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Thread: The Gulf Oil Spill Thread

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    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The Gulf Oil Spill Thread

    The Governor of Florida has declared a state of emergency for Bay, Walton, Gulf, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties. Considering the new airport is scheduled to open on May 23rd, this could be a disaster for the economy of this region. This is a Federal operation so our emergency responders are at the mercy of the Feds. The locals are very nervous, to say the least. All the state level politicians, who were previously in favor of increased off-shore drilling in the Gulf are back-tracking and distancing themselves from those positions. Who could blame them? IMHO, they will never drill in the Gulf in our lifetimes.

    Let's post comments about the slick and its effect in this thread.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Plus
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    On April 29, 2010 the Deepwater Horizon incident was declared a Spill of National Significance (SONS)
    http://www.fema.gov/emergency/report...nat043010.shtm


    Will your EOC open ? are you involved in any capacity ?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
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    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  3. #3
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    .....Will your EOC open ? are you involved in any capacity ?
    No plans to open the EOC at this point because we are viewing this as a Federal operation. If it does, it will be a soft opening.
    I'm a level 2 responder but they'll call me in early because they can charge my time to the Feds. Damage Assessment, but you know that.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    I vaguely recall something about the Exxon Valdez spill being a test site for various containment and mitigation methods, and one that worked real well was melted paraffin.

    This site has wasted no time in creating new badges and shirts.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    This Bear knows very little about off-shore drilling, how it is done, and how the environment is "supposed to" be protected. Betcha dollars to donuts, though, that every company that drills off-shore is feverishly working on developing some sort of quick-capping methodology.

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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    Betcha dollars to donuts, though, that every company that drills off-shore is feverishly working on developing some sort of quick-capping methodology.
    From what I read and remember from working the oilpatch - The BOP Blow Out Preventer is part of the problem - it did not close.
    For more info: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/01/us/01engineering.html

    Here is a classic line for all plan reviewers to remember:
    "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."

    And while the company conceded that a spill would "cause impacts" to beaches, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas, it argued that "due to the distance to shore (48 miles) and the response capabilities that would be implemented, no significant adverse impacts are expected."
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...5KebwD9FDNQR00
    Last edited by JNA; 01 May 2010 at 10:52 AM.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    No job listings yet. Any unemployed Cyburbians want to spend the summer washing tar off of seagulls?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    According to ABC news tonite, the spill tripled in size over the last 24 hrs and is expected to hit the island in AL where RJ stayed a couple weeks ago, tomorrow; and is very close to the next county east of us. The environmental issues related to this just boggle the mind.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    I used to do oil spill prevention and response planning and spent a lot of time in Valdez during the spill. I can tell you that the oil industry always says that a spill is unlikely (true) and if one occurs we can clean it up (not true). Yes, blowout preventers have been around for a long time, and usually they work. This one didn't. I won't speculate about the cause of the spill (I know the platform burned and sank, but not why, and I won't assign any negligence or malfeasance to this accident without proof)

    There has been precisely zero change in spill response technology since long before the Exxon Valdez. An oil spill on the open ocean cannot be contained or cleaned up. Period. Yes, you can protect certain small areas like they did with the fish hatcheries on Prince William Sound, but forget containing it.

    You also can forget about cleaning mangroves and wetlands. About the only kind of shoreline that can be cleaned is sandy beaches. If this goes on for any time there will be a huge dirty sand disposal problem, too. And absorbent boom disposal problem. Good news for the boom manufacturers, and good for the casual laborers, but a mutli-faceted disaster otherwise

    I wonder if anyone is setting up a ship cleaning station on the Mississippi River. I don't see theCoast Guard being willing to close the mouth of the river to navigation, so something will need to be done about dirty ships entering the river.
    Going Giving up!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    How resilient is the ocean/nature itself at taking care of this sort of thing once the well is capped?

    From what I am aware of, anyone visiting Prince William Sound today would be hard pressed to imagine that there was once a disastrous crude oil spill there unless you told him/her - it is now pretty much totally pristine.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    How resilient is the ocean/nature itself at taking care of this sort of thing once the well is capped?

    From what I am aware of, anyone visiting Prince William Sound today would be hard pressed to imagine that there was once a disastrous crude oil spill there unless you told him/her - it is now pretty much totally pristine.

    Mike
    That's a good question and I don't have a clue on the answer.

    One difference between this and Prince William Sound is that the economic impact will be much higher and the livelihood of thousands (millions?) is potentially at stake. Even if the ocean can take care of itself in a few years, you're talking about a lot of people (and entire towns/cities) whose life will be irreparably changed. Folks making a living off of the ocean or shores can't simply wait it out for a few years, without massive public help. The human fallout from this is likely to be an order of magnitude higher than the Valdez spill, even if the effect on Florida can be minimized. If the oil makes it to Florida shores en masse, wow, I don't even want to think about that.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  13. #13
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    How resilient is the ocean/nature itself at taking care of this sort of thing once the well is capped?

