Patrap's WunderBlog

Oil,..vey

By: Patrap, 9:05 PM GMT on May 27, 2010



Oil Spill Protest in Jackson Square Sunday May 30, 2010


After 'top kill' fails, a dispiriting summer of oil, anger is ahead for Louisiana
By The Associated Press
May 30, 2010, 4:47PM


There is still a hole in the Earth, crude oil is still spewing from it and there is still, excruciatingly, no end in sight. After trying and trying again, one of the world's largest corporations, backed and pushed by the world's most powerful government, can't stop the runaway gusher.

As desperation grows and ecological misery spreads, the operative word on the ground now is, incredibly, August -- the earliest moment that a real resolution could be at hand. And even then, there's no guarantee of success. For the United States and the people of its beleaguered Louisiana Gulf Coast, a dispiriting summer of oil and anger lies dead ahead.

Oh ... and the Atlantic hurricane season begins Tuesday.

The latest attempt -- using a remote robotic arm to stuff golf balls and assorted debris into the gash in the seafloor -- didn't work. On Sunday, as churches echoed with prayers for a solution, BP said it would focus on containment rather than plugging the undersea puncture wound, effectively redirecting the mess it made rather than stopping it.

"We failed to wrestle this beast to the ground," said BP Managing Director Bob Dudley, doing the rounds of the Sunday talk shows.

Trouble is, the longer it lasts, the more beasts emerge ready to wrestle. Crude oil-coated birds are becoming a frequent sight along coastal areas. At the sea's bottom, no one knows what the oil will do to species like the newly discovered bottom-dwelling pancake batfish -- and others that remain unknown but just as threatened.

40 days and 40 nights

Perhaps most alarming of all, 40 days and 40 nights after the Deepwater Horizon blew up and began the underwater deluge, hurricane season is at hand. It brings the horrifying possibility of wind-whipped, oil-soaked waves and water spinning ashore and coating areas much further inland. Imagine Katrina plus oil spill.

On its own, the spill is already the worst in American history -- worse, even, than the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. It has released between 18 million and 40 million gallons of oil into the Gulf, according to government estimates that are, like all numbers involved in this brouhaha, subject to vigorous debate.

The trepidation is less disputed. "This is probably the biggest environmental disaster we've ever faced in this country," White House energy and climate change adviser Carol Browner said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

At some point -- the widespread debut of the BP "spillcam" is as good a delineation point as any -- this tipped, in the national conversation, from a destructive event into a calamitous, open-ended saga. And for the bruised and cantankerous American psyche, it could not come at a worse time.

Fear is everywhere

Fear is afoot everywhere, and polarization prevails. Faith in institutions -- corporations, government, the media -- is down. Americans are angry, and they long ago grew accustomed to expecting the resolution of problems in very short order, even if reality rarely works that way.

So when something undefined and uncontrollable happens, they speculate in all the modern forums about collusion and nefarious dealings. In the process, this tale of environmental disaster and economic damage cripples the sea-to-shining-sea narrative that usually offers Americans comfort during uncertain times.

"There are people who are getting desperate, and there are more getting anxious as we get further into the shrimping season and there is less chance they will recover," said the Rev. Theodore Turner, 57, at Mount Oliver Baptist Church in Boothville, near where oil first washed ashore. Fishermen make up about a third of his congregation.

With the "junk shot" and the "top kill" behind it, BP's next effort involves an assortment of undersea robot maneuvers that would redirect the oil up and out of the water it is poisoning. The decision effectively means that the notion of stopping the crude entirely is receding into the background for now.

The first step in BP's latest effort is the intricate removal of a damaged riser that brought oil to the surface of the Deepwater Horizon rig. The riser will be cut at the top of the crippled blowout preventer, creating a flat surface that a new containment valve can seal against.

The valve would force the oil into a new riser, bringing it up to a ship. The seal, however, would not prevent all oil from escaping. How much could still leak remains a subject of debate.

If the containment valve fails, there are other options. Next on BP's list: installing a new blowout preventer on top of the existing one.

Two long months

In the end, however, the only permanent solution is the drilling a relief well that would relieve the pressure on the runaway gusher in favor of a controlled pumping -- essentially what the Deepwater Horizon was trying to do in the first place. But that will take at least two months.

That's not just two months of dealing with the extensive damage done until now to oceans, beaches and marshlands. It's two months more of oil pouring outward and upward -- and two months more toward the heart of hurricane season and its potential to sow destruction.

Using government figures, if the leak continues at its current pace and is stopped on Aug. 1, 51 million to 106 million gallons will have spilled. If it stops Aug. 15, 58 million to 121 million gallons will have spilled. If it is not stopped until the end of August, that figure rises to 65.5 million gallons to 136.5 million gallons. That's quite a range of possibilities.

