New report says shrimp in the Gulf are alright and growing?

Deformed shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 BP oil disaster

Deformed shrimp taken from the Gulf of Mexico since the 2010 BP oil disaster, photo by Keith Ladner

A new scientific report published Wednesday  that looked at the abundance and size of Louisiana white and brown shrimp before and after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, says that the amount of size of shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico and its local estuaries were unaffected. It’s authors noted that “shrimp populations have been predicted not to suffer dramatic effects as result of the spill.”

Seriously?

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Will the oil spills stop before we kill all the wild (and marine) life?

BP's latest oil spill hits Lake Michigan

BP’s latest oil spill hits Lake Michigan

It seems we hear about a new oil spill every week – sometimes more. And the pictures have become hauntingly familiar.

One of the newest spills featured in the news was caused by our environmental nemesis BP, of Deepwater Horizon fame. From one frying pan into the next.

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CBS gets it wrong re: a new BP Gulf oil leak

MistakesEven journalists with the best intentions sometimes make mistakes. And both this writer and CBS are humbly blushing.

According to knowledgeable investigative environmental reporters Ben Raines of Alabama Local News (AL.com) and Mark Schleifstein, Environment reporter for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune,  the CBS report on new oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon site is inaccurate.

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Could Deepwater Horizon be leaking again?

Gulf oil slick Oct. 2010 c

Could this scene from the 2010 Gulf oil spill be beginning again?

As macabre as it may seem, the environmental debacle of BP in the Gulf of Mexico is back in the news, and not in a good way. CBS News reports that BP is engaged on its fifth day of a subsea mission under the supervision of the Coast Guard to look for any new oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

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BP’s debacle laid out in new documentary

BP Gulf oil disasterJust saw a documentary produced by or for the BBC on the disastrous Gulf oil spill of 2010. This hour-long documentary features the five major attempts and failures to avert this enormous environmental disaster and the key players involved in the oil company’s eventual success.

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BP declines to give oil spill figures in latest sustainability report

BP tries to ignore the Gulf oil disaster of 2010 in its latest sustainability report

Is BP trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes yet again?

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Long stretch of oil seen in Gulf of Mexico

Boat travels through oil spotted in West Bay just west of the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River Friday October 22, 2010. photo by Matthew Hinton / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE

Environmentalists have repeatedly said there’s still oil out there and that the government was too quick to re-open fishing areas of the Gulf. Now there’s proof.

Louisiana fishermen have found a miles long string of floating oil that’s heading towards fragile marshes on the Mississippi River delta. According to the Times Picayune “boat captains working the BP clean-up effort said they have been reporting large areas of surface oil off the delta for more than a week but have seen little response from BP or the Coast Guard, which is in charge of the clean-up.”

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Another oil rig explodes in the Gulf of Mexico

The location in the Gulf of Mexico where Mariner Energy's oil rig exploded

 

An oil rig off the coast of Louisiana has exploded just west of BP’s disastrous oil spill and is burning, according to a report from the US Coast Guard.  

The platform, owned by Mariner Energy Inc., is located in shallow water (around 340 feet deep), unlike the Deepwater Horizon rig.  

Coast Guard spokesman Chief Petty Officer John Edwards said all 13 people aboard the Mariner rig were found floating in the water, sticking close together.  

For more on this breaking story, see http://3.ly/7zUc.

Deep water drilling – it's what's behind the scenes that counts

Underwater view of oil gushing after the temporary cap broke at BP's rig

Underwater view of oil gushing after the temporary cap broke at BP's rig

On the heels of the news that the cap that had been placed on BP’s gusher in the Gulf of Mexico had been broken by an underwater robot comes an even more fascinating revelation.

The Louisiana judge that had tossed out the moratorium on new offshore exploration and further deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf has extensive investments in the oil and gas industry.

U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman reported these holdings in financial disclosure reports in 2008.

Turns out the judge owns stock in Tranocean, which owns the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and is the world’s largest offshore drilling company. Along with the $15,000 worth of stock, Judge Feldman also recently owned stock in oil industry corporations including  Halliburton, Prospect Energy, Hercules Offshore, Parker Drilling Co., and ATP Oil & Gas. 

And then there’s the one about a certain percentage of Congress who’s portfolios are chock full of oil industry investments and who, not surprisingly, are in favor of continuing deepwater drilling.

Has anyone heard the phrase “conflict of interest”? Apparently not.

Solar Day – celebrate the opportunities of renewable energy

Solar Day takes place on June 19th at events across the country

Solar Day 2010 events takes place June 19th across the country

After thirty years, the importance of Earth Day is recognized globally. But another environmentally-related celebration is fast on its heels.

June 19th is the second annual celebration of Solar Day, an event honoring solar as an alternative way of providing electricity and light to an estimated more than 1.6 billion people with no direct access to it.

Solar Day will focus on aspects of green living and climate change, with events throughout the U.S. to educate consumers about renewable energy programs, rebates and incentives that are available at city, state and federal levels.

Last year was a sort of virtual event, said Addison Huegel, Executive Director of Solar Day 2010, with one physical event that took place in San Francisco.

RenewablesThis year Huegel anticipates events in 25 to 30 cities. These include one in New Orleans put on by the Louisiana Green Corps, an open house at a solar home in Ft. Bragg, California and booths at farmers markets across the country. A number of fairs will run in conjunction with Solar day, including renewable energy fairs in cities like Sacramento, California, Huntsville, Alabama and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

“We’ve also talked with the United Nations Energy and Sustainability Council,” said Huegel, “to have more of a global outreach.”

This year Cairo, Egypt will also be celebrate Solar Day.

“We have a huge push for renewable energy these days,” said Huegel. “We’ll have an even larger push with this environmental disaster that’s going on,” he said, referring to the increasingly disastrous Deepwater Horizon-BP oil spill.

“It’s sort of a backdrop to highlight all the programs available and incentives for people,” he said.

Solar Day is larger than one day or any single event. It’s founded on a mission that energy independence is a fundamental right of citizen and business sustainability and a way to improve the lives of people without access to electricity.

solar 2Solar Day’s Light the Night and Solar Villages programs are meant to use low-cost solar energy as a tool for change in the developing nations who need electricity for basic functions including:

  • electricity to pump clean water and to process crops
  • enabling telephone and internet communication
  • enabling solar-generated lighting in villages all over the world to let residents learn or read at night
  • to allow residents of those countries to conduct commerce and improve their lives

“Globally, the idea is that (solar) is an energy source that’s portable,” Huegel said. “For countries that don’t have electrical transmission, this is a solution.”

Huegel hopes to have Solar Day be officially recognized as an annual event by the US and other governments.

Solar Day’s website shows where events will be held. People can also enter a National Solar Sweepstakes there to win a $5,000 credit off a residential or commercial solar installation for homeowners in the U.S. Existing government rebates make that worth close to $10,000 off the cost of an installation.

Visit the Solar Day website for more on Solar Day events and updates