Go back to bed America: “Oil from spill poses little additional risk”

News that gets released in the dead of night (actually just past midnight this morning) is seldom good, no matter how much optimism it’s wrapped in.

WASHINGTON — The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that three-quarters of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon leak has already evaporated, dispersed, been captured or otherwise eliminated — and that much of the rest is so diluted that it does not seem to pose much additional risk of harm.

A government report finds that about 26 percent of the oil released from BP’s runaway well is still in the water or onshore in a form that could, in principle, cause new problems. But most is light sheen at the ocean surface or in a dispersed form below the surface, and federal scientists believe that it is breaking down rapidly in both places.

It seems there’s a chance, in principle, that we might not see any new, additional harm. Oh, and then there’s this other stuff. You know, about the old, already-happened harm, the questions left unanswered, which is pretty much all of them.

She emphasized, however, that the government remained concerned about the ecological damage that has already occurred and the potential for more, and said it would continue monitoring the gulf.

“I think we don’t know yet the full impact of this spill on the ecosystem or the people of the gulf,” Dr. Lubchenco said.

Among the biggest unanswered questions, she said, is how much damage the oil has done to the eggs and larvae of organisms like fish, crabs and shrimp. That may not become clear for a year or longer, as new generations of those creatures come to maturity.

Thousands of birds and other animals are known to have been damaged or killed by the spill, a relatively modest toll given the scale of some other oil disasters that killed millions of animals. Efforts are still under way in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to clean up more than 600 miles of oiled shoreline. The government and BP collected 35,818 tons of oily debris from shorelines through Sunday.

It remains to be seen whether subtle, long-lasting environmental damage from the spill will be found, as has been the case after other large oil spills.

So, let’s recap, shall we?

  • we’re pretty sure we know something about some of the stuff that happened
  • we’re pretty sure there isn’t any new stuff, about which we know nothing, about to happen
  • we know for damn sure that we have absolutely no idea about most everything else that’s happened, which is a lot of stuff

10 thoughts on “Go back to bed America: “Oil from spill poses little additional risk”

  1. I nearly lost my shit listening to this on NPR this morning. What the fuck is wrong with Carol Browner and this administration. When your enemy is drowining–throw him an anvil. When your enemy has poisoned your cat, your dog, your entire family, firebombed your house, destroyed your livlihood, and is starting up the getaway car you don’t run out and hand him the keys and a lunch packed for the road.

  2. I was up way late, and saw the ‘breaking news’ update from NYTimes when it hit my inbox. I read the headline, then just sat there in my living room gobsmacked, thinking ‘no fucking way.’ I didn’t even want to click the link to the rest of the story.
    I’ve seldom read something so excruciatingly parsed. If this story is any indicator of the tone of the report, the Administration is going to see a shitstorm of negative reaction. At least that’s what should happen.

  3. It’s not a secret that the Department of the Interior has been a den of iniquity for a long, long time, and if Obama genuinely wanted to clean it up, he probably wouldn’t have picked Salazar to run it. But, damn, you’d think that the EPA could have done much better than they have at sizing up what a rotten mess the northern Gulf is now.
    Overall, this one’s shaping up to be Obama’s Katrina, and the worst is yet to come. I predict genuine scandals to come out of this one, apart and above the government/BP collusion in limiting news coverage.

  4. Move on folks. Nothing to see here. Just a little oil on the water, oil which magically has evolved to dissolve into the water, where it vanishes – you know, like a black hole (sorry, maybe we should call that a cool gray hole.) All of that shit on the beaches and in the wetlands is just pigeon shit. Move on folks. Step out of the way of the oil drillers.

  5. I expected nothing good from DOI/Minerals Mining Service, even with the overhauling of the agency. I’m less cynical about EPA.
    But, perhaps stupidly, I trusted NOAA.

  6. Yep, I was pretty astounded at this “official statement” myself. What a bunch of horseshit. I’m not buying it and they ought not be selling it.
    Oil’s all gone. For fuck’s sake. This is worse than the Nixon administration saying they weren’t bombing Cambodia.

  7. Heard the Obama announcement over lunch.
    Yes, plugging the well is good news. But if you aren’t up front about the damage this has done, you will be trapped and blamed as the remnants remain.
    Think of how you got blamed for the deficit because Bush took Iraq and Afghanistan “off the books” and you decided to be up front and put it back on the ledger. You got blamed for the huge debit.

  8. I guess that ignoring the EPA was the right thing to do on the Corexit, as was spraying it in the first place out of sight out of mind really works!
    I wonder how many journalist will question this. Maybe we should enlist Hannity and tell him
    Uncovering this cover up will hurt Obama.

  9. “26 percent of the oil released from BP’s runaway well is still in the water or onshore”
    26% is a big number!!! considering the fact that how many gallons of oil per day it released while it was damaged.

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