|BP Oil Spill Update 6/14/2010
-- I.F. Stone, http://www.ifstone.org
We need to demand the FULL truth about what’s happened to the well
bore/casing, full access to our PUBLIC spaces, bio-remediation instead
of toxic dispersants, and a coastal and wildlife defense worthy of The
Gulf of Mexico!
CONTENTS THIS EMAIL:
1. BP Official Admits to Damage BENEATH THE SEA FLOOR:
[Summarizing developments, incl. BP official as quoted in _The Washington
Well bore damage is a critical development, a game-changer; FL Senator
Nelson has spoken about this on TV and sent a letter to the Feds. Why
are the mainstream “talking points” not highlighting this fact? Will
Obama please demand/give us the truth on this!? The scale of both the
oil calamity and the technical and logistical resources required to
contain the problem, change significantly if the oil is now seeping up
from the seabed itself! ]
1.1. BP Well Bore/Casing Integrity Issues and Senator Nelson’s Statements:
The only question at this point whether or not there has been seepage
or leakage detected from the sea floor surrounding the Macondo well
head as suggested by Senator Nelson and Professor MacDonald and, if
so, to what extent. Senator Nelson and the public are entitled to
answers from BP, and for that matter from the Obama Administration and
its officials, to the material and germane questions raised in
Nelson’s June 2 letter to BP, and they are entitled to them
immediately. Lastly, the Obama Administration, the DOE and its head
Steven Chu, and BP should all explain exactly what role each played in
the ill fated Top Kill and Junk Shot operations, and why the DOE, and
through what agents, was so centrally involved in the Top Kill/Junk
Shot and what damage they caused to the Macondo well structure in the
2. Ricki Ott, Ph.D.: From the Ground: BP Censoring Media, Destroying
3. *** Please read: When a Florida Resident Tries to Volunteer
[The last paragraph in this email could be describing Germany in 1940]
4. BioRemediation is the Solution, NOT Toxic “Dispersants”
5. What that dispersant, Corexit does to humans
6. Dispersants more damaging than the oil
7. Outrage at those in charge
8. Sierra Club and Gang Green: Oil Spill Cleanup “Just Fine”
9. Gulf Oil Spill "Could Go on Years and Years" ...
The Obama Administration and BP are not working not to stop the
world’s worst oil disaster, but to hide the true extent of the actual
BP Official Admits to Damage BENEATH THE SEA FLOOR
Saturday, June 12, 2010
As I noted Tuesday, there is growing evidence that BP's oil well -
technically called the "well casing" or "well bore" - has suffered
damage beneath the level of the sea floor.
The evidence is growing stronger and stronger that there is
substantial damage beneath the sea floor. Indeed, it appears that BP
officials themselves have admitted to such damage. This has enormous
impacts on both the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf, and the
prospects for quickly stopping the leak this summer.
On May 31st, the Washington Post
Sources at two companies involved with the well said that BP also
discovered new damage inside the well below the seafloor and that, as
a result, some of the drilling mud that was successfully forced into
the well was going off to the side into rock formations.
"We discovered things that were broken in the sub-surface," said a BP
official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said that mud was
making it "out to the side, into the formation."
On June 2nd, Bloomberg pointed out:
Plugging the well is another challenge even after BP successfully
intersects it, Robert Bea, a University of California Berkeley
engineering professor, said. BP has said it believes the well bore to
be damaged, which could hamper efforts to fill it with mud and set a
concrete plug, Bea said.
Bea is an expert in offshore drilling and a high-level governmental
adviser concerning disasters.
On the same day, the Wall Street Journal noted that there might be a
leak in BP's well casing 1,000 feet beneath the sea floor:
BP PLC has concluded that its "top-kill" attempt last week to seal its
broken well in the Gulf of Mexico may have failed due to a
malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean
The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected
into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to
overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar
with BP's findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also
have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the
On June 3rd, The Canadian Press quoted the top government official in
charge of the response to the oil spill - Admiral Thad Allen, the
commandant of the Coast Guard - as pointing to the same possibility:
The failure of the so-called top kill procedure - which entailed
pumping mud into the well at high velocity - suggested "there actually
could be something wrong with the well casing, and there could be open
communication in the strata or the rock formations below the sea
floor," Allen said.
