Every spring, scientists tromp through Louisiana‘s mud and waist-high grass, hunting for the hidden nests of a palm-size bird called the seaside sparrow. Their goal: to see whether the massive oil spill from a broken Gulf of Mexico rig known as Deepwater Horizon has hurt creatures that don’t actually inhabit the water.
Amid the rushes and cordgrass of the Gulf’s fragile salt marshes, for example, scientists say they made a surprising discovery: Two years after the spill, in meadows once tarnished by soupy petroleum, flies, crickets, spiders, and the seaside sparrows that eat them were less abundant than in areas untouched by the oil.
“There’s very little question that our oiled plots had greatly reduced sparrow densities,” says Stefan Woltmann, an assistant professor of biology with Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. “Nest success was miserable out there.”
Many of these marsh creatures never came in contact with spilled crude, so the connections between the oil spill and their fate are poorly understood. Some scientists suspect that insects important to wildlife were snuffed out by oily residue that released toxic fumes.
Special Report: Five Years After the BP Oil Spill. Wildlife still suffering in the Gulf of Mexico: here.
BP pumped billions of pounds into low-carbon technology and green energy over a number of decades but gradually retired the programme to focus almost exclusively on its fossil fuel business, the Guardian has established.
The energy efficiency programme employed 4,400 research scientists and R&D support staff at bases in Sunbury, Berkshire, and Cleveland, Ohio, among other locations, while $8bn was directly invested over five years in zero- or low-carbon energy.
But almost all of the technology was sold off and much of the research locked away in a private corporate archive.
But the company, which once promised to go “beyond petroleum” will come under fire both inside the meeting and outside from some shareholders and campaigners who argue BP is playing fast and loose with the environment by not making meaningful moves away from fossil fuels.
In 2015, BP will spend $20bn on projects worldwide but only a fraction will go into activities other than fossil fuel extraction.
An investigation by the Guardian has established that the British oil company is doing far less now on developing low-carbon technologies than it was in the 1980s and early 1990s. Back then it was engaged in a massive internal research and development (R&D) programme into energy efficiency and alternative energy.
Even before the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had put climate change on the international political map with a landmark speech in 1988,
the company was doing ground-breaking work into photovoltaic solar panels, wave power and domestic energy efficiency as part of a wider drive to understand how greenhouse gas emissions could be curbed.
Two houses on the site at Sunbury were used in experiments. One was retrofitted with special insulation, ground source heat pumps and other systems which have now become mainstream.
“All the reports that we produced were filed away and contain a huge mass of information. We had been researching alternative energies for years going back to the early 1980s,” said one senior scientist involved in the BP programme who did not want to be named.
A major cost-cutting drive in 1993 forced the end of R&D as a standalone department. It was reduced in scale, merged with the engineering department and told to concentrate on oil and chemical research.
Much of the renewable energy research is now kept in a formal BP archive based at the Modern Records Centre, a part of the main library at Warwick University, which describes itself as “a history of the modern world”.
The oil company employs its own librarians at the site who insist that only pre-1976 material on issues such as solar power are available to journalists and the public.
A spokesman for BP insisted that the company was now spending $660m on research, half of that in-house at locations such as Sunbury and he denied that any energy efficiency drive was being wound down. 20% of R&D is still said to be going towards “a low-carbon transition” .
But he accepted that the company had retreated from renewable energy which had once had its own separate headquarters and chief executive, saying it was up to others to do that work.
Greenpeace said it was time that BP handed over all the research it had gained from its decades of work. “By keeping this wealth of research under lock and key BP is putting narrow corporate interests before humanity’s hopes to tackle one of its greatest challenges, said a spokesman.
“BP could score a PR victory by releasing this information, in the same way that Tesla released some of their energy patents to boost innovation in the sector. Not pursuing its clean energy project might have been a missed opportunity for BP, but the rest of us can’t afford to make the same mistake.”
As recently as 2003 the then-chief executive John Browne appeared to see a bright future for a low-carbon energy group, bringing in Ogilvy & Mather to launch a $200m rebranding campaign.
BP introduced its new slogan “Beyond Petroleum” and changed its 70-year-old, shield-style logo to a more upbeat and eco-friendly green and yellow sunburst.
This 2010 video is called Greenpeace launch logo competition to rebrand BP. Greenpeace climbers rebrand BP with a ‘British polluters’ flag.
