Chemical tests from new oil near DeepWater Horizon site matches last year’s BP oil spill samples. (Pictures and fly over video inside)

As reported on August 20, 2011 (read previous blog, New sub sea oil plumes found near the Deepwater Horizon oil platform) the oil sheen sitting nearly on top of the Deepwater Horizon rig (the location of the last year’s catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico) is quickly expanding.

On Wings of Care, California nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of wildlife, wild habitat, and natural ecosystems, flew over the reported oil sheen and the pilot Bonny Shumaker stated that the oil “stretched for miles with one continuous sheen stretching for nearly 10 miles.” (Pictured above.  Credit: Press-Register/Jeff Dute).

To view the August 30, 2011 fly over of the oil spill (Credit: On Wings of Care) click below:

Robert Bea, an internationally prominent petroleum engineer and professor emeritus at the Berkeley campus of the University of California indicates that he feels that the primary source of the oil with the highest probability is the Macondo well/Deep Water Horizon rig.

“(It) looks suspicious. The point of surfacing about 1 mile from the well is about the point that the oil should show up, given the seafloor at 5,000 feet – natural circulation currents would cause the drift,” Bea said. “A Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) could be used to ‘back track’ the oil that is rising to the surface to determine the source. This should be a first order of business to confirm the source.”

On August 26, 2011- BP, the US Coast Guard, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, representatives from the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida as well as the GCIMT (Gulf Coast Incident Management Team) came together in New Orleans, LA to participate in a standard visual wellhead inspection via Remote Operated Vehicles of the Macondo Well (MC 252) and the relief well.

In the video- there were small, intermittent bubbles rising from cement ports at the base of the wellheads. These bubbles were determined to be nitrogen bubbles, a residual byproduct of the nitrifed foam used in setting the wells but no oil or hydrocarbons were found indicating a breach of the cement plug and/or the areas of the Macondo Well.

Yet samples of the sheen were  analyzed by Louisiana State University researchers and tests showed it was a chemical match to the 4 million+ barrels of sweet Louisiana crude that gushed from BP’s exploding well.

Scientists suggest that perhaps it was trapped within the riser pipe or the rig itself which is still sitting at the bottom of the Gulf which could result in trapped oil floating out of the wreckage.

Another option is that the bacteria degraded the oil on the seafloor and the lighter fractions were released and floated to the surface although that oil would be considerably more weathered.

Now the questions are directed towards BP once again- how much oil is trapped, why has the wreckage not been salvaged  and why has there not been a concentrated efforts on ways to clean up the ocean floor (and subsequently; add oxygen back into the dead zones?)

Copyright (c) August 31, 2011. All rights reserved.


New sub sea oil plumes found near the Deepwater Horizon oil platform. (Picture inside)

While BP continues to assure Gulf Coast residents that the MacondoWell/ Deepwater Horizon oil spill that devastated our coastline less than a year and a half ago has been capped since September 2010 is no longer leaking any oil, recent reports and flyover pictures of approximately subsea oil plumes, 300 feet wide and separated from the next one by about that same distance, running roughly south to north near the Macondo Well (image left,  Credit: Jonathan Henderson and Tarik Zawia) are showing otherwise.

There are several theories behind the fresh oil and, forewarning, none of them are pretty.

The 1st first theory is that the cap that was placed on the well is leaking.  Although BP ignores this concern, it is still a very real possibility. Especially after Japan’s multiple severe earthquakes. It is logical to assume that considering the massive damage and the crippling of Japan’s nuclear plants- that the vibration of the earthquake could have reached the Gulf of Mexico and knocked loose the already fragile plug.

A 2nd theory, is that all of the oil BP that sunk to the seafloor due to nearly 2 million gallons of toxic Corexit 9500 & 9527A dispersant is beginning to break free and rise to the surface and blacken the coastline with fresh oil.  However, according to civil engineer and petroleum expert, Marco Kaltofen, oil that has been lying on the seafloor for several months would be much significantly more weathered than the fresh oil that is currently spotted.

Along the same theory, it is also possible  that the broken riser pipe and oil rig platform has trapped oil inside of it and it is slowly making its way to the surface.

