June 3, 2010

Are we keeping a constant eye on the BP oil leak?

I don't normally watch the news on TV, but today, we were sitting at the bar and eating cheeseburgers for lunch at The Old Fashioned and there was a big HDTV right in front of us. CNN. Sound off. Closed captioning on. Virtually the entire time, the screen was taken up with that live video feed from bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Oil endlessly spewing. High definition TV, and the very low definition bottom-of-the-sea cam. Okay, already. I get it.

When you're on line, you set your own speed. By comparison, news TV is ridiculous. Are there people monitoring the oil leak all day, day after day, for 45 days? Of course, the leak is a huge problem, but it's not as if you're learning anything more by keeping an eye on it.

The more you watch, the more you start to feel that it's a vision of everything going wrong everywhere. I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!

158 comments:

Eric said...

It's like a really expensive lava lamp.

kent said...

I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have.

You're right to worry. ;)

Fred4Pres said...

If you think this is bad, imagine if they had a camera on Rahm Emanuel while he was working for Obama. Talk about seeing sausages being made....

El Pollo Real said...

It's a metaphor for the out-of-control Bretton-Woods petro-dollar denominated deficit.

Fred4Pres said...

Then again, I have an urge to keep an eye on this lawsuit too.

Off topic, but it does have a picture that is somewhat Althouse in nature!

The Crack Emcee said...

And isn't it great environmentalists wouldn't allow drilling inland?

Put the blame where it belongs,...

Flexo said...

Now, now -- You know that the right word is not "despair," it's malaise.

The Crack Emcee said...

And, yep, everything's going wrong everywhere.

Own it.

chuck b. said...

We have a big high-def TV at home, but it's nothing like the ones in some restaurants. We were in front of one of those TVs at a pizza place a while ago. Women's basketball was on and it completely took over my brain. I never watch basketball, period. But I was sure watching it then.

Anyway, with the leak (it's so much more than a frickin' leak!*), all the drama is under water because the oil isn't surfacing much, apparently. If there was more visible damage, we'd be seeing that instead.

*The thing about understatements is they let the imagination select its own pace. We can all have our own perceptions about the seriousness of "the leak".

Kirstin said...

"Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!"

I never believed the hope and change.

Maybe they could do a split screen with the Obama family happily listening to Paul McCartney sing?

davis,br said...

"...this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair."

What's up with "going to have" Ann? And ...mere millions?

AJ Lynch said...

If you ask TV news experts why they give you the news the way they do, they tell you "its because that is how you want it". So stop complaining since you, me and most everyone else apparently want it that way. At least that is what I have been told.

Of course on the other hand, if I compare it to the cheeseburger you ordered, there is variety among restaurants so how do they know what we want when they give it to you differently.

kent said...

Live by the pouty, arrogant and incompetent Community Organizer... die by the pouty, arrogant and incompetent Community Organizer. ;)

Original Mike said...

I don't watch much. It's too depressing.

Quayle said...

I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!
I only worry when people believe things that aren't true.

Pogo said...

The Uncappable Spewing Spigot of Spending is the avatar for Obama and the New Deal Democrats.

Original Mike said...

"The Uncappable Spewing Spigot of Spending is the avatar for Obama and the New Deal Democrats."

Someone's gonna make that campaign ad.

Michael Hasenstab said...

AlphaLiberal has been spewing for far longer than 45 days and there seems to be no inclination to turn him off.

Nice of you to be worried about the mental image of Barack Obama that millions of people are going to have.

I have no doubt that you were just as worried about the mental image of George H. W. Bush that millions of people formed in 1989 in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Bob said...

I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!

Sounds like an old Hee Haw routine:

Gloom, despair,and agony on me,
Deep dark depression, excessive misery;
If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all,
Gloom, despair, and agony on me!

TRO said...

"I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!"

This isn't a mental image. This is reality.

Blue@9 said...

I don't know, it reminds me more of QVC. I'm going to sleep, I flip through the channels one last time, QVC is on. I wake up in the middle of the night, QVC is on. I wake up in the morning, QVC is on. Like a Las Vegas casino, there is no sense of time in QVC, apart from the minute increments to order. One presenter at 1am is the same as one at 3pm. Whether I watch or not, QVC goes on, unchanging, untouched by the outside world. It's like when I go backpacking in the mountains and I come across a spring. It's running 24/7, even now as I type. Like QVC, it never stops.

Hunter McDaniel said...

I'm not watching the BP oil leak, but if you go over to http://www.theoildrum.com/
you'll find quite a few people who ARE and know enough to interpret what they are seeing.

Montagne Montaigne said...

It's interesting to imagine what the reaction would have been if McCain/Palin were in office during this leak-- they of Drill Baby Drill fame. I can imagine the cascade of wingnut defenders of the oil industry that would emerge like the crude from the spewing pipe. As it is, perhaps Obama being in office is for the best. No one is there to take the heat off the oil industry, since the right is happy to have a disaster to blame on Obama. If McCain was there the push back would have been massive.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Do the hours some people waste at work, intently watching the oil leak, count as damage done to the economy?

traditionalguy said...

The end of reality reporting in disaster images was the 24/7 images of hurricanes in the Gulf in 2005. The Cloud systems were 1000 miles across making the audience believe they were huge hurricanes that Global Warming denier Bush was actually responsible for. The actual hurricanes winds were 80-to 100 miles across at the center. The rest of the satallite pictures were of a rainstorm. The media have so much power to decieve that the freedom of the broadcast industry that is not approved by the Dictatorship of Obama's Federal Agencies is nearly over.

Youngblood said...
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Youngblood said...

Montagne must be fond of the old adage, "If life hands you piss, just pass it off as lemonade."

Methadras said...

Ann Althouse said...

"I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!"


You also forgot inefficient, incompetent, incapable, feckless, and farcical.

g2loq said...

Ann Althouse:
"I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!"

Katie Couric: [while chatting about Saddam with NBC's Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski, the multi-million-dollar morning host asked whether U.S. officials had been able to}:
"confirm reports he was taken to Tikrit, and then Mosul, and then hopefully to Syria."

Ah! The mushy middle ground ....

Methadras said...

Montagne Montaigne said...

It's interesting to imagine what the reaction would have been if McCain/Palin were in office during this leak-- they of Drill Baby Drill fame. I can imagine the cascade of wingnut defenders of the oil industry that would emerge like the crude from the spewing pipe. As it is, perhaps Obama being in office is for the best. No one is there to take the heat off the oil industry, since the right is happy to have a disaster to blame on Obama. If McCain was there the push back would have been massive.


I always knew you lived in the world of hypotheticals. Jesus, talk about projection.

Beth said...