Six years earlier Browne had differentiated himself from his rivals by leaving the main industry body campaigning against carbon controls, the Global Climate Coalition, instead talking openly of the threat caused by global warming.
By 2007 Browne had left the company to his successor Tony Hayward who closed down BP Solar in 2011, on the grounds that it did not make money.
“The continuing global economic challenges have significantly impacted the solar industry, making it difficult to sustain long-term returns for the company, despite our best efforts,” BP said in an internal letter to staff at the time.
Two years earlier, in 2009, Hayward had scrapped BP Alternative Energy as a stand-alone business, slashed its budget and said goodbye to its boss Vivienne Cox.
In 2013, under an even newer chief executive, Bob Dudley, all the wind farms which at one stage were located in nine different American states and produced 2,600 megawatts were put up for sale. BP failed to find a buyer and continues to hang on to them. The company also retains a Brazilian biofuels business but has halted all work on carbon capture and storage.
BP continues to invest in carbon-heavy tar sands operations as well as its traditional oil and gas fields and yet it accepts that some reserves will have to remain in the ground to beat global warming. …
A major group of shareholders have called on the company to address climate change more robustly through a resolution to be heard at the AGM.
BP management says it supports the resolution but ultimately believes that politicians must take primary responsibility for tackling global warming and hastening in a low-carbon future. ..,
Suzanne Dhaliwal from the UK Tar Sands Network said support for the AGM resolution looked hollow when the company was still engaged in carbon-heavy extraction activities. “It looks like a stalling mechanism to get large shareholders on board but from a grass roots level commitments to tackling climate change and continuing with tar sands are incompatible.”
BP is a British global energy company that is also the third largest global energy company and the 4th largest company in the world. As a multinational oil company (“oil major”) BP is the UK’s largest corporation, with its headquarters in St James’s, City of Westminster, London. BP America’s headquarters is in the Two Westlake Park in the Energy Corridor area of Houston.
The company is among the largest private sector energy corporations in the world, and one of the six “supermajors” (vertically integrated private sector oil exploration, natural gas, and petroleum product marketing companies). The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.
The company has been convicted of two felonies for environmental crimes, including one felony for which BP pleaded guilty in connection with the Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 that caused 15 deaths, injured 180 people, and forced thousands of nearby residents to remain sheltered in their homes.
On 20 April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in excess of 200,000 gallons of oil (approx. 5,000 barrels) leaking every single day after a blow-out preventer designed to stop oil from flowing out during an emergency failed to activate. The spill was expected to continue until the blow-out preventer could be activated or another containment method implemented. Though 115 workers were evacuated from the site, eleven missing workers were presumed dead. On 28 April 2010, the US Coast Guard set fire to some sequestered portions of oil which had leaked from the uncapped well located five thousand feet below the Gulf of Mexico.
Climate-sceptic US senator given funds by BP political action committee
Sen Jim Inhofe, who opposes climate change regulation, has received $10,000 from PAC funded by donations from US staff at oil group
Sunday 22 March 2015 17.14 GMT
One of America’s most powerful and outspoken opponents of climate change regulation received election campaign contributions that can be traced back to senior BP staff, including chief executive Bob Dudley.
Following his re-election, Inhofe became chair of the Senate’s environment and public works committee in January, and then a month later featured in news bulletins throwing a snowball across the Senate floor.
Before tossing it, the senator said: “In case we have forgotten – because we keep hearing that 2014 is the warmest year on record – it is very, very cold outside. Very unseasonal.”
The BP PAC is funded by contributions from senior US executives and company staffers who sent in contributions to the PAC totalling more than $1m between 2010 and 2014. Over the same period the committee paid out $655,000 to candidates, with more than 40 incumbent senators benefiting.
Dudley has personally given $19,000 since June 2011 to the BP PAC – very close to the $5,000-a-year maximum allowable by law. Although Dudley is resident in Britain, he is eligible to give via the BP PAC because he is a US national.
Yet, BP and Dudley have long called for world leaders to intervene and impose tough regulatory measures on the fossil fuel industry. Publishing its 98-page research paper, Energy Outlook 2035, last month, BP warned: “To abate carbon emissions further will require additional significant steps by policymakers beyond the steps already assumed.”
While the sums channelled to Inhofe’s campaign represent only a small proportion of the BP PAC’s election spending and the senator’s own campaign funds, they show how unafraid the committee has been to spread its donations to the most controversial candidates. According to the BP PAC website, it financially supports election candidates “whose views and/or voting records reflect the interests of BP employees”.
