Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trying to Hide the Oil

I have been talking about the irresponsible and dangerous use of dispersant by BP for weeks. Not only about the unknown and untested health hazard, but also the fact that BP is using this stuff to hide the spilled oil beneath the surface. BP is so brazen that they bluntly tell us this. (Type "dispersant" into the search box on the right and see for yourself.)

They tell us that they are keeping the oil off of the surface because it is a good thing. They also told us that only 1,000 barrels per day were leaking, then 5,000. Then 13,000. Then they told us they collected more than that in a single day. Actually, BP told us nothing. 4-star puppet Thad Allen proudly told us all of that. After he told us that the flow rate was not "undetermined."

Well, guess what? A BP executive is rumored to be ready to tell Congress that the plan has always been to use the dispersant to hide the oil from sight and minimize the visuals. Using poison as PR. This screen shot was pulled this morning (6/30/10 at 11:10 AM EDT) and looky. Dispersant by the gallon! The white cloudy liquid is pure dispersant being pumped into the gulf at the wellhead.

I have said this before and I am going to say it again. The dispersant being used (Corexit) was never intended for underwater application. It was never meant to be used in these amounts - now approaching 1.5 million gallons. And it has never been tested to see what the long term effects are. This is not the fault of Corexit manufacturer Nalco. This is BP and the government.

At the outset, BP said the intent was to keep the oil off the surface. They made it sound good and the press - always eager to take an easy route - went along with it. Then BP was ordered to cease use of this stuff by EPA. Period. BP and Admiral Allen said no. The stuff was needed to keep the oil off the surface. EPA said limit it to 15,000 gallons per day. 15,000 gallons of poison per day. BP and the admiral said no. More was needed. EPA backed off. The administration backed off and accepted the "keep the oil off the surface" nonsense.

Nonsense? Yes. See, oil tends to rise to the surface in water where it can be seen and collected. It is the "seen" part that BP and the administration were eager to avoid. They desperately wanted to prevent images of huge oil slicks. Undersea application of dispersant seemed a magic answer. No horrible images to explain. Made it easier to sell the bogus 5,000 barrel numbers.

The truth? Well, that dispersed oil is just hidden beneath the Gulf. Where cameras cannot record it. Serious marine scientists were pointing this out almost immediately. The identification of undersea oil plumes was made day after day and denied daily by both BP and the administration. In fact is was not until late last week that anyone from the Obama team admitted there might be oil under the surface. And even then, they sought to minimize the reality.

Well, that undersea oil is starting to come ashore all over the place. Slicks that were not on the surface suddenly appear on beaches. BP's concept of hiding the oil is not working and the administration remains totally unconcerned about the fact that the Gulf is now not only choked with oil at a still undetermined rate daily, but now also features the intentional addition of a known toxin with the sole purpose of hiding the oil.

Someone asked me after my least post on this topic why I keep pointing to Obama on this. Well, it is simple. He ran on an environmentalist platform. Save the environment. Keep it green. And so on. The spill itself, well, that is his administration's fault to an extent for issuing the permit without the environmental review. But the dispersant? All his. His EPA issued an order to BP to stop with the dispersant. They backed down. More than once.

BP and Admiral Allen simply refused to comply with an order. They claimed keeping the oil off the surface was a good thing. They seemed to be trying to tell us that the dispersant would magically make the oil go way. This despite repeated reports of undersea oil. Yet the administration, until last week, denied all of this. NOAA denied the existence of undersea oil despite pictures. EPA denied the toxicity of the dispersant. Everyone denied that the dispersant was a PR stunt. And now a BP exec is poised to tell the truth about this charade.

What does this mean? Well, in simple terms, Obama's EPA allowed the poisoning of the Gulf to save it. And it is not working. The oil will continue to come ashore. The Gulf will continue to be destroyed. Marshes and beached will continue to be ruined.

And the administration and BP can at least say they avoided some really nasty photos. Because to this administration, on this issue, it is all about symbolism and not at all about reality.

Perhaps Congress needs to focus a little here. But wait, the 2 Senators from Louisiana are flush with BP campaign money. And, in a moment of bipartisanship, there is one of each - a corrupt Democrat in Mary Landrieu and an equally corrupt Republican in David Vitter.

For shame on the lot of them. Poisoning the Gulf for PR purposes. Adding insult in the form of dispersant to the injury of the oil itself.

I am offering shirts with this design and will be sending the profits directly to the Plaquemines Parish Fund that is set up to help the folks most hurt by this mess.

I spoke to the good folks at Plaquemines and I have to say that for people living a horror show, they are some of the nicest and most grateful people you would ever want to talk to.

Please help out and get the message out at the same time.

You can order them here:

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