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Two Years After The BP Spill

Two years after the BP oil disaster, we look at the environmental consequences in the Gulf, and the consequences for BP, whose business is booming.

In this April 21, 2010 file image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. (AP)

In this April 21, 2010 file image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon. (AP)

The BP ads all over television now show a smiling, sparkling Gulf coast and invite you down for some fine tourism.  Happy families in the perfect sand.  Sizzling seafood.  Good times.  But two years ago this month it was blowout time in the Gulf of Mexico, with BP’s giant Deepwater Horizon rig a ball of fire and millions of gallons of oil and toxic chemicals headed into the Gulf.

Now come the reports of eyeless shrimp.  Fish with lesions.  Hydrocarbons in soil and vegetation.  While BP is back to gangbuster growth and ready to drill on.

This hour, On Point:  the Gulf environment and BP, two years after disaster.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Hammer, an investigative reporter at the Times Picayune. He led the paper’s investigation of what went wrong on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Aaron Viles, deputy director, Gulf Restoration Network, which advocates for habitat protection in the Gulf.

Abrahm Lustgarten, a reporter for ProPublica, his op-ed in the New York Times last Friday was titled, A Stain that Won’t Wash Away. He’s the author of Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Less than two years ago, the British oil company BP was worried about its very survival as a seemingly unstoppable oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico threatened to destroy its finances and reputation.”

Forbes “Within four months, as BP shares halved and talk swirled about it seeking bankruptcy protection, the ax fell on Hayward, the only public culprit of this mess. Dudley was tabbed with saving the ship. And he has done so.”

ProPublica “Two years after a series of gambles and ill-advised decisions on a BP drilling project led to the largest accidental oil spill in United States history [1] and the death of 11 workers [2] on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, no one has been held accountable.”

al Jazeera “Eyeless shrimp and fish with lesions are becoming common, with BP oil pollution believed to be the likely cause.”

Video: al Jazeera Reports

Video: NASA’s Views Oil Spill

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Terry Tree Tree

    BP says it’s cleaned up!   People in the area, find oil, dispersant and damage, as late as last week?
       Surely, BP, who’s executives KNOW that a horse race is FAR MORE IMPORTANT  than cleaning up a DISASTER that THEY caused, wouldn’t lie?
       Maybe they’re just too INCOMPETENT to be paid over minimum wage?   WILL they give ALL but minimum wage back?   As honorable as they have proven themselves to be?

    • Hidan

       BP knows that Americans have short memories so now there’s no need to care anymore. The Drill baby Drill is back at it in full force.

    • Anonymous

      Right! Missing from the references above is:

      Antonia Juhasz (@antoniajuhasz), oil & energy analyst & activist and author of The Tyranny of Oil.

      She was a guest on UP with Chris Hayes last Saturday morning:

      Saturday’s Show (April 21)
      http://UpwithChrisHayes.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/21/11326345-saturdays-show-april-21?lite

  • Victor Vito

    Guess what?  BP could do THE EXACT SAME THING all over again, and after a few sincere apologies and a relatively small victims fund they’d go right back to business as usual and massive profits.  We’re like heroin addicts complaining about our dealer.

    • Anonymous

      And if a bill introduced in the House of Representatives becomes law, which it will with Republican control of Washington, ALL OIL EXTRACTION will be INDEMNIFIED from paying for damages in the future.

      Say goodbye to seafood!

  • Yar

    Wendell Berry spoke last night at the National Endowment for the Humanities.  A wonderful lecture.  He spoke of love for place, if I remember his statements correctly he said. “When people succeed in profiting on a
    large scale, they succeed for themselves. When they fail, they fail
    for many others, sometimes for us all.”  

    BP failed for us all, they can’t make right the wrong they caused.  It would have been better to have added a tax on fuel to clean up the gulf than to impose fines.  For the consumer and the citizen pay, the cost is simply added to the product,   raising the price for all and giving a extra reward to BP’s competitors.  To BP, failure is simply the cost of doing business.  If an individual caused this much damage they would lose their freedom.  Why is BP allowed to continue as a corporate entity?Barry said “Though the corporations by law are
    counted as persons, they do not have personal minds. If they can be said to have minds. It is a great oddity that a corporation
    which, properly speaking, has no self, is by definition, selfish.”http://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2012-02-06 

    • Anonymous

      Maybe it is only my hope, but when the price of oil (but not natural gas) is set in the world marketplace, even BP may not be able to raise the price of its oil. But the Republicans can increase tax expenditures to help BP and they probably will try.

      • Azra

        . . . and that after David Axelrod’s recent announcement, (telling how on the day of Presient Obama’s inauguration, gas prices were the lowest they had been in many years), gas prices almost immediately, and mysteriously, plummeted;

        GAS PRICES DROPPED BY $.19 ?

        

  • Gregg

    Please discuss President Obama’s ties to BP as the biggest recipient of campaign donations and his subsequent decision to exempt them from the oversight (NEPA) that would have likely prevented this disaster.

    They were awarded for safety just before the explosion.

    • Anonymous

      The forum’s most trifling, partisan twit is making his squeaky noises early today.

      How much did Obama get from BP employees, Greggg? You do realize the donations were from individual employees and not from a PAC, don’t you Greggg?

      How much was that in relation to all other donations that Obama received, Greggg?

      Who were the next three people on the list of BP cash recipients, Greggg?

      • Gregg

        It looks bad doesn’t it. Nobody ever remembers who comes in second.

        Do you believe Horizon should have gotten categorical exclusion from the National Environmental Policy Act? Or do you think that’s just an irrelevant aside?

        • Anonymous

          As anticipated, no answers from the smarmy weasel.

