Posts tagged oil spill
Ignored Reality Is Going To Wipe Out The Human Race
To inform people is hard slugging. Everything is lined up against the public being informed, or the policymakers for that matter. News is contaminated by its service to special interests and hidden agendas. Many scientists or their employers are dependent on federal money. Even psychologists and anthropologists were roped into the government’s torture and occupation programs. Economists tell lies for corporations and Wall Street. Plant and soil scientists tell lies for agribusiness and Monsanto. Truth tellers are slandered and persecuted. However, persistence can eventually win out. In the long-run, truth sometimes emerges. But not always. And not always in time.
I have been trying to inform the American people, economists, and policymakers for more than a decade about the adverse impacts of jobs offshoring on the US economy. The word has eventually gotten out. Last week I was contacted by 8th grade students competing for their school in CSPAN’s StudentCam Documentary Contest. They want to interview me on the subject of jobs offshoring for their documentary film.
America is a strange place. Here are eighth graders far ahead of the economics profession, the President, the Congress, the Federal Reserve, Wall Street, and the financial press in their understanding of one of the fundamental problems of the US economy. Yet, people say the public schools are failing. Obviously, not the one whose students contacted me.
Is it too late? I know much, but not all. So this is not the final word. I think it might be too late. When skilled jobs are sent abroad, the skills disappear at home. So do the supply chains and the businesses associated with the skills. Things close down, and abilities are lost. Why take a major in college for a job that is offshored. A culture disappears.
But we can start them back up, right? Perhaps not. When a First World country exports its technology and know-how abroad to a Third World country in order to benefit from lower cost labor, how does the First World country get the work back? Living standards and the cost of living in Third World countries are much lower than in First World countries. The populations of First World countries cannot pay their mortgages, car payments, student loans, medical care, and grocery bills with the wages of Third World countries.
When First World wages drop, mortgage, car, credit card, and student loan payments do not drop. Americans cannot live on Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian wages. Once the technology and know-how is transferred, the low wage country has the advantage in the absence of tariff protection.
For America to revive, our economy would have to be walled off with high tariffs, and subsidies would have to be provided in order to recreate US industry and manufacturing. But many corporations now produce offshore, and America is broke. The government has been $1 trillion dollars in the hole each year for the last 5 years.
Jobs offshoring diminished the US tax base. When a job is sent abroad, so is that job’s contribution to US GDP and tax base. When millions of jobs are sent abroad, US GDP and tax base cannot support government spending levels. To the extent that there are any replacement jobs, they are in lowly paid domestic services, such as waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks, and hospital orderlies. These jobs do not provide a tax base or consumer spending power comparable to manufacturing jobs and tradable professional services such as software engineering and information technology.
Republicans and increasingly Democrats, as both parties are dependent on the same sources of campaign contributions, blame “entitlements.” By entitlements they mean welfare.
In fact, entitlements consist of Social Security and Medicare. Entitlements are funded by the payroll tax, approximately 15% of payroll. The fact that a person pays the payroll tax all his working life is why the person is entitled to Social Security and Medicare if they live to retirement age. Welfare, such as food stamps and housing subsidies, are a small part of the federal budget and are not entitlements.
Ever since President Reagan was betrayed three decades ago by Alan Greenspan and David Stockman, both of whom sold out to Wall Street and raised the Social Security payroll tax above what was needed to pay Social Security benefits in order to protect Wall Street’s stock and bond portfolios from exaggerated deficit fears, Social Security payroll tax revenues have exceeded Social Security payments. As of today, Social Security revenues exceed payments to beneficiaries by an accumulated $2 trillion. The money was used by the federal government to pay for its wars and other spending programs. The Social Security Trust Fund holds non-marketable IOUs from the Treasury. These IOUs can only be made good from an excess of tax revenues over expenditures or by the Treasury selling $2 trillion in bonds, notes, and bills and paying off its IOUs to the Social Security Trust Fund. This is not going to happen.
The Federal Reserve could not care less about the US population. The Fed was established for the purpose of protecting and aiding banks. Currently, the Fed, as if America were a Banana Republic which America appears to be becoming, is printing one thousand billion dollars per year in order to support the banks and to finance the federal deficit.
This is bad news for Americans, as it means that their fiat money is being created at a far greater rate than the demand for the dollar. The implication for our future is a drop in the dollar’s value. As there are no jobs, a drop in the dollar’s value means high inflation on top of unemployment and double the misery of the Great Depression.
