Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Timeline of Gulf of Mexico oil spill

The potential magnitude of this environmental disaster is staggering.    This timeline is a work-in-progress.  All events are color-coded according to whether an item relates to industry, government, media, etc., as per this legend:
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KEY TO COLOR-CODED TIME LINE
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Accidents and disasters
Media and analysis
Corporation 
Corporate lobbying, public relations  
Government 
Whistle-blower
Environment
Technical or engineering 
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Hint:  You won't find the timeline overwhelming if 
you read one color at a time.

Jotman's Timeline of Gulf of Mexico oil spill

1969
Santa Barbara oil spill occurred in 1969 in the Santa Barbara Channel. The source was a January 28, 1969 blow-out on Union Oil's Platform A, six miles offshore, in the Dos Cuadras Offshore Oil Field. Over a 10-day period, an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil spilled spilled into the channel and onto the beaches of Santa Barbara County.

1970
Chevron Main Pass Block 41 Oil Platform spill.  
- 65,000 barrels of crude oil released 11 miles east of the Mississippi Delta.

1979
The 2 mile deep exploratory well, IXTOC I, blows out in the Bahia de Campeche, 600 miles south of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. The IXTOC I was being drilled by the SEDCO 135, a semi-submersible platform on lease to Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX). A loss of drilling mud circulation caused the blowout to occur. The burning platform collapsed into the wellhead area hindering any immediate attempts to control the blowout. The IXTOC I well continued to spill oil at a rate of 10,000 - 30,000 barrels per day until it was finally capped on March 23, 1980.(oil drum)

1980
Alexander Kielland disaster.     Norwegian semi-submersible drilling rig capsized whilst working in the Ekofisk oil field killing 123 people.

1982
Ocean Ranger Disaster. A semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit sank in Canadian waters on 15 February 1982  killing everyone onboard.

1985
Brown and Root recommended that an oil tanker be retrofitted to collect huge volumes of oil and seawater funneled from a blown well and to pump the liquid into separating tanks as part of an oil spill contingency plan. Estimated cost: $59 million. (Bloom)

1988
Piper Alpha disaster A North Sea oil production platform operated by Occidental Petroleum (Caledonia) Ltd. exploded. Resulting fire destroyed it on killing 167 men.

1989
1989 MAR. - Exxon Valdez oil spill occurs in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The vessel spilled 10.8 million U.S. gallons (about 40 million litres, or 250,000 barrels) of Prudhoe Bay crude oil into the sea, and the oil eventually covered 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of coastline and 11,000 square miles (28,000 km2) of ocean.
-Exxon protested the original $5 billion settlement to victims of the Valdez spill awarded by a jury.  The U.S. Supreme Court  "decided in a split ruling that Exxon only needed to pay $507.5 million, a small fraction of the original settlement.  And by the time the payout came 20 years later,  more than a quarter of the plaintiffs were dead."  (Mudflats)

1990
AUG.  George HW Bush signs Oil Pollution Act of 1990.  The law states that companies must have a "plan to prevent spills that may occur" and have a "detailed containment and cleanup plan" for oil spills.  According to a summary of the law at EPA, " holders of leases or permits for offshore facilities, except deepwater ports, are liable for up to $75 million per spill, plus removal costs....  Offshore facilities are required to maintain evidence of financial responsibility of $150 million...  States may impose additional liability...  Fine for failing to notify the Feds of a discharge is  $500,000 for an organization....   Civil penalties are authorized at $25,000 for each day of violation...  

1991  
BP was cited as "the most polluting company in the US" based on EPA toxic release data. 

1993
-Sonat Offshore Drilling Inc. spun-off Alabama-based Sonat Inc. (Wikinvest)
- Norway mandates "acoustic triggers" on its offshore oil rigs.  (In 2010 U.S. regulators don't mandate use of the remote-control device on offshore rigs, and the Deepwater Horizon, hired by oil giant BP PLC, didn't have one. With the remote control, a crew can attempt to trigger an underwater valve that shuts down the well even if the oil rig itself is damaged or evacuated.)  (WSJ)
- An acoustic trigger costs about $500,000. 
- In a 2010 WSJ report, "Inger Anda, a spokeswoman for Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority, said the switches have a good track record in the North Sea. "It's been seen as the most successful and effective option," she said."

1994
- Major revision to the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, "the federal government's blueprint for responding to both oil spills and hazardous substance releases."  According to the EPA summary, "Provides funding for responses to oil releases under the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, provided certain criteria are met. The responsible party is liable for federal removal costs and damages as detailed in section 1002 of the Oil Pollution Act (OPA)."
 
1996
- Sonat Offshore acquires Norwegian group Transocean ASA and adopts its name (Wikinvest)

1997
- Sedco Forex (now Transocean) invests $1 billion in new offshore drilling equipment over the next two years; Transocean invests $1.4 billion in new offshore drilling equipment over the next two years.
- BP/Amoco withdraws from the Global Climate Coalition, an industry organisation established to promote global warming skepticism.

1998
- British Petroleum merged with Amoco (formerly Standard Oil of Indiana), becoming BPAmoco.
1999  
- Schlumberger spins off Sedco Forex, which is merged with Transocean Offshore Inc.
- Constructions begins on Deepwater Horizon by Hyundai Heavy Industries in Ulsan, South Korea.
- Transocean Offshore Inc. changes its name to Transocean Sedco Forex.

2000 
- Constructions begins on Deepwater Natuilus (Horizon's sister rig).
-  PBP and adopts slogan "Beyond Petroleum."
- BP paid a $10 million fine to the EPA for its management of its US refineries. BP charged with burning polluted gases at its Ohio refinery and fined $1.7 million.
- U.S. regulators consider mandating the use of remote-control acoustic switches or other back-up equipment.

2001
- "report from the International Association of Drilling Contractors said "significant doubts remain in regard to the ability of [acoustic shut off device] to provide a reliable emergency back-up control system during an actual well flowing incident." (WSJ)

JAN. VP Dick Cheney begins holding secret meetings with oil company executives. 

- Gale Ann Norton begins term as 48th United States Secretary of the Interior, the department overseeing the MMS, responsible for oil industry regulation.  She would serve from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush.  Norton had been associated with a number of groups in the "wise use" or "free-market environmentalist" movement, such as the Property and Environmental Research Center.

