News & Analysis
Where Did BPs Oil Spill Go?
Disaster that never was: Why claims that BP created history's worst oil spill may be the most cynical spin campaign ever ... The warm, white sand stretches for miles as clean and flat as a freshly laundered bed sheet. The turquoise sea is so clear that I can see silvery fish playing around my toes as I take a cooling paddle. If there is any more pristine resort in which to spend a summer holiday than Pensacola Beach, on the Gulf Coast of Florida, I would like to find it. And yet, at a time of year when usually there is barely room to unfold a deckchair, the shore is eerily deserted. Ask Pensacola's fretfully quiet seafront traders why the tourists have all stayed away and they angrily recall one chaotic day back in late June. Then, hungry for dramatic TV footage to support Barack Obama's announcement, that the BP – or, as he preferred, 'British Petroleum' – oil spill was 'the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced', news networks descended on their town. They quickly found what they were looking for: shocking images of Pensacola's famously white beaches thickly-coated with sticky, black crude oil and apparently beyond salvation. The apocalyptic message was reinforced in doom-laden interviews with locals. 'It's damn near biblical. This place is done for!' lamented 36-year-old Kevin Reed, whose family have swum and sunbathed in the area for generations. His anguish was understandable. Yet, as I saw this week, nothing could be further from the truth. Strolling along the beach for an hour, I found just one, pea-sized tar-ball, which crumbled to nothing between my fingers. – UK Daily Mail
Dominant Social Theme: Oil is a curse and drilling should end, regardless.
Free-Market Analysis: The BP story just keeps on getting weirder. First it was the most monumental crisis in the history of environmental pollution, and now, if reports are accurate, it is nearly nothing at all. In the meantime, the Obama Administration has attempted to shut-down deep-sea drilling and to use the crisis to rework public opinion in favor of a carbon-tax, etc. BP itself has lost billions off its market cap and its weirdly disconnected CEO has been fired.
We don't think the final shoe has dropped on this tale, but in the meantime we are left pondering whether the BP was a kind of elite promotion gone badly wrong or whether it was merely a sad a startling series of errors that the major players attempted to rework to their advantage, seemingly without success.
Right now, the whole spectacle reminds us of the end of the great movie, the Witches of Eastwick. At the very end of the movie, a distorted Jack Nicholson rages outside of his manor as a terrifying Satan-like figure. However, he is irretrievably damaged when the beautiful witches cowering inside throw a voodoo doll of his figure into a fire. In a final shot, he is shown as a tiny, ephemeral, infant-like character floating in the breeze outside the mansion and vanishing with a tiny "poof." Thus it is that the BP Bogeyman seems in danger of vanishing with a "poof" of directionless wind.
Even now, with postmortems pouring in, it is not clear exactly what happened when BP's deep-sea rig blew up as a result of an explosion at the well-head itself. The disaster released millions of barrels of oil into the gulf and gave rise to suspicions throughout the alternative Internet media that BP had somehow participated in a false flag event intended to reinvigorate public support for a carbon tax and stricter environmental measures.
Of course given the way things work today, the odds are nil that substantive evidence will ever emerge to shed definitive light about what went on. Thus, suspicions will linger. BP itself is a corporation evidently connected at the highest levels of Western power and wealth. Certainly those who tend to be suspicious of such incidents will find plenty to fuel their doubts about the official story (whatever it finally turns out to be).
The weirdness of the initial accident was only compounded by the detached way that top BP executives handled the matter. It was almost as if those at the very top of BP had attended a seminar on how to aggravate a crisis and make people really, really mad. Statements from BP executives about the "little people" and by its CEO that he wanted his "life back," were jaw-dropping. One almost felt that, in this day of smooth and polished damage control, that the BP executives were doing it on purpose. It was that abysmal.
