Category Archives: BP Oil Spill

Gret Stet of Confusion

It was a wild morning. First of all, deliberations in the Nagin trial have been delayed until tomorrow because of an unspecified juror problem. It’s unknown as to why Judge Berrigan chose not to move on with the deliberations. That’s what alternates are for. Twittercourt never closes so several of us had suspicions about what happened:

In other Gret Stet news, PBJ’s coastal restoration Kaiser, Garret Graves, is leaving the guvmint. His lobbyist pals in the oil and gas industry are going to miss him so much that they’re throwing him a shebang or is that a blow out?

The suit in question was designed to make the oil and gas industry pay for the environmental degradation caused by offshore drilling. That seems only fair but Gov PBJ and Graves are bleeding hearts when it comes to the oil bidness. For more inf on the litigation follow this Google news search link thang.Science makes my brain even if I’m married to a scientist.

The SFLPA-Ewas set up to be an independent, non-political agency BUT everything is political in the Gret Stet; especially when it comes to the oil industry and Piyush Bobby Jindal. It’s okay to sue the Feds but evil to sue Big Oil. So it goes.

I’ll give the Kinks the last word:

Gret Stet of Confusion

It was a wild morning. First of all, deliberations in the Nagin trial have been delayed until tomorrow because of an unspecified juror problem. It’s unknown as to why Judge Berrigan chose not to move on with the deliberations. That’s what alternates are for. Twittercourt never closes so several of us had suspicions about what happened:

In other Gret Stet news, PBJ’s coastal restoration Kaiser, Garret Graves, is leaving the guvmint. His lobbyist pals in the oil and gas industry are going to miss him so much that they’re throwing him a shebang or is that a blow out?

The suit in question was designed to make the oil and gas industry pay for the environmental degradation caused by offshore drilling. That seems only fair but Gov PBJ and Graves are bleeding hearts when it comes to the oil bidness. For more inf on the litigation follow this Google news search link thang.Science makes my brain even if I’m married to a scientist.

The SFLPA-Ewas set up to be an independent, non-political agency BUT everything is political in the Gret Stet; especially when it comes to the oil industry and Piyush Bobby Jindal. It’s okay to sue the Feds but evil to sue Big Oil. So it goes.

I’ll give the Kinks the last word:

Gret Stet of Confusion

It was a wild morning. First of all, deliberations in the Nagin trial have been delayed until tomorrow because of an unspecified juror problem. It’s unknown as to why Judge Berrigan chose not to move on with the deliberations. That’s what alternates are for. Twittercourt never closes so several of us had suspicions about what happened:

In other Gret Stet news, PBJ’s coastal restoration Kaiser, Garret Graves, is leaving the guvmint. His lobbyist pals in the oil and gas industry are going to miss him so much that they’re throwing him a shebang or is that a blow out?

The suit in question was designed to make the oil and gas industry pay for the environmental degradation caused by offshore drilling. That seems only fair but Gov PBJ and Graves are bleeding hearts when it comes to the oil bidness. For more inf on the litigation follow this Google news search link thang.Science makes my brain even if I’m married to a scientist.

The SFLPA-Ewas set up to be an independent, non-political agency BUT everything is political in the Gret Stet; especially when it comes to the oil industry and Piyush Bobby Jindal. It’s okay to sue the Feds but evil to sue Big Oil. So it goes.

I’ll give the Kinks the last word:

BP Gets Whiny

BP is mounting an offensive PR offensive to make us feel sorry for them.Poor beleaguered oil giant. Here’s a piece by David Hammer of WWL-TV. He doesn’t feel sorry for BP and neither do I:

Macondo Mambo

My friend and fellow NOLA blogger Clay has a fine post up about the report on the BP Oil Spill at his blog NOLA-dishu He’s an engineer and was one of my guides to the disaster last year.

Thanks for reading this shit so we don’t have to, Clay.

Stephanie Grace reads PBJ’s book so we don’t have to

Another day, another dilatory post as I started this one a week. Okay, enough inside bloggerdom.

The erstwile Governor of the Gret Stet of Louisiana has published a book. It has given him another excuse to travel to places such as Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. I can’t imagine why, he said batting his eyelashes like an ingenue. I’m pretty sure that PBJ speed dictated the book because the man talks a mile a minute. It’s a good way to camouflage the fact that he’s got nothing interesting or original to say.

