Drill, drill, drill?

Drill, drill, drill?

synergy
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synergy
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23 Apr 2010, 12:30 #1

Does anyone still think that "drill here, drill there, drill everywhere" is a good idea? Do you want to take a chance with an oil spill off the southeast coast of United States fouling Georgia and South Carolina's beaches and estuaries?

Oil rig blast prompts environmental concerns
By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press Writers
8:02 am EDT Fri 23 April 2010

NEW ORLEANS – As the Coast Guard searched for 11 crew members missing after a drilling rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, authorities turned their focus to controlling an oil spill that could threaten the fragile ecosystem of the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.

The Deepwater Horizon had burned violently for nearly two days until it sank Thursday morning. The fire's out, and officials had initially feared as much as 336,000 gallons of crude oil a day could be rising from the sea floor 5,000 feet below.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said Friday morning that no oil appeared to be leaking from the well head at the ocean floor, nor was any leaking at the water's surface. However, Landry said crews were closely monitoring the rig for any more crude that might spill out.

The oil currently being contained was residual from the explosion and sinking.

"If it gets landward, it could be a disaster in the making," said Cynthia Sarthou, executive director for the environmental group Gulf Restoration Network.

BP PLC, which leased the rig and took the lead in the cleanup, said Friday it has "activated an extensive oil spill response," including using remotely operated vehicles to assess the subsea well and 32 vessels to mop up the spill.

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward said the company will do "everything in our power to contain this oil spill and resolve the situation as rapidly, safely and effectively as possible." He says the company can call on more resources if needed.

Ed Overton, an LSU environmental sciences professor, said he expects some of the light crude oil to evaporate while much of it turns into a pasty mess called a "chocolate mousse" that ultimately breaks apart into "tar balls," small chunks of oily residue that can wash ashore.

"It's going to be a god-awful mess for a while," he said. "I'm not crying doomsday or saying the sky is falling, but that is the potential."

The Coast Guard early Friday was searching for the missing, but some family members said they had been told that officials assumed all were dead. Most of the crew — 111 members — were ashore, including 17 taken to hospitals. Four were in critical condition.

The accident shows that drilling is not safe, said Abe Powell, who heads Get Oil Out!, created after a 1969 platform accident off Santa Barbara, Calif., fouled miles of ocean and beaches with wildlife-killing goo and spawned the environmental movement.

"When oil companies say drilling is safe now and we won't allow any accidents ... we know that's not true," he said.

Weather forecasts indicate the spill was likely to stay well away from shore at least through the weekend, but if winds change it could come ashore more rapidly, said Doug Helton of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's office of response and restoration.

The Coast Guard, which was leading the investigation, hadn't given up the search early Friday for those missing from the rig, which went up in flames Tuesday night about 41 miles from the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Four who made it off safely were still on a boat operating one of several underwater robots being used to assess whether the flow of oil could be shut off at a control valve on the sea floor, said Guy Cantwell, spokesman for rig owner Transocean Ltd.

Landry said crews saw a 1-mile-by-5-mile rainbow sheen of what appeared to be a crude oil mix on the surface. There wasn't any evidence crude was coming out after the rig sank, she said, but officials weren't sure what was going on underwater.

At the worst-case figure of 336,000 gallons a day, it would take more than a month for the amount of crude oil spilled to equal the 11 million gallons spilled from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska's Prince William Sound.

A turn in winds and currents might send oil toward fragile coastal wetlands — nurseries for fish and shrimp and habitat for birds.

"As you get closer to shore, you get richer and richer marine habitats, and also get the potential for long-term exposure," Helton said.

Animals at sea will be briefly exposed to the oil when the slick passes over, but when it hits land, it sticks, he said.

To prevent that, the Marine Spill Response Corp., an energy industry cleanup consortium, brought seven skimmer boats to suck oily water from the surface, four planes that can scatter chemicals to disperse oil, and 500,000 feet — 94.6 miles — of containment boom, a floating barrier with a skirt that drapes down under the water and corrals the oil.

Another 500,000 feet of boom were on the way, said BP spokesman Tom Mueller.

"Right now we are over-responding with resources to manage the potential spill here," he said. "We will be well-prepared to manage whatever comes."

He said 6,000 feet, about 1.1 mile, of boom was in the water by Thursday evening.

While this was happening on the surface, robots tethered to ships nearly a mile above the sea floor sent back video of the damage so crews can decide whether a shutoff valve called a blowout preventer can be closed.

Authorities don't know whether the rig sank to the bottom — or, if it did, whether it hit the blowout preventer, Lt. Cdr. Cheri Ben-Iesau said.

"It didn't sink catastrophically. It kind of settled into the water" and may still have some buoyancy, she said.

If the valve is too badly damaged to cut off the flow of oil, a nearby rig a safe distance from the broken well will drill a new hole intersecting the one that blew wild. Then heavy fluid called "kill fluid" will be pumped in to plug it, said Scott D. Dean, a BP spokesman.

In addition to other environmental concerns, the well is in an area where a pod of sperm whales is known to feed, said Kim Amendola of NOAA. Sarthou said she was worried the activity around the well might disturb the whales.

Meanwhile, relatives of the missing waited for news.

Carolyn Kemp of Monterey, La., said her grandson, Roy Wyatt Kemp, 27, would have been on the drilling platform when it exploded.

"They're assuming all those men who were on the platform are dead," Kemp said. "That's the last we've heard."

Jed Kersey, of Leesville, La., said his 33-year-old son, John, had finished his shift on the rig floor and was sleeping. He said his son told him all 11 missing workers were on the rig floor at the time of the explosion.

"He said it was like a war zone," said Jed Kersey, a former offshore oil worker.

The family of Dewey Revette, a 48-year-old from southeast Mississippi, said he worked as a driller on the rig and had been with the company for 29 years.

"We're all just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring and hoping for good news. And praying about it," said Revette's 23-year-old daughter, Andrea Cochran.

