Thursday, June 17, 2010

BP Hearings and News from the Gulf

Today, I watched the BP hearings, the US Senate proceedings where they continued voting on all the segments of HR 4213, and via Twitter followed the hashtag #oilspill and #unemployment. This was all in addition to my regular duties of job searching. You'd think that someone had bolted me to my favorite chair all day.

Since there are many articles to share, I'm going to break up my blog posts tonight. One will feature all the news, articles, and observations from the BP hearings with the Energy and Commerce Committee. In addition to this there will be links to pictures, a few names to follow on Twitter, all related to the Oil Spill but as I call it "The Spew".

Then according to how much I have regarding HR 4213, that could be another blog entry.

Then the next will be the regular format blog post .

BP Hearings

So big, no, HUGE news of the day, BP hearings in front of the Energy and Commerce Committee. I watched this for hours on end via CNN, it was also broadcast on C-SPAN 3 but it's not on my programming.

Apparently, there were a list of questions sent to BP CEO Tony Hayward that would be asked during today's hearings. As the hearing started and questions were being asked one by one to Tony by each member of the committee, he waived his right to have his attorney speak for him. In my opinion, we may have received the same answers from his attorney. His testimony included many "I don't know", and other such answers. When it was Joe Barton's turn to ask questions he actually apologized to Tony and BP for the "smackdown" received during the White House visit yesterday. Here's the article: Congressman Apologizes to BP for White House's '$20 Billion Shakedown' - read the article from Fox News. While we're on the Joe Barton subject, let's continue - Joe Barton Apology-Fest Continues: First BP, now AT&T, Comcast ... [Your Company Here] - Read the article by the Huffington Post. Joe Barton was also recognized by the White House - Statement by the Press Secretary on Congressman - Joe Barton's Apology to BP. Read the official statement here.

Mid morning into the hearings, there was a commotion from within the room. A woman dressed in a bright yellow suit had smeared herself with oil (or at least that is what it looked like). What the raw video of this heckler disrupting the hearings. Seriously, folks, it's my opinion that she had every right to exercise her "Freedom of Speech". In the end, she was removed from the room.

Mr. Burgess had the opportunity to grill Tony Hayward with better questions than had been asked during the morning hours of the hearing. Finally someone had gotten down to brass tacks and asked intelligent questions. Just before the lunch break at the hearing, and after a few more committee members had taken their turns with questions, Mr. Burgess started shouting questions at Tony Hayward. Seriously, after listening to Mr. Hayward stonewall all the questions, Mr. Burgess apparently had had enough. Rep Bart Stupak basically ended up telling Mr. Burgess to shut up and we're going to recess for an hour.

After the lunch break, and well into the afternoon, Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), a member of the hearings committee was interviewed. She explained how this, within a non-specified time, could turn into another "Enron".

As I continued to watch, and listen to the hearings, I learned many things. Tony Hayward, BP CEO, has a PhD from Edinborough in his field. If this is true, and being the CEO, shouldn't he have known the particular problems on this well. Even if he wasn't aware, as he stated too many times, if you are a CEO, whether aware or not, shouldn't you take FULL responsibility for what happens? It seemed to me that he wasn't the least bit interested.

Pictures, Articles and Video

Warning: Some pictures are very graphic. The links will be posted, if you view them, you decide.

From CNN's on location reporter - Ashi Velshi - Remarkable smoke, flames during Gulf oil burns - View the video of the smoke and flames from burning the oil off the surface of the Gulf.

Are you interested in how many birds and other wildlife are affected or die every day? The numbers are horrifying - BP Oil Spill: Daily Dead Wildlife Tally - find those figures here.

As you may have figured, National Geographic has reported on Sperm whales being affected - Oil Spill to Wipe Out Gulf's Sperm Whales? Just three dead whales could push the Gulf
population over the edge, experts say
- in the article it's explained how this devastation could lead to the extinction of Sperm Whales.

There is a group from TEDxOilSpill. They can be followed on Twitter @TEDxOilSpill as well as at their website - please visit their website for articles such as The TEDxOilSpill Expedition Documents Effects of Oil Spill on Communities on The Gulf Coast and others.

I'm guessing here that the next article was written because of the apparent gag order from BP to their hired workers - More Dirty Details From My BP Mole - a pretty interesting blog by Mother Jones.

Where is the oil now? How far has it spread?

Visit the Interactive Social Media Map of Spill here.

Would You Like to Help Out?

Here are some sites with useful information on how you can help in the Gulf. Whether you have a boat, a car or just want to lend a hand - there is something for everyone here.

Support Your Park! Gulf Islands

The National Park Service (NPS) has jobs for volunteers. Currently, there are volunteer opportunities in Visitor Information. These volunteers meet visitors at beach access areas and provide information about the park, the ongoing clean-up, and related public health issues. Want to help visit their website.

Deepwater Horizion Response: Vessels of Opportunity Program

Do you have a boat? Have some time for training? DHR - VOO Program would love to have you with them.

As part of BP's response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) program was designed and implemented to provide local boat operators an opportunity to assist with response activities, including transporting supplies, assisting wildlife rescue and deploying containment and sorbent boom. See what is needed and necessary to be a part of this program.

National Wildlife Federation

Helping Migratory Birds at Home - you can help - here's how.

Powerless to stop the oiling of migratory bird habitat along the Gulf of Mexico, homeowners can provide havens for migrants in their own yards. For the entire article, click here.

Food News from the Gulf

In every other year, this time of the year is known as the Season of Shrimp. Good article from a bloggers perspective on shrimp in the Gulf.

*Editors Note* - I wrote to Plaquemines Parish President, Billy Nungesser, the other day to ask if I could help out with helping to file claims and to make sure that business owners etc were paid on these claims. I haven't heard anything from him but do know that an agency has stepped in to aid business owners with claims and recovery.

The regularly scheduled blog post will be next .... stay tuned.

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