April 30, 2010

Oil slick reaches Louisiana coast

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 6:31 am

Lousiana Oil Rig Explosion
210,000 feet, or approximately 40 miles of boons have been laid along the Louisiana coast thus far. How many miles long is that state’s coastline, and that of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida? I’ll bet it’s a lot longer than 40 miles…

“It’s as though a diesel truck is parked in the front yard,” a resident of Bay Saint Louis in Mississippi, John Gerger, told the BBC as the smell of oil was becoming stronger along the Gulf Coast.

For those residing on the Louisiana coast today, the acrid smell of light sweet crude oil is probably stronger. It may not be long before residents along the pristine beaches of the Florida panhandle get a whiff of that odor. The edge of the over 600-mile in diameter oil slick began washing ashore along the coast of Louisiana on Thursday evening, 24 hours ahead of previous estimates by the Coast Guard.

President Barack Obama said “every single available resource” of government, including the military, would be used to help contain the oil spill. “The entire US government is doing everything possible…to respond to this incident” According to the New York Times, the Navy provided 50 contractors, 7 skimming systems and 66,000 feet of inflatable containment boom. About 210,000 feet of boom had been laid down to protect the shoreline in several places along the Gulf Coast. Rough seas, however, sent five foot waves of oily water over the top of the booms into the Mississippi delta.

MSNBC reported that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) declared a state of emergency Thursday so officials could begin preparing for the oil’s impact. He said at least 10 wildlife management areas and refuges in his state and neighboring Mississippi are in the oil plume’s path. The declaration also noted that billions of dollars have been invested in coastal restoration projects that may be at risk. He also asked the federal government if he could call up 6,000 National Guard troops to help.

What was that you said in your State of the Union rebuttal in 2009, Gov. Jindal? Something about increasing offshore drilling, reducing government spending, keeping Washington out of your state’s affairs, and relying on private industries instead of government to create jobs? Be careful what you wish for.

British Petroleum (BP), the company that is supposedly responsible for the cost of the cleanup under U.S. law, has also requested more resources from the Defense Department, especially underwater equipment that might be better than what is commercially available. A BP executive said the corporation would “take help from anyone.”

After generating $6.1 billion in profits in the first quarter of 2010, much of it from sales to U.S. consumers, BP apparently has to turn to U.S. taxpayers for federally-funded hardware and manpower to help clean up its mess.

While there are many economic and political lessons that can be learned from this disaster, hopefully the focus for now will remain on stopping the leak, minimizing the damage and helping the people on the gulf coast that stand the most to lose.

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  1. I just talked to a friend who lives in NOLA. She says there are microscopic oil droplets in the air and it’s making people sick. She’s trying to stay indoors in her air conditioned apt. as much as possible to avoid the ‘oil mist flu.’ An unintended consequence of this massive oil spill the Big Media haven’t mentioned. They also aren’t talking about the shrimp crop that’s been devastated — if you eat shrimp, the price is about to go through the roof and most of the shrimpers will likely go out of business this year, adding to the misery and unemployment in the Gulf. And all of this because the obscenely profitable BP didn’t spend a half-million on some basic undersea oil equipment they use elsewhere in the world.

    Comment by RS Janes — April 30, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

  2. You’re absolutely correct, RS. A $500,000 blow-out device would have prevented all this misery. Mike Malloy had an attorney on his show tonight who will be part of the legal team filing a class action suit against BP for this, and he mentioned that. The deregulation that allowed that can be traced back to Cheney’s secretive energy conference in 2001. That evil sonofabitch should spend the rest of his life in prison for this alone, not to mention all the other misery he has caused millions of people.

    Comment by Greg in cheeseland — May 1, 2010 @ 1:25 am

  3. The only reason I can think of that Cheney and Rove haven’t been prosecuted — Cheney for unconstitutionally approving torture, at the least, and Rove for perjury in Valerie Plame’s outing and what he did to Don Siegelman in Alabama — is that these characters have something on anyone who might be in a position to put them behind bars, possibly including Obama. I have no doubt they misused their offices, and the resources of the FBI and CIA, to compile, like J. Edgar Hoover and their hero Nixon, secret files on their potential enemies. Nothing else makes sense, especially with Cheney brazenly and publicly admitting he violated the law.

    Comment by RS Janes — May 1, 2010 @ 5:15 am

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