'We are dying a slow death here'

"They are going to destroy south Louisiana. We are dying a slow death here," said Billy Nungesser, president of Plaquemines Parish.

Coastal tent cities are about to rise to house the workers and contractors charged with fixing and minimizing the damage. Sand banks and barriers are being built. But the consensus around the Gulf Coast is turning more apoplectic and apocalyptic. This is, people are starting to say, a generational event -- tragic to this generation, potentially crippling to the next.

"The oil spill is part of prophecy," said Turner, the Louisiana minister. "The Bible prophesized hardships. If we believe the word of God is true -- and we do -- we also know that in addition to prophecying hardships he promised to take care of us."

As BP and the government chart the way forward, there remain prominently unanswered questions along the way.

How involved has the Obama administration been, how involved should it have been, and how much control should BP be given for events that are of public interest and happening in public places? Why have BP, scientists and the government been unable to accurately capture how much is actually leaking, the extent of damage and figure out how to fix it? And what can be done now to prevent even more of a disaster from unfolding, and to ensure transparency as decisive steps are taken to fix what's broken?

"I am resolute and confident that we will see a better day ahead of us," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Saturday. And yet that statement, stacked up against the word "August," tempers the optimism for many watching this saga unfold.

They see a dissembling corporation, an ineffective government and an ocean surface covered by a viscous shell with the consistency of molasses and the peril of poison. To them, it comes down to only this: There is still a hole in the Earth. Crude oil is still spewing from it. And there is still, excruciatingly, no end in sight.










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BP Oil Spill LIVE CAM

By: Patrap, 3:09 PM GMT on May 15, 2010

Watch live streaming video from wkrg_oil_spill at livestream.com



Take punitive action against BP now
By Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, Special to CNN
May 26, 2010 1:39 p.m. EDT



tzleft.honore.nola.file.


* Gen. Russel Honoré: This disaster is the BP oil spill, not the Gulf oil spill
* BP should be fined, he says, even $100 million, each day the oil is gushing
* Money from fines should be used to help Gulf Coast and its people recover, Honoré says
* General believes BP and negligent government regulators should face jail time

Editor's note: Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré commanded the military response to Hurricane Katrina. He retired from the U.S. Army in 2008 after 37 years, sits on the board of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation and is an adjunct professor at Emory and Vanderbilt universities. He is the author of "Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save America and You from Disasters."

(CNN) -- It's interesting how many people have swallowed the BP public relations' bait to call the explosion from Deepwater Horizon oil rig the Gulf oil spill. We need to call it what it is: the BP oil spill. The federal government needs to take control and take punitive action against BP and any negligent government regulators immediately.

As a concerned citizen, preparedness speaker and author, and former commander of federal troops in disaster response, I watched with interest as BP brought out its big PR guns to protect its brand and its platoon of expert engineers, paid by BP to talk about how it happened and how they intended to fix it.

BP's reaction was much like Toyota's when it was confronted with safety issues. It, too, focused on PR to protect its brand, versus telling the truth, and sent out its engineers to talk about the problem and the fix.

The U.S. Coast Guard was the first responder. The Coast Guard's priority always is to save lives. They spent days looking for the 11 missing men. Meanwhile, BP took advantage of this time to make itself the authoritative voice in the news about the spill and blame other companies.
The No. 1 rule when dealing with disaster is to figure out which rules you need to break.
--Lt. Gen. Russel Honore

The U.S. government response was based on laws and rules that were created after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. After Valdez, the law changed to make the offending company responsible for the cleanup. A fund was created that all oil companies contributed to. If there was an emergency oil spill, a company could draw up to $75 million from this fund to fix the problem. But the fund was meant to help small wildcat operations, not huge conglomerates like BP.

Sticking to that regulation was part of the problem. The No. 1 rule when dealing with disaster is to figure out which rules you need to break. Rules are designed for when everything is working. A democracy is based on trust. BP has proved it can't be trusted.

iReporters share views on oil spill response

The government needs to change the game and make this a punitive effort. The government has been too friendly to oil companies.

The government should immediately freeze BP's assets and start to charge the corporation -- say $100 million -- each day the oil flows. The money could be held in a fund that U.S. government draws on to take care of the people along the Gulf Coast and pay the states for doing the cleanup.

Next, BP and the government bureaucrats who broke a law and put the public at risk need to go to jail.
The latest curse going around in southern Louisiana today is, 'BP you.'
--Lt. Gen. Russel Honore
RELATED TOPICS

* BP plc
* Deepwater Horizon
* Exxon Valdez
* Hurricane Katrina
* Oil Spills

I remember when we were evacuating New Orleans on Saturday following Katrina. We pushed the survivors to the airport and a major called and said the pilots refused to fly the plane without a manifest and there was trouble with weapons scanners.

I told him to direct everyone to put the people on the planes as fast as possible, and we would to do the manifest en route or on landing. As a result, we flew 16,000 people out of NOLA airport in less than seven hours.

