Choices made now about carbon dioxide emissions reductions will affect climate change impacts experienced not just over the next few decades but also in coming centuries and millennia, says a new report from the National Research Council. Because CO2 in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very severe.
The National Academies perform an unparalleled public service by bringing together committees of experts in all areas of scientific and technological endeavor. These experts serve pro bono to address critical national issues and give advice to the federal government and the public.
Four organizations comprise the Academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.
Perhaps you heard about the recent EPA Press Release, regarding latest Toxicity Testing results for Dispersants. Depending on which sound bite you heard, it almost sounded like Corexit got a clean bill of health.
Confused? I was too. And since I had previously written a well-received diary,
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting four public information meetings on the proposed study of the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and its potential impacts on drinking water…The meetings will provide public information about the proposed study scope and design. EPA will solicit public comments on the draft study plan.
The public meetings will be held on:
* July 8 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. CDT at the Hilton Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas
* July 13 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. MDT at the Marriot Tech Center’s Rocky Mountain Events Center in Denver, Colo.
* July 22 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT at the Hilton Garden Inn in Canonsburg, Pa.
* August 12 at the Anderson Performing Arts Center at Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. for 3 sessions – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT
The EPA on May 10 authorized BP to use two dispersants-COREXIT 9500 and COREXIT EC9527A, distributed by the Tennessee and Texas units of Nalco Co. in Illinois. BP had already applied those products at the spill site for nearly two weeks. As concerns about COREXIT grew, however, the EPA asked BP on May 19 to find a less-toxic dispersant within 24 hours, and to start using its replacement in 72 hours. BP answered that it wanted to stick with COREXIT.
Frustrated EPA and Coast Guard officials said the company’s response was inadequate, and told BP to start reducing its use of surface dispersants. But in a decision questioned by some scientists, officials said BP’s subsea or underwater dispersant use, authorized in mid-May, could continue.
Last week, the EPA and the Coast Guard said that they would start calling the shots about BP’s dispersant use and that COREXIT applications could be scaled back by as much as 50% to 80%.
COREXIT should be scaled back to 0% —
Especially since BETTER options are available NOW.
I’m going to hazard a few predictions here. I hope I’m wrong. If I am you can crucify me later.
Neither BP nor anyone else has any workable idea how to stop the leak. If they did it would have been stopped by now.
The leak will continue to flow into the ocean for the foreseeable future, until the reservoir pressure drops to lower than the pressure of the weight of the ocean pressing down on it. At some point perhaps the seabed will collapse into an emptying reservoir and there will be seabed earthquakes. And maybe tsunamis.
BP will not be “shoved aside”. The government will not take over the management of the disaster response. Neither BP nor any of its management will face any substantive sanctions or criminal charges for this. Nor will BP be “debarred” from government contracts by the EPA.
For a very simple and obvious reason.
The government has the largest military in the world to supply and operate, and the government has two military occupations in progress to run.
BP has been one of the biggest suppliers of fuel to the Pentagon in recent years, with much of its oil going to U.S. military operations in the Mideast. (It sold $2.2 billion in oil to the Pentagon last year, making it No. 1 among all the oil companies in sales to the military, according to the latest figures from the Defense Energy Support Center.)
The government is going to do everything they can possibly do to keep BP alive and healthy, to keep their largest supplier of fuel to the military operating profitably and supplying that fuel.
Ken Salazar spouting his “”We will keep our boot on their neck until the job gets done” line to the media is PR to keep the peasants from burning down the castle, and is probably the only way he has of avoiding being made the scapegoat and saving himself.
Sorry about the Gulf of Mexico, folks. It’s being sacrificed for the (heave) greater good.
Déjà vu [Deja vu] is the experience of feeling sure that one has witnessed or experienced a new situation previously (an individual feels as though an event has already happened or has happened in the recent past), although the exact circumstances of the previous encounter are uncertain.
The experience of déjà vu is usually accompanied by a compelling sense of familiarity, and also a sense of “eeriness,” “strangeness,” “weirdness,” or what Sigmund Freud and other psychologists call “the uncanny.” The “previous” experience is most frequently attributed to a dream, although in some cases there is a firm sense that the experience has genuinely happened in the past.
Saturday May 21, 2010 One month and one day past the destruction of the drilling rig of the Deepwater Horizon, with BP unable to stop the oil blowout destroying the Gulf, President Obama’s anonymous source announced he will appoint former Senator Bob Graham (D, FL) and former EPA head William K Reilly to a commission to study the cause of the spill, federal oversight, and the potential risks.
