Tag Archives: Macondo Wellsite

BP-Transocean Macondo Oil Leak Disaster Anniversary

It is time to remeber that the oil disaster in the Gulf occurred almost a year ago. There are old problems syill being made worse. There are new problems still being identified. There are people sick and suffering. There are wildlife populations and habitats under stress. There are industries and employers in severe distress. There is a great deal we do not know. There is a great deal we are not ever likely to know.

Here are some links to things I wrote about the story:

1. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/08/22/the-bp-spill-and-the-lessons-we-will-have-to-unlearn/

2. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/a-tiny-bp-macondo-leak-round-up/

3. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/bp-has-announced-cementing-in-the-macondo-well/

4. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/looking-at-the-bp-macondo-oil-leak-today/

5.https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/why-the-oil-leak-in-the-gulf-has-dominated-this-blog/

6. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/bp-oil-leak-and-the-technology-we-do-not-have/

7. https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/the-bp-oil-spill-the-anderson-cooper-response/

These are just a few of the many things that I have written. IF THE LINKS DO NOT WORK WHEN YOU CLICK ON THEM COPY THEM INTO YOUR BROWSER.

It is nota time for summing up all these matters and I doubt that this will be my las t note on this profile which touches on the subject. However, it is a time to to spend alittle while looking at where we are now. That means remebering where we have benn as well. That is the purpose of today’s note

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Taking a Break From the Wind-Down of Coverage of the BP Leak

I watched the 2010 Louisiana Legends Gala on LPB tonight after going to my nephew’s birthday party.  The Louisiana Legend honorees were  a musician of great accomplishment named Burton and a man of many accomplishments in politics, music and the life of his family and community named Michot. They also included a woman who had reared children as a politician’s wife and been on the one hand a patron and organizer of the arts and an actual artist and designer named Morrison as well as a man who at the college, professional and other levels had distinguished himself as basketball player, coach  and mentor in the world of hoops and hardwood.  It also included former Governor Buddy Roemer.

My sister had just put on a big birthday party for her son and then she had to head off to Mexico. It was also garbage night.  I was looking at all the achievement of these people and thinking about all the fullness of family life. That and other thing sort of pushed the oil leak out of my mind, except that Buddy Roemer was a governor who cut pollution. There was also the fact that Louis Michot alluded to the man-made setbacks. It also played on my mind as I thought about my nephew growing up.

But overall, I am just plain tired, distracted and willing to forget about this leak for a day or so. No real BP oil gusher story for today….

The BP Oil Leak: I Would Have a Nervous Breakdown but…

I no longer have very many concerns about “freaking out” or “having a nervous breakdown” or “losing it”. That is mostly because in many ways my life is already as bad as it can get. In the ways that it is not a total hell others would have to do most of the things they are not doing for me to lose all those I care about, go to prison, be maimed or whatever. At various times in my life I have run many risks and exposed myself to a great deal of danger. However, I have never believed anyone could function like that all the time and so I am both quiet and cautious to an outrageous degree rather than outrageous.

But here are reasons why I am not having a nervous breakdown over the BP Oil Leak yet.

So,

I would have a nervous breakdown over the oil leak but…

1. I am too tired from following this story to get the energy up for a breakdown.

2. I am afraid friends from New York will say “Why didn’t you have a breakdown after 9-11 then?”

3. I am afraid that I will need my nervous breakdown for responding to the way this crisis is handled a few years from now.

4. I am reminded of all the suffering animals, birds, fish and other living things and it seems selfish to have a nervous breakdown if they can’t. 

5. I tried to find the nervous breakdown form online but I could not.

6. I think I should try to be sane in case one of my many friends who are fishermen, shrimpers, oystermen, seafood pickers, processors, icehouse owners, fishmongers, guides, brokers and hoteliers should call — I want to be strong for them.

7. I am not sure if  having a break-down  is going to improve my tough South Louisiana image.

The BP Oil Leak & “Culkathadreil”

Yesterday I finished a draft of a novel on a Facebook account I call “Summers Progress” it is a draft but it is not unreadable or incoherent as it is and there is not likely to be a more complete draft later on. I have written about a dozen novels like this and another half a dozen plays that I have not submitted to anyone for publication. I have submitted a couple of short stories and had them rejected but not recently. However I have had my writing published in real paper publications of the type that pay people and undergo large distribution costs. I have also had my writing published in newsletters, paid compendiums in book form for private release and in various vehicles of my own like this blog. The novel I completed yesterday is called “Culkathadreil” .  I watch television. I buy movie tickets for myself and others. I buy several newspapers and    I surf the web like a madman. In addition I listen to the radio and watch music videos from varied purveyors. The point of my next paragraph is not that I do not like anything in the world and that it is all crap — that is not my opinion.