Those who escaped did so mainly by getting on lifeboats that were lowered into the Gulf, said Adrian Rose, vice president of Transocean.

Weekly emergency drills seemed to help, he said, adding that workers apparently stuck together as they fled the blast.

"There are a number of uncorroborated stories, a lot of them really quite heroic stories, of how people looked after each other. There was very little panic," Rose said.

Family members of two missing workers filed separate lawsuits Thursday accusing Transocean and BP of negligence. Both companies declined to comment about legal action against them after the first suit was filed.

The U.S. Minerals Management Service, which regulates oil rigs, conducted three routine inspections of the Deepwater Horizon this year — in February, March and on April 1 — and found no violations, MMS spokeswoman Eileen Angelico said.

___

Associated Press Writer Noaki Schwartz reported from Los Angeles, Holbrook Mohr from Jackson, Miss., Mike Kunzelman, Cain Burdeau and Alan Sayre in Louisiana, Chris Kahn in New York and Sofia Mannos of AP Television News contributed to this report.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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23 Apr 2010, 21:04 #2

Drill Baby Drill: Offshore Rig Explodes, 11 Missing - By: David Dayen Friday April 23, 2010 6:28 am | FDL "News Desk
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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25 Apr 2010, 02:36 #3

Oil Leaking Underwater From Well in Rig Blast
The New York Times
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
Published: April 24, 2010

NEW ORLEANS — Robotic devices monitoring the deepwater well where a giant oil rig exploded and sank last week have discovered oil leaking from the well, a development that a senior Coast Guard official on Saturday called a “game changer.”

The oil was coming from two places in the riser — the 5,000-foot pipe that connects the well at the ocean floor to the drilling platform on the surface. The rig, the Deepwater Horizon, which sank Thursday 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, detached from the riser.

The riser, following a circuitous route underwater, now extends from the well to 1,500 feet above the seabed and then buckles back down.

On Friday, a remotely operated device began scanning the riser to determine if there were any leaks, said Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry, commander of the Coast Guard’s Eighth District. The discovery of the leaks was made Saturday morning.

Roughly 1,000 barrels of oil a day are estimated to be emanating from the riser, officials said. They said that both leaks were on the seabed.

“Somewhere along the line there, there’s a break in the line,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Steve Carleton of the Coast Guard. “We’ve got something coming out in a kink, in a middle area where there is a bend.”

There are several options for fixing the leaks, including shutting off the well at its source and drilling a relief well.

The rig itself was found on the sea floor about 1,500 feet from the well. The sheen of crude oil and water mix on the surface of the water was still more than 40 miles from shore at its closest point on Saturday. “That gives us a lot of time to try to mitigate in response to the spill,” Admiral Landry said.

The sheen had spread to a 20-by-20-mile area, Coast Guard officials said.

High winds and 10-foot seas have prevented the oil spill response vessels from making it to the site to continue cleanup on Saturday. But the Coast Guard had contained 33,726 gallons of oil-water mix from the area.

“We’ve been quite successful with on-water skimming,” Admiral Landry said.

The response team has also deployed 1,900 gallons of chemicals that break up the oil. Officials said that the team has a third of the world’s supply of such chemicals, called dispersant.

On Friday, officials suspended the search-and-rescue operations for the 11 missing members of the rig’s crew. Admiral Landry said again on Saturday that the missing workers were thought to have been in the vicinity of the explosion when it occurred Tuesday night, though an investigation was continuing.

The cause of the explosion was still uncertain, though officials from Transocean, the Swiss company that owned the rig, suggested last week that it may have been a blowout, when pockets of hydrocarbons shoot up a pipe unexpectedly. But the authorities were still investigating.

“It is still too early to know the exact cause or causes of this incident,” Admiral Landry said.

A version of this article appeared in print on April 25, 2010, on page A14 of the New York edition.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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26 Apr 2010, 13:36 #4

Sunken Rig Causing Major Oil Spill
Posted on: Monday, 26 April 2010, 06:55 CDT

RedOrbit staff and wire reports

Officials reported on Sunday that crude oil is gushing from a sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving a massive oil slick covering more than 400 square miles.

A fly-over of the affected area turned up a 20-mile by 2-mile slick derived from the Deepwater Horizon oil platform that sank last Thursday, two days after a huge explosion left 11 workers missing and presumably dead.

British oil company BP initially said there was no oil leaking from the site, but upon inspection from a robotic vessel on Saturday, two holes were found in the riser that connects the wellhead to the rig.

A spokesman for BP estimated that the leaks -- nearly a mile underwater -- were releasing about 42,000 gallons of oil per day.

US Coast Guard spokesman petty officer Erik Swanson, said the spill is serious. “We are responding as if it is already a very serious spill but we're still assessing it,” he told the AFP new agency.

BP and owner of the rig, Transocean, are hoping to avert an environmental crisis as the oil continues to spill into the ocean. Both companies are facing lawsuits already from families of those injured and possibly killed in the accident.

BP says it has considered two options for sealing the leaks. One option would use a hydraulic tool called a blowout preventer, installed near the wellhead as part of the existing equipment on the rig, to seal of the source of the oil.

A second option, which would be more time-consuming, would be to set up a relief well. This would call for drilling a new hole near the well, intercepting the leaking pipe, and then pumping cement or mud into the hole until it is sealed.

Less than 35,000 gallons of the slick has been recovered as oil skimming vessels faced storms and rough seas on Saturday that kept the ships from operating effectively. Better weather was expected for Sunday.

“We want to fight this battle offshore this afternoon,” Swanson told AFP. “We have many resources we are ready to deploy.”

So far, the oil recovery operation includes seven skimming vessels, nine aircraft and three barges for crude recovery.

“Our response plan is focused on quickly securing the source of the subsurface oil emanating from the well, clean the oil on the surface of the water, and keeping the response well offshore,” said Rear Admiral Mary Landry, the coast guard officer leading the clean-up effort.