As bad as this is, it is minor compared to the destruction of the planet’s environment. Online information shows that the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem is in crisis after the BP spill and use of Corexit, a dispersant used to hide, not clean up, the spilled oil. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Gulf-ecosystem-in-crisis-a-by-Dahr-Jamail-Corporation-BP_Ecosystems_Gulf-Oil-Spill-Disaster_Gulf-Shrimping-Industry-131020-15.html
The Fukushima catastrophe has hardly begun. Yet already the radioactive water pouring into the Pacific Ocean has made fish dangerous to eat unless a person is willing to accept a higher risk of cancer.
Fukushima has the potential of making Japan uninhabitable and of polluting the air, water, and soil of the US with radioactivity. Yet the crisis is seldom mentioned in the US media. In Japan the government just passed a law that could be used to imprison Japanese journalists who report truthfully on the dire situation.
Take the time to familiarize yourself with the online information about Fukushima.. According to the presstitute media, Americans face threats from Iran and Syria and from whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden. The real threats are simply not in the news.
If you search Fukushima, you will find information that the presstitute media hides from you. See for example, http://www.globalresearch.ca/28-signs-that-the-west-coast-is-being-absolutely-fried-with-nuclear-radiation-from-fukushima/5355280
There are a number of other threats to the environment on which our lives depend. One is the effort to extract more productivity from the soil by use of GMOs. Monsanto has altered the genes of several crops so that the crops can be sprayed with RoundUp to eliminate weeds. The results have been to deplete the soil of nutrients, to destroy the micro-biology of the soil so that new plant diseases and funguses are activated, and to produce superweeds that require heavier doses of the glyphosate in RoundUp. The heavier dose of RoundUp worsens the aforementioned problems. US agricultural soil is losing its potency.
Now we come to chemtrails, branded another “conspiracy theory.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemtrail_conspiracy_theory However, the US government’s efforts to geo-engineer weather as a military weapon and as a preventative of global warming appear to be real. The DARPA and HAARP programs are well known and are discussed publicly by scientists. See, for example, http://news.sciencemag.org/2009/03/darpa-explore-geoengineering Search Chemtrails, and you will find much information that is kept from you. See, for example, http://www.globalresearch.ca/chemtrails-a-planetary-catastrophe-created-by-geo-engineering/5355299 and http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org
Some describe chemtrails as a plot by the New World Order, the Rothchilds, the Bilderbergers, or the Masons, to wipe out the “useless eaters.” Given the amount of evil that exists in the world, these conspiracy theories might not be as farfetched as they sound.
However, I do not know that. What does seem to be possibly true is that the scientific experiments to modify and control weather are having adverse real world consequences. The claim that aluminum is being sprayed into the atmosphere and when it comes to earth is destroying the ability of soil to be productive might not be imaginary. Those concerned about chemtrails say that weather control experiments have deprived the western United States of rainfall, while sending the rain to the east where there have been hurricane level deluges and floods.
In the West, sparse rainfall and lightning storms without rain are resulting in forests drying out and burning down. Deforestation adversely affects the environment in many ways, including the process of photosynthesis by which trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. The massive loss of forests means more carbon dioxide and less oxygen. Watershed and species habitat are lost, and spreading aridity further depletes ground and surface water. If these results are the consequences of weather modification experiments, the experiments should be stopped.
In North Georgia where I spend some summers, during 2013 it rained for 60 consecutive days, not all day, but every day, and some days the rainfall was 12 inches–hurricane level–and roads were washed out. I received last summer 4 automated telephone warnings from local counties not to drive and not to attempt to drive through accumulations of water on the highways.
One consequence of the excess of water in the East is that this year there are no acorns in North Georgia. Zilch, zero, nada. Nothing. There is no food for the deer, the turkeys, the bear, the rodents. Starving deer will strip bark from the trees. Bears will be unable to hibernate or will be able only to partially hibernate, forced to seek food from garbage. Black bears are already invading homes in search of food.
Unusual drought in the West and unusual flood in the East could be coincidental or they could be consequences of weather modification experiments.
