Flooding death toll in Southeast U.S. floods rises to 24; oil slick moving little

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:11 PM GMT on May 04, 2010

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The death toll from last weekend's record flooding in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi has risen to 24, making it the deadliest non-tropical storm or hurricane flood disaster in the U.S. since the October 1998 Central Texas floods that killed 31 when a cold front stalled over Texas. As flood waters recede today, the toll from last weekend's floods is expected to grow higher. Particularly hard-hit was the Nashville, Tennessee area, where ten fatalities were reported. The city had its heaviest 1-day and 2-day rainfall amounts in its history over the weekend. A remarkable 7.25" of rain fell on the city Sunday, breaking the record for most rain in a single day (6.60", set September 13, 1979.) Nashville's third greatest day of rainfall on record occurred Saturday, when 6.32" fell. Nashville also eclipsed its greatest 6-hour and 12-hour rainfall events on record, with 5.57" and 7.20", respectively, falling on Sunday. And, only two days into the month, the weekend rains made it the rainiest May in Nashville's history.

Rainfall records were smashed all across Tennessee, Kentucky, and northern Mississippi over the weekend, with amounts as high as 17.73" recorded at Camden, TN, and 17.02" at Brownsville, TN. According to Chris Burt, the author of the excellent book Extreme Weather, the 13.30" that fell on Camden in 24 hours just missed eclipsing the state's all-time 24-hour precipitation record, the 13.60" inches that fell on Milan on September 13, 1982. Jackson, Tennessee had its rainiest day in its 63-year weather history on Sunday, 7.93". Bowling Green Kentucky had its heaviest 2-day precipitation event on record, 9.67". Records in Bowling Green go back to 1870.


Figure 1. Satellite-estimated precipitable water at 23 UTC (7 pm EDT) Sunday, May 2, 2010. Precipitable water is a measure of how much rain would be produced if all the water vapor and cloud moisture through the depth of the atmosphere were to fall as rain. Values above 50 mm (about 2 inches) are frequently associated with flooding. Sunday's precipitable water image showed a tropical disturbance crossed Mexico into the Gulf of Mexico, dragging a plume of very moist air northwards over the Southeast U.S. Image credit: University of Wisconsin GOES Satellite Blog.


Figure 2. Flood forecast for the Cumberland River in Nashville, Tennessee. Image credit: NOAA.

The record rains were accompanied by a surge of very warm air that set record high temperature marks at 21 major airports across the Eastern U.S. on Saturday. This is not surprising, since more moisture can evaporate into warmer air, making record-setting rainfall events more likely when record high temperatures are present. Accompanying this warm air was moisture from a tropical disturbance that crossed over Mexico from the tropical East Pacific over the weekend (Figure 1.)

The record rains sent the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville surging to 51.86' this morning, 12' over flood height, and the highest level the river has reached since a flood control project was completed in the early 1960s. The previous post-flood control project record level was 47.6', set on March 15, 1975 (the river hit 56.2' in 1929, before the flood control project was built.) The river has now crested (Figure 2) and is expected to recede below flood stage by Wednesday morning. There are no further rains in the forecast this week for Tennessee. At least four rivers in Tennessee reached their greatest flood heights on record this week. Most remarkable was the Duck River at Centreville, which crested at 47', a full 25 feet above flood stage, and ten feet higher than the previous record crest, achieved in 1948 (to check out the flood heights, use our wundermap for Nashville with the "USGS River" layer turned on.)

