gulf-oil-spill

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PLEASE WATCH THIS AND SHARE IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY. Do you know all those ads on TV telling you the Gulf Coast is safe? Do you know those BP commercials telling you they care about their employees, that they’ve cleaned up the spill? Well, here’s a video of a woman who was a one of the thousands of clean-up crew members… 

In this video, you can see the rapid degeneration of her body. She’s lost feeling in her right arm, and severe neurological/nerve damage is starting to cause uncontrollable facial twitching. Her fellow clean-up crew friends are dying. This is heartbreaking and will make you sick to your stomach, but we all need to demand the media and government and BP acknowledge the true horror of this situation. This is your opportunity to use the Internet (and Tumblr) to impact the world. Look at the Middle-East, and think how much more powerful we as Internet-users are in America because of our guaranteed access to these digital tools.

If EVERY person on Tumblr who saw this (yes, you) reblogged and posted it on facebook, it will become a huge, national news story. The mainstream media will have no choice but to make it one. PLEASE. This is not about getting reblogs or followers or hits, this is about our country, our world, and our race. This is a mother who tried to service our entire country by agreeing to clean-up OUR Gulf Coast, and she is now fighting for her life as a result. If you don’t give a shit about this, you don’t deserve to live in this country, nor call yourself a human.

(Please visit the Climate Change Relocation Center website for more TRUTHFUL information about the continuing damage being done by the oil spill and for information about evacuating if you are being exposed to these toxic chemicals.) 

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Did you know a major environmental disaster occurred last week?

Oil company Royal Dutch Shell has begun the massive task of cleaning up nearly 90,000 gallons of crude oil that leaked from a company oil derrick roughly 90 miles off the state’s coast, the Associated Press reported Friday. The poorest residents of coastal communities and Native Americans were likely to feel the brunt of this.

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What BP Doesn’t Want You To Know About The 2012 Gulf Oil Spill

“It’s as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid.” 

That’s what Jamie Griffin says the BP man told her about the smelly, rainbow-streaked gunk coating the floor of the “floating hotel” where Griffin was feeding hundreds of cleanup workers during the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Apparently, the workers were tracking the gunk inside on their boots. Griffin, as chief cook and maid, was trying to clean it. But even boiling water didn’t work.

“The BP representative said, ‘Jamie, just mop it like you’d mop any other dirty floor,’” Griffin recalls in her Louisiana drawl.

It was the opening weeks of what everyone, echoing President Barack Obama, was calling “the worst environmental disaster in American history.” At 9:45 p.m. local time on April 20, 2010, a fiery explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig had killed 11 workers and injured 17. One mile underwater, the Macondo well had blown apart, unleashing a gusher of oil into the gulf. At risk were fishing areas that supplied one third of the seafood consumed in the U.S., beaches from Texas to Florida that drew billions of dollars’ worth of tourism to local economies, and Obama’s chances of reelection. Republicans were blaming him for mishandling the disaster, his poll numbers were falling, even his 11-year-old daughter was demanding, “Daddy, did you plug the hole yet?”

Griffin did as she was told: “I tried Pine-Sol, bleach, I even tried Dawn on those floors.” As she scrubbed, the mix of cleanser and gunk occasionally splashed onto her arms and face.

Within days, the 32-year-old single mother was coughing up blood and suffering constant headaches. She lost her voice. “My throat felt like I’d swallowed razor blades,” she says.

Then things got much worse.

Like hundreds, possibly thousands, of workers on the cleanup, Griffin soon fell ill with a cluster of excruciating, bizarre, grotesque ailments. By July, unstoppable muscle spasms were twisting her hands into immovable claws. In August, she began losing her short-term memory. After cooking professionally for 10 years, she couldn’t remember the recipe for vegetable soup; one morning, she got in the car to go to work, only to discover she hadn’t put on pants. The right side, but only the right side, of her body “started acting crazy. It felt like the nerves were coming out of my skin. It was so painful. My right leg swelled—my ankle would get as wide as my calf—and my skin got incredibly itchy.”

