GULF OIL DISASTER
Photo: Oil Slick Around Mississippi Barrier Islands
Texas Braces for Strike from Storm
“The storm’s track keeps it away from a direct hit on an oil slick from the damaged BP well. Large ocean swells, though, are making their way toward the oil spill, said Brian LaMarre, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Slidell, Louisiana. BP needs about three more days to connect a new cap that will feed crude from the leaking Macondo well to the Helix Producer, a vessel that can add 20,000 to 25,000 barrels a day to the London-based company’s current containment capacity, said senior vice president Kent Wells. As the work can be completed only in flat seas, Alex could cause a seven-day delay in connecting the Helix, he said. The work was to be completed by July 7, he said yesterday. The waves may swell to as high as 12 feet in 36 hours, pushing oil into the Gulf Coast wetlands, Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the U.S. government’s national incident commander, said. Allen said he doesn’t think current operations to capture spilled oil will be affected.”
Red tape keeps prized oil-fighting skimmers from Gulf, coastline
BP Document: Big Plans for Deepwater Drilling
Congress Pressures Oil Giants On Spill Plans
Set tougher mileage standards for vehicles
“What is the best way to prevent future disasters in the Gulf of Mexico? Break our addiction to oil. One year ago, President Barack Obama took the biggest single step in this direction. He boosted the nation's fuel economy standard and established the first U.S. standards for greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks. As a result, new vehicles will average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, up from the current 27.5 m.p.g. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates this will save 1.2 million barrels of oil a day in 2020.”
Senior US energy official says 'tragic' Gulf oil spill underscores need to shift to renewables
“David Sandalow, an assistant energy secretary, said Tuesday the oil spill is a "tragic situation" that "underscores the need for a transition to a clean energy economy."
Oil Chiefs Leave Meeting With Interior 'Disappointed'
“Executives from oil and gas companies on Monday concluded an hour-long meeting with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar without securing promises from the government to lift a deepwater-drilling moratorium imposed after a disastrous BP PLC (BP) oil spill. Salazar has told lawmakers Wednesday that he is considering issuing a new, scaled-back moratorium that would replace a moratorium that was struck down last week by a federal judge. The Justice Department has appealed the decision, asking a court to allow the ban to remain in place during a legal challenge.”
WILDLIFE, HUMAN AND ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS
Lawsuit Launched to Force BP and Coast Guard to Protect Turtles From Burning Alive
The Latest Wildlife Mortality Totals
Doing nothing might have been best for oil spill
“Marine biology and environmental experts said they feared the aggressive cleanup operation, during which oil has been set alight and oil-dispersing chemicals have been dumped into the sea, might be more damaging than the oil itself. Christoph Gertler of Bangor University, who has been studying various potential bacterial remedies for oil spills, said reports by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggested that dispersants were "changing the nature of the oil in a very unfavorable way", making it more difficult for naturally occurring marine bacteria to break it down.
Expert measures human cost of Gulf oil leak
Assemblymember Nava's Resolution Calling for Protection of West Coast from Offshore Oil Drilling Passed by Senate Environmental Quality Committee
“Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 3 states the legislature's support for Federal Legislation currently pending in the United States Congress that would protect the Pacific Coast from new offshore oil drilling. This measure would also oppose any proposed expansion of oil and gas drilling off the Pacific Coast and any federal energy policies and legislation that would weaken California's role in energy siting decisions due to those policies.”
Del. must stay vigilant against shoreline oil drilling threat