The US, along with most of the world, already had a water problem prior to possible disruptions of rainfall by geo-engineering. In his book, Elixir, Brian Fagan tells the story of humankind’s mostly unsuccessful struggle with water. Both groundwater and surface water are vanishing. The water needs of large cities, such as Los Angeles and Phoenix, and the irrigation farming that depends on the Ogallala aquifer are unsustainable. Fagan reminds us that “the world’s supply of freshwater is finite,” just like the rest of nature’s resources. Avoiding cataclysm requires long-range thinking, but humanity is focused on immediate needs. Long-range thinking is limited to finding another water source to deplete. Cities and agriculture have turned eyes to the Great Lakes.
Los Angeles exists because the city was able to steal water from hundreds of miles away. The city drained Owens Lake, leaving a huge salt flat in its place, drained the Owens Valley aquifer, and diverted the Owens River to LA via aqueduct. Farming and ranching in the Owens Valley collapsed. Today LA takes water from the Colorado River, which originates in Wyoming and Colorado, and from Lake Perris 440 miles away.
Water depletion is not just an American problem. Fagan reports that “underground aquifers in many places are shrinking so rapidly that NASA satellites are detecting changes in the earth’s gravity.”
If the government is experimenting with weather engineering, scientists are playing God when they have no idea of the consequences. It is a tendency of scientists to become absorbed by the ability to experiment and to ignore unintended consequences.
Readers have asked me to write about Fukushima and chemtrails because they trust me to tell them the truth. The problem is that I am not qualified to write about these matters with anything approaching the same confidence that I bring to economic, war and police state matters.
The only advice I can give is that when you hear the presstitute media smear a concern or explanation as “conspiracy theory,” have a closer look. The divergence between what is happening and what you are told is so vast that it pays to be suspicious, cynical even, of what “your” government and “your” presstitute media tell you. The chances are high that it is a lie.
Reprinted with permission from www.paulcraigroberts.org
About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
By David Gutierrez
(NaturalNews) The cleanup technique used by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico actually made the spilled oil more than 50 times more toxic than doing nothing, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Mexico. The findings were published in the journal Environmental Pollution.
Over the course of three months, 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico (although some scientists believe that the spill is likely ongoing to this day). To aid in the cleanup, the EPA ordered another two million gallons of a chemical “dispersant” known as Corexit poured into the Gulf.
“There is a synergistic interaction between crude oil and the dispersant that makes it more toxic,” study co-author Terry Snell said.
The idea behind dispersants such as Corexit is that they break apart large masses of oil into tiny droplets, that then spread out over a wider area and have less of an impact in any one place. However, oil actually becomes more toxic in smaller droplets, because it is more easily absorbed into cells (bioavailable).
By Michelle Martinelli
With controversy continuing to develop over U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, her personal finance records tell another interesting tale.
As President Barack Obama’s favored candidate to replace Hillary Clinton, Rice has a net worth of somewhere between $23.5 million and $43.5 million as of 2009, which made her the wealthiest member of the executive branch that year with an average net worth of $33.5 million, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics. Clinton was second on the list at an average $31.2 million.
Officials are required to report only ranges of the values of their assets on their personal financial disclosure forms, rather than a specific values.
Forty-four percent of Rice’s portfolio is in finance, insurance and real estate, while the next largest portion is 30 percent in energy and natural resources. Rice is also invested in the transportation (15 percent), health (5 percent), communications/electronics and miscellaneous business (3 percent each) sectors.
But Rice would likely have to divest parts of her portfolio, or put her assets in a blind trust, in order to avoid a number of potential conflicts of interest were she to be confirmed.
11-28-2012 • Reuters
The suspension, announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, comes on the heels of BP’s November 15 agreement with the U.S. government to plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the Gulf of Mexico disaster, the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. BP agreed to pay $4.5 billion in penalties, including a record $1.256 billion criminal fine.
BP and its affiliates are barred from new federal contracts until they demonstrate they can meet federal business standards, the EPA said. The suspension is “standard practice” and BP’s existing U.S. government contracts are not affected, it said.
Dave Hodges, Commonsense Show – Connecting the dots of Bayou Corne with BP oil leak. Methane traveling – “Louisiana Coast to be evacuated?”1
Dave Hodges, Commonsense Show – Connecting the dots of Bayou Corne with BP oil leak. Methane traveling – “Louisiana Coast to be evacuated?”
I have continually written about Bayou Corne and the situation there. Yesterday I had the videos up and the recent seismo graphs showing all the EQs going on.