          • Gregg

            I give grief to folks all the time for reading my mind. You are the first one who actually read it correctly. Thanks. 

          • Anonymous

            Keep embarrassing yourself, it becomes you.

  • Brett

    There were/are those who would blame Obama for not being a lot tougher on oil companies’ operations, thus implying that ultimately, deliberately this caused the disaster and, in the same breath, would blame him for imposing restrictions on the “drill baby drill” nonsense of the neocon shuffle. Go figure?!?! 

    • Hidan

       amazing right?

  • Still Here

    Before the ignorants start to assign blame, please provide an update on all the litigation that is taking place. 

    What is the status of drilling activity in the Gulf now compared to before?  What new regulations are in place that supposedly address the lessons learned? 

    All your panel is missing is some of the myriad of attorneys suing BP on behalf of claimants.

    • Gregg

      “Blame”? It’s Bush’s fault, isn’t it?

      It seems to me it doesn’t matter what the regulation is if it is not enforced. I don’t think new regulations are the answer and I certainly think the moratorium is unwarranted. Obama did not need to get tougher, all he needed to do was follow the law. But BP sure gave a lot of money to his campaign. The appearance of impropriety alone should have prevented the categorical exclusion BP was granted.

      • Still Here

        Probably Reagan, didn’t he drive a car?

      • ana

        So, you really think President Obama let slide regulations in return for a 0.1% of all his contributions?  First  of all he is not that dumb nor is he that devoid of decency.
        What law did this President not follow?

        • Gregg

          Obama exempted BP from NEPA. It’s a big deal. I don’t know to what extent campaign donations influenced him if at all. Still stinks.

          • Anonymous

            The “exemption” occurred after THREE REVIEWS on 6 April 2009. When and who did them? For it to happen that early in his administration, without his appointees in place, it was BUSH Administration people who “gifted” BP. But further review showed that it probably was not the “tipping point” in the occurrence; it was BP’s hubris and bullying of the other partners.

          • Anonymous

            These right-wingdingers are a riot.

            “Too much government regulation,” the wingdings scream! It’s strangling progress! Government’s too big! Reduce regulation! Drill, baby, drill, that’s the ticket!

            But unprincipled hate for Obama overrules all that. 

            Now, streamlining regulatory processes is eeeevil and “stinks.”

            Can’t make this sh*t up!

          • Gregg

            He didn’t streamline it he exempted BP categorically.

      • Anonymous

        It was his “Minerals, etc.” Department that started having sex with the regulated.

    • Anonymous

      You mean people like yourself, right.

      • Still Here

        You’re the guy who wanted to hang Zimmerman, his parents, and all Hispanics, no?  I may have you confused with those who rushed to judgment but I don’t think so.

        • Anonymous

          No, I was not that guy. I never said anything about Zimmerman other than he was guilty of shooting Martin. Which he has admitted too, and is charged with. I’m one of those who wanted him arrested and to let the law deal with it. Wrong show by the way, but typical of how you play, change the subject when confronted with your own ignorance.

          Typical of people of your ilk. You make a comment, which is insulting, then when it gets thrown back in your face you whine.
          Pathetic really. 

  • Anonymous

    In anything resembling a sane, rational world, the corporate charters of companies like BP, Shell, Monsanto, et. al. would have been revoked, and its officers jailed.

    It’s some combination of disturbing and amusing that so many of the right-wingdingers, who so often pretend to care about foundational principals when it come to things like guns, and scope of government, seem oblivious or willfully ignorant of the level of control that government exercised over the first corporations.

    The earliest chartering legislation required, among other things, that incorporation was a privilege, granted selectively to enable activities that benefited the public; 

    charters were granted for a limited amount of time and could be revoked if the corporation did anything to violate the public trust, or broke any laws; 

    corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose; 

    corporations could not own stock in other corporation nor own any property that was not necessary in fulfilling their charter;

    corporate owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed under the auspicies of the company;

    corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.

    There needs to be a thorough revolution in the laws which govern corporations, or nothing will change.

    • Anonymous

      “C-level” officers of corporations should be thankful for the Eighth Amendment, which prevents making them live with their families “downwind” of the pollution they spew. Nothing more concentrates a mind than the perception of imminent harm.

  • U.S. Vet.

    It was Obama’s thoroughly inept handling of the disaster in the Gulf that convinced me that he is an incompetent President who is in way over his head.

    • Anonymous

      That’s what I call a carefully considered conclusion–simply chock full of dimensions and nuances that include, in your statement such things as:

      Big Oil Lobbyists

      Big Oil Subsidies

      Poor Oversight PRIOR to the Obama Administration

      Pressure to Drill OffShore, more than ever–because of the ongoing Middle-East crises 

      Yes sireeee….the best thing that the Right can do is to blame, blame, blame, and thinly blame……without looking at the complexity of the serious Energy problem that we are facing.

      • Still Here

        No surprise, the sheep find no blame for the guy in charge.  It’s always somebody else’s fault.  You guys are pathetic.

        • Anonymous

          No one is suggesting that the Obama Administration didn’t make mistakes.

          I SAID above that the situation has complexity and that there is a serious Energy problem.

          The commenter didn’t want to see the other side.

          You’re pathetic for not seeing what I said and why I said it.

        • ana

          What should President Obama have done differently with no precedent to refer to?

      • Brett

        I don’t think nuance is in the neocons’ vocabulary.

        • Anonymous

          Sometimes it is, but only when they denounce its use in a carefully worded pledge, to the Think Tanks that they apply to–such as the American Enterprise Institute or the Heritage Foundation–after they retire from Public
          Sophist….er….I mean Office.  

