BP Caps Oil Well, Obama Heads Back to Gulf Coast

BP capped the leaking oil well with a containment device referred to as "Top Hat.

BP engineers Thursday night guided a containment dome onto the hydrocarbon geyser shooting from the Gulf of Mexico oil well -- a desperate and iffy attempt to capture the leaking oil and funnel it to a ship on the surface.

...It was not an elegant operation. Furious clouds of oil escaped the "top hat." Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander for the spill, called the development a positive step but said, "It will be sometime before we can confirm that this method will work and to what extent it will mitigate the release of oil into the environment."


Six weeks to the day after Deepwater Horizon sank, and five days after BP and the government gave up hope for killing the well with blasts of drilling mud, the top hat offered the best chance so far of capturing the leaking oil before it can pollute the gulf further.

President Obama has canceled a trip to Asia and will fly back to Lousiana and the Gulf Coast today.

Mr. Obama is pretty much in a no-win situation right now on going to the Gulf. If he heads down there once a week, he'll be called a media wh*re. If he stays away to let people do their work, critics will call him insensitive and detached.

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    If President Obama would get in a boat (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:21:59 AM EST
    and view some destroyed wetlands or see some wildlife struggling to survive, and react to what he is seeing, I think it would be a win for him. Standing on a clean beach in the middle of a nightmare and seeming detached, with BP doing PR behind him, was a loser so he shouldn't go if that will be repeated.

    IMo, there is no way to start making this look (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:29:51 PM EST
    good. That ship sailed a month ago.

    "Cap" implies they're going to actually (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by MyLeftMind on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:09:55 AM EST
    cap off the flow of oil. "Top hat" might describe it better, since they're simply covering it with something that will capture some of the oil. This will likely buy them some more time, but the disaster will worsen.

    We're very lucky President Obama gave his big professorial declaration about how safe offshore drilling is right before this leak occurred. That was one of Obama's trademark declarations prepping his ardent followers for yet another corporatist policy that contradicts everything he promised us before he was elected.

    Perhaps this crude awakening will result in some of the college students that normally lap up his lectures like gospel to question his intentions the next he announces the basis for his Bush-lite policies.

    "crude awakening"? (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:24:33 AM EST

    Touche (none / 0) (#68)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:32:36 PM EST
    I read the WaPo story this morning, (none / 0) (#24)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:27:45 PM EST
    just as Jeralyn posted it. It was a good, appropriately skeptical story at that time.

    Since then, WaPo has changed the original headline, and the original first paragraph. It now has a clearly 'positive' spin that it didn't have at the outset. IOW, they've tampered with the original text -- instead of appending an "update". One of the more dubious aspects of internet journalism.


    Better yet, I sincerely hope some of (none / 0) (#26)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:32:07 PM EST
    those college students, et al go, down to the Gulf this summer and get their hands dirty.

    I hear the dirty starts with the feet (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:31:43 PM EST
    When the sheen makes landfall and you don't even know it's there, you don't see it with the naked eye but the naked foot becomes horribly sticky and dirty and you don't understand why.

    More reasons why BP downplays size of spill... (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:58:20 PM EST
    From FDL, today, it appears BP owes U.S. government royalty fees for leaking oil:
    When a company drills in U.S. waters, it signs a lease with the government and pays royalties for the oil it draws from the ground. The government's lease with BP stipulates an 18.75% royalty [presumably, on the market value of the oil]. The top Democrat on the House Natural Resources committee wants AG Eric Holder to force BP to take..."legal action to recover damages owed to the United States for lost royalties."

    Obviously measuring just how much oil has been spilled is the key here. When you start combining that expense with the potential $4,300 a barrel fine under the Clean Water Act [it adds up]...



    That per barrell fine (none / 0) (#62)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:10:09 PM EST
    should it be potential, or should the government be taking action to levy now and distribute proceeds first to those whose livelihoods have been ruined and second to the government?

    If no one has a meaninngful (none / 0) (#66)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:30:45 PM EST
    plan for work the students could do that would make a meaningful difference, I'd rather they not go and fool themselves into thinking they are doing something.  If students and other volunteers arrive in the area in large numbers, but there's no one to direct traffic (so to speak), the situation will look like all the trailers in NOLA inaccessible to the needy.

