Tag Archives: Politics

Politics: Congressional Hearing on the Gulf Oil Spill

I need a place to put this up, and my LiveJournal is being wonky.

Today, I’ve been watching the Congressional hearing on the Gulf Oil Spill and have been writing this bullet-point summary. This will expand as the hearing continues.

– It could take 3 months just to get the siphoning process to cover the full depth of the spill.
– Blowout preventers had never before been used at 5,000 ft, the depth of the oil well.
– A dispersal agent is being used to help break up the oil called Correxit. Correxit contains arsenic that is now part of the Gulf food supply.
– BP had other options for what dispersal agents to use and others were less toxic but BP has a business relationship with the manufacturer of Correxit.
– Transocean is a Swiss company and may not have paid US tax dollars.
– The Deepwater Horizon was built in Korea, not in the US.
– Most of Transocean’s vessels are flagged under the Marshal Islands.
– There was mention of the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 which BP could try to use to limit their financial liability at roughly $28 billion, but BP publicly claims to take full economic responsibility.
– Blowout preventers are made out of a rubber agent. An employee reported detached portions of rubber found in the shale shakers, and it was considered to be immaterial to the BP company.
– Possible prevention methods for this disaster would have cost about $12 million.
– BP’s “beyond petroleum” ad campaign cost the company $20 million this year.
– Most of the response protocols for oil spills have been for surface spills, not for deepwater spills like this case.
– The entire BP protocol for safe deepwater oil drilling involves a working blowout preventer, the device that failed in the Gulf Oil Spill.
– BP says the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf is at about 5,000 barrels a day. Other reports suggest it may be at 80,000 barrels a day or more.
– Ecologically, the entire United States will be affected by the oil spill.
– EPA may reconsider allowing the usage of dispersants, finding that they contain carcinogens.
– EPA’s Worst Case Scenario estimate for the Deepwater Horizon was 162,000 barrels a day.
– BP was not required to submit an OSRP (oil spill response protocol).

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