I am following it, day by day. And I am despairing. We are at risk to lose so much.

In the marshes and coasts, we have families that have fished, crabbed, shrimped and oystered for generations. Can they hang on? Will the wildlife survive through the oil, and the dispersant?

BP isn't using microbes, nor baggasse, nor hay bales, nor tankers (which were used to great success in the Arab Gulf in 1991) - so when they say "we're doing all we can do" they're lying. They're hiding the scope of this event from us. They forbid the clean-up workers from wearing respirators because that looks scary and as if the cleaners are in danger - BP is working very, very hard to control what you see in that constant coverage. The Coast Guard is in bed with BP, not guarding our coast.

So, yes, I'm despairing, not because we can't do better and protect this beautiful, vital, rich bounteous American coast, but because we're failing to do so. I'm constantly watching because I don't trust any one source, and I don't believe a word coming from Chemical Toni and Admiral Allen.

Beth said...

Crack, put the blame on the people who didn't follow the protocols that have other deepwater rigs operating safely. This will come down to human error, willful disregard of procedures and policies, on the part of the companies establishing the rig, and the MMS regulators who allowed multiple violations and variances of those regulations.

markbres said...

Just as the "America Held Hostage -- Day XXX" helped fix Carter's image as ineffective, the constant images of this leak will fix our image of Obama as ineffective. This is not Obama's Katrina -- its his Hostage Crisis.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

This is Obama's Iranian hostage crisis. Sarah Palin made a deal with BP; the leak will be fixed the day she is inaugurated.

Andrea said...

It's like when John Kennedy Jr's plain went down and there were news cameras 24/7 on the area of empty ocean, interspersed with blurry "here's Carolyn Kennedy getting out of a taxi" shots from land. Only the oil leak is more interesting.

Craig said...

Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!

If the shoe fits.

Class factotum said...

Do the hours some people waste at work, intently watching the oil leak, count as damage done to the economy?

Why not? Time at work watching World Cup soccer is measured in productivity loss.

Iapetus said...

"I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. "

You are right, Ann. Let's all worry. Instead, they should be showing pictures of dying birds 24/7 because that's the image people should have (to go along, of course, with the TV images of the caskets of dead soldiers arriving back in the US from the Middle East).

Big Mike said...

Today the Washington Post has a front page article headlined "Obama cites spill to urge action on climate."

So the obvious question is whether he and his administration are deliberately screwing up the Deepwater Horizon disaster to grab control of energy, or whether we should assume that they're merely inept and incompetent -- and hunting for new areas where they can demonstrate their incompetence and ineptitude.

mesquito said...
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mesquito said...

Nobody really teevee anymore, said Roger Ailes. They just leave it on, and wait for the little sound cues that tell them to look at it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Okay, the post was up for an hour and 40 minutes, and Markbres beat me by one minute.

rhhardin said...

Woody Allen

More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

Big Mike said...

@Beth,

BP isn't using microbes, nor baggasse, nor hay bales, nor tankers (which were used to great success in the Arab Gulf in 1991) - so when they say "we're doing all we can do" they're lying.

But the Obama administration could certainly make them do any and all of that if it wanted to, couldn't it? The US Navy has fleet oilers in mothballs. Any squids on this thread would surely rip into me because activating them would take a while. But today is what? Day 45? A couple AO's (the designation for a fleet oiler) could be activated and in place by now.

If there had been any urgency, that is.

They forbid the clean-up workers from wearing respirators because that looks scary and as if the cleaners are in danger.

Where's OSHA? There's an agency whose entire raison d'etre is to protect workers. Has Obama ordered them to keep hands off? Or is it that coming down to Louisiana in the summer looks a bit too much like work for Washington bureaucrats?

Beth said...

Despair.

Methadras said...

Hmmm. I wonder how mother nature fared when oil naturally leaked from the ocean floor and caused the same issues it is now back in days long gone? Somehow, I think, mother nature took care of it and didn't have people like Beth bleating about the despair of it all. God, talk about saccharine mewling.

Beth said...

Good questions, Big Mike. Perhaps if we joined Admiral Allen and Chemical Toni at dinner we could ask them.

Kirby Olson said...

The one crisis that Obama handled effectively so far was Crowley-Gate.

Trooper York said...

Nature does have a way of overcoming such catastrophes. Think of the molten lave spewed by a volcano. Over time the earth and the ocean will heal itself. It is often so arrogant of us to assume that we can affect this at the turn of a dime. Since this is a man made catastrophic mess, we naturally think man can contain or reverse it. That might not be the case. Certainly not as quickly as we started it. It is so much easier to destroy than it is to preserve.

It might be fate. Or karma.

But it would certainly help if the big O would get off his lazy ass and do some of things that Beth cited instead of just talking about it like some college professor. Beth cites many reasonable steps that should have already been taken. He has the power to order most of that stuff to be done tomorrow. But he hasn’t. He won’t.

He will just vote “Present.”

Sometimes you reap what you sow.

You might be right to despair.

El Pollo Real said...

The one crisis that Obama handled effectively so far was Crowley-Gate.

Maybe that's because it was a professor vs the law type dispute. He's good at that type of conflict resolution.

Beth said...

Why wonder when you can investigate?

El Pollo Real said...

Beth: Perhaps if we joined Admiral Allen and Chemical Toni at dinner we could ask them.

There you go again, badmouthing chemistry.

mesquito said...

The one crisis that Obama handled effectively so far was Crowley-Gate.

And that crisis was enirely self-inflicted by President Genius.

Trooper York said...

"The one crisis that Obama handled effectively so far was Crowley-Gate."

Well he did manage to get his waffles. Don't sell the dude short.

Beth said...

Oops, El Pollo, I forgot we have a chemist in the house.

It's a play on Saddam's righthand pal, Chemical Ali, though, so you should get a little laugh, yes?

somefeller said...

Hmmm. I wonder how mother nature fared when oil naturally leaked from the ocean floor and caused the same issues it is now back in days long gone? Somehow, I think, mother nature took care of it and didn't have people like Beth bleating about the despair of it all. God, talk about saccharine mewling.

Oil seeps naturally from the ocean floor, but it doesn't seep out on any regular basis at the level of this oil spill. If that were the case, and we'd see large-scale natural spills as a regular part of Gulf Coast life, like hurricanes and tropical storms. Maybe there was a natural oil spill like this in the dinosaur era, but that isn't worth talking about, and neither is this talking point.