We've run a number of articles on the BP disaster and one in particular stands out – an article that cited a site called XelanBonn.com, the blog-construct of an energy consultant. The site itself carried updates on the disaster and did not mince words about the weirdness of the incident. Here is an excerpt that we cited previously:
A solution could have been deployed within a few days. Hence, the oil spilling into the Gulf since about May 1st was all preventable—which means, essentially, that the environment could have been kept nearly clean by comparison to today's ongoing spill contamination—it means this extended catastrophe was essentially preventable by simply invoking emergency damage control measures. These facts suggest BP acted in a criminally negligent manner and is continuing to do so. It is also suggests that BP is engaged in a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, among a long list of other potential criminal violations. However, BP is not the only culpable party—most of the blame actually falls to the Obama Administration by fact of authority, leadership, and access to needed solution tools—none of which are under BP's control.
To read the full DB story, click here: Disturbing Questions Around BP Leak.
The Obama administration certainly did seem to be operating in slow motion when it came to cleaning up the gulf. It turned a good deal of help from foreign countries that had critical knowledge of how to deal with such oil disasters. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard kept critical barges tied up at dock because it was not sure whether they contained the requisite number of life jackets. These and other apocryphal stories merely stoked suspicions.
But now the reports are that there is little oil left to see. No one is certain at this point that the oil is gone. It may be trapped mid-ocean or it may actually have been reabsorbed for the most part by the vastness of the Gulf itself. If the oil really has vanished, the ability of the Obama administration to continue to use the disaster as a kind of environmental propaganda is likely constrained.
Conclusion: We would note, nonetheless, that the pressure to move ahead with various environmental regulations, including a carbon cap-and-trade proceeds unabated in some quarters. The latest news being reported is that the UN itself is trying to create a proposal for a global carbon tax. In a larger sense, we suppose that the weirdness surrounding the BP incident is only fitting, since the entire debate over the pollution inherent in "carbon dioxide" has to be one of the strangest promotions that the power-elite has ever attempted. We hope it diminishes and eventually disappears.
Posted by ABuBakerSmith on 10/07/10 10:15 AM
Anyone thinking they'll get the truth from Alex Jones on anything negative towards the Oil Industry needs to view what he says in this video. Click to view link
Posted by Al Kyder on 10/02/10 06:46 AM
Great comments Thanks
Oh, by the way did you know that BP just shut down BP Solarex in Frederick, Md. The only solar panel manufacturing company in the world that used to make solar panels at profit, without subsides.
Posted by Carol Crow on 09/07/10 04:10 PM
It's so interesting that few seem to add up 1 1 to get 2. 4 or 5 companies dumped BP stock prior to BP blowing up that wellhead.
Now that's an indicator that someone knew something was about to happen. Seemed that tactic was used at 9-11 also & even then no one wanted to talk about it. And now history repeats itself a few times over & still no one wants to talk about it.
Nexus Magazine came out with an article about other strange doings in the Gulf about the same time that involved more than 1 country, gun shots exchanged & someone killed. And no one wants to talk about that either or it's connection to the BP incident being possibly a Black Flag operation. Seems to me no one wants to call a spade a spade.
Obama did nothing because he knew what was up & his handlers told him not to do anything. After all, he's a corporation man " not a people man & people are suffering still, not over the oil but over the dispersant which is a known highly toxic element. Now that is the contamination in the Gulf & now in the people. And the Government wants people to eat the fish. No testing to see if they've been affected, no " if the people drop dead then maybe the dispersant was the cause, but they'll let the people die before they check anything out because that's the name of the game " genocide. How stupid do they think we are? Pretty stupid when not even this column will add up the 1 1.
Posted by John Edwards on 08/08/10 08:23 PM
I'm not going to spend countless hours engaging in ideological/speculative issues surrounding the BP oil gusher (staged event?) because it's now just getting stupid with people being able to take up diametrically opposed view points and find plenty of 'evidence' on the web and MSM/Alt media to back up their claims.
Beautifully executed piece of psy-ops from BP and their associates in government, industry, and the media,(MIIM: Military/Industrial/Intelligence/Media complex).
We are being divided by the highly filtered and artificial reporting of this event as access to the GoM is totally restricted to agents/operatives of the aforementioned MIIM complex.