A 3rd theory is that this 6 miles long and rainbow-colored oil sheen is coming from  Green Canyon Block 463, which is near the Macondo well site, officials state that its “probably”  silt from a subsurface shallow water pool. Records for that well indicate that it was drilled through a shallow lens of groundwater. The company is awaiting the results of tests on samples of the material and something tells me that we are going to waiting on those test results for a loooong time.

A 4th theory is that the oil sheen is contributed by BP’s Thunder Horse oil platform in the Mississippi Canyon  on August 16, 2011 where a  0.000108 gallons of oil was released but, let’s be real, that is less than half a CC and would not be enough to create a 6 mile long oil sheen. BP has admitted that “a silvery oil sheen measuring 2 feet by 30 feet has been reported on the surface” there, and they have supposedly sent vessels to monitor the situation.

A 5th theory, and this is by far the most concerning, is that oil may be coming from cracks and fissures in the seafloor caused by months of high-impact work  of BP failed capping attempts of the Maconda Well.  If this is the case,  there is a possibility of hundreds of little cracks and fissure (picture the seafloor cracks like a broken windshield) and  to the extent of my knowledge, there is no known way to cap the cracks and fissures which means the oil would continually leak into the Gulf of Mexico.

Either way, there is new oil in the Gulf of Mexico and it is, coincidentally, near the Deepwater/Macondo oil platform.

Unfortunately and dishearteningly, while  everyone is pointing fingers in attempt to escape responsibility for the leaked oil and no reports show that there are any intentions of cleaning it up; the Gulf of Mexico and her inhabitants are – once again- at the mercy of big oil.

Copyright (c) August 20, 2011. All rights reserved.

The reward is not worth the risk; Just Say No to new driling in the Gulf of Mexico.

The chant of, “Drill baby Drill”  and hungry looks towards the Gulf of Mexico happens a lot more often that what I would like.

In fact, I wish we would not allow any additional drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and would prefer that our current oil producing rigs were up to code in safety regulations and passed the audits of a 3rd party independent agency (something that President Obama should have pushed for  while he held our oil fields on a moratorium; but refused to acknowledge.)

Why, such a strong (and controversial; given my political leanings) statement?

First hand damage assessment of 2 oil spills that affected Florida within a 14 year period

Back during the  Maconda/BP oil spill in 2010 where 4.9 million barrels (read: 260 Olympic swimming pool worth) of oil polluted the Gulf of Mexico, I drew on my journalism strength and became an investigative reporter for my self produced investigative channel,  ClearWater Perspective, and participated in backstage teleconferences with BP, TransOcean, EPA, NOAA, MMS and the Coast Guard.

Additionally, I had close friends fly over and report on the oil spill and encounter harmed, innocent, wildlife who either swam into the oil and toxic dispersant or who ate off the oiled covered shores or were residing in a nearby tree branch when BP engaged their aerial dispersing.  The results were horrifying and something that I truly will never forget.

If you have a moment, please click into this video. A friend of mine made it with pictures of the real damage of the BP oil spill.  Warning: this is not suitable for children.

The reality of the oil spill became very real to me and contrasting and comparing my first hand experience with living near Tampa Bay  back in during the oil spill in 1996 (where 300,000 gallons of heavy oil and another 33,000 gallons of jet fuel spilled after a collision in West Central Florida) convinced me that it is only a matter of time until Florida suffers a backlash comparable to Louisiana.

Seeing the not so lucky wildlife and economic damage and how it negatively impacted the  fishermen, shrimpers, tourism industry, realtors, wedding planners, coastal businesses and coastal communities and wrecked havoc on our innocent wildlife made me vow to not allow a 3rd mistake of reckless and greedy drilling happen in our beautiful Gulf of Mexico.

Its’s like the saying– “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. ” — Fool me thrice and I should have known better than to expect that  big oil’s operations were ‘under control” and being properly scrutinized for safety precautions.

Florida is the most at-risk state in the event of another oil spill. (Economic and residential)

People of NW Florida have seen first hand, how public perception can hamper our local economy.

Florida’s main draw is tourism. When people think that Florida has oil-laden beaches; they will be less likely to come down for vacation or buy Gulf seafood; if they feel that it was tainted with oil and toxic dispersant. This change of perception, as has been proven with the 2010 oil spill, can cause a detrimental effects to the very way of life as Floridians have known to grow and love.