I've seen some people here and elsewhere state that deepwater drilling is occurring because of on-shore or near-shore drilling regulations, so therefore that takes some burden off of BP. That's nonsense. I'd agree that there probably is excessive regulation of on-shore (particularly regarding federal lands) or near-shore drilling, but that doesn't minimize any of the responsibilities of deepwater drillers and operators. If this rig blew out because of negligence or worse on the part of BP (and BP's recent safety history doesn't give one a lot of confidence), then the primary burden and responsibility is on BP, not anyone else.

JAL said...

Beth needs all the laughs she can get.

:-(

(I got it, Beth. :-) )

Fen said...

I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. ...waste, corruption... despair!

Yah Socialism!

And can I bribe a Democrat Senator not to run this year? I cleared it with Obama.

somefeller said...

One thing's for sure. Deepwater oil drilling is going to become rarer and/or more expensive because of this disaster, which is not a good thing because, like it or not, we need offshore drilling to feed our energy needs. BP's blunder isn't making it very popular among people in the energy industry. The lack of wagons circling around it is quite noticeable.

Fen said...

This will come down to human error, willful disregard of procedures and policies, on the part of the companies establishing the rig, and the MMS regulators who allowed multiple violations and variances of those regulations.

And enviro-wackos who pushed drilling ops like these so far out at sea.

And a lethargic incompetent admininistraion more interested in riding a new scapegoat than fulling their duties under the 1990 Clean Water Act.

Trooper York said...

They should certainly investigate and if laws were broken or people paid off than they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

But that doesn't help the immediate problems that have to be addressed as Beth has so eloquently laid out for us.

All together now...let’s all vote...PRESENT!

Michael said...

Well, three or four weeks late and as a result of huge pressure from Jindal and others the Government has approved the building of some sand berms to stop the oil from going onshore. This might, at this point, be like putting in sprinklers in a burned down building but perhaps not. Had not the nasty right wingers made a fuss the Government would be licking the stamps on the envelops going out with RFPs for the requisite environmental studies needed to get the permits to build. But at least these aren't the same people who will be making life and death decisions about your health.

Eric said...

AlphaLiberal has been spewing for far longer than 45 days and there seems to be no inclination to turn him off.

Now there's one spill I would support nuking.

bagoh20 said...

Popular Mechanics has a story about the 10 worse spills in history. All much bigger than than this one so far. The damage was surprisingly negligible in all cases. It just goes away by dispersal, absorption and mostly evaporation. I hope we get that lucky.

And Ann, you better watch the video. What if it just stops spewing suddenly all by itself. Nobody would know. I want to announce right now that if that happens, I will give Obama total credit for it, since it appears that his plan and he's working on it dawn to dusk.

veni vidi vici said...

Despair is the new Malaise.

bagoh20 said...

Popular Mechanics has a story about the 10 worse spills in history. All much bigger than than this one so far. The damage was surprisingly negligible in all cases. It just goes away by dispersal, absorption and mostly evaporation. I hope we get that lucky.

And Ann, you better watch the video. What if it just stops spewing suddenly all by itself. Nobody would know. I want to announce right now that if that happens, I will give Obama total credit for it, since it appears that IS his plan and he's working on it dawn to dusk.

HT said...

Unfortunately most people not DIRECTLY impacted by the spill in the Southeast are tuning it out.

The problem is not the media.

The problem is the lack of general will to do something about it. We've all become so passive in our energy-getting.

danielle said...

'I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!'

I think that people who think about it rationally will see that there was little this administration could have done to prevent all of this, and that they are doing everything they can to fix it.

I wouldnt be surprised though if the wing nuts take the understanding you suggest.

AC245 said...

If this rig blew out because of negligence or worse on the part of BP (and BP's recent safety history doesn't give one a lot of confidence), then the primary burden and responsibility is on BP, not anyone else.

On the contrary, if this is the case then I expect Obama and various members of his administration to be held responsible for failing to do their jobs. It is pointless to have licensing requirement and safety regulations for these rigs if the government doesn't meet its responsibility to enforce them.

Related:
"According to a Department of Interior's website, BP Exploration & Production Inc. is one of three finalists for a Safety Award for Excellence, which honors companies for "outstanding safety and pollution prevention performance by the offshore oil and gas industry." The other nominees are ExxonMobil Corp. and Eni US Operating Co. BP specifically was nominated in the High OCS Activity Operator category, for companies engaged in operations on the outer continental shelf."

bagoh20 said...

I think it's beautiful that ideology on both sides must accept blame. Conservatives for wanting less regulation, liberals for wanting more. It took regs pushing them offshore AND lack of oversight to make this happen. If either one kept their nose out of it, it may not have happened. It appears that the combination of both was what made it dangerous.

Almost Ali said...

Obama is for anything that will undermine this country. And the oil spewing into the Gulf is his wettest wet dream. To shove all that [non-existent] green technology down our capitalist throats.

(Excuse me, there may be one person reading this blog who still doesn't get it)

Big Mike said...

@Methedras, I've been to Coal Oil Point -- it's just west of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where the California coast line goes from running east-west and turns northwest again. To my knowledge it's the largest seep in North America.

And it's almost negligible next to what Deepwater Horizon is spewing out. If the figures in the article Beth linked to are accurate then the lower limit for the rate of oil release is 120 times the upper estimate for Coal Oil Point. In other words Deepwater Horizon releases more than five times as much oil in an hour, than seeps up naturally from Coal Oil Point in an entire day.

Even so, you know when you're sailing over one of those seeps, because it really reeks.

So, Methedras, my friend, better go back to wherever you got that last talking point and tell them to try again.

;-)

AC245 said...

I think that people who think about it rationally will see that there was little this administration could have done to prevent all of this, and that they are doing everything they can to fix it.

What, specifically, has this administration done to "fix it"?

Big Mike said...

@danielle, you're really getting irritating, referring to people as "wingnuts" just because they're a bit smarter than you are.

It's not as though being smarter than you is a particularly high hurdle.

Eric said...

I wouldnt be surprised though if the wing nuts take the understanding you suggest.

Well, if by "wing nuts" you mean Republicans, you're probably right. Those are the rules the Democrats were playing by after Hurricane Katrina, and turnabout is fair play.

You're right. Obama is no more responsible for this spill than Bush was for Katrina. But we're still going to hang it around his neck, because it would be stupid to be the only party that doesn't play like that.

Almost Ali said...

...there was little this administration could have done to prevent all of this, and that they are doing everything they can to fix it.

Like what, golfing? Handing out music awards? Meeting basket-ballers?

In fact (i.e., action), Obama is rooting for the spill and against America.

Beth said...

bagoh20, I think you're basically right about the weaknesses on both ideological ends, but I continue to reiterate human error. As many have point out, regulation doesn't work if the regulating agency is corrupt and weak, and self-regulation is counter to the bottom line.

somefeller said...

