Scientist loses funding for criticizing Big Oil

This video from the USA is called U of Alaska Scientist Rick Steiner Loses Federal Grant Funding After Criticizing Oil Industry 1 of 2.

Here is part 2.

From Democracy NOW! in the USA:

University of Alaska Scientist Rick Steiner Loses Federal Grant Funding After Criticizing Oil Industry

University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner says he’s lost his federal grant funding for being an outspoken critic of the oil industry. For years, Steiner has criticized what he considered were irresponsible actions by the oil industry, beginning with the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Last week, a university lawyer rejected a claim to overturn a decision to pull Steiner’s $10,000 dollar grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, known as NOAA. In its decision, a university lawyer wrote if a recipient of grant funding “uses his position and his time to, for example, advocate for or against a particular development project, the funding agency may have a legitimate concern.”

What Ever Happened to the Exxon Valdez Spill? Here.

Wildlife Still Exposed To Valdez Oil: here.

8 thoughts on “Scientist loses funding for criticizing Big Oil

  1. Huddersfield diver’s £1m poison claim

    Oct 30 2009 Huddersfield Daily Examiner

    A HUDDERSFIELD diver injured in a Middle East oilfield could find his compensation claim determined by Shari’ah law.

    The success of million-pound compensation claims brought by Andrew Iles and two other commercial divers exposed to toxic chemicals in Saudi Arabia may depend on the finer points of the 1,400-year-old law.

    Mr Iles, of Tithefields, Fenay Bridge, was injured along with Stephen Harley, of Devon, and Michael Hopley, of Crewe, Cheshire, while they were diving from a vessel in an oil field off the Middle Eastern kingdom in May 2003.

    The trio were exposed to the toxins while working in waters into which hazardous chemicals had been discharged, their lawyers say.

    Now the three veteran divers, who have not dived since the incident, are engaged in a test case struggle for compensation from Khalifa A Algosaibi Diving and Marine Services (Kadams) for whom they were working at the time.

    The toxic exposure is said to have occurred while the three men and Kadams were working on a marine project with the Saudi national oil company, Aramco.

    All three needed protracted hospital treatment and have been physically and psychologically marked by their ordeal. Their compensation claims are estimated at up to £1m.

    Now, in a unique test case at London’s Civil Appeal Court, Kadams’ lawyers are arguing that the trio’s claims fall foul of a strict 12-month time limit imposed by Saudi law on labour-related compensation claims and must be dismissed.

    However the three men’s legal team insists their cases are not “out of time” and should be allowed to proceed. They maintain the claims fall under the auspices of Shari’ah law – the 1,400 year-old Muslim law code, which does not impose such strict court deadlines.

    In January, High Court judge, Mr Justice Foskett, gave the three divers the go ahead to press on with their cases against Kadams, dismissing arguments that they had left it too late to sue.

    But Kadams’ QC, Stephen Cogley, argued on appeal that, within two months of the accident, the three men had consulted lawyers in the UK, giving them ample time to launch a damages claim within the 12-month time limit.

    Instead, it was not until May 2006 that the three men “commenced proceedings”, he told the court.

    Recognising the importance of the case to the three men, and others injured abroad, Lords Justice Potter and Rimer and Sir John Chadwick reserved their ruling in the case until an unspecified later date.



    Gravel beaches trapping oil from 1989 Exxon spill


    ANCHORAGE, Alaska

    An engineering professor has figured out why oil remains trapped along miles of gravel beaches more than 20 years after the Exxon Valdez tanker disaster in Prince William Sound.

    An estimated 20,000 gallons of crude remain in Prince William Sound, even though oil remaining after the nearly 11-million-gallon spill had been expected to biodegrade and wash away within a few years.

    The problem: The gravelly beaches of Prince William Sound are trapping the oil between two layers of rock, with larger rocks on top and finer gravel underneath, according to Michel C. Boufadel, chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Temple University. His study appeared Sunday in Nature Geoscience’s online publication and will be published in the journal later.

    Boufadel found that water, which could have broken up and dissipated the oil, moved through the lower level of gravel up to 1,000 times slower than the top level.

    Once the oil entered the lower level, conditions were right to keep it there, he said. Tidal forces worked to compact the finer-grained gravel even more, creating a nearly oxygen-free environment with low nutrient levels that slowed the ability of the oil to biodegrade.

    “The oil could be maybe one foot below the beach surface and in contact with sea water with a lot of oxygen, but the oxygen doesn’t get to it,” Boufadel said.

    He found that the upper layer of beach is so permeable that the water table falls within it as fast as the tide. However, the permeability of the lower level is so low that the water table does not drop much within it, he said.

    Boufadel said the study points out the susceptibility of beaches worldwide to long-term oil contamination, especially at higher latitudes where beaches tend to be gravel or a mixture of sand and gravel.

    “As global warming is melting the ice cover and exposing the Arctic to oil exploitation and shipping through sea routes such as the Northwest Passage, the risk of oil spills on gravel beaches in high-latitude regions will be increased,” the study says.

    Boufadel and his team dug about 70 pits between 3-feet and 5-feet deep on six beaches during summers from 2007 to 2009. His report focuses on data collected on Eleanor Island, about 15 miles away from Bligh Reef where the Exxon Valdez grounded on March 24, 1989.

    Peter Hagen, program manager for Exxon studies for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Boufadel’s study is a continuation of previous work that began in 2001 when 9,000 pits were dug around the sound, confirming the presence of oil.

    While the remaining oil likely remains somewhat locked up in the beaches, the spill’s lingering effects are ongoing, Hagen said. Sea otters, sea ducks and some sea birds are producing an enzyme showing exposure to oil.

    Boufadel’s study was funded by a $1.2 million, three-year grant from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council. The council was formed after the environmental disaster to oversee restoration of the sound.

    Boufadel doesn’t know how long it might take for the remaining oil to finally disappear but predicted it will take a long time.

    “It will be a slow process because the oil is relatively sheltered from water motion,” he said.


    On the Net:


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