I, of course, have no intention of putting a pfenning into Jindal’s pocket so I’m replying on thePicayune’s Stephanie Grace to fill us in:

Don’t read Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new book, “Leadership and Crisis,” for the writing.
Jindal’s style is, to be blunt, unsophisticated. When he wants to emphasize a point, his fallback position is to simply put it in italics, a technique more suited to a direct mail appeal than a work of literature. The result is numerous passages like this: “We waited.And waited.”

Don’t read it for a serious exploration of policy. With few exceptions, Jindal sticks close to well-trod Republican talking points on limited government, freedom and the like. “We don’t need so many czars in the White House!” he exclaims at one point.

And don’t read the book to glean insight into Louisiana’s political scene. Major episodes from Jindal’s tenure earn only glancing mention. Even when he delves into a topic like ethics, he skips over major controversies such as the fight over whether his own official records should be public.

If you’re looking for a reason to pick it up, the best one is that it offers a window into what Jindal thinks he needs to say, who he thinks he needs to be, to position himself for the future in national politics that, despite his protestations, he obviously wants.

One of the book’s main themes is that, despite his exceptional résumé, Jindal’s got regular guy bona fides. The picture gallery includes a shot of Jindal in hunting gear, another of him and the entire Brees family right after the Super Bowl. That’s one of several attempts to grab a little of the Saints’ reflected glory. There’s also a jacket blurb by Sean Payton and a chapter titled “Who Dat,” which actually is about Jindal, not the team.

The autobiographical sections paint Jindal as a proud, and proudly unhyphenated, son of the Deep South conservative heartland, whose Indian heritage never made him feel different. “I don’t much care what people call me, but I don’t like when people ask me where I’m ‘really’ from,” he writes. “I’m from Baton Rouge by God Louisiana. I am an American. Period.”

One of the things that bothers me the most about Jindal (along with theEddie Haskell factor) is his rejection of his ethnic identity. Jindal’s fatherAmar is such a fanatical assimilationist that he essentially dropped his family in India. This isn’t how the Indian-Americans I know treat their families back home: they help them financially and often bring them to America. That’s not how my Greek immigrant family treated their own either so I’ve always been appalled by this. Of course, that’s a sin of the father but the son is a douchebag as well.

According to Stephanie, most of the policy bits in PBJ’s book are winger platitudes: Obama bad, deficit bad unless it’s for tax cuts, which are always good. Yawn. PBJ is one of the dullest pols I’ve ever seen. He was able to con Louisiana’s voters into electing him by claiming that he’s a super smart problem solving technocrat. Instead, John McCain’s flirtation with putting Jindal on the ticket has swollen his head and he’s spent much of the time since imagining that some day Hail To The Chief will be played whenever he enters a room.

Even the disastrous response to Obama’s first state of the union speech, didn’t cool PBJ’s Potomac Fever, it just went into remission. The BP Oiltastrophe gave Jindal a chance to ride around in a boat with the national press and bash the Obama administration. The little engine that is his ambition got revved up again although I’m not sure if his incoherent oil spill bad/drilling good message will play as well in Iowa as it does in the Gulf South. I’m sure he’ll take the Ethanol pledge if he ever runs in Iowa. I think, however, that PBJ is aiming at the second slot on the GOP ticket in 2012. Romney-Jindal is a definite possibility. The Mittster would regard PBJ as a fine pander to the teabaggers and wingnuts and we all know how much Mitt loves to pander…

The bad news for Jindal is that Louisiana voters have started to notice that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the state of the Gret Stet. PBJ refuses to raise taxes or fees, which could make things more interesting next year in the unlikely event that the Louisiana Dems get their shit together.The latest statewide poll shows that PBJ’s approval rating is down 13 points to 55% and his negatives have risen to 43%. He keeps claiming that this is the job he wants so it’s time for him to put up or shut the fuck up.

Cross-posted @ Adrastos.

How do ya like dem ersters?

Thus spake (according to legend at least)Longite NOLA Mayor Robert Maestri to FDR when the two were dining on oysters at Antoine’s. The quote varies-sometimes it ends with Mr. President or Chief-which is why I’m not 100% sure it’s true. But if it isn’t, it should be.

This post, however, isn’t about malaprops or politics, it’s about dem ersters.The Sunday Picayune ran a fine front pager by Brett Anderson on the ongoing problems faced by a family owned and operated oyster processing and distribution company in NOLA, P&J Oyster Co. The BP oil spill and the response to it continue to bite people in the ass. Here are the first few graphs:

In mid-September, Al Sunseri set two raw oysters on a table next to the coffeemaker in the offices of P&J Oyster Co. The specimens were not up to his standards, but P&J, which Sunseri runs with his brother Sal, was selling them anyway. The company had no other choice.

