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From Skynews – UK –

Jun 19, 2010

BP Rejects Claims Of Recklessness

BP has dismissed accusations of reckless behaviour by Anadarko Petroleum, a company that owns a quarter of the wrecked Deepwater Horizon oil well. Also, BP’s chairman told Sky News his firm did not put costs ahead of safety. Sky’s Greg Milam reports.

***

My Note –

I couldn’t hear the sound in the video (above) from SkyNews – but it did have some interesting pictures including a bird covered in oil with the surf drowning it on the Gulf of Mexico coast and it looked like a very interesting story – but I’m not sure what perspective it has.

– cricketdiane

***

WRAPUP 4-U.S. Gulf Coast residents battle to clean up oil spill

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1815426620100619

BURAS, La., June 19 (Reuters) – Residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast battled to save their beaches on Saturday as oil washed ashore at Florida’s Panama City, the latest casualty of BP Plc’s (BP.L) (BP.N) ruptured deep-sea well.

(etc.)

For full coverage link.reuters.com/hed87k

Insider TV link.reuters.com/cet72m

Graphics

here

Special Report: Amid the Gulf crisis, Wall St touted BP stock‎ –
1 day ago
And Wall Street is also prone to herd-like tendencies. But some experts say the unanimity of error around the BP blow-up also has exposed — yet again
Reuters (press release)

***

Special Report: Amid the Gulf crisis, Wall St touted BP stock

Aaron Pressman

BOSTON
Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:11pm EDT

After closing above $60 before the April 20 disaster, the energy giant’s shares plunged almost 20 percent in New York, to below $50, in just two weeks.

It is not hard to understand why. Even then, the out-of-control oil spill in the midst of rich fishing grounds and nearby resort beaches raised the specter of horrific damages and untold potential liabilities.

Yet, nearly to a person, the dozens of securities analysts who followed the British oil giant were unfazed. As BP (BP.N) (BP.L) shares continued to drop, most were screaming the same message: buy, baby, buy.

Credit Suisse, which had a “buy” rating on the stock at the time, did not even mention the accident in an April 28 report. The firm upgraded earnings estimates after BP reported strong quarterly results the day before.

A day later, with BP’s shares then down 11 percent, Citigroup’s Mark Fletcher weighed in. He argued that the decline was “disproportionate to the likely costs to the company, even assuming damages can be claimed.” In the same report, he estimated BP’s total share of the cleanup at just $450 million — today, conservative guesses put the figure at $10 billion to $20 billion.

Around that time, Morgan Stanley was among the chorus citing the strong rebound of Exxon (XOM.N) shares after the 1989 Valdez tanker spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, as a reason to be bullish. “We think the sell-off presents an attractive buying opportunity for investors with medium-term investment horizons,” the firm wrote.

All told, 27 of 34 analysts tracked by Thomson Reuters rated the stock “buy” or “outperform” as recently as May 11. The other seven rated the shares “hold.” There was not a single rating of “sell” or “underperform” among those tracked.

(etc.)

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65H4A920100618

***

Word of the latest problem in controlling the leak came after Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N), part owner of the well, accused BP of “reckless” conduct leading up to the accident. [ID:nN18176715]

Sixty-one days after a BP offshore oil rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico, the encroaching oil spill is threatening the coastal economies of four U.S. states including Louisiana, whose fragile wetlands have been hardest hit.

In Florida, the Bay County Emergency Operations Center confirmed that tar balls had washed onto the beach at Panama City, a popular tourist destination.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1815426620100619

“There appears to be gross negligence or willful misconduct,” Houston-based Anadarko Chairman and CEO Jim Hackett said in an interview that helped to drive his company’s shares up 2.2 percent in after-hours trading on hopes it could avoid multibillion-dollar liabilities.

BP is seeking up to $7 billion in loans from seven banks, banking sources told Reuters. The sources said BP may offer up to $10 billion in debt as early as next week.

Its debt is now trading at junk levels, and Moody’s has cut its rating three notches on concerns about spill liabilities.

