Archive for the ‘Deepwater Horizon’ tag
Singer-songwriter and lead vocalist of Otep, Otep Shamaya, visits Citizen Radio to talk about vegetarianism, coming up in the metal scene, recording an album in post-Katrina New Orleans, her disappointment with President Obama, and how much she loves laughing at crazy Republicans. Check out Otep’s awesome body acceptance campaign: All Shapes And Sizes.
It’s the one-year anniversary of BP’s disastrous oil spill, and things are still very bad in the Gulf. During a time of economic austerity, the government still hugely subsidizes the industry. Allison talks about how doing away with some oil subsidies could bring in $45 billion in the next ten years and save countless essential social services.
Also, interviews with the glorious governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, and Negotiator-in-Chief, Obama himself.
Allison continues to blog at The Nation. Share her articles on Facebook and Twitter! New post: Thousands Protest Snyder’s Authoritarian Power Grab.
Meanwhile, down there…
More than eight months after an oil rig explosion launched the biggest oil disaster in U.S. history, Louisiana officials say they’re still finding thick layers of oil along parts of the state’s coastline.
“Every day, this shoreline is moving inland,” lessening flood protection for residents, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said.
On Friday, Robert Barham, secretary of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, joined Nungesser on a tour of portion of Louisiana’s coastline still heavily oiled by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a statement from the wildlife and fisheries department.
“It has been eight months since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, and five months since the well was capped. While workers along the coast dedicated themselves to cleaning up our shores there is still so much to be done,” Barham said in the statement.
During a walking tour of an area called Bay Jimmy, Nungesser said oil can be seen from a distance.
“When the tide is out … you can see thick oil onto the water for 30, 40 feet out,” the parish president said. “There’s been no mechanism to clean that up thus far.”
At one point on Friday, Nungesser began cursing at U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Dan Lauer.
“It seems like the federal agencies and the Coast Guard is there protecting BP. You guys ought to be as angry as me, that we don’t have more people out here doing this,” Nungesser said.
How silly. If there really was some kind of collusion between the government and BP, the Coast Guard would have been working like the oil company’s hired goons, or something.
Lauer said officials are trying to determine the best way to rid the oil while considering long-term effects of cleanup techniques.
Right. Because the highly toxic Corexit stuff attracted all of that pesky negative attention. I guess BP’s backup plan for dumping millions of gallons of poisonous chemicals into the ocean in order to sink the oil is to let the rest of it sit on the coastline more than eight months after the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Oh well. What matters is Tony Hayward is snuggled on one of his yachts somewhere, and he’s happy. Keep drillin’, baby!
Citizen Radio: Halliburton and BP’s criminal culpability, Andrew Breitbart’s ABC gig, Jamie finds out he’s dyslexic
Hear this, and all episodes of Citizen Radio, by subscribing to the free podcast at wearecitizenradio.com.
In this episode…
It turns out Halliburton and BP were aware that the cement used in the Deeepwater Horizon’s oil rig was deeply flawed. Allison argues that this makes the companies criminally culpable for the deaths of the 11 rig workers, who the media appears to have completely forgotten about.
Also in BP news, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary, Robert Barham, says the oil and Corexit used in the Gulf could “linger for as long as 300 years.” There are also reports of a new oil plume, which makes it difficult to buy the narrative that the oil miraculously disappeared.
ABC has hired notorious conman Andrew Breitbart to participate in their election night coverage.
Meanwhile, Jamie has discovered he may be dyslexic, which explains so, so much.
Citizen Radio answers more of your Listener Mail! Questions and comments this week include feedback about transexual sensitivity, going home to see Republican asshole relatives for the holidays, and how to cope when working for The Man
Citizen Radio is a political-comedy internet radio show hosted by Allison Kilkenny and Jamie Kilstein that airs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Subscribe to the show at http://wearecitizenradio.com.
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God, this is depressing. The industrial sector is just about extinct, corporations are fleeing the country to exploit cheap foreign labor, unions are gasping their last breaths, and 6.8 million Americans have been unemployed 27 weeks, or longer (the numbers are higher in places like Detriot, which has 30 percent unemployment, but the media doesn’t really focus on that reality).