It is pointless to have licensing requirement and safety regulations for these rigs if the government doesn't meet its responsibility to enforce them.

That is true, but it doesn't shift the primary burden away from BP. The fact that the MMS or other agencies may not have done their jobs as well as they should (though it should be noted that oversight or investigations by the government are often attacked as socialism or excessive bureaucracy by many people, particularly many of Obama's critics) doesn't mean that BP doesn't have the primary responsibility for its own activities. The fact that the constable may have blundered or not paid a recent visit doesn't give license for one to be a bad actor.

And as far as BP's safety history, there are those who suggest that BP has a bit of a problem with that.

bagoh20 said...

If you think about how regulations work, how could BP be punished anymore than they will be by this? What regulatory enforcement action would be worse than this spill for BP?

Short of a ban on such drilling, there is nothing that would keep them anymore in line than the threat of something like this happening. People may go to jail and it will be incredibly expensive for them with or without any more regulation.

Or you could just let them drill in safer locations and avoid it all. But, of course religion is involved here, so that may be blasphemy.

Beth said...

I think that people who think about it rationally will see that there was little this administration could have done to prevent all of this, and that they are doing everything they can to fix it.

Danielle, look past the left wing and right wing nut issue, and do some reading on what kinds of things we could be doing to protect the marshes, to suck up oil from the Gulf, to replace the toxic dispersant being used, and you'll find that no, they are not doing everything they can do to fix it. I don't know why. I think ignorance, and naivete, may be involved, but there's no excuse for either. Certainly, effective lobbying by BP is in play as well.

somefeller said...

I think it's beautiful that ideology on both sides must accept blame. Conservatives for wanting less regulation, liberals for wanting more. It took regs pushing them offshore AND lack of oversight to make this happen. If either one kept their nose out of it, it may not have happened. It appears that the combination of both was what made it dangerous.

Here's a good quote on that from a new book, "Why We Hate the Oil Companies" by John Hofmeister, the former President of Shell Oil Company: Put in charge of energy, the right wing will destroy the earth; the left wing will destroy our society.

Trooper York said...

"I think that people who think about it rationally will see that there was little this administration could have done to prevent all of this, and that they are doing everything they can to fix it."

That's some funny shit right there.

bagoh20 said...

"In other words Deepwater Horizon releases more than five times as much oil in an hour, than seeps up naturally from Coal Oil Point in an entire day."

But a natural seep runs 24/7/365 maybe for thousands of years. It has long ago beat this spill and will again soon after it's capped.

Eric said...

But a natural seep runs 24/7/365 maybe for thousands of years. It has long ago beat this spill and will again soon after it's capped.

Which brings up something I've always wondered. Why doesn't this kind of thing happen spontaneously, after an earthquake, say, or just as a result of pressure building up?

You never hear about, you know, "oil volcanoes".

Almost Ali said...

Governor Bobby Jindal applied for federal permits to build berms to protect Louisiana's estuaries three weeks ago. And those applications were buried by the Obama administration quicker than Don Corleone.

somefeller said...

But a natural seep runs 24/7/365 maybe for thousands of years. It has long ago beat this spill and will again soon after it's capped.

That may be true, but volume and timing is everything. Let me put it this way, if I spill a cup of water in your living room once a week for a year, I'm being annoying. If I open up a firehose in your living room once for a few hours, I'm doing some serious damage.

El Pollo Real said...

But a natural seep runs 24/7/365 maybe for thousands of years. It has long ago beat this spill and will again soon after it's capped.

Come on guys, the BP leak is a sudden, massive concentrated spewage compared with the natural seepage. The rates of dissipation and natural absorption are just not comparable.

bagoh20 said...

"Put in charge of energy, the right wing will destroy the earth; the left wing will destroy our society."

The left is pretty strong on both counts:

Banned DDT = 10s of millions killed unnessarrily by Malaria (mostly children).

Effectively end Nuclear energy development in the U.S. = Many magnitudes more air pollution and mining from fossil fuels required and ...oil spills.

Force drilling off shore = BP is greedy and evil.

There are more, but I'm lazy.

Unintended consequences are a bitch.

Beth said...

Ha! Somefeller, that's a great analogy.

AC245 said...

And as far as BP's safety history, there are those who suggest that BP has a bit of a problem with that.

Yes, we agree on the incompetence of the Obama administration in its failure to give proper consideration to extant licensing and safety regulation issues.

I suspect we'll have to wait for the criminal investigations and lawsuits to find out why the buffoons Obama put in charge of things thought it was a good idea to approve this contract for BP, given their track record.

bagoh20 said...

"That may be true, but volume and timing is everything."

Granted, but that only matters to us, not the environment. Just look at the history of big spills and many much bigger than this. This is not unprecedented. It may be devastating to the economy of those nearby, but it will be temporary and a non-event to the planet in her time frames. I feel for those effected, but it is not the end of the world or even the gulf.

edutcher said...

When wondering why this administration hasn't done more, remember that he was BP's highest paid legislator.

Fred4Pres said...

If you think this is bad, imagine if they had a camera on Rahm Emanuel while he was working for Obama. Talk about seeing sausages being made....

I'd just as soon not see Tippytoes in the shower, thank you.

PS If the Zero has lost Montagne (and it certainly looks that way), can danielle be far behind?

bagoh20 said...

Oh and by the way, if you open a fire hose in my living room, I'll forgive you and fix the my house, but if you pour a glass a day, I'll have to water board your ass. I'm not sure which would bother me more. I know which would after a few months.

Largo said...

They forbid the clean-up workers from wearing respirators because that looks scary and as if the cleaners are in danger.

Beth:

In sympathy with you and the disaster on the coast, I say to you: be on guard against both (1) overstatment and (2) misstatement.

At the site you linked to, I watched the video of
Clint Guidry (of the Louisiana Shrimp Association) where he told us that others told him that BP was preventing workers from wearing their own respirators. So for me, this information is third-hand. He said also that this was because BP wanted to keep the door closed to lawsuits to open the door to lawsuits. He did not say anything about it "look[ing] scary", which would be a PR rather than litigation concern (though one could influence the other, for sure.)

I'll add that Guidry vouches for his sources, and he may well be unimpeachable, with an unimpeachable reputation. I'll also add that what he said sounds entirely plausible to me.

I'm just an onlooker from Hong Kong, about as remote from the situation as can be. This is my favorite lurking place, and it so happens for me, right now, that you are the ground-zero human voice facing this disaster. You may be for others as well, others whose views may be of more consequence than my own.

The "dressup" of that site is such that I would not have spent time there to watch that video had you not linked to it. There are other commenters whose links I would not bother to follow, at least to the degree of watching that video, but I am glad to have seen the video. Guard your reputation!