After falling 6.8 percent in a volatile week driven by Washington politics, BP’s shares are down 26 percent so far in June, their worst month since the October 1987 market crash.
BP deploys Costner’s oil machine in Gulf cleanupJun 18, 2010

BP ‘Excited’ Over Kevin Costner’s Oil Cleanup Machine, Purchases 32 ABC News

Gulf oil spill: Kevin Costner signs contract with BP for oil slick clean-up The Guardian

***

My Note –

Just because it was interesting –

Putin boasts new jet fighter better than U.S. plane Jun 17, 2010

Putin’s right-hand man exits Kremlin shadows

Michael Stott and Guy Faulconbridge

ST PETERSBURG<
Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:14am EDT

Factbox

Related News

ST PETERSBURG Russia (Reuters) – Igor Sechin’s soft tones and courteous manner belie his fearsome reputation.

World |  Russia

Ambassadors and officials regard Sechin, a former Soviet military interpreter, as the informal leader of the “siloviki” clan of nationalist, ex-military and security service officers fighting to maintain a big state role in the Russian economy.

Gatekeeper for Vladimir Putin during his 2000-2008 presidency, Sechin is now a deputy prime minister overseeing Russia‘s vast energy and metals sectors, the world’s biggest.

Oligarchs snap to attention in his presence and Forbes magazine ranks Sechin among the world’s top 50 most powerful people, one notch above Kremlin chief Dmitry Medvedev, widely regarded as junior to Putin.

The role has brought unaccustomed public attention to a man more comfortable with life in the shadows and Sechin, 49, used a rare interview with Reuters during the St Petersburg Economic Forum to try to soften his intimidating reputation.

(etc.)

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65J0G120100620

***

Photo

Gulf Coast residents brace for more oil

BURAS, Louisiana (Reuters) – Residents of the Gulf Coast braced for more oil from a ruptured BP Plc well to hit their beaches on Sunday as oil washed ashore at Panama City, a popular Florida tourist destination. | Video

***

Rig survivors say Deepwater Horizon thrashed so violently it was like a real

CNN – Scott Bronstein, Wayne Drash – ‎Jun 18, 2010‎

Editor’s note: This account of the night the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded is based on exclusive interviews with five survivors and three of their wives conducted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and the CNN Special Investigations Unit.

Judge favored by BP has financial ties to oil industry

CNN – Abbie Boudreau, David Fitzpatrick
– ‎Jun 17, 2010‎

BP wants a judge who has major financial ties to the oil industry to supervise oil disaster lawsuits. Houston, Texas (CNN) — The judge that BP wants to hear an estimated 200

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Welcome to the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Region of the Minerals Management Service (MMS).  MMS is a bureau of the Department of the Interior.  Our mission is to manage the mineral resources of the Outer Continental Shelf in an environmentally sound and safe manner.  Please read the Regional Director’s Page for a brief overview of activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Deepwater Horizon Incident

Deepwater Horizon FOIA and Congressional Request Reading Room


Establishment of the:


BLM Director Bob Abbey to Serve as Acting Director of the Minerals Management Service

    WASHINGTON, D.C.–Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey will serve as acting director of the Minerals Management Service (MMS).
    (05/28/2010)

Salazar Calls for New Safety Measures for Offshore Oil and Gas Operations; Orders Six Month Moratorium on Deepwater Drilling

    Cancels Western Gulf and Virginia Lease Sales, Suspends Proposed Arctic Drilling

    WASHINGTON – To improve the safety of oil and gas development in federal waters, provide greater environmental protection and substantially reduce the risk of catastrophic events such as the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today called for aggressive new operating standards and requirements for offshore energy companies and ordered a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling.
    (05/27/2010)

Salazar Launches Safety and Environmental Protection Reforms to Toughen Oversight of Offshore Oil and Gas Operations

    WASHINGTON, DC – As part of an ongoing agenda to change the way the Department of the Interior does business, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced a set of reforms that will provide federal inspectors more tools, more resources, more independence, and greater authority to enforce laws and regulations that apply to oil and gas companies operating on the Outer Continental Shelf.
    (05/11/2010)

(from)
http://www.gomr.mms.gov/index.html

***

My Note –

Yesterday, I watched as CNN spent most of the day repeating stories to stop the boycotts of BP, BP stations and BP products. After one of the first BP station owners admitted the day before during an interview that of course they are required to purchase their petroleum / gasoline and diesel products from BP and that is what they sell at BP gas stations, they simply stopped running that clip and posted others on every hour’s broadcasts throughout the day. I finally was so disgusted with them – I just stopped watching it.

However, the BP station owners and petroleum distributors need to sue BP for destroying the brand and for breach of contract in the franchise terms for destroying the business they had enjoyed and are paying franchise fees to BP “for” – obviously, when BP Global and BP America destroyed the brand of their franchise – they broke the contract terms by which those franchise fees are collected.