FEB. -- Deepwater Horizon, an ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible drilling rig delivered.  The Horizon is a so-called "5th Generation Deepwater"; a Reading Bates Falcon RBS8D design semi-submersible drilling unit capable of operating in harsh environments and water depths up to 8,000 ft. using 18¾in 15,000 psi BOP and 21in OD marine riser.   Flag is Marshall Islands. (Transocean)

2002
AUG. Ocean King Rig fire.   Concerning incident, ive years later, MMS would fine BP $41,000 for not properly training employees in well control management. [J comment: what's $41,000 to BP?] (TruthOut, T2)
- The MMS would cite BP for what it called "no formal procedures" and "no written guidelines" to follow in case of an emergency in relation to Ocean  King Rig fire.

2003
- 2003, U.S. regulators decided remote-controlled safeguards needed more study. A report commissioned by the Minerals Management Service said "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly." (WSJ) The agency, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service, says it decided the remote device wasn't needed because rigs had other back-up plans to cut off a well." (WSJ)   "Drilling companies questioned its cost and effectiveness, according to the agency overseeing offshore drilling.  (WSJ) Galston: "So here’s my question: what is responsible for Minerals Management Service's (the division of the Interior Department responsible for offshore drilling) change of heart between 2000 and 2003 on the crucial issue of requiring a remote control switch for offshore rigs? What we do know is that unfettered oil drilling was to Dick Cheney’s domestic concerns what the invasion of Iraq was to his foreign policy—a core objective, implacably pursued regardless of the risks." (NR)

- MMS fined BP $70,000, this time due to inadequate water pressure on the fire protection system on one rig. BP racked up a separate $80,000 fine that year as well  for "bypassed relays for the pressure safety... for four producing wells." (Truthout)
- MMS fined BP because a drilling rig operator "failed to conduct crane dismantling and removal operations in a safe and workmanlike manner, resulting in the crane falling into the Gulf of Mexico. (Truthout)
- MMS fined BP  $20,000 by MMS the same year because a "surface-controlled subsurface safety valve...was blocked out of service."  (Truthout) [J:  Such small fines would be meaningless to BP]

OCT. 22 - BP acquires Tiber oilfield.  BP acquires OCS lease of Keathley Canyon block 102 reference G25782, NOAA station 42872 in Phase 2 of the Western Gulf of Mexico (WGOM/GOM) Sale 187.   (WGOM stats)

2004
- Deepwater Horizon sets world water-depth record for a semisubmersible rig. 9,576 feet of water
- BP was fined $25,000 in 2004 for bypassing a gas detection system while drilling. Diamond Offshore was the contractor. BP still uses Diamond Offshore as a contractor. (Ordons)

2004
SEP. - Deepwater Nautilus (sister rig of Horizon) was torn from its Shell offshore location by Hurricane Ivan.  The rig was later found slightly damaged some seventy miles from its original drilling location. (rigzone)

2005 
-Deadly blast at BP Texas City refinery killed 15 people and injured more than 170 others. Future BP CEO of BP Anthony Hayward criticizes executives regarding blast. (BBC)
-Deepwater Nautilus (sister rig of Horizon) sets world record for deepest offshore oil and gas well. 32,613 feet True Vertical Depth. (rigzone)

AUG. - Deepwater Nautilus (sister rig of Horizon) sent by Hurricane Katrina on an  unplanned and unmanned eighty mile voyage leaving rig mooring lines, anchors and 3,200 feet of marine riser pipe on the ocean floor. (rigzone) 

SEP. - Deepwater Nautilus (sister rig of Horizon) breaks free while attempting to run from Hurricane Rita. (rigzone)

2006 
MAR. - More than 200,000 gallons of oil spilled from a BP pipeline in Alaska in March 2006, the largest-ever spill on Alaska's oil-rich North Slope. 
 - BP paid about $20 million in fines, including $4 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for Arctic environmental research.
- Critics point to BP's successful "greenwashing" of its image; very little press coverage of this disaster.

2007
-  Brazilian government begins urging use of remote-control equipment to shut off oil leaks. (US government makes no such demands on industry).
- BP paid the Podesta Group, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbying firm, $160,000 in the first half of 2007 to manage its congressional and government relations.   
- A 2007 MMS study found that although blowouts with offshore drilling operations were becoming less frequent, less deadly and less polluting, cementing-associated troubles persistedCementing problems were associated with 18 of 39 blowouts between 1992 and 2006, and 18 of 70 from 1971 to 1991. (chronicle)
- "MMS assessed the environmental impact of drilling in the central and western Gulf of Mexico on three occasions in 2007 -- including a specific evaluation of BP's Lease 206 at Deepwater Horizon -- in each case it played down the prospect of a major blowout.  In one assessment, the agency estimated that "a large oil spill" from a platform would not exceed a total of 1,500 barrels and that a "deepwater spill," occurring "offshore of the inner Continental shelf," would not reach the coast. In another assessment, it defined the most likely large spill as totaling 4,600 barrels and forecast that it would largely dissipate within 10 days and would be unlikely to make landfall." (WaPo)

APR. - Daily oil production in Gulf of Mexico estimated at 1.3 million barrels of oil per day and 7.7 billion cubic feet of gas per day. 
APR. -   Oil-Spill Risk Analysis: ontingency Planning Statistics for Gulf of Mexico OCS Activities (Pdf) by MMS scientist Walter R. Johnson et al.  Projecting from the history of small spills over the past several decades, in the Walker Ridge Planning Area the study predicted five spills of 10,000 barrels or more per 100 billion barrels of oil produced.  By design, the department’s Oil- Spill Risk Analysis model focuses on the likely frequency of spills rather than how big one mightget. (Bloomberg)  "The routine spills that the MMS used to calibrate its prediction model “have no bearing on dealing with major spills, predicting their frequency, or getting ready for them,” said Zvi Ziegler, a mathematician at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel." 


MAY 01 - Dr Anthony Hayward becomes CEO of BP Group.  Hayward served on board of Citibank from 2000-2003.
 
JUL. - Anger in Chicago over BP having been granted a permit to pollute Lake Michigan with chemical sludge (Tribune)

JUL. 19 - BP announced that it would close the last 12 out of 57 oil wells in Alaska, mostly in Prudhoe Bay, that had been leaking.  