Every event/show/disaster/staged event/legitimate accident/terrorist act is now for all intents and purposes, (for the wider public not on that particular stage) pieces of theatre, wherein the 'Producers' of the 'Play' use their great wealth and power to constantly 'input' more and, often conflicting, information into the original 'Play' to either;
wrest control of the reporting and interpretation of the event to gain control of it's PERCEIVED consequences (crisis management)
the whole 'event' was staged and controlled from the start, so the 'input' from the Producers is merely to move the action forward and/or prevent the events reporting/interpretation from sliding off message and loosing the focus (by ambush reporting by uncontrolled elements, etc) of the audience it's intended for.
I will just finish this post by mentioning that IMHO we do have major issues with the stewardship of our planet and we need to take responsibility for our actions in this regard.
I as a 'westerner' watch myself EVERY DAY fill up my recycle bin with useless packaging and rubbish from the things I buy to live. I know that a vast majority of this packaging and rubbish never gets recycled and ends up in landfill, or worse.
You would have to be Blind Freddy, in my estimation, not to recognise that this sort of production primed to produce goods as waste is patently unsustainable and illogical.
I refuse to become rusted on to any particular ideology if it doesn't allow for the inclusion of 'facts' apprehended through personal observation.
I, and a lot of the so called 'affluent' people of the world, are waste and rubbish producers of prolific proportions because of the economic and commercial systems that have been encouraged to grow up around us to support our 'modern' existence.
I can't switch off my eyes from the critical functions of my brain the way others seem able.
So, to get back to my original point, the artificiality of the reporting surrounding this 'event' has, IMO, 'weaponised' it for use in, and against, the Alternative media.
In my world view, everything we can think about can be 'weaponised'. It's just a case of imagining the APPLICATION and work back from there.
Posted by Tom Feigum on 08/08/10 03:02 PM
I stopped reading Post Feedback after the following; "Unfortunately the US is running out of conventional onshore and lower cost oil reserves, with USGS estimates still put at around 30 billion barrels only equal to 4 years national consumption."
The statement dismisses the facts. About 4500 wells will be drilled in the Bakken Formation in 2010 and about 6,000 in 2011. Look at USGS and Bakken Formation. The US has oil reserves about 25 times estimates in 1995. Then look at recent natural gas discoveries. It is sad when so many know so little and are quoted and believed.
Reply from The Daily Bell
The Bell's perspective has been stated on numerous occasions. There is plenty of oil in the world and it is likely abiotic. Perhaps you should have read on ...
Posted by Nanoo Visitor on 08/08/10 11:49 AM
In a reply to Congressman Markey, "FDA has determined that the chemical dispersant currently used to combat the Deepwater Horizon... have a low potential for bioconcentration in seafood species,", according to an AFP wire 07Aug.
FDA has a central page for the Gulf spill: Click to view link
Posted by Victor Barney on 08/08/10 08:11 AM
Where Did BPs Oil Spill Go? Where it came from, corporate espionage started it and fixed it right from the white house! Plus, I doubt it was anywhere as serious as we were led to believe. Don't forget, England, from where BP comes from, has been a Marxist country longer than I am old and I'm 62 years old! I was born at night, but not last night! "Redistribution of our wealth" going to these Marxists(anti-Messiahs) now leading us! Economic crash and holocaust to follow! Not in America? Watch!
Posted by Silver Lady on 08/08/10 01:24 AM
Where did the oil go? Where did the murdered wildlife go? Ask Hugh Kaufman, a Sr. Policy Analyst for EPA. The EPA once again has turned its head on human health and the environment because something else was more important: Money.
Here is a video of him whistleblowing on the EPA, whom he claims was complicit in the use of Corexit (better spelled "corrects it"). The oil and much of the wildlife killed by either the oil or the dispersant, sits at the very bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Out of sight, out of mind. BP will save lots of money with it there instead of one the surface.
