Monday, 3 May 2010

Sarah Palin: Drill, Spill, Why Not? UPDATE!

Deepwater Oil Rig disaster - picture 4
A sister rig of the "Deepwater Horizon", the "Nautilus",
being transported on a heavy-lift vessel

Deepwater Oil Rig disaster - picture 1

Deepwater Oil Rig disaster - picture 3
Download this PDF-document with more dramatic pictures from the disaster!

Sarah Palin addressing the audience during a Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by Fairbanks Republican Women, on February 14, 2009:

“We’ve got to let the federal government know we can responsibly and safely develop our natural resources.”

Anchorage Daily News, February 19, 2009:

An unknown amount of oil, natural gas and water spilled from a Prudhoe Bay pipeline this week in an incident under investigation by state regulators.

Prudhoe Bay, the state's biggest oil field, has had a series of spills in recent years that have led to heightened oversight by state and federal regulators of operations there.

BP runs the field on behalf of itself, Exxon Mobil, Conoco Phillips and Chevron.

From a comment on the above report:

"There are few regulations, fewer regulators, and almost no enforcement up there. These spills aren't inevitable, they're a result of industry cutting corners to boost their profits".

Anchorage Daily News, December 4, 2009:

In the midst of cleaning up a major North Slope oil spill with an unusual twist, BP has reported another spill involving a different pipeline.

The spill is the second since Sunday involving pipelines managed by BP. The Sunday oil spill still is being cleaned up as well. Officials say they have not pinpointed a cause or estimated the size of that spill.

Anchorage Daily News, December 9, 2009:

Officials have found a 24-inch jagged rupture in a pipeline that began pouring oil and water Nov. 29, creating one of the biggest North Slope crude oil spills ever.

Officials say massive ice plugs had formed inside the pipe, which caused BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. to stop operating it a few weeks ago. Pressure then built up until the pipeline ruptured, according to BP.

The biggest oil spill ever on the North Slope occurred in 2006 when more than 200,000 gallons of crude leaked from a corroded transit line at the Prudhoe Bay field. That led to a criminal misdemeanor conviction for BP, $20 million in fines and restitution, and three years of probation, which the company is still on.

Anchorage Daily News, May 1, 2010:

British Petroleum once downplayed the possibility of a catastrophic accident at an offshore rig that exploded, causing the worst U.S. oil spill in decades along the Gulf Coast and endangering shoreline habitat.

In its 2009 exploration plan and environmental impact analysis for the well, BP suggested it was unlikely, or virtually impossible, for an accident to occur that would lead to a giant crude oil spill and serious damage to beaches, fish and mammals.

At least 1.6 million gallons of oil have spilled so far since the April 20 explosion that killed 11 workers, according to Coast Guard estimates. One expert said Friday that the volume of oil leaking from the well nearly 5,000 feet below the surface could actually be much higher, and that even more may escape if the drilling equipment continues to erode.

BP's 52-page exploration plan for the Deepwater Horizon well, filed with the federal Minerals Management Service, says repeatedly that it was "unlikely that an accidental surface or subsurface oil spill would occur from the proposed activities."

Let's hear Sarah Palin again:

“We’ve got to let the federal government know we can responsibly and safely develop our natural resources.”

And again:

Having worked/lived thru Exxon oil spill,my family&I understand Gulf residents' fears.Our prayers r w/u.All industry efforts must b employed

And again:

All responsible energy development must be accompanied by strict oversight, but even with the strictest oversight in the world, accidents still happen.

How can Sarah Palin talk about oversight? BP had an appalling record in Alaska, before, during and after she quit as half-term governor.

Spill Baby Spill - cartoon The Toronto Star

In her Facebook note, she blows her own trumpet:

In the coming days, there will be hearings to discover the cause of the explosion and the subsequent leak. Actions will be taken to increase oversight to prevent future accidents. Government can and must play an appropriate role here. If a company was lax in its prevention practices, it must be held accountable. It is inexcusable for any oil company to not invest in preventative measures. They must be held accountable or the public will forever distrust the industry.

This was the position I took as an oil and gas regulator and as Governor of Alaska when my administration ramped up oversight of the oil industry and created a petroleum-systems-integrity office to monitor our oil and gas infrastructure for potential environmental risks. I took a lot of heat for the stand I took “against the oil industry” (which is how political adversaries labeled my actions). But we took tough action because there was proof of some improper maintenance of oil infrastructure which I believed was unacceptable. We instituted new oversight and held British Petroleum (BP) financially accountable for poor maintenance practices. We also filed a Friend-of-the-Court brief against Exxon’s interests for its decades-old responsibility to compensate Alaskans affected by the Valdez spill, and I took other actions “against” the industry which ultimately helped hold it accountable.

