Wednesday, 05 September 2012 12:31
by Heather Miller
Oil, tar balls washing up on Louisiana beaches
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.”
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AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
JUN 29 This bizarre story from the Advocate on the shooting of a Baton Rouge television personality reads like the script of a soap opera - but not a good one. The allegations against him include sexual abuse of children, including the alleged shooter, and a sham immigration marriage involving his own daughter. The other side? He was a chaplin for the Sheriff's Office in Baton Rouge and preached in a local church.
AUG 29 Here's a story from CBS News about a killer amoeba found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish. The story made all three networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) as well as Fox "News," although they have not yet found out how it is Obama's fault. Seriously, the good news is that so far officials know of no one sickened by the water.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 Blogger Bob Mann comments here upon Governor Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit about Common Core. Mann calls it a "thinly veiled campaign document" and that might be the nicest thing he says in this post. Most troubling for Jindal and his aspirations, Mann has unearthed what Bobby said just a few years ago when he first decided to shove Common Core down our throats.
AUG 29 Blogger Tom Aswell has several developments here related to the so-called Edmonson amendment. The most entertaining one is possibly Tom's acknowledgement that a State Police official is (allegedly) calling the bloggers covering the story some colorful names. Listen up, cowboy: You really think two veterans like Tom Aswell and CB Forgotston care if you call them idiots?
AUG 29 Gotta love those journalists who write something with the enthusiasm that implies they're the first one to figure something out. Mostly, they're not. This is one of those times; the post on Slate Magazine says that Bobby Jindal's Common Core lawsuit is a political stunt. Well - Duh.
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
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