“You see?” Al said after feeding the oysters to a visitor. “They got a good oyster flavor. They just don’t have any salt. And they’re small.”

Al blames these deficiencies on the fresh Mississippi River water diverted to protect Louisiana’s delicate coastal marshlands from the oil that poured into the Gulf of Mexico from the ruptured Macondo well for most of the summer. Still, “they’re decent oysters,” he said. “People want to buy them.”

P&J has dealt in oysters for nearly 135 years, making it the oldest oyster processor and distributor in the United States. The disaster triggered by the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20 brought that tradition to a virtual standstill. On June 10, the Sunseris, having conceded their regular suppliers could no longer provide them with the volume and quality of oysters necessary to operate their business, ceased regular operations at P&J. They laid off 13 full-time employees.

The whole piece is worth a read:Brett Anderson is the Picayune’s stellar food critic/reporter. He knows from good food. Anyway, shrimp and crab seem to be plentiful but we miss our salty and briny Louisiana oysters. You *can* find them but many restaurants are serving ersters from elsewhere because they have no choice. I guess we should all pray to Poseidon or Neptune to bring our oyster beds back.

I haven’t said this for awhile but here it goes: Fuck you, BP and the trail of despair you left in your wake. There, that felt good.

Can you dig it? Uhhh…no, actually

God knows BP hasn’t had many victories lately.

Sure, theycapped the well and all but, while it could hardly be called an afterthought, it certainly belonged in “more of a whimper than a bang” category. Much as they wanted to savor the triumph, BP didn’t want anyone to really dwell on that whole awkward IT TOOK US FIVE MONTHS part of the story.

So maybe this is one last attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of death that the British are so well known for. Personally, I’m willing to give it to them because goddamn it, I think they’ve earned it this time. So, Stephen Fry’s rather historic assertion aside, I think we can all agree that the British have at long last won the Irony War.

And kudos to BP for being the ones to bring the trophy back home with what looks to be a longplaying show, revolving around a elegantly simple yet reliably absurd theme:

With respect to the giant clusterfucking disaster they’ve created, BP would very much like us all to kindly bury our heads in the sand. And god knows plenty of us would like to at this point. But…wait for it…

We can’t!

Dig in the sand, that is.

Well played, BP, well played. (h/t to Patrick for the video)

BP’s Theatre Of The Absurd

The Macondo oil gusher has finally been sealed but BP continues to play mind/word games with all concerned.The Picayune’s Bob Marshall published a surreal account of a conversation with a BP flack about the oil that is still fouling the waters and marshes in these parts:

For a while Tuesday, I felt like I was caught in the old Abbott and Costello routine “Who’s on first?”

Whether the oil that washed ashore this week is ‘new,’ meaning
never-before seen, or ‘old’ oil recycled by the ecosystem, it will
probably be showing up for at least a year.

Only this one would be titled “When is new oil old again?”

The guy from BP had called to sternly object to the note I ran in
Sept. 11′s newspaper under the headline “More oil comes ashore.” The
lead sentence read, “A new wave of black oil came ashore west of the
Mississippi River on Friday and Saturday, coating beaches and fouling
interior marshes, according to anglers’ reports.” The item went on to
report new oil in Bay Jimmie, Bay Wilkerson and Bay Baptiste.

I quoted charter skipper Ryan Lambert and Sidney Bourgeois, manager
of Joe’s Landing marina in Lafitte, as the sources of the reports. I
also checked their reports against the state’s official daily press
release on oil sightings, and found the same incidents.

However, that small story apparently created a big buzz with the
officials involved in BP’s response efforts. It all came down to the
word “new.”

I was driving at the time and pulled over to take the call from a BP rep. The conversation went something like this:
BP man: “There is no new oil coming ashore. There hasn’t been any for
weeks. There is none out there. Whoever told you that was wrong.”
Me: “Well, Ryan Lambert is out there every day. He saw no oil on those beaches for weeks, then on Friday he saw new oil.”

BP man: “That wasn’t new oil. It might have been old that reappeared, but it wasn’t new oil.”
Me: “It was new to Ryan, because he had never seen it before. He said it was new. He said it was new and black.”

BP man: “He was wrong because there is no new oil.”
Me: “So if I see oil for the first time in a place where there has been no oil, that isn’t new oil?”

BP man: “Almost certainly not. It’s old oil that has reappeared.”
Me: “Do the fish, birds, crabs, shrimp and benthic organisms realize this is old oil?”

