Millions more gallons of oil from the gusher in the Gulf Of Mexico are now flowing freely as BP has removed the cap from the well. The cap was removed so that another tighter cap can be put in place. BP claims that the other cap could be in place by Monday. Or not.
Millions more than….how many gallons now? If you’re like me you’ve lost track of the numbers. But then BP has given out lots of numbers since this disaster began 81 days ago. Most of them were wrong. Nevertheless, now millions more are spewing with no cap or anything else to stop them. Not that the cap made much of a difference in the first place, judging from the live “gusher cam” BP was forced to put in place. About the only thing that ever changes is the shade of the substance belching out. Of course, since there’s no cap to restrict the flow, right now there’s merely a shot of some random piece of equipment down there, and no sign of any oil. A typical maneuver of BP if you’re a frequent viewer of the gusher cam.
In spite of BP’s efforts to keep information from getting out, we still manage to get some news from members of the media who are threatened with the possibility of fines and/or jail time if they cross the BP “safety zone.” Pictures do get out of dead dolphins and birds. Dispersants can’t keep us from eventually finding oil, but they will make you sick if you’re cleaning up the oil from the beach since BP won’t allow you to wear protective gear. My goodness, were a photographer to slip through the so-called “safety zone” and snap a picture of you in said protective gear, it might look as if that were dangerous or something!
Yes, misinformation and the lack thereof does seem to be the one thing you can count on from BP. From the old and penciled in “plan” for spills that included dead experts, how to save the famous “Gulf walrus” and nonexistent Japanese home shopping websites providing equipment, right down to the ignored warnings, shoddy and flawed design of the well, and yes, the “blowout preventer” which of course does no such thing.
In the midst of all this isn’t it obvious? There is so much destruction happening now, so much more to come and the future is uncertain. Those who will suffer because of it shouldn’t also have to endure struggles just to have their livelihood restored somehow, if that’s even possible. For many in the Gulf Coast, it’s a fight for survival. The small feat of filing and receiving a claim from BP should be a no brainer.
We’re told that BP “gets it.” After all, we hear it over and over in those pricey BP ads on television and radio. We see it plastered all over those full-page ads in newspapers across the country from “BP employees and their families who work and live on the Gulf coast” alongside the victims:
“We may not always be perfect, but WE WILL MAKE THIS RIGHT.”
They’ll right their wrong. Simple concept, correct? Actually, not so fast. After all, this is BP we’re talking about here.
If you read the latest ad in the newspaper it also says they have simplified and accelerated claims. By some stretch of imagination that may be a more accurate statement than “making things right.”
Yesterday in Louisiana they found out that by “simplified” BP means they have simply decided to pay thousands of people less than their claims. And being the meticulous record keepers that they are they expect nothing less from those filing claims:
BP has decided to reduce payments to tens of thousands of people whose claim files are incomplete, the secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services said.
Yes BP, the company with the “stellar” track record that they have will simply not stand for incomplete records on claims filed by victims of their “tiny leak.” Those affected may want their lives back, but please! Not until each and every “t” is crossed, nor every “i” dotted.
Back when BP finally touched on the topic of claims and compensation for victims of the spill, one key phrase stood out and spoke volumes. Now when anyone from BP addresses the subject of claims, it’s repeated almost robotically like any Republican attempting to hypnotize his sheep with a tax cut:
BP will pay any “legitimate” claims. Translation? Good luck with that.
Now legitimacy takes on a whole new meaning:
In Louisiana, BP didn’t bother to inform anyone that the claims would be cut. It was merely discovered Thursday when the secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Children and Family Services discovered it during a review of the claims. BP would only give an estimate that cuts in payments were in store for more than 40,000 of the 99,508 victims.
That “will be devastating to individuals surviving financially month-to-month,” she said. “This action is irresponsible and in complete contrast to BP’s repeated promise that they will ‘make things right.'”
(Kristy) Nichols said that many people who have filed claims don’t have records that BP finds acceptable. “It is crucial that BP not continue to penalize these individuals and instead accept alternative forms of documentation, such as records held by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries,” she wrote.
“It is rash for BP to make this decision without consulting the State to determine if there are alternative methods for obtaining the documentation in State records,” she wrote.
As for the criteria on those “legitimate” claims:
BP also told the state “it will begin adjusting claim payments based on the seasonal nature of fishing activities, which will also result in a decrease in payments,” Nichols wrote.
Nichols also took issue with what she said is BP’s policy against considering business expenses, including loan payments on fishing boats, when paying captains of shrimp, fish and oyster boats.
BP also cannot tell the state how many people haven’t gotten any money because the company classified their claims as related to the moratorium on deepwater drilling, Nichols wrote.
“This is a significant flaw in the design of the system and one that must be corrected,” she wrote. “The moratorium is the direct result of the oil disaster and people affected should be adequately, accurately and promptly compensated.
So here we have the biggest oil gushing disaster in history unfolding in the Gulf. The disaster has come to us courtesy of BP. The company who drilled, but who never had a plan in the event of a spill beyond the phone numbers of dead experts for emergencies and instructions on how to save sea life that weren’t there, used blowout preventers that were risky and not maintained properly and equally shoddy plumbing with design flaws, habitually ignored or misread warning signs of impending disasters, pushed risky procedures to save profits which caused the spill, injured and killed workers, has lied and misled us on how much oil is spilling, used solutions that only made the spill worse, like dispersants banned in BP’s own country and others due to toxicity and makes measuring spill amounts more difficult (by design?), made genius attempts to plug the hole like building a giant milk carton to drop onto the well (failed), used other means and gave them names like top hat (failed) and top kill (failed), shot mud into the well (failed and possibly destabilized not only the well, but the sea floor itself), shot garbage into the well (failed), put a cap on and supposedly captured some oil for a while (if you say so), burned oil on the water, causing unknown and known health problems which they lied about and called “food poisoning”, drilled relief wells (still waiting), removed the cap to replace it which presently is allowing oil and gas etc. to flow freely on the 81st day of the spill (to be continued), and the oil has killed: countless (literally) numbers of sea life, birds and other wildlife, marshland, tourism, and the fishing industry, concealed information on the amounts of oil in the water by restriction of flights and reporters, and concealed dead wildlife in a similar fashion, and finally, anything else I have left out.
And yet claims against BP and compensation payments are cut because the claimants paperwork isn’t “acceptable” to BP, while other claims may not be paid because of the moratorium on oil drilling. WHICH THEY CAUSED.
Beyond those, one can only imagine what BP considers a “legitimate” claim?