Louisiana’s’ fragile wetland ecosystem is at high risk form the oil spill. Environmental groups are worried that should the slick reach the coastline it would destroy what is currently a paradise for rare waterfowl.

There is still no news of the 11 missing crewmembers, more than 36 hours after the US coast guard aborted its massive sea and air search.

---

On the Net:

    * Deepwater Horizon
    * U.S. Coast Guard


Source: RedOrbit Staff & Wire Reports
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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26 Apr 2010, 13:39 #5

Oil Leaks Could Take Months to Stop
The New York Times

April 25, 2010
Oil Leaks Could Take Months to Stop
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON and LESLIE KAUFMAN

NEW ORLEANS — Officials worked Sunday to try to stop oil leaks coming from the deepwater well drilled by a rig that sank last week near Louisiana, but they acknowledged that it could be months before they are able to stem the flow of what is now about 42,000 gallons of oil a day pouring into the Gulf of Mexico.

The response team is trying three tacks: one that could stop the leaks within two days, one that would take months and one that would not stop the leaks but would capture the oil and deliver it to the surface while permanent measures are pursued.

Officials determined through weather patterns that the sheen of oil and water, now covering 600 square miles, would remain at least 30 miles from shore for the next three days. But states along the Gulf Coast have been warned to be on alert.

“We have been in contact with all the coastal states,” Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry, the commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District, said at a news conference on Sunday. Emphasizing that the sheen was not estimated to hit shore anytime soon, Admiral Landry said contingency plans were being put in place.

“Everyone is forward-leaning and preparing for coastal impact,” she said.

Louisiana is erecting containment booms around sensitive coastal areas as a precautionary measure.

At the rate of 42,000 gallons of oil a day, the leak would have to continue for 262 days to match the 11-million-gallon spill from the Exxon Valdez in 1989, the worst oil spill in United States history.

The leaks were discovered Saturday in the riser, the 5,000-foot-long pipe that extended from the wellhead to the drilling platform. The riser detached from the platform after it exploded and sank, and it is now snaking up from the wellhead and back down to the sea floor. It is leaking in two places, both at the sea floor. The bends in the riser, like kinks in a garden hose, have apparently prevented a gush of oil. When the platform was on the ocean’s surface and the riser was still attached last week, oil and gas were shooting up through the riser, creating plumes of flame.

On Sunday morning, officials began using remote-controlled vehicles to try to activate the blowout preventer, a 450-ton valve sitting at the wellhead, 5,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. The blowout preventer can seal off the well, and is designed to do just that to prevent sudden pressure releases that possibly led to the first explosion on the oil rig on Tuesday night.

The authorities said it was still unclear what had caused the explosion. Eleven crew members are missing and presumed dead. If successful, engaging the blowout preventer could seal the well in 24 to 36 hours. But Doug Suttles, the chief operating officer for exploration and production at BP — which was leasing the drilling platform and is responsible for the cleanup under federal law — cautioned that the operation was “highly complex.”

“It may not be successful,” Mr. Suttles said.

Another effort described by officials Sunday — drilling relief wells nearby — would take two to three months to stop the flow.

BP is mobilizing two rigs that could drill the relief wells, which could send heavy mud and concrete into the cavity of oil and gas that drilling apparently punctured by accident.

If the blowout preventer does not seal off the well, officials intend to place a large dome directly over the leaks to catch the oil and route it up to the surface, where it could be collected.

This has been done before, but only in shallow waters, Mr. Suttles said.

“It’s never been deployed in 5,000 feet of water,” he said. “But we have the world’s best experts working on that right now.”

Rough seas halted the cleanup efforts on Saturday and most of Sunday. But as the weather cleared Sunday afternoon, aircraft resumed dumping dispersant, or chemicals that break down the oil. By evening, 15 vessels were headed to the area to resume skimming the oil off the surface of the ocean.

The Coast Guard said 48,000 gallons of oil-water mix had been collected by Sunday.

Doug Helton, a fisheries biologist who coordinates oil spill responses for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said the oil emanating from the riser was taking the shape of a giant ice cream cone as it drifted toward the surface. He said there were no reports of dead animals yet, although that was expected to change if the leaks were not sealed.

Mr. Helton added that wind data allowed officials to predict that the spill would not hit shore within three days, but that it was moving north.

“Louisiana is the closest area,” he said. “There is a potential for other Gulf states if the release continues unabated, but we have no indication in our trajectories that shorefall will happen in the next three days.”

Sea life that congregates at the surface and has no mobility of its own — like plankton and fish eggs — is the most vulnerable to the slick. A large-scale destruction of eggs could affect fish populations in the future.

Officials are monitoring the environmental effects of the spill by boat and planes.

“It will be more severe over time,” Mr. Helton said.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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26 Apr 2010, 22:51 #6

Area of Oil Spill Expanding in Gulf
The New York Times

Officials say an oil sheen is more than three days from shore.

By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON and LESLIE KAUFMAN
Published: April 26, 2010

NEW ORLEANS — Coast Guard officials said Monday afternoon that the oil spill near Louisiana was now covering an area in the Gulf of Mexico of 48 miles by 39 miles at its widest points, and they have been unable to engage a mechanism that could shut off the well thousands of feet below the ocean’s surface.

The response team was trying three tacks to address a spill caused by an explosion on an oil rig last week: one that could stop the leaks within hours, one that would take months, and one that would not stop the leaks but would capture the oil and deliver it to the surface while permanent measures were pursued.

On Sunday morning, officials began using remote-controlled vehicles to try to activate the blowout preventer, a 450-ton valve sitting at the wellhead, 5,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. The blowout preventer can seal off the well to prevent sudden pressure releases that possibly led to the explosion on the rig last Tuesday night.

If successful, engaging the blowout preventer could seal the well Monday or Tuesday.

The flow of oil from the leaks is about 42,000 gallons of oil a day. The authorities said it was still unclear what caused the explosion. Eleven crew members are missing and presumed dead.

The Coast Guard also said in a statement Monday that an aircrew from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service spotted sperm whales in the vicinity of the oil spill on Sunday.