But there is good news! Well, kind of. If your trade is oil spill clean-up, you’re experiencing a bonanza right now.
Hundreds of contractors and subcontractors are doing jobs both complex and mundane, whether it’s building the robots that BP sends 5,000 feet underwater to capture live video of the broken wellhead or providing boats to skim oil from the water’s surface. And then there is the cottage industry that has sprung up overnight to support the 24,600 cleanup workers, catering their meals, hauling away their trash and supplying portable toilets.
“There’s money flowing in the streets,” said Michael E. Hoffman, director of research at Wunderlich Securities, a Memphis-based brokerage firm.
America may be losing the race to evolve technology, and alternative fuels, but at least we still lead the way in creating horrible catastrophes that our unemployed masses can then toil to clean up.
Ever the barometer of compassionate altruism, Wall Street immediately rushed to figure out who would be the winners of the BP disaster. The financial sector doesn’t price superfluous biological waste like sea turtles, or oceans because things like endangered pelicans don’t make the right people money. However, Wall Street does know how to price stuff like hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic dispersants.
Within two weeks of the April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion, the stock price of Clean Harbors, a Boston-based hazardous-waste management company, shot up more than 20 percent. During the same period, Nalco Holding Co., which makes the chemical dispersant Corexit, rose to nearly a year high.
Sure, Nalco, made a killing during the disaster. It helps that one of its board members, Rodney F. Chase, is a former BP board member. That cozy relationship provides Nalco with unique access to the big business of oil spill cleanup. The Wapost article doesn’t mention that stuff (why get messy?) but it does include this nugget:
The other day, I was discussing the “branding” of the BP disaster with a friend. Calling this catastrophe a “spill” seems like a laughable understatement, and my phrasing (the “oil geyser”) wasn’t really catchy. A few weeks ago, the term “oil volcano” emerged, I think because it was first used by Rachel Maddow, and I believe it captures the severity of the situation.
So this thing, the oil volcano, has been pumping thousands of barrels of oil into the ocean every single day. That much is undeniable. BP can’t approach the media and say, “Epic disaster is all over, folks!” because there are cameras (now HD video) down there, filming the whole thing.
The company attempted to use dispersants (hundreds of thousands of gallons of the toxic stuff) in order to coagulate the oil and sink it to the bottom, conveniently hiding the true toll of the oil volcano from the world. Except, that didn’t work entirely, and some endangered birds got snagged in the sludge.
Literally, there is nothing BP can now do in order to mend its public image except lie. And lie they have. Tony Hayward blamed workers’ illnesses on food poisoning instead of acknowledging exposure to oil fumes and dispersants tend to make individuals sick. BP denied the existence of those massive underwater oil plumes. You know, the ones NOAA just confirmed exist.
The MMS granted a drilling permit yesterday to Bandon Oil and Gas that will allow the company to drill 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana in a water depth of 115 feet. Reports of MMS banning drilling for six months apply only to depths greater than 500 feet. Nonetheless, the fact that MMS is still issuing any permits has angered some people.
“I’m outraged,” said Kieran Suckling, executive director for the Tucson, Ariz.,-based Center for Biological Diversity, after a reporter told him of the new permit. “How is it that shallow water drilling suddenly became safe again?”
Suckling said the administration was misleading the public by quietly resuming work in shallow waters while acting as if it was taking a tough look at deepwater work.
Interior Department spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff assures everyone that anyone drilling in shallow-water operations will have to meet certain specified standards.
“All operators who are drilling or intend to drill in shallow water must first meet applicable interim safety standards announced last week by the president,” Barkoff said. “Those operators who are already drilling must stop at a safe place and implement the safety requirements before continuing.”
It’s difficult to take any assurances coming from ID or MMS seriously, since the startling mismanagement and deregulation trends began under their watch. It’s a bit like if a surgeon severs a patient’s pulmonary vein, and as blood shoots up like a mini-geyser, asks the entire OR to “just trust” them.
