Tuesday, August 03, 2010
The plot thickens on Corexit and the oil estimates at Mocambo/Deepwater Horizon
Seems like an appropriate image for BP and their collaborators
I find it baffling that the EPA and the Coast Guard (USGC) are seemingly justifying BPs use of the toxic Corexit dispersant in the Gulf of Mexico: Erika Bolstad and Lesley Clark, Government defends BP's use of dispersants, but worries linger McClatchy Newspapers 08/02/2010.
So far as I can see, the only benefits from using the dispersants accrued exclusively to BP. It helped their public relations by reducing the amount of visible surface oil. And it made accurate estimates of oil "spilled" by their Deepwater Horizon oil geyser more difficult to develop, helping BP limit their financial exposure from fines and legal actions.
But by minimizing the amount of oil that came to the surface or remained there, it made removal of the oil more difficult. Surface oil can be skimmed off. The underwater oil plumes are much harder to clean out to put it mildly. And it likely increased the risks of the oil to the food web, as Bolstad and Clark report:
Other scientists have linked subsea plumes of oil to the well, and fear that the tiny droplets 4,300 feet below the surface of the Gulf will be more readily absorbed and ingested by marine animals.Based on the finds of a team of scientists working for the feds, the Coast Guard is now estimating a higher amount of oil spewed into the Gulf from BP's oil disaster than they did previously: Dan Froomkin, Feds Dramatically Increase Oil Spill Estimate, Making BP's The Worst Oil Accident In History Huffington Post 08/02/2010; Erika Bolstad and Lesley Clark, Gulf oil flow was 12 times more than feds' original estimate McClatchy Newspapers 08/02/2010. Their estimate comes to around 270 million gallons. I've bolded the part that most leapt out at me from Froomkin's article:
A federal scientific task force, finally allowed access to the wellhead just prior to it being capped on July 15, took elaborate pressure readings and other measurements to reach its conclusions.The Obama administration allowed BP to lead them around by the nose on much of the hard data coming out on this disaster. It's not surprising but still stunning that it took the federal government three months to get their own team of scientists into place to do a realistic on-spot estimate.
Nor do I assume this is the final word. If the EPA and the Coast Guard is willing to flack for BP on the use of Corexit, they may be flacking for BP on the overall spill estimates.
Tags: bp oil disaster
| +Save/Share | |
Links to this post:
No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
[Tip: Point cursor to any comment to see title of post being discussed.]
SEARCH THIS SITE
News & Media Links