“The unified command is monitoring the situation and is working closely with officials from Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service and NOAA to understand the impact the spill and response activities may have on whales and other marine wildlife in the area,” the statement said.

Officials determined through weather patterns that the sheen of oil and water would remain at least 30 miles from shore at least until Tuesday. But states along the Gulf Coast have been warned to be on alert.

“We have been in contact with all the coastal states,” Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry, the commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District, said at a news conference on Sunday. Emphasizing that the sheen was not estimated to hit shore anytime soon, Admiral Landry said contingency plans were being put in place.

“Everyone is forward-leaning and preparing for coastal impact,” she said.

Louisiana is erecting containment booms around sensitive coastal areas as a precautionary measure.

At the rate of 42,000 gallons of oil a day, the leak would have to continue for 262 days to match the 11-million-gallon spill from the Exxon Valdez in 1989, the worst oil spill in United States history.

The leaks were discovered Saturday in the riser, the 5,000-foot-long pipe that extended from the wellhead to the drilling platform. The riser detached from the platform after it exploded and sank, and it is now snaking up from the wellhead and back down to the sea floor. It is leaking in two places, both at the sea floor. The bends in the riser, like kinks in a garden hose, have apparently prevented a gush of oil. When the platform was on the ocean’s surface and the riser was still attached last week, oil and gas were shooting up through the riser, creating plumes of flame.

Another effort described by officials Sunday — drilling relief wells nearby — would take two to three months to stop the flow.

BP, which was leasing the drilling platform and is responsible for the cleanup under federal law, was mobilizing two rigs that could drill the relief wells, which could send heavy mud and concrete into the cavity of oil and gas that drilling apparently punctured by accident.

If the blowout preventer does not seal off the well, officials intend to place a large dome directly over the leaks to catch the oil and route it up to the surface, where it could be collected.

This has been done before, but only in shallow waters, said Doug Suttles, the chief operating officer for exploration and production at BP.

“It’s never been deployed in 5,000 feet of water,” he said. “But we have the world’s best experts working on that right now.”

Rough seas halted the cleanup efforts on Saturday and most of Sunday. But as the weather cleared Sunday afternoon, aircraft resumed dumping dispersant, or chemicals that break down the oil. By evening, 15 vessels were headed to the area to resume skimming the oil off the surface of the ocean.

The Coast Guard said 48,000 gallons of oil-water mix had been collected by Sunday.

Doug Helton, a fisheries biologist who coordinates oil spill responses for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, said the oil emanating from the riser was taking the shape of a giant ice cream cone as it drifted toward the surface. He said there were no reports of dead animals yet, although that was expected to change if the leaks were not sealed.

Mr. Helton added that wind data allowed officials to predict that the spill would not hit shore within three days, but that it was moving north.

“Louisiana is the closest area,” he said. “There is a potential for other Gulf states if the release continues unabated, but we have no indication in our trajectories that shorefall will happen in the next three days.”

Sea life that congregates at the surface and has no mobility of its own — like plankton and fish eggs — is the most vulnerable to the slick. A large-scale destruction of eggs could affect fish populations in the future.

Officials are monitoring the environmental effects of the spill by boat and planes.

“It will be more severe over time,” Mr. Helton said.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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27 Apr 2010, 02:40 #7

Oil leak from sunken rig off La. could foul coast
By CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writer
8:35 pm EDT Mon 26 Apr 2010

NEW ORLEANS – Crews raced to protect the Gulf of Mexico coastline Monday as a remote sub tried to shut off an underwater oil well that's gushing 42,000 gallons a day from the site of a wrecked drilling platform.

If crews cannot stop the leak quickly, they might need to drill another well to redirect the oil, a laborious process that could take about two months while oil washes up along a broad stretch of shore, from the white-sand beaches of Florida's Panhandle to the swamps of Louisiana.

The oil, which could reach shore in as little as three days, is escaping from two leaks in a drilling pipe about 5,000 feet below the surface. The spill has grown to more than 1,800 square miles, or an area larger than Rhode Island.

Winds and currents can change rapidly and drastically, so officials were hesitant to give any longer forecasts for where the spill will head. Hundreds of miles of coastline in four states are threatened, with waters that are home to dolphins and sea birds. The areas also hold prime fishing grounds and are popular with tourists.

The oil began spewing out of the sea floor after the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded April 20 and sank two days later about 40 miles off the Mississippi River delta. Eleven of the 126 workers aboard at the time are missing and presumed dead; the rest escaped. The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

As of Monday afternoon, an area 48 miles long and 39 miles wide was covered by oil that leaked from the site of the rig, which was owned by Transocean Ltd. and operated by BP PLC.

Crews used robot submarines to activate valves in hopes of stopping the leaks, but they may not know until Tuesday if that strategy will work. BP also mobilized two rigs to drill a relief well if needed. Such a well could help redirect the oil, though it could also take weeks to complete, especially at that depth.

BP plans to collect leaking oil on the ocean bottom by lowering a large dome to capture the oil and then pumping it through pipes and hoses into a vessel on the surface, said Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP Exploration and Production.

It could take up to a month to get the equipment in place.

"That system has been deployed in shallower water, but it has never been deployed at 5,000 feet of water, so we have to be careful," he said.

The spill, moving slowly north and spreading east and west, was about 30 miles from the Chandeleur Islands off the Louisiana coast Monday. The Coast Guard said kinks in the pipe were helping stem the flow of oil.

From the air Monday afternoon, the oil spill reached as far as the eye could see. There was little evidence of a major cleanup, with only a handful of vessels near the site of the leak.

The oil sheen was of a shiny light blue color, translucent and blending with the water, but a distinct edge between the oil slick and the sea could be seen stretching for miles.

George Crozier, oceanographer and executive director at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, said he was studying wind and ocean currents driving the oil.

He said Pensacola, Fla., is probably the eastern edge of the threatened area, though no one really knows what the effects will be.