Records suggest Inhofe’s 2014 campaign was a funding priority for the BP PAC, ranking as one of the top recipients of committee funds when compared with disbursements to other serving senators.
This was despite Inhofe’s senate battle not being a close one. His opponent, Matt Silverstein, who Inhofe beat comfortably in last November’s midterms, had a tiny campaign war chest by comparison.
BP was asked whether it was appropriate for the PAC to make campaign contributions to such a vocal opponent of action on climate change, or for Dudley to be contributing towards such payments.
In a statement BP replied: “Voluntary donations [by staff] to the BP employees’ political action committee in the US are used to support a variety of candidates across the political spectrum and in many US geographies where we operate.
“These candidates have one thing in common: they are important advocates for the energy industry in the broadest sense.”
The company declined to comment on Dudley’s own donations.
PACs exist in the US where companies and trade unions cannot give directly to the campaigns of those running for office. Instead funds are pooled from staff – often senior executives – into a PAC, and disbursed by a committee board, often in a manner sympathetic to the company’s lobby and other interests.
But Tillerson and other peers have not been as outspoken as BP and Dudley in calling for state intervention to tackle climate change, making the BP boss’s links to Inhofe campaign finance more controversial.
Last week Obama said it was “disturbing” that Inhofe had been made chair of the senate environment committee. In broader criticism of unnamed political opponents, he then went on to say: “In some cases you have elected officials who are shills for the oil companies or the fossil fuel industry. And there is a lot of money involved.”
Inhofe is unabashed about election campaign financing he receives from the industry. In his 2012 book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, he wrote: “Whenever the media asked me how much I have received in campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry, my unapologetic answer was ‘not enough’.”
According to data compiled from public filings by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), Inhofe’s campaign raised $4.84m between 2009 and 2014, with $1.77m coming from PACs, many of them sponsored by fossil fuel companies.
BP’s PAC was more active in the US 2014 election cycle than any other for more than a decade. Despite insisting it is non-partisan, 69% of contributions to federal election candidates in recent years have been to Republican politicians. This is a stronger bias than most other corporate PACs, according to the CRP.
There are, however, other leading recipients who have attracted criticism from climate change campaigners, including Republican House speaker John Boehner and fellow Republican, Sen Mike Enzi from Wyoming.
When asked his views on climate change in January, Boehner said: “We’ve had changes in our climate, although scientists debate the sources, in their opinion, of that change. But I think the real question is that every proposal out of this administration with regard to climate change means killing American jobs.”
“I don’t see [Obama] as trying to control pollution. I see him trying to put business out of business,” Enzi said last year.
Campaign contributions is just one aspect of US political engagement linked to BP and its staff. Filings show the oil and gas group spends millions on lobbying efforts.
The CRP classifies BP as a “heavy hitter”, ranking it among the top 140 biggest overall donors to federal elections since 1988. Its PAC ranks as the six largest such body with a sponsor company that is ultimately part of a non-US multinational.
Those on the PAC board, deciding how to spend staff donations, are senior executives and lawyers at the company. The board’s vice-chair is Bob Stout, BP’s Washington-based head of regulatory affairs, who also sits on the group’s global policy making body. Dudley does not sit on the PAC board.
According to its website, the PAC makes donations to “candidates who support the principles of free enterprise and good government, support a fair and reasonable business environment for the energy industry and share our philosophy that energy diversity advances energy security.” It says staff contributions are encouraged but stresses they are voluntary.
The first BP PAC contribution to Inhofe’s 2014 campaign was a given on 12 March 2012. This $1,000 donation came just two weeks after the publication of Inhofe’s book The Greatest Hoax, cementing his credentials as the most outspoken denier of climate change in US politics.
Publicising the book, the senator gave a radio interview on Voice of Christian Youth America. “God is still up there,” he said. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what he is doing in the climate to me is outrageous.”
FIVE WAYS OBAMA’S SUCCESSOR CAN UNDERMINE HIS CLIMATE CHANGE RULES “Undoing regulations isn’t as easy as it may sound. But environmental advocates told The Huffington Post that Obama’s successor could stall or undermine the regulations in myriad ways — and maybe even reverse them altogether, although that would be difficult.” The fight against Obama’s plan, which aims to cut carbon emissions from power plants, has already begun. Meanwhile, the world’s glaciers are melting at record speed. [Jonathan Cohn, HuffPost]
1 May 2007 — Eva Rowe, daughter of two workers killed in the BP–Texas City disaster, testified about the disaster and worker safety before the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee on March 22, 2007.