    From what I am aware of, anyone visiting Prince William Sound today would be hard pressed to imagine that there was once a disastrous crude oil spill there unless you told him/her - it is now pretty much totally pristine.

    Mike
    Really?

    Almost 20 years after the spill, a team of scientists at the University of North Carolina found that the effects are lasting far longer than expected. The team estimates some shoreline Arctic habitats may take up to 30 years to recover. Exxon Mobil denies any concerns over this, stating that they anticipated a remaining fraction that they assert will not cause any long-term ecological impacts, according to the conclusions of 350 peer-reviewed studies. However, a study from scientists from the NOAA concluded that this contamination can produce chronic low-level exposure, discourage subsistence where the contamination is heavy, and decrease the "wilderness character" of the area.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Valdez_oil_spill

    Comparing the rocky coast of Prince William Sound to the marshes, bayous, bays, and sandy beaches of some of the most sensitive and productive fisheries and their nurseries in the world (the Gulf coast) is disingenuous. This event pales to the Exxon Valdez. There are stories that this slick could reach the Atlantic. Are you blinded by the light?

    In thirty years I'll be dead. So, who cares? Right?

    I'm sensitive to this...it's hitting close to home.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
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    We're still finding oil in Kenai Fjords NP, and that stretch of coast didn't get nailed the way some other parts of Alaska did.

    I lived right on the gulf out in Perdido Key when I was stationed at NAS Pensacola. That's a beautiful part of the world. This sucks.
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    How resilient is the ocean/nature itself at taking care of this sort of thing once the well is capped?

    From what I am aware of, anyone visiting Prince William Sound today would be hard pressed to imagine that there was once a disastrous crude oil spill there unless you told him/her - it is now pretty much totally pristine.

    Mike
    Sorry mgk conservative/oil industry talking points aren't gonna fly on this one. PWS is still SOL 20+ years later. They are still finding oil under rocks up there. Mother Nature will finish cleaning up after us, but it will take some time.

    As I posted on another thread, the area where this is going to hit is just now recovering from Katrina. If this hits the MGC, the tourism and shrimping/fishing industry is done for the near future. I've been to Ship Island and Dauphin Island several times and they were a nice little get aways in the gulf. At least I was able to see them before they got destroyed.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I would add - as others have noted - that the Exxon Valdez disaster involved a finite amount of oil (i.e., the contents of the tanker). This spill just keeps going and going.

    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    No job listings yet. Any unemployed Cyburbians want to spend the summer washing tar off of seagulls?
    As I'm sure you know, there are many other species of birds affected, especially this time of year. Some of these bird species are already endangered or threatened. It just sickens me to think about the impact of the oil spill on birds.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    How resilient is the ocean/nature itself at taking care of this sort of thing once the well is capped?

    From what I am aware of, anyone visiting Prince William Sound today would be hard pressed to imagine that there was once a disastrous crude oil spill there unless you told him/her - it is now pretty much totally pristine.

    Mike
    As in most things, it depends. Small amounts of oil are relatively easily dealt with. Large amounts, no. PWS is far from pristine. On many of the oiled beaches, if you turn over a rock (they are rock beaches there) you will find essentially unweathered oil. In other words, nature is doing nothing to remove the residual oil. And there is a very large volume of it. Moreover, the local orca population has not recovered from the spill, nor has the herring population (which supported a hugely lucrative fishery), sea otter population, certain clams, and various seabirds. So, no PWS has not recovered, and PWS is not pristine, and nature does not take care of large spills. They have long-lasting effects.
    Going Giving up!

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    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    How resilient is the ocean/nature itself at taking care of this sort of thing once the well is capped?

    From what I am aware of, anyone visiting Prince William Sound today would be hard pressed to imagine that there was once a disastrous crude oil spill there unless you told him/her - it is now pretty much totally pristine.