JUL. 23 - Transocean announced a merger with GlobalSantaFe Corporation.  


AUG. 27 - A record number of drilling rigs are currently working in ultra-deepwater in the Gulf of Mexico. "For the first time, 15 rigs are drilling for oil and gas in 5,000 feet of water or greater in the Gulf," (rigzone)

OCT.  Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation officials reported a toxic spill of 2,000 gallons of methanol, which is toxic to plants and animals, into frozen tundra pond, at the Prudhoe Bay oil field managed by BP. 


LATE 2007 - BP decided "to invest in the world's dirtiest oil production in Canada's tar sands," reported The Guardian

2008
To view a list of all of BP's donations in the 2008 election cycle see here.

APR.    MMS issues "rule relief.'  Blowout rule lited for rigs that didn't fit at least one of five conditions, and this would lead to confusion about whether the BP Deepwater Horizon project at Macondo was covered by the regulation. (AP)

JUN. - BP filed a Plan of Oil Exploration (POE) to drill its Tiber prospect during the second half of 2008.
BP's exploration plan, which allowed it to avoid filing a more detailed site-specific plan, the company outlined a worst-case scenario of 162,000 gallons a day.   
On the campaign trail for the Democratic Primary, Obama explains his opposition to offshore drilling (video)
- Interior Department's Minerals and Management Service did not require BP to file a "scenario for potential blowout," referring to the sudden release of oil from a well. (HufPost)

JUN. 25 Justice David Souter issued the judgment of the US Supreme Court on the Exxon Valdez case, vacating the $2.5 billion award; the court decided that it was excessive with respect to maritime common law.  (Essentially, the Alaskans were to be hardly compensated, if at all, for any loss of livelihood as a result of the spill)

SEP. 3. At the RNC "Steele Gives GOP Delegates New Cheer: ‘Drill, Baby, Drill!’  Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani took up the cry. “Drill, baby, drill,” he said, testing the line and then repeating it more forcefully. “Drill, baby, drill!” the crowd roared back.  (WSJ)

OCT. The PB Atlantis rig (photo), world's largest and deepest submersible oil and natural gas platform --  can produce 8.4 million gallons of oil a day -- located in Gulf of Mexico, begins production.  Whistleblower will raise serious safety issues concerning its construction. 
- MMS slapped BP with $41,000 in fines relating to Ocean King near-blowout five years previous.


SEP. Scandalous accusations against Minerals Management Service (MMS), which regulates the oil industry, and collects about $10 billion in oil and gas royalties annually detailed in NY Times article "The scandal involved sex, drugs and (quite literally) sleeping with the very industry it was regulating." (probublica)
- "The report found that 19 officials -- about one-third of the program's staff -- accepted gratuities from oil companies, which was prohibited because they conducted official business with the industry."

NOV. Whistleblower, whose name has been withheld at the person's request because the whistleblower still works in the oil industry and fears retaliation, first raised concerns about safety issues related to BP Atlantis. (Truthout)

DEC.  - Shareholders voted to move Transocean's incorporation from the Caymans to Zug, Switzerland.

SEP. -  Planned date for BP to start drilling on Tiber oilfield.

2009 
- BP suggested in a 2009 exploration plan and environmental impact analysis for the well that an accident leading to a giant crude oil spill — and serious damage to beaches, fish and mammals — was unlikely, or virtually impossible.(CNBC)

JAN. 20.  - Inauguration of President Obama.  Obama received a total of $77,051 from the oil giant during his time in the Senate and while running for president. The new president "is the top recipient of BP PAC and individual money over the past 20 years, according to financial disclosure records." (Politico)
- President Obama appoints Ken Salazar (photo) Secretary of the Interior, overseeing MMS, the federal government oil industry regulator.  Previously, Salazar supported the nomination of Gale Norton to Secretary of the Interior, President George W. Bush's controversial first appointee who preceded Salazar as Colorado Attorney General. Soon after arriving in the Senate, Salazar generated controversy within his party by introducing Attorney General nominee  Alberto Gonzales and sitting by his side during Gonzales' confirmation hearings. In August 2006, Ken Salazar supported  Joe Lieberman in his primary race. In 2006, Salazar voted to end protections that limit offshore oil drilling in Florida's Gulf Coast.  In 2007, Salazar was one of only a handful of Democrats to vote against a bill that would require the United States Army Corps of Engineers to consider global warming when planning water projects.(Wikipedia)

FEB. - Site-specific exploration plan for Macondo oilfield filed by BP. Plan stated that it was "not required" to file "a scenario for a potential blowout."  Why not? Because it triggered none of the conditions cited in the MMS's April 2008 notice to operators about a loosening of the rules.  (AP)
MAR. Exploratory drilling by Transocean's Deepwater Horizon on BP's Tiber oilfield commenced. (Subsealq
- Whitleblower brought issue of safety breach by BP in Gulf of Mexico to attention of  MMS (Minerals Management Service).   "The whistleblower, who was hired to oversee the company's databases that housed documents related to its Atlantis project, discovered that the drilling platform had been operating without a majority of the engineer-approved documents it needed to run safely." (TruthOut)  No action was taken by the government agency.  When no action was forthcoming, the whistle-blower contacted members of Congress [see below].(Grijalva)
MAR. 10 - BP's exploration plan for Lease 206, which calls the prospect of an oil spill "unlikely," stated that "no mitigation measures other than those required by regulation and BP policy will be employed to avoid, diminish or eliminate potential impacts on environmental resources."  While the plan included a 13-page environmental impact analysis, it minimized the prospect of any serious damage associated with a spill, saying there would be only "sub-lethal" effects on fish and marine mammals. (WaPo)

APR. 6.  Minerals Management Service (MMS) to give BP's lease at Deepwater Horizon a "categorical exclusion" from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). (WaPo)