    • ana

      With all due respect and assuming that you have resourced what a superior handling of an event of this magnitude  should have been,  could you inform us what should have been differently? 
      Though it was appalling that the spill happened at all,  those workers attempting to cap the leak were dealing with a near impossible feat.
      Again, what could have President Obama have done differently.

      • Anonymous

        To have done better, Obama would have had to arrest all the C-level officers of BP, send Red Adair’s company and even then the results would at best have been a few days less leakage.

        Then he really would have been pilloried by the Republicans. The way BP lied about the seriousness from the start, it would have been hard to justify. But the Republicans always shamelessly want it both ways, tails they win, heads the rest lose.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You ignore the fact that Deepwater Horizon was in place BEFORE Obama took office, and was drilling, with ‘W’ lax oversight?
         Halliburton WAS involved in this! 

  • Anonymous
  • Bruceguindon

    Do you think that BP should be brought into court and charged with murder and crimes against nature and humanity after all corporationd are people

    • Anonymous

      BP should be held accountable in a number of ways–but it seems to me that if you seek charges of murder, you are going far overboard.

      You would be, in effect, sending a message to big businesses–ones that can potentially impact the environment–that they must look over their shoulder, in every single move that they make.

      If you want to shut them down, altogether, that’s one thing.

      But if you want to recognize that the world, and the country need Energy to survive–prior to the many decades it will likely take to transform the country and the world to alternative energy sources (if, indeed, such a radical change is ultimately possible)–then you must accept that these Energy companies must have some latitude in their policies and their research and their development. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        You forgot the 11 PEOPLE that died, due to Citizen Corporation Safety violations?

        • Anonymous

          If we followed that logic, there’d be no airports, because of plane crashes.

          There’d be no cars, because of automobile accidents.

          There’d be no hospitals because of medical errors.

          There’d be no……large insitutional enterprise.

          Change the World, Terry, by proving how your policies would change things for the better…..so that there are NEVER any casualties. 

          • ana

            Good points.  And if US wants to be the world’ largest consumer of energy, best do it with eyes wide open–there are risks for this kind of demand that require complicated and dangerous endeavors to meet that demand.    Yet, President Obama should bear  all the  blame when the inevitable happens.
            How about us bearing some of the responsibilty for our insatiable needs.

          • Anonymous

            It seems to me that not all needs are insatiable–and casualties will still occur, insatiable or not.

            But I do agree that we are clearly prone to excess.

            And the anti-Global warmers will make it difficult for everyone.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            WILLFUL DISREGARD for Safety and Environmental regulations, that cause DEATH of workers, or innocent victims, does NOT constitute murder, in your world?  When those that push for those violations PROFIT, from the DEATHS?

          • Anonymous

            I am not a criminal defense attorney–but criminal negligence may result in involuntary manslaughter, most likely.

            Not murder.

            Perhaps you were using `murder’ in the colloquial term–because of your outrage.

            But do NOT blame the messenger–as I think you ARE doing–simply because he/she is looking for the proper charges. 

            No one is saying BP isn’t seriously accountable.

            BUT you are also OVERLOOKING the Federal Government Oversight Division–which apparently had too MUCH of a COZY relationship, with BP.

            I don’t like big business much either–but it seems to me that because of your visceral outrage and your likely blind hatred for Big Business you are trying to only lynch those whom you see as your Villains. 

            If you restrained your self-righteousess more, you might see more of the Big Picture, my friend.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            WILLFUL DISREGARD for Safety Rules, that causes DEATH?
              Those executives KNEW that violating Safety COULD, and WOULD probably result in DEATH, and chose to violate for PROFIT?
               IF the executives choose to risk THEIR OWN lives, for their profit, that’s their choice.
               GREEDY people are too available, so they have little value.
               They will go on to kill again, and PROFIT, somewhere.

      • Azra

        Fortunately, fossil fuels are becoming a thing of the past, but not fast enough to save us.

        Why is it that so many coutries are so very much smarter than we are? They recycle everything possible, don’t use any plastic, unless there is no other choice, and conserve every bit of energy possible. They know what’s at stake.

        ENORMOUS sacrifices are necessary. We must all be made to pay huge fines if we waste precious energy. It seems that money is the only thing that some Americans care about; the only thing that might bring them to their senses, and slow down our imminent demise.

    • Azra

      They MUST be. (A price they pay for being people.)

  • Gregg

    Is it absolutely known if the oil spill is causing eyeless shrimp or are they just Rimicaris Exoculata.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Fish with legions sounds so sterile – fish with oozing sores would help one visualize it a little more accurately.

  • AC

    How weird! Yesterday’s show I brought up the Mexican-American war, this shows making me think about the Spanish-American war!!
    Anyway, my question is how I’d Cubans leasing to the Chinese to drill in this same field going? I haven’t heard a peep since last October. I’m curious who’s overseeing that, their regulations, rtc, etc….,

  • Drew W

    I spent over five months in the Gulf during the spill reporting on the effects of the oil on birds and bird habitat.  The biggest issue I take is that BP NEVER actually tried to clean the beaches or take appropriate measures to remove the oil from the environment.  They put thousands of people in bright colored uniforms in places where very little oil was, but where they would be very visible.  I have inside documents that state that the goal of the clean up operation was high public visibility, NOT removal of the oil, and then a storm would come in and cover the oil with a layer of sand.  Not to mention that the clean up response was a HUGE money grab by contractors , mostly from other regions which were owned by subsidiaries of Haliburton and SAE Eagle, a Waste Management contractor.  It was so shady.  And then you have Corexit.  So many crimes and calculated negligence.  I lost all faith in our country and our government having been on the front lines of this disaster.