"We've never seen anything like this magnitude," he said. "The problems are going to be on the beaches themselves. That's where it will be really visible."

Aaron Viles, director for the New Orleans-based environmental group Gulf Restoration Network, said he flew over the spill Sunday and saw what was likely a sperm whale swimming near the oil sheen.

"There are going to be significant marine impacts," he said.

Concern Monday focused on the Chandeleur and Breton barrier islands in Louisiana, where thousands of birds are nesting.

"It's already a fragile system. It would be devastating to see anything happen to that system," said Mark Kulp, a University of New Orleans geologist.

Oil makes it difficult for birds to fly or float on the water's surface. Plant life can also suffer serious harm.

Whales have been spotted near the oil spill, though they did not seem to be in any distress. The spill also threatened oyster beds in Breton Sound on the eastern side of the Mississippi River. Harvesters could only watch and wait.

"That's our main oyster-producing area," said John Tesvich, a fourth-generation oyster farmer with Port Sulphur Fisheries Co. His company has about 4,000 acres of oyster grounds that could be affected if the spill worsens.

"Trying to move crops would be totally speculative," Tesvich said. "You wouldn't know where to move a crop. You might be moving a crop to a place that's even worse."

If the oyster grounds are affected, thousands of fishermen, packers, processors might have to curtail operations.

Worse, he said, it's spawning season, and contamination could affect young oysters. But even if the spill is mostly contained, he said oil residue could get sucked in by the oysters.

"You will have off-flavors that would be a concern," Tesvich said.

If the oil continues oozing north, the white-sand beaches in Mississippi, Alabama and west Florida could be fouled, too.

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal asked the Coast Guard to use containment booms, which float like a string of fat sausage links to hold back oil until it can be skimmed off the surface. Crews were trying to keep oil out of the Pass A Loutre wildlife area, a 115,000-acre preserve that is home to alligators, birds and fish near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

In Mississippi, Gov. Haley Barbour said he has spoken with the Coast Guard mission commander, Rear Adm. Mary Landry, but was uncertain what to do to protect the state's beaches.

"It's a real difficulty in trying to determine what defenses will be effective," he said.

A fleet of boats and containment equipment was working to skim oil from the surface of the Gulf late last week. But crews had to suspend their efforts because of a weather system that spawned deadly tornadoes in Louisiana and Mississippi and stirred up heavy seas over the weekend.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Terrell said 32 vessels are waiting for conditions to improve to resume the cleanup. She could not say when they will be back at work, but she said 23,000 feet of containment boom had been deployed, 70,000 more were ready to go when the effort resumes, and another 50,000 feet were on order.

___

Associated Press writers Kevin McGill in New Orleans, Emily Wagster Pettus in Yazoo City, Miss., and Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge contributed to this story.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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27 Apr 2010, 22:29 #8

Emergency efforts to stop oil for leaking from the well and efforts to mitigate a pending disaster have been unsuccessful in the heart of the offshore oil drilling industry where all the emergency equipment is readily available. Imagine the disaster if a similar incident happened in the Buford sea near the end of the summer. The Arctic Ocean would freeze over and the oil would continue to leak into the environment all winter long. Drilling offshore in the Arctic is not a good idea. The demand to "drill here, drill there, drill everywhere" is completely stupid. These rigs also make great terrorist targets.

Gulf businesses wait as oil creeps toward coast
By HOLBROOK MOHR and CAIN BURDEAU, Associated Press Writers

6:03 pm EDT Tue 27 Apr 2010

BILOXI, Miss. — This time, it's not a hurricane that threatens to wreck their livelihoods — it's a blob of black ooze slowly making its way toward the Gulf Coast.

Hotel owners, fishermen and restaurateurs are keeping anxious watch as an oil slick spreads from a wrecked drilling platform like a giant filthy ink blot. Forecasters say it could wash ashore within days near delicate wetlands, oyster beds and pristine white beaches.

Crews have not been able to stop thousands of barrels of oil from spewing out of the sea floor since an April 20 explosion destroyed the Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead, and the cause of the explosion has not been determined.

Louis Skrmetta, 54, runs a company called Ship Island Excursions that takes tourists to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, where white-sand beaches and green water create an idyllic landscape.

"This is the worst possible thing that could happen to the Mississippi Gulf Coast," he said. "It will wipe out the oyster industry. Shrimping wouldn't recover for years. It would kill family tourism. That's our livelihood."

As crews struggled to contain the oil slick, Coast Guard officials said Tuesday they were considering setting fire to the contaminated water to burn off the crude. Pools of oil far offshore would be trapped in special containment booms and set aflame as soon as Wednesday.

"If we don't secure this well, this could be one of the most significant oil spills in U.S. history," Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said.

A similar burn off the coast of Newfoundland in 1993 eliminated 50 to 99 percent of captured oil. However, burning the oil also creates air pollution, and the effect on marine life is unclear.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, birds and mammals are more likely to escape a burning area of the ocean than escape from an oil slick. The agency said birds might be disoriented by the plumes of smoke, but they would be at much greater risk from exposure to oil in the water.

In Washington, meanwhile, the Obama administration launched a full investigation of the explosion, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said they will devote every available resource to the probe.

Meanwhile, the glistening sheen of sweet crude continued to grow and began forming long reddish-orange ribbons of oil that, if they wash up on shore, could cover birds, white sand beaches and marsh grasses.

The last major spill in the Gulf was in June 1979, when an offshore drilling rig in Mexican waters — the Ixtoc I — blew up, releasing 140 million gallons of oil. It took until March 1980 to cap the well, and a great deal of the oil contaminated U.S. waters and Texas shores.

"In the worst-case scenario, this could also last months," said Richard Haut, a senior research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center who worked for Exxon for 20 years, 10 of them on an offshore platform in the North Sea.

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon is not expected to reach the coast until late in the week, if at all. As of Tuesday, it was about 20 miles offshore, south of Venice, La. The spill covered an expanding area about 48 miles long and 80 miles wide, but with uneven borders, making it difficult to calculate its area in square miles.