Funding issues to take 17 Tennessee streamgages offline
According to the USGS web site, seventeen Tennessee streamflow gages with records going back up to 85 years will stop collecting data on July 1 because of budget cuts. With up to eighteen people in Tennessee dying from flooding this weekend, now hardly seems to be the time to be skimping on monitoring river flow levels by taking 17 of Tennessee's 94 streamflow gages out of service. These gages are critical for proper issuance of flood warnings to people in harm's way. Furthermore, Tennessee and most of the northern 2/3 of the U.S. can expect a much higher incidence of record flooding in coming decades. This will be driven by two factors: increased urban development causing faster run-off, and an increase in very heavy precipitation events due to global warming. Both factors have already contributed to significant increases in flooding events in recent decades over much of the U.S. The USGS web site advertises that users who can contribute funding for the non-Federal share of costs to continue operation of these streamgages should contact Shannon Williams of the USGS Tennessee Water Science Center at 615-837-4755 or swilliam@usgs.gov. Tennessee is not the only state with streamgages at risk of closing down; fully 276 gages in 37 states have been shut down or will be shut down later this year. If you have questions about specific streamgages, click on the state of concern on the USGS web page of threatened stream gages.

Oil spill update
The oil slick from the April 20 explosion and blowout of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon has retreated from the coast, thanks to a slackening of the persistent onshore winds that have affected the northern Gulf of Mexico over the past week. According to the latest NWS marine forecast, winds will be light and variable through Wednesday, resulting in little transport of the oil slick. Winds will then resume a weak onshore flow at 5 - 10 knots, Thursday through Friday, then reverse to blow offshore at 5 - 10 knots over the weekend. The net result of this wind pattern will be little transport of the oil slick. The only areas at risk of landfalling oil over the next five days will be the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana, and the Chandeleur Islands. The latest forecast of Gulf currents from the NOAA HYCOM model (see also this alternative view of the HYCOM ocean current forecast) show weak ocean currents affecting the region during the remainder of the week. These currents will not be strong enough to push any oil southwards into the Loop Current over the next five days, so the Keys and South Florida are safe from oil for now. I'll have a post on the long-range prospects for oil to enter the Loop Current later this week, and a discussion of how a hurricane might affect and be affected by the oil spill.


Figure 3. Forecast location at 6pm CDT Tuesday, May 4, 2010, of the oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon blowout. Image credit: NOAA Office of Response and Restoration. See also the trajectory maps available at State of Louisiana web site.

Jeff Masters

Alice Aycock sculpture (laughingjester)
If you saw my other pics of this sculpture you cam get an idea how high the Cumberland river has risen. when I left it was still getting higher.
Alice Aycock sculpture
Harpeth River Flooding (XMLP)
Harpeth River Flooding
Removing the flood damaged cars and trucks. (laughingjester)
I am a wrecker driver for Martin's wrecker service. We were called to remove the vehicles that got caught in the flooding on interstate I 24 westbound near the Bell Road exit in Nashville Tennessee. Of course this is after the waters had subsided. It was roughly 200, 250 cars and trucks that got caught up in the flood..
Removing the flood damaged cars and trucks.
Nashville Flooding (jadnash)
This is looking east - the Cumberland River is just on the other side of the buildings.
Nashville Flooding
Parking via Mother Nature (jadnash)
This car drove into the swiftly moving water at the Belle Meade Kroger and was thrown up against a parking deck. Luckily someone got a ladder and dropped it down to break the rear window and the driver climbed out safely!
Parking via Mother Nature

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1173. WatchingThisOne
5:48 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
addendum: if that riser really is bent 1500 feet above the seabed, forget about placing a dome there.
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1269
1172. WatchingThisOne
5:12 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting pottery:

One of the things that will be causing some sleepless nights, is the possibility that you could break-off the existing well head, by bumping it with the heavy "dome" that you are trying to place.
Then you would have a free-flowing well.........


I have not seen any current discussion about dropping a container over the BOP. The three leaks appear to be: (i) end of drillpipe (capped now, oil that was coming from there is now likely emerging from the other two leaks, (ii) somewhere in the riser laying on or near the seabed where it feel when the rig broke free and sank, and (iii) at a kink in the riser pipe above the BOP where the riser "folded over."

The current containment effort (dome) centers on the "middle of the riser" leak. I shouldn't be surprised that they get this in place and it functions to some extent. Tricky, but possible, and would be a great PR boost. However ...