Nonetheless, it is true that despite Louis Armstrong, Sydney Bechet, Kate Chopin, Ernest Gaines, Stephen Ambrose, Lyle Saxon, Lauren Post, Carl Brasseaux, Zachary Richard, Fats Domino, Michael Doucet and Beausoleil, the Degas paintings of the Cotton Exchange, James Lee Burke, the politics of James Carville, the monuments to Jean Lafitte, the Jazz Festival, the Cajun Music Festival, the Festival Acadiens and the guest list of the last Weeks to rule the Shadows on the Teche –despite all those things  and the Williams with cousin Tennessee and their endowment of the Royal New Orleans Collection I live in a State which is a land of sunken things and deep shadows. I do not publish my novels for many reasons and you and I might not agree on all of them. However, the oil leak is a great symbol of the world I and so many from my state live in. The reckless madness and damaging folly of big oil, big government and even big environmentalism interfere with plans people here had and hopes they would have liked to see made real. I have no doubt that most of these plans are better and could be part of something much better than the status quo.

So after each novel is finished I take a day to feel sorry for myself. I do not usually share those thoughts. However as I sink into the shadows this time I take you with me because it is crowded with sunken people and dreams around here. Despite the New Orleans Saints winning a world championship with many local boys turned men on board and with a neighbor from Texas at the lead on the field, and despite Brittney Spears and Tim McGraw being as big in popular culture as one can really measure people to be — this is a place where much more is washed a way by storms and erosions of the natural and cultural kind thean can be easily measured either. Miles of land are damaged and vulnerable because of bad federal planning and coroporate greed American Indian Tribes have to watch till another kind of Indian from around the world is governor while they struggle for culture, natire and a future in many ways. America if it is anything (and sometimes it is not anything) as an idea has become an “English only” democracy. When it was young here it was sincerely hoped by many here and in other states that it would never be either of those two things. Many thought such a pair of calamities was prohibited by the Constitution.     We have a Preservation Hall but a hundred institutions that created jazz have not been preserved. So things are undertaken but less than is lost so as I sink into the shadows this time I take you with me because it is crowded with sunken people and dreams around here. If you look carefully and think hard about this oil leak you can see why.

Bp did not cause all these evils but this crisis is deeply tied to many other trials.  Britain has the toughest real anti-libel laws in the  world (as opposed to laws never enforceable or murderous thugs or honorable duels combatting libel) and if I ever did make some bucks maybe BP could find a way to sue me for libel for some of the things written here. But the truth is that I and others here are swimming in a see of subtle libels that are harder to prove and still suck the air out of life here. BP is among the libellers and has been for a very long time along with most people their people know. That is no fiction.

The BP Oil Spill & The Anderson Cooper Response

There have been a great number of competent and quite a few gifted journalists who have covered the leak and consequences of the leak that followed the sinking of the Deep Water Horizon at the Macondo underwater feature in the Gulf of Mexico just off the Coast of Louisiana. I will say that I have even seen more than one production that could be called a full-length documentary film.  I think many of these people deserve commendation and some deserve censure for their response to this crisis.Even BP itself has spent quite some significant amount of cash collecting and reporting information in various formats and through various people who have differing levels of expertise and candor as regards these events and their consequences. The BP response and other responses are not really so surprising when one considers that at least thirteen human deaths have been tied to these events, billions of dollars in trade and economic effects (including BP stock value fluctuations)  can be tied and related to these events. I have seen the disaster covered on ABC, NBC. CBS, Fox, MSNBC, PBS, the BBC, CNBC and many other venues in the electronic and broadcast media. The local and regional broadcast stations have had many significant exclusive stories. Also I have seen the print media from Gannett ( my former employer) as well as many other competitors cover the story. All these people have done work that deserves to be considered carefully by students, critics and practitioners of modern journalism. But none of those people and institutions are the subjects of this blog post.

I want to take an absurdly short amount of time and space to acknowledge the work of Anderson Cooper and his crew and staff on the CNN show AC360. Anderson Cooper has traveled the marshes, formed relationships with Governor Jindal, Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nunguesser, Grand Isle Mayor Dave Camardelle and local observers James Carville and his Republican wife Mary. He has taken time to tie into the cultural background stories, the family histories, and the political history. He has kept up a stream of steady reportage of the facts and has spiced that up with interviews of people like Lenny Kravitz and other celebrities who really know the area. He has owned the story and in my opinion has been a significant force in driving better coverage elsewhere.