    • Anonymous

      Call up the Show!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        PLEASE!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many are SURPRISED?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Did BP’s Mike Utzler EAT the deformed, and cruddy food contaminated with his crud? 
        BP  executives have gotten BONE-USes, SINCE Deepwater Horizon?  They SHOULD have given up salaries, due to ineptitude!
       The SAME for Halliburton, TransOcean, and others that contributed to the DISASTER!
       As long as ‘Citizen’ Corrruptorations PROFIT from these MAN-MADE DISASTERS, they WILL continue!
       IF they PAY, according to their part in the disaster, they would THINK, at least a few microseconds!

  • David White

    I’d like to hear about what we learned about taxes in the area.  I support the idea of Government helping disaster victims but I was appalled by the extent of the cash economy and the number of people who have not reported income but howled for help from the government when the disaster happened.

  • Gregg

    Wouldn’t accidents be less likely to occur if we drilled in shallower water? Or better yet, ANWR? Drilling in ANWR was part of Bush’s 2000 campaign. How many millions of barrels of oil would we have by now if he had been successful?

    • Anonymous

      Gregg, there is about two months of oil in ANWR.
      Not going to do much and the cost is huge.

      • Gregg

        Not according to my research but I don’t want to fight. At least that’s a valid position if true. As it relates to Horizon, I think we are at a disadvantage by being forced out to sea to go miles under the surface. I think it ironic that our refusal to exploit easier and safer sources indirectly leads to a disaster like this. I don’t know to which degree that’s true but I do think it’s a factor.

        • Anonymous

          It’s about this much give or take a few months in terms of our usage.
          However, being that oil is sold on the open market it does little in terms of helping us.

          The problem is BP and companies like them were cutting corners and that is what caused the accident. I’m not against drilling, I’m against corporate malpractice and bad regulatory oversight. Which is a huge problem in this country.

          • Gregg

            As Sarah Palin proved when she chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, we cannot leave it up to the oil companies to police themselves. That’s what we did with BP.

        • Anonymous

          “My research”

          ROTFLMAO!!

      • Azra

        . . . and it wil take years before any drilling can even begin!
        By then, harmful fossil fuels, (and maybe dangerous nuclear power plants), will be a thing of the past, so no drilling will be needed.

        Instead, we can choose not to squander such an exhorbitant amount of taypayers’ hard-earned cash, (on someting that will soon be obsolete), and invest it into renewable energy; the fastest-growing job market today. As clean, inexpensive, (or FREE), energy Takes over, much less of the harmul stuff will be needed. Then the era of petroleum, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power will finally come to an end. A century from now, it will have been all but forgotten, as will our modern-day robber barons.

        • Gregg

          That was my point. Bush wanted to do it 12 years ago. It would be on line by now. Some of the estimates I’ve seen are staggering.

    • Vtcheflw

      what about the pipelines and all the other infustructure that goes with drilling?

      • Gregg

        I don’t know, I’m sure it’s happened but I have not heard of disasters on this scale from pipelines. Maybe they’ll talk about it. And I know caribou populations exploded after the Alaskan pipeline. The warmth makes them frisky.

        • Vtcheflw

          What about the pipe blow-out in the Yellow Stone River or out side of Detroit last year?  Not only do pipelines have the potential for large scale disaster they are very expensive to inspect of breaches.  The oil company culture is to avoid, and even fake, safety precautions. 

        • Anonymous

          Undeterred by his pathetic performance on the severe weather thread last week, the forum idiot babbles on about things he doesn’t understand.

          Caribou populations have dropped significantly in the last few decades.  “Thirty-four of the 43 major herds that scientists have studied worldwide in the last decade are in decline, with caribou numbers plunging 57 percent from their historical peaks. ”
          This is due, in part, from the climate change caused from burning the oil supplied by the pipeline.

          “According to scientists, the causes of the global caribou decline are straightforward: rapidly rising Arctic temperatures are throwing caribou out of sync with the environment in which they evolved; oil and gas development, mining, logging, and hydropower projects in the Far North are impinging on the caribou’s range; and, though not a major factor, hunting is further depleting already beleaguered caribou populations.”

          http://e360.yale.edu/feature/a_troubling_decline_in_the_caribou_herds_of_the_arctic/2321/

          • Gregg

            NJ, we were talking about the Alaskan pipeline and it’s affect on caribou population. I don’t see what the world caribou populations have to do with the Alaskan pipeline. I know the woodland caribou are endangered. Caribou are kicking butt in Alaska. If you want to blame “climate change caused from burning the oil supplied by the pipeline” then you are making an entirely different argument against all fossil fuels transported in any way.

          • Anonymous

            Parts of the Alaskan herds have increased in number, but the only people who think this has anything to do with the pipeline itself are people like Michelle Bachmann and Flush Limpballs, well-known for their command of facts surrounding wildlife dynamics.

          • Gregg

             You forgot Romert.

        • bellavida

          What is your source for the caribou population explosion?

          • Gregg

            The Department of interior, Both the Alaskan and US Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the National Parks Service all say populations have risen since the mid seventies when the pipeline was built. Populations fluctuate and migration pattern vary but they are thriving in Alaska. Their biggest problem is wolves.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    All this talk of penalties distracts from the real issue – BP made a mess, they should fix it. Period. And yes it will take billions of dollars and quite few years, it’s a very big mess.

  • Anonymous

    What ever happened with MMS reform legislation? They were permeated with corruption and corporate influence, and there was a big to-do at the time, but it’s not clear if any real reform took place.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0526/Gulf-oil-spill-Is-MMS-so-corrupt-it-must-be-abolished

    Gulf oil spill: Is MMS so corrupt it must be abolished?

    http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/gulf_region_minerals_managemen.html

    Gulf region MMS employees accepted gifts, food, tickets at oil and gas company expense

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

    40% of the shirmp eaten in this country comes from the Gulf Coast? Uhmmm, the shrimp from the environmentally unsustainable shrimp farms away from the Gulf look more appetizing.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    1.  We can produce ethanol here, and we have lots of natural gas.  Both of those can be obtained with less difficulty than oil.  We should move quickly in the short term to using those fuels.

