Oil Spill In The Gulf – Why don’t they just blow the well up?

Almost everyone in the US has seen the John Wayne movie Hellfighters about Red Adair, well capper extraordinaire.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063060/

His big gig was capping out of control wells…some of them burning. He usually deployed explosives to help control the old gushers. Now admittedly that was to blow out the fire…BUT I believe that destroying the well head and burying it in ruble would stop the leak. The US Navy could accomplish this easily with a submarine and a torpedo. I bet there is even one in the Gulf. While I can’t confirm it with a link the web chatter has it that the submarine USS Alaska has been reserved for the crisis, though I can’t say it is on station. There is a deep irony there. In addition it might set the oil release on fire. While this would create mess. It would be less of a mess than we have now.

Anyway this is the latest from the people on the frontline:

http://leanweb.org/donate/donate/donate-join.html

Louisiana  Environmental Action NetworkLMRK logoLouisiana Environmental Action Network
&
Lower Mississippi RIVERKEEPER©

Helping to Make Louisiana Safe for Future Generations

E-ALERT
May 2, 2010
Gulf Fishermen Win First Legal Battle Against BP

As BP began accepting volunteer help from Louisiana fishermen to aid in the cleanup of oil that continues to leak from the Deepwater Horizon disaster BP was also making those fishermen sign agreements which “seriously compromised the existing and future rights and potential legal claims of these volunteers,” said Stuart Smith, an attorney for the fishermen.

Some fisheries were closed on Friday April 30, 2010 and more extensive fisheries closures were implemented today. NOAA is restricting fishing for a minimum of ten days in federal waters most affected by the BP oil spill, largely between Louisiana state waters at the mouth of the Mississippi River to waters off Florida’s Pensacola Bay (click here for map).  The closure is effective immediately.  Details can be found here: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

Many Louisiana fisherman feel a deep vested interest in protecting the marine resources that provide them their livelihood and the heart of their culture. They are also desperate to make a living in the face of the fisheries closures and the likelihood
that shrimp and oyster harvests in the affected areas will be shut down for at least this upcoming season.

The offer of paid volunteer work helping to clean up the spill was welcomed but the restrictive agreements that BP was asking them to sign was making the fishermen feel that they were being taken advantage of.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana was opened this afternoon by Judge Ginger Berrigan to receive petition of Louisiana commercial fisherman to nullify and strike the offensive language in the British Petroleum volunteer fisherman charter contract.

Download a copy of the Master Charter Agreements which British Petroleum was asking fisherman to sign at http://www.kreweoftruth.com
District Judge Berrigan, after hearing from counsel for the fisherman and BP, indicated the language in question in the MCA was overbroad. Legal counsel for BP agreed to enter into a stipulated judgment holding that the offensive provisions are without effect.
“This is an amazing example of how well our civil justice system works for the hard-working people of America, such as Louisiana fisherman who most need it right now,” said Attorney Smith.
Commercial fisherman George Barasich stepped forward asking for emergency relief from the federal court to stop British Petroleum from forcing the volunteer corps of oil-spill responders to enter into agreements which seriously compromised the existing and future rights and potential legal claims of these volunteers.
Attorney Smith said especially egregious provisions within the Agreement were:
  • BP, which is mandated to take 100 percent responsibility for the oil clean-up, is demanding that the volunteers IMDEMNIFY IT for any accidents that might occur from the volunteers’ efforts (Art. 13(F));
  • BP demands that the volunteers WAIVE their First Amendment  constitutional free speech rights about the volunteer’s participation in the clean-up efforts of the disaster; for example, if a commercial fisherman signed this agreement he or she could not then speak to anyone about the disaster or clean-up efforts until BP first “approves” of what the volunteer wants to say (Art. 22);
  • BP demands a FREE-RIDE on the volunteers’ insurance policies so that if there is damage to a volunteer’s vessel or other injuries, such as to a crew member, BP will be an “additional insured” and the financial responsibility for the damage will rest on the volunteer’s insurance carrier, NOT BP; quite obviously, the volunteers paid good money for this insurance and BP should not be allowed after-the-fact to worm their way into that contract so that it can attempt to avoid further legal responsibility for the very volunteers it is asking for aid and assistance; (Art. 13(A)); and
  • BP demands 30 days of notice before any volunteer is allowed to pursue legal claims against BP, and there are no exceptions made for emergencies (Art. 13(I) [sic (G]).
We are happy to see the swift action of the civil justice system to protect citizens rights.

If you see anything fishy happening on your waterways don’t hesitate to call the Lower Mississippi Riverkeerp hotline at 1-866-MSRIVER


Support this vital work today!

Yes! I want to help make Louisiana safe for us and for future generations!

LEAN is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) is a non-profit organization working to foster communication and cooperation among citizens and groups to address Louisiana’s environmental problems.


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It could get much worse:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2010/05/oil-spill-how-bad.html

CNN quotes the lead government official responding to the spill – the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Thad Allen – as stating:

If we lost a total well head, it could be 100,000 barrels or more a day.

Indeed, an environmental document filed by the company running the oil drilling rig – BP – estimates the maximum as 162,000 barrels a day:

In an exploration plan and environmental impact analysis filed with the federal government in February 2009, BP said it had the capability to handle a “worst-case scenario” at the Deepwater Horizon site, which the document described as a leak of 162,000 barrels per day from an uncontrolled blowout — 6.8 million gallons each day.

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