The Beacon

Blog Tags: Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill

Oceana Chief Scientist to Testify on Offshore Drilling

Breaking news this morning: A Coast Guard official says the “top kill” maneuver has stopped the oil leak that has been gushing into the gulf for more than a month, though engineers still have to seal the well permanently with cement before they deem it a success.

And more good news -- President Obama will announce today that he is extending the moratorium on permits to drill new deepwater wells for six more months.

Meanwhile, this morning Oceana Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist Mike Hirshfield will testify about the costs of offshore drilling before the House Committee on Natural Resources.  


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We Hate to Say We Told You So…

In 2009, not long after Obama’s inauguration, we created the ad you see here to encourage our new leader and administration to prevent expanded offshore drilling and turn our country’s energy policy around.

Here we are a year later, and the image now seems chillingly prescient, given the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for more than a month now.


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Ted Talks Drilling on Larry King Live

Oceana board member Ted Danson was on Larry King Live last night sounding off on offshore drilling. It’s an issue near and dear to Danson; he has been an outspoken critic of  offshore oil and gas development for decades.

If you're as incensed as he is, sign our petition to stop offshore drilling and pass it on.

 


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Spill Takes Increasing Toll on Wildlife

oil pelican

© AP/Gerald Herbert

As BP prepares its “top kill” maneuver to stanch the Deepwater Horizon’s leak, oil continues to hit Louisiana’s wetlands and beaches, fouling sensitive habitats and marine life.

Officials reported yesterday that more than 300 sea birds, nearly 200 sea turtles and 19 dolphins have been found dead along the U.S. Gulf Coast since the spill started more than a month ago.

As a result, the images coming out of the gulf are increasingly heartbreaking, like these photos of the spill and its victims from Boston.com.

Oceana pollution campaign director Jackie Savitz was on the Diane Rehm show this morning for a second time since the spill discussing the long-term environmental consequences of the oil spill. Jackie was joined by Douglas Rader from the Environmental Defense Fund, Carys Louise Mitchelmore of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory and William Hogarth from the University of South Florida. Have a listen here.

If you haven’t already, help us reach our goal of 500,000 petition signatures: tell Obama and Congress to stop offshore drilling today, and spread the word.


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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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Slideshow from the Gulf

Today is the one-month anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

And still it spills.

This week Oceana’s Pacific science director Dr. Jeff Short is down in the Gulf responding to the disaster. Short is an environmental chemist who worked for NOAA on the Exxon Valdez spill.

He sent us the images of the oil spill in the slideshow below, including one of himself collecting samples of the mousse oil for analysis at LSU.

Short wrote in an e-mail to us that “Despite deploying mile after mile of oil containment boom to protect the coast from oiling, nearly all the boom materials we saw during our overflight had been abandoned and their integrity subsequently compromised, often resulting in scrambled masses of boom uselessly washed up against shorelines.”

To read the full captions of his photos, see our Flickr photo pool, and be sure to share any photos you have, too, so we can include them in our Oil Spill Photo Map.

If you haven’t already, sign the petition to stop new offshore drilling today.

 


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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 Climate Bill Bribes States, Risks Coastlines

Yesterday, Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman unveiled their climate change bill. As you know, the U.S.’s consideration of any climate change legislation is historic – but in the light of the Deepwater Drilling Disaster, the senators’ proposal leaves me dismayed.

The “American Power Act” trades away our oceans to the oil industry even as at least 5,000 barrels of oil continue to gush from the broken Deepwater Horizon pipeline every day.  Here’s the first released video of the broken pipeline spewing oil:


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