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.

If oil rigs are pulled from the moratorium; they MUST be in compliance with safety regulations and big oil subsidies MUST stop.


I agree that we need to kick start our own oil drilling and that we should extend the drilling permits of the oil companies restricted by the oil moratorium but we also need to do other things such as end big oil subsidies and seriously look into wind, solar and geothermal energy simultaneously.

However- it is essential that all oil rigs placed in the moratorium are in compliance with the new BP oil safety regulations as well as confirmed by a 3rd party contractor in order to resume drilling.

I DO NOT agree with addtl drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as we have seen the catastrophic events resulting from an oil spill. Not too mention that the oil has the potential to impact NW Florida and our military mission at large as well as has the potential to get into the loop current and travel up the East coast of Florida and the US.

I support get our oil rigs back up and running in the Gulf (that is; if they are truly 100% compliant with new safety regulations) as we depend on that oil the rigs produce but I do not agree with putting in any new oil rigs in the Gulf.

There are other areas to drill and if the local residents want it and the drilling does not pose a safety risk or a military mission risk- then by all means should we consider it.

In the meantime; it is imperative that we look into alternative energy and become energy independent. Drilling is not the full answer as it is a known fact that drilling is not renewable; therefore, we will eventually run out of that resource.

Let’s look at long term solutions while we are lowering our gas costs so that gas does not get above $4/ gallon ever again.

Read more about the reasoning behind eliminating big oil subsidies and how the consumer will reap the benefits.

https://theheartofamerica.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/case-in-point-eliminate-big-oils-subsidies-and-royalties-reduction-of-national-debt-encourage-alternative-energy-and-give-back-money-to-the-american-taxpayers/

Read more about the independent 3rd agency that CG Adm Thad Allen and Bureau of OEM supports.

https://theheartofamerica.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/cg-adm-thad-allen-and-bureau-of-oem-support-an-indepenent-drilling-regulatory-agency/

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: https://theheartofamerica.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/100-x-12-oil-sheen-spotted-off-the-la-coast-on-31911-2/) 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.

Is WWIII in the near future? Qaddafi’s Latin American Allies Blast Military Attacks


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez condemned military strikes against Libya on Saturday, accusing the United States and its European allies of attacking the country to seize its oil.

Chavez’s ally and mentor Cuban, Fidel Castro raised similar concerns in a column written before the first strikes, while the leftist leaders of Bolivia and Nicaragua also accused world powers of intervening with an eye to the North African country’s oil.

Chavez, who has long-standing ties to Qaddafi, has urged mediation and called it “disgusting” that the U.S., France and other countries are taking military action.

“More death, more war. They are the masters of war,” Chavez said. “What irresponsibility. And behind that is the hand of the United States and its European allies.”

“They want to seize Libya’s oil. The lives of Libya’s people don’t matter to them at all,” Chavez said. “It is deplorable that once again the warmongering policy of the Yankee empire and its allies is being imposed, and it is deplorable that the United Nations lends itself to supporting war, infringing on its fundamental principles instead of urgently forming a commission to go to Libya.”

Operating under authorization of the U.N. Security Council, French fighter jets fired the first shots at Gadhafi’s troops Saturday, and U.S. and British warships launched a missile attack on Libya’s air defenses of 112 Tomahack missiles.

“We know what’s going to happen: bombs, bombs, war, more suffering for the people, more death,” Chavez said in a televised speech in Caracas.

The socialist leader has been joined by Latin American allies including Castro and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega in strongly opposing U.S. and NATO military involvement in Libya, and in suggesting that reports of atrocities by Qaddafi’s troops were overblown or unproven.

In a column published in Cuba’s state media Saturday, Castro asked why the U.N. Security Council exists, and said NATO wields such a colossal military force that it “serves only to show the waste and chaos generated by capitalism.”

Speaking in Bolivia, President Evo Morales condemned the military intervention and said the strategy of some powerful countries has been to “invent a problem, and the problem is wanting to take control of oil.”

Ortega, meanwhile, echoed allegations that Western nations are after Libya’s oil and said they are “putting out fire with gasoline.”

The Nicaraguan leader accused the United Nations and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of being “an instrument of those powers.”

Chavez criticized President Barack Obama, saying he won the Nobel Peace Prize but is pursuing another war in the same mold as Iraq and Afghanistan. He also mocked French and other European leaders, saying “they still feel like owners of the world, empires of this world.”

