Fishing and Breathing BP’s Oil: What’s “Safe?”

West Side of Pier-Wide Shot Copyright June 7, 2010 Nick Zantop

Georgianne Nienaber: o one knows for certain what are “safe” levels of dispersants, oil, and VOCs in the air and water. There was no baseline to begin with, agencies are overlapping or not doing their jobs, and there are still 80 days worth of oil and dispersants in the Gulf to contend with.

Gulf Oil Disaster: A Tragedy of the Commons

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Donald Price: The Tragedy of the Commons teaches us that private companies can’t regulate themselves because this eventually leads to the tragedies we see in the Gulf of Mexico and the financial tragedies in the global economy.

Winona LaDuke Pledges Help for Native Tribes Facing BP Oil

Winona LaDuke at White Earth Reservation

Georgianne Nienaber: LaDuke slammed the Minnesota Ottertail Power Company for being “punitive” in its refusal to allow the White Earth Recovery Project to supply its own power and have some to sell to the rest of the grid. Minnesota has the strictest electrical inspection standards in the United States.

Media Contributes to Victim Mentality as Gulf Struggles

Grand Bayou, Louisiana, at risk

Georgianne Nienaber: Journalists have a responsibility to examine the science and it will not be easy. The public has a responsibility to learn more about their environment. It is obvious that government is not looking out for Gulf Coast residents. Communities will be forced to step in and do independent monitoring.

Images in the Sand Connect Our Global Community

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Linda Milazzo: We who are selfish, who sacrifice our planet to fulfill desires not related to sustainment, are earth-perps. Every drowned polar bear incriminates us. Every oil asphyxiated dolphin, pelican and turtle inculpates us. Every decapitated mountain besmirches us. Every toxic landfill debases us.

How Big Oil Controlled the U.S. Photovoltaic Industry

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Tracy Emblem: Big Oil bought and controlled the alternative energy business because Big Oil’s main business is and has always been oil, gas, coal and petrochemical profits first. The “private sector” stimulated was the mergers and buy-outs of smaller photovoltaic research and development companies by Big Oil companies.

Oil-Soaked Dolphins Struggle in Lousiana’s Barataria Bay

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Georgianne Nienaber: Toxic poisons are stalking the dolphins in Barataria Bay, Louisiana, and no one is discussing or reporting the fact that the oiled mammals are struggling in the waters near Grand Terre Island. There are no published photos or videos that we have been able to find, and no stories that describe the oil-encrusted dorsal fins and odd behavior that suggest an under-reported or deliberately hidden environmental catastrophe.

Pointing Our Oily Finger

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Dick Price: The reason we’ve got oil rigs drilling a mile deep into the ocean and fouling Alaska’s wilderness is because you and I insist on filling up our car’s gas tank anytime we want, right to the top, at a fraction of the cost others around the world pay, almost as an inalienable right. It’s why we’ve got soldiers dying in Afghanistan and Iraq these many years down the road, too, you know.

The Obama Plot for a Carbon Tax

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Robert Reich: Tuesday night, President Obama did not call for a tax on carbon. He didn’t even ask the Senate to pass the cap-and-trade legislation that emerged from the House. Instead, he said there were lots of good ideas out there and he’s willing to consider any of them — which seemed more like a way of declaring cap-and-trade dead.

British Petroleum Rebuffs Better Boom Barrier

Abandoned, worthless sausage (absorbent) boom

Georgianne Nienaber: The boom material used by British Petroleum to contain the massive river of oil that it flowing into the Gulf of Mexico is not working. So, ask yourself why BP is unwilling to use a product that seems far superior to the bloated, filthy, broken “sausage” absorbent boom that is washing up along miles of sensitive marshlands on the Louisiana Coast.

Peak Oil 101

Source: World Resource Institute. The “ANWR” bump on the crude production curve is an indication of how projected production would be in Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge.

Adam Eran: The acute problem of the Gulf oil spill makes the cost of corruption-afflicted government front page news. Lax Federal offshore drilling oversight under Bush 43 has cost us dearly. However, our society’s vulnerability to any trouble with this critical resource should also remind us of the chronic problem: peak oil.

Is Obama Powerless Against BP?

