We are all guilty of it. We need to run inside to pay a bill, make a deposit or pick something up. We will only be a few minutes so we feel we are justified in not plugging the meter. The last time we did it, we made it in and out without a $25.00 parking ticket, and we also saved that $1.25 we would have spent plugging the meter.
Unfortunately this time we got the ticket.
That’s exactly what happened to BP. They had the opportunity to spend $500,000 to install that special remote cut off valve, but chose not to do so because they had never had a problem before. Now the $500,000 looks like that $1.25 compared to the 1 billion dollars they have spent trying to cap the leak. That figure does not include the clean up cost or the economic loss incurred and will continue to be incurred for some time by the citizens of Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida and possible more states.
As President Barack Obama returned to the Gulf region today for an update on the nation’s worst oil spill, BP said it was “quite encouraged” that a huge containment cap placed over a gushing underwater well was working as intended.
Waves of gooey tar balls washed onto the white sands of northwestern Florida as BP engineers adjusted the sophisticated cap over the gusher, trying to siphon crude to a tanker on the surface and reduce the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf.
The inverted funnel-like device that was set over the leak late Thursday. Engineers hoped to gradually close several vents on the cap throughout the day in the latest attempt to contain the oil.
“Things are going as planned. I’m encouraged. We always must remember we only have 12 hours of experience with this,” Kent Wells, BP senior vice president, said at a midday press briefing. “But I am quite encouraged.”
He said it could take “a few days” for the containment cap to reach “peak efficiency.”
As they worked on the system underwater, the effect of the BP spill was widely seen. Swimmers at Pensacola Beach, Fla., rushed out the water after wading into the mess. Brown pelicans coated in chocolate syrup-like oil flailed and struggled in the surf on a Louisiana island. The oil on the beaches of East Grand Terre near Grand Isle, La., were stained in hues of rust and crimson, much like the color of drying blood.
“In Revelations, it says the water will turn to blood. That’s what it looks like out here — like the Gulf is bleeding,” said P.J. Hahn, director of coastal zone management for Plaquemines Parish as he kneeled down to take a picture of an oil-coated feather. “This is going to choke the life out of everything.”
Obama touched down in Louisiana Friday, his second trip in a week and the third since the disaster unfolded following an April 20 oil rig explosion. Eleven workers were killed.
Obama headed into a briefing at an airport hangar with Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, the federal official leading the response to the spill, and other officials. He then planned to make remarks and drive to Grand Isle, a barrier town affected by the spill, to meet with residents.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs announced late Thursday that Obama was scrapping his trip to Australia and Indonesia later this month “to deal with important issues, one of which is the oil spill.”
A mile below the water’s surface, the cap has different colored hoses loosely attached to it to help combat the near-freezing temperatures and ice-like crystals that could clog it. The device started pumping oil and gas to a tanker on the surface overnight, but it wasn’t clear how much.
“Progress is being made, but we need to caution against over-optimism,” said Allen.
Robots a mile beneath the Gulf were shooting chemical dispersants at the escaping oil — though it looked more like flares when illuminated a mile underwater.
To put the cap in place, BP had to slice off the main pipe with giant shears after a diamond-edged saw became stuck. By doing so, they risked increasing the flow by as much as 20 percent, though Allen said it was still too soon know whether that had happened.
BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles told NBC’s TODAY that oil has started flowing up the pipe from the cap.
But Suttles said it will be later before they know how much is being captured from the nation’s worst oil spill.
“There is flow coming up the pipe,” he said. “Just now, I don’t know the exact rate.”
The jagged cut forced crews to use a looser fitting cap, but Allen did not rule out trying to again smooth out the cut with the diamond saw if officials aren’t satisfied with the current cap.
The best chance to plug the leak is a pair of relief wells, which are at least two months away. The well has spit out between 22 million and 47 million gallons of oil, according to government estimates.
In Florida, spotters who had been seeing a few tar balls in recent days found a substantially larger number before dawn on the beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore and nearby areas, a county emergency official said. The park is a long string of connected barrier islands near Pensacola.
NBC News reported that an official described one of the balls as resembling “tar mousse.”
David Lucas, of Jonesville, La., and a group of friends abruptly ended their visit to Pensacola Beach after wading into oily water.
“It was sticky brown globs out there,” Lucas said after the group cleaned their feet in the parking lot and headed south to Orlando.
Florida, the so-called Sunshine State with a $60 billion-a-year tourism industry, has been bracing this week for the forecasted arrival of the spilled oil, which has already hit the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to the west.
Beachgoers on Pensacola Beach, many of them children, were picking up tar blobs, some the size of ping pong balls, some smaller, scattered along the strand, a Reuters TV producer reported. No cleanup crews were in sight, she said.
Santa Rosa Island Authority Executive Director Buck Lee said he couldn’t be sure the oil came from the gushing Gulf well “but I’m 90 percent certain that it is”. The oil would be analyzed to confirm the link.
Just to the west at Gulf Shores, Ala., Wendi Butler watched glistening clumps of oil roll onto the white sand beach during a morning stroll. An oily smell was in the air.
