Listen to BP in the news media, and they tell us repeatedly they have and are doing everything within their power, to both stop the gushing spewing oil, and to clean up the environmental disaster.
Finally the US Federal Government has demanded that BP produce the actual confidential data, showing how much oil is spewing into the surrounding water, and “any and all sampling and/or monitoring plans, records, video, reports collected by BP, its contractors, subcontractors, agents or employees” as well as any “reports of internal investigations.”
The question begs asking exactly why all data release and all clean up efforts have been left in the hands of BP since the commencement of this catastrophe?
YES of course BP are responsible for the ‘accident’ and the ensuing oil fiasco , but surely the US Government, through the EPA, has people and plans in place to tackle, or assist with this humongous mess?
Surely the EPA did not simply ask ‘may we assist you’ and accept a polite ‘no thanks we can handle it ourselves’ in reply?
The entire eco system of the Gulf of Mexico is at stake here, and it has taken the US Government an entire month to ask/demand honest, open facts and figures from BP! WHY?
More to the point – why is BP procrastinating?
In a press conference with reporters Friday, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles downplayed the request, saying his team “has been working very cooperatively and open from the start.”
“We’re going to do everything we can to comply,” Mr. Suttles said, while also expressing concern that, due to the “massive amount of information” requested, he “would not want the administrative effort to slow down the response effort.”
Suttles was similarly ambiguous about BP progress toward a separate EPA directive this week ordering the company to stop using Corexit, a dispersant the EPA had previously rated as being low in effectiveness and more toxic than some alternatives.
The agency told BP it had a day to “identify a less toxic alternative” and three days to begin using it.
Suttles said that Corexit “is the most widely used dispersant in the world for this type of activity” and that BP has yet to identify another product that is both widely available for immediate stockpiling and less toxic.
“We will continue to look at other options,” he said. “There are a number of those out there, but we have to understand more about the details of their composition.”
While the threat of the environmental damage to be caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is growing with each passing day, BP, owner of the ruptured well from which the oil is gushing out in the sea, is still struggling to assess the quantum of oil that is making way into the water daily.
The current catastrophe is already being pegged as amongst the worst in U.S. history and could have repercussions as bad as those (? even worse perhaps) caused by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil-tanker spill in Alaska.
Quantum of leak still unclear
Hitherto, a joint estimate by the BP and government officials has been 5,000 barrels a day. The drilling behemoth, however, claimed on Thursday that it was diverting 5,000 barrels of oil per day to tanker with the help of a mile-long tube; still oil persists to disgorge into the sea.
Some scientists opine that the figure of 5000 is just the tip of the iceberg and that the actual spew into the sea could be as much as 10 times the 5,000 barrel-a-day estimate.
The only silver lining in the entire episode, according to BP, is that the amount of oil making way into the water is decreasing.
Is BP doing enough?
But this assurance has not helped BP to thwart attacks. In fact, the Obama administration has condemned BP for not doing enough and not keeping the Government and public apprised of the spill.
In a missive sent to the CEO of BP, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that BP’s “efforts, to date, have fallen short in both their scope and effectiveness.”
Countdown to Hurricane Season
With the start of hurricane season less than 10 days away, the idea of an Ivan, Charley or Katrina plowing through the Deepwater Horizon oil slick is fueling a sense of urgency (and fear for the local residents) about the ocean-floor gusher.
“A hurricane is certainly going to spread out the oil and take it places it hasn’t been yet,” said Jeff Masters, chief meteorologist of Weather Underground.
“It could drive the oil inland,” said Dennis Feltgen of the National Hurricane Center. “A lot would depend on the storm, its strength, how much oil there is, and the depth there is to the oil.”
However, the situation is unprecedented. “We’re on new turf here,” Feltgen said.
People it is time to pray. Actually we are told to pray unceasingly……. Are we listening?
Christian Science Monitor
See also previous articles on the Gulf Oil Spill Fiasco