The priorities of the response to the spill must be to stop the flow of oil, prevent the oil from getting into the shoreline as much as possible, mitigate the effects of the oil in the ocean, and take care of the people who have lost their source of employment, such as fishermen and those in the tourist industry.

BP's job is to focus on stopping the flow of oil. The government needs to provide more military "command and control" of the situation. As BP works to stop the gusher, the government must address the problem of the oil coming ashore and take care of the people affected, possibly retraining them in other jobs. The government could do this by using the Stafford Act to fund the states so they can protect their shoreline and clean up the oil. Then, the long-term effects of the spill must be mitigated.

The people of the Gulf Coast, particularly South Louisiana, are still recovering from Katrina. They've been through hurricanes Rita, Gustav and Ike.

They know hurricane season is right around the corner and this BP oil spill has the potential to get much worse. And they don't trust BP.

In fact, the latest curse going around in southern Louisiana today is, "BP you."

Punitive action must start immediately, with BP supplying the money, from fines, to help the Gulf Coast get over this catastrophe.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Russel Honoré.




National Hurricane Preparedness Week

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. Hurricane Preparedness Week during 2010 will be held May 23rd through May 29th.

The goal of this Hurricane Preparedness Web site is to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION. This information can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water.




23 May '10 Monday
24 May '10 Tuesday
25 May '10 Wednesday
26 May '10 Thursday
27 May '10 Friday
28 May '10 Saturday
29 May '10 Sunday

Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly. But remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

You should be able to answer the following questions before a hurricane threatens:

*
What are the Hurricane Hazards?
*
What does it mean to you?
*
What actions should you take to be prepared?


Visit the NOAA Coastal Services Center Historical Hurricane Tracks website to learn about historical tropical cyclones occurring in different areas located throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico.

Historical Hurricane Tracks

The website provides information about U.S. coastal county population versus hurricane strikes as well as links to various Internet resources focusing on tropical cyclones. The interactive mapping application allows you to search the National Hurricane Center historical tropical cyclone database and graphically display storms affecting your area since 1851.





Oil pushing into Barataria Bay, other areas in Jefferson Parish

About 30 miles south of Lafitte, thick, orange colored oil floats on top of the water. For charter fishing captain Theofile Bourgeois, it's an ominous sight.

BP LIVE FEED of Leaking Well in the GOM


Portlight.org














Evacuation Considerations for the Elderly, Disabled and Special Medical Care Issues

Your Evacuation Plan


Disaster Supplies Kit


NOAA Alert Weather Radio's


"Think outside the Cone"
hurricanebuddy.com






History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

5
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS



Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly. But remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

You should be able to answer the following questions before a hurricane threatens:

*
What are the Hurricane Hazards?
*
What does it mean to you?
*
What actions should you take to be prepared?

Hurricanes and Your Health and Safety


* The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts caused by flying glass or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails, metal, or glass, and bone fractures.
* State and local health departments may issue health advisories or recommendations particular to local conditions. If in doubt, contact your local or state health department.
* Make sure to include all essential medications -- both prescription and over the counter -- in your family's emergency disaster kit.


* Hurricanes, especially if accompanied by a tidal surge or flooding, can contaminate the public water supply. Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume that the water in the hurricane-affected area is safe to drink.
* In the area hit by a hurricane, water treatment plants may not be operating; even if they are, storm damage and flooding can contaminate water lines. Listen for public announcements about the safety of the municipal water supply.
* If your well has been flooded, it needs to be tested and disinfected after the storm passes and the floodwaters recede. Questions about testing should be directed to your local or state health department.

Water Safety

* Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
* If you don't have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
* If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
* If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

Food Safety

* Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.
* Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
* Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling; leakage; punctures; holes; fractures; extensive deep rusting; or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.
* Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved if you do the following:
o Remove the labels, if they are the removable kind, since they can harbor dirt and bacteria.
o Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches with soap and water, using hot water if it is available.
o Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt.
o Rinse the cans or retort pouches with water that is safe for drinking, if available, since dirt or residual soap will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine sanitation.
o Then, sanitize them by immersion in one of the two following ways:
+ place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes, or
+ place in a freshly-made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available) for 15 minutes.
* Air dry cans or retort pouches for a minimum of 1 hour before opening or storing.
* If the labels were removable, then re-label your cans or retort pouches, including the expiration date (if available), with a marker.
* Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches should be used as soon as possible, thereafter.
* Any concentrated baby formula in reconditioned, all-metal containers must be diluted with clean, drinking water.
* Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including can openers) with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse, and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available).
* Thoroughly wash countertops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse, and then sanitize by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). Allow to air dry.