As stated above, many community factors suffer and have the potential to increase unemployment, causing people to vacate their home in search for income; whether it be by selling their home the conventional way or short selling their home; resulting in the housing industry value to decrease directly related to the increase in the unemployment rate.

But the possible oil spill damage doesn’t end there… (Military impact)

As many know, there is a huge military mission off of Tyndall AFB, Eglin AFB, Duke AFB and Hurlburt AFB and Pensacola NAS that run alongside the Gulf of Mexico.

The influx of news reporters and clean up crew would be too invasive for our military zone.

At this point in the game; the US cannot afford to take too many chances with nationals security.

But wait there’s more… (Loop Current, possible oil seepage to South Florida, East Florida and the Eastern Seaboard)

If there was an oil spill off the West Coast of Florida, the oil (and toxic dispersant that big oil will use to sink the oil into the water column so nobody can see it) has a chance of getting swept into the Loop Current which is a current (diagramed left) that transports warm Caribbean water through the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and Mexico.

The current flows northward into the Gulf of Mexico, then loops southeastward just south of the Florida Keys (where it is called the Florida Current), and then just west of the westernmost Bahamas.

Here, the waters of the Loop Current flow northward along the U.S. coast and become the Gulf Stream and run northward, up the East Coast of Florida.

The Loop Current was a big concern of many Floridians during the 2010 oil spill as a handful of times, oil/toxic dispersant became dangerously close to the loop current (some reports show that small traces of oil were pushed into the loop current but weathered before it impacted land) but were swept away by ever changing warm and cold water eddys.

However, next time- we may not be so lucky.

Turn to renewable alternative energy as a primary source for our energy needs

Instead of investing in new equipment and new deep water drilling techniques to search for a resource that will eventually extinguish- let’s put that money towards the wave of the future and a renewable resources that we can draw off of for years to come.

Projects such as  energy efficient constructionoffshore wind farms, solar landfills, geothermal and aqueduct electricity can help us curb our dependence on oil.

If the US reallocated the money they have towards new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and put it towards alternative energy; we could pave the way for a new future where ultimately- we become dependent on ourselves and not at the hand of our Environment, the Middle East or even Brazil (where Obama promised we would be their biggest customer earlier this year).

The reward is not worth the risk

While I understand that drilling is needed and I fully support state’s sovereignty for wanting to drill (and am in support of drilling in places where the general consensus welcomes the drilling).

As a born, raised and currently residing Floridan. I say the reward is NOT worth the risk for new drilling to take place in the Gulf of Mexico. Not when our wildlife, food chain, fisheries, tourism industry, coastal communities, military intelligence and the entire coastline of Florida is at risk.

Especially when it has been proven that there is no way to adequately prepare for a hurricane and the precautions needed to be taken to avoid churning the oil sunken into the water column and spewing the oil onto coastal communities) until only days before the hurricane comes into the Gulf of Mexico (as remembered with the lack of hurricane preparation during the 2010 hurricane season).

If Mexico wants to drill; we cannot stop them but, more than likely, any spill in their area will not travel into the Gulf of Mexico because of the placement of eddys. Let them destroy their own country; if they so desire.

As for the United States,  I advise that we stay on the side of environmental conservation as well as to look to alternative energy as our sustaining life force as that can be renewed so we can pass on our energy capability to our children instead of banking on a non renewable source of energy that will leave our future generations in the dark.

Copyright (c) August 1, 2011. All rights reserved.

Restoring sediment is key to Gulf revival. BP will play a miniscule part in economy recovery.

Restoring sediment is key to Gulf revival. BP will play a miniscule part in economy recovery.

Restoring the flow of sediment to essential wildlife habits in the Gulf Coast wetlands and barrier islands after last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are one of the biggest challenges officials face, says the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (GCERTF) at it’s 5th meeting on Monday in Galveston, Texas.

Sediment, technically speaking, is  nutrient-filled sand and rock and as many know, is the structural foundation of the Gulf’s ecosystem and ensures the health of the barrier islands and wetlands which not only provides a safe haven to turtles, birds, fish and other wildlife but also provides a natural barrier from storms for people who live along the Gulf coast during hurricane season.