    2.  At the same time, we need to plant wind turbines everywhere and use the solar panels that we have now.  This will require subsidies, but we know how that works.

    3.  We should have a national research project to improve solar technology and other clean sources of energy.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The subsidies, tax breaks, and other advantages given to Oil, Coal, Gas, and Nuclear, for the past 40 years, would make Wind-Turbines, Solar, and other Renewables, AFFORDABLE!

    • Charles A. Bowsher

       We do not have “lots of natural gas”, we have lots of fracked gas which is anything but natural, or beneficial.
      Otherwise, I find myself agreeing with you on wind and solar.

    • nj_v2

      Typical techno-fantasy scenario. Technology will save our sorry asses without having to change anything about the way we live, consuming multiples of per capita energy use of any other country. American dreams.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Typical unrealistic critique of others without any working solution of your own.

        • nj_v2

          Energy problems involve supply (and transmission, storage, etc.) and consumption. You only gave a handful of supply-related notions, and you call my critique “unrealistic.”

          Got it.

          You really think “working solutions” are going to fit into four sentences?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Do you imagine that a modern society can exist at a greatly reduced level of energy consumption?  How about volunteering to go off line. . .

          • nj_v2

            No need to imagine. The poor Europeans are struggling along using about half the per capita energy as the U.S.

            No doubt, they are shivering in the dark, going to sleep at sunset, and living otherwise deficient lives. 

  • Terry Tree Tree

    ALL deformed, cruddy, contaminated seafood, rejected by neighborhood shrimp/seafood boils, etc…, SHALL be eaten by executives and their families, of the ‘citizen’ corporations that caused this CATASTROPHE, and the ‘regulators’ and ‘inspectors’, that DID NOT do their jobs,  until it is ALL gone!
       The executives that made the wrong decisions, NOT the workers that followed orders!

  • Vtcheflw

    All I know is that the people perpetuating the “say the right thing” culture should be facing charge of crimes against humanity.  I am so tried of business interests winning over protecting the environments that keep us all alive.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    It does make you wonder what those tasty precleaned shrimp and fish fillets down in the local grocers seafood case looked like when they were pulled out of the water.

  • Barbara Phinney

    I am a member of Garden Club of America (GCA) and participated at their National Affairs Legislative Conference in Washington, DC in February.  We learned all about the important legislation that is so important to the environment.  
    The RESTORE Act passed the Senate in March and has been put in the Transportation Bill MAP-21 that will  be debated  in Congress after the spring break.  Please ask your listeners to call their House of Representatives to include the RESTORE Act in it’s entirety in the MAP-21.  The monies are not from tax payer dollars but from BP fines and should go directly to NOLA and not into the general fund.
    Very important that citizens call their Reps and Senators.  It does make a difference.
    Thank you, Barbara Phinney, Milton Garden Club, member of GCA 
    PS:  We are unpaid lobbyists – just volunteers that care for the environment.

  • Azra

    Let’s not forget all the sea animals whose skins are covered with painful burns and lesions. Wonder what their insides are like???

  • Troll Doll

    If a terrorist had done this much damage to the gulf it would have been looked at much much differently.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jim.castronovo Jim Castronovo

      Son of a gun, you make a very profound point.

    • Charles A. Bowsher

      It was a terrorist!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Corporate terrorists do MORE damage!  And they get BONE-USes!

  • John

    I spent 6 of the past 12 months working on NRDA field work (offshore and nearshore).  Between deployments friends and family always ask: “So how does the Gulf look?”  The truth is that we rarely saw oil or tar.  The area is so vast and the Gulf is such a large body of water, I often responded by saying, “It is beautiful there.”  The important point is that the human eye can’t see the stereotypical signs of such a large spill.

    • Azra

      It has all sunk to the Ocean floor; an unbelievably thick, gooey layer of poisonous sludge, which has smothered every life form beneath it.

  • Audiotomb

    I walk the beaches in Gulf Shores Alabama  – the tar balls are there everytime a storm churns them up.  Beach goers are oblivious and don’t recognize them among the shells

  • Guest

    I’m glad that I’m now a vegan. After reading these comments, I won’t wait around for the repair of the fish industry, even though, I don’t need it anymore. Nothing to trust and nobody is trustworthy.   

    • Azra

      Colonizing the moon is sounding better all the time.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

        Maybe Newt was right after all??   Never.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          EVERY company hires historians for $1.4 MILLION?  Right?

  • John

    I recommend the book Shadows on the Gulf, by Rowan Jacobsen.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The LESSONS we learned, were that ‘citizen’ ‘corporations’ buy regulators, and regulations made through politicians, and Golden Parachute, with $MILLIONS in BONE-USes! 
       CRIME PAYS BIG TIME, if you are an untouchable EXECUTEive!
       These companies, including Massacre (Massey) Energy KNOW they are risking lives, with safety and proceedure violations!   IF anyone goes to jail, it’s a lower-echelon sacrifice!  The ‘DECIDERS’ don’t pay for their criminal decisions!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Lay off the caps lock, and define “BONE-USes” please.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘Bonuses’, that BONE-US’!
           I use CAPS, for the emphasis that I use in talking.
           My apologies to those that don’t like it, but there is FAR worse on here, and I am limited in computer skills.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/PQOCSU3NJ5J6SSQBEM5YBFCPZY Jason__A

        Did someone die and appoint you site monitor?  Just askin….

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          No more so than were you appointed monitor.  It’s just that typographical trickery only makes reading the message harder.