Frozen and Refrigerated Foods

* If you will be without power for a long period:
o ask friends to store your frozen foods in their freezers if they have electricity;
o see if freezer space is available in a store, church, school, or commercial freezer that has electrical service; or
o use dry ice, if available. Twenty-five pounds of dry ice will keep a ten-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for 3-4 days. Use care when handling dry ice, and wear dry, heavy gloves to avoid injury.
* Your refrigerator will keep foods cool for about four hours without power if it is unopened. Add block or dry ice to your refrigerator if the electricity will be off longer than four hours.
* Thawed food can usually be eaten if it is still "refrigerator cold," or re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals.
* To be safe, remember, "When in doubt, throw it out." Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.

Sanitation and Hygiene

It is critical for you to remember to practice basic hygiene during the emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected:

* before preparing or eating
* after toilet use
* after participating in cleanup activities; and
* after handling articles contaminated with floodwater or sewage.

If there is flooding along with a hurricane, the waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural and industrial waste. Although skin contact with floodwater does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, there is risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater.

If you have any open cuts or sores that will be exposed to floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and applying an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.

Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas. Wash children's hands frequently (always before meals), and do not allow children to play with floodwater-contaminated toys that have not been disinfected. You can disinfect toys using a solution of one cup of bleach in five gallons of water.

Immunizations

Outbreaks of communicable diseases after hurricanes are unusual. However, the rates of diseases that were present before a hurricane may increase because of a lack of sanitation or overcrowding in shelters. Increases in infectious diseases that were not present before the hurricane are not a problem, so mass vaccination programs are unnecessary.

If you have wounds, you should be evaluated for a tetanus immunization, just as you would at any other time of injury. If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with feces, soil, or saliva, have a doctor or health department determine whether a tetanus booster is necessary based on individual records.

Specific recommendations for vaccinations should be made on a case-by-case basis, or as determined by local and state health departments.

Mosquitoes

Rain and flooding in a hurricane area may lead to an increase in mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset. In most cases, the mosquitoes will be pests but will not carry communicable diseases. It is unlikely that diseases which were not present in the area prior to the hurricane would be of concern. Local, state, and federal public health authorities will be actively working to control the spread of any mosquito-borne diseases.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, use screens on dwellings, and wear clothes with long sleeves and long pants. Insect repellents that contain DEET are very effective. Be sure to read all instructions before using DEET. Care must be taken when using DEET on small children. Products containing DEET are available from stores and through local and state health departments.

To control mosquito populations, drain all standing water left in open containers outside your home.

Mental Health

The days and weeks after a hurricane are going to be rough. In addition to your physical health, you need to take some time to consider your mental health as well. Remember that some sleeplessness, anxiety, anger, hyperactivity, mild depression, or lethargy are normal, and may go away with time. If you feel any of these symptoms acutely, seek counseling. Remember that children need extra care and attention before, during, and after the storm. Be sure to locate a favorite toy or game for your child before the storm arrives to help maintain his/her sense of security. Your state and local health departments will help you find the local resources, including hospitals or health care providers, that you may need.

Seeking Assistance after a Hurricane

SEEKING DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Throughout the recovery period, it is important to monitor local radio or television reports and other media sources for information about where to get emergency housing, food, first aid, clothing, and financial assistance. The following section provides general information about the kinds of assistance that may be available.

DIRECT ASSISTANCE: Direct assistance to individuals and families may come from any number of organizations, including: the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other volunteer organizations. These organizations provide food, shelter, supplies and assist in clean-up efforts.

THE FEDERAL ROLE: In the most severe disasters, the federal government is also called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling (for post-disaster trauma), low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance. The federal government also has programs that help small businesses and farmers.

Most federal assistance becomes available when the President of the United States declares a Major Disaster for the affected area at the request of a state governor. FEMA will provide information through the media and community outreach about federal assistance and how to apply.

Coping after a Hurricane Everyone who sees or experiences a hurricane is affected by it in some way. It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends. Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event. Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover. Focusing on your strengths and abilities helps you heal. Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy. Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping. It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster �second hand� through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected.

Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, or professional counselors for counseling. Additionally, FEMA and state and local governments of the affected area may provide crisis counseling assistance.

Minimize this emotional and traumatic experience by being prepared, not scared and therefore you and your family will stay in control and survive a major hurricane.

SIGNS OF HURRICANE RELATED STRESS:

* Difficulty communicating thoughts.
* Difficulty sleeping.
* Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives.
* Low threshold of frustration.
* Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
* Limited attention span.
* Poor work performance.
* Headaches/stomach problems.
* Tunnel vision/muffled hearing.
* Colds or flu-like symptoms.
* Disorientation or confusion.
* Difficulty concentrating.
* Reluctance to leave home.
* Depression, sadness.
* Feelings of hopelessness.
* Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
* Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
* Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone.

