Clear and nice this early Monday on California’s north coast — the start of a new work week without much fanfare.
There’s a lot to hate about Mondays, but the best hatred should be way-directed to just how short the weekend.
The last two days were absolutely no exception. Too fast for comprehension — this past weekend did have some notable holidays, one was Easter, of course, and also the infamous “420 Day” celebration, which has been practically shut down up here in Humboldt County, the seat of pot smoking, making people go elsewhere, like San Francisco’s Gold Gate Park.
I’ve never gone for the whole “420” thingy — if you smoke pot, everyday is ‘420 Day’ — so there.
Also yesterday was the fourth anniversary of the still-ongoing after-effects impact of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico — a mark hardly anyone seemed to take notice and celebrate.
(Illustration found here).
Even as BP gets permission to drill again in the Gulf, the area is still screwed four years later. A giant environmental disaster and all’s well that ends well — not!
One slice of the life, via Think Progress:
Still, in the four years since the BP oil spill, it’s clear some places in the Gulf are still reeling from the effects of the millions of gallons of oil and chemical dispersants that doused the water.
On Cat Island in Baratria Bay, a habitat that was once thick with mangroves and hosted hundreds of pairs of nesting nesting pelicans, all that’s left now is “bones of black mangrove stumps” as the Times-Picayune reports.
The island is also quickly eroding, a process sped up by the oil, which still lingers in the island’s marshy soil and has killed off the trees that help bind the soil together.
“We’re in a system in Barataria Bay that’s already facing severe erosion, but it was clear that as this oil came ashore, and it stressed or killed plants, it was entirely predictable that we would see a higher rate of erosion on those shorelines that got oil,” David Muth, Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration campaign, told ThinkProgress.
“So you’re compounding a problem that already existed.”
Muth’s team at NWF has been monitoring Cat Island carefully since the spill.
Last year, he said, the island’s mangroves appeared to be dying, but there were still birds nesting on the island.
But this year, there were no birds, and all the mangroves had died.
Yet BP is still the villainous assholes it has always been: BP is refusing to pay a large bill for US government-led studies into its 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, including research into its impact on dolphins, whales and oysters.
Greg Palast at TruthDig has a good piece out about the behind-the-scenes bullshit on the BP/Gulf theater of the absurd. It’s a pretty long article, but well worth the read.
Last month, the Obama administration officially OK’d BP’s right to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
A few days after lifting the ban, just to assure the company that all is forgiven, the U.S. Department of the Interior gave BP a new contract to drill in the Gulf of Mexico—right next to where the Deepwater Horizon went down.
At the same time, the forgive-and-forget U.S. Justice Department has put the trial of David Rainey, the only BP big shot charged with a felony crime in the disaster, on indefinite hold.
The Deepwater Horizon blowout incinerated 11 men on the rig and poisoned 600 miles of Gulf coastline.
What political fairy dust does BP keep in its pocket to receive virtual immunity from the consequences?
What does this have to do with the blowout of the Deepwater Horizon?
This: It is now well established that the disaster occurred when the cement used to cap the well failed, allowing explosive methane gas to fill the rig and transform it into a sinking fireball.
But this was not BP’s first cement failure and explosion.
Just 17 months earlier, BP’s Caspian Sea Transocean rig had suffered exactly the same fate.
The cause of the two blowouts was identical.
In the Caspian as in the Gulf, BP laced its cement with nitrogen gas.
The nitrogen bubbles sped up the drying of the mixture, saving BP half a million dollars a day on rig rental charges.
But in offshore high-pressure zones, nitrogen-spiked cement can fail.
And it did.
Just five months before the Deepwater Horizon spill, Rainey—BP’s vice president for Gulf exploration—testified before the U.S. Congress that the company had drilled offshore “for the last 50 years in a manner both safe and protective of the environment.”
BP’s testimony was a lie.
The Caspian rig had blown out a year earlier.
But the lie was good enough for Congress.
Based on Rainey’s assurances, legislators pressured the Department of the Interior to drop objections to plans for drilling in the Gulf’s deep waters.
Withholding information from Congress is a felony.
But Rainey has one heck of a defense: The U.S. State Department was in on the cover-up.
Today BP has declared Gulf waters clean, as if Mother Nature were just a toilet you can poop in and flush.
But I’ve been to the Gulf shores.
Dig down 10 inches in the shoals off Gulfport, Miss., and you’ll hit Deepwater Horizon crude.
Biologist Rick Steiner told me BP’s poisonous sludge will remain just under the surface for another 40 years.
Hidden—just like BP’s crimes.
And do a 420-turnaround on that shit — put that in President Obama’s pipeline and smoke it!
(Illustration out front found here).