"I understand there's got to be industry, but it's so sad for our kids. We don't have a lot of beaches left," Bonnie Bethel, 66, said as she watched her grandchildren splash in the water on a Mississippi beach. "Can you imagine these poor birds in oil?"

Thousands of birds such as egrets and brown pelicans are nesting on barrier islands close to the rig's wreckage right now. If the oil gets to them, rescuers would need to reach their remote islands, wash them down and release them back into the wild.

Michael Ziccardi, director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network affiliated with the University of California at Davis, said he is standing by to clean up Gulf Coast birds if they are hurt by the spill. Cleaning up brown pelican chicks after a modest spill in Louisiana in 2005 was a major undertaking, he said.

"Just about any petroleum can cause problems for birds because they lose their waterproofing, and that's what keeps them dry and warm," Ziccardi said. "It's a really difficult time, and we're close to the peak of migration."

The spill also threatens billions of fish eggs and larvae coating the Gulf's surface this time of year.

If the well cannot be closed, almost 100,000 barrels of oil, or 4.2 million gallons, could spill into the Gulf before crews can drill a relief well to alleviate the pressure. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez, the worst oil spill in U.S. history, leaked 11 million gallons into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.

Crews working to clean up the spill from the Deepwater Horizon have other things in their favor. Oil from the Exxon Valdez can still be found under rocks in the cold water of Prince William Sound, but residue in the Gulf will disappear faster.

"You have warm temperatures, strong sunlight, microbial action. It will degrade a lot faster," said Ronald S. Tjeerdema, an environmental toxicologist at the University of California at Davis who's studied the effects of oil on aquatic systems. "Eventually, things will return to normal."

And there's another bit of good news: The oil spilling out is sweet crude, which is low in sulfur, unlike the oil from the Exxon Valdez, which was heavy crude.

"If you had to pick an oil to spill, this would be it," said Ed Overton, a professor emeritus of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University and an oil spill expert.

BP said Tuesday that it planned to begin drilling a relief well to redirect the leaking oil in a $100 million effort to take the pressure off the blown-out well.

The company said it would begin the drilling by Thursday even if crews can shut off oil leaking from the pipe 5,000 feet underground. Robot subs have tried to activate a shut-off device, but so far that has not worked.

Company spokesman Robert Wine said the drilling will take up to three months and will be done from a rig now in place near where the Deepwater Horizon sank.

Louisiana-based BP spokesman Neil Chapman said 49 vessels — oil skimmers, tugboats barges and special recovery boats that separate oil from water — are working to round up oil.

In Pensacola, Fla., the easternmost point likely to be affected, beachgoers and business owners kept watch.

"I've been looking at this sand all morning and thinking about the oil spill," said Shelley Brunson after a morning swim at Pensacola Beach. "I am praying they clean it up fast and it doesn't come here."

Sal Pinzone, general manager of the fishing pier where anglers catch pompano and cobia, shows up at work at 5:30 every morning to watch the sun rise over the famous white-sand beach.

"We are all worried," he said. "If the spill does hit the beaches along the Gulf, it will shut down everything."

___

Burdeau reported from New Orleans. Associated Press writers Alan Sayre, Kevin McGill and Cain Burdeau in New Orleans, Melissa Nelson in Pensacola, Fla., and Ramit Plushnick-Masti in Houston contributed to this report.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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28 Apr 2010, 14:04 #9

Coast Guard considers lighting oil spill on fire
AP 9:55 am EDT Wed 28 Apr 2010

NEW ORLEANS – Authorities will begin burning some of the thickest oil in a massive slick from a rig explosion off the coast of Louisiana.

A Coast Guard spokesman says the burn is expected to begin Wednesday morning.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Prentice Danner says fire-resistant containment booms will be used to corral some of the thickest oil on surface, which will then be ignited. It was unclear how large an area would be set on fire or how far from shore the first fire would be set.

The slick is the result of oil leaking from the site of last week's huge explosion of a deep water oil rig that burned and sank. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead. Oil continues to spill undersea, where robot submarines have been unable to cap the well.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Coast Guard is considering setting fire to a large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to keep the mess away from shore as efforts to cap a spewing well fail.

Crews have been unable to stop thousands of barrels of oil from fouling gulf waters since an April 20 explosion sank the Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead, and the cause of the blast has not been determined.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said the controlled burns would be done during the day far from shore. Crews would make sure marine life and people were protected and that work on other oil rigs would not be interrupted.

The burning could start as early as Wednesday afternoon, but whether it will work is unclear. Officials would be considering weather conditions including wind and waves in deciding whether to go ahead with the burn, BP spokesman Neil Chapman said Wednesday.

Ed Overton, a professor emeritus of environmental sciences at Louisiana State University, questioned the method.

"It can be effective in calm water, not much wind, in a protected area," he said. "When you're out in the middle of the ocean, with wave actions and currents pushing you around, it's not easy."

He has another concern: The oil samples from the spill he's looked at shows it to be a sticky substance similar to roofing tar.

"I'm not super optimistic. This is tarry crude that lies down in the water," he said. "But it's something that has got to be tried."

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, birds and mammals are more likely to escape a burning area of the ocean than escape from an oil slick. The agency said birds might be disoriented by the plumes of smoke, but they would be at much greater risk from exposure to oil in the water.

A similar burn off the coast of Newfoundland in 1993 eliminated 50 to 99 percent of captured oil. However, burning the oil also creates air pollution, and the effect on marine life is unclear.


Crews from the Texas General Land Office Oil Spill Prevention and Response Program are bringing in equipment to help corral the oil and burn the slick.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said burning surface oil is one of the best ways to deal with so large a slick.

The last time crews with the agency used fire booms to burn oil was a 1995 spill on the San Jacinto River, Patterson said.

"When you burn it, the plume from the fire is the biggest environmental concern, but this far out to sea it will not be as big of a problem," Patterson said.