I have not seen any serious discussion yet of dropping a dome (anyone heard of one being made at the moment?) over the riser leak where the riser folds over above the BOP. That is likely to be an even trickier task because the BOP is 40 feet tall (and who knows how far above that the riser is bent ... I have seen no mention of this). i.e. the containment dome may have to be VERY VERY large to cap from the bent riser to the seabed. And yes, you don't want to be knocking off the riser or further damaging the BOP trying to get that monster in place.

The other problem with capping that "bent-over" riser section is that further access to that section of riser and the BOP will be blocked, leaving the only permanent fix the relief well, which is a major technical challenge in itself (I've seen it described as trying to thread a needle in the dark using only your feet) ... they need to intersect a 7" well at serious depth (and pressure and temperature) some distance away from the current semi sub on site. There has also been talk about possible leakage around the wellhead itself (don't want to even think about the wellhead coming free). Remediation of any problem here would be blocked by doming the BOP + riser.

Another serious issue with blocking the BOP + riser with a dome is that the sandblasting of the riser pipe at the kink will continue, with expected eventual failure leading to a free-flowing well at up to 60,000 bbl/day. I suppose that if they had managed to block things with a dome and then got a gusher from the riser pipe kink, they could pull the dome and try the other plan, which seems to be the "real" plan ...

... and that is to *cut off* the existing riser (perhaps creating something similar to a free flowing well if the riser is providing most or all the the flow restriction ... no one really knows if the BOP is providing partial flow restriction). And then to drop a new BOP on top of the now cut-off riser. Keeping in mind that oil may now be flowing at up to 60,000 bpd (2.5 million gallons/day) - this is close to 2000 gallons a minute. You can imagine the difficulties associated with placing a new BOP on top of a riser at depth with this kind of flow rate, and with properly securing it ... and with somehow sealing that riser pipe between the BOPs so it can withstand pressures of up to 30,000 psi (by the by, the current BOP is rated at 15,000 psi) ...

... as others have said, this is an UGLY situation. If the media is downplaying it, it is because they have not delved sufficiently into the details, because those details are hard to communicate, and because the possible truth is so scary and unacceptable.

Pray that kinked riser does not succumb to the sandblasting it is receiving - if it does, the capping and doming (if successful) operations on the other two leaks will be for naught.

That is my read on the current situation and what is being done about it. I wish that it were a more positive read. I hope I'm wrong about the state of affairs. I'm not seeing any easy outs for BP or for the Gulf.

WTO
Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1269
1171. NttyGrtty
4:59 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Patrick? WTH? Were you bored? A Kennedy slams the previous repuplican admin and supports the current dem admin? There's something you don't see every day...oh wait...LOL!!
Member Since: February 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 836
1170. errantlythought
4:32 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting TampaSpin:


What a freaking JOKE!...ROFLMAO....somebody needs to go back to beddybye i think.


English grammar is hard, eh?

He said "What damage bush did may never be fixed. Likewise, the damage of this oil spill could be irreparable."

When politics blinds your understanding of language, you're getting pretty sad.
Member Since: August 27, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 191
1169. AussieStorm
4:03 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Understood. I hear you. Although I am guilty of mixing it up politically on here I really don't care for it. Sometimes it's hard to sit there and resist the urge to correct misinformation and/or lies.

if people want to believe the wrong info and lies then when the time comes in there lives they realize what they though and was told was right was actually wrong reality sets in.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
1167. hurricanejunky
3:54 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting AussieStorm:

Yes i understand that the good Dr has mentioned it in his blog, I no its hard for it to stay out. but when people start bickering about it, that's where i draw the line


Understood. I hear you. Although I am guilty of mixing it up politically on here I really don't care for it. Sometimes it's hard to sit there and resist the urge to correct misinformation and/or lies.
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1166. AussieStorm
3:50 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Hey Aussie,
I have tried to keep politics out of it whenever possible but unfortunately it creeps back in. I understand this is a weather blog, however, we are also on topic in discussing the oil spill as Dr. M has it in the topic.
The politics are just an annoying by-product of that topic.