EASING HURRICANE RELATED STRESS:

* Talk with someone about your feelings - anger, sorrow, and other emotions - even though it may be difficult.
* Seek help from professional counselors who deal with post-disaster stress.
* Do not hold yourself responsible for the disastrous event or be frustrated because you feel you cannot help directly in the rescue work.
* Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation, and meditation.
* Maintain a normal family and daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities on yourself and your family.
* Spend time with family and friends.
* Participate in memorials.
* Use existing support groups of family, friends, and religious institutions.
* Ensure you are ready for future events by restocking your disaster supplies kits and updating your family disaster plans.

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Freedom Fries...

By: Patrap, 12:52 AM GMT on May 03, 2010

The father, son and the Holy Ghost
Took the last train to the coast
They were moving fast, they were raising sand
They were running wild in the promised land

The father, son and the three wise men
Operating undercover out in Bethlehem
Will they heal the sick? Can they raise the dead?
Can they bring it on home like the good book says?
Billy the Kid told the Prince of Thieves,
A little give and take to satisfy my needs
You can give me lots but I'll take some more
I got my eyes on your treasure beneath the desert floor?

Freedom fries and burns and scars
The liberator goes too far
Freedom fries and screams and yells
The promised land is promised hell





Breaking News »



This is very new,info..very sobering.

If Haliburton had a end run on them done by BP and TO.

Heads should roll.

"We do not have real-time off-rig monitoring of what's going on on the vessel," Newman replied.

Part of Halliburton's contract on the Deepwater Horizon was to provide real-time data to officials on shore. That company was able to produce a chart showing events up to two minutes before the explosion. But that document would not be expected to show the key test results.


The chart indicated that shortly before 10 p.m., pressure in the standpipe increased sevenfold to 3,500 pounds per square inch. Halliburton had essentially two minutes' notice that something had gone horribly wrong.


Halliburton monitors temperatures and pressure in offshore wells through sensitive sensors and instruments often capable of transmitting data in real time to officials on the rig and on shore, said Jack Madeley, a consulting safety engineer in College Station, Texas.

"Operators like BP use that information to make sure the well is in the right location," said Madeley, who specializes in forensic investigations of rig accidents. "They need that to make sure the overall procedures for getting it cemented and getting the well secured before they pull the string out and plug up the well are done."

The data help BP and other well operators make crucial decisions about the formations where they are drilling, but it is not always streamed to shore minute by minute, he said.



Seven hours of data missing from Deepwater Horizon operations just prior to explosion


By The Associated Press
May 13, 2010, 10:35PM

A "black box" can reveal why an airplane crashed or how fast a car was going in the instant before an accident. Yet there are no records of a critical safety test supposedly performed during the fateful hours before the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.

They went down with the rig.

While some data were being transmitted to shore for safekeeping right up until the April 20 blast, officials from Transocean, the rig owner, told Congress that the last seven hours of its data are missing and that all written logs were lost in the explosion.

The gap poses a mystery for investigators: What decisions were made -- and what warnings might have been ignored? Earlier tests, which suggested that explosive gas was leaking from the mile-deep well, were preserved.
steven_newman.JPGPablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press archiveSteven Newman is president and CEO of Transocean Ltd.

"There is some delay in the replication of our data, so our operational data, our sequence of events ends at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on the 20th," Steven Newman, president and CEO of Transocean Ltd, told a Senate panel. The rig blew up at 10 p.m., killing 11 workers and unleashing a gusher that has spewed millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf.

Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents several rig workers involved in the accident, questioned whether what he called "the phantom test" was even performed.

"I can just tell you that the Halliburton hands were scratching their heads," said Buzbee, whose clients include one of the Halliburton crew members responsible for cementing the well to prepare for moving the drilling rig to another site.

Buzbee said that when Halliburton showed BP PLC and Transocean officials the results of the pressure tests that suggested gas was leaking, the rig workers were put on "standby." BP is the rig operator and leaseholder.

Buzbee said one of his clients told him the "Transocean and BP company people got their heads together," and 40 minutes later gave the green light.

The attorney said the Halliburton crew members were not shown any new test results.

"They said they did their own tests, and they came out Oklahoma," he said. "But with the phantom test that Transocean and BP allegedly did, there was no real record or real-time recordation of that test."

Buzbee suggested that BP and Transocean had monetary reasons for ignoring the earlier tests.

"The facts are as they are," he said. "The rig is $500,000 a day. There are bonuses for finishing early."

None of the three companies would comment Thursday on whether any data or test results were purposely not sent to shore, or on exactly who made the final decision to continue the operations that day.








DeepwaterHorizonJIC — May 12, 2010 — ROBERT, La. -- Oil and gas stream from the riser of the Deepwater Horizon well May 11, 2010. This video is from the larger of two existing leaks on the riser. This leak is located approximately 460 feet from the top of the blowout preventer and rests on the sea floor at a depth of about 5,000 feet. (Courtesy video)

For information about the response effort, visit www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com.







