The United States Chemical Safety Board and Hazard Investigation Board, an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that investigates the cause of chemical accidents (About the CSB Video (14 minutes), website) has released a well-made animated video (11 minutes) detailing the root cause of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in conjunction with a two-volume draft report about the disaster. This is just the latest in a series of informative and fascinating safety videos released by the CSB. [more inside]
But really, Feinberg picked up the phone that day for the same reason Americans yield to their instinct to give money to those felled by spectacularly unkind fates: He felt helpless but wanted to help, and his version of helping was to volunteer for one of the worst jobs in the world. Hagel placed a call to Attorney General John Ashcroft, and after a series of backroom discussions, Ashcroft appointed Feinberg the special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, working pro bono, as he almost always does on behalf of the dead. That work and the work that has followed it, his growing collection of aftermaths, have changed him. He has become smarter, humbler, more acute, more uniquely fitted to his task. Virginia Tech, the Deepwater Horizon, Newtown, Boston—he managed each of those horrors, and each was managed better because of what he has learned. But all of them were shaped, because he was shaped, by September 11.Kenneth Feinberg: The Nation's Leading Expert in Picking up the Pieces [more inside]
'Well, could we get some respirators or something, because that s--t is bad.' He said, 'No, that wouldn't look good to the media.' Last month, BP CEO Dudley told the annual BP shareholders meeting in London that Corexit "is effectively ... dishwashing soap." But the Louisiana Environmental Action Network's scientific adviser, Wilma Subra, a chemist whose work on environmental pollution had won her a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, told state and federal authorities at the time that she was especially concerned about the mixture of crude and Corexit. Flashforward to 2013, the civil trial against BP is underway, and an investigative reporter talks about the cover-up in a long article at Newsweek. (Previously, previouslier, more previouslier)
Earlier this month, British Petroleum agreed to plead guilty to 14 violations of law, including negligence causing death and the Clean Water Act. [more inside]
In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Al Jazeera reports on large-scale deformities and mutations in the Gulf of Mexico seafood catch.
One year after BP's Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, a hydraulic fracturing operation in northern Pennsylvania experiences a blowout resulting in the release of fracking liquids. The use and chemical content of fracking liquids is a point of contention when debating what role natural gas will play in the future of energy.
The final hours of the Deepwater Horizon.
But this was a disaster with two distinct parts — first a blowout, then the destruction of the Horizon. The second part, which killed 11 people and injured dozens, has escaped intense scrutiny, as if it were an inevitable casualty of the blowout.
It was not.David Barstow, David Rohde and Stephanie Saul report for the New York Times on the Deepwater Horizon disaster. [more inside]
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday afternoon that the Obama administration will not allow offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as part of the next five-year drilling plan, reversing two key policy changes President Obama announced in late March. Drilling will continue in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico under new safeguards. Previously.
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]
Women of the Storm ... and the men who love them - anchored by Oscar winner Sandra Bullock and including many celebrities, an advertising campaign called "Be the One," sponsored by the Gulf-Coast organization Women of the Storm, recently issued a "50-state" challenge to develop a "national solution" to problems in the Gulf of Mexico. The PR watchdog site DeSmog Blog alleges that the campaign is an astroturf effort from "BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Citgo, Chevron, and other polluters." The allegations contend a front group called America's Wetland Foundation is using Women of the Storm to propagate the message that taxpayers should contribute to the oil-spill cleanup. The New Orleans Times-Picayune disagrees. The Women of the Storm and America's Wetland Foundation respond to the allegations. What's the truth?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have released their latest models/scenarios ("based on several simplifying assumptions") of the BP spill's impact on coastlines [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.
'Top Kill' seems to have worked, Apparently stopping the flow of oil -- now officially estimated by the government to have been about 12,000-19,000 barrels/day, with 75% most of the volume being gas ABC News Dives below the surface to get a look at plumes of 'dispersed' oil: (spoiler alert: not pretty). And a BP exec takes the 5th, refusing to testify before a federal panel.
The fire is out on the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. But since the rig sank last Thursday, Coast Guard officials believe about 13,000 gallons (7,400 bbl) of crude oil per day is coming out of the exploratory hole drilled by the rig, about 41 miles offshore from Plaquemines Parish, LA. "An early suggestion that damage would be minimal because the fire was consuming most of the fuel 'does have the potential to change,' BP official David Rainey told the New York Times." [more inside]