    Obama in a no-win situation (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by Dadler on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:17:30 AM EST
    If I have to hear again how poor little Obama is just too criticized and put upon, or how he just can't get a break, blah blah blah, I'm going to vomit. You wanted the job, start ACTING like you wanted it -- which means get angry, get loud, and get moving.  

    Someone tell him that change requires conflict, often unpleasant and ugly, and not simply the hope that conflict can be minimized.

    As they say (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Zorba on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:48:33 AM EST
    "Uneasy rests the head that wears the crown."  I agree with you, Dadler.

    If he were doing more than (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:31:54 PM EST
    setting up commissions and investigations, he would get a break, as the public sees him doing things.  

    Thank you Jeralyn. Good on WaPo too. (none / 0) (#1)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:54:18 AM EST

    Newest fix not looking good (none / 0) (#2)
    by MKS on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:01:51 AM EST
    It's been about four hours since the cap was placed on the well.

    The live shots of the well still show oil billowing out at an alarming rate.  An arm of a robot is still futzing with the whole thing....

    Not optimistic......

    Heard on the radio (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:25:36 AM EST
    They have to close 4 vents.  That's when we'll see if this flow slows down.

    Public support for offshore drilling is down. (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:58:39 PM EST
    Good news, May 25/10: Despite Pundit Claims, Offshore Drilling Support is Down Significantly. Six major national polls released in recent weeks show that, in fact, support for offshore drilling has fallen off considerably in the wake of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico:

    * A CNN/Opinon Research survey found that support dropped 17% between August 2008 and May 2010.
    • A Rasmussen survey found that support dropped 14% between April 2010 and May 2010.
    • A Fox News survey found that support dropped
    16% between April 2010 and May 2010.
    • A CBS News survey found that support dropped 16% (PDF) between August 2008 and May 2010.
    • An Ipsos/McClatchy survey found that support dropped 14% between March 2010 and May 2010.
    • A Pew Research Center survey found that support dropped 9% between Feburary 2010 and May 2010.

    Update, exchange between Josh Nelson of EnviroKnow and Bill Schneider of the National Journal:

    Josh Nelson: If a 17% drop in support does not indicate a collapse, can you tell me how large the decline would have to be for you to characterize it as such?

    Bill Schneider: Below a majority. Given the news, I think it could happen very soon. It's already happened among Democrats.

    Evidently, if Democrats could make a Democratic President govern on our behalf, there would be no offshore drilling.


    But a majority wanted (none / 0) (#63)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:12:19 PM EST
    a public option for healthcare, to no avail. Is the government listening? and to whom?

    Not a very functional democracy is it? (none / 0) (#69)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:40:46 PM EST
    I have my fingers crossed (none / 0) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:21:16 AM EST
    They say they have the best minds on this.  I'm sort of taking their word for it.  I haven't seen a list of brilliant engineers and visionaries they have grouped together to solve this yet.  I would think though that if containment is what we seek at this time until the relief well hits, that we could accomplish that in some meaningful way.

    I know that the most recent meeting (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by CST on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:07:53 AM EST
    after top kill failed included "representatives of the Coast Guard, officials from World Wildlife Fund and members of the academic community from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the University of California (Berkeley and Santa Barbara)."  And James Cameron of course - who is the only person in that group that the media has any interest in.

    The only one I know anything about is the Woods Hole Institute - which has extensive experience dealing with and studying the oil spills that happened in Buzzards Bay in '69 and '74.  They are a very solid, world renowned organization.  Although I think their expertise is more centered on remediation than containment - which we will need plenty of in the years to come.


    I am so glad that they (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:44:24 PM EST
    have serious environmental experts.  One thing I'm not hearing about though are engineering geniuses on this like the one that kdog points out.  Just because they have worked their whole life punching oily holes doesn't make any of them the best mind out there for plugging holes.  They have tackled this when they have had to, but how many of them have planned plugging wells in a goal oriented fashion instead of in an attempt to avoid extreme disaster mode?  And what geek did they all throw out of the room ages ago because they wouldn't quit talking about this stuff when everybody else only wanted to punch millionaire holes?  There is often one poor brilliant soul out there that some industry has put the boots to because who has the time or inclination to talk worst case scenario everyday with some living on the edge of paranoia geek when you are making billions baby :)

    My big fear is that the very best (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by caseyOR on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 06:25:04 PM EST
    minds, engineers and scientists and oil professionals, etc., are already working on this, and they don't have a clue how to fix it. It strikes me that this technology is so untried and untested that there is no body of problem-solving knowledge.

