More than 12 miles of Louisiana’s coastline have been closed to fishermen and recreational activities following Hurricane Isaac as officials work to verify that the large tar mats and concentration of tar balls washing ashore are directly linked to the BP oil spill.
According to WWWL news, the impacted area stretches from the western tip of Grand Isle to Port Fourchon. Garret Graves, the state’s top coastal restoration official, tells the news station he’s “99 percent” sure the weathered oil is from the massive 2010 BP oil spill that dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf:
“It’s impossible to say at this point with a hundred percent certainty, but I can sit here and confidently say with 99 percent certainty that that’s exactly what it is,” said Grave. “It’s in some of the areas where we’ve previously found things like tar balls, tar mats and other impacts, and so it appears to be sort of weathered in a manner that would be consistent with Deepwater Horizon.”
And it would be just what a lot of people feared: that even years after the well beneath Deepwater Horizon was capped, oil left over from the disaster will keep showing up from time to time, especially after severe weather.
The news comes on the same day that the U.S. Justice Department filed a scathing brief with the U.S. District Court in Louisiana, accusing the oil giant of gross negligence and willful misconduct in its response to one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.
Forbes reports that the feds filed the commentary in conjunction with the massive civil litigation BP is facing following the spill:
BP is in the process of settling the civil damages case brought by a giant group of fishermen, hoteliers and citizens damaged by the spill. BP has urged the court there to make a final approval of a $7.8 billion settlement with plaintiffs. The DOJ’s brief comes as the court is set to make a final pronouncement about the fairness of the settlement. This could throw a wrench into those proceedings; after reading the government’s litany of digs on BP there is a chance that the plaintiffs could reject that settlement amount as too low.
The government attorneys state that they moved to file their commentary on the settlement proceedings by BP’s “plainly misleading representations” concerning the extent of its liability and the extent of environmental damages. The brief criticizes BP for, among many other things, downplaying the plight of sick dolphins in Barataria Bay, La, of dead and dying deep-sea corals and of coastal marshes still matted with oil. They reiterated that in the upcoming trial set to begin January 2013, “The United States intends to prove gross negligence or willful misconduct.”
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to offer shares of its stock to the public for the first time.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.