Almost Ali said...

Unintended consequences are a bitch.

Regarding Obama's response, there's nothing unintended in the consequences.

somefeller said...

Granted, but that only matters to us, not the environment. Just look at the history of big spills and many much bigger than this. This is not unprecedented. It may be devastating to the economy of those nearby, but it will be temporary and a non-event to the planet in her time frames. I feel for those effected, but it is not the end of the world or even the gulf.

No one is suggesting it is the end of the world or the gulf. And since I'm a human being who lives in the United States, I'm more concerned about how this affects us rather than a nebulous concept of the "environment". But under this logic, basically any natural or unnatural disaster short of an asteroid hitting the earth and breaking it in two is something that we should worry about. It is true that in the long run, time heals all wounds. But as a wise man also pointed out, in the long run, we are also all dead.

roesch-voltaire said...

Last time I looked BP was in charge of the drilling, and the only oil industry has the experience and the equipment they claimed they had ready to handle any emergency of this size. So when I look at the video of the gush, I think of BP but I also realize it is not the environmentalist who asked BP to drill in the deep, after all that is where the big oil is, but directly and indirectly all the all the folks who gush on about their rights to drive low milage cars while refusing to accept the actual costs of using the fossil fuels and seriously push for real alternatives.

Beth said...

bagoh20, volume and timing pretty much suck for the dolphins, pelicans and turtles.

somefeller said...

I suspect we'll have to wait for the criminal investigations and lawsuits to find out why the buffoons Obama put in charge of things thought it was a good idea to approve this contract for BP, given their track record.

We shall see. And it wouldn't surprise me to see that some of the buffoons in question were put in place by the previous Administration, or earlier ones. Also, it takes a long time to build and transport a deepwater rig and get it up and running. I'm pretty sure that there's more than one approval contract in question, and they started getting negotiated and signed up long before Obama came to office. But, as I mentioned, we'll see, and I suspect some MMS people will have some explaining to do.

Martin Gale said...

The treasury hemorrhages dollars, the border hemorrhages Mexicans, and now the gulf is hemorrhaging oil -- hard to separate the metaphors from reality these days.

HT said...

It's the end of the Gulf for a lot of people. Generations of fishermen. How can people wave it off so easily? It IS the end.

I'd love for this not to be Obama's fault. But it is. They were not diligent enough, as supposedly the party of environmentalists. Someone dropped the ball big time, and there was no oversight.

Dead Julius said...

I think that now-- for us Americans-- is a time that is similar to the time of Marius and Sulla in Ancient Rome. The war with Carthage was over and done with for them; our Cold War is over and done with for us.

Back then people were starting to realize that the unspoken core rule of their society was that the person who controlled the legions also controlled the whole shebang. Empire was available for the taking.

Now we sit and watch the oil spew out while Obama nods vacantly and tries to act like he is doing something, his face weathered and covered with make-up. Meanwhile the Dems are corrupt to all hell; the GOP is corrupt to all hell and suffers from a special rentboy.com breed of hypocrisy too.

After Katrina, Iraq, Afganistan, 9/11 (how's that Freedom Tower coming??), Abu Gharaib, Janet Napolitano, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Fannie, Freddie, etc..., you start to get the picture that we really don't have any one in charge in this country.

Of course, you can't smoke pot in most states, and if you try you'll be hauled to court quickly and efficiently. Those little things are policed.

But the big things? If you want to destroy a coastline, or destroy a financial institution, or pay off your Congressman so that he directs a $100M contract your way, then go right ahead! No one is going to stand in your way.

We have effective anarchy right now... for the rich-enough and for favored corporations. Just like the Romans who were slowly becoming conscious of the reality of their Imperial destiny, we can watch an underwater webcam on an HD screen and try to come to terms with the fact that our country has already (and irreversibly!) fallen apart.

somefeller said...

Obviously, my 9:06 post should say "something that we should not worry about".

Beth said...

Hi Largo,

that site was easy for me to find with a quick Google; I've been paying more attention via local radio, and Guidry was being interviewed on one show. I'll keep my eye on other sources for that, but there are quite a few local bloggers and reporters on the scene, and more than one of them have reported the same issue.

I think it's litigation and PR, both. News videos of masked clean-up crews would turn up in any damages trial. That's representative of most of BP's efforts; they're working public image as hard as they can. I think they'd get a better shake from a jury down the road if they could say, look here, we spared no effort, even when it served to indict us. But when I say they're working PR really hard, I'm not saying they're working it well.

mesquito said...

It's the end of the Gulf for a lot of people. Generations of fishermen. How can people wave it off so easily? It IS the end.

Look, I moved to the Texas Gulf coast in 1978. In 1979 Ixtoc-1 blew, which by all measures was a much, much worse spill than this. It was NOT "the end."

Perspective, please.

Revenant said...

It's interesting to imagine what the reaction would have been if McCain/Palin were in office during this leak-- they of Drill Baby Drill fame.

You know things are bad when the local lefties are reduced that fantasizing that the Republicans had won the last election. :)

HT said...

It's the worse spill in US history.

Beth said...

Oh, now I get it. A little surfing reveals that the "oil seeps all the time! no biggie!" meme is big today. Well, BS certainly seeps all the time, anyway.

mesquito said...

It's the worse spill in US history.

Okay. But if it's 1/50th of the size of a Mexican spill, most of which streamed north into U.S. waters, what is your point?

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If I open up a firehose in your living room once for a few hours, I'm doing some serious damage.

Nicely put somefeller.

Fen said...

It's interesting to imagine what the reaction would have been if McCain/Palin were in office during this leak-- they of Drill Baby Drill fame.

Seven: "You know things are bad when the local lefties are reduced that fantasizing that the Republicans had won the last election."

Yup. The Left has to to play the Tu Quo card: "lets pretend the Right would be dishonest if they were in our shoes". So they can justify their dishonest spinning for Obama.

HT said...

I've already made my point.

bagoh20 said...

Ii would suggest people read the "Popular Mechanics" piece. The much larger spills before caused little loss to sea life. A lot of our worry is based on decades of the mythology of the damage done by oil spills. It's not pretty, but some perspective my ease the worry.

They do eat each other all day, every day. It's not like at Sea World.


href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/coal-oil-gas/biggest-oil-spills-in-history">The 10 Biggest Oil Spills in History -The Exxon Valdez doesn't even make the list.

Blue@9 said...

But a natural seep runs 24/7/365 maybe for thousands of years. It has long ago beat this spill and will again soon after it's capped.

Yeah, but the flow rate of most natural seeps is slow enough that most of the petroleum is eaten up by bacteria before it can do any harm. Gushing out at the current rate, it just takes a lot more time for it to naturally degrade, during which time it washes up on shore and kills stuff.

