Monday, March 21, 2011
The Coast Guard says that it is probably "silt" instead of oil. While definitive chemical tests have not yet been conducted, and so silt can't be ruled out, many witnesses said that the substance had an oily smell.
Moreover, it is hard to place too much confidence in the Coast Guard's opinion since, as I wrote last year:
Instead of admitting that there is a problem, BP and the Coast Guard's spin doctors have come up with code words for oil: instead of “oil sheen”, they call it “fish oil”; instead of "oil mousse", they call it “algae”
Whether the slick ends up being oil, silt or something else, the important point - as I noted last year - is that big oil spills will keep happening if we keep on drilling in hard to get to locations without demanding that the rigs be operated safely.
Indeed, the oil spills in the Gulf and the existence of unsafe nuclear power plants follow the exact same pattern as the financial crisis: As long as big companies know the government will bail them out if there's a "meltdown" and will help them cover up the scale of the accidents, as well as the fraud and corner-cutting which led to the disaster, they'll keep doing dangerous things which put our economy, our environment and our health at risk.
As long as the government uses claims of "national security" to protect the big energy companies and big banks, there won't be the transparency needed to ensure a free market and reasonable public accountability.
Oh, and by the way, the effects of the Deepwater Horizon spill did not magically disappear. Here is a roundup of some of the news from the Gulf of Mexico from the first couple of weeks of March:
- 100,000′s having symptoms from oil disaster — Could be just the tip of the iceberg says physician (VIDEO)
- Secret Study: Radioactive material dumped into Gulf of Mexico — “Most toxic substances known to man” (During fracking)
- “It’s not stopping” — “The levels we are seeing are not dropping, and we’re seeing NEW chemicals now”
- Scientist predicts martial law to be imposed: “Beaches will eventually be closed to everyone besides clean-up vessels” — “Air quality will sharply decline”
- NOAA Study: Massive plumes of aerosolized oil “likely posed a health threat” — Problems range from aggravated asthma to premature death
- Physician says “this may be a brand new illness” — Swimmer covered in oily substance diagnosed with “rare” bacteria similar to oil-eating microbes (VIDEO)
- “A Huge Number”: Shrimp tests show 4,000+ ppm petroleum hydrocarbons — Caught last week off Alabama coast (LAB REPORT)
- “Most Concerning”: Chrysene found in waters off Perdido Key, Florida — Effects include “increased risk of cancer, chromosomal aberrations, genetic damage”
- LSU Scientist: “You go out to the marshes and they are silent — We’re in danger of becoming a Silent Spring”
- New report from NASA finds that nearly 50 percent of the population along the Gulf Coast is experiencing sickness indicative of chemical poisoning related to the BP oil spill
- NASA oil spill scientist: “I know there were clouds filled with hydrocarbons” — Discusses “Gulf Coast Health Syndrome”
- Mississippi man’s blood tests show extremely high Xylene, Ethylbenzene — Now passing out for an hour at a time (LAB RESULTS)
- "Red Flag”: Oil spill study finds almost HALF of residents suffering “unusual spike” in health symptoms
- 27-inch thick layer of oil-contaminated sand found — Researcher hypothesizes they are digging holes and burying it (VIDEO)
- Woman reports troubling symptoms after swimming in Gulf — Burning lesions all over body & face, “I keep finding more and more of them”
- FOX: Woman suffering paralysis in face “induced by heavy metals” — Tests show high levels of benzene, xylene and other chemicals (VIDEO)
- BP Gulf oil spill: Shocking images that prove the seabed is STILL dead and coated in oil - despite BP claims all will be well