On June 7th, Senator Bill Nelson told MSNBC that he's investigating
reports of oil seeping up from additional leak points on the seafloor:
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL): Andrea we’re looking into something new
right now, that there’s reports of oil that’s seeping up from the
seabed… which would indicate, if that’s true, that the well casing
itself is actually pierced… underneath the seabed. So, you know, the
problems could be just enormous with what we’re facing.
Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC: Now let me understand better what you’re
saying. If that is true that it is coming up form that seabed, even
the relief well won’t be the final solution to cap this thing. That
means that we’ve got oil gushing up at disparate places along the
Sen. Nelson: That is possible, unless you get the plug down low
enough, below where the pipe would be breached.
Indeed, loss of integrity in the well itself may explain why BP is
drilling its relief wells more than ten thousand feet beneath the
leaking pipes on the seafloor (and see this).
Yesterday, recently-retired Shell Oil President John Hofmeister said
that the well casing below the sea floor may have been compromised:
[Question] What are the chances that the well casing below the sea
floor has been compromised, and that gas and oil are coming up the
outside of the well casing, eroding the surrounding soft rock. Could
this lead to a catastrophic geological failure, unstoppable even by
the relief wells?
John Hofmeister: This is what some people fear has occurred. It is
also why the "top kill" process was halted. If the casing is
compromised the well is that much more difficult to shut down,
including the risk that the relief wells may not be enough. If the
relief wells do not result in stopping the flow, the next and drastic
step is to implode the well on top of itself, which carries other
risks as well.
As noted yesterday in The Engineer magazine, an official from Cameron
International - the manufacturer of the blowout preventer for BP's
leaking oil drilling operation - noted that one cause of the failure
of the BOP could have been damage to the well bore:
Steel casing or casing hanger could have been ejected from the well
and blocked the operation of the rams.
Oil industry expert Rob Cavner believes that the casing might be
damaged beneath the sea floor, noting:
The real doomsday scenario here… is if that casing gives up, and it
does come through the other strings of pipe. Remember, it is
concentric pipe that holds this well together. If it comes into the
formation, basically, you‘ve got uncontrolled [oil] flow to the sea
floor. And that is the doomsday scenario.
Cavner also said BP must "keep the well flowing to minimize oil and
gas going out into the formation on the side":
And prominent oil industry insider Matt Simmons believes that the well
casing may have been destroyed when the oil rig exploded. Simmons was
an energy adviser to President George W. Bush, is an adviser to the
Oil Depletion Analysis Centre, and is a member of the National
Petroleum Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.
On May 26th, Simmons referred to this issue on MSNBC:
On May 27th, Simmons again addressed this issue on MSNBC:
And he referred to it again on Bloomberg on May 28th:
And again on MSNBC on June 7th :
We have a right to know what's really going on.
Given the impact on America's people, natural resources and economy,
BP and the government must fully disclose the amount of damage
underneath the sea floor, and what that means for the efforts to cap
From the Ground: BP Censoring Media, Destroying Evidence
Published on Friday, June 11, 2010 by The Huffington Post
by Riki Ott
Orange Beach, Alabama -- While President Obama insists that the
federal government is firmly in control of the response to BP's spill
in the Gulf, people in coastal communities where I visited last week
in Louisiana and Alabama know an inconvenient truth: BP -- not our
president -- controls the response. In fact, people on the ground say
things are out of control in the gulf.
Even worse, as my latest week of adventures illustrate, BP is using
federal agencies to shield itself from public accountability.
For example, while flying on a small plane from New Orleans to Orange
Beach, the pilot suddenly exclaimed, "Look at that!" The thin red line
marking the federal flight restrictions of 3,000 feet over the oiled
Gulf region had just jumped to include the coastal barrier islands off
"There's only one reason for that," the pilot said. "BP doesn't want
the media taking pictures of oil on the beaches. You should see the
oil that's about six miles off the coast," he said grimly. We looked
down at the wavy orange boom surrounding the islands below us. The
pilot shook his head. "There's no way those booms are going to stop
what's offshore from hitting those beaches."