William K Reilly was administrator at the EPA under the first George Bush administration, George H W “Poppy” Bush, the one who invaded the Middle East the First Time and went to war against Iraq the First Time, which was called the …… Gulf War.
The commission, modeled on ones which investigated the Challenger shuttle explosion and the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, will not include any federal officials, administration officials said this week.
“It seems baffling that we don’t know how much oil is being spilled,” Sylvia Earle, a famed oceanographer, said Wednesday on Capitol Hill. “It seems baffling that we don’t know where the oil is in the water column.”
The administration acknowledges that its scientific resources are stretched by the disaster, but contends that it is moving to get better information, including a more complete picture of the underwater plumes.
“We’re in the early stages of doing that, and we do not have a comprehensive understanding as of yet of where that oil is,” Jane Lubchenco, the NOAA administrator, told Congress on Wednesday. “But we are devoting all possible resources to understanding where the oil is and what its impact might be.”
Four weeks ago today, British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and sank, breaking the pipe connecting to the wellhead a mile below on the floor of the Gulf in Mississippi Canyon Block 252, referred to as the Macondo Prospect.
Former EPA Criminal Division Special Agent Scott West led a 2006 investigation of British Petroleum following a major oil pipeline leak in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra. His story hopefully will not prove to be somewhat prophetic for BP’s prospects following the Deepwater Horizon environmental catstrophe, but it is very much worth hearing and reflecting upon.
As Jason Leopold wrote yesterday May 19 in a very detailed historical and investigative article at Truthout.org:
Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution.
West was the special agent in charge with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criminal division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company’s senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company’s Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of crude oil across two acres of frozen tundra – the second largest spill in Alaska’s history – which went undetected for nearly a week.
West was confident that the thousands of hours he invested into the criminal probe would result in felony charges against the company and the senior executives who received advanced warnings from dozens of employees at the Prudhoe Bay facility that unless immediate steps were taken to repair the severely corroded pipeline, a disaster on par with that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill was only a matter of time.
In fact, West, who spent more than two decades at the EPA’s criminal division, was also told the pipeline was going to rupture – about six months before it happened.
In a wide-ranging interview with Truthout, West described how the Justice Department (DOJ) abruptly shut down his investigation into BP in August 2007 and gave the company a “slap on the wrist” for what he says were serious environmental crimes that should have sent some BP executives to jail.
He first aired his frustrations after he retired from the agency in 2008. But he said his story is ripe for retelling because the same questions about BP’s record are now being raised again after a catastrophic explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig killed 11 workers and ruptured an oil well 5,000 feet below the surface that has been spewing upwards of 200,000 barrels of oil per day into the Gulf waters for a month.
Today Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of DemocracyNow.org interviewed Scott West about his experiences investigating and attempting to bring criminal charges against BP:
One month after the BP oil spill, we speak to Scott West, a former top investigator at the Environmental Protection Agency who led an investigation of BP following a major oil pipeline leak in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 250,000 gallons of oil on the Alaskan tundra.
Before West finished his investigation, the Bush Justice Department reached a settlement with BP, and the oil company agreed to pay $20 million. At the same time, BP managed to avoid prosecution for the Texas City refinery explosion that killed fifteen workers by paying a $50 million settlement.
Fmr. EPA Investigator Scott West:
US Has Told BP “It Can Do Whatever It Wants and Won’t Be Held Accountable”
Yesterday we got the news that Obama’s EPA would block a coal plant. Just breaking from the NYTimes. On Monday among other things President Obama (!) will direct federal regulators to move swiftly to grant 14 states the right to set stricter emissions and efficiency standards then the feds. The Bush EPA rejected this request in December of 07. California and other states have sued over this and now Obama will be taking one more step to reverse yet another bad legacy left by the Bush Administration.
The California standards will reduce overall greenhouse gas emission from passenger cars 18 percent by 2020 and 27 percent by 2030. They will (I believe) go into effect later this year in California, Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Connecticut, Oregon, Maine, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts. In addition Colorado, North Carolina, Florida, Minnesota Iowa and Utah are considering implementing the standards.
I am a County Delegate and when we met to give suggestions for the party platform, one of the things I suggested was that the European economy standards be adopted starting 2010. Did you know we, the United States of America has the lowest fuel economy standards in the industrialized world? Even China beats us by a mile. Follow me below the fold for the evidence of how we’ve been played.