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon is not expected to reach the coast until late in the week, if at all. But longer-term forecasts show the winds and ocean currents veering toward the coast. The glistening sheen of sweet crude is forming long reddish-orange ribbons of oil that, if they wash up on shore, could cover birds, white sand beaches and marsh grasses.

"As the days progress, the (oil) plume will migrate north, northeast," said Gregory W. Stone, an oceanographer and head of the Coastal Studies Institute at Louisiana State University. "That plume will push onshore."

Hotel owners, fishermen and restaurateurs are keeping anxious watch.

Louis Skrmetta, 54, runs a company called Ship Island Excursions that takes tourists to the Gulf Islands National Seashore, where white-sand beaches and green water create an idyllic landscape.

"This is the worst possible thing that could happen to the Mississippi Gulf Coast," he said. "It will wipe out the oyster industry. Shrimping wouldn't recover for years. It would kill family tourism. That's our livelihood."

The last major spill in the Gulf was in June 1979, when an offshore drilling rig in Mexican waters — the Ixtoc I — blew up, releasing 140 million gallons. It took until March 1980 to cap the well, and the oil contaminated U.S. waters and Texas shores.

As of Tuesday, the spill was about 20 miles offshore, south of Venice, La. It covered an expanding area about 48 miles long and 80 miles wide, but with uneven borders, making it difficult to calculate its area in square miles.

"I understand there's got to be industry, but it's so sad for our kids. We don't have a lot of beaches left," Bonnie Bethel, 66, said as she watched her grandchildren splash in the water on a Mississippi beach. "Can you imagine these poor birds in oil?"

Thousands of birds such as egrets and brown pelicans are nesting on barrier islands close to the rig's wreckage. If the oil gets to them, rescuers would need to reach their remote islands, wash them down and release them back into the wild.

Michael Ziccardi, director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network affiliated with the University of California at Davis, said he is standing by to clean up Gulf Coast birds.

"Just about any petroleum can cause problems for birds because they lose their waterproofing, and that's what keeps them dry and warm," Ziccardi said. "It's a really difficult time, and we're close to the peak of migration."

The spill also threatens billions of fish eggs and larvae coating the Gulf's surface this time of year.

If the well cannot be closed, almost 100,000 barrels of oil, or 4.2 million gallons, could spill into the Gulf before crews can drill a relief well to alleviate the pressure. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez, the worst oil spill in U.S. history, leaked 11 million gallons into Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989.

BP said Tuesday that it planned to begin drilling a relief well to redirect the leaking oil in a $100 million effort to take the pressure off the blown-out well.

The company said it would begin the drilling by Thursday even if crews can shut off oil leaking from the pipe 5,000 feet underground. Robot subs have tried to activate a shut-off device, but so far that has not worked.

Chapman said 49 vessels — oil skimmers, tugboats barges and special recovery boats that separate oil from water — are working to round up oil.

In Washington, meanwhile, the Obama administration launched a full investigation of the explosion, promising every available resource.

___

Mohr reported from Biloxi, Miss. Associated Press writers Alan Sayre and Kevin McGill in New Orleans, Melissa Nelson in Pensacola, Fla., and Ramit Plushnick-Masti in Houston contributed to this report.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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29 Apr 2010, 03:30 #10

Coast Guard: New oil leak in Gulf of Mexico
Wed 28 Apr 2010

CAIN BURDEAU AND BRETT MARTEL
Associated Press Writers

Image
An oil skimmer collects oil from a leaking pipeline that resulted from last week's explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Tuesday, April 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard says a new leak has been found at the site where a oil platform exploded and sank off in the Gulf of Mexico.

Image
Weathered oil is seen in the wake of a crew boat as it sails over the site of a leaking oil pipeline that resulted from last week's explosion and collapse of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico near the coast of Louisiana Tuesday, April 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Rear Adm. Mary Landry says that 5,000 barrels a day is now what is estimated to be leaking. Officials had been saying for days that it was 1,000 barrels a day.

Image
This Monday, April 26, 2010 photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the base of a pollution containment chamber as it is moved to a construction area in Port Fourchon, La. According to the Coast Guard, the chamber will be used in an attempt to contain an oil leak related to the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon explosion. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley)

Landry says the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration says a better estimate is 5,000 barrels a day.

Image
An April 25, 2010 satellite photo provided by NASA shows a portion of the slick, with ships visible at bottom of the frame, from the 42,000 gallon-a-day oil leak from a well in the Gulf of Mexico following and explosion at the the Deepwater Horizon platform on April 20. (AP Photo/via NASA)

Oil is pouring into the Gulf from a site where the rig Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank last week.

Image
In this aerial photo taken over the Gulf of Mexico, a boat and crew work in oil which leaked from a pipeline at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the coast of Louisiana, Monday, April 26, 2010. Officials say there will be no shoreline impact from an oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico for at least another three days. Crews were ramping up Monday to protect the coastline after the oil rig exploded off the Louisiana coast nearly a week ago. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Officials say the leading edge of the oil was nearing the Louisiana coast and could impact it as early as Friday evening.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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29 Apr 2010, 11:11 #11

I wonder how long before "intelligence sources" try to blame this horrendous accident and looming environmental disaster on terrorists?
Oil spill 'five times worse than thought'

Third leak is found at the site of oil rig explosion as BP escalates its response to the slick, which could hit US coast today
Oil spill off US coast ‘five times worse than we thought’, officials admit
From (London) Times Online
April 29, 2010

Robin Pagnamenta, Anne Barrowclough

BP said that it was escalating its response to a worsening oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as US officials warned that the amount of crude leaking from the sunken Deepwater Horizon rig was five times greater than originally thought.

A third leak has been discovered at the site of the explosion nine days ago, increasing the amount of oil spilled into the ocean to 5,000 barrels of oil a day compared with an initial estimate of 1,000 barrels, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

BP said that it had deployed 69 vessels including barges and skimmers as well as 100,000ft of boom, which acts as a barrier to contain the oil. It said that more than 76,000 gallons of dispersant chemicals had been sprayed on to the oil to break up the slick.