BP knows this as well -- boom can only deflect oil under the calmest
of sea conditions, not barricade it -- so they have stepped up their
already aggressive effort to control what the public sees.
At the same time I was en route to Orange Beach, Clint Guidry with the
Louisiana Shrimp Association and Dean Blanchard, who owns the largest
shrimp processor in Louisiana, were in Grand Isle taking Anderson
Cooper out in a small boat to see the oiled beaches. The U.S. Coast
Guard held up the boat for 20 minutes - an intimidation tactic
intended to stop the cameras from recording BP's damage. Luckily for
Cooper and the viewing public, Dean Blanchard is not easily
A few days later, the gig was up with the booms. Oil was making
landfall in four states and even BP can't be everywhere at once. CBS
60 Minutes Australia found entire sections of boom hung up in marsh
grasses two feet above the water off Venice. On the same day on the
other side of Barataria Bay, Louisiana Bayoukeeper documented pools
of oil and oiled pelicans inside the boom -- on the supposedly
protected landward side -- of Queen Bess Island off Grand Isle.
With oil undisputedly hitting the beaches and the number of dead
wildlife mounting, BP is switching tactics. In Orange Beach, people
told me BP wouldn't let them collect carcasses. Instead, the company
was raking up carcasses of oiled seabirds. "The heads separate from
the bodies," one upset resident told me. "There's no way those birds
are going to be autopsied. BP is destroying evidence!"
The body count of affected wildlife is crucial to prove the harm
caused by the spill, and also serves as an invaluable tool to evaluate
damages to public property -- the dolphins, sea turtles, whales, sea
birds, fish, and more, that are owned by the American public.
Disappeared body counts means disappeared damages -- and disappeared
liability for BP. BP should not be collecting carcasses. The job
should be given to NOAA, a federal agency, and volunteers, as was
done during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
NOAA should also be conducting carcass drift studies. Only one percent
of the dead sea birds made landfall in the Gulf of Alaska, for
example. That means for every one bird that was found, another 99 were
carried out to sea by currents. Further, NOAA should be conducting
aerial surveys to look for carcasses in the offshore rips
where the currents converge. That's where the carcasses will pile up
-- a fact we learned during the Exxon Valdez spill. Maybe that's
another reason for BP's "no camera" policy and the flight
On Saturday June 12, people across America will stand up and speak out
with one voice to protest BP's treatment of the Gulf, neglect for the
response workers, and their response to government authority.
President Obama needs to hear and see the people waving cameras and
respirators. Until the media is allowed unrestricted access to the
Gulf and impacted beaches, BP -- not the President of United States
-- will remain in charge of the Gulf response.
For more information on community rallies, please visit HERE .
Copyright © 2010 HuffingtonPost.com, Inc.
Marine toxicologist and Exxon Valdez survivor Riki Ott , PhD, shares
stories of oil spill impact to cleanup workers in Sound Truth and
Corporate Myths. Her latest book, Not One Drop: Betrayal and Courage
in the Wake of the Exxon Valdez (Chelsea Green, 2008) is on social
trauma of this disaster. She is a national spokesperson with Move To
Amend , a grassroots coalition working to abolish the legal doctrine
that allows corporations to claim constitutional rights and undermine
Please read: When a Florida resident tries to volunteer
What I have learned over the past 5 weeks from trying to volunteer all
over 3 states, is this.
The cleanup / rescue effort by BP is very minimal. BP, with the help
of the our government and the corporate media, have the whole thing
completely locked down. Hardly anyone has been allowed to get
information or photographs to the media from the clean up crew and
others, paid by BP. The police are patrolling oiled areas and they
have even stopped most reporters from fly overs. Very few people are
being allowed to volunteer. I have friend who live just north of
Tallahassee, licensed professionals who have been e-mailing me for
help because they were sent through the same runaround and put on a
list and never called. BP's qualifications for clean up are extremely
high and there are currently only one type of wildlife and hazmat
training they will approve or accept. Even our wildlife rescue
centers were told yesterday that they will not be able to clean
wildlife. Tri State Bird Rescue, one the two orgs BP is using to
clean oiled wildlife, will set up in St Pete, AFTER oil comes in here.
No one without 6 months of wildlife training, a professional license
and hazmat training will be allowed to rescue wildlife. What this will
mean is, if wildlife gets in oil, there is almost no hope of saving
it, unless there are changes very soon. The media is not putting this
out. See New York Daily News, Matthew Lisiac's article yesterday. Our
local radio stations finally seem to be catching on but it will take a
large public outcry to get attention from politicians.
BP has a $75 million cap on their liability and they have already
exceeded it so anyone who thinks they can rely on them to help when
oil comes in here or anyplace else, is dreaming. There is another 10
mile slick out there right now from another well.
The REAL issue that hardly anyone is talking about, other than Dick
Durbin, is this. We, along with the help of the Supreme Court, have
allowed our government to be taken over and run by a corporate
Oligarchy. Until we have REAL campaign finance reform and the public
starts paying for campaigns, this will be our future.
4. BIOREMEDIATION IS THE SOLUTION, NOT TOXIC DISPERSANTS
Greetings to all - Over 20 years ago, the State of Texas offered a
natural remeditation technology using microbes that turn crude from
oil spills literally into a safe and benign fish food. Hard to
believe? Then check out this YouTube video clip produced by the State
of Texas General Land Office demonstrating the benefits of microbial
This microbial technology was developed by the late Dr. Carl
Oppenheimer, the founder of Oppenheimer BioTechnology, Inc,
www.obio.com, based in Austin. By using a
special blend of beneficial
microbes that consume the hydrocarbons in the oil crude, the residuals
are turned into harmless byproducts that become food for marine life.
This company has a proven track record in the Mega Borg oil spill
disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 1991 and in marshland bioremediation
in the Galveston Bay which took only 6 weeks to restore. "OBIOTech"
has had numerous success stories throughout the nation and around the
world - and has been listed on the EPA's National Contingency Product
Plan Schedule since 1991. And no... I am not affiliated with this
company in any way - just a strong believer in utilizing natural
If this form of environmental cleanup makes sense to you, then pass
this message forward and let friends view for themselves this video
produced and endorsed by the State of Texas. Man-made solutions are
only making a bad situation worse in the Gulf of Mexico. It is time to
end our sense of helplessness and promote solutions that make
eco-logical sense. Contact public officials and the media and let them
know that there is a viable solution to our nation's worst
environmental disaster. We all have a unique opportunity to become a
part of the solution - solutions that align with the healing and
cleansing forces of nature.
Blessings to the Earth and to all of God's creatures - James McMath,
Founder of Emerald Earth, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What that dispersant, Corexit does to humans:
Pls scroll down through ALL of this……….spraying dispersant over
populated areas now. ---C
Corexit 9500 with ethylene oxide? * "As stated in MSDS, once it had
one, Corexit 9500 can cause central nervous system depression, nausea,
and unconsciousness ... liver, kidney damage, and red blood cell
hemolysis with repeated or prolonged exposure through inhalation or
ingestion according to the MSDS. The threat to human health via
exposure is characterized as 'MODERATE'." uspoly.com/dispersit
Corexit tested by VECO's NORCON union workers - volunteers.. . even
women (reproductive damage possible - men & women) * "The Corexit
9500 * is the primary chemical stockpiled in Alaska. Unfortunately
there are still plans to use this."
n. The destruction or dissolution of red blood cells, with subsequent
release of hemoglobin.
hemolytic he'mo·lyt'ic (h?'m?-l?t'?k) adj.
hemolysis (himol'isis), destruction of red blood cells in the
bloodstream. Although new red blood cells, or erythrocytes, are
continuously created and old ones destroyed, an excessive rate of
destruction sometimes occurs. The dead cells, in sufficiently large
numbers, overwhelm the organ that destroys them, the spleen, so that
serum pigments resulting from hemoglobin breakdown appear in the blood
serum. Jaundice is caused by overloading the liver with pigment.