    • TomK in Boston

      Yep, the best deregulation doesn’t require legislation, you just starve the gvt agencies, bash the professionals as losers for not being in the private sector, appoint agency heads who don’t believe in their mission and are in bed with the corporations.

      The awesome thing is that just a few months after the spill, the right was howling about how gvt regulation was slowing down drilling in the gulf.

      No accountability for corporate aristocrats in oligarchy USA. 

  • Scott

    I did the math immediately after the spill, using BP profit margins immediately before the spill. What I found is that BP could build a space shuttle, almost every month, with their profits. Keeping oil out of water is not rocket science yet, they have enough funding for rocket science.

    We have had the capability to send men down 7 miles below sea level since 1969. The deep horizons well was 2 miles below sea level and BP was tripping all over themselves telling the world how difficult this problem was. Absolute rubbish! Considering the disasters impact there is no excuse for not having a deep submersible at every drilling platform.

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    I am still boycotting BP and I call on everyone reading or listening to this to do the same.

    BP has not changed, and apparently will not change as evidenced by their BS PR campaign.

    Are they willing to shut down all their wells in an area if there is another spill or blowout?  If they have truly turned a new leaf then they should be able to recognize that when one spill is being tended to then all spill resources are being utilized for that spill and no other spill resources are available for another spill since all the oil companies use the same spill response
    resources.

    I spent a frustrating and fruitless three months of my life two years ago trying to get through to the powers that be that very reality and a solution to get the leaking oil to the surface so that it could be recovered without using dispersants. I could get no one at BP, no one at the Horizon Response Center, no one at the White House to listen.  There is a company in Spain that has successfully used a large fabric type funnel at the leak sight which then allows the spilled oil to flow to the surface where it is recovered.  No one at BP wanted to hear about it.  Yes, there are problems that would have to be solved, but they are on the surface, not one mile below, not spread out in the water column.

    There is also a wonderful reusable oil recovery mat called an “Otimat” that should have been used but wasn’t.  I also had an idea where these mats could be deployed from barges, then recovered, squeezed and redeployed over and over.  No one would listen.

    Boycott BP!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I haven’t knowingly bought a BP product since!  Except when I was on ‘E’, and they, or Exxon was all that was available.
         Tony Heywood could NOT have bought his dinner at that horse race, with BP’s sales to me, much less profit on those sales.

    • Anonymous

      Right, buy your gas from a local, non-multinational, environmentally responsible company. Oh, wait…

  • Ian

    They should be able to drill all they want, but when they make a mess, they MUST be forced to clean it ALL up. They can afford it!!!

    • Azra

      No, they shouldn’t be allowed.

      Haven’t they done enough damage as it is?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ScreaminRaven Screamin Raven

    We will never recover from this spill, too much is lost.  Please think about the devastation when tossing a plastic bag, riding alone to work when coworkers live near you, buying plastic diapers when cloth are better for your baby and buying anything plastic that is not recycled (half of all oil useage is to make plastics).

  • DMN2012

    “The Father of Lies hates God and environmentalists want to destroy humankind.” I have no doubt these people would take up arms to defend BP, so complete is their hatred of hippies and queers.

  • http://twitter.com/Dave_Eger Dave Eger

    Is Halliburton taking any blame for mixing the mud which originally failed, or was BP responsible for everything because it was their safety mechanism that failed?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       Yes.

      Neil

  • Charles A. Bowsher

    Oh, and one other thing.  I realize that it is expected that BP will be paying fines for each barrel spilled, but I think they need to also pay the Royalty fees they would have paid had they not spilled it all into the ocean.  I believe they still owe it, in fact if I were an attorney I would probably be filing suit to recover it on behalf of our government

  • Azra

    Don’t expect things to ever be normal again. The BP disaster did as much damage as Katrina, if not more. At least on land things can slowly be rebuilt. The seas will never return to their pristine state, as they were at the time of creation. It will take many thousands of years to repair some of the damage, many millions for the remainder, if ever. Time won’t bring back the unknown number of species which have become extinct, due to just that BP explosion. In our lifetimes, we could see the complete destruction of our planet, self-inflicted, of course.

    Don’t get your hopes up about the dire situation in the Gulf. After more than 20 years, many disgusting tarballs are still being washed up EVERY DAY, on Alaska’s shore. Herring is extinct there, and can never return. Formerly breathtakingly beautiful, it is now a dead zone, becoming deader by the minute, poisoned by petroleum.

  • U.S. Vet.

    Obama was top recipient of BP-related dollars in 2008

    http://articles.cnn.com/2010-05-05/politics/bp.lobbying_1_bp-center-for-responsive-politics-house-energy?_s=PM:POLITICS

    Obama obviously doesn’t care where he gets his cash from.

    P.S. Don’t look for Obama to donate any of that money back to Gulf cleanup operations or towards helping fishermen who were devastated by Obama’s disastrous handling of the oil spill.

  • Azra

    The horrendous toll that petroleum is having on the human population wasn’t discussed, but they are paying an extremely high price; their good health, and their lives. So much suffering, and no health insurance . . . how could things be any worse for those unfortunate people. Children are feeling the effects even more seriously. Imagine what it must be like to watch your baby in pain, (from stinging eyes, the bleeding sores in their noses, mouths, lungs, and more), constant vomiting, asthma, and numerous other symptoms. Imagine being so sick yourself, that you can’t take care of your sick children properly. Then imagine not being able to afford medical treatment. Those who had health insurance, were fortunate, indeed, because their children are now automatically covered, but they are being poisoned; unless they leave the area, they will have no relief.

    To find out more about the far-reaching consequences, not only to human beings, check out the startling book by Antonia Juhasz, “Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill”.