MAY -  "Mike Sawyer of Apex Safety Consultants, voluntarily agreed to evaluate BP's Atlantis subsea document database and the whistleblower's allegations.  Concluded 85% of P and IDs "did not receive engineer approval."  Also " 95 percent of Atlantis' subsea welding records did not receive final approval, calling into question the integrity of thousands of crucial welds on subsea components."  (TruthOut) Sawyer would write in a report: "BP's "widespread pattern of unapproved design, testing and inspection documentation on the Atlantis subsea project creates a risk of a catastrophic incident threatening the [Gulf of Mexico] deep-water environment and the safety of platform workers." Moreover, "the extent of documentation discrepancies creates a substantial risk that a catastrophic event could occur at any time."
- BP received MMS SAFE Awards for Excellence at its Holstein, Mad Dog and Atlantis facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. (BP)
JUN. 12 - In a Memorandum to Executive Departments and Agencies, President Obama sets forth a comprehensive planning approach (that would be odds with his ad hoc oil and gas drilling pronouncement of March 31 2010):   “To succeed in protecting the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, the United States needs to act within a unifying framework under a clear national policy, including a comprehensive, ecosystem-based framework for the longterm conservation and use of our resources.” (See also Sept 21, 2009 and April 1, 2010)
JUN. 17 - Minerals Management Service (MMS) proposed rules to require oil and gas operators to develop and implement "safety and environmental management systems" for offshore drilling. BP will lobby against this proposal in September.

JUL. 15. - S. Elizabeth (Liz) Birnbaum assumed duties as Director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) on July 15, 2009 (Wikipedia)

AUG. 15 - email sent to BP officials Bill Naseman and William Broman by Barry Duff, a member of BP's Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Atlantis Subsea Team, the Piping and Instrument Diagrams (P&IDs) for the Atlantis subsea components "are not complete" and "there are hundreds if not thousands of subsea documents that have never been finalized, yet the facilities have been" up and running." (TruthOut)  "This could lead to catastrophic Operator errors due to their assuming the drawing is correct..." 
AUG. 21 - Montara spill begins with a blowout of high-pressure oil similar to the one in the gulf. With the well spewing 17,000 to 85,000 gallons per day, precious weeks passed before the relief wells were started.

SEP. - Biggest US oil discovery in 3 years. (Bloomberg).  Transocean's Deepwater Horizon semisubmersible drilled the Tiber well in 4,132 ft of water to 35,055 ft TD, which was the deepest well ever drilled to date. "BP said the Tiber discovery likely contains more than 3 Bbbl of oil. Though exciting, it could take BP up to seven years to bring the well online, and additional appraisal wells are likely. Tiber is operated by BP with a 62% percent working interest with co-owners Petrobras 20% and ConocoPhillips 18%." (rigzone) (subseaiq Tiber is only the 18th Lower Tertiary well to date, and drilling in these formations is "in its infancy";  "Lower Tertiary rock formations are some of the oldest and most technically challenging offshore rock formations currently drilled for oil." (Subsealq)  The oil from Tiber is light. (DJ
- "During two visits to the Atlantis drilling platform last August and September, MMS inspectors reviewed BP's blowout preventer records. Food and Water Watch said they believe MMS inspectors reviewed the test records and failed to look into the whistleblower's charges that engineering documents were missing. The blowout preventer, however, is an issue at the center of the Deepwater Horizon spill." (Truthout)
SEP. 2. - Announcement of discovery; BP shares rose 3.7% on the news, pushing BP's market cap over $100 billion US.  With the find, "BP (expects to) boost output from the Gulf of Mexico by 50 percent to 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day after 2020." (bloomberg)
SEP. 3. - Bloomberg analysis of BP Tiber find: "Recovery rates from Tiber are likely to be low, if the example of BP’s earlier Kaskida discovery in the same region is anything to go by, said Richard Griffith, an analyst at Evolution Securities Ltd. in London. Rates of between 5 percent and 15 percent were talked about in connection with Kaskida, he said.  BP is operator of the Tiber project with a 62 percent stake, while Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, holds 20 percent and ConocoPhillips 18 percent.  “As a result, BP’s 62 percent net entitlement could be up to 500 million barrels,” said Griffiths. “Nice, but no game changer.”  
SEP. 14Richard Morrison, BP's vice president for Gulf of Mexico production, wrote to MMS (Minerals Management Services, US Department of the Interior) that while BP "is supportive of companies having a system in place to reduce risk, accidents, injuries and spills, we are not supportive of the extensive, prescriptive regulations as proposed in this rule."   He added: "We believe the industry's current safety and environmental statistics demonstrate that the voluntary programs..have been and continue to be very successful."   He challenged the need for companies to file regular audits of their safety programs with the agency, saying that would be "an administrative burden." (WSJPolitiFact has analyzed the recommendations in this letter, cocluding "Overall, the ideas in BP's letter point toward limiting the impact of new rules and making them apply to more narrow circumstances."  Their analysis of the  recommendations suggests that:
  • BP doesn't think it should have to develop procedures for third-party companies.
  • BP wanted to make it so that employees would not have to have access to all safety procedures, but only to documentation that specifically apply to their jobs.
  • BP objected to language that required equipment to meet manufacturer's recommendations or specifications.
  • BP said that safety audits should occur based on "performance and risk rather than a prescribed schedule."
SEP. 21. - NOAA submission signed by NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco to Obama Administration "urged that plans for an ambitious lease schedule for oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf be dramatically scaled back. Besides environmental concerns, NOAA advocated in vain for a coordinated ocean strategy." NOAA recommended that “…lease areas should not be further considered…until the CEQ-led Ocean Policy Task Force has released its recommendations and directives,” (PEER)
 SEP. 29: "BP signed a three-year contract extension for the Deepwater Horizon in late-September 2009 at a dayrate in the high-$490s for work in the U.S. GOM." Estimated contracted revenues related to the three-year contract extension are approximately $544 million. (rigzone)

Early OCT.  - Food & Water Watch files of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for expedited processing, seeking documents from MMS that indicate BP "has in its possession a complete and accurate set of 'as built' drawings ... for its entire Atlantis Project, including the subsea sector." (TruthOut)
OCT. 6 - first of six relief wells to stem flow of oil from the West Atlas rig in East Timor Sea. Other attempts will be made on Oct. 13, 17 and 24.
OCT. 12 - "The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration urges that an ambitious lease schedule for oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf be dramatically cut back, according to official comments posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.... In its comments, NOAA laid out positions not heard during the Bush years, including" (PEER)
OCT. 30 - MMS replies: "MMS does not agree with your assessment of the potential for imminent danger to individuals or the environment, for which you premise your argument [for expedited response]. MMS wrote that "although some of its regulatory requirements governing offshore oil and gas operations do require "as built" drawings, they need not be complete or accurate and, furthermore, are irrelevant to a hazard analysis BP was required to complete." (TruthOut)

