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NoDef Numbers, April 19-25
This week, the first anniversary of the Big Oozy was marked with a hoax, lawsuits and payouts, ground was broken for a giant state hospital that a group of consultants said was too giant and, as ever, Bill Murray was kind of an asshole - but a funny one! Developments were confusing, but a look at the numbers inside the news can provide the elixir of order.
BP to Pay $1 Billion for Environmental Restoration
All the vein poppin', stern glarin' and sleeve rollin' might've done some good. BP has agreed to pay $1 billion for "early" coastal restoration projects in Gulf Coast states, including Louisiana. The Bayou State stands to receive $100 million directly, and what's likely to be more from the $500 million federal agencies are getting in the deal. "The (feds) will use the money to fund projects such as the rebuilding of coastal marshes, replenishment of damaged beaches, conservation of sensitive areas for ocean habitat for injured wildlife, and restoration of barrier islands and wetlands that provide natural protection from storms," a release said.
A Year Later, Cleanup Still the Gig for Venice Fisherman
by Shay Sokol
Last May, NoDef spoke with fourth generation Venice fisherman Herman Demoll as he was attempting to navigate the then-fledgling claims process BP had set up to compensate fishermen who were put out of work when the Deepwater Horizon exploded. At the time, Demoll was signed up for the Vessels of Opportunity, but his boat hadn't been called. So, he took a job moving boom on the docks, hoping his turn would come. When we checked back in with him this week to see how things were progressing, he said his turn never came.
NOLA Sues BP In the Nick of Time
Today's year mark of the Deepwater Horizon explosion was a day of mourning and reflection. But for legal eagles, it was also a day of deadlines. The passing of a year means the passing of the statute of limitations to file suits against BP, Transocean and other responsible parties in hopes of collecting damages for the damage the Big Oozy wrought. Getting in at the last minute was the City of New Orleans, who filed just enough paperwork to get in on the fun this week. The suit asks for damages to cover drops in property values, monitoring citizens' health, increased tourism promotion and, here's a new one: "the increased cost to educate children affected by the oil spill and moratorium."
BP Picks Up Another Pair of Yes Men
by Shay Sokol
Good news finally came one year after the Big Oozy at the Gulf Coast Leadership Summit yesterday. Dr. Dean Winkeldom from the U.S. Department of Health announced the feds would set up 35 clinics along the Gulf Coast to provide health care for those affected by the oil spill. Sending the press into a particular tizzy, the federal government also promised to ban further use of the toxic dispersant. In a video that appeared along with the news release, a BP official, Steve Wistwil, expressed regret over the company’s lack of attention to this issue, and agreed to foot the bill of $525 million. Then an angry man who claimed to be with BP barged into the room and interrupted the conference, asking who the hell Wistwil was. The two men argued, each claiming to be the real BP representative. Amid the din, the truth emerged: the news was too good to be true.
Big Oozy Roundup: 365 Days Later
A year ago today, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 workers and injuring more than a dozen. The tragedy was only beginning that day, as it took about a week for officials to admit that oil was leaking unchecked into the Gulf of Mexico from the base of the well. Like all full throttle news stories, the disaster brought many new words - some with the ring of porn - to add to the collexicon: dispersant, tarball, blowout, top kill, junk shot and, as ever, Nungesser. The national media is bringing their own gusher of coverage this week. Links to a few of today's important stories after the jump.
Big Oozy Roundup: 364 Days Later
In case you ain't heard, tomorrow's the one-year anniversary of the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 and spawned the biggest, ooziest oil disaster the country has ever seen (or so they said at the time). Along with the anniversary has come a torrent of national media coverage not seen around here since, well, the last anniversary of a major manmade disaster. In any case, click through for a roundup of coverage.
Raking the Murk
Next week, the one-year anniversary of the Big Oozy is upon us. You know what that means...Media saturation! Since most of the national reporter types picked up and left in September, they'll want to get an update on what's been happening since the Macondo well was capped. Well, aside from going down to Grand Isle to see the oil that's still on the beach, they can just read the Interweb. Turns out, there's a few issues to explore. The just haven't been out in the open, yet.
You Defile It, You Buy it
When BP's oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico, little did they know they would eventually end up gaining a piece of real estate. Everyone's favorite oil company purchased a swath of land this week near Gulf Islands National Seashore in Mississippi. The land, located on Cat Island, is apparently fouled with oil. BP intimated to the Sun Herald of Blioxi, Miss., that they bought it to make the cleanup easier. Upon news of the sale, three new watchdog groups were formed dedicated solely to keeping watch for Tony Hayward's yacht.
BP might face criminal charges for fouling up the Gulf of Mexico, but that's not stopping them from reaching a deal to start drilling again. Everyone's favorite oil company is set to begin production again in July, but they'll only be allowed to drill from wells that already exist. Speaking to ABC yesterday, NOLA's Congressman, Cedric Richmond, said the revamped permitting process and new regulator safeguards that have been put in place by the Interior Department since the Big Oozy is enough to stave off his concerns. "If BP can make it through that then I think they should be allowed to drill," he said.
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