Black People : The Oil Dispersent is Causing more harm then Good in the Gulf

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Ankhur, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    14,710
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    owner of various real estate concerns
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Ratings:
    +3,014
    AMY GOODMAN: Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski.


    While concerns over the impact of chemical dispersants continue to grow, Gulf Coast residents are outraged by a recent announcement that the $20 billion government-administered claim fund will subtract money cleanup workers earn by working for the cleanup effort from any future claims. Fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg says the ruling will apply to anyone who participates in the Vessels of Opportunity program, which has employed hundreds of Gulf Coast residents left out of work because of the spill. It’s seen as an effort to limit the number of lawsuits against BP.


    We’re joined now by two guests on these two issues, on Corexit and the workers. Independent journalist Dahr Jamail is joining us from Tampa, Florida. He’s been reporting from the Gulf Coast for three weeks. His latest article at Truthout is called "BP’s Scheme to Swindle the 'Small People.'" And from Washington, DC, we’re joined by Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst at the EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. He’s been a leading critic of the decision to use Corexit.


    We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Let’s begin with Hugh Kaufman. First of all, explain what Corexit is, the company that makes it, what’s in it, and your concerns.


    HUGH KAUFMAN: Well, Corexit is one of a number of dispersants, that are toxic, that are used to atomize the oil and force it down the water column so that it’s invisible to the eye. In this case, these dispersants were used in massive quantities, almost two million gallons so far, to hide the magnitude of the spill and save BP money. And the government—both EPA, NOAA, etc.—have been sock puppets for BP in this cover-up. Now, by hiding the amount of spill, BP is saving hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in fines, and so, from day one, there was tremendous economic incentive to use these dispersants to hide the magnitude of the gusher that’s been going on for almost three months.


    Congressman Markey and Nadler, as well as Senator Mikulski, have been heroes in this respect. Congressman Markey made the BP and government put a camera down there to show the public the gusher. And when they did that, experts saw that the amount of material, oil being released, is orders of magnitudes greater than what BP and NOAA and EPA were saying. And the cover-up started to evaporate.


    But the use of dispersants has not. Consequently, we have people, wildlife—we have dolphins that are hemorrhaging. People who work near it are hemorrhaging internally. And that’s what dispersants are supposed to do. EPA now is taking the position that they really don’t know how dangerous it is, even though if you read the label, it tells you how dangerous it is. And, for example, in the Exxon Valdez case, people who worked with dispersants, most of them are dead now. The average death age is around fifty. It’s very dangerous, and it’s an economic—it’s an economic protector of BP, not an environmental protector of the public.


    Now, the one thing that I did want to mention to you, Amy, that’s occurred in most investigations, back even in the Watergate days, people said, "follow the money." And that’s correct. In this case, you’ve got to follow the money. Who saves money by using these toxic dispersants? Well, it’s BP. But then the next question—I’ve only seen one article that describes it—who owns BP? And I think when you look and see who owns BP, you find that it’s the majority ownership, a billion shares, is a company called BlackRock that was created, owned and run by a gentleman named Larry Fink. And Vanity Fair just did recently an article about Mr. Fink and his connections with Mr. Geithner, Mr. Summers and others in the administration. So I think what’s needed, we now know that there’s a cover-up. Dispersants are being used. Congress, at least three Congress folks—Congressman Markey, Congressman Nadler and Senator Mikulski—are on the case. And I think the media now has to follow the money, just as they did in Watergate, and tell the American people who’s getting money for poisoning the millions of people in the Gulf.


    AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Hugh Kaufman, who works at the Environmental Protection Agency. This is an issue we’ve brought up before, but it’s an absolutely critical one, the issue of proprietary information of these companies, in particular, the ingredients of Corexit, even though 1.8 million pounds of it have been dumped into the Gulf. What’s in Corexit? Do you know? What is EPA allowed to know, and what is the company allowed to keep private?


    HUGH KAUFMAN: EPA has all the information on what’s in—the ingredients are. The largest ingredient in Corexit is oil. But there are other materials. And when the ingredients are mixed with oil, the combination of Corexit or any dispersant and oil is more toxic than the oil itself. But EPA has all that information. That’s a red herring issue being raised, that we have to somehow know more information. When you look at the label and you look at the toxicity sheets that come with it, the public knows enough to know that it’s very dangerous. The National Academy of Science has done work on it. Toxicologists from Exxon that developed it have published on it. So, we know enough to know that it’s very dangerous


    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/20/epa_whistleblower_accuses_agency_of_covering
     
  2. Ankhur

    Ankhur Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    14,710
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    owner of various real estate concerns
    Location:
    Brooklyn
    Ratings:
    +3,014
    Published on Wednesday, August 4, 2010 by the Guardian/UK
    Obama Administration's Scientists Admit Alarm Over Dispersants
    Environmental Protection Agency experts expressed concerns to superiors about use of dispersants, says whistleblower group

    by Suzanne Goldenberg

    The Obama administration is facing internal dissent from its scientists for approving the use of huge quantities of chemical dispersants to tackle the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Guardian has learned.

    The US Environmental Protection Agency has come under attack in Congress and from independent scientists for allowing BP to spray almost 2m gallons of the dispersant Corexit on to the slick and, even more controversially, into the leak site 5,000ft below the sea. Now it emerges that EPA's own experts have been raising similar concerns within the agency.

    [A plane releases chemical dispersant over the Gulf oil spill. Photograph: Reuters]A plane releases chemical dispersant over the Gulf oil spill. Photograph: Reuters
    Jeff Ruch, the executive director of the whistleblower support group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, said he had heard from five scientists and two other officials who had expressed concerns to their superiors about the use of dispersants.

    "There was one toxicologist who was very concerned about the underwater application particularly," he said. "The concern was the agency appeared to be flying blind and not consulting its own specialists and even the literature that was available."

    Veterans of the Exxon Valdez spill questioned the wisdom of trying to break up the oil in the deep water at the same time as trying to skim it on the surface. Other EPA experts raised alarm about the effect of dispersants on seafood
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/08/04
     
Loading...