[Photo: Benjamin Lowy/Getty]

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Gulf Oil Spill: Who is Jennifer Rexford? Why you should find out

This is very disturbing, and very unreported: Have you heard about the plight of Jennifer Rexford? The Gulf resident and BP cleanup worker has been documenting on YouTube and Twitter the health issues she and others have faced in the wake of the Gulf Oil Spill. She’s having trouble getting any sort of financial help. Plus, she says she’s not alone, and that others are in the same situation as she is. Very disturbing. Very eye-opening. Also worth watching? The story of Paul Doom, a twentysomething Florida resident who was planning on going into the Marines, but instead became paralyzed after swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. The two have only gotten limited press coverage. What’s going on? We want some answers. Not just studies. (Thank you definitelynotcanon – sincerely! This story needs our attention.) source

Update: We heard from Jennifer. She recommends you donate to the Climate Change Relocation Center of Seattle if you’d like to help with her personal situation. We threw up a post about it over here.

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One year after the worst oil spill in U.S. history, it is crucial we stay educated on the effects of the BP Gulf disaster.

Everywhere you look today, you’ll find stories on the lives of Gulf residents, the response from BP, and the actions of the federal government.

Here are the stories you need to read:

The People:

10 Reasons to Still Be Pissed Off About the BP Disaster | Mother Jones

“Gulf Coast Syndrome” | Alex Woodward

A snapshot of lives changed course by Gulf oil disaster | Brett Michael Dykes

BP anniversary: Toxicity, suffering and death | AJE

The BP Oil Spill Killed My Father | The Daily Beast

Mystery illnesses plague Louisiana oil spill crews | AFP

Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Workers Report Mysterious Illnesses Year After Disaster | Huffington Post

Fishermen Say They Are Sick from Cleanup | ABC News

Fishermen of a Different Kind Take Their Gulf Fight to Congress | NRDC

Many Hit by Spill Now Feel Caught in Claim Process | NY Times

A Year Spent Wrestling With Paperwork, Not Nets | NY Times

Gulf’s Delacroix Islanders Watch As Their World Disappears | ProPublica

Longtime oil industry champion now calls BP liars | NOLA

Fish With The King | Guernica

One year later: Louisiana seafood still in flux | CS Monitor

Power Shift; Where Youth Fights for Our Future | NRDC/Huffington Post

Follow Gulf cleanup worker Jennifer Rexford on Tumblr (follow ShortFormBlog for the latest updates on Rexford)

The Corporation:

Emails expose BP’s attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill | Guardian

Transocean Execs Get Bonuses after ‘Best Year in Safety,’ Despite Gulf Oil Disaster | Forbes

Transocean Execs Donate Part of Bonuses, Keep More | Mother Jones

BP’s Oil Spill Tax Credit Matches the EPA’s Entire Annual Budget | The Nation

BP defaulting on debt to people of the Gulf | CNN

BP creates another fine mess as it bars Deepwater protesters | Guardian

New Tests Confirm BP Oil Still Being Found on Dead Dolphins | National Wildlife Federation

Oil still oozing along coastline amid dying marsh grasses | NOLA

The Government:

BP Firing Up Political Machine One Year After Start of Oil Spill | Center for Responsive Politics

A year after spill, BP gives political contributions to Republican leaders | The Hill

One year after BP spill, Congress has yet to act | CBS News

One Year After BP, Congress Has Yet To Change Oil Spill Liability Cap | Huffington Post

GOP Marks Oil Spill Anniversary With Drilling Push | Mother Jones

Governor Rick Scott says Florida will not join lawsuit against Transocean | Florida Capital News

‘Spillionaires’: Profiteering and Mismanagement in the Wake of the BP Oil Spill | ProPublica

A year after oil spill, researchers putting Gulf ecosystem under microscope | NOLA

Forgetting the Lessons of Drilling in the Gulf | TIME

Videos:

