What the Flock, BP?

Better safe than sorry. We’re supposed to believe that BP is to be trusted because, of course, they’d rather be safe than sorry. Except, their stand on safety is now a matter of public record – the rig survivors have told the tale in case we couldn’t tell from their numerous lame responses to the damage they’re causing. Maybe what they’re really letting us know is that they’re not much for sorrow – not a big bottom line in feeling sorry for people after you’ve taken their lives, their livelihood and their way of life. Think I sound bitter? Jaded? Too tough on people just doing their jobs?

BP is spending $50 million to keep up appearances and $10,000 a day to pop to the top of search engine terms like “oil spill.” They claim to have spent over 1.25 billion on the spill so far (a drop in the oily bucket), but as they continue to be caught in lie after lie, I always wait for confirmation on anything they say.

BP claims to have collected 42,500 barrels of oil in the last four days (about 1,750,000 gallons), but experts are saying that the amounts spilling out of the new well cap are more than what was escaping before the head was sawed off. Since the scientists have nothing to gain and BP has no credibility, I’ve got to take seriously the idea that BP keeps making it worse right in front of us on national TV, live and in color. But, not in HD until today when they finally handed over far more clear video from a week ago. No one seems to know how much oil is escaping everyday. The latest number in tons according to Wikipedia (updated daily), is 77,000-250,000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_spills#Largest_oil_spills

If you check out the Wikipedia page yourself, you may notice what I did, that the few spills that show a ton range rather than a solid number, show a fairly small range. The difference between  77 and 250 is around 325%. That’s a pretty big gap – more like a guess than an approximation. Earlier, I saw an estimate of 77,000 to 640,000 tons, an 830% difference. This is probably because the flow per day rate has been narrowed down to between 500,000 to 4,200,000 gallons per day. That’s an 840% difference. Every day, they guess how much oil is pouring into the gulf using a number that could be up to 8 1/2 times bigger or smaller than it should be. I’m crossing my fingers that the scientist are wrong, but BP has underreported many many numbers (remember when they said 1,000 barrels a day? 5,000?).

Did you know that BP is fined per gallon per day? That’s what we call a motive. The lower the numbers spilled, the less it costs them in fines.

BP continues to say there are no “plumes” under the surface. Hayward said there was, “No evidence” and the new guy says they’ve yet to find any plumes. Well, many other people have, not oil experts, but oceanic experts, scientists. They’ve found many of these invisible clouds, traceable back to the Deepwater Horizon well. The scientists say the clouds, also known as “dead zones” because they lack oxygen and kill what they come in contact with, reach from the surface all the way to the Gulf floor. They blame the dispersants, they ones BP continues to release at the wellhead though they’re banned in many countries including their own. People are talking about the collapse of the food chain in the Gulf and the possibility that the entire Gulf may become a dead zone. CNN asked Dr. William Hogarth, dean of USF Marine Science, what his level of worry was on a scale from 1 – 10. He said plainly, “Ten.”

BP says they’ll have the leak at the wellhead down to a trickle by Monday or Tuesday. I’d love to be wrong about my fears, but they’ve yet to finish anything when they said they would and, so far, nothing they’ve done has improved anything. They say they’re collecting 14,000 barrels a day now (around 575,000 gallons). Okay, so they must be admitting that there’s a LOT more than 500,000 gallons coming out of that pipe everyday, right? Nope. BP has quit giving estimates. They say it doesn’t matter, they’re focusing on cleaning things up. Really? Couldn’t tell it from our coastlines. Or the fact that both Alabama and Florida have gone rogue and are protecting themselves without BP’s permission now since permission wasn’t forthcoming. Heck, BP isn’t even allowing people on our country’s public beaches to clean or report. They’ve hired private security, not even out-of-work locals. Swimming? Sure, bring the kids, just don’t try to build a barrier.

The Barataria Bay area of Louisiana has gone from bad to oil saturated in the last few days. Why is BP never ahead of the oil reaching land? We’ve had 50 days to stop oil from reaching our shores. Rumor is that they plan to let the oil beach because it’s easier to clean up.  Here’s some recent photos of what they will have to fix:

http://blogs.tampabay.com/photo/2010/06/gulf-oil-spill-coastal-impact.html

BP still isn’t allowing local workers to wear masks, stating that the air quality is fine. Many believe they are actually more interested (as evidenced by the huge commercial campaign) in their public image and liability, that they don’t want to admit they may have fouled our air, too.

Meantime, fishermen and their families waited in long lines for food hand-outs today. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine being someone who’s worked since you were young, paid your way and built a home life for your family. Now, try to picture piling your family into a car on a 95 degree day to wait in a long line to get charitably donated (not from BP) food. People here are already broke and hungry. Many are suffering depression. Some have committed suicide. To think any of this can be “made whole” is beyond ridiculous.

Do I have anything good to say? Anything hopeful? Yes. The State’s Department of Environmental Quality will be fining BP up to $3,100,000 a day for ongoing violations.

And the Saints visited Plaquemines Parish, put smiles on local faces, gave out autographs, watched birds being cleaned and started a raffle you might want in on. The Saints will be raffling off a Super Bowl ring to be awarded on September 9th at their season opener against the Vikings. Tickets are $2 with a $10 minimum. 100 or more tickets drops the price to $0.75 per ticket. For tickets, go to:

https://celebritiesforcharity.org/raffles/saints_ring.cfm

And some celebrities are beginning to speak up. Local homeowner, Sandra Bullock mentioned the people of the Gulf on the MTV Awards, her first public appearance since her personal hullaballoo. Robert Redford, James Cameron, and of course, Kevin Costner, have offered help. Edward James Olmos is here now. Howard Stern is getting loud. Victoria Principal donated $200,000 to help with the cleaning effort.

And I suppose we may finally get wise about alternative energy, renewable energy, and locally grown energy. Maybe regulations will get tougher and we will get tougher on our meth-headed bribe-taking regulators at MMS. Maybe we’ll get to watch BP pay until they make our Gulf and its residents “whole” again. I’m too tired of spending my day tracking down BP’s lies to even know anymore. It only makes sense at this point to question everything they say.

Meantime, flocks of pelicans, schools of fish and hundreds of other animals and plants are dying every day.

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Filed under oil spill catastrophe, Super Bowl 2010, the Saints

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