According to the Center for American Progress: “The Gulf region suffers the most coastal land loss of any region in the United States.” Louisiana alone, which holds 40 percent of wetlands in the continental United States, loses wetlands equivalent to the area of the size of a football field every half hour —about 80 percent of all wetland losses. By 2030 the Gulf States risk a total of $350 billion in environmental losses and risk from rising sea level, land subsidence, and hurricane damages if no action is take to restore the coast.”

Terrence Salt, principal deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army, said sediment flow has decreased due to management of upstream rivers and land conservation practices. For example, the Mississippi River — a major source of freshwater and sediment to the Gulf of Mexico, its islands and wetlands — has about half the sediment it originally had, he said.

Combine the natural loss of sediment with the chemical damage to our barrier islands by the spilled oil and toxic corexit dispersant and this becomes a very serious problem.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who is also a member of the task force, said funding for the projects of merely $1 billion BP has agreed to dedicate toward Gulf restoration.

$1 billion is not a lot considering that each of the 5 states that run alongside the Gulf of Mexico will get only $100 million for their projects. Sand and habitat restoration is extremely expensive.

While something is better than nothing; $100 million is only a drop in the bucket to the type of environmental damage that occurred from BP’s horrific oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year.

The Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce will each get an additional $100 million.

$300 million will be distributed accordingly to other “crucial projects” but were not elaborated upon in the meeting.

It is also important to note that while this $1 billion is going to current economic damage; the long term damage of the Corexit 9500 & 9527A dispersant has not been established.

Knowing BP and their run with giving out $5000 claims to fishermen in an attempt to keep them from suing in the future- I have a feeling that this is going to be the last bit of money we will see from BP.  If somebody knows otherwise; please contact me at

The final GCERTF meeting scheduled for 2011 will be on August 29, 2011 in Biloxi, Mississippi with the task force presenting their reports of environmental damage and strategy for resolving the issues by October 2011.  Leaving only 4 months to determine the long term  environmental damage of the toxic oil and dispersant.

Copyright (c) June 28, 2011. All rights reserved.

Published in: on June 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why the blowout preventer failed re: the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and who is at fault.

A report released Wednesday identified the primary cause of the blowout preventer’s failure as the blind shear rams failing to close completely and seal the well due to a portion of drill pipe becoming trapped.

This differs from the original conclusion that the blind shear rams did close and the oil blasted through rubber gaskets around the rams.

A blowout preventers sits at the wellhead of exploratory wells and are supposed to lock in place to prevent a spill in case of an explosion.

The blind shear ram consists of hydraulically powered blades, a sort-of extremely high-powered scissor, that cut through the pipeline, effectively sealing it.

Effectively, that is, when there is no interference from a drill pipe.

Yet, the blind shear ram is not at sole blame for the failure.

BP and Transocean failed to equip the Deepwater Horizon with two blind shear rams, and Minerals Management Service, the federal agency in charge of regulating offshore drilling, failed to require them to do so.

These 4  failures combined are  ultimately responsible for the enormous extent of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Neither BP nor Transocean attempted to fit the Deepwater Horizon with a an additional  safety measure, that is another blind shear ram, due to “size constraints” despite Transocean’s assertion that 11 of its 14 rigs stationed in the gulf have 2 blind shear rams.

All other BP rigs under contract are also outfitted with 2 blind shear rams.

“Size constraints” is the reason BP is now relying on as to why there was only 1 blind shear ram aboard the Deepwater Horizon .

However,  according to a handful of Engineers-  another blind shear ram could have been added, provided some components were swapped out.

Looks like safety measures were cut in the name of a quick dollar; as I predicted.

A drilling engineer interviewed by the new York Times, referred to a blind shear ram as, “…kind of like a parachute — it’s nice to have a backup.”

While no backup was present on the Deepwater Horizon, what is even more confounding this that there was no federal mandate that required there to be.

Not only that, but there are not even government regulations that requiring routine checks of important elements of blind shear rams.   given the fact that many studies are now being unearthed showing the many vulnerabilities of a blind shear ram.

One thing’s for certain, before we allow additional deepwater drilling- it is imperative that there are 2 blind shear rams installed on the blowout preventer.

Stay tuned to Heart of America for details on the latest and greatest on the 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.

For fast action breaking news on the oil spill, follow on Twitter at @AmericasHeart.

Copyright (c) March 23, 2011. All rights reserved.

Part of the unknown source of oil washing up on Grand Isle, LA has been claimed.