    They have already tried the things that might have worked. Failures all.

    In my nightmares this oil spill (doesn't spill seem like too little of a word to use for this?) is never completely capped, and oil spreads far and wide for years into the future.


    unfortunately your nightmares (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 06:47:18 PM EST
    are among the scenarios possible.

    Another reason I think the US government needs to take this over is to get true information from BP. The best minds can't do much without accurate information. Examples- how deep is the well actually? Accurate assessments of the well casings. Accurate assessment of the geological structures the well goes thru. If the well structures are faulty (because of short cuts, aka criminal negligence) then any attempt to stop the well up will increase pressure and oil/ng will leak into the geological strata (or whatever it is called). FoxholeAthiest said it better up thread.

    BP cannot be allowed to hide any information from those who are working on solutions.

    This is a bizarre video that has been circulating recently. It is of a Russian gas well being nuked. It is my opinion that this is NOT a good option for this well, along these fault lines, under this water. But what I'd like to point out is the part around 1:26  where they say "then there was a pressure surge" and then watch what happens. At around 1:40 is what is truly alarming.


    Has anyone... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:58:20 AM EST
    looked at a prodigy from LI and her ingenius idea...so simple it sounds to me like it just might work.

    They have received thousands of ideas. (none / 0) (#10)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:49:42 AM EST
    Don't know if anyone has actually considered any of them. Probably not. Hers seems good but I don't know if they have the capability to inflate tires so far down?

    Beats me... (none / 0) (#15)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:20:49 AM EST
    though it seems as simple as filling tires with a much longer air hose.  

    Though if the mud dump failed maybe the pressure of the oil spewing is too great for inflated tires to withstand.


    That is one reason (none / 0) (#21)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:21:55 AM EST
    it has been important that BP accurately report the flow rate -- to calculate the pressure. Some scientists have made calculations, but are not 100%. And if the well casing is compromised this kind of "junk shot" into the well would not work and might even further the failure of deeper well structures.

    Below the surface structural failure of the well is hardly ever mentioned and I think its because it really scares people. I think there is much BP is not telling us (yet another reason BP should not be in charge.)


    BP has probably known from the outset that (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:58:15 PM EST
    the well casing can't withstand the pressure if they go full-bore with any of the procedures they're playing around with.

    "Plugging" the hole is probably the least feasible option of all, since it would drastically increase the pressure inside the casing and run the risk of a more massive blowout.

    They know the relief wells are the only hope in hell, which begs the question -- why are they experimenting with the other stuff?

    Exploiting a crisis maybe? Seizing the opportunity to try out procedures which they may later polish up and present as faux-viable remedies that claim to make deepwater drilling "safer".

    The President did say the moratorium would continue until deepwater drilling could be made "safer". In the end, BP's experiments may get spun in their favor -- in support of lifting the moratorium. Or at least, in court, their failed efforts will be presented as evidence of BP's sustained good faith commitment to fix the problem.


    Why are they experimenting? (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:52:11 PM EST
    Because the work of drilling the relief wells is, pardon the pun, boring; in a PR contest between continued coverage and photos of the environmental damage, dire economic reports as a result of loss of jobs in the area, coverage of rising costs of seafood and "still drilling," it isn't even a contest, is it?  And BP cannot afford to lose any more of what is left of its reputation.

    Of course, the other edge of the sword is pretty much what is already being said: "doesn't anyone know what they're doing?"

    And who's to say that whatever else BP is doing isn't mitigating the extent of the spill, even if only minimally?

    As for the moratorium, I can't be the only one who thinks that there is much, much more to be revealed about BP and the government's role in managing permitting and regulation of these companies that is going to make it very, very difficult to lift even six months from now.

    I was disheartened to read somewhere today that Bob Graham, who co-chairs the commission Obama created in the wake of this disaster, had not yet even met with anyone from BP.  I've been trying to understand that, but have had no success.

    There are no winnners here; it seems like lose-lose everywhere one looks.


