deepwater Horizon well nears the day when it will finally be sealed for good, and BP finds itself falling under continued criticism as it is discovered that oily sediment is coating the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, the US government has announced that 3,500 unused oil wells must be sealed by the companies which drilled them. [more inside]
There have been worse oil spills in history. The Lakeview Gusher followed by the Gulf War Oil Spill are the two worst in history. Another is the Ixtoc I Oil Spill which was also in the gulf. This gives us a good frame of reference for what to expect right? We will cap this thing by the end of next month right? Or is the government lying to us about what's going on in the gulf of mexico? Is Mat Simmons crazy? He believes that oil is covering 40% of the gulf beneath the surface. Does this man know what he's talking about. [more inside]
BP agrees to set aside $20 billion for spill claims. In a much anticipated deal brokered with the heads of the disgraced oil industry giant following on the heels of last night's speech from the Oval Office, President Obama has received a commitment from BP to establish a $20 billion dollar escrow account to pay for economic damages related to the Deepwater Horizon's now estimated 35,000 to 60,000 barrel a day oil gusher in the Gulf of Mexico (also previously here, here, and here on the blue). Does this development render moot the politically perilous issue of retroactively lifting the $75 million dollar cap on oil company liabilities, which the DOJ recently declared legal? Some are asking for more details. NY Times asks: How much will BP really pay? Darling of the far-right fringe Michelle Balkin cautions BP: "Don't be chumps! This is redistribution of wealth." And fellow right-of-centrist Sarah Palin wants to call in the Dutch.