Walkouts at the BP plant in Whiting, Indiana, and its joint-venture refinery with Husky Energy in Toledo, Ohio, just after midnight brought the number of plants with striking hourly workers to 11.
They collectively account for 13 per cent of US refining capacity.
USW said that refinery owners led by Royal Dutch Shell had failed to discuss health and safety issues and engaged in “bad-faith bargaining, including the refusal to bargain over mandatory subjects, undue delays in providing information, impeded bargaining and threats issued to workers if they joined the strike.”
USW international president Leo Gerard said: “Management cannot continue to resist allowing workers a stronger voice on issues that could very well make the difference between life and death for too many of them.”
Yesterday marked the eighth day of the strike, which USW called on January 31 after accusing Shell of walking away from the negotiating table.
About 4,000 workers at refineries in California, Kentucky, Texas and Washington initially left their jobs when the strike began shortly after midnight on February 1.
Another 1,440 workers joined the picket lines when employees of the BP-operated refineries in Indiana and Ohio walked out yesterday morning.
Oil companies are continuing to operate all but one of the plants with scab labour.
Tesoro Corp elected to shut down production at its Martinez, California, refinery because half the plant’s production had already stopped due to a planned overhaul.
USW began talks with Shell on January 21, initially seeking wage rises, tighter policy to prevent worker fatigue and reductions in non-union contractors working in refineries.
Since the start of the strike, the union has stressed the safety and health aspects of its proposals to prevent accidents in refineries.
The week-long strike by US oil refinery workers has revealed widespread social anger over the continued erosion of living standards and working conditions over nearly six years of a supposed economic recovery. On Sunday morning, 1,400 workers at refineries in Indiana and Ohio joined the walkout of 3,800 workers on strike since February 1 in California, Texas, Kentucky, and Washington state: here.
Workers at nine US oil refineries and chemical plants across four states, producing some 10 percent of the country’s fuel, went on strike after their union announced that negotiations on their salaries and safety concerns failed.
The mass walkout of refinery workers – the first since 1980 – took place on Sunday, after the United Steelworkers union (USW) rejected the fifth offer by the industry’s main negotiator, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which in turn halted talks.
On Sunday morning, union officials called a limited strike—involving nine out of the 65 oil refineries it organizes and only 3,800 out of the 30,000 workers covered by the national agreement. The action was called after Royal Dutch Shell, the lead bargainer for the oil companies, walked out of talks without giving the USW anything it could present as a concession to help overcome rank-and-file opposition to another sellout deal.
Like workers throughout the United States, oil workers are determined to regain lost pay after more than a decade of stagnant wages and rising health care and other living expenses. In addition, many oil workers are subjected to 12-hour shifts and are forced to work as many as 14 straight days, according to the USW, resulting in fatigue and the danger of fatal accidents.
Two of the refineries selected for picketing were the locations of deadly disasters over the last decade. This includes the Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas (formerly owned by BP), where 15 workers were killed and 170 injured in a March 23, 2005 hydrocarbon vapor cloud explosion. Investigations found BP responsible for unsafe conditions due to corporate cost cutting, a failure to invest in the plant infrastructure and a lack of oversight on safety and major accident prevention. BP sold the facility to Marathon for $2.5 billion as part of a divestment plan following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
A safety video about the fatal April 2, 2010, explosion and fire at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington. The accident occurred during startup of the refinery’s “naphtha hydrotreater unit” after a maintenance shut down. A nearly 40-year-old heat exchanger violently ruptured, causing an explosion and fire that fatally injured seven workers – the largest loss of life at a U.S. refinery since 2005.
The Jerry White article continues:
The other facility is the Tesoro Anacortes Refinery in the state of Washington where seven workers were killed in an explosion on April 2, 2010. State regulators cited the company for 39 “willful” and five “serious” violations of health and safety regulations. An investigation by the US Chemical Safety Board concluded that Tesoro had a “complacent” attitude towards flammable leaks and occasional fires; did not correct a history of recurring leaks and placed workers in dangerous conditions; and did not adequately maintain equipment before the lethal blast. It also found that the accident was rooted in “a deficient refinery safety culture, weak industry standards for safeguarding equipment, and a regulatory system that too often emphasizes activities rather than outcomes.”