Chavez said the freezing of Libyan accounts in U.S. and European banks an amount he said he believes is nearly $200 billion is effectively “a robbery, it’s looting, taking advantage of Libya’s internal conflict.”

The military strikes against Libya came after the U.N. Security Council authorized a no-fly zone and are aimed at supporting an uprising by rebels trying to topple Qaddafi after more than four decades in power.

“What is that called? Intervention in another country’s internal affairs,” Chavez said. “We demand … a true cease-fire.”

At this point, I am seeing a crisis stack up between two groups:

Group A which consists of: US, Israel, Jordan, Yemen, France, Britain, Europe, Canada, South Korea (hopefully Saudi Arabia), Italy, Japan and the Arab League

versus

Group B which consists of: Libya, Old Egypt, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Iran, North Korea, Russia (and more than likely, China).

Does anybody else see that line up happening? Who else would you add to Group A & Group B?

Copyright (c) March 19, 2011. All rights reserved.

Libya: Rebels flee Ras Lanuf, signaling a shift in momentum


Loyalists of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi forced rebel fighters to flee the strategic oil town of Ras Lanuf Thursday after being assaulted by land, sea and air.

The city mosque was hit by an air strike, and the hospital was evacuated in the afternoon after several attacks nearby.

Commercial and military ships hit the town with artillery and rockets, adding a third dimension to the usual mix of ground and air attacks that have become a part of the daily menu of fighting along the east-west highway between Bin Jawwad and Ras Lanuf.

At least one air strike was aimed at a rebel checkpoint on the edge of Brega, about a hundred miles east of Ras Lanuf, suggesting that the pro-Qaddafi forces may be ranging further east.

At the Red Crescent Hospital outside of Brega, which was receiving the dead and wounded from today’s battle following the closure of the Ras Lanuf hospital, four were reported dead and approximately 20 wounded.

The battle for control over Libya has pitted a well-armed, organized and often ruthless military against a group of protesters.

“I’m not a soldier, I’m a student,” said a protester in Ras Lanuf, brandishing his gun, his eyes intense and his voice quivering.

He had just retreated from the east-west highway after a heavy assault by government troops. “I’ve never held a gun before and Qaddafi is killing us from the sea, from the air.”

When the protesters captured Ras Lanuf a week ago, it was seen as a major victory for the opposition. Now, it appears the tide may be turning.

Qaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam vowed Thursday to retake the eastern half of the country, which has been held by rebel forces for the past few weeks

He told a crowd of supporters in Tripoli: “I have two words to our brothers and sisters in the east: We’re coming” acting as if the Eastern population is held prisoner by the opposition.

Qaddafi troops earlier claimed victory over Zawiya, a town about 30 miles from Tripoli that had been held by rebels.

The town was the scene of intense fighting on Wednesday, with the town’s central square reportedly changing hands several times as rebels tried to hold off an onslaught by Qaddafi tanks and snipers. By the end of the day, government forces claimed to have gained the upper hand.

“Qaddafi is in this for the long haul,” James Clapper said, as reported in the BBC. “I don’t think he has any intention, despite some of the press speculation to the contrary, of leaving. From all evidence that we have… he appears to be hunkering down for the duration.”

American and other intelligence officials claim that Qaddafi has tens of billions of dollars in cash hidden away in Tripoli that will enable him to continue his fight against the rebels.

The money, which is controlled by Qaddafi, enables the leader to pay his troops, mercenaries and political supporters as the uprising continues for a third week.

The EU showed signs of confusion and disunity Thursday over how to handle the Libya crisis, the Independent reports.

As the EU tried to present a unified front, France chose to break out on its own and become the first nation to recognize the rebels’ national council as the country’s “legitimate representative.” Way to go, France.

“France is playing the role of breaking the ice for the European Union. This is the first nail in the coffin of Qaddafi. I expect Europe and Italy to follow as they consume the majority of Libyan oil.” stated, Heart of America’s Executive Editor, Denise Haywald.

Divisions also emerged over a decision to implement a no fly zone over Libya. Some European countries and the United States have expressed hesitation over being drawn into what could become a civil war.

“We do not want to get sucked into a war in North Africa,” said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

I cant say I blame the hesitation as placing sanctions and removing military and embassy operations is one but instituting a no fly zone which can only be done by controlling the Libyan air space, is quite another.

Copyright (c) March 10, 2011. All rights reserved.

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Saudi Arabia preparing for “Day of Rage” tomorrow.


