Monday, August 2, 2010
Oil Spill? What Oil Spill? BP Updates from a Woman on Vacation
National media is still on the BP Gulf of Mexico oil leak/spill/greatest environmental disaster of all time/oilpocalypse--whatever the media gurus are calling it now. CNN is reporting on the next phase of well fixing, putting mud in the well, called a "static kill." Next comes relief wells.
Watching the video at the top of this post, I marvel at how I'm not breaking out in hives. The video reminds me of my past doing government PR and writing scripts about what a great job our engineers were doing to protect groundwater from nuclear contamination at a plutonium facility.
I'm not saying the BP video is untrue. I'm saying I'm aware that parading experts out to explain technical solutions is an effective way to calm the majority of the public and stall inquiry even when scientists know of specific dangers and disagree about assorted solutions, such as the Gov. Bobby Jindal "solution" for wetlands remediation and protection.
I had to let news about the Deepwater Horizon leak go for a while. Talking and writing about this ecological disaster consistently began to wear on my nerves. Actually, blogging and dealing with people in general had worn me thin, which is why I took a blog break, and technically, I'm still on that break because I'm not writing anything heavy or doing research about anything. Tomorrow, I'll hit the road and drive up the east coast, hoping to see a dolphin or two.
Nevertheless, who could ignore the news that BP finally kicked its CEO Tony Hayward out, replacing him with Bob Dudley of Mississippi? The move is part of the company rebuilding its image. Showing Tony "I want my life back" Hayward the door may help since Hayward rubbed me and most sane people the wrong way. Dudley may help the company appear to be more humble during this crisis.
As reported by NPR, his first message was BP will scale back its clean-up efforts. That's definitely not a message anyone would have stomached from Hayward's lips. Even from Dudley's mouth, it was not taken easily. He said the company will still work to restore the Gulf, but since there's less oil on the surface and the company's temporary cap finally worked well enough to stop all oil from seeping into the waters, the area doesn't need such an aggressive remediation effort.
After tropical storm Bonnie went through, returning workers had trouble even finding oil on the surface. However, environmental scientists say that doesn't mean the oil is not there under the surface or so dispersed that it's hard to see with the naked eye. Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts has stayed on the BP's case, currently accusing them of "carpet-bombing" the Gulf of Mexico with dispersants.
See, this is where I start to get that headache again. Folks are arguing back and forth, even going so far as to say the oil leak was exaggerated and not a great disaster. The spin machines are working triple-time on all sides. Every fact is up for twisting. Where's my Tylenol?