Thursday, May 27, 2010



What a disaster. Why is our government allowing BP to be in charge of this disaster? Clearly they have had no idea how to solve this problem. And yet, they have been the ones flailing around with weeks of days of failing to stop the gushing.

Rep Ed Markey from Massachusetts' 7th district

Information below ~ source: globalwarming.house.gov/mediacenter


The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has created an environmental disaster. Eleven people tragically lost their lives in the rig explosion and an estimated 5,000 barrels of oil or more a day are currently leaking from a broken drill pipe.

Families and businesses in coastal communities -- including the fishing, seafood, and tourism industries -- are bracing for the worst. The Gulf coast is also home to wildlife refuges and marine sanctuaries.

President Obama has acted quickly to help clean up the oil company’s mess. The Coast Guard, Homeland Security, Department of Interior, NOAA, EPA, Navy and Air Force have been working to contain the environmental damage since the explosion.

Leaders in Congress have launched a full inquiry. Getting answers from BP, Transocean and Halliburton is critical and will focus on: the cause of accident, the plan to stop the leak and ensuring clean up efforts are carried out to protect costal communities.

Speaker's page on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
NASA satellite images of the Gulf
Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation

Multimedia Resources

Understanding the size of the spill (Google Earth plug-in required)

Spill location relative to marshlands, oyster beds, and critical habitats: NYT

Oil Spill Timeline: CNN

Timeline & Plans to fix the leak: The Guardian [UK]

Image History of rig disasters & photos of Deepwater Horizon explosion: AP

Image Tracking the slick, Satellite Imagery, and how much oil: CNN

Twitter Discussing the disaster on Twitter

BP will NOT Blackout spill cam for top kill

“Large Abnormality” in well not heeded by BP hours before explosion (WSJ)

Final decision on Top Kill to come from BP Wed. (Wash Post)

Tribute to the 11 workers who lost their lives on the rig explosion (New Orleans)

Markey demands that BP NOT blackout Top Kill Operation (USA Today)

New video from the ocean floor
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3
Video 4

Time for an oil gusher webcam (NYT – Dot Earth Blog)

Critics say BP has been allowed too much control of response to oil spill (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

How toxic are dispersants being used in Gulf oil spill? (USA Today)

Gulf oil now in powerful Loop Current, scientists say (BBC)

Sizing up the spill: Briefing with science and engendering experts on WEDNESDAY

BP emergency plan shows lack of readiness for oil spill (USA Today)

Loop current danger: Scientists warn oil spill could threaten Florida (NYT)

Keith Olbermann: The latest on BP Spill with Cong. Markey (MSNBC)

60 Minutes: Amazing account of Deepwater Horizon’s Blowout from rig worker (CBS)

Animation of BP Pipe and Pipe (NBC Today Show)

Deep sea oil plumes, dispersants endanger reefs (AP)

Giant plumes of oil forming under the Gulf (NYT)

Spill fight shows progress (WSJ)

Worry that Gulf oil spreading into major current (AP)

Obama slams oil companies, calls companies pointing figures a "ridiculous spectacle" (MSNBC)

Size of spill may dwarf estimates (NPR)

BP Chief claims the oil spill is “tiny” compared to “big ocean” (The Guardian)

Size of spill questioned (NYT)

House finds BP’s “fail-safe” blowout preventer had series of flaws (Washington Post)

VIDEO: Oil gushing from broken drill pipe (Energy Boom)

CLICK HERE for more stories

NASA Gulf Spill image 5/19
NASA satellite image taken 5/17/2010

BP Photo of oil spilling
BP photo of oil flowing from the broken pipe at 5,000 feet on May 11, 2010

Map of approximate oil locations

Map of NOAA Fisheries Closures


Representative Charlie Melancon of Louisiana's remarks during the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment hearing, "Combating the BP Oil Spill" Category:
Uploaded by

E&E Subcommittee Hearing on Oil Spill - Rep.Charlie Melancon Remarks


Uploaded by charliemelancon

charliemelancon May 23, 2010This weekend, I flew over areas of the Gulf of Mexico impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil leak disaster. In the video, the helicopter approaches the site of the leak. The small vessels visible in the beginning of the video are skimming oil from the water's surface. At about 1:00 into the video, as we descend large swaths of oil in the water are visible. At about 1:15, we approach the vessel Discover Enterprise (the ship with the flare burning off of it), which is collecting oil from the small pipe BP inserted into the leaking riser last week. On either side of the Enterprise, there are two platforms visible. They are drilling the relief wells.

May 27, 2010: Markey: Flow Rate Report Shines Light on BP’s Financial Liability, True Size of Spill

Source: markey.house.gov

Chairman Markey Releases Documents Showing BP Low-balled Flow Rate; Lower Spill Estimate Means Lower Financial Liability for Company

WASHINGTON (May 27, 2010) – Following the release of a report on the flow rate of the oil spill by a technical team assembled by the Obama administration, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today continued to raise questions about BP’s potential motivations to low-ball the flow rate and size of the spill, and released new documents showing BP knew the spill could have been much bigger than they claimed.

The report, conducted by the National Incident Command’s Flow Rate Technical Group, found that the spill was likely between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels a day, far above the 1,000-5,000 barrels a day BP estimated for most of the spill’s duration. Rep. Markey has engaged with numerous independent scientists on this issue who claimed the spill was much larger than BP’s estimates.

Now we know what we always knew—this spill is much larger than BP has claimed,” said Rep. Markey, who chairs the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and the Energy and Environment Subcommittee in the Energy and Commerce Committee. “What’s clear is that BP has had an interest in low-balling the size of their accident, since every barrel spilled increases how much they could be fined by the government.”

Yesterday Rep. Markey pressed this point with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, citing documents he obtained from BP that showed BP knew as early as a week after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that the spill could have been much higher than their initial estimate of 1,000 barrels. Secretary Salazar agreed with Rep. Markey that BP could have a financial interest in underestimating the size of the spill.

The documents can be found HERE and HERE .

One document, dated April 27, shows that BP’s high estimate for the daily rate of the spill was 14,266 barrels per day, well within the midrange of today’s technical group report. Yet one day later, BP was asserting to the public that the spill was only 1,000 barrels a day – their low estimate for the size of the spill.

The implications for BP’s financial liability are directly tied to the size of the spill. Under current law -- the Clean Water Act as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, following the Exxon Valdez disaster -- a company that spills oil is subject to fines up to $1,000 per barrel, or up to $3,000 per barrel in the case of gross negligence.

For BP, the difference between an estimate of 1,000 barrels per day and one of 14,000 barrels a day could really be the difference between $5 to $15 million per day in fines versus $14 to $42 million per day. That means, at the end of yesterday, the 37th day of the spill, the difference could potentially be between $37 million in fines or $1.5 billion in fines, according to BP’s own estimates from the documents.

According to the range reached by the technical group today, BP could be subject to between $444 million and $2.1 billion in potential fines for the oil spilled thus far.

BP has to stop protecting their liability and start dealing with the reality of the size of this spill,” said Rep. Markey. “Knowing the size of the spill is vital to all facets of this spill, from response to recovery to accountability.”

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