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Sunday, July 4, 2010

United States of BP

Oh, say, can you see, in the oil's sickly sheen,
Through the billowing smoke, through the gas masks we breathe in?

Whose once proud stars and stripes, we sold to quench our desire,
To gorge with reckless abandon on the earth that we're bleeding?

And the CEO's stare, exhaust fumes fouling the air,
Through the poisonous night, we were barely aware.

O say, will that oil-soaked banner now black
Stand for anything real, or worthwhile to take back?


The Road to Hell
May 24, 2010

Blatant Pollution
May 5, 2010

Why Burn It?
june 28, 2006

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
October 7, 2004

Like Apple Fucking Pie
June 5, 2004


The very idea that government officials are acting as agents of BP (of all companies) in what clearly seem to be unconstitutional acts to intimidate and impede the media is infuriating. Obviously, the U.S. Government and BP share the same interest -- preventing the public from knowing the magnitude of the spill and the inadequacy of the clean-up efforts -- but this creepy police state behavior is intolerable.

In this latest case, the journalists were not even focused on the spill itself, but on BP's other potentially reckless behavior with other refineries, and yet there are DHS agents and local police officials acting as BP's personal muscle to detain, interrogate, and threaten a photographer. BP's destructive conduct, and the government's complicity, have slowly faded from public attention, and there clearly seem to be multiple levels of law enforcement devoted to keeping it that way, no matter how plainly illegal their tactics are.

Glenn Greenwald, The BP/Government police state, Salon, July 5, 2010

Journalists who come too close to oil spill clean-up efforts without permission could find themselves facing a $40,000 fine and even one to five years in prison under a new rule instituted by the Coast Guard late last week.

It's a move that outraged observers have decried as an attack on First Amendment rights. And CNN's Anderson Cooper describes the new rules as making it "very easy to hide incompetence or failure."

The Coast Guard order states that "vessels must not come within 20 meters [65 feet] of booming operations, boom, or oil spill response operations under penalty of law."

But since "oil spill response operations" apparently covers much of the clean-up effort on the beaches, CNN's Anderson Cooper describes the rule as banning reporters from "anywhere we need to be."

Daniel Tencer, Coast Guard bans reporters from oil cleanup sites, Raw Story, July 4, 2010

BP company employees, contractors, and subcontractors are responsible for maintaining a vigilant watch for oil spill discharges of any magnitude and reporting all discharges to management personnel. In the event the discharge is determined to be from a BP facility or operation, the person in charge as well as on duty field personnel will take immediate action which may include but is not limited to the following:

• As quickly as possible, safely shut down the operation responsible for the discharge.
• Conduct Hazard Assessment to determine the potential for fire, explosion, and hazardous/toxic vapors as well as to define Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) needed by responders.
• Identify and evacuate exclusion zone in vicinity of spill site until completion of Hazard Assessment.
• Initiate notification of management personnel as well as required government agencies as promptly as possible. Note: The Operations Section Chief is responsible for initial regulatory notifications.
• The Person in Charge will assume the duties of Incident Commander until help arrives.
• Use explosion proof equipment (i.e., air monitoring equipment) in high concentration vapor areas and monitor for flammable vapors until the response operation is completed.
• Adopt a “Safety First” attitude throughout the duration of the emergency response, and continually ensure the safety of all personnel.
• Notify BP operations personnel (i.e., platform operators) as well as other company operations that may be impacted by the spill incident.
• Person discovering spill will: a) Sound alarm and notify Person in Charge immediately
b) Shut off ignition points and restrict access to spill area;
c) Isolate discharge source pending approval by Person in Charge.

• The Person in Charge will initiate evacuation procedures in the event unsafe conditions persist to ensure personnel safety.
• Sample discharged material as requested by the Incident Commander by using accepted procedures to prevent sample contamination and to protect the legal validity of the sample.

BP Regional Oil Spill Response Plan – Gulf of Mexico,
© The Response Group 06/2009 (Revised June 30, 2009)
Authority: Dan R. Replogle, GoM EMS Mgmt Representative, Custodian: Earnest Bush


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