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Stanford Prison Experiment
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.
Spillness Snow Job?
In the wake of the Big Oozy, there were questions about whether the pollutants in the Gulf were bound to make coastal residents sick. Last month, a study formally confirmed that residents were reporting widespread symptoms. But there was still a lack of proof to tie them to the BP blowout. Well, one influential doctor is alleging that there might be a reason for that. Over at La. CoastPost, coastal scientist Len Bahr turns his concerns from barrier islands to corporate roadblocks. He recounts the stories of Dr. Mike Robichaux, who has witnessed Ochsner Health employees deny that illnesses of certain people close to the coast have anything to do with oil. But who, we are left wondering, is beind Ochsner?
Tilting at Transocean
There's been much talk of the missing oil and the evasive claim checks. But whatever happened to the rig workers who were actually on the Deepwater Horizon when it exploded? Well, there's word from at least one such employee today. Charles Cochran is suing BP, Transocean and other companies involved in the expedition to drill oil from the Gulf. He is claiming the rig manufacturer had an "evil motive or intent" in putting the deepwater drilling rig together negligently. According to Courthouse News Service, Cochran filed a complaint in federal court stating that as a result of being thrown across his cabin as the rig exploded, he "permanently and totally physically, functionally and anatomically disabled, impaired and disfigured" as a result of the explosion.
Speaking of black menaces in the Bayou, we're again reminded today that the oil is still out there. As cleanup crews begin to think about leaving the Louisiana Gulf Coast, news of the oil that's continuing to wash ashore is apparently making its way to Baton Rogue. State Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham told the Daily Comet he would hold BP and feds accountable for finishing the cleanup. Oil continues to be found off the former tourist haven Elmer's Island, Bay Jimmy and Pass-a-Loutre.
Feinberg, Science Diverge
Earlier this month, oil spill claims overlord Ken Feinberg noted that payments to people affected by the spill were based on the expectation that the Gulf would be fully recovered by 2012. There was instant outrage, and the assumption that he was wrong. But the one-two punch of Southern time and academic time meant there was a little lag in someone coming forward to use, y'know, science to refute him. But, over the weekend, we got one. University of Georgia Professor Samantha Joye reported that on a recent trip to the seafloor in a submarine, she found more oil than expected.
Year of BP Bashing Ends with British-Themed Rex Parade
What with Tony Hayward wanting his life back and the $5 million in mid-Big-Oozy references to the Battle of New Orleans, it's been a rough year for British-New Orleanian relations. So, the patricians that control these things appear to have decided that it's going to take more than Jon Cleary and an afternoon tea to thaw relations. The big boys are getting the call, in the form of the self-appointed keepers of the Mardi Gras flame, the Rex Organization. The tradtional Fat Tuesday culmination that is the Rex parade will have an all-British theme this year.
Ken Feinberg to Make Much-Anticipated Bestie Announcement
The judge in charge of that other slick mess (the legal one) left by BP ruled late last night that BP Claims Czar Ken Feinberg shouldn't be considered a neutral party in the process of giving money to Gulf Coast residents. Instead, federal Judge Carl Barbier effectively said he should be considered in league with BP. If Barbier has his way, Feinberg, who is in charge of overseeing the distribution of $20 million, will also be forced to turn on the lawyers' code.
A Leak About the Leak: Feds to Lower Oil Flow Estimate
by Alexis Martinovich
The Macondo well leak might be plugged, but the flow of information from mid-level Washington officials keeps flowing unchecked. The EPA is said to be in the process of bowing to pressure to reduce the estimates of how much oil leaked into the Gulf this summer. The decreased estimate comes after the feds raised the estimate on the heels of independent reports that the flow was a lot more than initially projected. With current estimates around a 4.9 million barrel contribution to the Gulf ecosystem, BP seems to be buckling under the pressure of paying to clean up its mess. Meanwhile, BP stocks are on the rise today. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone were rewarded for not finishing their chores?
by Alexis Martinovich
Last year was the worst for sea turtles in Gulf of Mexico in the last two decades, in fact, four to six time more deadly than average. In true BP tradition it is being blamed on other factors besides the spill. Mostly massive losses due to unbridled fishing in hopes of getting every last shrimp before the spill effected them. The sea turtles have been trying to receive compensation from BP due to loss of income but so far have had their claim rejected due to the fact that it is easier for them to find work.
Lawyers to BP: RICO-LAA!
Perhaps it seems like attorneys trying to hit BP where it hurts are throwing court action against a wall to see if it sticks. But who can blame them, what with the sudden availability of a certain sticky, black substance to put on the back of the filings. In their most recent move, attorneys Stephen Herman and James Roy are dusting off the statute often used by the FBI to prosecute mafia gangsters (and Louisiana politicians!).
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