Give it time and the oil from this spill will dissipate from the same process. But in the meantime it's going to destroy a bunch of stuff. That's why this spill is bad in a way that natural seeps aren't.

LilyBart said...

Executives routinely cancel vacations and work overtime when there's a crisis at work.

B Obama takes his vacations and conintues the Wednesday night parties.

Nice.

bagoh20 said...

I would suggest people read the "Popular Mechanics" piece. The much larger spills before caused little loss to sea life. A lot of our worry is based on decades of the mythology of the damage done by oil spills. It's not pretty, but some perspective my ease the worry, unless you like that kind of thing.

The 10 Biggest Oil Spills in History -The Exxon Valdez doesn't even make the list.

HT said...

The much larger spills before?

I would not count on it.

"I would suggest people read the "Popular Mechanics" piece."

Then I would suggest people wiki Deepwater Horizon.

The Crack Emcee said...

Beth, you can be real annoying in your stubbornness and tunnel vision (Oh, the poor dolphins! Very NewAge.) - Here's my take on all of it, being totally unbiased, just giving you the context as I see it:

1) There's nothing Obama can do, just as there was nothing Bush could do about Katrina - but turnabout is fair play and we conservatives are going to make you pay for everything you did, unfairly, to Bush - so Bambi gets it.

2) This isn't that big of a deal (unless you see this as, like I heard one radio commentator say about the animals, "murder" - which is completely wrong to anybody but PETA and PETA-like wackos). I'm not saying it's not bad, just, as Bagoh20 said, we've seen worse and no one - especially liberals - freaked out then. I heard Rush remind us that Saddam set the oil wells on fire - and surrounded them with land mines - and not one liberal was saying, "Oh, the poor engineers and soldiers who had to risk their lives to stop it!" The narrative is bullshit.

3) All this talk of Obama, forcing BP to do something, is bullshit. What? BP doesn't know it has to plug the hole? Give me a break.

4) We wouldn't be in the deep, where the job is harder, if environmentalists didn't force us out that far.

My take: this is all politics, and the Left (Obama, Democrats, whoever) are on the losing end - and conservatives should use it just as the Dems did Katrina because, unfair as it is, that's the game the Dems initiated. It's dirty politics at it's best and - surprise! - we asked you to stop and you didn't care b ecause you saw an easy win.

How do you like the game now?

Finally, I keep on telling you maturity is what's called for. Start showing some and we will, too. Keep up the bullshit and we can dish it out as well - and even more ruthlessly - because, at heart, your issues ain't ours.

Oh, the poor dolphins!

Beth said...

Crack, it's amusing to hear you accuse anyone of "tunnel vision." Thanks for playing.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Beth, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and everyone in the gulf region that is affected by this disaster. Let's hope it ends soon.

Beth said...

In between bouts of despair, I'm hopin', Bushman. Thanks.

AJ Lynch said...

A friend of mine lived in Alaska and made a living for ten years or so building the arctic pipeline. He was in Alaska when the Exxon Valdez spill occurred and he said that spill created many, many jobs and brought big bucks to Alaska.

So Beth - hang in there. It's tough now but maybe the cleanup work will help to put people back to work on good paying jobs.

Beth said...

AJ, that will certainly happen, and I hope the jobs will go first to those people whose living is threatened by the spill. But they want to maintain their family businesses, passed from one generation to the next. There won't be much comfort in cleaning up the oil that killed the oyster reefs their great-great-grandfathers seeded.

My hope is that they can hang in there, and that we can sufficiently protect enough of the wetlands that the ecosystem - the marine and animal life, and the estuaries, beds and reefs where they breed and nest - will recover in a couple of years at most. You can't use previous oil spills as models because they're all in different environments. Alaska is cold water, with a rocky coast, and that's going to have a different situation than warm water with a marshy coast.

There will be lots of grant-supported work for geologists, biologists, earth scientists, chemists, etc. for years, that's for sure.

c3 said...

I just got the Hee Haw reference (which is surprising since I had to sit through so many of the shows; my Dad was a fan)

And for those who've not had the pleasure of "Gloom, Despair and Agony" here you go!

El Pollo Real said...

Hee Haw classics:
Rindercella and Pee Little Thrigs; still looking for Gunilla Hutton (Nurse Goodbody).

Largo said...

Beth,

Thanks for the kind reply above. Regarding Crack and the dolphin thing, I don't think you need be concerned about what Crack thinks (and I see that you don't [smile]).

At the same time many of us, (including me) don't care very much for the plight of particular animals (which can mean anything from "caring but low priority" to "don't care at all").

At the same time, we care very much about loss of species, and loss of ecosystems that might entail the loss of species.

I don't know where you happen to lie wrt this, but I have seen you speak with concern about the marsh ecosystem, and have made me sit up and take note from halfway around the world.

Choose your battles carefully, and above all don't let yourself get sidetracked into such issues, whether or not your inclination is towards them.

I fear I might be "full of it" (whatever it is) presuming to advise you. Am I being an ass?

Largo said...

Beth,

About maintaining family business (or way of life) from one generation to the next.

Though the circumstances are quite different, have you ever listened to Stan Rogers' "Make and Break Harbour"?

Beth said...

Largo, the marsh provides much of our particular lifestyle here. What we eat comes from there. It's a buffer during storms. It's integral to the coast, and the culture that has developed here over 300 years - no, longer than that, with the Indian tribes that live there, still. That's our battle, consciously picked. Our part of the coast has very little beach; the marsh is the coast. The loss of the birds and animals, and the godawful way they're dying, literally drenched within and without with oil, is just another layer of tragedy, and one I make no apologies for feeling sorrow and anger in response. We're a largely rural state, and people have a deep connection to the outdoors.

If by choose your battles you mean in commenting here, I can't care too much about that. The stakes are non-existent. But if you mean that in terms of what we, as a state, want from BP, and from the government, then if you are able to take some time to learn a little more about us, you will understand why the coast, the ecosystem of the marsh, is the major battleground.

Paul said...

Crack MC gets it right. Turnabout is indeed fair play.

We will use this as well as the whole Alinsky playbook to bloody the Dems and serve them some karmic justice for their despicable behavior during the Bush years.

Your "win at any price" tactics are gonna burn like hell when they blow back on you.

Revenant said...

Beth, I don't want to tell you not to worry, but the marsh will probably be fine. The outer edges will be hard hit, but should have the effect of scrubbing the water of oil, thus protecting the interior.

Largo said...

"...you will understand why the coast, the ecosystem of the marsh, is the major battleground."