In a climate where CNN has lost ground to more adversarial and advocacy driven networks like Fox and MSNBC he has found and area where he can bend his lines and not break them in advocating the case of voiceless animals and plants as well as millions of American citizens threatened by this disaster. So I think he has probably helped CNN fight back while being CNN. He has shown how they can still cover a big and long story and that they can do it in the new media environment. So he is adding his own professional quest and knight errantry to that of the people he has chosen to stand beside.

So, before it is too late, I take this chance to salute Anderson Cooper. Good job,  Sir. You are one of those we need around more than ever.    I hope this leads to new but probably not more important opportunities.

Why the Oil Leak in the Gulf has Dominated this Blog

I am not running a specialty blog here. I have a personal and fairly general purpose blog.  Yet there have been so many posts on the BP Oil Leak and none that were not at all related to the oil disaster in the Gulf in quite a while.  I want to use this post to discuss briefly why I have given so much more attention to this situation than I have to anything else since I began this blog. In case anyone reading has any doubt, I had not started this blog when the September 11, 2001 attacks occurred.  If I had this blog in those days I think that I would have posted about it for a similar length of time with relatively comparable intensity. I did in fact bring it up fairly often and fairly early in the newspaper articles that I published when writing as a reporter and as a feature writer in those days.

I did  and do think that World Trade Center and Pentagon wrecking crisis was a life changing kind of crisis.  I also think that this wetlands crisis is a life changing kind of crisis.  I think that this crisis makes us aware of the vitality, importance and threatened state of Louisiana and Gulf Coast wetlands. I think that this crisis can make us aware of certain strengths and weaknesses of our global , national and regional economies that are not well enough known nor carefully enough considered. We need to also understand how little planning, responsibility and mitigation exists in huge areas of our economic life. We need to understand how often we punish those behaving responsibly and excuse those pillaging the planet. I have pointed out repeatedly that BP is a British corporation. In balance I would like to encourage you to hear this address from Prince Charles of Wales, Duke of Cornwall  to the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change before all of this began. I think his words show that there are many tie to be formed and bridges to be built to secure a decent future. British Petroleum’ s disaster is in contrast to these words of a British Prince:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyLpo3rHHQ4&playnext_from=TL&videos=hu-_iGvuMXU

I have given this disaster so much emphasis because it is an incident about which I have a great deal of background knowledge. I am positioned to understand a great deal about all of this and explain some of it my blog’s readership. I have fished and boated these waters. I have done research and paralegal tasks for lawyers involved in spill and oil industry law suits. My life has involved a great deal of study about the peoples and history of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. These frames of reference and sets of facts have given me an understanding of how this tragedy has been playing out across this region.

Now I am not going to blog about this oil mess forever. If I do not die first of something beyond my control I expect to write on other subjects again soon enough. In fact it will be a relief to reassert the independence of this blog from any one subject.

But for now this is my subject. For now it is what I need to be thinking and blogging about more than most other things.  I hope that you will keep reading for now.

BP Oil Leak and the Technology We do not Have

It occurs to me that as hurricane season approaches there are a variety of technologies we do not have. I do blame BP primarily for not having them. I do blame the Oil and Gas industry significantly but not solely. I know not every one would agree that we should have all these things and I cannot argue that we must have every single one but here are a few things that I wish we had around.

1.  We do not have ultra speedy drill ships that could be assigned for emergencies to start drilling relief wells in the least dangerous phase and then be replaced by more substantial ships later. If we did have these the relief wells would be farther along in this case.

2. There are floating oil bladders used in conjunction with skimming operations. But we do not have neutral buoyancy production rigs for emergency siphons, caps and risers which could transfer oil to sub surface reservoirs for short (3-5) day periods when sites must be evacuated for storms.

3. There are no aerator buoys which could channel bubbles into the water column in areas where adding oxygen could make a real difference over weeks and days.

4. We do not have the barrier island bases and sound coastal policies I and others have suggested.  https://franksummers3ba.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/ideal-wetlands-policy-on-the-louisiana-coast/

5. We do not have flocculents in mass marketable scale. Floculents are a theoretical set of tiny clusters of microbial cultures, inert clays and solvents which could be used in areas where dispersants are not appropriate.

6.We do not have sophisticated instrument remotely operated submarines owned  by states are the US Coast Guard to measure flows and document damage independently.

7. We do not have an electronic world resources and technologies clearinghouse online.

8. We do not have sophisticated modeling software for predicting the behavior of loose deep water source oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

9. We do not have a National Mental Health Emergency Support Infrastructure.

10. We do have a set of readily deployed products and services for assisting those cleaning marine vessels and small boats unusually affected working to clean or simply passing through oil slicks and other oiled waters.