I participated in a teleconference late Friday with the US Coast Guard, Anglo-Suisse and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries regarding the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which has concerned many citizens who are still recovering from the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill less than a year ago.

It appears that emulsified oil, oil mousse and tar balls were reaching the shorelines of Grand Isle to West Timbalier Island for a stretch of about 30 miles and was moving in a Westward direction.

Oil spill response workers under the direction of the U.S. Coast Guard and state officials were in preparing to alleviate the damage by deploying boom to keep the oil from coming ashore.

“We are working with our state and local partners to mitigate any further environmental impact while continuing to facilitate the safe movement of marine traffic to the fullest extent possible,” Capt. Jonathan Burton, the federal on-scene coordinator for the response.

“To avoid delays in resource availability and delivery, we have taken a forward leaning approach and authorized ES&H to procure whatever additional boom and resources they need,” Burton said.

Presently, workers have deployed over 10,000 feet of containment and absorbent boom to prevent damage to environmentally sensitive areas.

2 MARKO skimmers are being moved to the area and another 2 are available, if needed.

2 barge boats and 2 drum skimmers are also awaiting involvement.

The state has requested more boom, sorbents, skimmers and other equipment from the Coast Guard, said Garret Graves, who has taken lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and looking to get protective equipment set up before any additional oil reaches the shoreline.

“Currently, boom is deployed in the Elmers/Caminada area and we’re looking at one gap closure” in that area, Graves said. “We have multiple independent tests under way to determine the source.”

On March 22, 2001,  Houston based oil company Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners, LLC accepted responsibility for at least part of the reported oil impact.

3 discharges of oil from Anglo-Suisse Offshore Partners’ Platform E facility were reported to the Coast Guard.

The first came Friday 03/18, with a report of a “downed platform” and .5 gallon of spilled crude during operations to plug and abandon the well.

Another report Sunday said the same incident had spilled 1.33 gallons of oil.

A third report on Monday of 1.89 gallons of spilled oil was classified by the Coast Guard as “operator error.”

Please note how each report increases the amount and how the same thing happened during the DeepWater Horizon oil spill less than a year ago.

The company was plugging an abandoned and hurricane damaged well,  located approximately 20 miles south of Grand Isle, LA at West Delta Block 117 between last Friday and Tuesday of this week.

Anglo-Suisse says it has permanently sealed off the well as of 8:30PM local time on Tuesday.

No estimates on the total amount of oil spilled have been released, though well informed coast watchers estimate the oil to be uncapped for at least 4.5 days as the initial report was sent in on Friday 03/18 and the capping took place on Tuesday 03/22.

In the meantime, there have been statements that analysis will be held on the Deepwater Horizon rig to test for earthquake damage (although I have yet to hear  of anything behind done) as well as to determine whether the oil contains cancer causing Corexit 9500 & 9527A, the dispersant used last year to break up and sink oil from the BP well.  Results are pending analysis.

The federal and local government are stating that the instance of the 100×12 plume (Read more: spotted on Friday is unrelated to oil spill that is washing up on the shore.

The Mysterious Plume off the coast of Louisiana is said to be supposedly unrelated to the oil spill by Anglo-Suisse

and is, instead, a mix of old oil and tar balls mixed with  dredging of silt from the Mississippi River which landed and is sitting at the bottom of the shallow water 6 miles from the coast.

Yet, it is to my understanding, that analysis has not been completed comparing the silt from the Mississippi River and the oil from Anglo-Suisse as it would be understandable if there was an oil plume off the coast of Louisiana as Anglo-Suisse admitted to spilling oil close to that location.

Check back to Heart of America for the latest and greatest on the newest oil spill and how it will affect the Gulf States.

Copyright (c) March 23, 2011. All rights reserved.

NOTE:  Thank you to the Times Picyaune for the diagram of the new oil spill.

BREAKING NEWS & PICTURES:: 100 x 12 oil sheen spotted off the LA coast.

On March 18, the Coast Guard said it was notified of a 3 mile long, rainbow colored sheen off the Louisiana coast 9:30 a.m. local time on Saturday.

2 later sightings were also reported, the last of which had the sheen extending from 6 miles off the coast of Grand Isle to 100 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said.