Marshes intrigue me. The stillness, and the (for want of a better term) bio-intensity (bio-density, but it feels intense.) The marshes are more than an aesthetic thing (and this is not the most important thing) but it is that as well.

I'm from Newfoundland, quite a different environment (rock, lichen, peat moss) though have been overseas for years. I have long though of taking a very long summer vacation driving around the states, to see the varied geography and ecology (more varied than Canada). I especially fantasized about canoeing around the bayou :-(

Your major battleground is absolutely right. And you are not being maudlin about the "godawful way" the animals are dying. It's sickening and pitiful. But you've not put this centre stage, which in this context would be maudlin. Being eaten is gruesome. Oil may be more or less gruesome to them, but it is gruesome to us. Especially to you and your folk, I'm sure, who have the black privilege of seeing every instance of this writ large.

I just don't want to see Crack painting you as something you're not, which is what I think he may (unintentionally) have done. Crack fights the good fight about sentimentalism, but sometimes confuses it with sentiment.

Synova said...

"It's interesting to imagine what the reaction would have been if McCain/Palin were in office during this leak-- they of Drill Baby Drill fame."

Certainly we all know what her detractors would be saying about it. Anyone who pays attention, however, knows exactly how much adult supervision Palin believes that the oil industry requires and has probably even heard and remembers what she said about the fact it took 30 years to get the courts to get done with the Exxon spill and issue settlements. How many people who were owed money had died of old age... she knew.

If McCain was president, Monty, there would be someone on hand who has a history of taking no nonsense whatsoever from Big Oil and direct experience cleaning up the corruption of the government regulatory apparatus.

No matter your fantasies to the contrary.

Bruce Hayden said...

The more you watch, the more you start to feel that it's a vision of everything going wrong everywhere. I'm a little worried that this is the mental image of the Obama administration millions of people are going to have. Pollution, waste, corruption... despair!

I think that in the long run, despite having voted for the man, you will be able to accept that that mental image is exactly correct.

We already have a lot of evidence as to the corruption, including the selling of his old Senate seat, the dismissal of charges against the New Black Panthers, etc. I think it fair to suggest that the Holder DoJ is probably the most corrupt of our lifetimes (at least Ann's and mine).

There is plenty that the Administration could have done and hasn't. Not really, I think, about the spill itself, but rather, about the oil, and the fact that it washes ashore. They daddled getting the booms there that were supposed to be there. They went back and forth on dispursants. And Gov. Jindal was begging them to all the building of the berms. I am sure that there are dozens of other things that could of, and maybe would have, helped, that were proposed, and somehow turned down by the government, on some grounds or another.

The berms that Gov. Jindal wants to build are interesting. Apparently, they are being blocked by the EPA because they need an EIS. Or something like that. So, we have the agency tasked for protecting the environment helping to destroy it by insisting on process over results. Who cares if a lot of birds die, just as long as the right paper work is in place.

The problem with blaming BP is two fold. First, we are talking about a dead company still walking. The inevitable law suits are likely to be able to grab at least any assets the company has within reach of the U.S.

But more importantly, it not only is the government's job to prevent the oil from washing ashore, if possible, they are the only ones who can do it. BP has to get permission from innumerable government agencies to do very much clean up, and more importantly right now, to prevent oil from washing ashore, esp. into fragile wetlands.

Bruce Hayden said...

What liberals fail to understand here is that this isn't really a failure of deregulation, but rather, a result of government. Why?

The assumption on the left is invariably that if we just got the best and the brightest working in the government, that they could solve all our problems. And, since the Republicans hate government, the best and the brightest weren't on-board when this happened, but somehow the system was corrupted.

But that ignores the reality is that the system corrupts itself by its very nature. The best and brightest who go into government service to manage, for example, oil exploration in the Gulf, do so in many cases because they know that they will be even more valuable on the other side, after they have built up their contacts and knowledge, and then switch sides.

And the agencies have no choice. Industry always knows more than they do about their area of expertise, for any number of economic reasons. And so, agencies are inevitably captured by the industries they attempt to regulate. It is called "agency capture" and happens at all levels of government with almost every agency created by government to regulate an industry.

So, the answer to the liberals claim that if we just got the best and brightest working in the government, all these problems would go away, is that within 5-10 years, all those best and brightest would be working on K Street selling their expertise and contacts from their old agency to the highest bidders.

Bruce Hayden said...

The other thing that we have seen here with this Administration is that process is prised over results. As long as the right process was utilized properly, everything will be all right, or, if not, then those implementing and enforcing the process will be safe, since they did their job, and that was to impose process.

This is how bureaucracies work. Indeed, that is almost their definition. The problem here is that the Administration is taking the bureaucratic approach here, assuming that if they just utilize and enforce the right process, they will survive this politically.

And, I don't think that they can be further from the truth here. The correct action with Jindal's berms would have been to ask what it would take to cut the EPA red tape to make it happen. Could it be done by executive order? Did the President need emergency powers to set these regulations aside for this emergency? If so, he should have gone before Congress weeks ago asking for just that.

Liberals here ask what would have happened if McCain/Palin had won and been in charge. I think that we would have seen the same sort of leadership we saw with Gulliani in NYC after 9/11. McCain was trained to lead like that, through Annapolis, War College, and his time in the Navy. He may be too bold for much of the Presidency, but he has never had a problem with acting quickly and decisively. And, yes, he might make mistakes here. Indeed, he would likely have done so. But the booms would have gotten to the Gulf on time, the disbursents would have been applied, and the berms constructed. And he wouldn't have been off on one vacation or fund raiser after another while the crisis went on.

What we got, with McCain suspending his campaign, etc. in October 2008, while Obama looked studied and intelligent on the side lines was the guy who looks the most competent, but appears institutionally incapable of acting decisively beating the guy who was trained to act decisively, and then being put in a place where he needs to act decisively, and cannot.

Hector Owen said...

Thanks for those, Bruce. I linked them.

Methadras said...

Big Mike said...

@Methedras, I've been to Coal Oil Point -- it's just west of the University of California at Santa Barbara, where the California coast line goes from running east-west and turns northwest again. To my knowledge it's the largest seep in North America.

And it's almost negligible next to what Deepwater Horizon is spewing out. If the figures in the article Beth linked to are accurate then the lower limit for the rate of oil release is 120 times the upper estimate for Coal Oil Point. In other words Deepwater Horizon releases more than five times as much oil in an hour, than seeps up naturally from Coal Oil Point in an entire day.

Even so, you know when you're sailing over one of those seeps, because it really reeks.

So, Methedras, my friend, better go back to wherever you got that last talking point and tell them to try again.