Yes i understand that the good Dr has mentioned it in his blog, I no its hard for it to stay out. but when people start bickering about it, that's where i draw the line
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
1165. aspectre
3:50 PM GMT on May 06, 2010

The Ixtoc I oil spill and Padre Island

Closeup of 20to25centimetre/8to10inch thick tarmat
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
1164. CJ5
3:45 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
Sex, Lies and Oil Spills

Sex, Lies and Oil Spills


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.


President, Waterkeeper Alliance; Professor, Pace University
Posted: May 5, 2010 10:19 AM


A common spin in Blah, Blah, Blah.



Oh, look! It's Bush's fault. LOL

Pathetic and inflammatory. No evidience that an acoustic switch would have done anything. But, hey, it makes for a good story and from a Kennedy no doubt!
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1163. DEKRE
3:44 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting wlarmon:


As others have noted, that image is "not according to scale". This graphic is better:



"Originally, the risers (represented by the blue line in the graphic above) were affixed to the blowout preventer on the seafloor, and extended 5,000 feet straight up to the "moon pool" of the Deepwater Horizon. When the drilling vessel sank, it took the riser piping and bent it around like a pretzel.

"The remnants of the riser system now follow a circuitous underwater route. According to BP, the risers extend from the wellhead up through the water column to about 1,500 feet above the seabed. Then the riser system buckles back down toward the seafloor. (Frankly, I'm astonished that it all held together as well as it has. It's a credit to the manufacturer, which I'll discuss below.)


From http://www.drillingahead.com/forum/topics/transocean-deepwater-horizon-1 (Scroll down about halfway.)


This graphic is actually wrong. The riser is going up vertically from the BOP, not horizontally. It should be noted that this is the only place where 1500 ft is mentioned.
Member Since: April 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 306
1162. hurricanejunky
3:42 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting AussieStorm:
Can we please not bring political issues to a weather blog. I am sure there are political blog out in the big world wide web. If you go there, don't let the door hit ya on the way out.


Hey Aussie,
I have tried to keep politics out of it whenever possible but unfortunately it creeps back in. I understand this is a weather blog, however, we are also on topic in discussing the oil spill as Dr. M has it in the topic.
The politics are just an annoying by-product of that topic.
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1161. TampaSpin
3:41 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Man that iggy list is handy...


YES IT IS!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
1160. DEKRE
3:41 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Considering all the problems with drilling in 1500m depth, it is somewhat scary that Chevron, Shell and Esso want to drill in the Atlantic in 2600m depth!

Link
Member Since: April 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 306
1159. indianrivguy
3:40 PM GMT on May 06, 2010

The riser is piled up on the seafloor like spaghetti.. as it is "stiff", it doesn't all just "lay down flat". Some of it arches up off the seafloor 1500 feet before returning to the floor. I don't understand why this concept is so difficult to grasp.
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2556
1158. AussieStorm
3:38 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Can we please not bring political issues to a weather blog. I am sure there are political blog out in the big world wide web. If you go there, don't let the door hit ya on the way out.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
1157. hurricanejunky
3:38 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting TampaSpin:


What a freaking JOKE!...ROFLMAO....somebody needs to go back to beddybye i think.


Man that iggy list is handy...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1156. wlarmon
3:37 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
All the riser piping is on the sea floor.

There is NO vertical pipe,..period.



As others have noted, that image is "not according to scale". This graphic is better:



"Originally, the risers (represented by the blue line in the graphic above) were affixed to the blowout preventer on the seafloor, and extended 5,000 feet straight up to the "moon pool" of the Deepwater Horizon. When the drilling vessel sank, it took the riser piping and bent it around like a pretzel.