Those station owners can choose to sell and brand their stations under a different oil corporation – that is part of doing business in that industry and it is the fault of BP that their stations’ business is being destroyed – it is not fair to use the media to persuade people to keep buying products to profit BP.

They have the resources to pay for the cleanup and they aren’t going to actually do that anyway – they will use insurance, credit default swaps, junk bonds, junk loans and play with their assets around the world to cover their asses and assets. It will be a textbook lesson in corporate money manipulation to the degree of Maximus Nauseum Infinitum, or more properly – Nauseum Infinitum Maximus, or even Nauseum Maximus Infinitus. Just wait and see. It will make a good study for Harvard and Columbia business schools.

Believe this, just as BP believes they are the real people of measure and value and everyone else is expendable and part of the “small people,” so will their decisions be guided forward in the same ways. That is a great measure of why the disaster was allowed to increase, was treated as a non-event, was caused in the first place and was caused to expand exponentially by their mis-handling of it and by their misplaced BP priorities of corporate pr first and attorneys running every choice.

– cricketdiane

I was also wondering about the surge wall / barrier that was being built by the Corps of Engineers for New Orleans over the last couple years and how the oil spill has affected it, where it is at this point in their operation and what is being affected in the overall eco-system restoration plans for the Mississippi River, New Orleans, the replacement and restoration of the marshes, etc.

After having my computer buggared by going to the Corps of Engineers site trying to find information about it at the “New Orleans Team” website page of theirs – I decided to not put that here. And went this direction to find it instead –

From –

Dredging Today –

New Orleans: $1.1 billion surge barrier construction works half way

Posted on Feb 1st, 2010 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

http://www.dredgingtoday.com/2010/02/01/usa-new-orleans-1-1-billion-surge-barrier-construction-works-half-way/

***

My Note –

The date of the Deepwater Horizon disaster that started spewing over 60,000 barrels of oil every single day into the Gulf of Mexico was April 20, 2010. After the oil had already inundated coastal marshes and estuaries – and well over five weeks after Louisiana had demanded the job needed to be done – as the articles below indicate – the actual work to build the sand berms started after the damage had already been done – despite quite a lot of the work being scheduled and funded to occur already as part of a coastal eco-system renewal plan.

– cricketdiane

And, I meant to look this up again about the Corps of Engineers – who, at the time of the Hurricane Katrina debacle had very few actual “engineers” on their staff of professionals. I don’t know what it is today, but their focus has not been on engineering science and engineering standards of thought for a long, long time – It might have changed.

***

The Shaw Group to Provide Louisiana Coastline with Sand Berm Construction

The Shaw Group to Provide Louisiana Coastline with Sand Berm ConstructionThe Shaw Group Inc. today announced it has been awarded a contract by the state of Louisiana’s Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration for overall project management and construction of sand berms in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Shaw will assist the state with permit compliance and monitoring activities in addition to providing personnel, […]

June 5, 2010 | Read More »

USA: Berm Construction and Navigation Projects Under Way at Louisiana Coast

USA: Berm Construction and Navigation Projects Under Way at Louisiana CoastThe Shaw Group Inc. is working to pry loose and draw in a large portion of the nation’s dredging fleet―potentially seven cutterheads, five large hoppers and a dozen scows―for the emergency delivery of roughly 45 miles of permitted projects (of 128 miles sought) of barrier berm on the Louisiana coast… that state officials hope will […]

June 18, 2010 | Read More »

Construction of First Sand Berm Set to Begin (USA)

Construction of First Sand Berm Set to Begin (USA)NOLA- Construction could begin this weekend on the first of six sand berms that state officials hope will capture oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico before it reaches natural barrier islands or interior wetlands, according to an official with lead contractor Shaw Industries. The state already has received the […]

June 12, 2010 | Read More »

USA: White House Approves Construction of Five Sand Berms

USA: White House Approves Construction of Five Sand BermsThe White House on Wednesday approved the construction of five sand berms that BP Plc will build to shield the Louisiana coast from damage from a giant oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana’s governor said.
“We have just received word from the White House that they are going to require BP to fund the […]

June 3, 2010 | Read More »

http://www.dredgingtoday.com/tag/construction/

***

My Note –

Fareed Zakaria had advertised their show on CNN earlier about how they were approaching this “demonizing oil companies” theme in the show this weekend. Mr. Zakaria states that there is nothing that can replace oil for the next twenty years. That lie is so old that it certainly predates his career as an adult engaged in the activities of influence he holds.

