Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oily News That's Fit to Print

Updates late Tuesday:

"Dogged by delays and intense pressure from the Obama administration, BP faces a pivotal day on Wednesday as it attempts a tricky plan to clog the gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well five weeks into the disaster. If the "top kill" procedure joins the list of BP failures to plug the leak, U.S. President Barack Obama's government may have no choice but to take central charge of the response to what is considered the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Obama has told aides in recent days to "plug the damn hole" and he will head to the Louisiana Gulf coast on Friday for the second time since the April 20 rig blast that killed 11 and unleashed the oil. "

There was some indication that by Tuesday night Pacific, the Top Kill effort had begun.

President Obama is expected to outline new policies regarding deep oil leases on Thursday.

Commentators Lawrence O'Donnell and David Gergen joined the chorus calling for "a bullhorn moment" from President Obama, and a more forceful and coordinated federal effort. Gergen even declared that if World War II had been run like this operation, we would "all be speaking German," which--and somebody might look this up--sounds like something he's said before, perhaps about Katrina.

BP may or may not be about to try something else--the so-called "Top Kill"-- to stop the Gulf gusher. The effort was scheduled for Wednesday but at this moment is in some doubt.

President Obama is scheduled to visit the Gulf region on Friday.

There's a lot of noise, a lot of justified emotion amidst the political opportunism. President Obama needs to speak to this, but actions aren't always dramatic--here's a piece on what the government is doing. It's big but dull and hence invisible.

And speaking of what we can't see, there's as much or more damage happening underwater.

The Washington Post reports growing conflict between some in the Obama administration and BP on efforts related to the Gulf gusher. AP is the latest to show that BP was deeply involved in the notorious Exxon Valdez spill.

The New York Times looks at a forthcoming report that documents the extent to which Bush-Cheney "regulators" were wholly owned by the oil companies.
TIME has a similar story. Bob Herbert writes about the results of this "cosy relationship."

The Gulf gusher has raised concerns over expanded offshore drilling in Canadian waters. Canada's oversight and regulations are much more stringent than U.S., but none of the articles I reviewed confirmed something intriguing I heard on TV: that Canada requires a relief well be dug at the same time as the main well. A relief well is only tested method for stopping the flow. One is being dug at the Gulf site but won't be ready until August at the soonest.

No comments: