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Energy & Sustainability :: 60-Second Earth :: June 13, 2010 :: :: Email :: Print
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar frustrated that oil leak has not been stopped BP official says the oil company is "devastated" by the undersea gusher 'Top kill' planned for next week; other options still on the table (CNN) -- Saying BP has "from day one, frankly not fulfilled the mission it was supposed to fulfill," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar expressed frustration Sunday with the delay in stopping an underwater oil gusher 33 days after an oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico.
Last week's much-ballyhooed new federal estimate of how much oil is spewing into the Gulf of Mexico -- 12,000 to 19,000 barrels a day, or two to four times as much as the original estimate -- remains a low-ball figure. The numbers released by the government last week and quickly adopted by the mass media actually represent the lower range of "lower bounds" generated by using conservative assumptions and flawed measures, according to documents released on Thursday. The newly-released summary of the report from the Department of Interior's "Flow Rate Technical Group" doesn't disclose the higher bounds, however, declaring that a reliable upper figure was incalculable due to -- get this -- "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns."
U.S. Coast Guard officials have apparently known for years that there could be significant problems in the federal and industry response to a major oil spill .
Illustration: Tim O’Brien Read also: The rest of this special report and MoJo 's complete BP coverage .
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Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, since those readings will be used by the federal government and courts to establish liability claims against BP. But the laboratory that officials have chosen to process virtually all of the samples is part of an and gas services company in Texas that counts oil firms, including BP, among its biggest clients.
The Coast Guard said “thanks, but no thanks” to the superskimmer “A Whale” Friday, as the 1,100 foot-long converted iron ore freighter failed to make a sizeable dent in the Gulf oil spill during a 24-hour testing period. Brought to the Gulf by Taiwanese shipping magnate Nobu Su to help sop up the vast blanket of oil covering parts of the Gulf, the massive A Whale held a tantalizing promise for Americans frustrated by the slow pace of the spill clean-up. Under ideal conditions, the ship's owners said, the A Whale could gather more oil in a day than all the other skimmers on the Gulf combined.
Posted by Christopher Lagan, Thursday, March 25, 2010
NEW ORLEANS — The gooey oil washing into the maze of marshes along the Gulf Coast could prove impossible to remove, leaving a toxic stew lethal to fish and wildlife, government officials and independent scientists said.
Illustration: Matt Mahurin
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Crossposted with TomDispatch.com .
In his May 28th interview with Bloomberg's Mark Crumpton and Lori Rothman, Matt Simmons of energy investment bank Simmons & Company , provides some stunning revelations on what is really occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, and proposes that the only effective way to contain the leak is to relieve BP, bring in the military, and do what the Russians have done on comparable occasions, namely explode nuclear weapons within the wellbore. Simmons knows what he is talking about.