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Documentation of Increasing Crude Leakage at Deepwater Horizon Blowout Site

10:01 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

The Gulf of Mexico-Lower Mississippi River watchdog group, On Wings of Care, was able to take advantage of good flying, good photographing weather, and calm seas Sunday, to overfly the site of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill area.  Here’s a short description of what was found there:

the most troubling vision today was the Macondo area itself.  The slick that we had first noticed last fall, which was spreading over the area within a half-mile or so of the scene of the Deepwater Horizon explosion, was huge today. It stretched over 7 nautical miles in the south-north direction and was almost a mile wide in some spots. There were some patches of rainbow sheen and even some weathered oil (brownish “mousse”), although overall it remained a light surface sheen.

The flight also took them over expanded coal terminals on the lower Mississippi, a new access road being bulldozed through wetlands, and another ongoing oil spill – the “chronic Taylor Energy slick.”

The blog entry about Sunday’s overflight contains a very large amount of photographs and supportive data, such as GPS coordinates, Google Earth plots and the aircraft’s flight log.  It is a must see, not just for the images of the obvious ongoing leakage spill at the Macondo site, but for a look of the sheer scale of the coal ports being rapidly expanded on the lower river, and of environmental degradation in the delta.

Back to writing an update on Shell Oil’s Arctic drilling fiasco.

Hat tip to Zach Roberts.

How Much Dispersant Is Being Put into the Gulf of Mexico – and Where?

11:57 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

Apparently, the coordinates given in this video are from a "rig [that] was toppled by Hurricane Ivan some 6 years ago. It still leaks today enough to create a plume 10 miles long." Along with several reports of leaks on the ocean floor from the same basin into which BP was tapping in the blown out rig in April, we need to ask "How many drill holes leak?"

We need to question whether or not the application of these dispersants was more commonplace than is generally acknowledged before the late April BP rig blowout. With thousands of capped off wells out there, some reported to be leaking unknown quantities of oil, should we have a right to know whether or not the amount applied, mixed with the oil it is meant to hide, is far more than we might have assumed?

NOAA and the USCG need to be more active in protecting our interests, less involved in protecting those of a foreign-owned oil company with a criminal record as long as the slimy trail of this slick.

Thousands Will Kill Themselves Over the Gulf Oil Spill

8:20 pm in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

The reported suicide of a Gulf charter skipper begs comparison. There is no exact number, but many suspect at least 30 people in Alaska or who worked on or were ruined by the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) killed themselves over the succeeding 20 years, one as recently as last year. I knew three of the victims, one very well.

Alaska had about 500,000 residents at the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

At least 11,000,000 gallons were spilled

Approximately 30 people killed themselves.

The gulf spill will likely effect areas with at least 40 million residents.

Unabated over the summer it may end up being 20 times larger than the EVOS.

Should that happen, following the Alaska model, there may be 48,000 suicides over the economic and emotional hardships brought on by the spill over the next 20 years.

I don’t claim to be a statistician, so maybe somebody here can help me out, because the number seems high. I suspect the number of suicides over this during the next generation will be more in the 4,000 to 6,000 range, but it is all just guessing.

I’ve been thinking about this for days, but my own EVOS PTSD has held me back. I figure there have been other suicides over this already, that haven’t been reported in context.

BP-Related Oil Spill Shuts Down Alaska Pipeline

11:47 am in Uncategorized by EdwardTeller

British Petroleum is the senior partner in a consortium known as the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. It oversees the Alaska oil pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. Tuesday a leak developed on a portion of the line that BP had kept from being inspected for years and years:

A power failure at a pump station along the trans-Alaska pipeline caused up to several thousand barrels of crude to spill into a containment area Tuesday morning. The station, which has failed before during maintenance operations, is located near Delta Junction, about a hundred miles south of Fairbanks.

The trans-Alaska pipeline is operated by Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., a consortium of five oil companies. BP, which is currently dealing with a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, owns a majority interest of 47 percent.

Alyeska was planning a shutdown of the pipeline Tuesday to perform routine maintenance when the spill happened, said Tom DeRuyter, an on-scene coordinator for the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. At Pump Station 9, oil began flowing from the pipeline back into tanks after a backup battery failed. With the power out, no one could tell how much oil was in the tank, he said. When the tank overflowed, oil spilled into a containment area surrounding the pump station.

Alyeska, which has mobilized responders from Delta Junction and Fairbanks, said in a statement that the valve is closed and the source of the spill oil is controlled. A DEC report said future plans include removing the spilled oil from a secondary containment, figuring out exactly what caused the spill, and getting oil flowing through the pipeline again.

Alyeska is "accepting full responsibility and is moving forward with the response effort," DeRuyter said.

As of 6:20 p.m. Tuesday, the 800-mile trans-Alaska pipeline, which carries 15 percent of U.S. domestic oil production, remained shut down. Officials were unsure when oil would start flowing again.

In Alaska, the dangers of this long pipeline leaking along the course of the Copper River, home of the most highly regarded Sockeye and King (Chinook) salmon fishery in the world, have long been recognized by the same people so grievously hurt by the Exxon Valdez catastrophe of 1989 – the Cordova fishing fleet.