    Interesting NPR segment this am (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:25:14 PM EST
    about Interior. Because I tuned in late, did not get name....The upshot: The Department, as alluded to earlier, is large, complex, and often unwieldy. The presenter noted that with the "packing" of the Department over the past decade by the Bush/Cheney gas & oil boys with their gas & oil friends, the almost "rogue" nature of the MMS could have been expected, in retropect.

    I urge people who are concerned about how key environmental government entities have operated--well beyond the Schedule C political appointees--to do some research into the uses of carrot & stick in the vast bureaucracy. (BTW, for career employees, without a lot of documentation over at least the course of the annual performance cycle plus appeals, etc., the "firing" of "immediate transfer" option is not there.) Please read the old book about Interior and EPA in the 1980s (because the Bush years and the permitting frenzy that followed is only a well-planned reprise) by Jonathan Lash called "Season of Spoils." The book indirectly will give you a likely roadmap as to what happened here. (You can scan it quickly; it is worth the effort because--I guarantee you--it will start answering your perceptive question about what more we may see about the culture of Interior. It may not make Salazar a Saint to any detractor; but, understanding how significant the Interior Secretary is--and how the old time James Watt, followed during Bush II by Watt protege Secretary Gail Norton--may shed another light on the mess.)


    It will be difficult to include Ken Salazar (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 05:37:45 PM EST
    in my book of saints. Mr. Salazar did after all, support the appointment of Gail Norton as Secretary of Interior (his support seems to take some quirky twists: he introduced Alberto Gonzales and sat next to him during his Attorney General confirmation, and supported Joe Lieberman not only in the Democratic primary, but also, in Lieberman's run as an independent against Democrat Ned Lamont).  As senator he voted to end protections that limit off shore drilling within the Florida coast, he was one of the few Democratic senators who voted against requiring the US Army Corps of Engineers to consider global warming, voted against repeal of tax breaks for Exxon Mobil and other oil giants, and voted against CAFE standards. Of course, we know that he moved with glacial speed on reforming MMS, despite his awareness of its documented mess.  Robert Redford does speak well of him in light of his actions in Utah and the West, reversing some of Bush's dastardly actions taken on his way out the door, and I respect that, but then again, the BP reality check of Salazar is there front and center for all who want to see.

    Well Jeralyn Supported His Move to Interior (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 05:49:39 PM EST
    So that she could get him out of her state.... lol

    Well, we all make mistakes, (none / 0) (#59)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 06:26:51 PM EST
    isn't that why they put rubber mats under spittoons?  :)

    so he'd leave the Senate (none / 0) (#76)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 06, 2010 at 01:50:17 AM EST
    (not Colorado) and not be able to vote on crime bills. He's way too conservative in that area.

    Salazar is an interesting mix, indeed (none / 0) (#56)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 06:03:59 PM EST
    Two points: As a longtime Coloradan, I can say that he has been quite respected. (And, I don't just mean poll numbers, which remained extraordinarily high.) And, as a Colorado environmentalist, he tended to focus his environmental efforts--along with Udall--in his home state. (Not a broad view, but--at the time--good for the state.)

    In terms of his "bipartisan" efforts as Senator, I agree that he went overboard in being supportive at the outset of Republican appointees.  The two named: Norton (yech--of the old Watt group--a Coloradan) and Gonzales (the Hispanic connection, considered to be the supportive thing at the time from one one Latino to another==but, oh not brother, what a miscalculation that was.)  To tell you the truth, that may be Colorado politics--run to the center (they all have from Hart to Udall) to get elected and to stay elected. No excuse, I know. Just the way it has always been.  One more thing: I do believe that--should he survive this trial by fire or water as the case may be--Salazar will be a good manager of Interior (as he was in the state AG's office.)


    What is your take on Salazar's (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 06:30:34 PM EST
    anti-gay history.?  He apparently was opposed to gay adoptions when Colorado AG.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.:)

    I can look it up, but don't remember (none / 0) (#72)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:07:21 PM EST
    On a related "social issue:" Ken Salazar (and his brother John Salazar, Congressman from the vast 3rd congressional district)have maintained their independence from our most conservative Archbishop Chaput. My memory is that Ken Salazar in 2004, while affirming his family's Catholicism, respectfully disagreed with Chaput at a face-to-face meeting when threatened with being denied communion over the abortion issue and then candidate John Kerry (or so the narrative goes.) My take: The gentleman can surprise with personal acts of courage. I believe
    many people in our state know of/have heard of personal bravery.