The substance was sighted about lies 30 miles southeast of the Louisiana coastline, and extends to Barataria Bay.

The substance extended 100 miles long and 12 miles wide of the Deep Water Horizon site,  too close for comfort as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill less than a year ago is still fresh in the mind of  the people in the Gulf States.

Several boat captains have confirmed that they have encountered the slick of oil and said that it is indeed fresh oil because of the odor and the way it caused eye irritation.

A Coast Guard cutter and 2 independent pilots participated in a fly over as well as capture analysis to better understand what local residents were witnessing.

Independent pilots, including John Wathen of the Waterkeeper Alliance, and Bonnie Schumaker with Wings of Care, are currently flying out to investigate the spill. Schumaker reports having seen the sheen on Friday, March 18, 2011 and confirms that it is rapidly expanding.

While many people are quick to point to the substance being an oil sheen, the US Coast Guard in an exclusive interview with Heart of America cautioned about “jumping to conclusions”.

“There is a lot of dredging in the mouth of the Mississippi River, and a bunch of silt is below the water level which could cause the appearance of oil or an oil sheen”

However, The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, which holds oil royalties to pay for spill clean-up costs, has been opened, the Coast Guard said.

Further, the reports came back and the federal government stated that the oil slick was NOT from the Deepwater Horizon yet failed to mention confirmation that the oil is from the Mississippi river or that of another rig.

Do you remember what was said about the probability of a blown casing on the Deep Water Horizon?  I recall statements that if they cap and pack it, and the sleeve is blown or weak, oil will leak out into strata layers.  The result would be an ever-growing pocket of oil much closer to the surface – one that would eventually find an exit.

It is possible that the 8.9 earthquake in Japan may have exacerbated an already fractured wound in the Macondo Field. Setting the stage for the oil to be coming from not the Matterhorn rig but the stressed and cracked Deepwater Horizon “fix”.

If you hear of anything regarding the Matterhorn 243 rig,  Deepwater Horizon rig or the oil sheen spotted off the coast of Louisiana yesterday, please contact me directly at

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

BP claims: ‘Delay, Deny, Defend’. Tampa, FL lawyer stands up against the fraudalent activity.

A first-of-its-kind lawsuit alleging gross negligence and fraud has been filed in a Florida state court against Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of the 20-billion-dollar compensation fund for victims of BP’s Gulf oil spill, and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF).

Attorney Brian Donovan of the Donovan Law Group from Tampa filed the complaint against Feinberg, his firm Feinberg Rozen, LLP and the GCCF on behalf of Pinellas Marine Salvage, Inc. and John Mavrogiannis.

The complaint alleges, in part, gross negligence, fraud, fraudulent inducement and unjust enrichment on the part of the defendants.

“Feinberg and the GCCF have done more damage than the oil spill,” Donovan told IPS. “My client has relied on what Feinberg said he would do. They’ve made promises they didn’t keep. John’s company was promised money they have not received.”

Mavrogiannis told IPS, “We’re sick and tired of this runaround. I’m tired of Feinberg’s lies. He’s made promises he hasn’t kept. He’s manipulating the system and that’s not right.”

Mavrogiannis is far from alone in not having received compensation for the severe losses his business has suffered as a direct result of BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that began last April.

It was recently revealed that more than 130,000 compensation claims will be refused by Feinberg, who claims they lack adequate documentation.

State governments of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are accusing Feinberg of delaying claims and causing great hardship to local businesses, as well as underestimating losses to coastal businesses.

Donovan believes Feinberg is simply doing what he is being paid by BP to do.

“He’s doing his job,” Donovan told IPS, “Feinberg is a defense attorney representing BP. To think otherwise is being foolish. As a defense attorney, he’s doing a great job for BP. But they are saying ‘go with us, or sue us’.”

Feinberg’s Washington-based firm, Feinberg Rozen, was being paid 850,000 dollars a month by BP to administer the compensation fund and claims process for Gulf residents and fishermen.

A 46-page contract between BP and Feinberg detailing the arrangement was made public on Jan. 7 when it was filed in the U.S. District Court in New Orleans as part of the multi- district spill litigation against BP.

As of Jan. 15, the firm’s fee, according to the document, will be “mutually agreed to by the parties on a quarterly basis in advance of the first day of each successive calendar quarter.” This clause has led many critics to believe that Feinberg could stand to gain from dispensing less of the fund’s 20 billion dollars to claimants and tying the amount of its payments to Feinberg’s success in limiting BP’s liability.