    Read it, and weep. (Weeping is inevitable.)

    • Zing

       Blah…read this and weep…nobody cares

      • Anonymous

        What nobody cares about are your lame, zing-less posts.

      • Azra

        It seems that you’re the only one here who only cares about himself. I’m sorry for you. You must be very lonely. We can tell by your odd postings how unhappy you are.

        Apparently you haven’t read anything here. If you did, you would realize that EVERYBODY cares . . . with one glaring exception, of course.

  • 12313tc

    THE FIRST LESSON: U.S. REGULATORY AGENCIES ARE BROKEN, CORRUPT AND DEGRADED. START THERE.

    • Zing

       As is human nature and all its best intentions…start there…

  • Anonymous

    Clearly we need fewer regulations because they are impairing BP’s endless struggle to make record profits.

    Where does the love of God go when religious right politicians call for relaxing regulations? Do they not care for the pain and suffering inflicted upon all creatures great and small and our children too? Do they not acknowledge the need to govern the morally corrupt and ethically impoverished who make reckless decisions in the quest for money and power?… Or is criminal nature only present amongst the poor and unemployed?

    • Zing

      Chill:  the poor and unemployed are just as ” morally corrupt and ethically impoverished ”  as everyone else, including religious left politicians.  Human nature IS criminal nature.  

       

      • Azra

        Don’t bet on it.

        • Zing

           Show me the money

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Their GOD is the POWER of MONEY! 

  • Azra

    GOOD NEWS!

    Ken Salazar has just announced tthe first arrest made in the BP scandal.

    There IS hope.

    • Zing

       No, there is no hope in blaming political enemies; only frustration.

  • Bruce

    So far as lessons learned is concerned, we have a schizoid attachment to oil and gas which leads to the following contradictions:
     
    –the inhabitants of once pristine wetland and coastal communities embrace an industry that engages in one of the riskiest and dirtiest extractive enterprises known to man–an industry that supports a relatively higher living standard (as measured by per capita income) while at the same time threatening to destroy not only the property values and entire way of life for coastal residents, but also other engines of the region’s economy including commercial and recreational fishing, tourism and hospitality.
     
    –a state and its political leadership so blinded by the short-term gains of promoting the interests of Big Oil, that they are willing to ignore the history of the industry’s failed safety and environmental protection records and to defend the obscene profits of multi-national corporations at the expense of their own people.
     
    –a nation so mesmerized by the ideology of unregulated, rapacious capitalism, that for many the conservative mantra “Drill, Baby, Drill” offers the only hope in spite of the fact that every map showing world oil reserves indicates that the U.S has well below 3% of all reserves and, hence, no expansion of domestic exploration could begin to reduce our dependence on foreign oil or impact its price given the current level of our consumption.    

    –a nation so addicted to cheap oil and gas, that it (aided and abetted by the Republican’t Party and its Neo-con wing) was willing to engage in a war that imposed a cost in terms of Blood and Treasure far exceeding any benefit and that destabilized an already volatile area in the world enabling Iran’s ascendancy as a strategic power.  

     

    • Zing

       I support whatever is in our national interest; nothing else matters.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        YOU, and the GREEDY rich, are NOT in the national interest of the U.S.A.! 
           WHAT national interest do you support?

  • Zing

    Despite all the hysteria, it’s time to admit the Gulf oil spill was minor, other than the regrettable deaths..(after all, working on an oil rig is among the most hazardous on earth, and all who go there know it).  It’s time to move on and concentrate on creating job growth.     

    • Azra

      Try arguing that with the people who live there.

    • Anonymous

      ^ Maintaining the well-deserved reputation of the most ironic, oxymoronic handle in the forum.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      People DON’T MATTER TO YOU?
         Are YOU GREEDY rich enough to buy your way out of that REPULSIVE statement?

    • aj

      Knock Knock who’s there?

      Zing

      Zing who?

      Zing is STILL HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I’m blowing a rasberry at you through the internet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Loring-Palmer/100000673381066 Loring Palmer

      Who needs terrorists when we have the likes of BP, Goldman-Sacks, Fox News…well, you name it, who, like Tom Lehrer’s, “The Old Dope Peddler,” are “doing well, by doing good.” 
      “It’s time to move on” as they continue their shenanigans, laughing all the way to the bank. What a zinger! 

    • contractor

      before you suggest that the MC252 spill was “minor” maybe you should read a bit about the real facts. the word minor should never be used in relation to this disaster. the fact that working on a rig is dangerous has nothing to do with what happened. the world will be feeling the affect of this release for decades to come. having cleaned up spills for the past 20 years i feel confident about just how horrible this spill was and remains.

  • Anonymous

    Can it be? The feds actually made an arrest? I wonder if this will go any further than lower-level employees?

    http://news.yahoo.com/feds-1st-arrest-bp-oil-spill-case-170856189.html

    Feds make 1st arrest in BP oil spill case

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A BP engineer intentionally deleted more than 300 text messages that said the company’s efforts to control the Gulf of Mexico oil spill were failing, and that the amount of oil leaking was far more than what the company reported, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

    In the first criminal charges related to the deadly explosion on theDeepwater Horizon rig in April 2010, the Justice Department arrested Kurt Mix and charged him with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence sought by federal authorities, officials announced in a statement.…

    [clipped]

    • Terry Tree Tree

      It probably won’t get NEAR as high as the decisions were made!
         The GREEDY rich buy their way out!
         Tony Heywood might go to the races, but I doubt he’ll ever go to jail.

  • JohnnyC

    BP Oil had a pill in the Caspian Sea two years before the Gulf Spill. The conditions and the use if cheap quick set concrete. BP Oil covered this spill up. They are criminal and due to cost cutting caused the deaths of 11 individuals. This is the 500 lb gorilla in the room. Please inform us and show a deeper investigative look at the corporate criminality of this Oil company and Halliburton.

