Sunday, June 6, 2010

BP, Once Again

OK, let’s recap. A couple of Republican Congressmen are saying the BP oil spill is not a disaster. Trying to address such a statement would be like talking to a coconut. It’s not worth discussing so I’ll just assume that anyone—Republican, Democrat, Tea Partier, Independent—making such a statement simply enjoys the warmth of the idiot spotlight.
Here is the time-line.
April 20.  The Transocean rig called the Deepwater Horizon explodes and 11 crew members are killed. Crude oil begins to seep out though no one knows this yet.
April 22.  The rig sinks. As it does so, it crumples the massive pipe that connected it to the wellhead.
April 24.  More than 5,000 feet below the Gulf’s surface, robot submarines find that oil is leaking from the damaged pipe.
April 28.  BP tells the media that 1,000 barrels of crude are leaking out each day. The government estimates that the actual number is 5,000 barrels a day.
April 29.  Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, in one of the better understatements of the year, tells the press that the spill is “of national significance.”
May 4.  BP seals one of the three leaks but this has no effect whatsoever on the overall amount of crude spurting out.
May 6.  First confirmed landfall of oil.
May 7. BP tries to contain the leak by lowering a huge dome over it. This doesn’t work.
May 16. BP brings in a container ship and attempts to siphon the oil off the surface. It also continues to use a highly toxic oil dispersant.
May 19. The Environmental Protection Agency chimes in and says the dispersant is too toxic and tells BP it has 72 hours to stop using it. BP claims it’s the only dispersant that works.
May 20. BP is accused of (pardon the pun, I can’t resist) muddying the waters. In order to prove its transparency, the oil company starts to post a live video stream of the oil leak.
May 21 to 26.  An additional 25,000 barrels of crude leak into the Gulf.  
May 27.  The above number is not accurate, as revised estimates now point to 12,000-19,000 barrels per day are pouring in the Gulf. Top Kill, BP’s latest stratagem appears to be working. But it’s not.
June 1.  BP denies the existence of underwater oil plumes but scientists have already found one that is 22 miles long, six miles wide and 1000 feet deep.
June 2.  BP stock plunges. Some scientists now believe the worst case scenario has oil leaking out until Christmas.  Sarah Palin tells the world that environmentalists are responsible for the incident.
June 3.  Fishing restrictions extended to cover 37 percent of waters in the Gulf.
June 6.  BP says recent efforts to cap the leak have begun to work.  Tankers have sucked up a total of 670,000 gallons over a two-day period. The government estimates between 500,000 and 800,000 gallons are leakingout daily.
June 7. The Somethin' Else Cafe in New Orleans no longer serves jumbo shrimp.
As it stands, the US and other nations have launched criminal investigations into the explosion and sinking of the rig, and the ensuing leak. BP has lost more than a third of its market value since the crisis began. Beach towns report the lowest tourist attendance in decades. More to follow.


No comments:

Post a Comment