Dave Hodges of the Commonsense radio show on Republic broadcasting, now has a website for his show. He is a friend of mine and I have been on his radio show a couple of times about the foreclosure fraud.
He wrote a hard hitting piece about Bayou Corne and the sinkhole there. He connected the dots to what has been going on in the Gulf of Mexico and the BP oil leak. He puts the corexit, methane and sinkholes together.
Remember Jesse Ventura’s Truth show about the billions that has been set aside to evacuate the Gulf Coast regions. The full episode is here on youtube.
He has given me permission to reproduce his article in full on this site about what he sees is happening.
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.”
The conditions in the Gulf Coast region are so bad, that some are actually talking about a mass evacuation of the coastal regions in Louisiana. Others think the potential devastation is so dangerous that the entire Gulf Coast region should be evacuated. Others think that all is well in the Gulf. What exactly is the truth?
I have been investigating the events surrounding the Gulf Coast oil explosion for over two years. As I sit here mulling over the evidence which is derived from the full spectrum of research protocols ranging from anecdotal evidence to scientific evidence to government acknowledgment of a series of crises which appears to be imperiling Louisiana, I do not pretend that I have all the answers. However, after systematically reviewing the available evidence, I am extremely fearful for the potential consequences which could be catastrophic for many of the 40 million residents in the Gulf.
This topic has largely been swept under the covers by the Obama administration and the mainstream media, with a few exceptions. In this article, it is my intention to bring forth legitimate concerns for public discussion with regard to the safety and welfare of Gulf Coast residents, especially for those people living in Louisiana’s coastal areas.
The government would have us believe that all is well in the Gulf. In fact, two years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) through its air monitoring system, on June 10, 2010, presumably found air quality levels which were “normal” on the Gulf coastline. Of course this is the same EPA whose former director, Todd Christy, boldly stated that the post 911 air was fit to breathe. Also, in June 2010, Obama’s personal point man on the spill, Thad Allen, stated “the well no longer posed any threat to the Gulf” and subsequent cleanup crews ceased all remaining operations with regard to cleaning up the destroyed oil well. Thad Allen’s statement followed Obama’s declaration in which the President boldly proclaimed that the Gulf is safe and “open for business”. Officials from both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the EPA echoed Obama’s safety claims. And what I have discovered from the data, is that everyone of these government individuals, who are entrusted with ensuring the safety of the general public, was lying through their teeth.
There were strong and early indications that the use of Corexit, combined with the leaking oil, were producing, both long term and short term, catastrophic environmental and individual health effects. Oil and Corexit, used to “disperse” the oil spill have impacted untold numbers of Gulf residents’ health. Additionally, both the food supply and the food chain are being adversely impacted. The air and the subsequent evapotranspiration cycle has been irreversibly altered which, in turn, impacts the water table and the safety of water supplies as well as the safety of crops. The most devastating finding relates the events of the oil spill to the phenomena of the ever-widening Louisiana sinkholes and the related underground explosions as well as the very high concentration of toxic and highly flammable methane in the air and in the water.
One of the major threats to the Gulf Coast comes from an imperiled food supply which is the result from the explosion on the Deep Water Horizon oil rig.
It was known very early on that the Gulf Coast food supply was severely compromised and the health of the residents was in jeopardy, despite government denials and mainstream media cover-ups. A case in point, while dining with his family at Vinnie’s Raw Bar Restaurant in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, Matthew Robertson found oil in his seafood. While covering the story, WBTV reporter Sarah Batista also acknowledged there was a black substance stuck to the inside of Robertson’s sea food. Additionally, Channel 8, Fox News, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was told by Vinnie’s Raw Bar restaurant’s manager that he did, indeed, confirm the customer’s story and says he’s had problems getting oyster shipments because of contamination resulting from the oil spill, unfortunately, this station saw fit to scrub the report from its website. However, similar warnings regarding the region’s food safety are appearing up and down the local Gulf Coast media on such stations as WLOX TV in Gulfport, MS. Yet, Fox, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, etc., have not run one credible story on the dangers of food toxicity in the Gulf’s food chain. Granted, the abovementioned cases represent just a few anecdotal cases which are representative of tens of thousands of accounts. However, anecdotal evidence is not science and these cases could be discounted as the exception and not the rule. Yet, the largely ignored voices of scientists echo these anecdotal claims and they do so with hard, verifiable data.