  • http://twitter.com/ellenkpowell Ellen Powell

    It’s not just the sea creatures, people are also sick and dying from the chemicals in Corexit, oil, and the combination of oil and Corexit. Make no mistake. Things are TERRIBLE there. I have about 100 facebook friends living in the Gulf. The pictures I see and the stories I read about and watch in videos are just horrible, this video being an example. I feel like Lisa Nelson was my friend.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlO2TCQtkk0

  • Annasekaran

    This conversation should be elevated — it’s not about who spilled what and when… every company who has a public is waiting for the next leak. This conversation should be about what is actually happening to our waters. We all see it, we all know. Let’s elevate the conversation… NOW

  • Anonymous

    Ka-ching, ka-ching…

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/04/23/469153/conocophillips-makes-29-billion-in-profits-while-its-retiring-ceo-receives-85-million-raise/?mobile=nc


    ConocoPhillips Makes $2.9 Billion In Profits, While Its Retiring CEO Receives $8.5 Million Raise

    ConocoPhillips is the first of the Big Five oil companies to report quarterly profits, taking $2.9 billion in profits for the first few months of 2012.

    Beginning May 1, 2012, the oil giant is splitting into two companies, and it has sold billions in assets over the past few years.  As Conoco prepares for a major overhaul, it continues to finance the campaigns of mostly-Republican politicians, helping ensure billions in tax breaks.…

    [snipped]

  • Gregg

    First the preemptive caveat: I do not believe President Obama wanted this disaster. Second, my assumption: We all know the “Rahm Emanuel Doctrine”. Third, my second assumption: The 64K question can be answered honestly, specifically and civilly.

    The 64K question: Would President Obama have been able to issue the moratorium or been as successful legislating his “green jobs” initiative without this disaster?

    The follow up (you know how I am): Has he exploited this travesty to it’s fullest?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      NO, President Obama has NOT exploited this travesty to its fullest! 
         He should have EASILY gotten ALL subsidies, tax-breaks, and other special priviledges to the Oil, Coal, Gas, and Nuclear energy companies, for DECADES, removed!
         ANY sensible person that saw how BP and cronies, handled their mess (“a horse-race is MORE important than cleaning up our mess, and I DESERVE my ‘performance’ BONE-US!” attitude), would have realized PROFIT is the ONLY thing that matters to the fossil fuel executives!
         President Obama went EASY on these DESPOILERS, when the BEST energy options are STILL back-burner!

  • Azra

    This doesn’t have anything to do with the topic under discussion, but I just HAD to tell you that I heard the President’s speech today, and he was BRILLIANT! Just saw him on Jimmy Fallon’s TV show, and couldn’t be more proud!!! He’s so smart, and genuine, (not phoney, like Mitten), you just can’t help but love him. He’s always on that even keel, regardless of what’s happening. Such a perfect, enviable temperament in a president! He’s got it all, and WE’VE got it all, with him at the helm. We are all so grateful.

    Had to express my feelings; felt like I might have burst otherwise.

    We’re so thankful for all he has done for us, and for what he will continue to do. It’s terrific having someone like President Obama on OUR side, knowing that he’ll continue to go to bat for us. We are the luckiest people in the universe.

    I’ve never been more proud to be an American

    • Anonymous

      Ha, ha, great satire!

  • NB

    When I think back to the BP disaster, it was shocking how long it took to repair that gusher.  How many attempts were there to plug the hole?  4 or 5?  I remember thinking that with all the technology out there…why is this taking so long?!?

    My theory is that BP was more concerned about “salvaging” that station’s supply (and their profit) rather than the surrounding environment.  Why couldn’t they just sink a ship to plug the hole? It’s a pretty easy fix when you think about it, but they seemed to make the solution difficult.  I also think our government agencies let them take their time to figure it out.  

    Either way profit and money seemed to drive the decisions to resolve the spill.  

    Oil…it sucks…along with Zing.

    • watersquaw

      “Took to repair it”? Want to know a secret? Oil is still gushing up from a cracked sea floor. They have been going out there regularly, and spraying Corexit on the perpetual slick to keep it disappeared. They can’t fix it so they’re making sure no one knows. But the fishermen do.

  • Clay

    Tom,

    I think you missed the point made by the caller named April (about minute 25) who had noticed the many anti-BP bumpers stickers and said they were ironic. She meant that it was ironic that CARS would be the manner used to express people’s disgruntlement with BP. If you’re driving a gas-powered car, you’re using BP or another oil company’s products, so don’t have your car bear anti-petroleum company slogans.

     

    • watersquaw

      Excuse me, Clay. NO. You’re WRONG to judge people who drive gas cars. You must be well off like most of the mucky mucks who listen to NPR. People who don’t make enough money to buy a fancy ass hybrid and MUST get to work are TRAPPED in a gas car. THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO PUT ANTI BP STICKERS ON THEIR CAR. And you must have no real idea whats going on in the Gulf. NONE. Otherwise you wouldn’t say a dumb thing. Wow.    

  • Bluelinecrab

    the oil spill is the worst thing that ever happened to me.   The snowball effect of it has brought me to my knees.  I lost my restaurant, my building, my home, and now my family.  Then again,  i can barely feed myself.  No wonder my wife and little lilly belle left.  Guess they needed more than I could offer.  The GCCF gave me $85,000.00 and offered me another 85.  I did the right thing with the money and paid debts.  Guess I should have paid my self.  Ive applied at 40 jobs in the last week,  mostly minimum wage.  The gulf will take forever to recover,,,guess me too.

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