    According to the St. Petersburg TImes, (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:33:21 PM EST
    June 3, former Senator Bob Graham said that he was told that the presidential Commission he co-chairs with Bill Reilly, will have subpoena power, although he said he hopes that they will be able to do their work without it.  I sure hope that Senator Graham was just being diplomatic because the seriousness of the Commission's charge requires completeness and truthfulness.  All appointments have not yet been made to the seven-membered Commission, although two additional names (both appear to be solid and concerned environmental citizens) have been mentioned (which would leave three appointments remaining), Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences and Fran Ulmer former Lt. Governor of Alaska (1994-2002, under Tony Knowles (D), I looked that up to steady my nerves) and Chancellor of the University of Alaska/Anchorage.

    Agree mostly -- have some doubts, though. (none / 0) (#42)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 03:38:38 PM EST
    Reply to Anne, who wrote:
    As for the moratorium, I can't be the only one who thinks that there is much, much more to be revealed about BP and the government's role in managing permitting and regulation of these companies that is going to make it very, very difficult to lift even six months from now.

    The 30 day moratorium on shallow water drilling has already been lifted -- while the geyser gushes unabated. As for any hope of retaining, or extending, the 6 month moratorium on deepwater drilling, I think a lot of that will depend on how bad the spill becomes -- in the short-term and the long-term.

    Obviously, the government and BP have a mutual interest in concealing their entanglements/interdependence. And BP, and their related interests, are running the government more than the government is running them. That "cozy relationship" may weather this storm -- unless the effects of the spill are sufficiently catastrophic to produce widespread public unrest such as we haven't seen since the 60s.

    And who's to say that whatever else BP is doing isn't mitigating the extent of the spill, even if only minimally?

    If BP's efforts were actually mitigating the extent of the spill to any significant, demonstrable, extent, I imagine we would be hearing plenty about it already -- from the Obama Administration and BP and every media flack on the planet. Man the barricades.


    Of course we would be hearing about (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:49:03 PM EST
    it if what BP was doing was mitigating the extent of the spill to a "significant, demonstrable, extent," which is why I put "even if only minimally" into my comment.

    That being said, whatever effort they are making is akin to mopping up the blood on the floor, even as one of one's arteries continues to gush.

    As for the moratorium, I'm aware that permitting for shallow water drilling is ongoing, while there is, at least for now, a 6-month moratorium for deep water permits.  I guess my point was that I don't think we know the half of just how corrupted the entire system is, but I think we are going to learn more, and then, I think, all bets are off.


    I think Fed Govt (none / 0) (#64)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:27:22 PM EST
    might have thought that (i) appointment of the commission to investigate and (ii) announcement by DOJ of investigations would have taken the heat off the government, while BP thinks that announcements of every measure taken, however ineffective in the long run and dilatory, will keep public opinion from going full bore negative; but public is still skeptical. Seems that all these activities have deflected attention of the media and "experts" whose opinions are being sought by the media from focusing on the power of the government to impose the steep per barrel penalties.  If penalties were to be imposed, BP would weigh the costs of continuing spillage vs. costs of great effects at stopping the spilling and cleaning it up and do at least some of the latter.  Without serious financial costs to BP, nothing will get done quickly enough to make a difference.  Seems much ado about nothing meaningful.  I know BP's stock price has fallen, but perhaps BP is thinking that a commitment to spending the funds required to attack the problem far more aggressively would, in the end, depress profits and thereby cause a greater hit to the stock price.  And at this point, starting a full court press may beg the question, why wasn't a full court press the chosen course of action from the getgo.  I'd like to see polling on whether the conduct of BP and the government in response to this crisis has caused people to conclude that the government does not care about people like "us," the admin is over its head, or the admin is simply not up to the task.  

    Understood, thx for the additional info. (none / 0) (#65)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:27:50 PM EST
    Another Possibility (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:03:34 PM EST
    They know the relief wells are the only hope in hell, which begs the question -- why are they experimenting with the other stuff?

    Exploiting a crisis maybe? Seizing the opportunity to try out procedures which they may later polish up and present as faux-viable remedies that claim to make deepwater drilling "safer".

    Occam's razor? Maybe, like you and those to the right, BP wants to make Obama look as bad as possible, so that he and his fellow D's will be ousted ASAP.