Scientists at The University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University have found oil in the post-larvae of blue crabs entering coastal marshes along the Gulf Coast signaling that oil may be entering estuarine food chains. Dr. Perry observed that “I have never seen anything like this.” Larvae is at the bottom of the food chain. Lesser life forms, are consumed by life forms which are higher on the food chain and the toxic effects of the Corexit will bioaccumulate throughout the food chain. This conclusion echoed the findings of lab samples taken by scientists at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab shows oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster has made its way into the Gulf food chain as well. These particular scientists have found signs of an oil-and-dispersant mix under the shells of tiny blue crab larvae in the Gulf of Mexico which is a clear indication that the unprecedented use of dispersants in the BP oil spill has broken up the oil into toxic droplets so tiny that they have easily entered the food chain. These studies and other similar studies remain unchallenged by the authorities with regard to methodology and results. In short, the Obama administration is choosing to ignore these credible scientists by simply repeating the mantra that “all is well” in the Gulf of Mexico.
By Andrew Jones
MSNBC host Chris Hayes interviewed journalist Antonia Juhasz Saturday morning about the damaging results two years after the BP oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico.
Juhasz, who wrote the book Black Tide based on the many problems after the spill, highlighted key elements that have been overlooked by media outlets not covering the story closely since its early high volume of attention.
“The most important is that this is an ongoing tragedy,” Juhasz said. “The consequences began on April 20, 2010, and continue aggressively today, and we can expect them to continue aggressively into the future.”
“We’ve seen enormous harm to the fish species and sea life that try to live in the gulf. We’ve seen entire species where there is concern that they won’t come back. Enormous declines in the availability and production of shrimp, of clams, of oysters, of all the seafood, which of course impacts fishers.”
Juhasz added that the spills are similar and could surpass the damage from the 1989 Exxon-Valdes oil spill in Alaska.
WATCH: Video from MSNBC, which was broadcast on April 21, 2012.
All Government Agencies Refusing to Test Seafood from Gulf of Mexico. Seafood deformed- Video. 2 Year Anniversary of BP Oil Leak – still happening
The fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico have never seen anything like the seafood they are now catching there.
The shrimp don’t have eyes, the fish have lesions on them and all Federal Government agencies are refusing to test the seafood out of the Gulf of Mexico.
I use to eat seafood all the time. My favorite food is/was Crawfish. I have not eaten a single crawfish since the oil leak. I won’t eat any seafood now. I did make sure any seafood I ate came from the Asian area, after the BP oil leak. Now that of course is ruined too and of course the Federal Government will not test any seafood out of Japan/Alaska or any where around there either.
Portion from link:
New Orleans, LA – “The fishermen have never seen anything like this,” Dr Jim Cowan told Al Jazeera. “And in my 20 years working on red snapper, looking at somewhere between 20 and 30,000 fish, I’ve never seen anything like this either.”
Dr Cowan, with Louisiana State University’s Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences started hearing about fish with sores and lesions from fishermen in November 2010.
Cowan’s findings replicate those of others living along vast areas of the Gulf Coast that have been impacted by BP’s oil and dispersants.
Gulf of Mexico fishermen, scientists and seafood processors have told Al Jazeera they are finding disturbing numbers of mutated shrimp, crab and fish that they believe are deformed by chemicals released during BP’s 2010 oil disaster.
Along with collapsing fisheries, signs of malignant impact on the regional ecosystem are ominous: horribly mutated shrimp, fish with oozing sores, underdeveloped blue crabs lacking claws, eyeless crabs and shrimp – and interviewees’ fingers point towards BP’s oil pollution disaster as being the cause.
Here is video from April 9th of a fly over around the BP oil leak area – you will see oil is still coming to the surface. An oil leak is still happening. But of course people think it is safe, because MSM and the government has said so. Including all those wonderful commercials from BP showing all the States surrounding the Gulf vying for “Who is the best state to visit” and saying how safe the seafood and water is now.
A peer-reviewed study released this week has concluded that the government’s safety testing methodologies for Gulf of Mexico seafood were insufficient to prevent oil-tainted animals from being sold in U.S. supermarkts.
Produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and published in the journal Environmental Health Perspective, the study concludes that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) used outdated risk assessment techniques when evaluating the safety of gulf seafood in the wake of the worst accidental oil spill in human history.