;-)


No talking points here. I'm a native Californian and my kid went to UCSB. I've been to that very seep field to see it with my own eyes years ago. Not that big of a deal honestly. However, I was referring to seeps underwater from time immemorial as a natural process. Yeah, this bursting gusher is big, but so what? Nature will take care of it like it did before humans showed up and long after we are gone. These things will happen and continue to occur. We will adapt and move on like it never happened in a few years. That was my point, not a talking point.

Methadras said...

Beth said...

bagoh20, I think you're basically right about the weaknesses on both ideological ends, but I continue to reiterate human error. As many have point out, regulation doesn't work if the regulating agency is corrupt and weak, and self-regulation is counter to the bottom line.


Oh please. Conservativism outshines by orders of magnitude anything your leftard pea brain ideology could ever hope to achieve. I spit on it and I spit on the idiots like you that practice it.

Paco Wové said...

You never hear about, you know, "oil volcanoes".

Similar, though not the same.

Beth said...

I especially fantasized about canoeing around the bayou :-(

Largo, you'll be able to do that, I'm sure. Watch out for the snakes, hanging from the trees. Yep.

Sentimentalism vs. sentiment - good distinction; thanks.

Beth said...

Revenant, you're right about the filter thing. The sand berms they're dredging will also do that, and we ought to be using hay, or baggasse (a by-product of sugar cane production) for that as well. The bagasse (two gs? one? I don't know) can be infused with oil-eating microbes. This is such an opportunity for good old American ingenuity! I want to see that in action.

I think what makes it more damaging for even the outer edge of the wetlands to be oiled is that right now is the end of the reproductive seasons. There are eggs in nests, tiny shrimp, little fish, oysters, all that, in the edges of the marsh. We want them to grow up so we can eat some, and so the rest can make more of their species for next year. It's all speculation, since there aren't prior examples, but the worries are that their cycle will be too interrupted.

That, and of course, losing coastal land mass is bad. Less of us. Less of U.S. I think we'll see restoring that will be part of BP's debt.

Comrade X said...

Beth said..As many have point out, regulation doesn't work if the regulating agency is corrupt and weak, and self-regulation is counter to the bottom line.

how many times before it gets through people's thick skulls that regulations are written by and regulatory agencies are always captured by the big players to obtain competitive advantage?

Beth said...

Bruce, the berms were approved on Wednesday afternoon. BP has to put the money in escrow. Several things held that up, including BP's reluctance to do that. Also, other Gulf states objected - to the EPA or Coast Guard, I don't know which - with worries that the berms will funnel the oil their way instead. Other objections were based on how long they'll take (for final form, up to 9 months) and whether they'll last or be washed out in a year. Our argument was that even if they only last a year, they'll help for that year and BP keeps saying it wants to do all it can, so here, do this. And they can be effective almost immediately because they'll be targeted at the most vulnerable areas first, with a quick setup, then more structurally sound work will follow.

John said...

John C Dvorak of No Agenda www.noagendashow.com and elsewhere has watched it. He says it is not a live stream but a loop. Apparently, it repeats after about 10 minutes.

If so it is not a "real time streaming video" of the leak. Just 10 minutes of the leak shot a few weeks ago and endlessly looped.

I've not had good access this week so have not watched it to see.

John Henry

roesch-voltaire said...

Rather than the gottcha demagoguery found on this site, I think Alex Knepper nailed it when he wrote:The truly conservative response to this — and by conservative I mean temperamentally so, not ideologically so: skeptical, sober, and realistic — is to say: shit happens; don’t freak out, don’t expect overnight solutions, and don’t expect the president to be able to wave a wand and make it all go away."

Fen said...

regulation doesn't work if the regulating agency is corrupt and weak, and self-regulation is counter to the bottom line.

Conservatives think Corruption is a feature, Liberals think its a bug.

Paul Snively said...

Beth: first, thank you for the extensive documentation, both of the impact of the spill on your home and the things that are being done, are not being done, and might be done to help.

Secondly, thanks for being extremely level-headed in the face of some very rancorous, partisan feedback. Honestly, I don't generally find myself agreeing with a lot of your political posts, but it disgusts me when people generally on my side of the aisle can't recognize old-fashioned human sorrow, especially when coupled with solid fact-based analysis and local experience, and respond accordingly.

New Orleans has long been my favorite city. I'm a southern Indiana boy who grew up on a flood plain of the east fork of the White River, so I also identify with the rural life, marshes, and the wildlife that, normally, teems there. So please know that I am with you in spirit, and thank you again for helping keep us all informed.

Trooper York said...

"and don’t expect the president to be able to wave a wand and make it all go away."

You don't have to expect that to expect that he can't force if only by using the "Bully pulpit" many of the reasonable incremental things that Beth has outlined.

Keep making excuses for this lazy ineffectual arrogant jerk.

I hear he is going to Beatles Karaoke night at the National Grill.

Beth said...

Paul, what kind words. Thanks.

Beth said...

Trooper, you're right about the wand, or the bully pulpit. He's not the only player, or even the main one, but he's got the position to set a momentum and keep it going.

Trooper York said...

I am happy to see you say that Beth. You are among the one's most directly affected. You know the scope of the disaster much more than I do.

You have to take the lead in holding his feet to the fire to take the very reasonable incremental steps that you have outlined. He will never listen to his critics. His peeps who voted for him have to speak out strong and hard if you are going to get things moving.

But I don't see that happening anytime soon. So the drift will continue.

It is truly a pity.

Kirby Olson said...

Singing karaoke while the Gulf Burns.

kent said...

"... but... but... tonight's date night, dammit!"

HT said...

Beth said

Bruce, the berms were approved on Wednesday afternoon. BP has to put the money in escrow. Several things held that up, including BP's reluctance to do that. Also, other Gulf states objected - to the EPA or Coast Guard, I don't know which - with worries that the berms will funnel the oil their way instead.

___

In Alabama, the governor objected because the CG moved berms and placed them in Louisiana. So did the gov Mississippi. I don't know the merits of the pros and cons of this action.

Beth said...

HT, they moved booms, not berms. Berms are constructed, using sand dredges. Booms are made of absorbent material and can be moved and deployed quickly. They catch oil only on the surface, though, and wave action also makes them ineffective.

HT said...

Ok sorry, they moved the booms.

Riley still not happy.

Neither is Barbour.

Beth said...

HT - no one's happy. i.e., despair.

This is part of the whole having a plan thing. There should be sufficient boom ready if we're going to drill. We shouldn't face a situation where LA, AL, MS and FL are competing with one another for resources to protect each one's part of the Gulf.

Beth said...

BP just paid $10 billion in dividends to their shareholders this week. They can buy some damn boom. And bioremedial organisms. And tankers.