Tag Archives: Environmental Damage

Before You Make Any Long-Term Plans…You Better Read This….


Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, off Louisiana, in this handout photograph taken on April 21, 2010 and obtained on April 22, 2010.

(This article was re-printed from PetroleumWorld.com.) 

By Christian A. DeHaemer

The Dwarves dug too greedily and too deep. You know what they awoke in the darkness of Khazad-dum… shadow and flame.

 — Saruman, The Lord of the Rings

There is something primordial about BP’s quest for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s an Icarus-like story of super-ambition; of reaching too far, delving too deep. I don’t know if you’ve stopped to contemplate what BP was trying to do…The well itself started 5,000 feet below the surface. That’s the depth of the Grand Canyon from the rim. And then the company attempted to drill more than 30,000 feet below that — Mt. Everest would give 972 feet to spare. Furthermore, the company sought oil in a dangerous area of the seabed. It was unstable and many think BP sought it out because seismic data showed huge pools of methane gas — the very gas that blew the top off Deepwater Horizon and killed 11 people. More than a year ago, geologists criticized Transocean for putting their exploratory rig directly over a massive underground reservoir of methane. According to the New York Times , BP’s internal “documents show that in March, after several weeks of problems on the rig, BP was struggling with a loss of ‘well control.’ And as far back as 11 months ago, it was concerned about the well casing and the blowout preventer.” The problem is that this methane, located deep in the bowels of the earth, is under tremendous pressure… Some speculate as much as 100,000 psi — far too much for current technology to contain. The shutoff vales and safety measures were built for only 1,000 psi. It was an accident waiting to happen… And there are many that say it could get worse — much worse. Geologists are pointing to other fissures and cracks that are appearing on the ocean floor around the damaged wellhead. Continue reading

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Filed under Crime, Energy, Environmental Policy, Global Warming, Health and Wellness, International, Law, Politics, Scandals

BP Oil Spill – How Reagan Created MMS to Fail the U.S.

You’ve been hearing about the Minerals Management Service (MMS) lately and their friendly relationship to the oil industry. Their mission is to “manage the mineral resources of the Outer Continental Shelf in an environmentally sound and safe manner.”

That seems a bit optimistic nowadays doesn’t it? 

From the start, when it was created as little more than a lobbying office located right in the Department of the Interior, courtesy of Ronald Reagan and James Watts in the 1980’s and after eight years of Bush-Cheney, MMS has been busy cuddling up to big oil. This was pushed to a logical and absurd conclusion when the Bush administration signed off on big oil’s desire for voluntary, “trust me,” self-regulation — and caved in to industry demands not to mandate the backup shut off switch for offshore rigs that Brazil and Norway require. In fact, this dangerous relationship was taken to the extreme and manifested in the  Sex-for-Oil scandal two years ago. 

Government officials handling billions of dollars in oil royalties engaged in illicit sex with employees of energy companies they were dealing with and received numerous gifts from them, federal investigators said Wednesday.

Between 2002 and 2006, nearly one-third of the staff in the Denver MMS office received gifts and gratuities from oil and gas companies, the investigators found. There was also sex, allegations of drug use and the other usual ‘government workers behaving badly’ sorts of thing going on.

So now what are wer left with?

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Filed under Congress, Democratic Party, Energy, Environmental Policy, George Bush, Politics, Republican Party

Cheney’s Office Allegedly Alters CDC Climate Testimony

With all the talk of the ‘Oxfam’ protests at the G8 meeting in Tokyo, it comes as no surprise that Vice President Dick Cheney wants to sweep climate change debate under the rug. In fact, it appears the effort is years in the making.

Vice President Dick Cheney’s office pushed to delete references about the ‘consequences’ of climate change on public health from congressional testimony, a former senior EPA official claimed Tuesday.

Jason K. Burnett, former top level EPA administrator, said that White House was concerned that the testimony last October by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, might make it tougher to avoid regulation.

Burnett, until last month a senior adviser on climate change at the Environmental Protection Agency, described that Cheney’s office was deeply involved in getting nearly half of the CDC’s original testimony removed. The office of the vice president was seeking deletions to the testimony concerning any references to human health consequences, as a result of of climate change.

Sernator Barbara Boxer maintains that the deletions are the first part of “a master plan” with the goal of “covering up” the real dangers of global warming.

As many as six of 14 total pages of CDC testimony may have been deleted. 

Megan Mitchell, Dick Cheney’s press secretary, dismissed the allegations by Burnett and said, “We don’t comment on internal deliberations.”

Jason Burnett, a lifelong Democrat, resigned last month from the EPA for the second time since 2004, because of the EPA’s position on climate change and other issues. He currently supports Barack Obama for president.

He has registered strong concerns about Cheney’s office fighting to not link climate change directly to public health or damage to the environment.

Burnett wrote that The White House, at Cheney’s urging, “requested that I work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change.” 

Burnett refused to press CDC on the deletions, because he believes the CDC’s draft testimony was “fundamentally accurate.”

In 2007 The Supreme Court directed the EPA to determine whether carbon dioxide endangers human health and welfare and, if so, begin to regulate it under the Clean Air Act. With this type of obstruction by Cheney and the rest of the Bush administration, that process is not likely to get off the ground until a Democrat is elected. 

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Filed under Congress, Environmental Policy, Global Warming, Law, Politics, Republican Party