Last August, the Obama administration’s Justice Department shut down its four-year investigation into violations of occupational safety and environmental laws, claiming that the evidence it found “does not reach the exacting bar for criminal prosecution.”
After appeals by Tesoro’s attorneys, a judge in the state of Washington threw out 27 of the 39 “willful” violations and reduced the company’s fine from $2.39 million to $685,000. Judge Mark Jaffe could knock that down even further in a ruling expected this year.
In comments to the local media web site, click2houston.com, Josey Wales, a supporter of the oil workers, replied to comments criticizing the strikers. “[This] is about what the company wants to take away. It’s about the safety in the plants. Maybe you have not been paying attention to the explosions, fires, environmental incidents and the exposure these guys are constantly facing… These corporations don’t care if you’re exposed to cancer-causing chemicals on a constant basis on your job. But do you care if your family is? Are you ignorant enough to believe these chemicals stop at the gate around these plants? That they don’t show up in your water your family is drinking?
“My dad and grandfather both worked in the plants. They worked shift work, nights, evenings, days. They worked holidays and weekends. By the time they were 60 years old they were worn out old men. They buried friends that burned to death in fires and explosions. They buried friends that died from cancer… These plants are making record profits and the CEOs are taking home 40 million-plus a year plus stock bonuses. If you think cheap oil is going to hurt them you are ignorant to how it works. Oil companies buy oil to refine and then sell the byproducts from it. It’s the drilling companies that are laying off. The oil companies are going to make a killing with cheap oil.”
The strike by 3,800 oil industry workers has entered its fourth day after talks between the United Steelworkers and industry negotiators failed to make any progress Monday or Tuesday on a new three-year agreement covering 30,000 workers: here.
The United Steelworkers (USW) on Thursday rejected the latest proposal from Royal Dutch Shell for a new three-year labor contract covering 30,000 US workers in the oil industry. The rejection comes as the refinery workers’ strike enters its sixth day, with the union continuing to limit the walkout to 3,800 workers at nine out of country’s 65 refineries organized by the USW: here.
Britain: Unions vowed yesterday to hit back at a “fundamentally unsafe” assault on oil workers’ shift patterns as BP announced it would cut investment by up to a fifth next year. Wood Group chief executive Dave Stewart used Monday’s emergency oil summit in Aberdeen to reiterate bosses’ calls for workers to accept a change from current working patterns. Workers who are currently given three weeks off for every two weeks worked on-platform have been told patterns will change to three weeks on, three weeks off. This means employees, including those working night-shifts, would potentially have to work 21 consecutive days on the dicey rigs: here.
SOUTH African trade union Solidarity warned on Friday that it had received no indication that BP subsidiaries would seek to annul wage agreements. The oil giant announced last week that it would freeze wages for 83,000 employees world-wide this year because of a 50 per cent slump in oil prices. But Solidarity senior organiser Gerhard Cloete said the union had not received any formal notice of companies seeking exemption from the current wage agreement: here.
A federal judge ruled Thursday that BP’s maximum fine resulting from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill would be $13.7 billion, significantly lower than the $18 billion fine called for by prosecutors.
“Today’s ruling is a major victory for BP and reduces by billions their potential liability,” law professor David Uhlman told Bloomberg News. “A fine in excess of $10 billion remains possible but is now less likely.” BP’s stock rose 6 percent Friday on the New York Stock exchange in the first day of trading after the announcement.
Judge Carl Barbier ruled that 3.17 million barrels of oil were released during the incident. That figure, which will be used to determine the fines levied against BP under the federal Clean Water Act, is well below the 4.19 million barrels sought by Justice Department prosecutors.
Barbier’s ruling is below even the estimates offered by BP witnesses during the trial. This is because he had earlier ruled that BP would not be held liable for 810,000 barrels of oil that were skimmed off the surface, refined and sold. The numbers supported by both BP and federal prosecutors were adjusted downward to reflect this consideration.
The $13.7 billion maximum fine BP now faces is less than the $18 billion fine sought by prosecutors. However, even the maximum fine sought by the prosecution would have been a drop in the bucket compared to the nearly $24 billion in profits the company made in 2013 alone.