"The remnants of the riser system now follow a circuitous underwater route. According to BP, the risers extend from the wellhead up through the water column to about 1,500 feet above the seabed. Then the riser system buckles back down toward the seafloor. (Frankly, I'm astonished that it all held together as well as it has. It's a credit to the manufacturer, which I'll discuss below.)


From http://www.drillingahead.com/forum/topics/transocean-deepwater-horizon-1 (Scroll down about halfway.)
1155. TampaSpin
3:33 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting hurricanejunky:


What are you smoking this morning? Oh yes, I'm sure Obama has had enough time to fix anything Bush has done. Have you been asleep for the last 10 years? What was done in 8 years under Bush, like this oil spill, may never be fixed. Good Lord dude.


What a freaking JOKE!...ROFLMAO....somebody needs to go back to beddybye i think.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
1154. hurricanejunky
3:30 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


Another "blame it on Bush" accusation! Really?

So lame...the present administration has had time to fix anything "Bush had done."

Instead, their focus has been on a bunch o'BS...and now comes "immigration reform" [AMNESTY], whose only purpose is to secure a new block of "dependency voters."


What are you smoking this morning? Oh yes, I'm sure Obama has had enough time to fix anything Bush has done. Have you been asleep for the last 10 years? What was done in 8 years under Bush, like this oil spill, may never be fixed. Good Lord dude.
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1153. AussieStorm
3:28 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting TampaSpin:
Dang i just realized after i hide one bloggers post i could almost get the blog on one screen.....J/K

Lol, i wouldn't dare to guess who your talking about.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15937
1152. hurricanejunky
3:27 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:


Hey HJ...you think there's like a fillin' station gas pump down there clicking off the gallons?

Best guess, man...that's all they can do.


Watch the video...uh, best guess? They don't even have that. Quit defending those jerks!
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1151. TampaSpin
3:26 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Dang i just realized after i hide one bloggers post i could almost get the blog on one screen.....J/K
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
1150. hurricanejunky
3:26 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting CycloneOz:
Your doom and gloom posts are not going to spoil my upbeat mood today, HJ! :)

That dome is going down. It's on site. Everything is almost in position!

Deep six the sucker and start pumping out the oil!


Living in denial may work for you, but I am a big boy. I can accept what's going on good or bad. Unfortunately the dome solution is makeshift and will only sequester 85% of the oil being spilled. Granted, that's better than nothing but far short of what I would expect for a company that pulls down $30 billion a year. Also, what happens when a hurricane or nasty weather conditions prevail? They have to let that sucker leak 100% back into the Gulf again. Uh, hello!
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1149. Patrap
3:25 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal at Interior Dept.

I'd note the date sport,..LOL



New Report Details Wide-Ranging Ethics Scandal at Interior Dept.
by Paul Kiel, ProPublica - September 10, 2008 3:30 pm EDT




Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney (Chris Greenberg/AP Photo)


There's quite a scandal [2] brewing at the Interior Department. According to a series of reports sent to Congress today by the department's inspector general, Interior employees rigged oil contracts, took money as oil consultants, had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives, and engaged in other misconduct.

The accusations -- centered on the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in oil and gas royalties annually -- are detailed at length in an article just out [3] from the New York Times.

Since the reports don't seem to be publicly available, we thought we'd post them.

Some of these files are quite large, so beware.

In a cover letter [4] (PDF), Inspector General Earl Devaney details the "culture of ethical failure" in the department.

In the first report [5] (PDF), investigators focus on Gregory Smith, the former program director of the royalty-in-kind program. As the Times reports, "The report accuses Mr. Smith of improperly accepting gifts from the oil and gas industry, of engaging in sex with two subordinates, and of using cocaine that he purchased from his secretary or her boyfriend several times a year between 2002 and 2005."

The second report [6] (PDF) look at the Interior officials who marketed taxpayers' oil. From the Times: "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."