The people affected by the Exxon Valdez spill received $12,000 as compensation after the Supreme Court ruling. Sarah Palin was disappointed with the ruling before she decided to take credit for it.

Will Sarah Palin be happy or disappointed with BP's latest employed efforts?

Alabama Attorney General Troy King said tonight that he has told representatives of BP Plc. that they should stop circulating settlement agreements among coastal Alabamians.

The agreements, King said, essentially require that people give up the right to sue in exchange for payment of up to $5,000.

King said BP's efforts were particularly strong in Bayou La Batre.

The attorney general said he is prohibited from giving legal advice to private citizens, but added that "people need to proceed with caution and understand the ramifications before signing something like that.

"They should seek appropriate counsel to make sure their rights are protected," King said.

By the end of Sunday, BP aimed to sign up 500 fishing boats in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida to deploy boom.

BP had distributed a contract to fishermen it was hiring that waived their right to sue BP and required confidentiality and other items, sparking protests in Louisiana and elsewhere.

The oil industry and Sarah Palin are comfortably in bed together, despite her posturing.

I don't think there's any risk of Sarah Palin safely and responsibly developing a conscience...



Sarah Palin, the environmentalist:

(H/T to so_many_unanswered_questions)



Joe Romm has written an excellent article about the oil spill and the consequences on "Climate Progress" and says that the spill might exceed the Exxon Valdez disaster in days.

He also appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and discussed this issue. Keith Olbermann also highlights Sarah Palin's irresponsible remarks at the SRLC:


UPDATE 3 (by Patrick):

More insanity from the Republicans in Texas!

Rick Perry blames God for the oil disaster!

I am sure his oil buddies loved to hear that.

Earlier today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is funded by dues-paying corporations like BP and Halliburton, hosted a “Free Enterprise” conference to push deregulation and anti-tax policies. During a press availability after the morning session, a reporter raised the point that the oil rig disaster, the Massey mine disaster, and the overall financial crisis seemed to have all occurred as a result of too much free enterprise and not enough regulations. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), one of several governors in attendance, lashed out at the reporter and said regulations would not have prevented the economic collapse.

Later in his response, Perry said he feared a “knee-jerk reaction” to the oil spill, and said the oil spill could be just another “act of God that cannot be prevented“:

“We don’t know what the event that has allowed for this massive oil to be released,” Perry said alongside several other governors on a panel Monday. “And until we know that, I hope we don’t see a knee-jerk reaction across this country that says we’re going to shut down drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, because the cost to this country will be staggering.” Perry questioned whether the spill was “just an act of God that occurred” and said that any “politically driven” decisions could put the U.S. in further economic peril. “From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented,” Perry said.
(h/t Mrs TBB!)



An excellent video featuring Ed Schultz interviewing Mike Papantonio, who is a lawyer who acted in lawsuits against BP, has been published on youtube. This is a must-see!

Read this new article in the UK Guardian about this interview with further background information. Looks like there is a real possibility that Dick Cheney is to blame.


The oil well spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico didn't have a remote-control shut-off switch used in two other major oil-producing nations as last-resort protection against underwater spills.

The lack of the device, called an acoustic switch, could amplify concerns over the environmental impact of offshore drilling after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig last week.

The accident has led to one of the largest ever oil spills in U.S. water and the loss of 11 lives. On Wednesday federal investigators said the disaster is now releasing 5,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf, up from original estimates of 1,000 barrels a day.

U.S. regulators don't mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore rigs, and the Deepwater Horizon, hired by oil giant BP PLC, didn't have one. With the remote control, a crew can attempt to trigger an underwater valve that shuts down the well even if the oil rig itself is damaged or evacuated.
Graphic from the Wall Street Journal:

Deepwater Oil Rig - graphic Wall Street Journal



First Rick Perry blames God, and now Sarah Palin tells us to place our "trust in the oil industry."

We all know what side Perry and Palin are REALLY on!

Sarah Palin urged the country to "trust the oil industry" and to continue to pursue offshore drilling initiatives in light of the Gulf Coast oil spill when delivering a speech in Missouri over the weekend. The Kansas City Star reports that Palin called the massive oil slick "tragic," but defended drilling as a viable energy solution when speaking to a mostly Republican crowd:
Gulf of Mexico oil spill or not, Sarah Palin on Saturday defended offshore drilling as an essential component of U.S. energy security.
Speaking to a crowd of mostly Republicans at the Independence Events Center, the former Alaska governor called the oil spill "very tragic" but added: "I want our country to be able to trust the oil industry."

She said the U.S. must wean itself from foreign oil in order to be truly free.

I think we can call it "Palin Freedom". She has some buddies who pay well, and wants them to be free.

(h/t BanditBasheert!)


See also this highly informative article on Rick Outzen's blog who interviewed Mike Papantonio and Bobby Kennedy Jr. about the disaster.

No comments: