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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!).
Tarballs and Long Hauls
'It's not a vacation place anymore. It's a ground zero.'
In February, Grand Isle is supposed to start looking a little more life-like. Birds and tourists are scheduled to make their annual flock to the Jefferson Parish barrier island to seek refuge before the their natural habitat in the North comes back to life.
To clear the way, BP and town officials hoped to have the beaches cleaned by Feb. 1. But there's a potential stain that seems destined to throw a wrench in those plans.
Fein Day to Face the Public
There's been a lot of bellyachin' about the way BP is handing out money to compensate people for their losses in the Big Oozy. Convenient-poster-boy-who- always-seems-to-be-caught-looking-ridiculous-by-cameras (and U.S. government claims czar) Kenneth Feinberg has been at the center of these complaints. Today, he makes his way to the Gulf Coast to visit Grand Isle. If Billy Nungesser's Friday outrage is at all indicative of the peoples' mood down there, get ready to duck, Ken! To amp us up, Drake Toulouse over at Disenfranchised Citizen runs down parts of the perceived boondoggle today.
by Kyle Gilmore
BP is going to remove the thousands of anchors left behind by the booms used throughout the gulf to aid in the oil spill cleanup. Well, they’re not going to remove the anchors, they're going to search for them. Well, before they actually begin their search they're going to place more anchors in local waters to see what is the best way to search for them. Then they’re going to begin the actual search for them. Finally they're going to seriously consider removing the anchors.
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