Any funds remaining from the 20 billion would revert to BP under an agreement with the White House. Feinberg has told reporters, “My understanding is that if 20 billion dollars is sufficient and there is money left over it is retained by BP.”

In late December, Feinberg told Bloomberg Television that he anticipates about half of the fund should be enough to cover claims for economic losses.

“The only attorneys involved in the BP oil spill who I know are those trying to sign up victims for class action lawsuits,” Donovan added. “This is understandable given that Reuters recently reported that fewer than three percent of the approximately 470,000 businesses and individuals who have filed claims with GCCF have lawyers helping them negotiate.”

Mavrogiannis feels their complaint is solid, “Because Feinberg has lied to us on several occasions. Had he told me from the beginning he was working for BP, I would have filed suit against BP right when this happened. I believed he was impartial with no ties, but he has deceived me, and that’s fraud.”

“If I lose my property, business, and house because I can’t make my mortgage payments because Feinberg is late in paying me, who is going to compensate me for this?” Mavrogiannis, whose home is close to being forclosed, told IPS. “I have to take my IRA’s [individual retirement accounts] out to pay my bills. I can only hang in there for another month or two then the banks are going to want their money.”

Mavrogiannis’ lawsuit alleges, in part, “The defendants employ a ‘Delay, Deny, Defend’ strategy against claimants. This strategy, commonly used by unscrupulous insurance companies, is as follows: Delay payment, starve claimant, and then offer the economically and emotionally-stressed claimant a miniscule percent of all damages to which the claimant is entitled. If the financially ruined claimant rejects the settlement offer, he or she may sue.”

Other people amongst the Gulf States need to follow suit. Do not allow Feinberg and the GCCF to swindle you out of money in which is needed to live. Stand up against the deception.

Copyright (c) March 2, 2011. All rights reserved.

GoM Oil Spill Index

BP and EPA in cohorts in shortchanging Gulf states.

CG Adm Thad Allen and Bureau of OEM support an independent drilling regulatory agency.

Man burst into song at Oil Spill Commission.

Report concludes, Clean up on the oil spill is over. Personal pictures and testimony state otherwise.

Seafood, seafood everywhere and not a bite to eat.

Published in: on February 17, 2011 at 4:26 am  Leave a Comment  

CG Adm Thad Allen and Bureau of OEM support an independent drilling regulatory agency.

The hearing of the U.S. House Coast Guard and maritime transportation subcommittee came as news surfaced that the Obama administration may oppose a commission recommendation to create an independent regulatory agency because it could clash with reforms already being undertaken by the Interior Department.

If reports from an independent regulatory agency clashes with the government agencies, that is a GOOD thing. Do we not remember how MMS (Minerals and Management Services) were partially to blame for the lack of safety measures and protocol for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill?

It is imperative that we have an independent agency doublechecking the work of our government. It has been proven that the government oversight needs independent oversight. Too shun this idea is a slap in the face to the Gulf States and families of the oil rig victims.

After the April 20 accident, the Interior Department separated its regulatory arm from the royalty collection division reasoning that there could be a conflict of interest between the two operations. That came to no surprise to anyone closely following the MMS or the Interior Department and was actually a much needed relief.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement replaced the Minerals Management Service in the department as the industry regulator. The commission recommended that a new independent agency be formed to monitor regulation.

The seven-member panel wants an agency similar to how the FBI operates independently of the Justice Department, including having a director who is appointed for a time period in order to avoid any political interference.

Commission member Donald Boesch told the subcommittee the independent agency recommendation should be implemented.

Boesch also testified that the oil industry should pay for any step-up of industry enforcement. In response to subcommittee questions, Boesch said the commission recommendations would cost the oil industry from seven to 12 cents per barrel.

The tax would amount to a quarter of a cent increase on a gallon of gas and boost the regulation needed to police the industry.

A price that I, personally, would be willing to pay in order to avoid another explosion and catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico.

I urge an Independent Commission to commence and oversee the operations of oil drilling and environment affairs. There is simply too much to stake to leave it in the hands of the Federal Government.

Copyright (c) February 16, 2011. All rights reserved.