Deepwater Horizon

Chelsea Manning and the Deepwater Horizon Killings – Greg Palast

April 21, 2015 // 0 Comments

The military whistleblower’s 2010 Wikileaks dump included information that could have saved the 11 BP workers who died that spring in the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster. Five years ago Monday, 11 men died on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig — despite Chelsea Manning’s effort to save their lives. Let me explain. The BP drilling rig blew itself to Kingdom Come after the “mud” — the cement used to cap the well — blew out. The oil company, the federal government and the industry were shocked – shocked! – at this supposedly unexpected explosion in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. But BP knew, and Exxon and Chevron knew, and the U.S. State Department knew, that just 17 months earlier another BP offshore rig had suffered an identical, disastrous blow-out halfway across the planet in the Caspian Sea. In both the Gulf and Caspian blow-outs, the immediate culprit was the failure of the cement, in both cases caused by the use — misuse — of nitrogen in the cement mix, a money-saving but ultimately deadly measure intended to speed the cement’s drying. Read

US Plans New Offshore Drilling Rules, But Questions Remain

April 13, 2015 // 0 Comments

The U.S. is set to announce new regulations on offshore oil and gas drilling as an increased safeguard against disasters like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to reports from Obama administration officials who spoke to the New York Times on Friday. The announcement, which could come as soon as Monday, is set to be timed with the five-year anniversary of the spill, which killed 11 people and poured millions of barrels of oil into the ocean. However, environmental organizations remained unconvinced, particularly as the new rules follow President Barack Obama’s stated support of expanded drilling operations in the Arctic and Atlantic. Bob Deans, a spokesperson for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), told the Times, “Industry and government have taken measures over the past five years to reduce some of the risk in what is an inherently dangerous operation at sea. That’s a far cry from saying it’s safe. And the last thing we need is to expose Atlantic or Arctic waters to a BP-style blowout.” The regulations are reportedly the biggest to be put forward by the Obama administration in response to the spill and include stricter safety requirements on blowout preventers—the “last line of protection to stop
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