Large-scale destruction of red blood cells, from any of a variety of
causes, results in anemia. Rh disease, or erythroblastosis fetalis, is
a hemolytic disease of newborns caused by an immune reaction between
fetal red blood cells and maternal antibodies to them. Some hemolytic
conditions, e.g., those in which red blood cells are fragile and
rupture easily, are treated by removal of the spleen to slow cell
breakdown or by administration of steroids. Autoimmune hemolytic
conditions result from splenomegaly. The spleen not only sequesters
red blood cells, but produces antibodies against the body's red blood
cells. This is a potentially lethal condition that occurs more often
in women than men.
Rupture of erythrocytes with release of hemoglobin.
In a transfusion reaction or in alloimmune hemolytic anemia antibody
mediated lysis of red blood cells involves triggering of the
complement cascade. Red blood cells also clump together. The
agglutinated cells become trapped in the smaller vessels or are
phagocytosed and eventually disintegrate.
Some microbes form substances called hemolysins that have the specific
action of destroying red blood cells; beta-hemolytic streptococci are
Intravenous administration of a hypotonic solution or plain distilled
water will cause the red cells to fill with fluid until their
membranes rupture and the cells are destroyed.
Wherever either in vitro or in vivo IgG or IgM antibodies are bound to
red blood cell antigens in the presence of complement, the complement
cascade is triggered the final products of which include enzymes that
result in holes being ‘punched’ in the wall of the red blood cell,
allowing hemoglobin to escape and which is observed as lysis.
Snake venoms and certain plant substances may cause hemolysis. A great
variety of chemical agents can lead to destruction of erythrocytes if
there is exposure to a sufficiently high concentration of the
substance. These chemical hemolytics include copper.
A disorder of the immune response in which antibodies are made to
‘self’ red blood cell antigens resulting in the lysis of the cells.
See also autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
DISPERSANTS MORE DAMAGING THAN THE OIL:
"Robert J. Barham, the secretary of the Louisiana Department of
Wildlife and Fisheries, told a House of Representatives subcommittee
that chemical dispersants used underwater may be more environmentally
damaging than the oil."
Outrage at those in charge:
Sierra Club and Gang Green: Oil Spill Cleanup “Just Fine”
By: Jane Hamsher Monday June 14, 2010 8:46 am
Josh Gerstein has an article in Politico on the massive silence coming
out of the enviros on the BP oil catastrophe, which has been notable
ever since the rig collapsed. This weekend the groups took out an ad
in the Washington Post, not to criticize the administration for their
response, but to praise the President for putting a hold on a drilling
project in Alaska:
“President Obama is the best environmental president we’ve had since
Teddy Roosevelt,” Sierra Club chairman Carl Pope told the Bangor Daily
News last week. “He obviously did not take the crisis in the Minerals
Management Service adequately seriously, that’s clear. But his
agencies have done a phenomenally good job.”
If they aren’t saying anything negative, it’s because they believe
there’s nothing to criticize:
Asked if Sierra Club has any concerns about the administration’s
response to the spill, [Sierra Club's Dave] Willett said, “Overall,
we’re satisfied with the cleanup and recovery effort.”
Now, I listened to Mike Pence yesterday on CNN complaining about the
administration’s cleanup efforts, and it was utter bullshit. They
should’ve had a photo up of Pence with oil dripping off of his hands.
The GOP has been waging a decades-long campaign for offshore drilling
without limit, massive deregulation and complete contempt for
environmental oversight that paved the way for this. The entire gulf
is going to hell as a direct result of his actions. He’s in no
position to criticize anything, and any journalist who lets him get
away with it isn’t doing their job.
But the reluctance of the environmental groups to criticize the
administration over the cleanup means they can’t credibly make that
argument. Their decision to act as partisan cheerleaders has hamstrung
their ability to act as trustworthy arbiters and advocates in the
situation. We all know what their tone and tenor would be if George
Bush was at the helm right now. If they are perceived as acting as an
arm of the Democratic Party rather than stewards of the environment,
they destroy their brand and the integrity of their message.