NOV. 3: West Atlas, a burning and leaking oil rig in East Timor Sea owned by Bangkok-based PTTEP Australasia repaired 10 weeks after the original explosion.
- "The culprit: a problem during cementing, which is supposed to keep gases and oil from shooting skyward and exploding into fire.  That accident and the blast on the Deepwater Horizon had at least one circumstance in common.  Both happened in a transition period when the offshore oil wells were being capped off and the gaps around drilling casings were being cemented shut to prevent pressurized gases and oil from escaping.  Much more is known about the Timor Sea incident; a commission appointed by the Australian government has turned up solid evidence it was caused by a mistake during careless cementing operations. (chronicle)
- "Halliburton, a major oil services company based in Houston, was involved in the concrete work as a contractor in both the Montara and Gulf of Mexico spills." (NY Times)
NOV. 18. "Deepwater Cementing Consideration to prevent hydrates destabilization," a presentation by Haliburton scientists at the AADA Chapter Meeting, Huston, on the risks of destabilized deepwater cement. Paper notes that "Destabilization of hydrates during cementing and production in deepwater environments is a challenge to the safety and economics."
NOV. 19.  November 19, 2009, BP America’s vice president of Gulf of Mexico exploration, David Rainey, opposed the proposed MMS rules and defended the existing regulatory system. (thinkprogress)  

2010
JAN.  MMS Draft Proposed Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2010-2015: Obama Administration's offshore oil drilling plans.  (See PEER criticism of 1 April that NOAA concerns not addresssed).
- BP attorney Westall notes in a letter that "All eight BP-operated Gulf of Mexico production facilities" received safety awards from MMS in 2009  "Maintenance and general housekeeping were rated outstanding and personnel were most cooperative in assisting in the inspection activities," MMS said about BP's Gulf of Mexico drilling facilities. "Platform records were readily available for review and maintained to reflect current conditions.
JAN 15. In a letter to the House subcommittee on energy and minerals, BP did not dispute the authenticity of Duff’s (Aug 15, 2009) e-mail but denied that it had mismanaged records or jeopardized the project. (Bloom)

FEB. Transocean CEO Robert Long retires.
FEB. 24Food & Water Watch contacted Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona), a member of the Committee on Natural Resources and chairman of the subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. in a Feb. 24 letter, Grijalva and 18 other House Democrats say MMS (Minerals Management Service), which regulates offshore drilling practices, has not done enough so far to ensure worker and environmental safety at the BP Atlantis offshore oil platform, in part because it has interpreted the relevant laws too loosely.(Grijalva)

MAR. 02 - As a result of evidence supplied by a whistle-blower, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva and other lawmakers asked Minerals Management Service (MMS) to thoroughly investigate operation of BP Atlantis offshore oil platform – the largest in the world – without professionally approved safety documents, and to report its findings to Congress. Grijalva ... said the issue requires “a thorough review at the agency level, the legal level and the corporate level. The world’s largest oil rig cannot continue to operate without safety documentation. The situation is unacceptable and deserves immediate scrutiny.”   Grijalva said a long record of previous oil spills highlights the need for continued environmental safeguards, however sophisticated drilling technology becomes.... “I look forward to working with MMS promptly to resolve any doubts about Atlantis, because we cannot afford another billion-gallon spill on our watch.(Grijalva)
MAR. 29 - Obama vows to end a longstanding moratorium on exploration from the northern tip of Delaware to the central coast of Florida, covering 167 million acres of ocean. (nyt)
MAR. 26 - At behest of lawmakers, MMS launched a formal investigation into allegations it mishandled accusations of BP Atlantis safety violations, expected to file a report detailing its findings in June.
MAR. 28 Elmer “Bud” Danenberger, who retired from MMS in Jan. 2010 tells Orlando Sentinel that well cementing in need of better standards, even in the U.S.  “Cementing problems are a leading cause of well-control incidents,” he said in his submission to the [Montara Inquiry in Australia] which included several case studies from the Gulf of Mexico.  “Everybody who works in the industry should study the big disasters,” he added: ” Santa Barbara, Bay Marchand, Main Pass 41, Piper Alpha, Alexander Kielland, Montara, Ocean Ranger.” Those are among the world’s worst offshore-rig accidents, accounting for spectacular explosions, hundreds dead, environments wrecked and, subsequently, more stringent standards. “We need to study those things all the time,” Danenberger said. “I don’t know that that’s being done.”
MAR. 31 -  President Obama proposes opening American coastlines to oil and natural gas drilling. (nyt)  President Obama’s proposal to open vast expanses of American coastlines to oil and natural gas drilling drew criticism from both sides in the drilling debate.  (nyt)