The EPA is NOT our friend. Kaufman has been tucked away in a proverbial closet since he ratted on the EPA regarding its stating that the air around Ground Zero after 9/11 was just fine. They knew it wasn't.
Click to view link
There is definitely a grand scheme at play here. The EPA also refuses to analyze the large long spreading clouds that form after certain planes with extensive contrails fly over, turning the entire sky white. Future Bush EPA Administrator William O'Reilly, signed the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements in 1976.
Click to view link
This is one scary document. From this came the U.N. Earth Summit, then U.N. Convention on Biodiversity S
and from this came the Global Biodiversity Assessment.
Consider the Exec. Orders Obama has issue.
Click to view link
EO 13527, 13528 and 13547 (the best/worst?). The power elite are trying to hide w/in the very laws they create. One simply cannot afford to walk around with one's head buried in the sand any longer.
Posted by Philip Mccormack on 08/07/10 11:52 PM
DB another great article. Here is a very good summary of what is really going on.
Click to view link
Actually it's in line with all DBs ideas. Happy days. Philip
Reply from The Daily Bell
OK, very clever analysis.
"This is the hoax. The spill is finished. It is NOT going to poison the gulf stream, nor kill off the Atlantic Ocean. This is why Obama refused to allow international relief teams to help clean up the mess "they would quickly find out that the oil stream on the surface has now stopped. They would find that the contamination is mostly comprised of'tarbalsofasphalt"and that the crude oil is red largely from the highly toxic Corexit used in the pumping process (to keep the oil thinned and flowing freely.)"
Posted by Kelley on 08/07/10 10:44 PM
The story that the oil had magically disappeared " "Where's the oil" was the headline wherever you turned " all appeared on the same day. IOW, it was a press release gobbled up by the media.
Meanwhile a local TV station took samples of the water, including a pool of water that a child was playing in. He boy might have been 4 years old.
A scientist who analyzed the water said that 5 parts per million of a particular toxin was a safe level. The level of toxins in the sampled water that the little boy was sitting in was 111 parts per million! That's 22 times higher than the safe level.
The oil continues to pollute the Gulf even if you can't see 111 parts per million.
Posted by Publius on 08/07/10 10:18 PM
I am a student of propaganda. As the educated are aware, propaganda works best with educated people. One of the best tools of propaganda is the lie that sounds as the truth.
Propaganda works because we are not able to discern the subtle nuances that build up in our awareness. When a catastrophe like that of BP occurs the natural instinct is to search for accurate information, but in a sea of lies this is like finding a rare fish.
Trusting to common sense I think it is rather obvious that many vested interests seek to "spin" this story to their advantage. I see what Obama did in a slightly different light than the Bell.
I think in part propaganda-"I am doing something" when he is doing nothing and in part political cynicism that protects BP to whom through his Chief-of-Staff he is joined at the hip. In any case, this link will demonstrate that the crisis is only starting to unfold-
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thanks for the link. Many different perspectives ...
"Nothing in our shared cultural experience will prepare us better for the oncoming Black Wave throughout the Gulf of Mexico than the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. And yet even this environmental catastrophe falls far short of what is coming around the corner in the Gulf. Alaska is not Florida, or Louisiana, or Texas. The Deep South summer here in Tallahassee, FL has been as hot and humid as any we've seen. This weather pattern is what will distinguish the BP Gulf Oil Spill from the Exxon Valdez just as the total volume of the spill and use of dispersants have."
Posted by Nanoo Visitor on 08/07/10 08:33 PM
Political posturings are always twisted.
For example 06Aug, "These Days Carville Praises Oil Spill Response":
Click to view link
Posted by Clayton on 08/07/10 07:57 PM
I think that the "Tell" was that when it became apparent that the Obama gang did not have the votes to push Cap and Tax through the Congress, the well got capped. It is just terribly obvious.
Now, we are getting an endless stream of stories as to how this is the hottest Summer on record, etc. Although, here on the West Coast it is cold and miserable. (Check the Decadel Oscillator theories of Donald Easterbrook.)