BP man: “That’s not the point.”
But it was the point at which I had to continue toward my next
appointment. We agreed to semantic differences, but the conversation
only raised more questions in my inquiring mind — some of which I found
the answers to during the next few days.

Is there still new oil — “new” being oil that has yet to reach land —
still out in the Gulf of Mexico, even if the well has been closed for
two months?

Yes. According to recently released research, oil from the Deepwater
Horizon has settled to the bottom of the Gulf in several places. If this
eventually floats to land, it would be new oil.

Not the only one

Yeah, yeah, posting out of turn and all but it’s Friday, plus Athenae said I could do some extra RT5-related posting. Pretty sure she meantduring, rather thanafter, the event but hey, in New Orleans, the party never really ends.

Credit/blame toracymind for the song. It was on her ipod, we did pass byHammond, it became part of the trip soundtrack. But it does work here, too, because it’s a song — a story really — about families, mostly about choice, about what and who you choose to stand for and with. About how sometimes what might seem a choice to someone else is, to you, an imperative. Crystalline, unavoidable despite the odds of success or failure.

It works because thisis actually a post about Rising Tide 5, at least a highly subjective take thereon, and all those things are part of what RT is about. A community of like-minded citizen journalists choosing to continue to stand together, not because they can’t stop looking backwards, or because they can’t get over something that happened five years ago, but rather because they see the truth. In fact, they cannot help but do so: a lot of shit that started five years ago is still happening, is happening again, over and over, and more continues to start new every day.Mac McClelland pretty much nailed it in her keynote. If you STILL haven’t seen the video, just go, do it now.

It was an awfully damn inspiring event to take part in. I’ll be there next year for sure. Don’t have a choice not to.

—–

Mac McClelland’s Rising Tide 5 Keynote

If you have a bit of spare time to watch it, Mac’s keynote was both entertaining and informative. My favorite bit was when she called Governor PBJ “a fucking douchebag.” Mac definitely had her Mother Jones as well as her Mojo working or are they the same thing?

Mac was introduced by her Bloody Mary tech andNOLA blogger, Jeffrey Bostick:

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Rising Tide V: Keynote by Mother Jones reporter Mac McClelland (28 Aug 2010 NOLA) fromSophielab onVimeo.

Our Pelicans Have Landed!

So there was a mix-up at theInternational Bird Rescue Research Center, andour pelicans couldn’t be found. Turned out they had holed up in the back of the pelican pen and were discussing the world’s affairs over merlot and M&Ms, hitting F5 on the crack van and one of them might or might not have started a dice game with some finches. When asked about it, he muttered something about “punch3 kitten chainsaw” and flapped off. Kids today.

In any case, the birds we adopted as a blog, way back in the early days of the BP Oil Spill, were located, tagged, and we have now been presented with evidence they exist:

Scoutpelican

All our pelicans are here: LaDonna, Ashley, UncleSamRocks, FYYFF and Albert Lambreaux. And we even have pictures of the cute little buggers:

Scoutpelicanpix

FYYFF looks just like his namesake.

Well done, everyone.

A.

Pistolette Goes Dow’na Road

One of my favorite NOLA bloggers, Pistolette, has written a terrific postthat’s, in part, about growing up in St. Bernard Parish. It was inspired byPicayune man Bob Marshall’s equally terrific series about Delacroix, a small town in da Parish that seems to be on its last legs.

Links and jokes about Brett Favre’s member are all got for you so far today. These stories are both more uplifting but, then again, maybe not…

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


Jindal The Rockhead

As a resident of the Gret Stet of Louisiana, I’ve been appalled by the way so many local media outlets have been acting as cheerleaders for Governor PBJ, the Parish Presidents and the oil industry.Today, Picayune outdoors editor Bob Marshall throws a well placed rock at Bobby’s beloved rock jetties:

At a press conference supporting his wish to narrow Gulf passes with
rock jetties in an attempt to keep oil out of interior marshes, Gov.
Bobby Jindal said this: “No one can convince us that rocks in the water
are more dangerous than oil. That is absolutely ridiculous. The only
people who believe that are the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., who
can’t see the oil, smell the oil or touch the oil.”


That’s not even close to the truth, as Gov. Jindal surely knew. But I’m
not surprised.
That misinformation is in keeping with the governor’s response to this
disaster, which has often been a mixture of diversion, fur coat attitude
and panic — all of which is doing terrible long-term damage to our
chances of survival on this starving delta.

Let’s start with that claim about the rocks.

