Oil Spill Update: May 24, 2010
Another few days and another few million gallons.
- Oil seeps 12 miles into Louisiana marshes and pelicans are coated in crude.
- The U.S. officially declares a fisheries disaster in Gulf of Mexico. Nearly 20% of fisheries in the area because of the spill impacting the $2.4 billion industry in the Gulf states
- The BP “plan” for reacting to a major oilspill is joke. Walruses are among the Gulf’s “Sensitive Biological Resources.” A Japanese home shopping site if given as the link to one of the “primary equipment providers for BP in the Gulf of Mexico Region [for]rapid deployment of spill response resources on a 24 hour, 7 days a week basis.” More importantly the plan doesn’t contain information about tracking sub-surface oil plumes.
- Fed up with BP’s failed response, Louisiana shrimpers take charge in the oil spill cleanup. Under their own charge the “crew finds oil — it doesn’t take long — and then lowers absorbent booms. All the leaked oil gets scooped up and absorbed into the white boom. In as little as half an hour, the dirty booms have to be replaced.”
- Others are beginning to realize that a ”substantial piece of the total impact is likely occurring under the sea.”
- Scientists to study impact of gulf oil spill on marine food webs. The team will focus on three species of mollusk (oysters, tellinid clams, and periwinkles) to see if toxins are being incorporated into their shells.
- Although not in reference to the oil spill but extremely pertinent, Ed Yong writes about how protecting biodiversity alleviates poverty and the surprise benefits of protected areas
- The White House is getting pissed off with BP. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar pledged to “keep our boot on their neck until the job gets done.” Interior Secretary Salazar earlier slamed BP for missing deadlines on sealing oil well. MSNBC reports that “Confidence in BP? Not really, says Obama aide.”
- BP delays their latest attempt to stop the oil leak. In a maneuver called a “top kill,” BP is planning to pump heavy drilling fluids twice the density of water through two narrow lines into the blowout preventer to create a plug.
- BP commits $500 million to research oil spill impact. To bad they didn’t spend this on how research to prevent this happening in the first place or mitigating its impact once it did happen.
- A nice write up with the most dramatic title yet. Oil spill brings “death in the ocean from top to bottom”. Combine this with the photo by A.J. Sisco at The Times-Picayune and you probably need a shot and a valium to get to sleep tonight.
- Julie Packard, Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium op-ed for the Huffington Post rightly calls us all out. ”While it’s easy to blame industry and the government for the spill, the underlying culprit is our collective reliance on fossil fuels.”
- New York Times reports “at least 7 new drilling permits and 5 waivers have been granted” since the oil spill.
- A direct Tweet from with a link to this video has me wondering about the potential for hay and straw as a cleanup solution. One of the few things that would make me actually want to bail hay.