And the third report [7] (PDF) focuses on Lucy Denett, the former associate director of minerals revenue management, who allegedly manipulated the contracting process to steer a contract to her friend Jimmy Mayberry. Mayberry pleaded guilty [8] to conflict of interest charges earlier this year.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128616
1148. Beachfoxx
3:25 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
LOL
Quoting help4u:
After this is over the storyline will be "whitewater rafting,blackwater surfing and oil spills with campaign cash" !
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29384
1147. alexhurricane1991
3:24 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
New Blog!
Member Since: April 8, 2010 Posts: 15 Comments: 2572
1146. help4u
3:24 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
After this is over the storyline will be "whitewater rafting,blackwater surfing and oil spills with campaign cash" !
Member Since: September 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
1145. Beachfoxx
3:24 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Link
Member Since: July 10, 2005 Posts: 157 Comments: 29384
1144. CycloneOz
3:22 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting myway:

If it came from a Kennedy it must be true. Just curious what the Kennedy family position is on the Cape Cod Windfield. Look it up.


Another "blame it on Bush" accusation! Really?

So lame...the present administration has had time to fix anything "Bush had done."

Instead, their focus has been on a bunch o'BS...and now comes "immigration reform" [AMNESTY], whose only purpose is to secure a new block of "dependency voters."
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3751
1143. beell
3:21 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
May keep an eye on this site. They were ahead of the curve on spill amounts in the first few days. I suppose updates are related to the quality of imagery available. Not vouching for the accuracy of their most recent estimates-just another source.

skytruth.org
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16715
1142. myway
3:19 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting Patrap:
Sex, Lies and Oil Spills

Sex, Lies and Oil Spills


Robert F. Kennedy Jr.


President, Waterkeeper Alliance; Professor, Pace University
Posted: May 5, 2010 10:19 AM


A common spin in the right wing coverage of BP's oil spill is a gleeful suggestion that the gulf blowout is Obama's Katrina.

In truth, culpability for the disaster can more accurately be laid at the Bush Administration's doorstep. For eight years, George Bush's presidency infected the oil industry's oversight agency, the Minerals Management Service, with a septic culture of corruption from which it has yet to recover. Oil patch alumnae in the White House encouraged agency personnel to engineer weakened safeguards that directly contributed to the gulf catastrophe.

The absence of an acoustical regulator -- a remotely triggered dead man's switch that might have closed off BP's gushing pipe at its sea floor wellhead when the manual switch failed (the fire and explosion on the drilling platform may have prevented the dying workers from pushing the button) -- was directly attributable to industry pandering by the Bush team. Acoustic switches are required by law for all offshore rigs off Brazil and in Norway's North Sea operations. BP uses the device voluntarily in Britain's North Sea and elsewhere in the world as do other big players like Holland's Shell and France's Total. In 2000, the Minerals Management Service while weighing a comprehensive rulemaking for drilling safety, deemed the acoustic mechanism "essential" and proposed to mandate the mechanism on all gulf rigs.

Then, between January and March of 2001, incoming Vice President Dick Cheney conducted secret meetings with over 100 oil industry officials allowing them to draft a wish list of industry demands to be implemented by the oil friendly administration. Cheney also used that time to re-staff the Minerals Management Service with oil industry toadies including a cabal of his Wyoming carbon cronies. In 2003, newly reconstituted Minerals Management Service genuflected to the oil cartel by recommending the removal of the proposed requirement for acoustic switches. The Minerals Management Service's 2003 study concluded that "acoustic systems are not recommended because they tend to be very costly."

The acoustic trigger costs about $500,000. Estimated costs of the oil spill to Gulf Coast residents are now upward of $14 billion to gulf state communities. Bush's 2005 energy bill officially dropped the requirement for the acoustic switch off devices explaining that the industry's existing practices are "failsafe."