It’s easier to trust people who haven’t massively fucked up everything.
“When we found this dolphin it was filled with oil. Oil was just pouring out of it. It was the saddest darn thing to look at,” said a BP contract worker who took the Daily News on a surreptitious tour of the wildlife disaster unfolding in Louisiana.
His motive: simple outrage.
“There is a lot of coverup for BP. They specifically informed us that they don’t want these pictures of the dead animals. They know the ocean will wipe away most of the evidence. It’s important to me that people know the truth about what’s going on here,” the contractor said.
For good reason, there has been a lot of public outrage over BP’s “iron fist” handling of the spill zone. MoJo’s Mac McClelland has been reporting on the media blackout.
John Wutsell Jr., a fisherman who was hospitalized after becoming ill while cleaning up oil in the Gulf, has filed a temporary restraining order in federal court against BP.
Apparently, Wutsell missed the update issued by BP CEO Tony Hayward that he wasn’t made sick by oil fumes, or exposure to Corexit, but by food poisoning.
Wutsell (who experienced severe headaches, nosebleeds, and stomach pains) humbly disagrees, and he wants BP to give the clean-up workers masks, and — get this insane demand — not harass workers who publicly voice their health concerns.
On Friday, Wutstell was airlifted to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, Louisiana, where he remained hospitalized Sunday.
“At West Jefferson, there were tents set up outside the hospital, where I was stripped of my clothing, washed with water and several showers, before I was allowed into the hospital,” Wutstell sais. “When I asked for my clothing, I was told that BP had confiscated all of my clothing and it would not be returned.”
Hm, now why would BP want to confiscate all of Wutsell’s clothing? One possibility is that they want to destroy any evidence that they’ve been exposing workers to unsafe conditions so as to avoid future criminal liability charges.
The President and the media can’t help BP rush through the unpleasantness of poisoning the ocean quickly enough. First, the government (starting with Bush, but extending through Obama’s reign) staffed the MMS with incompetents, who apparently alternated between allowing oil and gas company workers to fill out their own inspection forms, accepting Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl tickets from offshore drilling companies, and smoking crystal meth.
What I’m trying to say is, the MMS was extremely busy, which is probably why they didn’t notice BP’s blowout preventer had a dead battery in its control pod, leaks in its hydraulic system, a “useless” test version of a key component and a cutting tool that wasn’t strong enough to shear through steel joints in the well pipe and stop the flow of oil in the event of a fiery explosion, which by the way, totally happened. But who has time to check superfluous stuff like a blowout preventer? I mean, that meth isn’t going to smoke itself.
BP has shown a desire to cover its own ass by allegedly forbidding clean-up crews to wear respirators so as to avoid future negligence lawsuits even as it continues to dump toxic dispersants, which have been banned in the UK, ignoring the EPA’s pleas to find a less toxic (and extremely available) version.
Judging by the government’s handling of the spill zone, I’d be hard pressed to tell you who is in charge of the country right now. BP has stifled the freedom of the press, given the finger to the EPA, and will not be forced to testify in Obama’s shiny, new commission. Honestly, I’m amazed Obama’s first reaction wasn’t to rename the country The United States Of BP.
Mac McClelland, a human rights reporter for Mother Jones, has been chased away from spill site by a local policeman, who claims he was just doing “what they told me to do.” McClelland asked the logical question: Who are they? And aren’t the police usually the ones charged with maintaining order?
The “they” is BP, the company that has already used contractors to chase a CBS news crew from a beach in South Pass, Louisiana when they tried to film a thick coat of oil. And McClelland records that BP spokespersons told two reporters they were not allowed anywhere on the beach, despite the fact that “tons of tourists” are in those locations.
BP has quartered off the Louisiana coast like an army in a war zone, and has shaken off any attempt by the government to control their response to the environmental disaster. EPA weakly asked BP to (pretty please) not use those toxic dispersants that have been banned in the UK, but BP has since decided to stick with Corexit.