The alternatives to petroleum use aren’t being started today – they were started over thirty years ago. So, to continue hearing the opinion that we should be nice to the oil companies and not say anything to hurt their feelings and accept the idea that we are beholden to serve them for the next thirty years is not only bullshit – it is insulting to any level of intelligence.

When he and others (especially those in the Republican Party and business leadership) continue to give facility to the concept and spread the ill-founded lies and propaganda of serving the oil companies and that we must not have any other choice for our transportation over the next twenty or thirty years than to pay our profits, private resources, public moneys and tax dollars to the oil companies to serve us petroleum and be grateful for it – these media opinion makers are doing nothing to serve the greater good. They are participating in the same lies and programmed propaganda that have put us in this place and kept us here for all this time with the final result that other competitive choices for our transportation fuels and energy needs are still kept away from the marketplace in any level playing field. It has left us in a polluted bed called America, it has left us energy dependent on nations and companies without mercy nor conscience, and it has left us with an economy that forever teeters on the edge of disaster.

Why would the people at Fareed Zakaria’s show and his little group of friends want to keep doing that? Whose side are they serving – because it certainly isn’t ours, nor is it America’s best interests, as evidence by the proof we are experiencing every single day across the United States.

We are not twenty years away from using other energy sources and fuels for our planes and trucks and trains and cars and homes and every other need we have – it has been over thirty years already of getting those things together. Now it is only a matter of making a level playing field, subsidizing those as we did the petroleum industry and gasoline combustion engines and diesel industry uses and taking the unfair subsidies the oil companies and gas guzzling auto industries have been utilizing to serve their own profits while preventing any other energy or fuel resource to compete with them.

It isn’t enough to say, here is four thousand dollars toward an electric car that cost over $100,000 to buy – taken off the tax bill a year later maybe, if all the papers are filled out correctly. The oil industry, gasoline, petroleum, diesel, and vehicle industries that use them weren’t subsidized that way – not at any point were their subsidizing facilities from our tax dollars that supported them ever so far removed from reality.

– cricketdiane

***

Taking a Plunge

Port of L.A. pushes into alternative fuel while some truckers still struggling with LNG rigs.

Martin Schuermann, CEO of Vision Industries, has sold a hydrogen-powered truck to the port of L.A.

Photo by Ringo Chiu

Martin Schuermann, CEO of Vision Industries, has sold a hydrogen-powered truck to the port of L.A.

By David Haldane

Monday, April 19, 2010

Feeling the heat of the state’s controversial greenhouse gas law, the Port of Los Angeles is aggressively pursuing a program that could replace diesel rigs with exotic fuel cell trucks.

This month, the Board of Harbor Commissioners approved spending $280,000 to buy an experimental big rig – the very first sale for Vision Industries Corp., a tiny publicly traded startup in Pacific Palisades.

Equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell that recharges its electric battery, the truck is designed to carry a 40-ton load up to 200 miles before refueling. That makes it viable for midrange runs to warehouses as far away as Riverside.

The board took the action even as some port truckers are still struggling with converting from diesel to liquefied natural gas rigs, as required under the port’s separate Clean Air Program targeting diesel emissions. What’s more, some two dozen all-electric trucks purchased from another company have yet to be tested on the road.

(etc.)

In the meantime, negotiations are under way with several state and federal agencies – including the California Energy Commission and the federal Department of Energy – for funding to buy 20 more of the rigs, which would be leased cost free to companies working in the port for testing. It’s not certain how large the port market will be for Vision, given that many trucking firms recently purchased new trucks because of the Clean Air Program.

Still, the port’s decision was a coup for Vision, founded in Florida six years ago as Cheetah Consulting Inc. The company changed its name and relocated to California in late 2008 after acquiring licensing for its electric drive system and hydrogen fuel cell technology from Ice Conversions Inc., a Malibu firm.

Vision Chief Executive Martin Schuermann acknowledged the port was taking a chance on what he termed “radically new technologies.”

“It’s a leap of faith for the port,” he said, “These trucks aren’t even commercially available yet. This is a breakthrough for our company.”

Vision is one of several new companies in Los Angeles County’s growing alternative-fuel and electric vehicle industry. Among them are Balqon Corp., a Harbor City startup manufacturing all-electric trucks for the port. Other companies include Tesla Motors, a Palo Alto maker of luxury electric cars that has a local design studio.