BP Oil leak and Hurricane Season Darkens the Season

The BP Oil Leak is still going on as we move into hurricane season.For a recent view of the spill from space go to this link: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=44452

Tropical Storm Alex is meandering its way through the region where perhaps the ghost of Ixtoc’s gusher may be said to brood.  My little niece Naomi is suffering from a suspected blood infection and is quite ill although we hope she will soon recover in the hospital.  My uncle is languishing from Hepatitis in another hospital. It seems trivial and inappropriate to mention that the USA was knocked out of the World Cup. But life is full of sad and disappointing realities for me and for everyone living on these coasts. But in addition we are looking ar a hurricane season which has storms popping up which may delay relief wells and work with the spill to create greater havoc. Nobody’s life was perfect before the spill. I just came from mass in a church which was flooded by two hurricanes in the last five years and has just been renovated.  Nobody worshipping there so far has asked me personally if the next flood will be soaked in oil.

BP Oil Spill and The Current of Current Events

Since the Oil leak began and the Deep Water Horizon Rig sank at Macondo in the Gulf of Mexico off the Louisiana coast many things have happened. What I mean is that because of  the oil spill we see a skipper committing suicide, pelicans dying, a response worker dying of complications and no end in sight. But there are  other things that have happened too.

1. Since this mess started the UK elected the first Conservative or Liberal or non Labour coalition government in thirteen years.

2. Since this mess started the USA has won its group in the World Cup tournament for the first time in decades.

3. Since this mess started the longest men’s tennis match ever recorded has been played.

4. Since this mess started Louisiana’s own New Orleans Saints got their world championship rings with the fleur-de-lis on them. 

5. Since this mess started LSU lost its chance for the College World Series which is still going on and is still great baseball.

6. Since this mess started the National Spelling Bee has seen hard competition and has produced a winner.

7. Since this mess started this year’s TONY awards were given out to the exceptional achievers on Broadway by the American Theater Wing.

8.Since this mess started numerous prominent and accomplished people have given speeches at their commencement exercises on college campuses.

9. Since this mess started the US Supreme COurt has issued several opinions which will affect the lives and government of many Americans.

10. Since this mess started the North Koreans and South Koreans have done many things which deserve much attention and can affect the Position of the US in the world.

11. Since this mess started several large budget feature films and clever independent films have come on and off of the screens in most communities in America.

12 Since this mess started the first tropical depression has formed in the Caribbean.

13.Since this mess started the world has kept on spinning.

I hope that Americans and others who know us and do not live on the Gulf Coast or in the lower Mississippi Valley they will be understanding if we who do live here are a bit off. I hope that they will understand if we are a bit out of touch with life and the things we used to take an interest in these days. It is hard to explain if you do not live here what it is like to have this mess going on and on and on and on and on. It sort of reminds you of hell on the discount plan or some slow and horrible wasting disease…. So we may not be up to date on everything else.

The BP Oil Spill and the Presidency: 10 Questions

I am going to try to discuss how th BP Oil Spill relates to the state of the Obama Presidency in a few paragraphs. The post will be about as long as other posts. It will not have a great number of links either. So it will  just skim the surface of this topic.

1.Has this ongoing long-lasting crisis shown America that the rhetoric about a green future (which Obama used to get elected) been shown to be a very vast distance from really being concerned about a policy which supports and protects a healthy environment?

2. Does this crisis combine with a porous border, a financial malaise, weak energy policy, recalcitrant companies leasing our minerals, low approval ratings, a disillusioned military command and enormous debt to show Americans that we are in a massive crisis? It will be an existential crisis if we do not make good choices soon, will we make good choices?

3.Given the Clinton impeachment, the Bush V. Gore electoral resolution, 9-11, the powerful animus of huge crowds to the most recent President Bush and the cascading negative results and perceptions of President Obama — given all that do we face real executive reform as a Union?

4.Will President Obama be taken less seriously on the world stage because of the slow torturous playing out of this oil leak?

5. How will  this  affect relations between the administration (and the next administration) in the US and the UK given that the crisis began between parliaments and continues to play out during  all the early days of the new UK government?

6. Will Bobby Jindal return to the table of Republican Presidential politics after a brief departure from the circle?

7. Will Ken Feinberg be successful making the President look successful? Or does his continuous role-playing ony show that the Federal government ‘s judiciary can do many thing it should not do but cannot do the things it should?

8.Will the Presidents receipt of the most BP monies ever be an issue in ongoing politics such as the next Presidential election?

9. Will the President’s reforms of the Mineral Management Service be a visible success within the next ten years (regardless of what their real value may be)?

10. Is there ever a time to take deep-seated popular discontent a sign that real change is needed quickly?