“You don’t smell the beach breeze at all,” said Butler, 40.
Butler moved to Perdido Bay from Mobile days before the spill. Now, her two kids don’t want to visit because of the oil and she can’t find a job.
“Restaurants are cutting back to their winter staffs because of it. They’re not hiring,” she said.
Meanwhile, BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward sought to reassure investors, saying the company has “considerable firepower” to cope with the severe, long-running costs. Hayward and other senior BP executives struck a penitent note in their first comprehensive update to shareholders since the oil rig explosion, stressing their commitment to rebuilding BP’s tarnished reputation, improving safety measures and restoring the damaged Gulf coast.
“We will meet our obligations both as a responsible company and also as a necessary step to rebuilding trust in BP as a long term member of the business communities in the U.S. and around the world,” said BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. “This is in the interest of all our stakeholders.”
Facing a criminal probe by the U.S. government amid mounting civil lawsuits and growing questions about its credit-worthiness, BP’s shares have plunged almost 40 percent since the rig explosion on April 20, erasing nearly $70 billion in value.
The spill has cost the company more than $1 billion to date. Wall Street analysts say the final bill could be 10 to 20 times that amount, when fines, lawsuits and years of cleanup are taken into account.
In oil-soaked Grand Isle, BP representative Jason French might as well have painted a bulls-eye on his back. His mission was to be BP’s representative at a meeting for 50 or so residents who had gathered at a church to vent.
“We are all angry and frustrated,” he said. “Feel free tonight to let me see that anger. Direct it at me, direct it at BP, but I want to assure you, the folks in this community, that we are working hard to remedy the situation.”
Residents weren’t buying it.
“Sorry doesn’t pay the bills,” said Susan Felio Price, who lives near Grand Isle.
“Through the negligence of BP we now find ourselves trying to roller-skate up a mountain,” she said. “We’re growing really weary. We’re tired. We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. Someone’s got to help us get to the top of that mountain.”
Obama shared some of that anger ahead of his Gulf visit. He told CNN’s Larry King that he was frustrated and used his strongest language in assailing BP.
“I am furious at this entire situation because this is an example where somebody didn’t think through the consequences of their actions,” Obama said. “This is imperiling an entire way of life and an entire region for potentially years.”
Newly disclosed internal Coast Guard documents from the day after the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig indicated that U.S. officials were warning of a leak of 336,000 gallons per day of crude from the well in the event of a complete blowout.
The volume turned out to be much closer to that figure than the 42,000 gallons per day that BP first estimated. Weeks later it was revised to 210,000 gallons. Now, an estimated 500,000 to 1 million gallons of crude is believed to be leaking daily.
The Center for Public Integrity, which initially reported the Coast Guard logs, said it obtained them from Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The logs also showed early in the disaster that remote underwater robots were unable to activate the rig’s blowout preventer, which was supposed to shut off the flow from the well in the event of such a catastrophic failure.
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It was the fall of 1968 and the charts were popping with Aretha Franklin’s “This Is The House That Jack Built”. We were “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay” as we continued to mourn the loss of Otis Redding to a plane crash as well as Tighting Up” with Archie Bell and the Drells. Of course the number 1 joint on the 1320 dial known as WCOG was the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”.
Paul McCartney sung it the other night at the White House as the President and the first family joined he and others on stage. See video above.
The song was supposedly written for the John Lennons son, Julian. The first line lyrics: “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better, remember to let her into your heart, and you can start to make it better”.
How appropriate these particular lyrics in today’s political climate as we watch our gulf coast fill up with crude oil.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is shouting to the media about what he perceives as a bad federal government who has not approved his permits to build a barrier island, and demanding that our President make BP pay for the damages. The permits appear to be making the rounds in a timely fashion. The federal government want to make sure that the barrier island which may prevent the oil from making it to shore doesn’t create another environmental problem with similar results or worse. BP has said that they will pay for all the damages. So it appears that Jindal is talking loud and saying nothing of substance. This is also known as political rhetoric.
Bill Maher seems to want our President to mimic Bobby Jindal. However, when you think about it, Jindal’s tantrum is not producing results. Louisiana as well as Florida and Alabama need results not political rhetoric. Political rhetoric is what you get when people really don’t have a solution to the problem. It’s a smoke screen to divert the attention somewhere else, so people hopefully will not come to the realization that you are without clue.
BP is throwing up Hell Marys at the problem and it is obvious that they haven’t a clue. There is a solution to all problems, but these solutions are generally developed through calm methodical thought with the cooperation and participation of all. The objective is to resolve the problem without creating others. This calls for action through methodical thought and not knee jerk reactions through panic.
Our President is a calm and methodically guy. President Obama will take this sad situation and make it better by taking to heart all the problems caused by the BP catastrophy.
As you can see Jindal’s jumping up and down and yelling has not made it better, instead it only leaves the Louisiana citizens with hopelessness. Bobby, calmness allows careful thought, and careful thought will provide the results needed.
Hey Bobby Jindal don’t make it bad, work with the President on a solution. Can the political rhetoric.
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