Bending over for Big Oil became the ideological posture of the Bush White House, and, under Cheney's cruel whip, the practice trickled down through the regulatory bureaucracy. The Minerals Management Service -- the poster child for "agency capture phenomena" -- hopped into bed with the regulated industry -- literally. A 2009 investigation of the Minerals Management Service found that agency officials "frequently consumed alcohol at industry functions, had used cocaine and marijuana and had sexual relationships with oil and gas company representatives." Three reports by the Inspector General describe an open bazaar of payoffs, bribes and kickbacks spiced with scenes of female employees providing sexual favors to industry big wigs who in turn rewarded government workers with illegal contracts. In one incident reported by the Inspector General, agency employees got so drunk at a Shell sponsored golf event that they could not drive home and had to sleep in hotel rooms paid for by Shell.

Pervasive intercourse also characterized their financial relations. Industry lobbyists underwrote lavish parties and showered agency employees with illegal gifts, and lucrative personal contracts and treated them to regular golf, ski, and paintball outings, trips to rock concerts and professional sports events. The Inspector General characterized this orgy of wheeling and dealing as "a culture of ethical failure" that cost taxpayers millions in royalty fees and produced reams of bad science to justify unregulated deep water drilling in the gulf.


It is charitable to characterize the ethics of these government officials as "elastic." They seemed not to have existed at all. The Inspector General reported with some astonishment that Bush's crew at the MMS, when confronted with the laundry list of bribery, public theft and sexual and financial favors to and from industry "showed no remorse."

BP's confidence in lax government oversight by a badly compromised agency still staffed with Bush era holdovers may have prompted the company to take two other dangerous shortcuts. First, BP failed to install a deep hole shut off valve -- another fail-safe that might have averted the spill. And second, BP's reported willingness to violate the law by drilling to depths of 22,000-25,000 feet instead of the 18,000 feet maximum depth allowed by its permit may have contributed to this catastrophe.

And wherever there's a national tragedy involving oil, Cheney's offshore company Halliburton is never far afield. In fact, stay tuned; Halliburton may emerge as the primary villain in this caper. The blow out occurred shortly after Halliburton completed an operation to reinforce drilling hole casing with concrete slurry. This is a sensitive process that, according to government experts, can trigger catastrophic blowouts if not performed attentively. According to the Minerals Management Service, 18 of 39 blowouts in the Gulf of Mexico since 1996 were attributed to poor workmanship injecting cement around the metal pipe. Halliburton is currently under investigation by the Australian government for a massive blowout in the Timor Sea in 2005 caused by its faulty application of concrete casing.

The Obama administration has assigned nearly 2,000 federal personnel from the Coast Guard, the Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, EPA, NOAA and Department of Interior to deal with the spill -- an impressive response. Still, the current White House is not without fault -- the government should, for example, be requiring a far greater deployment of absorbent booms. But the real culprit in this villainy is a negligent industry, the festering ethics of the Bush Administration and poor oversight by an agency corrupted by eight years of grotesque subservience to Big Oil.

If it came from a Kennedy it must be true. Just curious what the Kennedy family position is on the Cape Cod Windfield. Look it up.
Member Since: May 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 447
1141. Bordonaro
3:19 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting hurricanejunky:
BP unsure how much oil has spilled? HUH?

Not GOOD!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
1140. Patrap
3:19 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Wow,,politics and Oil in one easy post.

No,Links,..no nothing.

One could say its a op-ed Post maybe?



Is the Kettle ready yet?

"tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet"..........
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128616
1139. NRAamy
3:17 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
MARCO!!!!!
Member Since: January 24, 2007 Posts: 317 Comments: 31946
1138. CycloneOz
3:17 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Your doom and gloom posts are not going to spoil my upbeat mood today, HJ! :)

That dome is going down. It's on site. Everything is almost in position!

Deep six the sucker and start pumping out the oil!
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3751
1137. help4u
3:17 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Also Obama is the president today.He received more campaign cash than any other politician from BP.Also he let BP not have to meet the standards of other oil companies in the gulf.These stories from abc news.I hope the people in the gulf keep their foot on his throat for his response.People in charge of spill should not be on vacation 6 days after explosion!!That is their job!
Member Since: September 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
1136. CycloneOz
3:15 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting hurricanejunky:
BP unsure how much oil has spilled? HUH?


