Monday, May 24th, 2010
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BP's Media Strangehold on the Ground in Louisiana

FRESH OIL!This account of being on the ground in Louisiana, where BP is really running the show, is pretty horrific. Have you felt like you've been unable to find any reporting from there? That is in part because pretty much everyone has ceded control of the actual physical territory to BP. Although the company is also occupied with scooping up spilled oil on the beaches-which makes Fake Sarah Palin's Twitter joke ("I'm so heartbroken about this spill in the gulf situation. All those animals. They're polluting our oil.") all that much more biting.

35 Comments / Post A Comment

HiredGoons (#603)

I actually saw the first semi-responsible broadcast television coverage of this where they interviewed fisherman who outlined what this meant to their livelihood. One of them outlined the marshes outside New Orleans and estimated several million pounds of shrimp were going to be lost.

The entire seafood industry is going to be decimated.

Needless to say, I spoke to my mother on Sunday and brought it up, and she told me she's been stockpiling bags of frozen shrimp and fish in their freezer because it's going to become unafforable, and who wants to eat that stuff anyway?

I mean seriously! Mercury and Oil do not mix well.

BadUncle (#153)

Gulf Shellfish: now 500% traifier.

KarenUhOh (#19)

BP needs to be shut down in this country until it solves this, fixes it, and cleans up after it.

cherrispryte (#444)

We're too dependent on them. But yeah, in theory, that should happen.

KarenUhOh (#19)

I'm aware of the "impracticality" of my assertion. But we will pile cataclysm on catastrophe on calamity, until we wake up to what we're doing to ourselves and point our energy future in a different direction.

It's not "reducing dependency on foreign oil." It's reducing–and eliminating–dependency on fossil fuels that we destroy ourselves digging up.

Will it sting to make the shift? No, it'll hurt like bloody hell. But this business in the Gulf is the dribble from the waterfall of what waits if we keep at it.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

One thing that will get shut down is this lousy BP GasCard in my wallet. Snip, goodbye!

Art Yucko (#1,321)

Love the part about how the oil leaches into the sand, reappearing when you drag a rake across it.

(double-handed-forehead-grab)

HiredGoons (#603)

Oh, they also are talking about filling the leak with billions of little golf balls to stop it.

#it's Science!

roboloki (#1,724)

"junk shot" of golf balls and shredded tires. if i weren't crying this would make me laugh.

HiredGoons (#603)

Right, I forgot about the shredded tires.

The day boat fishermen and oyster farmers are almost certainly screwed all over again after coming back post-Katrina and Rita, but there's also been a deafening silence about the deep water gulf shrimpers. I worked on a south Texas boat that started its run only 100 miles south of Morgan City. I don't believ BP has a clue where this oil is spreading beyond its visible arrival on the coastline. NOAA was already predicting that the hypoxic 'dead zone' would be bigger yet again this year, and now this? I saw fresh grouper on a restaurant menu in Brooklyn last week and almost burst into tears.

Rod T (#33)
KarenUhOh (#19)

Give it another month and it'll be an utter steal.

HiredGoons (#603)

Also I'm assuming you meant 'stranglehold' though 'strangehold' seems to work in a weird way.

My husband's family is from Louisiana. I got a call from his much older cousin earlier today, returning a call I left last week. She is a classic Southern lady, loves to gab, takes her fifteen minutes to tell a story I could tell in three in that incredible antiquated Louisiana accent of the Huey Long era. She is fond of me, and as much as she loves to talk, today she couldn't really talk at all. I think her heart is broken in two actual pieces.

lawyergay (#220)

You should set aside a couple of hours and give my mother a call. She's from Louisiana and is similarly heartbroken about this.

nicole (#2,443)

this really drove it home for me. when a southern lady can't chat, stuff is really really catastrophically wrong.

It is my favorite state in the South (with Tennessee coming in second, I think). It is very special and beautiful, swampy, humid, crazy, fun, welcoming, diverse, multilinguistic, maddening, but whatever it is, it's not like the rest of the South and look what we've done to it, first with the bunglefest during Katrina and now this.

kneetoe (#1,881)

TN will happily stand down to LA in these dark, dark days.

lawyergay (#220)

Human oil consumption has now entered a rococo phase of aesthetic decadence, in which we sweep up crude oil in plastic bags made from refined oil and just throw them away.

