Sunday, June 6, 2010

BP Exec Jumps The Shark, Again

 Tony Hayward, the BP chief executive whose credibility has jumped the shark told a British Broadcasting Co. audience Sunday that engineers have siphoned a majority of the Deepwater Horizons oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hayward, who earlier made such pronouncements that the spill will have only minor environmental impact on the Gulf Coast region, said engineers have managed to divert 10,000 barrels of oil per day since it capped and jerry-rigged a contraption on the broken pipe gushing anywhere from 12,000 to 19,000 bpd by U.S. government estimates.

However, Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, in charge of the government's oil spill response, tempered Hayward's claims by saying the process is far from complete as engineers slowly close escape vents so water and gas cannot rush into the containment converter with frozen slush that doomed previous capping and siphoning efforts..

Allen said 252,000 gallons were siphoned to surface ships the first day of this latest Rube Goldberg gimmick. There are 42 gallons per barrel of oil, or 6,000 barrels Allen said compared to the BP's 10,000 claim.

Hayward used his BBC airtime to tell BP stockholders he's still in charge and will not step down as CEO despite calls for his sacking as the British-based petroleum company has lost 30% of its stock value and facing billions of dollars in capping and cleanup costs.

"We are going to stop the leak, we are going to clean up the oil, we're going to remediate any environmental damage and we are going to return the Gulf coast to the position it was in prior to this event," Hayward said.  "That is an absolute commitment. We will be there long after the media has gone making good on our promises."

The Deepwater Horizons oil platform exploded April 20, killing 11 crew and causing the worst accidental environmental disaster in U.S. history. Two relief wells are being cored to intersect the ruptured pipe 10,000 below the Gulf floor. The earliest that proven process will occur is August, barring delays because of tropical storms and hurricanes when crew are taken to shore for their safety.

While Hayward was word painting a pretty face on his, his company's and the livelihoods of thousands of ruined fishermen and businesses and the already documented deaths of hundreds of marsh and sea creatures at his Barataria Bay, La., interview --

-- In Gulf Shores, Ala., boardwalks leading to resort hotels were caked with oil globs permeated with toxic chemical dispersants. As soon as crews cleaned the mess, more globs were washed ashore in a horror flick that has no end in sight.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Allen met for more than an hour Saturday in Mobile, Ala., agreeing to a new plan that would significantly increase protection on the state's coast with larger booms, beachfront barriers, skimmers and a new system to protect Perdido Bay near the Florida border.

-- At Pensacola Beach, Fla., Erin Tamber who said she fled New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said the beaches stained orange felt "I've gone from owning a piece of paradise to owning a toxic waste dump."

-- At Queen Bess Island, La., Joe Sartore, a National Geographic photographer, had to be rescued from drowning in an oil pool where he was stuck up to his chest.. Booms and barriers left unattended by crews hired by BP haven't been seen in weeks, according to P.J. Hahn, coastal zone management director of Plaquemines Parrish. "We're in the sixth week, you'd think there would be a flotilla of people out here," Hahn said. 

-- Federal agencies report 792 dead birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other wildlife have been collected from the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline and the oil slick only began reaching the shores two weeks ago.

And, this dreadful news as reported by MSNBC:

Experts say the Gulf's marshes, beaches and coastal waters, which nurture a dazzling array of life, could be transformed into killing fields, though the die-off could take months or years and unfold largely out of sight. The damage could be even greater beneath the water's surface, where oil and dispersants could devastate zooplankton and tiny invertebrates at the base of the food chain.
"People naturally tend to focus on things that are most conspicuous, like oiled birds, but in my opinion the impacts on fisheries will be much more severe," said Rich Ambrose, director of the environmental science and engineering program at UCLA. 

A government report in the 1990s said dolphins swimming in prolonged exposure to oil suffer skin injuries and reduced neurological functions and lower hemoglobin levels in their blood although many avoid the oil lessening the chance of the contact becoming lethal.

Yet dolphins in the Gulf during the past month have been spotted swimming through plumes of crude.

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