APR. 01 - "The Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Strategy announced this week by the Obama administration ignores the recommendations and cautions put forward by its lead ocean resource agency, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)." (See Sept 21, 2009)
APR. 02 - Obama:  "I don’t agree with the notion that we shouldn’t do anything. It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills. They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn’t come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore."(Jotman)
APR. 06 - Twenty-five miners killed in mine operated by Performance Coal Company, a subsidiary of Massey Energy.  
- Mine had a history of serious safety violations--including known methane leaks--and it had received 57 infractions for such violations just last month.(source)
APR. 07 - GAO found that MMS withheld data on offshore drilling in Alaska from regional staff members at the agency involved in environmental analyses. The report also found that MMS lacked sufficient guidelines to properly analyze the risks of drilling in the region.  (NY Times/propublica)
- The audit says MMS withheld information from its own staff making decisions about offshore drilling projects in Alaska.  The Government Accountability Office also says MMS never came up with guidelines for determining whether proposed OCS drilling projects comply with the National Environmental Policy Act. Auditors found that agency officials shared data on proposed oil development on a "need to know" basis...(cleanskies)
APR. 9 - BP America's senior federal affairs director, Margaret D. Laney, wrote in a letter to the White House Council on Environmental Quality -- which provides NEPA guidance for all federal agencies-- that exemptions should be used in situations where environmental damage is likely to be "minimal or non-existent." Essentially, BP wanted the administration to provide categorical exemptions more often. (WaPo)
APR. 15 - BP CEO Tony Hayward gives speech in London, says: "Safety remains our number one priority and I’m pleased to report we can see clear progress. There has been a significant reduction in the frequency of recordable injuries and the number of major incidents related to integrity failures has also fallen...   The drive to increase efficiency and reduce costs remains a key focus for everyone at BP.... Let me give you a little more detail on how we strengthened our portfolio of oil and gas reserves in 2009. Our discoveries included the giant Tiber oil field in the Gulf of Mexico – the deepest well ever drilled in the industry. Indeed it lies further below the Earth’s surface than the summit of Mount Everest does above it." (BP)
APR. 20 Deepwater Horizon was finishing work on an exploration well named Macondo, in an area called Mississippi Canyon Block 252. After weeks of drilling, the rig had pushed a bit down over 18,000 feet, into an oil-bearing zone. The Transocean and BP personnel were installing casing in the well. BP was going to seal things up, and then go off and figure out how to produce the oil -- another step entirely in the oil biz. The Macondo Block 252 reservoir may hold as much as 100 million barrels. That's not as large as other recent oil strikes in the Gulf, but BP management was still pleased. Success is success -- certainly in the risky, deep-water oil environment. The front office of BP Exploration was preparing a press release to announce a "commercial" oil discovery." (Byron W. King)
- An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig, operating in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana, on April 20, 2010, resulted in a fire that sank the rig and caused a massive-scale oil spill. (NPR)
- President Obama is informed of the disaster (White House)
- Byron W. King: "Down at the bottom, at the seafloor, the risers are connected to the blowout preventer by a connector device. The GE-Vetco spec is for a device that accommodates 7 million foot-pounds of bending load capacity. That's about eight fully fueled Boeing 747s. What's the idea? You want a secure connection between the high-pressure wellhead system and the subsea blowout preventer stack. That's where mankind's best steel meets Mother Nature's high pressures." .... "Apparently, the blowout preventer is not controlling the flow of oil. According to Transocean, the blowout preventer on Deepwater Horizon was manufactured by Cameron Intl."... "Transocean drilled the well, but BP designed it."
APR. 21 - In a press release, BP stated that it was "working closely with Transocean and the U.S. Coast Guard, which is leading the emergency response, and had been offering its help - including logistical support."(MM)
APR. 22 - Deepwater Horizon oil rig sinks in 5,000 ft of water. Eleven people were missing after the incident. Seven workers were airlifted to hospital.
APR. 23 -Business Week article suggests projections of Sept. 2009 for BP's Tiber oilfield were incorrect.   [In an early draft of the timeline Jotman incorrectly assumed Horizon was still drilling the Tiber field that had been discovered in Sept '09, but in April Deepwater Horizon was, in fact, drilling the Macondo, in an area called Mississippi Canyon Block 252Macondo "reservoir probably contains less than 100 million barrels and was of commercial interest mainly because of its proximity to existing pipelines, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified because the information wasn’t public." (BW/Bloomberg
- Market Watch reports "BP has a 65% stake in the field while Anadarko Petroleum has 25% and Mitsui & Co. has a 10% stake."
“We are determined to do everything in our power to contain this oil spill and resolve the situation as rapidly, safely and effectively as possible,” BP’s Hayward said in a statement today. “We have assembled and are now deploying world-class facilities, resources and expertise, and can call on more if needed.” (Bloomberg)
- "Coast Guard... told MarketWatch that remote operating vessels... have not spotted any oil coming from the well head."   “We have not had any indication that there’s oil emanating from the drill site,” Coast Guard spokesman (WSJ)
-  It’s probably nobody’s fault, but in the perception of the media, BP is going to be under pressure,” said Christine Tiscareno, an analyst at Standard and Poor’s in London.  (BW/Bloomberg)
- Data downloaded on this day from Senate Office of Public Records shows that BP subsidiaries in the US spent $3,530,000 on lobbying in the most recent year.  Firms receiving the money included Duberstein Group ($100,000) and the Podesta Group ($60,000).  (open secrets)
APR. 24 - The oil slick covering 600 square miles and spreading north, is about 70 miles south of the Mississippi and Alabama coastline.
-  Oil is reported leaking from the undersea well at a rate of about 1,000 barrels per day, or 42,000 gallons. (noa)
APR. 25
- Associated Press article reported, "Stormy weather delayed weekend efforts to mop up leaking oil..."
- "The unified command has approved a plan that utilizes submersible remote operated vehicles in an effort to activate the blowout preventer on the sea floor and to stop the flow of oil.."(mm
- "BP is mobilizing the DD3, a drilling rig that is expected to arrive Monday to prepare for relief well-drilling operations."
APR. 26Response team stated, "Sunday, an aircrew from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sighted five small whales during an over flight in the vicinity of the oil spill, which currently measures 48 miles by 39 miles at its widest points with varying levels of sheening, and is located 30 miles off the coast of Venice, La." The command team further stated, "Following adverse weather that went through the area, response crews are anticipated to resume skimming operations today," including 1,000 personnel, 10 offshore vessels, 7 skimming boats and more than 14,000 gallons of dispersant.
APR. 27 - BP announces profits of $5.6bn (£3.6bn) in the first three months of 2010, up from $2.4bn a year ago. (Guardian)
- SkyTruth, which uses satellite images to monitor environmental problems, published an estimate that the flow rate had to be at least 5,000 barrels a day, and probably several times that.
APR. 28 - The head of BP Group says accident could have been prevented, blames rig owner Transocean (CNN)
- Oil leaking at 5,000 barrels a day, not 1,000 as previously estimated; controlled burn strategy initiated. (MSNBC/noa)
- Press release of MMS, "The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) announced today that the 2010 Annual Industry SAFE Awards Luncheon scheduled for May 3, 2010 at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas has been postponed...."  Awards were to be handed out for offshore drilling safety.  BP was one of 3 "SAFTEY award finalists" in the "high OCS activity" category.  According to Interior, “only the top candidates who show outstanding performance in each of their respective OCS districts will be considered a finalist for the National SAFE Award.”
- The slick nears to 20 miles east of the mouth of the Mississippi River."
- "Government officials said late Wednesday night that oil might be leaking from a well in the Gulf of Mexico at a rate five times that suggested by initial estimates." (NYTimes)
- "The following is not public," reads the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Emergency Response document dated April 28. "Two additional release points were found today in the tangled riser. If the riser pipe deteriorates further, the flow could become unchecked resulting in a release volume an order of magnitude higher than previously thought." It could take 3 months to repair the leak (source)
APR. 29 - Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency.
-  BP official Doug Suttles appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and stated, "At this point, I believe our plan can handle this spill, and that's what we're doing."
- U.S. Interior Department has ordered that all offshore rigs be reviewed for safety.(rigzone)
- Current winds are driving the widening oil spill closer to land, faster than anticipated. (rigzone) 
- Napolitano declared the spill "of national significance," explaining that "we can now draw down assets from across the country, other coastal areas, by way of example; that we will have a centralized communications because the spill is now crossing different regions." 
- Transocean's GSF Developer III has been mobilized for the drilling of a relief well to secure the Macondo exploration well. Drilling operations are expected to commence within 48 hours. (rigzone)  "With the new well, the drillers will inject a specialized heavy fluid into the original well. This fluid will secure and block the flow of oil or gas and allow BP to permanently seal the first well." (Byron W. King)
- As of 8:42pm, “Faint fingers of oily sheen have reached the mouth of Mississippi River…By sunset Thursday, the oil had crept into South Pass of the river and was lapping at the shoreline in long, thin lines.” (DSN)
- Jean-Michel Cousteau releases statement of dismay and asks all ot expect more of their governments, “Write your Congressional and State representatives demanding their support for alternative energy technologies and policies at all levels of government, including subsidies.” (DSN)
- Senator Bill Nelson FL-D drafts legislation to suspend the Obama administration’s plan of offshore exploration and drilling until a full investigation of diaster and the development of new protocols are developed. (DSN)
- To date, 250,000 gallons of oily water collected from the scene. (rigzone) 
- Robert Gates announces mobilization of Louisiana National Guard (MSNBC).
- Right wing radio's Limbaugh: "Environmental whackos" may have blown up oil rig to "head off more oil drilling." (MM)
APR. 30 - David Axelrod said, "No additional drilling has been authorized and none will until we find out what has happened here..."  (rigzone)
- U.S. Navy said it will send more than 12 additional miles of inflatable oil booms to the Gulf (WSJ)
AP: "For days, as an oil spill spread in the Gulf of Mexico, BP assured the government the plume was manageable, not catastrophic. Federal authorities were content to let the company handle the mess while keeping an eye on the operation."
- Based on NOA maps, 5,000 barrels a day leak rate is too low.  "Interior Department officials said it may take 90 days to cap the leaking well. If the 25,000 barrels a day is accurate and it leaks for 90 days, that’s 2.25 million barrels or 94.5 million gallons." (WSJ)
- First bird covered in oil is caught and cared for.(noa)
- Halliburton’s role in the Gulf of Mexico disaster has also come under scrutiny. In a statement the company confirmed that it conducted concrete operations on the rig shortly before the accident. (NYT)
 