Gulf Spill Hearing: Oil Execs Will Point Fingers At Each Other



First Posted: 05-10-10 05:58 PM | Updated: 05-10-10 06:55 PM


Executives from the three companies most implicated in the disastrous oil-rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico will point fingers at each other Tuesday morning, according to the testimony they've prepared for a much-anticipated hearing of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee.

Lamar McKay, president and chairman of BP America, will make a point of telling the committee that it wasn't actually BP's rig, stressing that the rig and its blowout preventer belonged to Transocean Limited.

Steven Newman, Transocean's president and CEO, will testify that his team was just doing what BP told them to do, how BP told them to do it -- and anyway it was subcontractor Halliburton's fault.

And Tim Probert, Halliburton's chief safety officer, will say that his company simply did what it was told, following industry practice. And he'll point out that Transocean, not Halliburton, was doing something when the rig blew.

BP's McKay (read the full text of his prepared statement here) portrays his company as something of a victim:

BP is one of the lease holders and the operator of this exploration well. As operator, BP hired Transocean to conduct the well drilling operations. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and its equipment, including the blowout preventer.

Only seven of the 126 people onboard the Deepwater Horizon were BP employees, McKay insists. So BP itself has "only some of the story" and is "working to piece together what happened from meticulous review of the records of rig operations that we have as well as information from those witnesses to whom we have access."

Here are the questions BP's McKay thinks are essential:

• What caused the explosion and fire?
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• And why did the blowout preventer fail?

Transocean's Newman, by contrast, thinks these are the key questions (read the full text of his prepared statement here):

Was the well properly designed? Was the well properly cemented? Were there problems with the well casing? Were all appropriate tests run on the cement and casings?

Newman, who will say he felt "compelled to respond" to some of the speculation about the cause of the accident, makes it clear how central BP (the "Operator") was to everything:

The Operator selects a driller (in this case, Transocean), which provides a vessel (called a "rig") from which drilling operations are performed.... The Operator's well plan dictates the manner in which the drilling is to occur, including the location, the path, the depth, the process and the testing. The drill bits, which are selected by the Operator, are supplied by another sub-contractor.


A key element of the drilling process is drilling mud, a heavy fluid manufactured to the Operator's specifications. ...

In its well plan, the Operator specifies the diameter and strength of each casing segment, purchases the casing, and dictates how it will be cemented in place....

After drilling is concluded, yet another area of expertise comes into play. The cementing sub-contractor is responsible for encasing the well in cement, for putting a temporary cement plug in the top of the well, and for ensuring the integrity of the cement.... The cementing process is dictated by the Operator's well plan, and the testing of the cement on the Deepwater Horizon was performed by the cement contractor (Haliburton in this instance) as specified and directed by BP.

As for possible causes of the explosion itself, Transocean's Newman says, look to Halliburton:

What is most unusual about the explosion in this case is that it occurred after the well construction process was essentially finished. Drilling had been completed on April 17, and the well had been sealed with cement (to be reopened by the Operator at a later date if the Operator chose to put the well into production). ...


Indeed, at the time of the explosion, the rig crew, at the direction of the Operator, was in the process of displacing drilling mud For that reason, the one thing we know with certainty is that on the evening of April 20, there was a sudden, catastrophic failure of the cement, the casing, or both. Therein lies the root cause of this occurrence; without a disastrous failure of one of those elements, the explosion could not have occurred.

Newman even goes so far as to call all the attention now being given to the blowout preventer -- the key fail-safe -- "somewhat ironic".

That's because "at the time of the explosion, the drilling process was complete. The well had been sealed with casing and cement, and within a few days, the [blowout preventers] would have been removed. At this point, the well barriers -- the cementing and the casing - were responsible for controlling any pressure from the reservoir."

Halliburton's Probert (read the full text of his prepared statement here) explains that his company was contracted by BP "to perform a variety of services." And he explains, in an "important statement of disclosure":

Halliburton, as a service provider to the well owner, is contractually bound to comply with the well owner's instructions on all matters relating to the performance of all work-related activities. It is also important to understand the roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved in the construction of a well. The construction of a deep water well is a complex operation involving the performance of numerous tasks by multiple parties led by the well owner's representative, who has the ultimate authority for decisions on how and when various activities are conducted...


There are many external factors that impact the design and execution of a cement job. These include the variability in the hole geometry, relative location of hydrocarbon zones, hydrocarbon content and the prior condition of the wellbore and associated fluids as determined by the drilling fluid provider. Casing strings are typically run with devices to centralize the casing concentrically in the wellbore and prevent incomplete displacement of drilling fluid, or "channeling".

While every effort is made to complete a cement job with the highest levels of mechanical and hydraulic integrity, the above mentioned well conditions may prevent this.

