Obama on the oil leak: Mission (mostly) accomplished; Update: Overhyped?
Politico’s photo says it all. We’re not out of the woods yet — the environmental impact could last “decades,” according to one official — but “static kill” is working to keep the leak plugged and, amazingly, fully three-quarters of the oil has now all but disappeared. Which we already sort of knew, but still. Three quarters? Maybe The One really is magic.
For his next trick, how about getting the unemployment rate down to, say, “only” nine percent?
The report calculates, for example, that about 25 percent of the chemicals in the oil evaporated at the surface or dissolved into seawater in the same way that sugar dissolves in tea. (The government appears to have settled on a conservative number for that estimate, with the scientific literature saying that as much as 40 percent of the oil from a spill can disappear in this way.)
The aggressive response mounted by BP and the government — the largest in history, ultimately involving more than 5,000 vessels — also played a role in getting rid of the oil, the report says. Fully 5 percent of the oil was burned at the surface, it estimates, while 3 percent was skimmed and 8 percent was broken up into tiny droplets using chemical dispersants. Another 16 percent dispersed naturally as the oil shot out of the well at high speed.
All told, the report calculates that about 74 percent of the oil has been effectively dealt with by capture, burning, skimming, evaporation, dissolution or dispersion. Much of the dissolved and dispersed oil can be expected to break down in the environment, though federal scientists are still working to establish the precise rate at which that is happening.
The effect on commercial fishing is minimal thus far and MMS is already making noise about giving up on the drilling moratorium in the gulf. Exit question: Time for a celebratory round of golf?
Update: The science is settled. Or is it?
A Florida State University scientist who has tracked the spill said he didn’t have confidence in the federal findings.
“There’s some science here, but mostly it’s spin, and it breaks my heart to see them do it,” oceanographer Ian MacDonald said to The Associated Press. “This is an unfortunate report. I’m afraid this continues a track record of doubtful information distributed through NOAA.”…
“There is no reason to exaggerate the impact, because it’s so bad that we don’t have to exaggerate,” Hocevar said. “I stepped into an area that was the size of a football field and it had 50,000 dead crabs. This is an area that can no longer sustain life. You don’t want to see 50,000 of anything dead.”
This entry was posted on August 4, 2010 by Various Writers. It was filed under Corruption in Government, Elections Politics, Energy and Oil, Government Regulations, Jobs, Media Corruption, Most Americans Reject Socialism, New Media News, The Economy, Weather News and was tagged with BP, chemical dispersants, crisis, Gulf of Mexico, Ian MacDonald, NOAA, Obama, oil spill, overhyped.