Markey: BP thinks it’s their ocean — but it’s the American people’s ocean

Markey to Get Live Feed of BP Oil Spill on Website

BP Acquiesces to Markey’s Request, Will Release Video Stream Tonight to Chairman

May 19, 2010 – Following a demand from Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) for a live feed of the BP oil spill to be made publicly available on the web, BP said they would release the feed and it will be shown on Rep. Markey’s committee website at The release of the live link to Rep. Markey is expected tonight.

This may be BP’s footage, but it’s America’s ocean. Now anyone will be able to see the real-time effects the BP spill is having on our ocean,” said Rep. Markey, who conducted a briefing today with independent scientists where he reiterated the call for a video feed. “This footage will aid analysis by independent scientists blocked by BP from coming to see the spill.” […]

From the Latest News on the Wires it seems the BP’s getting some “stonewalling help” from the Coast Guard too.

[Rep. Markey (D-MA) continues …]

“This is 4th grade math. We know the numerator here — the couple thousand barrels a day BP is siphoning out of the sunken pipe. But we still don’t know the denominator,” said Rep. Markey. “BP is capturing a fraction of the oil, but they don’t know what that fraction is. By releasing this video, we’ve taken the first step towards allowing better access to the information BP has about this spill.

But, but, this week’s ‘bad news cycle’ is almost over Mr. Markey — Can’t you just let, sleeping Oil Plumes, lie?

40% Containment/Recovery — that’s a News story worth crowing, don’t you think?

And if that Junk-Mud-Cement-Plug Shot works, this Weekend — Problem’s Solved! … Right?

Fortunately, some in Congress, don’t yet take their ‘PR Orders’ from BP …

Estimates vary widely on Gulf oil spill’s flow rate

By BART JANSEN, Gannett Washington Bureau  5/19/2010

BP thinks it’s their ocean, so they can control all this information,” Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said Wednesday while heading a House energy subcommittee briefing on the spill. “This is BP’s spill, but it’s the American people’s ocean that they are polluting. The American people have a right to know how widespread the problem is.”

On Tuesday, BP released four snippets of video, shot by robots, showing oil pouring from the wellhead 5,000 feet underwater. But neither BP nor the Coast Guard, which is overseeing the government’s response to the spill, released video of sufficient duration to allow scientists to better gauge the spill.

Adm. Thad Allen, the Coast Guard commandant, told the Senate science committee Tuesday that officials are using the video to see if attempts to stem the flow are working. He didn’t have an estimate of how much oil is flowing into the Gulf.

“We’re trying to put together an archival record,” Allen said. “There have been a lot of prognostications about the discharge level.”

Authorities said knowing the flow rate wouldn’t alter their approach to dealing with the spill.

“The efforts have been very aggressive,” Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the Senate panel.

BP and the government say about 5,000 barrels – or 210,000 gallons – of oil have flowed from the well every day since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank last month. BP has struggled to cap the well, but company officials and lawmakers said a secondary well expected to be completed in early August might be the only way to halt the spill.

Authorities say …  ???

Is that BP Authorities … or Government Authorities ???

OR is there even a difference, anymore?

5,000 barrels a day … 50,000 barrels a day What’s the Difference?

Here’s the 4th-grade “Difference” (Ratio actually), that Rep. Markey what’s to get to the bottom of:

Given the official number of barrels of Oil now being Recovered (2000) and given the initial estimate of the Amount of Oil Leaking daily, 5000 Barrels we can easily calculate:

2000 / 5000 = 2/5 = 40%   [Hey that’s almost half way there!]

But IF it turns out this “baseline” figure of 5000 barrels a day, IS a gross underestimation by a Factor of at least 10 — What does that do to the latest “success story”?

Wouldn’t an “accurate denominator” change that “good news” math to, just another Ho-Hum stat:

2000 / 50,000 = 2/50 = 4.0%   [Hey that’s next to nothing!]

That’s not such a rosy scenario, when ACTUAL FLOW numbers are used — No wonder BP (and the Coast Guard) are resisting handing out those LONGER Videos or any hard “internal” Numbers, either.  That would make any slick PR spin on this story, all that much harder to, keep spinning.  

4% vs 40%    which “success story” would you rather sell?

Thankfully Markey is having none of it — he wants Answers!

He wants to Represent The People’s Interests!

Markey to Get Live Feed of BP Oil Spill on Website

Rep. Markey has frequently queried BP for more information on the exact size of the spill and on their refusal to engage with outside scientists. Independent scientists have examined video, satellite photos and other aspects of the spill and determined that it may be much bigger than estimated. Today at a briefing Rep. Markey held in his Energy and Environment Subcommittee, independent scientists from Purdue University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said that the estimate of a 5,000 barrel per day leak was an underestimation of the flow. The scientists said with more data, they could better calculate the flow of oil from the sea floor.

Since when has “More Data” become the Toxic part of a Story?

Only in America, could more information — become a bad thing!

If and when, BP relents, Markey will host the Videos here:

The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming

Chairman, Edward J. Markey (D-MA)

Meanwhile on another front, in the Fight for more Open and transparent Information, there are those still fighting of a more Science-based, Clean Energy world …

Environmentalists want fed control of oil cleanup

The Associated Press, Washington Post

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In remarks prepared for congressional testimony, National Wildlife Federation President Larry Schweiger says BP is keeping too much information from the public.

His group and nine others asked President Barack Obama on Wednesday to order more direct federal oversight. They want the government to release the results of all tests so far.

Their Letter to The Chief Executive of America, on behalf of the People’s Interests, for a change …

But will anyone really hear them … amongst all the damage control ???

Environmentalists letter to Obama (pdf)











May 19, 2010

Dear President Obama:

We are writing to urge the federal government to exercise more direct oversight of public safety protection, environmental monitoring, and environmental testing in response to the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.


The federal government must make the following information public immediately:

1. Worker Safety. BP has hired local shrimpers, fisherman, and others to aid in response efforts. However, many of those involved in the response have reported that BP has failed to provide them with adequate safety equipment and training […]

2. Spill Size. The federal government has not updated its initial estimate of 5,000 barrels per day. However, several independent scientists from academia have provided quantifiable and credible estimates indicating an actual outflow that is as much as an order of magnitude higher. The federal government should undertake its own assessment of both the size of the spill and the lead rates associated with the accident and provide the underlying estimate method to the public. An accurate estimate is important for current response efforts, future regulations and emergency preparation, and for the federal government to fulfill its legal obligations related to liability.

3. Chemical Dispersant Monitoring and Impacts. […]

4. Rapid-Response Contamination and Seafood Testing.[…]

5. Natural Resource Damage Assessment. NOAA is preparing the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) required under the Oil Pollution Act, in coordination with the states and BP. NOAA has provided very little information on its process or the information it has gathered to this point. In addition to conducting the NRDA in a transparent manner with public input, NOAA should be continuously updating the public as it gathers information on impacts.

BP has hardly demonstrated its ability to act in the public interest. The federal government must ensure that the environmental and public safety response efforts are as effective as possible and that the public has the information it needs to evaluate and inform those efforts. We look forward to working with the Administration on this important matter.

So I guess, the question comes down to this … unfortunately …

Who’s Interests will President Obama, work in favor of …

OURS or Theirs?

[ The Actual People, or those of Big Oil ? ]

Maybe, there is still time left, … to take Charge and to Lead