The Monster Under The Water | Melanie Burford/ ProPublica

Dan Rather interviews Ken Feinberg | HDNet

“5 Million Barrels of Oil Does Not Disappear”: Author, Activist Antonia Juhasz on the BP Spill, One Year Later | Democracy Now

Investigating the Gulf Oil Spill | Ocean Futures Society

Hot Indie News interviews Gulf cleanup worker Jennifer Rexford 

From the archives: The Spill | Frontline/ProPublica

Photos:

Where Are They Now? | The Daily Beast

The Gulf Oil Disaster: One Year Later | The Atlantic

Gulf Oil Spill: One Year Later | LA Times (plus map and timeline)

The environmental impact one year on | BBC (plus map)

Oil Spill Effects on Wildlife | NWF (interactive feature)

BP oil spill one year on – in pictures | Guardian

Gulf Oil Spill One Year Later: The Most Powerful Photos | Huffington Post

BP: Beyond PR - Rebranding the oil giant that permanently branded the Gulf of Mexico | Mother Jones

[Photo above: Gerald Herbert/AP]

2

Ex-Halliburton official charged with destroying evidence in Gulf Oil spill disaster
September 22, 2013

Anthony Badalamenti, Halliburton Energy Services Inc.’s cementing technology director, was criminally charged with one count of destroying evidence related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in federal court Thursday.

This is the latest twist in a legal battle involving oil giant BP and Halliburton, the company consulted on the drilling site’s cement wellhead. A federal report found that both companies shared blame for the wellhead failure, but Halliburton denied responsibility. In July 2013, Halliburton agreed to pay the maximum fine of $200,000 for destroying evidence that suggested BP was not responsible.

This whole saga began three years and five months ago, when a deepwater oil well in the Gulf of Mexico failed, causing an uncontrolled blowout on the Deepwater Horizon rig and an explosion that killed 11 people and resulted in the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

BP was the owner and operator of the Macondo well, and contracted with Halliburton to oversee cement pouring while the well was drilled. During this process, Halliburton recommended BP use 21 “centralizers” — metal collars that help stabilize the well casing. BP decided to go with 6 centralizers instead. The well failed in April 2010, and in May 2010 Halliburton did some sophisticated 3D simulations of the final cementing job to test if BP should have used more centralizers.

The testing, conducted in both May and June, found little difference between using 6 or 21 centralizers on the well. In both cases, the Senior Program Manager who conducted the simulations was directed to “get rid of” the results. The program manager “felt uncomfortable” with the instructions but complied.

The person that ordered the evidence to be destroyed, according to Thursday’s court filings, was Anthony Badalamenti.

Badalamenti is no longer cementing technology director, but the former senior employee was charged with instructing two other employees to delete the post-spill review data that showed no difference between using 6 and 21 centralizers. If the tests had shown that 21 would have been better, Halliburton would have had more of a case to claim that BP’s decision was what caused the failure.

Full article

Five years ago the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. For 87 days, oil leaked into the Gulf and by the time the wellhead was finally capped, about 170 million gallons of oil had been released. Dolphins, turtles, and birds died in great numbers. Peoples homes and jobs were impacted, and they are still living with the impacts. I spoke to five scientists who have been working to understand where the oil went and what its impacts were and painted their stories

2

At long last, BP has reached an agreement to pay for the environmental damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which killed 11 workers and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. And the oil giant is shelling out big-time: in a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas, the company agreed to pay an environmental fine of $18.7 billion.