Click into the video to see the calm before the storm.

A day before protesters planned to take to the streets for an anti-government “Day of Rage” rally in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital- Saudi Arabian security forces broke up a rally in the eastern city of al-Qatif, 12 miles north of the Capitol.

Al-Mugaiteeb, president of the al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia- based Human Rights First Society, said a doctor who attended to the wounded told him that 3 people were injured at the rally, in the Shiite Muslim-dominated city.

Crude oil futures pared losses after it was reported that police in Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, opened fire to disperse protesters by using percussion bombs, followed by gunfire, which caused the crowds to flee.

U.S. officials said Saudi authorities used “less-than- lethal” means on protesters by firing rubber bullets.

Crude oil for April delivery declined to $102.93 a barrel.  Prices are up 25 percent from a year ago. Oil traded at about $101.50 before reports of the gunfire showing that the markets are incredibly sensitive to disruption in the Middle East.

Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said on a conference call with reporters that the White House was aware of reports of firing in Saudi .

“What we have said to the Saudis and to all the people of the region is that we’re going to support a set of universal values in any country in the region,”  Rhodes said. “And that includes the right to peaceful assembly, to peaceful protest, to peaceful speech.”

Rhodes added, “And we’ll of course continue to closely monitor this particular situation, get as many facts as we can about exactly what transpired, since these reports are relatively recent.”

At a look at tomorrow, Protests are being formed in Saudi Arabia despite protests being outlawed in the kingdom.

In February, Saudi King Abdullah announced a number of reforms, such as pay raises and increased spending on social programs to appease protesters. Yet the protesters were not satisfied.

A ban on protests was enacted earlier by the government earlier this month.

On Thursday, human rights organization Amnesty International asked Saudi authorities to reverse the ban on peaceful protest in the kingdom.

“Instead of banning peaceful protests the Saudi Arabian authorities should address the need for major human rights reform in the country,” Philip Luther, deputy director of their Middle East and North Africa program, said.

To read the request to reverse the ban in full, please visit: http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGUSA20110310002&lang=e

It is said that approximately 10,000 Saudi troops are ready to be deployed to crack down on any protests.

If today is any indicator of what tomorrow is going to bring, I suggest filling up your gas tanks NOW.

For if the Saudi uprising does occur Friday, and oil pipelines and distribution networks are disrupted, expert analysts are stating that oil prices will rise to $150 per barrel almost instantaneously, and $200 per barrel will shortly follow.

Copyright (c) March 10, 2011. All rights reserved.

EPA faces deadline of March 16 to propose cleanup from coal fired power plants.


According to the American Lung Association, coal-burning power plants must be cleaned up urgently to protect public health.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is facing a deadline of March 16 to propose cleanup for toxic pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Those most in danger are the young from infants through teenagers, seniors, pregnant women, and those with asthma, lung diseases, heart disease and diabetes.

In their report, “Toxic Air: The Case for Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants,” the group describes the mix of toxic air pollutants that come from the plants.

The process of burning coal releases chemicals into the atmosphere that threaten not only the air Americans breathe, but the water they drink, the soil they live on and the food they eat.

EPA classifies many of these chemicals as “hazardous air pollutants” or “air toxics,” a category that means they are known or reasonably expected to harm human health or the environment or both.

Hazardous air pollutants from coal-fired power plants include:

• Acid gases, such as hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride;
• Benzene, toluene and other compounds;
• Dioxins and furans;
• Formaldehyde;
• Lead, arsenic, and other metals;
• Mercury;
• Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH); and
• Radioactive materials, like radium and uranium

These emissions can make breathing difficult and can worsen asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchitis and other lung diseases. These pollutants can cause heart attacks and strokes, lung cancer and other cancers, birth defects and premature death.

Coal-fired plants and oil-fired plants that produce 25 megawatts or more of electricity for sale to the grid will be required to install “maximum achievable control technology” under the new rule.

New plants will be required to have the same level of technology as the best-controlled similar plants.

Existing plants will be required to install controls that are at least as stringent as the top 12 percent of plants in that category.

The EPA will propose these new requirements on or before March 16, 2011. The courts have required the EPA to issue the final rules by November 16, 2011.

The new regulations are expected to take effect three years from the date EPA makes them final.

Please call the White House(1-202-456-1111) and urge the President to take action in adopting these requirements as we cannot overlook air quality standards as clean air is imperative for our very existence.

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