The governor knows full well that since the day the rock idea was
broached by Jefferson Parish politicians, the foremost authorities on
Louisiana’s coastal ecosystem have come out against it. These are not
Washington bureaucrats. They are men and women who have long lived and
worked in coastal Louisiana; many of them are natives. They have spent
their lives becoming expert on how the system functions, why it has been
crumbling and what must be done to save what is left.

Of course, Marshall’s piece was published under the rubric of “other opinions” since it doesn’t toe the Picayune line but I’m pleased that the paper ran the piece at all. It’s a relief after months of Jindalista propaganda that they actually allowed someone to throw some stones at PBJ’s misguided and idiotic plans. Louisiana has some of the top coastal scientists in the world and they’re united in denouncing the rock jetties as likely to make things worse.

I’m well aware that the GOP isn’t known for listening to scientists: it’s the flat earth and creationism party, after all. As for Governor PBJ, he’s too busy holding press conferences to listen to anyone other than the wingnuts and sycophants who keep whispering in his ear: “This can make you President.” It’s unclear how this is playing outside the spill zone but some people actually believe in science. Imagine that.

Cross-posted at Adrastos

—–

Unfuck The Gulf

I’ve been worried that I haven’t been swearing enough in my posts. We’re obviously falling behind on ourfuck quota for the year.So, I decided to link to this faintly amusing site with a fucking good name. I’m not planning to buy any of their kitsch but it may be for a good fucking cause. Fuckin’ A or is that unfuckin’ A?

Finally, exactly how does one go about unfucking something? Beats the hell outta me. Guess I’ll leave that to the philosophers among you.

That Old Devil Called Tony

He may be on his way out as BP’s CEO but Wayward Hayward’s foot and mouth have been reunited incomments made to the British press:

BP formally confirmed today that it hadaxed its boss Tony Hayward in an attempt to appease mounting anger in the US but risked undermining the move by insisting it had been a “model ofcorporate social responsibility“.

In
further comments unlikely to go down well in Washington, Hayward said
he had been “demonised” in the US, adding that he might be “too busy”
to attend future US hearings into the disastrous Gulf oil spill.

Explaining his decision
to leave the group he has led for three-and-a-half years, Hayward said:
“I believe this tragedy will leave BP a different company. I believe
for it to move on in the United States it needs new leadership and it
is for that reason I have stood down as the CEO. I think BP’s response
to this tragedy has been a model of good social corporate
responsibility. It has mounted an unprecedented response.”

Gee,
Tony, I thought the idea of your stepping down was to change the
perception of BP in the US and A, which means that you should STFU.
It’s all cosmetic anyway asStephanie Grace pointed out in her column in today’s Picayune:

Hayward’s
behavior since the spill has cast him as public enemy No. 1, but,
ironically, it’s also made him an ideal fall guy for his troubled
company. As such, his inevitable departure is meant to turn the page,
to wipe BP’s slate at least somewhat clean.

Here’s
the problem with that scenario: Hayward wasn’t hired to have all the
answers or to come off as a nice, sympathetic guy. His charge when he
took the job three years ago was to change the corporate culture, to
focus “like a laser” on making BP’s operations safe.

On
that all-important mission, Hayward failed spectacularly, and we’ll all
be grappling with the consequences long after he exists the scene.

BP
appears to be convinced that it can PR its way out of this mess. I hope
they’re wrong but people’s memories are short so eventually we’ll get
back to the really vital stories like thebarracking amongst pols aboutJersey Shore. I’ve never seen the show myself: one trashy show about Jerseyites is more than enough for me:

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p>Cross-posted at Adrastos.

Rare Good News

In the wake of Shirley Sherrod’s craven Vilsacking, I searched the interwebs for good news this morning and astonishinglly enough found some.The Guardian is reporting that “sources close to BP” are saying that Wayward Hayward will be out as CEO by October 1.

Actually, they quote theTimes of Murdoch but I refuse to pay Rupert a shilling to read his site. Call me crazy but I’m not into subsidizing multi-billionaire media tycoons…

Working Class Hero

The human impact of the BP oiltastrophe has been playing out this week in front of the Presidential Commission investigating this seemingly endless clusterfuck.Drew Landry, a South Louisiana crawfisherman, testified in part by singing a tune that he wrote about the human costs of the spill.He sounded a bit like Steve Earle, which is a good thing in my book. If he adds a nice bridge to the song he could have a hit on his hands. Mr. Landry himself was a big hit with the commissioners because of his candor and down home charm.

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I’m not sure whether or not the post title is entirely accurate but at least for one day Drew Landry was a hero. Besides, anyone who gives me a John Lennon earworm is all right;