All Articles Tagged "oil spill"
A year after the BP oil spill mishap in the Gulf Coast, the company seems to be picking and choosing who receives part of its $20 billion compensation promise.
It’s this kind of injustice that has Operation People for Peace in outrage. The group is determined to secure equal pay-out treatment for everyone. They represent the many black citizens whose lives were wrecked by the oil spill that have yet to receive any kind of compensation.
To make sure their plight was heard, the campaign sent five of their high-profile campaign officials straight to the door of BP’s headquarters in central London on Wednesday Aug 3. The Voice reports that the five then set up a protest outside of the building.
The campaigners say that BP has given more money in some areas and less to others, looking to give first to those with political connections.
“We had to come all the way to the UK because they have refused to do anything,” they told The Voice.
“They have met with us 14 times and have promised us they would pay in two weeks then in 72 hours. But we have received nothing.”
Also known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the spill started in April 2010. About 4.9 million barrels of crude oil and gas were released in to the ocean, resulting in 11 deaths, 17 injuries and countless financial devastation. BP set up the $20 billion compensation fund after the US government found them responsible for the spill.
Operation People for Peace is demanding that the British company allot $488 million to the many small businesses, churches, hoteliers and minorities they represent that were affected by the oil spill. They have filed more than 10,000 claims.
“Almost 90 per cent of our claimants are single parents with an average of two children,” Campaign chairman Dr. Art Rocker told The Voice.
“Their earnings are below the poverty line. They live in geographic locations and are engaged in occupations that were impacted most by the spill.”
Civil rights activist package Gregory told The Voice that he believes Kenneth Feinberg, BP’s representative in charge of dispensing the compensation, “has done nothing but make false promises of payment.”
“I have come to the conclusion that his job is simply to block payments to poor people, not to settle them,” he said.
In response to the protest, a BP spokesperson informed The Voice that Dr. Rocker came to their office in New Orleans several times and that they understand his concerns. The spokesperson goes on to say that claims for compensation due to the oil spill are managed by the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) which administers the pay outs using “their own judgment with respect to the evaluation and payment of claims.” They have so far paid out about $5 billion.
The spokesperson also added that Operation People for Peace had spent 45 minutes speaking with a senior representative of the company even though they had made no appointment.
With the group’s concerns still left unheard, the group is planning to take their campaign to the next level, in a mass call to boycott BP.
(The Root) — Some members of Kenner Calvary Baptist Church in Metairie, La., used to make a hearty living along the Gulf of Mexico coast selling homemade gumbo and fried fish to tourists, making beds at once-bustling hotels and washing dishes at teeming restaurants. In turn, they made healthy donations at church on Sunday. But then their way of living was wiped out when the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil-drilling rig spewed untold amounts of oil into the Gulf and along the coasts of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi exactly one year ago, causing 11 deaths and countless personal injury in one of the world’s largest environmental catastrophes.
The oil company BP, which took responsibility for cleaning up the disaster, set up a $20 billion spill-recovery fund to help business owners and workers recover losses. But claimants are complaining that the agency charged by the Obama administration and BP with disseminating payouts — the Gulf Coast Claims Facility — has been slow to pay, which has impeded recovery, dramatically impacting their quality of life. Now, instead of tithing, once-proud members of Kenner Calvary Baptist Church have been forced to extend their hands for donations to help pay the rent and utility bills and to put food on the table, according to the pastor, the Rev. James E. Turner. The economy of Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, relies heavily on the fishing and seafood industries.
(Wall Street Journal) — The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil oil-spill lawsuit Wednesday against a BP PLC unit and several other companies, the federal government’s first major legal action in the Gulf of Mexico disaster. The other defendants are subsidiaries of Transocean Ltd., which owned and operated the Deepwater Horizon oil rig; Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and MOEX Offshore 2007, which had financial stakes in the oil well; and QBE Underwriting Ltd./Lloyd’s Syndicate 1036, a Transocean insurer.
(Businessweek) — Last year, Mary Metoyer’s New Orleans flooring company took in just $80,000 in revenue, one-third of her annual revenue before Hurricane Katrina struck. Her customer base of landlords and homeowners had started to return, but many were then hurt financially by the BP (BP) oil spill. When the bank she went to for a $10,000 loan lost her paperwork a few months after Katrina, she says she didn’t have the heart to restart the application. Metoyer did try her luck with a nonprofit, applying for a $10,000 loan early this year. She received the money last spring, paid it off, and took out a second loan in September, for $6,000, to upgrade her 25-year-old showroom in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. “Even though these are little loans, they have been a big, big help with financing some larger jobs I’m doing,” says Metoyer, 64.
(On Earth) — Elton “Hambone” Encalade is one of the first oystermen to greet me as I pull into Beshel’s Boat Launch in Pointe-a-la-Hache, Louisiana. He’s sitting on a plastic milk crate that seems too flimsy to support his muscular frame. Hambone has high cheekbones, a beard flecked with gray, and a gaze that is unrelenting. He wears his red baseball cap backward and a tight matching T-shirt. When I arrive at 1 p.m., he and his friends have already emptied a considerable number of beer cans, which lie crushed on the ground amids the oyster shells. This is not where you’d normally find the African-American oystermen of Pointe-a-la-Hache on a Friday afternoon in October. Depending on the dates of oyster season, they’d either be on their boats, pulling 12-hour shifts that on decent days earn them $100 each, or preparing for the season’s imminent opening. Hambone, who turns 53 next month, dropped out of high school to dredge oysters when he was 16 or 17. There was never any question about what he’d do for a living.