“We are attacking this spill on all fronts, bringing into play all and any resources and advanced technologies we believe can help,” said Tony Hayward, the BP chief executive.

With no obvious way of shutting off the leak soon, though, the scale of the challenge remains daunting.

Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, called on the US Government for emergency assistance to prevent an environmental disaster as the slick threatened to hit fragile marshland along the coast today.

Winds have helped the slick, which spans 100 miles (160km) at its longest and 40 miles at its widest, to move to within 16 miles (26 kilometres) of Louisiana’s coastline.

Mr Jindal said that a part of the slick that had broken off from the main spill was likely to be the first to reach the coast, hitting the Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area, a haven for birds, fish, sea turtles and other wildlife.

The slick could hit Breton Sound by Saturday and the Chandeleur Islands by Sunday.

The new leak means that within 50 days the slick could reach the size of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska.

Officials had previously found two leaks in the riser, the 5,000ft-long pipe that connected the rig to the wellhead. Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for exploration and production for BP, said that a third leak had been discovered closer to the source. “I’m very, very confident this leak is new,” he said.

Strong onshore winds “will move floating oil towards the delta with possible shoreline impacts by Friday night,” NOAA forecast chart said.

Charlie Henry, the administration’s scientific support coordinator, said there was a high risk that southeasterly winds would push emulsified oil and “tar balls” into the delta area by Friday night.

Mr Jindal said in a statement: “Our top priority is to protect our citizens and the environment. These resources are critical to mitigating the impact of the oil spill on our coast.”

A controlled burn of the oil has started, which involves igniting patches of the oil-water mixture inside booms, but this is expected to remove only about 3 per cent of the slick.

It could be enough, though, to prevent onshore wildlife habitats and marshland being overwhelmed. The contamination of Louisiana’s fragile wetlands would be almost impossible to clear up and be disastrous for waterfowl and rare wildlife.

The burn plan is an admission that the $6 million a day (£4 million) operation to bring the crisis under control has failed. Rear Admiral Mary Landry, who is leading the Government’s response to the disaster, said that if the oil well was not secured the spill could become one of the worst in US history.

She said that the oil burn was “just one tool in a tool kit” of plans.

BP is also trying to activate a device on the seabed that is designed to clamp shut over the subsea well. A metal canopy is being built that would be used to siphon off the leaking oil.

The company is moving two new drilling rigs into position to drill “relief wells” that could be used to cap the leak by injecting cement and mud into it.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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29 Apr 2010, 11:18 #12

Alligators, turtles and a state bird at risk
From (London) Times Online
April 29, 2010

Robin Pagnamenta: analysis

The spreading oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico threatens to inflict widespread environmental damage along the coast of four US states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Several bird species and wildlife are threatened by the spill, which could hit the Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area, a delicate area of swampland, today.

The Chandeleur and Breton barrier islands off the Louisiana coast could be affected over the weekend.

Bird species at high risk include the brown pelican, the state bird of Louisiana, which was removed from the list on the US Endangered Species Act last year. They nest on barrier islands and their breeding season has just started. Other species include the American oystercatcher and Wilson’s plover.

Other creatures likely to be affected by the spill include the freshwater alligator and several species of sea turtles, which are moving through the Gulf for their spring nesting season. The turtles need to surface in order to breathe, raising the threat that they could be contaminated with crude oil.

The northern part of the Gulf of Mexico is a key spawning ground for the endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna, whose eggs float close to the surface of the sea. Bass, bream, catfish, speckled trout and flounder also thrive in the region.

Louisiana’s significant shrimp and oyster industries are also at risk.
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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29 Apr 2010, 13:51 #13

From Drill Baby to Spill Baby to Burn, Baby, Burn: America’s Bankrupt Energy Policy - by: Scarecrow Wednesday April 28, 2010 11:01 am | Firedoglake "The Seminal"
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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29 Apr 2010, 13:54 #14

Horizon Oil Slick Continues to Expand, Disingenuous Politicians Demand “Investigation” - By: Seymour Friendly Wednesday April 28, 2010 12:33 pm | Firedoglake "The Seminal"
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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29 Apr 2010, 18:16 #15

Oil slick to hit coast on Friday
(Reuters) - A huge oil spill will hit the southern coast on Friday, the Coast Guard said on Thursday, and the military offered to help BP Plc contain the slick that threatens four states.

The spill was "of national significance," Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told a news conference, adding the government will push BP to conduct the strongest possible effort to clean it up.

The state of Louisiana declared a state of emergency due to the accident, which the Coast Guard said late on Wednesday was spilling five times more oil than previously estimated.

BP and the Coast Guard have already mounted what the London-based company calls the largest oil spill containment operation in history, involving dozens of ships and aircraft.

But they are struggling to control the slick from the leaking well 5,000 feet under the sea off Louisiana's coast.

The slick will hit the coast in the Mississippi Delta "sometime later tomorrow," Sally Brice O'Hare, rear admiral of the Coast Guard, said at the news conference with Napolitano.

Eleven workers are missing and presumed dead after last week's oil rig disaster -- the worst in the United States in almost a decade. There are fears of serious damage to fisheries, wildlife refuges and beaches in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Transocean's Deepwater Horizon rig sank on April 22, two days after it exploded and caught fire while it was finishing a well for BP about 40 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The spill could also have major ramifications for proposals in Congress and by President Barack Obama for issuing new offshore drilling permits.

The Washington Post noted the spill was likely to "surpass the size of the 1969 Santa Barbara spill that helped lead to the far-reaching moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, a ban that Obama recently said he wants to modify."

The leak from the well blowout is now estimated at 5,000 barrels per day or about 210,000 gallons (795,000 liters).

(Additional reporting by Tabassum Zakaria in Washington; Editing by Pascal Fletcher and David Storey)
Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then, will you realize that money cannot be
eaten!!!
(Cree Indian Prophecy)
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