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Shamus Cooke: When the polls reported that Obama wasn’t taking the oil spill seriously enough, his next TV appearance depicted him as “outraged.” Yet his continuing lack of action doesn’t match his new, stronger emotions; nor does his inaction match the dire seriousness of the situation.

Doomed Pelicans: British Petroleum Neglecting Booms in Pelican Rookery

bp's oil spill

Georgianne Nienaber: Dawn offered a grand sunrise, and as our skiff skimmed over relatively flat seas, the endless sky was a counterpoint to the sickening sheen on the water’s surface, blobs of red-orange light crude, and worse yet, bubbles of foam and oil that indicated controversial dispersants had done their job, suspending oil in the water column, making the water opaque and denying sunlight to the organisms below.

Put Jobless Young People to Work Cleaning Up BP’s Mess on BP’s Dime

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Robert Reich: Friday’s job report was awful. For most new high school and college grads finding a job is harder than ever. Meanwhile, states are cutting summer jobs for disadvantaged young people. What to do with this army of young unemployed? Send them to the Gulf to clean up beaches and wetlands, and send the bill to BP.

Media All Wrong on BP Oil Spill Politics

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Randy Shaw: The nonsense and political disinformation around the politics of the BP oil spill is stunning. Each day we are told that President Obama’s entire agenda has been undermined by BP’s reckless action, despite all evidence to the contrary.

While the Oil Gushes

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Tina Dupuy: The BP spill exposed that we’re still commuting in eight-cylinder singly occupied vehicles, hopped up on plastic goods and scoffing at high-speed rail projects. Our government is representative – we haven’t clamored to get off oil. If anything we’ve threatened to riot for having to pay too much at the pump.

The Oil Next Time

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Robert Illes: So in the spirit of not letting any national calamity go to waste, the Republicans and their media mouthpieces have doggedly tried to hang the spill baby spill around the current President’s neck: Obama’s Katrina? read the graphics beneath the Fox “news” propagandists.

Ten Thousand Shovels, Ten Thousand Buckets!

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Steve Ybarra: Let us get serious here. If BP was interested in doing the right thing, it wouldn’t take them over a month to get started fixing the damage caused by their greed. Meanwhile they have allowed the continuous destruction of the entire East Coast and Gulf Coast, including all fishing and sea-related industries. Indirectly, I am impacted, because the price of California fish just went up through the roof.

Crosscurrents on the Gulf of Mexico

The International Bird Rescue Research Center facility in Fort Jackson, Louisiana, US. Erica Miller (left), veterinarian with the Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research and colleagues clean a Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) covered in oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead.   (Photo: Daniel Beltrá/Greenpeace)

Lydia Howell: The nesting place for migrating birds and the womb for shrimp and oysters is being destroyed. No one — not British Petroleum or the Coast Guard — was there trying to prevent or clean up the silent horror. CNN’s Anderson Cooper dipped his rubber-gloved hand into the Gulf water and it came up coated with oil. Phillipe Cousteau, son of famous oceanographe Jacques Cousteau, dove into the toxic soup of oil particles and dispersant, a dead sea emptied of creatures.

And Carter Thought He Faced National Malaise

Joseph Palermo: The spectacle of British Petroleum literally killing off the Gulf of Mexico before our eyes while the Obama Administration apparently believes that BP is honorable enough to be trusted to dutifully clean it up is depressing beyond belief. Hearing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal complain about the lagging federal response after he built his political career trashing the federal government is just too pathetic and stupid to even bother to ridicule.

Cyril Neville Joins Voices Crying from the Louisiana Delta

Neville and Chief Warhorse

Georgianne Nienaber: Amidst additional news that British Petroleum has been slow or negligent in the release of flow data and videos of the catastrophic rupture of the Transocean/Deepwater Horizon wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico, there is another story that is crying for attention. A revered Chief of the Chahta Indians, the youngest brother of the Neville Brothers Band, and a Catholic nun know the stories of the dispossessed Indians, shrimpers, fishermen and women, oysterers and business owners deep in the wetlands and bayous of south Louisiana. They want to be heard.

Proposition 16: Bad for Californians

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Tracy Emblem: California allows cities and counties to purchase electricity or develop it locally through an energy provider of their choice. Currently, 68 percent of California’s electricity is generated by investor-owned utilities. Proposition 16, on the June 8 primary ballot, would alter local government’s ability to develop electricity service and is bad for California’s residents and businesses.

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