I briefly fell for the alarmist propaganda, including Lindsay Williams, Matt Simmons, et al. However, the nonchalance of the administration made me sceptical as to the magnitude of the damage. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama are half-black and are expected to pull for the Democrats in the next election, so the lack of balance in the response didn't add up.
When Matt Simmons showed up on Jim Puplava Click to view link Weekend News Hour and started to talk up the idea of using nuclear devices to seal the well head, it became clear that he had stepped out of his league. The Gulf reservoir is not encased in the type of granite that is usually the case in underground nuclear testing. It is more fractured and composed of much weaker material. He seemed to be unaware that BP had a solution in place ready to implement. After hand wringing about the Gulf, he went on the promote his most recent theme, which is off-shore wind power up in the State of Maine, where he lives (not far from the Bush family estate, and where Potus O had his vacation recently. He is also a member in good standing with the CFR.
The same show featured Michael Rupert, another Peak Oil and the End of Civilization proponent. I am suspicious that he might be a kind of double agent. My personal meetings with him left me with more questions than reassurances as to his character.
If you note in the daily financial blurbs, every price change has a corresponding set of reasons for its occurrence. So, if oil prices are going up they need a reason. I think that at this moment, the war fear with Iran is the real reason. However, this would make the war unpopular. Many folks, such as myself, were very dismayed that the Iraqi War didn't bring better prices at the pump. Instead it was followed by years of ever increasing prices. So, we need another scapegoat for the war premium the general public is facing at the pump.
Peak Oil and the Gulf Crisis can be used as attention diverters. We can all hate BP. That is easy to do. What is to love about BP? And at the end of the day, who is BP anyways. Is it the place you buy gas? Is it a ticker symbol on the charts? Is it English, American, or owned by everyone's pension plan, so that as its share price goes down in value, the pensioners take the hit? Or is its price being driven down so as to provide an opportunity for it to be taken over by (?)? Perhaps it already has.
What this strange twist in the narrative has reinforced is the lack of trustworthiness of the government's pronouncements. The pool of accumulated goodwill that the political classes have lived off of for my lifetime is rapidly evaporating. We passed the point of Peak Trust long ago. This makes going forward much more difficult and expensive. It also makes it much more violence prone and potentially heartbreaking.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Simmons and Rupert ... Leading proponents of the failed peak-oil meme in our humble opinion.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/07/10 07:38 PM
Though I'm not entirely sure, I think the Jones act wasn't the issue. It was the cost..none of the offers of help were free. I'm not sure how much of that explanation is spin or not, but that's what I read..
Posted by Gordon Sceptic on 08/07/10 07:17 PM
Not only did the Obama administration invoke the Jones act thereby effectively preventing 14 different countries from supplying specialised equipment and assistance but the coast guard as DB says used some pc nonsense to prevent barges from being quickly utilised. Now we have the chief electrician saying that the alarm system on the rig was switched off and other claims that the rig had no had proper maintenance for nine years! all very strange.
Posted by John Edwards on 08/07/10 05:26 PM
I find TDB stance on this to be a little alarming.
I don't know if I am reading TDB properly, but I can't help but get the idea that TDB believe that pollution is a fear based promotion of the elite in whatever form it takes.
Am I correct ?
Because I believe that is exactly what the power elite want you to start to promote, a general Devil-may-care attitude toward all kinds of pollution.
May I say at this point that I believe that Anthropogenic Global Warming is a misinterpretation/falsification of data to produce a result that will promote a fear based meme to promote totalitarian One World Government.
I reject it as flawed, politicised science, that deserves to be exposed (as it has been before) for the unreliability of it's methodology and it's uncritical, inter-dependent peer review system.
Likewise, I run a critical eye over what has been reported on the MSM and alternative media about the state of the worlds environment, and I try to incorporate into my perspective what the planet is experiencing based on the best of my knowledge and understanding of the issues and mechanisms that may support and/or influence it.
We are by nature interferer's and creative thinkers, so we do not have an easily definable equilibrium with our physical (or mental) environment as plants and animals do.