HiredGoons (#603)

great minds… on the minute!

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Only they don't actually throw them away. The sand will be filtered out of the oil so that BP can sell it. Ka-ching!

(The now-toxic sand they will, in fact, throw away.)

untitled HD (#4,555)

No, sadly, they will use the sand to make toxic glass, probably in China,
which will leach toxins into your drink. Or your aquarium.

lawyergay (#220)

I just read that MotherJones link…I guess it's better to use the oil than not? Although oil refining itself uses a huge amount of energy.

Really classy how BP is hiring (mostly black, of course) labor from New Orleans to go down to the mouth of the Mississippi and and scrape this shit up for processing.

Jump down, turn around, pick a quart of oil,
Jump down, turn around, pick a quart o' grease.

HiredGoons (#603)

You see those plastic bags holding all that oil?

Well, you all know how to make plastic don't you…

nicole (#2,443)

oof.

Kataphraktos (#226)

Obama needs to – for once – be an actual socialist, nationalize all BP assets in the US, and have a SEAL team capture the BP CEO in Louisiana and behead the foppish twat.

Kataphraktos (#226)

And nobody seems to want to peek over at the worst of all scenarios: what if they simply can't plug the leaks? The size of the deposit supposedly is as large as Mount Everest.

cherrispryte (#444)

I – can I ask a stupid, obvious question? Why the hell hasn't this been fixed yet? Isn't it A THREAT TO AMERICA? Can't we get some Homeland Security money or some shit? Shouldn't anyone who knows anything about oil and water and all stop whatever they're doing and spend all their time trying to fix this?

untitled HD (#4,555)

I think that BP will not let them.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

Cherri you are so right but so wrong at the same time.

Everybody with even a passive interest in a related corner of mineral or marine science would LOVE to step in and fix this. BP is willing to throw all their money (which, between you and me, is a lot) at this leak to make it stop. Every solution that is tried and fails, in fact, is more BP money and scientists' ideas being thrown at the problem.

Unfortunately, all the scientists' knowledge and all the oil company's money is worthless because we have no fucking idea how to fix this. The leak prevention plan for this platform began and ended with "the blowout preventers work." There is no science on plugging a leak at this depth. There have been no practical experiments. We are drilling around the world in places where we quite literally have no backup plan if our first failsafes don't do the job. It's maddening.

cherrispryte (#444)

I am reading the Wikipedia page on this whole mess(Brookings hasn't published anything on the topic yet, Davis) and it's maddening and heartbreaking and surprisingly detailed.

Dr D is so right: there is no "fix". They're trying frantically to come up with options, and by 'they' I mean a slew of people beyond B-effin-P: personal acquaintances hacking away at this mess right now include, on the Big Ideas side, 2 professors, 1 marine geologist (commercial sector) and an oil and gas subsea welder with 15 years experience; also, on the Hands On front, a veritable armada of boat captains and riggers, a couple of crab fisherman, an oyster farmer and a former dishwasher, all working boom manipulation and clean up. Everyone's desperately doing whatever they can but it's a brutal and bitter battle. The whole reason they needed to go all Heath Robinson with the giant concrete box fiasco was because we're now way beyond the edges of what anyone ever theorized about, having busted through so many 'fail-safes'.

The diagonal drilling to siphon off from below the original break is the solution that will work but no-one wants to hear that it's going to be 6 more weeks, minimum, of this spewing horror. They're basically trying to put the cork back in a bottomless fountain-ing champagne bottle, wearing oven mitts and working blind.

HiredGoons (#603)

Every Native American, Everywhere, is Crying along the side of Every Highway.

Right Now.

untitled HD (#4,555)

Greg Palast

http://www.gregpalast.com/slick-operator-the-bp-ive-known-too-well/#more-3650

says that BP owned the consortium which built the Alaskan pipeline, and was in charge of disaster-readiness up there. They claimed to have booms and containment vessels on standby (it's the law) but there was in fact, nothing, when the Exxon Valdez ran aground. Nearest containment ship was 12 hours away. No booms. Untrained personnel.

I know it's closing the barn door after the horse gets out, but more of this need to come out, about BP.

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