    British company topples U.S. president. (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:07:52 PM EST
    The simplest explanation that (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:02:44 PM EST
    covers all the known facts is usually the best.

    Film at 11 (none / 0) (#30)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:09:36 PM EST
    AAMOCO Et Al (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:25:15 PM EST
    Well, just because they are registered in the UK, doesn't mean that they are not interested in benefiting from a GOP administration and congress.

    An emphasis on  de-regulation, seemed to benefit the company quite well during BushCo years. And they make about the same amount of money here as they do in the UK.

    According to the Center for Responsive Politics, BP is the United States' hundredth largest donor to political campaigns, having contributed more than US$5 million since 1990, 72% and 28% of which went to Republican and Democratic recipients, respectively.

    Intentional pollution (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:14:35 PM EST
    used to affect political results is terrorism. You are saying BP is now a terrorist organization using pollution to take out a US President and political party. Do you advocate investigating BP as a terrorist organization?

    Good question boomer buddy. (none / 0) (#43)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 03:40:58 PM EST
    A bit of a stretch (none / 0) (#44)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:07:14 PM EST
    It is not a new practice where another country--from time to time--prefers the anticipated philosophy from one US political party over another. That is not terrorism. Methinks that is a longtime characteristic of foregin poligy. In the UK, today, the new conservative PM is moving on a path to less government (by UK standards, that is.)  So, who knows the "inside scoop" of BP's calculations about American politics. The thought that BP might now prefer a President who doesn't "throw the legal book" at them (as now seems likely to happen) is quite reasonable...especially in view of accountability to its stockholders.

    a bit of a stretch - yes (none / 0) (#48)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:46:05 PM EST
    Not saying I completely disagree - just want to be clear and understand you. This well disaster is going to be extremely damaging to life (including human) and property. To intentionally do that to another sovereign country in order to affect a political outcome is the essence of terrorism. Just wishing for a slightly different landscape in another country's politics is different. Obama administration is not all that dramatically different in this regard than Bush and off-shore drilling is still on this administration's table. The "legal book" throwing is in process so are you saying they are intentionally polluting in order to punish the administration?

    No evidence of intentionality. (none / 0) (#57)
    by christinep on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 06:09:37 PM EST
    No, I am not implying or imputing such intention.

    Irony Impaired? (none / 0) (#45)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:20:30 PM EST
    Perhaps you need to adjust your browser to follow the reasoning here.  

    The difference between those we deem terrorist organizations and corporations like BP, is a matter of scale. BP does much more damage than any terrorist org. Also a corporation like BP will engage in criminal activity only for profit motives, while a so called terrorist org acts out of idealism, often as a last resort to long time oppression.


    Don't get what is so ironic about that (none / 0) (#50)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 04:59:31 PM EST
    I'm not discounting BP engaging in environmental terrorism. In fact, I think it is a possibility.

    But, at this point in time my opinion is: BP and Haliburton played fast and loose - and cut corners and did not follow rules they thought might cost them a tiny bit. Bad well design. Very badly managed transition to getting the well online. Criminal negligence. Might be criminal lies (like how deep the well actually is, casing construction shortcuts, leak flow and leak locations, geological studies). They had better prepare for many suits regarding poisoning from Corexit, which, seems to me would not be covered under caps for clean up. Dispersing is not cleaning up and people are already getting sick from exposure to Corexit. I know I'm getting ahead of the legal process here, but IMO BP is guilty of criminal negligence at the very least. Could be much worse. When all this negligence was happening I suspect BP was just fine with Obama administration - got a green light on offshore drilling. Their negligence was not a protest of Obama as a president.


    Well, As I Said Above (none / 0) (#51)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 05:12:38 PM EST
    The ones we call terrorists are acting out of idealism. Corporations, like, BP, have only one intent and that is making more money.

    They often will skirt, or cross the line, of criminality in that aim, but terrorism, in this case not likely.

    I could see a corporation selling military supplies colluding with governments or groups to create incidents in order to start a war, or encourage armed conflicts... but that is another story.


    I tend to agree with you here (#51) (none / 0) (#52)
    by ZtoA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 05:23:27 PM EST
    But in your comment #28 you seem to be saying something different. Might have just been a way to broad brush smear and insult other commenters. It sounded like you were saying BP has political motivations to not fix the gusher or to delay relief wells for political motivations (and that would be an act of environmental terrorism.)