The settlement comes five years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster

Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Still Spilling After Nearly a Decade

One thing, however, has remained constant at the site: It’s still leaking oil and forming a persistent, miles-long slick that is routinely visible on satellite images. Occasionally it reaches out more than 20 miles from the source.

http://ecowatch.com/2013/oil-spill-gulf-mexico-spilling-after-nearly-decade/

When BP made a commitment to the Gulf, we knew it would take time but we were determined to see it through…Many areas on the gulf coast (have had) their best tourism seasons in years!
— 

Iris Cross-BP Community Outreach

Perhaps BP is so determined to “see it through” because the terms of the multi-million dollar settlements with Gulf Coast residents kinda’ fucking REQUIRES them to “see it through.” And “Yay!” for the best tourism season “in years.” Thanks, British Petroleum, for devastating the Gulf Coast tourism industry so thoroughly that a mediocre tourism season ends up being the best in years.

William worked from June to October 2010 as part of the Vessels of Opportunity program that paid the fishermen BP put out of business to use their boats to clean up its oil. William transported giant bags, called bladders, used to collect oil, to the shore. When he came home at night, says Nicole, his clothes “smelled oily.” Not only were his clothes blackened; so was William.

William’s symptoms began with coughing, then headaches and skin rashes, followed by vomiting and diarrhea. About three to six months later, he started bleeding from his ears and nose and suffering from a heavy cough.

“I ain’t got no money for a doctor,” William quietly tells me, staring down at his hands in his lap. Medicaid covers the kids, but Nicole and William do not have health insurance. “We didn’t know we were gonna get sick. Now I get sick, I stay sick. I don’t sleep. I stay stressed out more than anything. I got bags under my eyes I never had before. I just don’t know if I wanna show people who I am.”

— 

Special Investigation: Two Years After the BP Spill, A Hidden Health Crisis Festers

William and Nicole Maurer, and their two young daughters, are among the hundreds of thousands of Gulf residents suffering from the hidden health crisis festering in the region as a result of the toxic “gumbo of chemicals” to which the people, places and wildlife of the Gulf continue to be exposed. From respiratory ailments to neurological disorders to what’s being called the “BP rash” and more, coastal residents have experienced devastating health effects while BP still hasn’t been held to account.  Antonia Juhasz reports on the little-known crisis at length in a special investigation for The Nation.

4

Blowing out the Fires of Hell with The Big Wind

In August of 1991 the Iraqi Army under Saddam Hussein conquered and occupied the oil rich nation of Kuwait.  Thus, NATO and Middle Eastern countries formed a massive coalition with the goal of ousting Iraqi forces from the country.  After months of airstrikes which pounded the Iraqi Army, and with the prospect of a massive multinational invasion, it was clear among many in the Iraqi government that the Iraqi Army could not hold Kuwait.  A scorched earth policy was set into motion beginning in January of 1991 in which Iraqi military forces destroyed Kuwait’s oil refineries and storage centers, while also setting alight over 700 oil wells across the country.  The purpose of this policy was not only to deny Coalition forces a valuable Kuwaiti resource, but also to provide a smokescreen to hamper Coalition airstrikes and create an obstacle for Coalition ground forces.  

While Iraq’s scorched earth policies resulted in some modest military goals, the ecological nightmare it created was unprecedented in history.  Thousands of tons of thick black soot was ejected into the atmosphere.  At the time scientist feared that the result would be a change in climate conditions from the soot, chemicals, and greenhouse gasses.  The great Carl Sagan himself predicted that temperatures in the northern hemisphere would drop 5 to 10 degrees.  While none of that happened, what was truly devastating was the resulting oil spill.  Between 25 - 50 million barrels of oil contaminated the sands of Kuwait, with another 9 million barrels contaminating the Persian Gulf.  

The job of putting out the fires was delegated to a number of firefighting and engineering companies.  However the magnitude of the disaster was daunting, and engineers estimated that with traditional oil well firefighting techniques it would take 5 years to put out all of the well fires.  Thus, firefighters and engineers were forced to come with some unorthodox methods to speed up the process.  One ingenious invention was a Hungarian device called “The Big Wind” (top picture).  The Big Wind was firefighting vehicle which consisted of the chassis of a Soviet T-34 tank with it’s turret mounted with the engines of a MiG-21 fighter jet.  Reinforced with heat and fire resistant materials, the massive tank would drive to within 25 feet of the oil well fire, blast the fire with supersonic winds like a toddler blowing out birthday candles, while soaking the well with a 120 gallon a second stream of salt water pumped from the Persian Gulf mixed with fire retardant materials.  Once out, oil workers would cap off the well, preventing the streaming of oil from the earth.