Ultimately, the FDA was responsible for allowing food with “10,000 times too much contamination” than should be permitted, the study’s authors said, failing to highlight the elevated risk to children and pregnant women.
The results of the NRDC’s study are in line with a Raw Story investigation published late last year, which cited independent chemists and toxicologists states apart whose tests had concluded that tainted seafood was headed to the U.S. market.
“The sensory test employed by the FDA detects compounds that are volatile that have an odor; we’re detecting compounds that are low volatility and are very low odor,” Dr. William Sawyer, a toxicologist, told Raw Story in November 2010. “We found not only petroleum in the digestive tracts [of shrimp], but also in the edible portions of fish. We’ve collected shrimp, oysters and finned fish on their way to marketplace — we tested a good number of seafood samples and in 100 percent we found petroleum.”
Experts who spoke to Raw Story cited excessive amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which can trigger an elevated cancer risk. Heightened PAH levels are precisely what the NRDC found as well. The group has since launched a petition (PDF) calling on the FDA to recognize the risk posed by elevated PAH levels, and to regulate them in-turn.
NRDC’s study concluded that “FDA risk assessment methods should be updated to better reflect current risk assessment practices and to protect vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children.”
“Our findings add to a long list of evidence that FDA is overlooking the risks from chemical contaminants in food,” study co-author Miriam Rotkin-Ellman said in a media advisory. “We must not wait for people to get sick or cancer rates to rise, we need FDA to act now to protect the food supply.”
The FDA, which had not responded to a request for comment on this story at time of publication, continues to insist that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to consume.
Despite assurances from British oil company BP that no oil was present at the Deepwater Horizon site in the Gulf of Mexico, two Louisiana State University men have returned with video evidence of large blooms of crude oil swelling up to the water’s surface where the doomed oil rig once hovered.
Tests on the oil were inconclusive as far as linking it to the now-plugged oil well, but if it is from the Deepwater Horizon spill it could indicate the formation of fissures on the seabed, seeping oil into the ecosystem anew.
If so, that would mean the worst accidental release of oil in human history — a spill so bad, it took five months just to stop crude from flowing — isn’t quite over.
This video is from AL.com.
BP Plc (BP/), trying to counter claims that the company underestimated the size of last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, lost its bid for a court order directing the Obama administration to turn over e-mails from four officials.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan in New Orleans, who is handling evidence rulings in lawsuits over the spill, refused to order the U.S. to produce e-mails from officials including Carol Browner, former assistant to the president for energy and climate change. BP said the officials were involved in the government’s post-spill response including estimates of the flow of oil from the doomed well.
“BP has not made a sufficient demonstration of need for the documents,” Shushan said in a one-page ruling today, denying the request. BP can renew its bid for the e-mails if documents produced in the future “demonstrate a need for discovery,” or additional evidence, from the White House, she said.
The April 2010 Macondo well blowout and the explosion that followed killed 11 workers. The accident and spill led to hundreds of lawsuits against BP and its partners and contractors, including a suit brought by the U.S. under federal pollution laws.
Most of the lawsuits are combined before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans. BP’s letter, sent July 7, was filed in the court docket today.
BP argued that the e-mails were essential because the government “has alleged that BP may be liable for billions of dollars of penalties premised on the volume of discharged oil.”
“Other litigants have alleged that BP misstated or falsified estimates of the rate at which the oil was flowing from the Macondo well,” BP said in the letter.
Evidence on the oil spill size is “especially important to BP’s defense of the many claims in this MDL that assert that BP improperly falsified estimates of how fast the oil was flowing, while it was still flowing,” the company said in the letter.
BP is also seeking e-mails from Jerry Miller, assistant director for ocean sciences at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Kathryn Moran, a senior policy analyst at that office; and Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change.
The White House said it would provide limited access to e- mails from Miller and Moran, “in return for an agreement not to seek any further discovery of any other custodians or information directly from the Executive Office of the President.” The White House made this offer in a July 15 letter, also posted today in federal court in New Orleans.
BP’s request for Browner’s and Zichal’s e-mails “mischaracterizes relevant case law and cites irrelevant authority in support of its broad access to the e-mail of presidential advisors,” Justice Department lawyer Sarah Himmelhoch said in the letter.
The case is In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, MDL-2179, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana (New Orleans).
To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Cronin Fisk in Southfield, Michigan, at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at email@example.com