    Yes (none / 0) (#53)
    by squeaky on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 05:32:55 PM EST
    That was called irony, sarcasm, and generally using hyperbole to point out the moronic bias of some of the commentary here.

    After exploiting (none / 0) (#70)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:46:37 PM EST
    off-shore drilling rights and waivers in U.S. to pump oil to be sold overseas....

    So if you saw the list and it contained (none / 0) (#14)
    by me only on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:17:21 AM EST
    John Perry
    Byron Bird
    Warren Stewart
    John Slattery
    Edwin Lightfoot
    Warren McCabe

    would that mean anything to you?


    Absolutely (none / 0) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 02:47:01 PM EST
    You got some list?  Or are you taking a survey?

    Do you actually know any of the above that (none / 0) (#73)
    by me only on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:29:09 PM EST
    I listed?

    Do you have a list? (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 02:29:23 AM EST
    Or did you really just waste your time on this topic and in this thread to show up and attempt to make some sort of labradoodle attack on me?  I guess it takes all kinds.

    Left hand doesn't know what the right is doing (none / 0) (#6)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:23:22 AM EST
    They still aren't sure if shallow water drilling is on or off.

    Shallow water drilling is back on - definitely. (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:18:01 PM EST
    The inter-agency mixed messages are (deliberately?) obfuscating the issue, but the bottom line is loud and clear. From jb's link, The Hill, June 03/10: Interior Department dismisses drilling agency e-mail on shallow-water ban:
    White House and Interior officials said flatly Thursday afternoon...that there is no ban on new shallow-water permits...President Barack Obama said, in an interview broadcast on CNN Thursday night..."Actually the moratorium is not extended to the shallow waters"...

    Legal Question (none / 0) (#7)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:28:48 AM EST
    Since the liability cap was set before the spill, wouldn't BP be able to fight rewriting the law at after the fact?

    Would it be feasible for BP to declare bankruptcy?

    Ongoing act (none / 0) (#12)
    by waldenpond on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:06:41 AM EST
    Obviously not a lawyer but the oil damage is an ongoing act.  

    I don't see the basis for BP to declare bankruptcy.  They are about to pay out $10 billion to shareholders (which seems inappropriate and could be considered another reason BP should be seized) and they are extremely profitable.  They can carry losses forward etc, so I don't see that possible losses for a couple of years 'bankrupt' this company.


    BP (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:33:08 AM EST
    just got a bill for $69 million for cleanup from the federal government.

    That's just for the initial costs.


    The liability cap you (none / 0) (#71)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:50:30 PM EST
    refer to is also separate, I believe, from the $4300 per barrell fine that the government can levy on BP as result of amendment to one of the federal environmental statutes, an amendment passed in response to the Exxon Valdez incident, I believe.  But I've also heard nothing to the effect that the government is levying the penalty or even acting as though they have the penalty as leverage.

    It's nice to know (none / 0) (#75)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 05, 2010 at 02:35:39 AM EST
    it is available.  I suppose we would have to go with BPs assessment of how much oil leeked into the gulf via the Macondo well in the earlier days of this, because we don't officially have our own.

    Anyone know why they work (none / 0) (#8)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:31:24 AM EST
    on the gusher so late at night? Is it the darkness or the quiet or what? I couldn't stop watching last night into today and am paying the price now. {{Yawn}}

    Work on an oil rig (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:33:32 AM EST
    Goes on 24 hours a day. One reason I can think of is they can run 2 or 3 crews, but only use the space for 1 (they can share beds in shifts - like the Navy does).  

    Sorry if unclear, I meant the hat attempts, etc. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:06:03 AM EST
    The only current operations are guiding the ROVs to try and stop the gusher and that only seems to happen at night. I don't even know where they guide them from-a boat or ? I was wondering if darkness made that job easier or if they just don't want anyone around or some other reason.

    Fewer wide-awake prying eyes (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:24:36 PM EST
    are watching in the wee hours. We could watch it after the fact, but few bother -- like watching a ball game after you know the outcome.

    That deep in the ocean, I don't (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Anne on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:22:06 AM EST
    think there is any distinction between day and night, and I imagine the above-water operations run like it's daytime 24/7.