Thursday’s ruling by federal judge Carl Barbier also stated that BP did not worsen the impact of the spill by lying about its true extent. This is in spite of the fact that the rate of flow from the crippled platform was covered up for months, in full collusion with the Obama administration. The company initially told the public that the flow rate was only one to five thousand barrels per day, and as late as June of that year supported the federal government’s estimate of no more than 19,000 barrels a day, a fraction of the now officially accepted figure of 62,000 barrels per day.
The size of the fine will be determined in a non-jury trial set to begin January 20. The company is apparently optimistic about its chances. A spokesman for BP wrote in an email to the media that the company does not expect Barbier to impose the current maximum fine.
The potential fine may be even further reduced, as BP seeks to capitalize on vagaries in the law to reduce the maximum fine even further. Under the Clean Water Act, liability for an oil spill is capped at $3000 per barrel. However, BP currently faces a maximum penalty of $4300 per barrel under additional Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, which is how the $13.7 billion figure was computed. The Coast Guard also requires fines of up to $4000 per barrel. Defense attorneys are seeking to reduce the fines to the lower $3000 figure, arguing that using separate agency guidelines would be a recipe for “legal chaos.” If successful, this would mean that BP would face a maximum fine of merely $9.5 billion.
The company’s lawyers have been filing appeals constantly throughout the proceedings, banking on the complexities of the case to shield themselves from liability. Thursday’s decision came mere days after BP narrowly lost an appeal in the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals against Barbier’s original ruling in 2012 that the company is liable for penalties under the Clean Water Act at all. BP is also currently appealing Barbier’s ruling that it is guilty of “gross negligence,” which that opens the company up to the maximum fines under the Clean Water Act.
The court proceedings have taken place under conditions where the Obama administration has continually sought to shield the company from prosecution. While the oil was still flowing, Obama created the Gulf Coast Claims Facility with the aim of shielding BP from lawsuits from coastal residents. In order to receive the program’s miserly payouts, claimants had to waive their right to sue the company. The administration is now returning BP to the fold in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, removing the company last year from an EPA ban on new drilling leases in federal waters.
BP is eager to minimize its exposures to further penalties as it begins to feel the pressure from recent developments in global oil markets. BP’s third quarter earnings last year fell by 25 percent, making it one of the first major multinational oil company to feel the impact of the decline in oil prices, which have since collapsed to $50 per barrel. The company has also been hit hard by Western sanctions against the Russian oil industry, where it is the biggest foreign investor.
But as Thursday’s ruling makes clear, BP has little to fear from a government that has no interest in seeing them receive anything more than a slap on the wrist.
Millions of gallons of oil settled at the bottom of the Gulf after BP oil spill: here.
BP’s missing oil is found — where else? — on the bottom of the Gulf: here.
It has been more than four years since an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform killed 11 crew members and unleashed 2.4 million gallons of petroleum per day into the Gulf of Mexico, but the effects of the disaster are still being felt. The devastating pollution has impacted the fishing industry and those who rely on it, not to mention the ecosystem. Recovery also eludes the survivors and the families of those who died who are still battling BP, which leased the oil platform, for restitution. Meanwhile, oil drilling continues with more than 3,500 offshore rigs in the Gulf, dozens of newly approved pipelines and no new regulations to prevent history from repeating itself.
Filmmaker Margaret Brown spent the better part of four years interviewing struggling fishermen, Deepwater Horizon survivors, oil industry insiders and others to tell the deeper story of the disaster and its aftermath in her documentary “The Great Invisible,” winner of the grand jury prize at the SXSW Film Festival. The film opens on Oct. 29 in New York and Los Angeles, followed by a national release.
“I decided to make a movie that looks at the South through the prism of oil production and consumption. It became so much larger than simply what happened to these people when I started to look at what our collective responsibility really is,” says Brown, who previously made “Be Here to Love Me” and the Peabody Award-winning documentary “The Order of Myths.” She shared her insights with MNN.
BP SPILL LEAVES OILY RING ON OCEAN FLOOR “The BP oil spill left an oily ‘bathub ring’ on the sea floor that’s about the size of Rhode Island, new research shows. The study by David Valentine, the chief scientist on the federal damage assessment research ships, estimates that about 10 million gallons of oil coagulated on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico around the damaged Deepwater Horizons oil rig.” [AP]
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster is still trapped in Alabama beaches, study finds: here.
A new study shows that “missing” BP oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster could be at the bottom of the ocean: here.
Thursday, November 20, 2014. One person was killed and three others were injured in an explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico today, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). The explosion happened about 4 p.m. on board an oil rig roughly 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans: here.