And Probert insists that Halliburton wasn't doing any cementing when the rig burst into flames. "Halliburton had completed the cementing of the ninth and final production casing string in accordance with the well program," he says. The last thing that happened before the explosion was Transocean's doing:

We understand that the drilling contractor then proceeded to displace the riser with seawater prior to the planned placement of the final cement plug, which would have been installed inside the production string and enabled the planned temporary abandonment of the well. Prior to the point in the well construction plan that the Halliburton personnel would have set the final cement plug, the catastrophic incident occurred. As a result, the final cement plug was never set.


Halliburton is confident that the cementing work... was completed in accordance with the requirements of the well owner's well construction plan.














It's time to dust off that family disaster plan, or in many cases, create one.

Keeping your family safe during a hurricane starts with proper planning. One in six Americans live along the eastern seaboard or the Gulf of Mexico, making hurricane preparation a must for many and their families.









Evacuation Considerations for the Elderly, Disabled and Special Medical Care Issues

Your Evacuation Plan


Disaster Supplies Kit


NOAA Alert Weather Radio's


"Think outside the Cone"
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History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

5
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS TIPS



Hurricane hazards come in many forms: storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding. This means it is important for your family to have a plan that includes all of these hazards. Look carefully at the safety actions associated with each type of hurricane hazard and prepare your family disaster plan accordingly. But remember this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

You should be able to answer the following questions before a hurricane threatens:

*
What are the Hurricane Hazards?
*
What does it mean to you?
*
What actions should you take to be prepared?

Hurricanes and Your Health and Safety


* The great majority of injuries during a hurricane are cuts caused by flying glass or other debris. Other injuries include puncture wounds resulting from exposed nails, metal, or glass, and bone fractures.
* State and local health departments may issue health advisories or recommendations particular to local conditions. If in doubt, contact your local or state health department.
* Make sure to include all essential medications -- both prescription and over the counter -- in your family's emergency disaster kit.


* Hurricanes, especially if accompanied by a tidal surge or flooding, can contaminate the public water supply. Drinking contaminated water may cause illness. You cannot assume that the water in the hurricane-affected area is safe to drink.
* In the area hit by a hurricane, water treatment plants may not be operating; even if they are, storm damage and flooding can contaminate water lines. Listen for public announcements about the safety of the municipal water supply.
* If your well has been flooded, it needs to be tested and disinfected after the storm passes and the floodwaters recede. Questions about testing should be directed to your local or state health department.

Water Safety

* Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.
* If you don't have bottled water, you should boil water to make it safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
* If you can't boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
* If you have a well that has been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.

Food Safety

* Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.
* Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
* Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling; leakage; punctures; holes; fractures; extensive deep rusting; or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.
* Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved if you do the following:
o Remove the labels, if they are the removable kind, since they can harbor dirt and bacteria.
o Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches with soap and water, using hot water if it is available.
o Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt.
o Rinse the cans or retort pouches with water that is safe for drinking, if available, since dirt or residual soap will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine sanitation.
o Then, sanitize them by immersion in one of the two following ways:
+ place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes, or
+ place in a freshly-made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available) for 15 minutes.
* Air dry cans or retort pouches for a minimum of 1 hour before opening or storing.
* If the labels were removable, then re-label your cans or retort pouches, including the expiration date (if available), with a marker.
* Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches should be used as soon as possible, thereafter.
* Any concentrated baby formula in reconditioned, all-metal containers must be diluted with clean, drinking water.
* Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including can openers) with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse, and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available).
* Thoroughly wash countertops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse, and then sanitize by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). Allow to air dry.

Frozen and Refrigerated Foods

* If you will be without power for a long period:
o ask friends to store your frozen foods in their freezers if they have electricity;
o see if freezer space is available in a store, church, school, or commercial freezer that has electrical service; or
o use dry ice, if available. Twenty-five pounds of dry ice will keep a ten-cubic-foot freezer below freezing for 3-4 days. Use care when handling dry ice, and wear dry, heavy gloves to avoid injury.
* Your refrigerator will keep foods cool for about four hours without power if it is unopened. Add block or dry ice to your refrigerator if the electricity will be off longer than four hours.
* Thawed food can usually be eaten if it is still "refrigerator cold," or re-frozen if it still contains ice crystals.
* To be safe, remember, "When in doubt, throw it out." Discard any food that has been at room temperature for two hours or more, and any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture.

Sanitation and Hygiene

It is critical for you to remember to practice basic hygiene during the emergency period. Always wash your hands with soap and water that has been boiled or disinfected:

* before preparing or eating
* after toilet use
* after participating in cleanup activities; and
* after handling articles contaminated with floodwater or sewage.

If there is flooding along with a hurricane, the waters may contain fecal material from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural and industrial waste. Although skin contact with floodwater does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, there is risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater.