Because of this constant renegotiation we are having with our environments to keep our equilibrium in the world, we need to recognise that we can, through ignorance or malfeasance, push our environment into situations through toxic overloads (whether it be chemicals, wars, populations, too many unproductive people living like parasites on the ones that are productive) that could seriously threaten our continued existence on this planet as the dominant species.
We had to stop above ground nuclear testing because of the effects it was having on the planet, and therefore us.
We had to remove CFC's from our refrigeration products and industry to stop the depletion of the ozone layer.
We had to stop mining and using Asbestos in Australia because it was killing too many people and costing the health system more than could be justified with it's continued mining and use.
We in Perth, Western Australia, are having to deal with a dying river system because we have lined the metropolitan rivers with waste dumps that have had toxic chemicals and substances such as PCB's, arsenic, and various heavy metals dumped in that are breaching containment and showing up in sediment samples from the river.
We just last year we lost over half our river dolphin population because of..... gee, the EPA couldn't find a reason for these dolphins to be covered in disfiguring lesions and high concentrations of certain toxic substances in their bodies and skin.....
Couldn't find any kind of link to the deaths after unprecedented rains hit and caused excessive run-off into the river system disturbing the sedimentary layers in the rivers, could they ?
Very cautious, they are, on such things....
but it's OK to swim and fish in the rivers, if you can find anything worth catching or eating because our government says it's fine and dandy.
Nothing to see here.
The planet will survive all we do to it, but I fear that we will not because of a hubris that has seemingly, spontaneously, developed within ourselves that makes us so terribly blind to our collective actions as 'civilised' people.
We have been brainwashed into loosing sight of the here and now.
Verification of the whole sordid, sorry mess that is the Deep Water Horizon will never be possible either way because of the location of the disaster and the inability of independent analysts and researchers to access the site. Both before and after the explosion.
There were no Base-line environmental impact studies done because BP got special dispensation not to bother for it's drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico.
That was one of Dick Cheney's bright ideas, I believe.
We, of the alternative blogger-sphere, must be on our guard not to run to hard with these types of stories because of the ease in which the information coming out of these places can be so wildly manipulated and controlled by people we shouldn't trust.
Reply from The Daily Bell
The solution is to bring pubic property under private control - including air and water. if someone is fouling the air and water on your private patch of property, you would want to go after this person to make sure he or she stopped or at least took remedial steps.
No fancy government agencies. No "watchdogs" or complex legislation. Just private judicial resolution as best as can be obtained.
Is it a perfect solution? No. Would it be preferable to what exists today? We would argue yes.
Posted by Slim Pickens on 08/07/10 04:04 PM
"Upton Sinclair, "Oil". The history of the oil industry is riddled with scandal and disregard for enviornmental sustainability."
The history of the U.S. Government is a thousand times more riddled.
Posted by Bobby on 08/07/10 03:22 PM
Upton Sinclair, "Oil". The history of the oil industry is riddled with scandal and disregard for enviornmental sustainability.
Posted by Slim Pickens on 08/07/10 02:27 PM
9,000,000 barrels is less than half the U.S. average oil consumption per day.
Posted by Slim Pickens on 08/07/10 02:21 PM
Obviously there's not going to be much damage when you consider the fact that the crude leaked into a volume of roughly 600,000 cubic miles, just considering the GOM and not the entire globes oceans.
I did some rough calculations and came up with this:
1 cubic mile = 26,217,074,938 petroleum barrels
660,000 cubic miles = 17,292,000,000,000,000 barrels
Even at 100,000 barrels/day for 3 months the leakage would be only 9,000,000 barrels total.
9,000,000 divided by 17,292,000,000,000,000 equals a mere
.000000000520 concentration by volume.
Keep in mind that this calculation only considers the spill volume to include the GOM rather than the earths entire ocean volume and that the leak was a small fraction of 100,000 barrels/day.
Seems fairly obvious to me why the media sharks can't seem to find even a trace of oil anywhere.