Topics: BP Whistle-Blower Says Gulf Atlantis Facility Remains Unsafe, P Atlantis whistleblower alleges imminent safety threat for first time, Judge wants 'minimum of sealed records' in BP platform case, BP's Settlement With Plaintiffs Addresses Unpaid Medical Claims, BP Settlement Lacks Enthusiasm Along Gulf Coast, BP oil spill trial settlement proposal could be filed in New Orleans federal court by April 16, BP says investigating 'bribery' claim, BP Refinery Carson, Calif., Has Valve Leak In Addition To Planned Flaring, BP reports unit trip at Whiting, IN refinery
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Whistleblower, Ken Abbot, is alleging that BP's gargantuan Atlantis rig is currently operating unsafely and that BP lied to regulators in order to continue operations. Abbot is asking for immediate court action to oversee the rig's operations to bring it into regulatory compliance.
The Department of Interior has demonstrated itself to be an industry captive agency so any views they might have on the safety, or lack thereof, on the Atlantis should be taken with large tonnage of salt.
One hopes that Abbot prevails in today's hearing. Both the President's National Commission on the Deepwater Horizon as well as the National Academy of Engineering reports have pointed out that our current regulatory system is seriously broken. Having independent court oversight for the Atlantis would be a boost for safety on that particular rig but is far, far short of any type of desperately needed regulatory fix.
Mar 15, 2012 11:01 PM CT
Whistleblower Ken Abbot's previous allegations about an absence of accurate engineering drawings were confirmed by independent ombudsman, retired federal Judge Stanley Sporkin. Abbot has now claimed for the first time that current conditions aboard the Atlantis remain unsafe and pose an imminent threat.
However, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEMRE), the federal agency who thought things were just fine and dandy on the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo, has proclaimed the Atlantis safe. One wonders how disastrous conditions must have to be for BOEMRE to consider a rig unsafe.
My late uncle was responsible for gathering the parts for Boeing's airplanes which had been grounded for mechanical problems. Grounded airplanes cost the airlines and/or Boeing monstrous piles of money so there was intense pressure to get the planes back in the air ASAP. My uncle would have been utterly horrified at the thought of sending out so much as a single nut or bolt without reviewing the engineering drawings and knowing for an absolute fact that they were accurate.
Commercial airline technology is well-established with proven reliable testing methods for pieces and parts of the planes. Huge rigs like the Atlantis pose a larger risk for the loss of human life and a much, much larger risk than an airplane crash for causing monstrous environmental catastrophes. Offshore drilling rigs are woefully lacking in safeguards similar to the airline industry.
Friday, March 16, 2012, 10:30 AM
It seems wildly optimistic to think that a judge in the Houston oil patch will be all that unsympathetic to BP wanting to cover up their misdeeds under the cover of proprietary information. Let's hope that Judge Hughes chooses the public interest over BP's.
This article also contains the tidbit that Abbot has asked the court to shut down the Atlantis.
Monday, March 19, 2012
This HuffPo article was reprinted from a local weekly and has the only details I've seen about the health aspects of BP's settlement with the plaintiff's committee. From what I know of the area I would guess that very few of the people most seriously exposed to toxic effects of BP's black monster had much in the way of health records beforehand and probably have had even less money to access health care after they were exposed.
Our government made an unconscionable decision to not to even bother sending health workers in to the affected areas to do baseline health studies much less provide any health care to victims. The chances seem slim that deserving victims with health problems will either be compensated financially or be provided with adequate health care.
There are no words to describe the depth of BP's evil in forbidding cleanup workers use of adequate respiratory protection nor that of the government in allowing this to happen.
03/19/2012 2:55 pm
Click through to listen to the NPR audio interview.
Kim Chauvin is the fifth generation in a family of shrimpers. Toby Dufrene is also a shrimper.
Keith Jones is an attorney who helped work on the settlement. His son, Gordon, was among the 11 killed in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Without any details it's not even possible to make an educated guess as to whether BP's victims will get anything approaching a fair settlement. However, if past is prologue BP and the lawyers will probably be the only ones do quite nicely for themselves with the victims ending up with the short end of the stick.
March 12, 2012
Victims will have to wait until April 16 to learn the terms of the settlement between BP and the plaintiff's committee. I hope and pray I'm dead wrong but I have an awful feeling that there will be much of the devil's fingerprints in the details.
There is also no clarification for Judge Barbier's statement about what "a realignment of parties" might entail.
Friday, March 16, 2012, 6:55 PM Updated: Friday, March 16, 2012, 7:09 PM
BP has apparently gone into the comedy business by saying that they operate their business to the "highest ethical standards." Since it seems highly unlikely that anyone with a shred of integrity would want their reputation sullied by taking a senior executive position at BP it should hardly come as even a teensy surprise to anyone that a BP exec may be using their position to line their own pockets.
It would seem that BP is incapable of carrying out routine maintenance without illegal flaring. BP tossed in an additional hydrogen sulfide leak into the mix to add insult to injury.
BP Refinery Carson, Calif., Has Valve Leak In Addition To Planned Flaring
Not content to only poison the air with truly nasty emissions from its Carson, California refinery, BP has done the same with its Whiting, Indiana refinery. It's hardly comforting that the National Response Center had to be notified for BP's latest hazardous faux pas.
REUTERS, 19/03 05:31 CET
PLEASE visit Pam LaPier's diary to find out how you can help the Gulf now and in the future. We don't have to be idle! And thanks to Crashing Vor and Pam LaPier for working on this!Previous Gulf Watcher diaries:
|3-09-12 06:31 PM||Gulf Watchers Block Party - Sniglets Edition...||Lorinda Pike|
|3-06-12 05:00 PM||Gulf Watchers Tuesday - BP Reaches "Settlement" But Most Claims Unresolved - BP Catastrophe AUV #582||Lorinda Pike|
|2-28-12 01:59 AM||Gulf Watchers Tuesday - BP trial delayed a week for settlement talks - BP Catastrophe AUV #581||peraspera|
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