If you have any open cuts or sores that will be exposed to floodwater, keep them as clean as possible by washing them with soap and applying an antibiotic ointment to discourage infection. If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.

Do not allow children to play in floodwater areas. Wash children's hands frequently (always before meals), and do not allow children to play with floodwater-contaminated toys that have not been disinfected. You can disinfect toys using a solution of one cup of bleach in five gallons of water.

Immunizations

Outbreaks of communicable diseases after hurricanes are unusual. However, the rates of diseases that were present before a hurricane may increase because of a lack of sanitation or overcrowding in shelters. Increases in infectious diseases that were not present before the hurricane are not a problem, so mass vaccination programs are unnecessary.

If you have wounds, you should be evaluated for a tetanus immunization, just as you would at any other time of injury. If you receive a puncture wound or a wound contaminated with feces, soil, or saliva, have a doctor or health department determine whether a tetanus booster is necessary based on individual records.

Specific recommendations for vaccinations should be made on a case-by-case basis, or as determined by local and state health departments.

Mosquitoes

Rain and flooding in a hurricane area may lead to an increase in mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at sunrise and sunset. In most cases, the mosquitoes will be pests but will not carry communicable diseases. It is unlikely that diseases which were not present in the area prior to the hurricane would be of concern. Local, state, and federal public health authorities will be actively working to control the spread of any mosquito-borne diseases.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, use screens on dwellings, and wear clothes with long sleeves and long pants. Insect repellents that contain DEET are very effective. Be sure to read all instructions before using DEET. Care must be taken when using DEET on small children. Products containing DEET are available from stores and through local and state health departments.

To control mosquito populations, drain all standing water left in open containers outside your home.

Mental Health

The days and weeks after a hurricane are going to be rough. In addition to your physical health, you need to take some time to consider your mental health as well. Remember that some sleeplessness, anxiety, anger, hyperactivity, mild depression, or lethargy are normal, and may go away with time. If you feel any of these symptoms acutely, seek counseling. Remember that children need extra care and attention before, during, and after the storm. Be sure to locate a favorite toy or game for your child before the storm arrives to help maintain his/her sense of security. Your state and local health departments will help you find the local resources, including hospitals or health care providers, that you may need.

Seeking Assistance after a Hurricane

SEEKING DISASTER ASSISTANCE: Throughout the recovery period, it is important to monitor local radio or television reports and other media sources for information about where to get emergency housing, food, first aid, clothing, and financial assistance. The following section provides general information about the kinds of assistance that may be available.

DIRECT ASSISTANCE: Direct assistance to individuals and families may come from any number of organizations, including: the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other volunteer organizations. These organizations provide food, shelter, supplies and assist in clean-up efforts.

THE FEDERAL ROLE: In the most severe disasters, the federal government is also called in to help individuals and families with temporary housing, counseling (for post-disaster trauma), low-interest loans and grants, and other assistance. The federal government also has programs that help small businesses and farmers.

Most federal assistance becomes available when the President of the United States declares a Major Disaster for the affected area at the request of a state governor. FEMA will provide information through the media and community outreach about federal assistance and how to apply.

Coping after a Hurricane Everyone who sees or experiences a hurricane is affected by it in some way. It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends. Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event. Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover. Focusing on your strengths and abilities helps you heal. Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy. Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping. It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. Children and older adults are of special concern in the aftermath of disasters. Even individuals who experience a disaster �second hand� through exposure to extensive media coverage can be affected.

Contact local faith-based organizations, voluntary agencies, or professional counselors for counseling. Additionally, FEMA and state and local governments of the affected area may provide crisis counseling assistance.

Minimize this emotional and traumatic experience by being prepared, not scared and therefore you and your family will stay in control and survive a major hurricane.

SIGNS OF HURRICANE RELATED STRESS:

* Difficulty communicating thoughts.
* Difficulty sleeping.
* Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives.
* Low threshold of frustration.
* Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
* Limited attention span.
* Poor work performance.
* Headaches/stomach problems.
* Tunnel vision/muffled hearing.
* Colds or flu-like symptoms.
* Disorientation or confusion.
* Difficulty concentrating.
* Reluctance to leave home.
* Depression, sadness.
* Feelings of hopelessness.
* Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying.
* Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
* Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone.

EASING HURRICANE RELATED STRESS:

* Talk with someone about your feelings - anger, sorrow, and other emotions - even though it may be difficult.
* Seek help from professional counselors who deal with post-disaster stress.
* Do not hold yourself responsible for the disastrous event or be frustrated because you feel you cannot help directly in the rescue work.
* Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation, and meditation.
* Maintain a normal family and daily routine, limiting demanding responsibilities on yourself and your family.
* Spend time with family and friends.
* Participate in memorials.
* Use existing support groups of family, friends, and religious institutions.
* Ensure you are ready for future events by restocking your disaster supplies kits and updating your family disaster plans.

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