MAY 01 - The slick has spread to more than 130 miles long and 70 miles wide.
- The Obama administration names Adm. Thad Allen, the retiring U.S. Coast Guard commandant who directed recovery operations during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to direct Gulf of Mexico oil spill response. (noa)
MAY 02Obama visits scene of disaster.
- "There is a report from a survivor (h/t Fractional Flow ) that says that the well was shut in and they were going through the process of separating the rig from the well, and moving it off. They began by cleaning out the drilling mud from the riser, replacing it with sea water. However, when they re-opened the valves at the top of the well, the pipe in the well had become filled with gas from the well, under considerable pressure, and this “Kicked” the well as the valve opened. Gas, as the pressure gets less as it moves up the pipe, expands much more than oil. And unfortunately in the process of disconnection, the pressure to hold the gas, which comes from the density of the drilling mud in the riser initially, had been removed as part of the disconnection process...."  (The Oil Drum
- "Professor Ian MacDonald, an oceanography specialist at Florida State University, estimated that the oil might already be leaking at a rate of 25,000 barrels a day — five times the official estimate — and that the slick now floating towards American beaches might contain more than 9m US gallons — nearly as much as the 11m spilt in Alaska." (Times)
- Alabama Attorney General said tonight that he has told representatives of BP that they should stop circulating settlement agreements among coastal Alabamians.  The agreements require that people give up the right to sue in exchange for payment of up to $5,000 (alabama live)
- Local fishermen are also distraught about the threat to the state’s £1.8billion seafood industry which supplies the rest of America with a third of its domestically produced seafood. 
-Offshore fishing in spill area of Gulf of Mexico closes (noa)
- Haliburon statement: "Halliburton had completed the cementation of the final production string 20 hours prior to the accident.... Tests to demonstrate the integrity of the casing were completed. At the time of the accident, placement of the final cement casing plug had not occurred.... Depending on the design of the job, oil well cements are expected to set in 18-24 hours. The final cement plug would have been set by running a string of drill pipe into the well "open ended", i.e. nothing would have been attached to the bottom joint of drill pipe. It is at this point that no further information has been released. If the final plug had been set, the remaining completion fluid would have remained in the casing. Then a cast iron bridge plug would have been set several feet blow the casing head flange. At that point the well would have been abandoned. The subsea blowout preventer stack would have been disconnected and the final operation would have been to pull the riser with the subsea stack attached to the bottom of it. This did not happen."
- Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen called the bid to shut down a wellhead spewing at least 210,000 gallons of oil a day from nearly a mile beneath the ocean surface “one of the most complex things we’ve ever done."   He went on to say that, in a worst-case scenario, the well could vent 4.2 million gallons of oil into the Gulf daily [100,000 barrels/day, that's the equivalent of three Exxon Valdez oil spills per week] (CSM)
MAY 03  BP CEO Hayward tells NPR BP "fully responsible for the cleanup and any "legitimate" claims from an undersea pipeline rupture.. We will absolutely be paying for the cleanup operation. When pressed on whether BP was prepared to pay claims to individuals who lose their livelihoods owing to the spill, Hayward said the company has "made it clear that where legitimate claims are made, we will be good for them....  No one understands why it failed."  BP CEO Tony Hayward said that BP was not responsible for the accident. (noa)
- Fox News' Fox & Friends contributor Dana Perino said  of the spill: "I'm not trying to introduce a conspiracy theory, but was this deliberate? You have to wonder...if there was sabotage involved." (MM)
- Oil slick now the size of Delaware (NASA photo)
- More than 400 species of wildlife, including whales and dolphins, face a dire threat from the spill, along with Louisiana's barrier islands and marshlands. In the national refuges most at risk, about 34,000 birds have been counted, including gulls, pelicans, roseate spoonbills, egrets, shore birds, terns and blue herons.(CBS)
- "In a review of Mineral Management Service accident inspection and enforcement records, the Chronicle found that the service's investigators red-flagged potential violations of government safety standards in five out of 20 accident investigations it completed at BP offshore operations since 2005, including rigs and platforms. But only one incident resulted so far in a fine, the records show."
- Jeff Ruch, the head of the public-employee whistleblowing group PEER, told Huffington Post "Minerals Management Service (MMS) have not taken enough steps to reverse the anti-environmental and anti-science policies of the Bush years. "For the most part, the Obama team is still the Bush team," Ruch told HuffPost, noting that beyond a thin layer of political appointees, offices like MMS are run by managers who were "promoted during the Bush years -- In many instances, promoted for basically violating the law. And from what we can tell, their conduct hasn't changed."
MAY 5. Richard Camilli and Andy Bowen, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, who have routinely made well leak flow measurements, speak to BP. They were poised to fly to the gulf to conduct volume measurements.  These  specialists have used a technique that is almost tailor-made for the problem. With undersea gear that resembles the ultrasound machines in medical offices, they measure the flow rate from hot-water vents on the ocean floor. Scientists said that such equipment could be tuned to allow for accurate measurement of oil and gas flowing from the well. (nyt)
MAY 7. Robert MacKenzie, a former cementing engineer who is now a securities analyst for FBR Capital Markets Corp., said he wants to know whether BP ordered a so-called cement bond-log test to evaluate the cementing.   Such a test would have determined whether a remedial cement job was necessary. BP declined to comment.(Bloom )
MAY 8.  Richard Camilli and Andy Bowen contacted and told not to come, at around the time BP decided to lower a large metal container to try to capture the leak. That maneuver failed. They have not been invited again.
MAY 11Lamar McKay, chairman of BP America Inc., is scheduled to answer questions at a morning hearing of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee..  Later in the day, McKay will appear before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  Steven L. Newman, chief executive officer of Transocean Ltd., owner of the drilling rig, and Tim Probert, president of global business lines at Halliburton Co., which was in charge of cementing the well, will also appear at the hearings. (Bloom)
MAY 12. Video of the gushing oil pipe that was released. The government’s estimate would equate to a flow rate of about 146 gallons a minute. (A garden hose flows at about 10 gallons per minute.)
MAY 15.  Scientists are finding enormous oil plumes in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including one as large as 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick in spots. The discovery is fresh evidence that the leak from the broken undersea well could be substantially worse than estimates that the government and BP have given.  (nyt)
 