(NYT) — The oil that leaked from a pipeline beneath a warehouse complex in suburban Romeoville for four days was equivalent to only several hours worth of what leaked from the BP gusher in the Gulf of Mexico.
Although the 250,000-gallon spill in Illinois that started on Sept. 10 was relatively small, it had an immediate effect on fuel prices, industry experts said, unlike the BP disaster. Spikes in the wholesale market and at the gasoline pump underscored the importance and vulnerability of the network of pipelines that — unknown to many residents — lie under the Chicago area.
(AJC) — Mark Link, a Midtown attorney, is one of the hundreds of metro Atlantans who own vacation property along the Gulf Coast. Now that the well has been capped, he worries more about what may happen next: That as the images of spewing oil and petroleum-soaked wildlife disappear, so will the urgency to restore the Gulf Coast to its pristine condition. That businesses will fail and property values will spiral once others lose interest in their plight. That there is precedence for this sort of major disaster neglect.
by Anton Polouektov
With peak oil occupying the minds of energy experts and the Gulf oil spill acting as a painful reminder of the dangers posed to the environment by our unquenchable thirst for fossil fuels, a rejuvenated interest in alternative energy is sweeping the nation. Electric and hybrid vehicles are currently the most viable alternative to gas-powered engines, and Lithium-Ion batteries are the most viable means of powering them.
Lithium, the lightweight silver-white alkali metal that stores energy in lithium-ion batteries, has been attracting growing attention from automotive and energy companies over the past several years and the mineral’s meteoric rise to global prominence is seemingly set to continue unabated as a new generation of electric cars begins rolling off the assembly line.
“We believe that the use of electricity as the energy source of choice for vehicles will become dominant over the next 20 to 30 years,” said Dr. Jon Hykawy, who specializes in lithium and alternative energy industries at Byron Capital Markets. “The rationale is simple; GM noted that it takes 25 kWh of electrical energy to move their Volt 100 miles down the highway, while a conventional four cylinder gasoline-powered car might consume 75 kWh of equivalent energy from gasoline to do the same thing. Electrical vehicles are more efficient than internal combustion-based vehicles, and with increasing energy costs, we need to do more with less.”
Dr. Elton Cairns, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley, echoes the call for increased efficiency.“Oil will be used for the foreseeable future as a major source of energy, but we need to rely also on other sources such as wind and solar energy. We can help the energy situation greatly by using it more efficiently in our vehicles and our buildings.”
Electric cars’ efficiency could help wean the American economy from its dependence on foreign oil. “We could certainly see a meaningful fraction of the traffic within urban cores draw its energy from batteries,” maintains Dr. Hykawy. “That would do a great deal to improve the strength of the US dollar, increase US energy security, stimulate the US economy and increase the quality of life in cities by both cleaning the air and reducing noise levels. By relying on batteries for transport instead of oil, the US can curtail its current $300 billion annual habit for foreign oil.”
An additional benefit of using electric and hybrid vehicles could be their lessened environmental impact – while it is true that lithium-ion batteries have a limited lifespan, experts generally agree that proper recycling techniques can help minimize their pollution footprint, resulting in a more environmentally-friendly transportation network and increased efficiency of resource allocation. “Lithium is not consumed, it simply carries the energy between the anode and cathode in a lithium-ion battery,” says lithium energy expert R. Keith Evans. “There is a strong possibility that much of the lithium will be recycled after the battery reaches the end of its first life, thus reducing the demand for virgin lithium.”
“I expect that most lithium batteries will be recycled at minimal environmental impact,” said Dr. Cairns. “There isn’t a technology out there that has no ecological footprint, no matter what anyone wishes to say.” Dr. Hykway agrees that lithium products will have a very minimal affect on waste. “Lithium production impacts the ecology on remote and fragile dry salt lakes in South America. The batteries may have to be recycled, although my belief is that batteries with only half their storage capacity may find a use in the home, storing cheap electricity purchased at night and allow the energy to be used during expensive peak periods, saving the owner money and balancing load for the local utility. Lithium battery disposal may be the least of our worries.”
(Market Watch) – BP’s new chief executive, Robert Dudley, is an industry veteran with wide-ranging qualifications, but it was his American passport as much as his in-depth knowledge of Russia and his green credentials that sealed the deal for the board. BP said Tuesday that, by mutual agreement, Tony Hayward will step down as group chief executive with effect from October 1 and he will be succeeded by fellow executive director Dudley.
(Black America Web) — Grow up on the water, the children of southern Louisiana learn, and you’ll never go hungry. As long as you can toss a line, a net or a trap, you can eat — and eat well. Or you could, until now. Millions of gallons of oil from the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig have fouled some of the world’s richest fishing grounds from Florida to Texas, and even though BP stopped the leak for the first time Thursday, more than a third of the Gulf of Mexico remains closed.