Thanks to the Big Wind and other ingenious technologies, the last oil well was capped on November 6th, 1991, way ahead of the five year prediction of engineers.  The environmental effects of disaster, however, are still being felt today.

6

Gulf Oil Spill: One Year Later

Brian Handwerk

for National Geographic News

Published April 19, 2011

On the first anniversary of the Gulf oil spill, scientists caution that it could take years to understand the full scope of the disaster. (See photos of the Gulf oil spill in National Geographic magazine.)

But many are encouraged because the damage could have been far worse—and nature is already showing signs of resilience.

On April 20, 2010, a massive explosion rocked the Transocean oil rig Deepwater Horizon, a state-of-the art mobile offshore drilling platform at work on a well in the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers were killed by the blast and survivors had just minutes to flee an inferno that would soon burn and sink the rig.

The accident unleashed a torrent of oil that began roaring from an underground Macondo reservoir into the Gulf waters. During the first few frantic days of the BP crisis that became the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, experts had a hard time determining what was happening—much less what the spill’s ultimate environmental and economic consequences might be.

(See satellite pictures of the Gulf oil spill’s evolution.)

As people around the world fixated on oil spewing from a pipe 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) beneath the Gulf’s surface, scientists clambered to discern just how much was gushing out. Estimates climbed from 1,000 barrels a day to 12,000 barrels to 62,000 barrels a day. Even less certain was how the damaged wellhead would finally be plugged—and for a while, people feared the leak could continue for years. Authorities finally capped it in July.

A spill that started with the tragic loss of life soon wrought major environmental devastation over huge region of the Gulf. Disturbing images appeared daily ofoiled wildlife, iridescent surface slicks, overwhelmed cleanup workers, fouled beaches, burning oil fires, and blackened wetlands.

The damage from nearly five million barrels of oil was very real, yet many expert predictions missed their marks. Hurricanes didn’t drive enormous quantities of oil ashoregiant dead zones didn’t materialize, and oil didn’t round the tip of Florida to rocket up the East Coast via the Gulf Stream. Fisheries now appear poised to rebound instead of suffering the barren years or decades some feared. And Mother Nature had her own surprises in store, showcasing an ability to fight back against the spill and, later, to bounce back from the damage—at least in the short-term.

But anyone hoping to close the books on the Macondo debacle after a calendar year is truly missing the boat. Uncertainty still reigns among those trying to come to grips with the spill’s ultimate legacy. Even the final fate of all that oil is a matter of some debate—though the gooey crude still clings to some shorelines, where it will be visible for years to come.

That’s why scientists stress patience and taking the long view. Not all of the oil’s ecological impacts are obvious, and the Gulf of Mexico (map) is a very big place. Experts are still watching, waiting, and trying to determine how the spill may affect the many layers of life in the Gulf—even though the effects might not manifest for years.

As Christopher Reddy, a marine chemist who has been tracking the spill since the beginning, said: We just can’t put the Gulf of Mexico in an MRI. And even if we could, you wouldn’t get the results back in a couple of days—or even by the one-year anniversary.“

But Deepwater Horizon’s most obvious legacy is immediate and enduring: It took a heavy toll among those who depend on the Gulf. Fishing boats dry-docked due to lower demand for seafood and fewer tourists on Gulf shores reveal just how much people in the region depend on a healthy Gulf environment—and how much we all stand to lose if it’s ruined.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly called the Deepwater Horizon oil spill the worst in U.S. history. At 5 million barrels, it was the worst U.S. offshore spill, but on land it was surpassed by the Lakeview gusher in 1910 and 1911, which spilled 9.4 million barrels of oil in California’s San Joaquin valley.

source