Hey HJ...you think there's like a fillin' station gas pump down there clicking off the gallons?

Best guess, man...that's all they can do.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 3751
1135. Patrap
3:15 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Its not like theres a meter on the Riser, Like a gas pump..

Estimates are the best one can do in this situ.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128616
1134. hurricanejunky
3:13 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
BP unsure how much oil has spilled? HUH?
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1133. beell
3:13 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Graphic that was shown in today's newspaper:




Picture of dome from response site:




Interesting, the labels on the recovery box.
N & E as compass directions.

And one slot labeled "Drill Pipe", the other "Riser"

Wondered about the drill pipe. Some in the hole and some on the seabed. The oft circulated photo of a piece of pipe with oil coming out the end, the one they managed to get a valve on, looked like a piece of drill pipe.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 143 Comments: 16715
1132. aspectre
3:11 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=clnk&cd=1&ved=0CAgQIDAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebcache.google usercontent.com%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dcache%3ACJv4-D92XeYJ%3Awww.drillingahead.com%2Fforum%2Ftopics%2Ftrans ocean-deepwater-horizon-1%2Bdeepwater%2B1%2C500%2Bfeet%2Bseabed%26cd%3D1%26hl%3Den%26ct%3Dclnk%26gl%3 Dus&rct=j&q=deepwater 1%2C500 feet seabed&ei=VdviS5a9FI_ssQPK45i3BQ&usg=AFQjCNHjoji-DBHB2-fPZi9Fm6hWoFcqEg
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
1131. hurricanejunky
3:08 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Wonderful...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1129. hurricanejunky
3:03 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Gulf Oil Spill Could Get 10 Times Worse
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2899
1128. Chicklit
3:00 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Nice find, Patrap. Thanks for the info.
(and this)
...High pressures? You had better believe it. And in this case, Mother Nature won. So looking forward, there's going to be a lot of forensic engineering on the well design and how things got monitored during drilling.

Transocean drilled the well, but BP designed it. So the key question is how did the down-hole pressures get away like they did?
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11345
1127. Patrap
2:57 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
www.facebook.com/DeepwaterHorizonResponse

Send them a friend request.


twitter.com/Oil_Spill_2010

Or send a TWEET
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128616
1126. gordydunnot
2:52 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Oh boy can't wait to see those insurance claims no its wind damage, no its flood damage, no its oil damage. Does the federal gov. sell oil coverage. Good luck to everyone remotely around the gulf this year.The oil may not be in the gulf after the storm but I doubt will be to happy about were the vacuum cleaner dumps it. It wont be in a bag I reckon.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
1125. help4u
2:52 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Tom Strickland,dept of interior chief who was in charge of gulf response to oil spill took a 3 day vacation to the grand canyon,even knowing the pipeline was leaking.I hate it when people take advantage of vacation time during the worst enviromental disaster in history!While he and his wife was whitewater rafting the people in gulf were blackwater surfing!
Member Since: September 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1281
1124. JamesSA
2:52 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
This picture on 1103 shows a section of the drill pipe near the end that was connected to the Horizon rig bent double and sticking above the sea floor. So, that explains the seeming conflict between reports of the pipe extending 1,500ft / 1,000ft upward... and the pipe NOT rising vertically above the BOP where the containment dome needs to be fitted. If you expand the drawing you can see it more clearly.

Quoting Patrap:
Well sport..hard for 4 million Lbs of Riser pipe to stand vertical in the currents.

LOL

Its a 22 in OD inch and Half pipe..that when it was drilling and servicing the wellhead,weighs more that 3 Loaded 747s.

So if its standing..well.which it aint,..you can quote that and show us.

We will be here.




Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
1123. Patrap
2:52 PM GMT on May 06, 2010
Quoting DEKRE:


For example see Link


Thanx for the link for sure.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128616

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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