    Mike
    You are so wrong. Mother Nature copes with acts of god. Hurricanes, lightning-sparked fires, yes, we all know that. Oil spills are not acts of god, they are people (corporations) f*cking up. If this spill makes manatees and some species of sea turtles extinct, can BP pay for that? Can nature fix that? Hell no. Who is going to pay if whole communities disappear? Again, not acts of god, but a corporation f*cking up? I don't know where you live, but if somebody dusted your entire state with Roundup so nobody could grow crops for a year or two, how would you feel? That's how we feel.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    You are so wrong. Mother Nature copes with acts of god. Hurricanes, lightning-sparked fires, yes, we all know that. Oil spills are not acts of god, they are people (corporations) f*cking up. If this spill makes manatees and some species of sea turtles extinct, can BP pay for that? Can nature fix that? Hell no. Who is going to pay if whole communities disappear? Again, not acts of god, but a corporation f*cking up? I don't know where you live, but if somebody dusted your entire state with Roundup so nobody could grow crops for a year or two, how would you feel? That's how we feel.
    Very well put ZG. I'm about 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour, 30 minutes from it. My specific area won't feel the brunt of it, but I go down the Coast on a regular basis. Again, that area was just starting to slowly come around and now they are getting another major setback. Now the tourist will go to the casinos and that's it and that's not a given. Who will want to see miles of black gunk when going between casinos or to Ocean Springs which is a nice touristy area. The smell will be awfull just when it's getting to be hot (80, 90+ and humid). The fishing and shrimping will be toast. You like seafood? Well expect to pay a lot more for it. Who's going to pay for all the money that will be lost? What about the property values which are going to take a hit. A fair amount of people live down there.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    So now all I seem to be getting is a round of Chicken Little "The SKY is FALLING!!!" liberal talking points. Somewhere in this discussion in a happy medium. "It'll KILL our towns!", "It'll cause EXTINCTIONS!", "it's the BIG BAD GREEDY EVIL CORPORATIONS (who exist to supply what the market (read: 'public') is demanding), It's the BOGEYMAN!!, Yadda yadda yadda....



    (How long before the wave of evil, greedy trial lawyers reaches the Gulf shore?)

    Who would we be whining to if this was a nationalized government monopoly (ie, Pemex, PDVSA, etc) that did this? What would we be doing if it was a Chinese rig in Cuban waters 100 km or so southwest of the Florida Keys that did this?

    Did we ban driving when the first fatal traffic crash occurred? Building bridges when a major one failed and many people died? Mining coal when the first mine caught fire (like the one under Centralia, PA)? Living in the high plains when a city got wiped off of the map by a tornado? Flying after the first airplane fatally crashed? Running trains when a major one derailed in a 'messy' way? NO! We learned from those events and in most cases, improved our ways and went on with life.

    Anyways, I have full faith that this well will soon be successfully capped and perhaps even placed back into economic production (4000-5000 bbl/day is a major chunk of our non-imported supply). Shoreline messes will be addressed as best as possible. Much of that stuff that stays at sea will eventually evaporate or be eaten by bacteria. In some areas, adjustments will end up having to be made (what are planners for, anyways?), and life will go on.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    I have a question- we have been getting a bit of news about the spill over here, but i was just wondering when the spill/leak started to occur and when a clean began?

    I know here, if spills occur, the government steps in pretty quickly to get the job done. Our oils spills predominately come from ships- but i think we have had one or two offshore drilling spills.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by natski View post
    I have a question- we have been getting a bit of news about the spill over here, but i was just wondering when the spill/leak started to occur and when a clean began?

    I know here, if spills occur, the government steps in pretty quickly to get the job done. Our oils spills predominately come from ships- but i think we have had one or two offshore drilling spills.
    The rig blew about 2 weeks ago. Btw, I'm not proposing to ban drilling. Mgk made simplistic pie-in-the-sky posts while safely being in Wisconsin. It's going to affect RJ, ZG and my area along with some of the other Gulf States planners.. It's going to affect our already tight state budget. I'm sorry around the rant, but I'm near the Coast and I've got friends who work down there. I was also down there about 2 weeks ago and saw the beaches. This really sucks. Dismissive, simplistic, talking point responses don't cut it.

    Again, I'm not against drilling in the Gulf. This is not a conservative/liberal/backward facing buddist issue, tho it's becoming one.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    The rig blew about 2 weeks ago. Btw, I'm not proposing to ban drilling. Mgk made simplistic pie-in-the-sky posts while safely being in Wisconsin. It's going to affect RJ, ZG and my area along with some of the other Gulf States planners.. It's going to affect our already tight state budget. I'm sorry around the rant, but I'm near the Coast and I've got friends who work down there. I was also down there about 2 weeks ago and saw the beaches. This really sucks. Dismissive, simplistic, talking point responses don't cut it.

    Again, I'm not against drilling in the Gulf. This is not a conservative/liberal/backward facing buddist issue, tho it's becoming one.
    I wouldnt apologise for being passionate about the issue. I guess over here we get very passionate about anyone ruining the environment (no matter where it is), as we are truely blessed. But we expect our government (both state and federal) to get in there and start the clean up, and then chase the people/companies who caused it later and review what happened etc etc.

    We had a tanker run into the Great Barrier Reef- a couple of weeks ago- they were miles off course and hit a reef, leaking oil etc. State/Fed gov started cleaning up the oil immediately, PM visit the site the day after it happened, two weeks later 2 people on the boat are charged and an inquiry set up about shipping in the area.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  24. #24
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
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    What happened with the spill in the east Timor Sea?
    You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chupacabra View post
    What happened with the spill in the east Timor Sea?
    Government cleaned that up- except the oil company couldnt fix the leak for weeks and weeks due to issues apparently.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

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