The Beacon

Blog Tags: Deepwater Drilling Disaster

New Spill Estimate: > 40,000 Barrels a Day

At this point, we all know that BP’s 5,000 barrel-a-day estimate is laughable, as are their claims that they can't measure the rate that the oil is gushing into the Gulf.

Over the weekend, four scientists, Ian MacDonald, John Amos, Timothy Crone and Steve Wereley wrote an op-ed in the New York Times that provides a new estimate of the oil spill’s flow rate.

BP has claimed that it would be impossible to use their video clip of the broken pipe to analyze the rate of oil flow. These scientists have shown that claim to be blatantly false. Using computational methods to analyze the video, the scientists’ estimates showed median values of 60,000 to 75,000 barrels per day spilling into the Gulf.


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New BP Footage Belies Reports of Progress

A few oil spill updates for you today:

BP’s new video of the gusher

Though BP has been celebrating the first successful attempt to redirect oil to a tanker using a siphon, Senator Bill Nelson posted new BP footage that tells a different story. And disturbingly, reports are emerging that BP has been preventing journalists from documenting the spill.


New oil spill underwater footage - BP footage via Ben Nelson @ Yahoo! Video


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Share Your Oil Spill Photos

Using Flickr and Google Maps, we've created a new photo map where you can share your oil spill photos and video with the Oceana network.

If you have images of the oil slick, wildlife, cleanup crews, or anything else related to the spill, you can submit them and tag them on our map. Here’s how:

1) Log into your Flickr account or create an account.

2) Join our group, Oceana’s Oil Spill Photo Pool.

3) Upload your photos to your Flickr account.

4) If your camera doesn’t automatically give a map location, you can find the location of your photos by clicking here.

5) Add the photos to our group pool by clicking "Add something?" on the group page, next to the bright pink Group Pool header.

Happy uploading, and let us know if you experience any difficulties with the system.


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Spill May Be Headed for Florida Keys

It’s hard to believe it has been almost a month since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, and yet this weekend was the first sign of any kind of progress to contain the disaster bleeding into the Gulf.

Using a mile-long “insertion tube” to siphon the oil to a tanker ship, BP captured some of the oil gushing from the Gulf of Mexico seabed -- though the company still hasn't made any progress toward actually stopping the flow.

Scientists from NOAA are worried that the still-gushing oil spill will enter the powerful Loop Current, if it hasn’t already, which would take it through the biodiverse barrier reef that makes up the Florida Keys and up the East Coast.


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New Orleans Says 'Clean it Up!'

There is anger and bewilderment in New Orleans. Five years after Katrina comes the Deepwater Drilling Disaster, which continues to gush 210,000 gallons of oil into the gulf every day.

Last Saturday’s rally, organized by the Sierra Club with the support of Oceana as well as local groups such as the Gulf Restoration Network, drew several hundred supporters to Lafayette Square Park with the mantra, “Clean It Up!”

Speakers included local fishermen, wildlife experts, and politicians. The message to BP and the federal government was clear: cap the spill, clean it up, and never let it happen again.


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Want Energy Independence? Don't Look to Drilling.

Source: Department of Energy, Annual Energy Outlook, April 2010

After the Deepwater Drilling Disaster began 17 days ago, we’ve all tried to figure out why we should continue to expand drilling offshore.

For those who think it’s because it will help us achieve energy independence, think again. There is no way that we can drill our way to energy independence – and the government knows it.

Right now, we get about 65% of our oil from other countries, the biggest sources being Canada and Mexico. And government studies show that all the oil in US waters wouldn’t change that figure much. It would only lower it to about 60% at best. A government study expected to come out soon shows that even that much is unlikely.


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Oilmageddon Continues Apace

Andy Sharpless (fourth from left) talks to Senator Bill Nelson (far left) and environmental advocates. © Oceana/Lindsay Orlowski

The Deepwater Drilling Disaster continues without resolution, as the first reports of sea turtles washing up on shore are starting to trickle in, and local fishermen are reluctantly accepting jobs working as cleanup crew for the company that has ruined their livelihoods.

As the oil continues to gush from Deepwater’s broken pipe at rates that cannot be accurately determined, we are looking at an oil disaster that will surpass Exxon Valdez in a matter of weeks, if it hasn’t already.

But this tragedy has galvanized opposition to offshore drilling.

Two notable developments have taken place this week already. On Tuesday, I was honored to speak to press in the shadow of the Capitol alongside Senators Bill Nelson, Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, as well as the executive directors of the Sierra Club and Environment America.


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