For a month now people have been demanding that BP comes clean over the amount of oil being spilt in the Gulf of Mexico. For a month BP has resisted.
For a month now, people have been saying that the dispersants being used on the spill are highly toxic and could be causing more harm than good. For a month BP have said the dispersants were working.
For a month, people have been saying that the spill is out of control.
Well finally, BP’s lies and obfuscations are beginning to unravel.
The oil giant has finally admitted that it has underestimated the oil leaking from Gulf of Mexico well.
But still the oil company is refusing to give an accurate figure, although it is says it is now siphoning about 5,000 barrels a day and, although the flow had “noticeably reduced,” – surprise, surprise – there was still a large plume of oil leaking into the ocean.
And yet another scientist has joined the chorus criticising the company. Steve Wereley, Associate Mechanical Engineering Professor at Purdue University, believes as much as 70,000 barrels could be emerging per day, based on BP’s own video.
“This is not rocket science,” Mr Wereley told a US congressional panel. “All outside estimates are considerably higher than BP’s.”
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said yesterday that the American people would know the full extent of the spill. “We will have a number that’s true and accurate. We need that because we need to go after BP for the natural resource damages, but we also need to make sure that the American people know the complete story about how much oil has spilled. We will have that number.”
Finally the Coast Guard has announced the creation of a federal Flow Rate Technical Group to assess the actual flow rate from the well, incorporating members from the various aUS government departments and others from the science community and academia.
The peer-reviewed team will determine the flow rate from the beginning of the incident to the present.
Salazar also directly contradicted BP on Thursday by saying that the environmental impact of the massive oil spill could be “catastrophic”.
And finally, the EPA has listened to the warnings from scientists and others and ordered BP to use less toxic chemicals to disperse the oil.
The EPA gave BP until midnight last night to identify an alternative to Corexit 9500 and 72 hours to stop applying it to the undersea gusher.
But it is already too late. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals have already been sprayed on the surface and deep down at the well-head.
When questioned by members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday, BP America chairman Lamar McKay admitted he did not know how readily available other dispersants were.
And this is the bloke who is meant to be in charge…
The order from the EPA came as the people questioned the independence of some of the testing labs. The laboratory that US government officials have chosen to process virtually all of the oil samples from the Gulf is part of an oil and gas services company in Texas that counts oil firms, including BP, among its biggest clients.
So finally American politicians are beginning to realise that BP has been spinning them a merry dance over the size of the spill, the effects of its dispersants and long term consequences for the region.
Rep. Ed Markey, who leads a House subcommittee investigating the disaster, told reporters, “I think now we are beginning to understand that we cannot trust BP.”
“BP has lost all credibility” he continued: “Now the decisions will have to be made by others, because it is clear that they have been hiding the actual consequences of this spill.”
A live webcam of BP’s spill is now here.