Part of it is because they’re in the veal pen, and the White House has
done an excellent job of keeping them in line since they took office
with groups like Common Purpose, Unity 09 and the “8:45 Call.” Matt
Nisbet, a professor of environmental communications at American
University, says “it’s difficult for the national environmental groups
to be critics of the administration — they’re working so closely with
the administration. … They have reacted cautiously and softly.”
There’s also “a practical sense among the groups that Obama is about
the best they’re going to do when it comes to their key issues,” says
Gerstein. And according to Doug Brinkley, “they’re feeling they have
one person to do business with. … We’re down to like two Republican
senators who want to deal with these environmental groups.”
The Sierra Club has one of the most well-known progressive brands, and
they have a membership that is both deep and broad. Their ability to
advocate for environmental causes doesn’t depend on access to
politicians. It appears that they have they have opted for an “inside”
game, and have completely dropped the ball on pressuring elected
officials from the outside — right when they could have the most
They also don’t want to jeopardize the passage of a climate
legislation bill, and have been fearful from the start that making too
much fuss about offshore drilling could endanger Kerry-Lieberman. Is
the passage of some shitty big coal bailout what their members desire
most? Because it sounds more like what the Democratic Party and its
The “veal pen” strategy executed by the White House insures this
silence, which Obama consciously uses as cover:
“We have responded with unprecedented resources, and when you look at
what most of the critics say …and you ask them, specifically, what is
it that the administration could or should have done differently that
would have an impact on whether or not oil was hitting shore, you’re
met with silence,” Obama said in an interview aired Tuesday on NBC’s
But the Sierra Club isn’t alone. They’ve got plenty of company with
the National Resources Defense Council:
“I think that made people plenty angry. Every time you see a picture
like that, it breaks your heart,” Deans said. “Certainly, we’re
outraged, but it’s not our job to generate outrage. It’s our role to
try to focus that sentiment on priorities we need to make our country
Some say that even though environmental groups aren’t dominating the
debate, their issues certainly are —and are driving huge swings in
public opinion against drilling and in favor of action on climate
Well those swings are being channeled by the Center for Biological
Diversity, the group that was out there proving that the
administration’s actions didn’t match up with its words, and that MMS
was still granting offshore drilling permits, even after Ken Salazar
promised they wouldn’t. Meanwhile other groups were sitting on their
hands, or doing what veal pen outfits do — reaping the benefits of a
catastrophe by expanding their memberships and fundraising.
The oil industry has done a good job of buying the silence of many
“environmental organizations.” PBS has been virtually silent on the
spill, as sponsorship of its major shows is largely dominated by oil
money. Media outlets that likewise depend heavily on advertising from
oil companies have provided pathetic coverage of the spill and its
consequences, focusing instead on completely stupid distractions like
“has the President shown enough emotion.”
The environmental groups that have the brand names and the public
trust are thus the only entities that can penetrate the message
machine. When they speak, the public knows who they are and they
listen. And they are the ones that the media goes to for quotes and
commentary for just that reason. Their wide brand name recognition
guarantees them that platform, and it’s difficult to organize around
them when they’re AWOL.
Corralling the veal pen is a tactic that the White House has
successfully used to cover their left flank since Obama took office.
We saw it with the choice groups during the health care bill. As a
result, Obama’s poll numbers with liberals stay high, and he feels no
need to address the issues of the base. By stitching up the
validators, he’s able to pursue a corporatist agenda while groups with
brand name trust wage a public relations campaign to cast it as
These groups have demonstrated by both their action and inaction that
they do not deserve that public trust. Unlike the Center for
Biological Diversity, fawning groups like the Sierra Club have been
successfully manipulated both by corporate money and by partisan
gamesmanship. They’ve become such complete Washington DC creatures
that they don’t know how to be advocates from the outside any more —
their primary function is to give political cover in the midst of a PR
battle. They have abdicated the role of non-partisan watchdogs, and
the public should find new organizations independent of party control
in which to place their trust.
9. Gulf Oil Spill "Could Go on Years and Years"
The Obama Administration and BP are not working not to stop the
world’s worst oil disaster, but to hide the true extent of the actual