John Bousel, chief executive of Calstart, a Pasadena non-profit consortium that promotes the alternative-fueled vehicle industry, said he had not heard of Vision until the company joined Calstart earlier this year.

But he noted the company has partnered with Capacity of Texas of Longview, Texas, one of the leading manufacturers of “terminal tractors,” which are used to transport cargo containers and other equipment around port terminals.

( . . . )

Terminal authorities encouraged trucking companies operating drayage operations – short-haul cargo container trips within the port – to switch as many vehicles as possible to liquefied natural gas, a technology designed to dramatically reduce diesel emissions.

To date, about 575 of the L.A. port’s fleet of 10,000 short-haul trucks have been switched to LNG, and many others have adopted new cleaner-running diesel engines. As a result, the port is expected to reach the 80 percent level this year, well ahead of the 2012 deadline.

(there’s more)

http://www.labusinessjournal.com/news/2010/apr/19/taking-plunge/

***

My Note –

There’s no good reason that any of the trucks on our roads should continue to be fueled by diesel crap smoking fumigating petroleum industry products.

Worshipping and being subservient to the petroleum industry has gone on long enough.

– cricketdiane

***

(From)

http://www.calstart.org/homepage/10-03-11/Natural_Gas_Truck_Markets_Footprint_Expanding.aspx

CALSTART/UCS STUDY SHOWS ECONOMIC BENEFITS FROM ADVANCED TRUCKS
Boosting the fuel economy of new medium- and heavy-duty vehicles could create more than 120,000 new jobs nationwide by 2030, curb U.S. oil dependence, and save truckers thousands of dollars annually at the gas pump, according to a report released recently by CALSTART and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “Delivering Jobs: The Economic Costs and Benefits of Improving Heavy Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy” found that strengthening the fuel economy of medium- and heavy-duty trucks could create as many as 124,000 jobs nationwide by 2030, with all 50 states experiencing net job growth. Efficiency improvements could save class 8 “big rig” fleet truck owners more than  $120,000 per tractor-trailer over eight years and owner-operators more than $80,000 per tractor over 10 to 15 years, assuming an average $3.50 per gallon fuel price.  Read the press release. Read the supporting technical reports on fleet savings, economy-wide job growth, and nationwide energy and climate security benefits.

All News

Natural Gas Truck Markets, Footprint Expanding

3/11/2010 12:00:00 AM

Panelists at CALSTART/NTEA’s Green Truck Summit also noted that as natural gas and hybrid systems mature, a logical next development and demonstration step would be to combine the systems, greatly multiplying carbon and emissions reductions and operational savings…

The market “footprint” of natural gas as a transportation fuel for medium- and heavy-duty trucks is expanding, according to a panel of industry experts convened at the CALSTART/NTEA Green Truck Summit in St. Louis. Andy Douglas, National Sales Manager for Kenworth‘s specialty markets, said Kenworth is committed to its natural gas products and that the market is now more than just California and the West Coast, but encompasses Texas, the East Coast and elsewhere.

All major truck makers have now added natural gas options, and are focused on heavy vocational and heavy regional haul applications. Patric Ouellette, Chief Technology Officer of Westport Innovations, noted a distinct upswing in natural gas engine demand since 2005, driven by energy security and climate concerns and greatly improved incentives. Bill Zobel, Vice President of Business Development for infrastructure provider Trillium USA said that the addition of gas producers to the natural gas vehicle coalition had strengthened policy efforts, and that having consistent public policy in energy was crucial. Panelists also noted that as natural gas and hybrid systems mature, a logical next development and demonstration step would be to combine the systems, greatly multiplying carbon and emissions reductions and operational savings.

NGV Co-Op

natural gas vehicle hybrid truck natural gas incentives

California HVIP Update: Vouchers Moving Fast, New Vehicle Added

California Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project logo California Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project voucher funds are diminishing rapidly as word circulates to fleets throughout California. Recent large orders have brought the total funds available down to $1.6 million. The fund started in February at nearly $19.5 million.

In late May, a new vehicle was added to the eligible vehicles list (2011 MY Azure Dynamics Balance Hybrid E-450 with Ford 5.4L Gasoline Engine), bringing the total number of eligible vehicles to 63.

Read a brief status update on California’s groundbreaking Air Resources Board project, the Hybrid Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP), which is managed by CALSTART and sponsored by the California Air Resources Board. Read the press release. Visit the California HVIP web site.

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