8 comments:

  1. AnonymousMay 27, 2010

    I am shocked there are no comments. This is the most comprehensive site I have seen. I have linked it to my facebook page. Thank you so much for this!

    Shirley Smith
    Austin, Texas

    ReplyDelete
  2. AnonymousMay 28, 2010

    Excellent research!
    You need to send this piece to The Huffington Post.

    ReplyDelete
  3. AnonymousJune 01, 2010

    Even with this going on people are still getting up and driving their car to work. I really don't wont to be a pessimist but, this is a small accident. Because if it is a big one, there would be more people searching for another ways to get energy other then crude oil. Sun, wind, anything... But no. Paper, glass, food, plastics are still in one an the same garbage bag. Carpool is for poor people. And that tree is blocking my view.

    I don't understand how can anybody point finger on BP or any other agency or business or company when you wont do the right thing within your own home?

    I wish that types of aliens described in the movie The Earth stood still actually exists and that they arrive and kill us all. Before we kill the Earth all together.

    "You said you came to save us. *I came to save the Earth. You came to save the Earth... from us. You came to save the Earth FROM US. *If Earth dies, you die, if you die, Earth survives."

    I separate my garbage, throw it in different garbage cans, and then later one garbage truck arrives and empties all four cans in same department....... ridiculous, and I still separate my garbage. And I am the crazy one.

    mr.sc. (nautical science) Marina - Instructor for Survival at sea and basic safety

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous,

    Good point about how the oil spill should to lead to changes in Americans' habits.

    However, it needs to be recognized that environmental habits are largely dependent on systemic factors: Is there a convenient collection service for my recyclables? Is public transportation a viable option in my community? If I invest in solar and wind for my home, can I sell excess power back to the grid?

    In many parts of the US, the answer to such questions is negative. Too often, good environmental habits do not pay. Too often, green habits are needlessly costly in terms of an individual's time or money.

    You are calling on people to have better habits, but it's futile to expect these to change without fixing the perverse economic incentives that encourage waste and pollution.

    Individuals and especially corporations waste wherever they have an incentive to waste. Such incentives are systemic, and aren't a matter of changing my own behavior. Once the system and its array of anti-green incentives are corrected, better habits will quickly follow.

    Environmental habits depend on economic incentives. These depend on local, state and federal laws.

    Doing the right thing in your own house is not going to make much difference in the absence of the political initiative to realign incentives. If you are serious about protecting the environment, your time would be far better spent organizing politically on behalf of systemic change than organizing your personal recyclables.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is the best information I have found available, and all I can say is shame on BP for lax safety standards, and MMS for looking the other way!! That whole department needs to be restaffed. I live on the gulf coast and will have to deal with this. BP could have used the money they will have to pay out in clean-up and other related expenses to develop a safer supply of energy. Something to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have heard this issue since 2006..So many changes have been happened..And thanks for sharing the information..

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well Written blog .It's nice to find a site you can trust.Visithttp://www.anthonybarnum.com this site was recommended by a friend so I tried it.Oil & Gas Public Relations.

    ReplyDelete

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