BP grows worse every day

The news keeps piling in: BP just plain doesn't care. They didn't care before the accident, they didn't care after the accident, and they don't even care know after all the press coverage and political pressure. Here are five stories, and the only good one is the one beyond BP's control: Tropical Storm Bonnie pass overhead, grew weaker, and caused no damage and barely any delay.

From today's New York Times, the Deepwater Horizon crew kept their emergency siren turned off. Apparently avoiding false alarms was more important than saving lives.

Mike Williams, the rig’s chief electronics technician, said the general safety alarm was habitually set to “inhibited” to avoid waking up the crew with late-night sirens and emergency lights... Consequently, the alarm did not sound during the emergency, leaving workers to relay information through the loudspeaker system.

While it is not known whether it would have saved the workers who died in the April 20 disaster, the lack of a fully functioning alarm hampered the effort to safely evacuate the rig, Mr. Williams [told federal investigators].

Next, although billions of gallons of oil are still ruining the Gulf and devastating livelihoods, BP appears to be shedding clean-up workers. Now that the oil well is capped, a speedy clean-up of what has already leaked just isn't a priority anymore. From, yes, Fox News:

BP has suddenly stopped awarding contracts for oil skimmers and protective boom to combat the spill in the Gulf, leaving hundreds of contractors out of work, an industry source told Fox News.

DRC Group, which has more than 480 vessels in the Gulf laying boom and skimming crude in shallow waters, let go about 50 percent of its workers this week after BP changed course, the source said. ...

After 85 days of crisis work, BP finally capped its broken well last week, and appears to have changed its calculus in contracting work to manage the effects of the spill, the source said.

But while BP may be shedding clean-up workers, they're adding scientists, targeting them for silence right alongside those infamous reporters and volunteers. BP appears to be offering lucrative contracts to nearly every scientist in the Gulf Coast to join their legal team in exchange for their silence. From the Mobile Press-Register:

BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama university, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company's lawyers. The university declined because of confidentiality restrictions that the company sought on any research.

The Press-Register obtained a copy of a contract offered to scientists by BP. It prohibits the scientists from publishing their research, sharing it with other scientists or speaking about the data that they collect for at least the next three years...

Scientists from Louisiana State University, University of Southern Mississippi and Texas A&M have reportedly accepted, according to academic officials. Scientists who study marine invertebrates, plankton, marsh environments, oceanography, sharks and other topics have been solicited.

And finally, remember that escrow slush fund Obama intimidated poor innocent BP into setting up? Y'know, the account for one specific purpose (damage claims) that the company voluntarily established? Yeah... it's not happening. BP can't be bothered to worry about those damage claims after all. More from the Mobile Press-Register:

Ken Feinberg said he hasn't been able to start writing claims checks because BP PLC has not yet deposited any money into the $20 billion escrow fund it promised to create.

Feinberg, who was appointed to administer oil spill claims out of the fund, said he doesn't have the authority to force BP to deposit the money, but his hands are tied until it does. "I don't want the checks to bounce," he said.

It's been said that the BP oil spill is the 9/11 of the Gulf Coast. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is, then it's an appropriate time to bring back the 9/12 San Fransisco Examiner headline. It applies.

Tags: BP, oil spill, Gulf Coast, Environment, Science, deepwater horizon (all tags)

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