"It is possible to trace oil from the BP spill as it moved through the first several levels of the Gulf’s food chain, starting with the microbes that broke the oil down, according to a scientific paper released today.
That paper, 'Oil carbon entered the coastal planktonic food web during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill,' suggests that a faint 'shadow' of the oil can be seen in the Gulf’s smallest creatures — plankton and copepods. Those tiny animals ate the microbes that ate the oil.
What’s present in the creatures is not oil. Instead, it is a unique form of carbon typically associated with oil and not otherwise seen in the Gulf creatures, researchers found. Carbon is the primary building block of all life, so it is present in bacteria, copepods, fish and all other creatures."
"A brown substance is killing coral organisms in colonies located 4,600 feet deep about seven miles southwest of the failed BP Macondo oil well, according to scientists who returned Thursday from a three-week cruise studying coral reefs in the northern Gulf of Mexico.
The finding is the first case in which researchers have found evidence that living organisms in the deepwater area near the well site might have been killed by oil from the spill.
"ON THE FLOOR OF THE GULF OF MEXICO -- Just 20 miles north of where BP's blown-out well spewed millions of gallons of oil into the sea, life appears bountiful despite initial fears that crude could have wiped out many of these delicate deepwater habitats." Brian Skoloff reports for the Associated Press October 22, 2010.
"The White House is pushing back against the draft reports the National Oil Spill Commission released Wednesday on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that included scathing criticism of the administration's handling of the disaster. The reports' harshest criticism was directed toward the administration's handling of information about the size of the spill and the extent of the damage.
'This was an unprecedented environmental disaster met with an unprecedented federal response which prevented any of the worst-case scenarios from coming to fruition,' White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Thursday. 'When we had information, we gave it to the public.'
He also refuted the report's claim that the Office of Management and Budget blocked another federal agency from releasing estimates about the worst-case scenario for the spill. 'No information was altered. No information was withheld. And nothing in the report had anything to do with the robust response,' said Gibbs."
"SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Oil billionaires David and Charles Koch have jumped on board an effort to suspend California's global warming law by making a million-dollar contribution this week. A subsidiary of Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries, the nation's second-largest private company with oil refineries and pipelines, made a $1 million contribution Thursday to the campaign for Proposition 23. They join two Texas-based companies, Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp." Margot Roosevelt reports for the Huffington Post September 4, 2010.
It has been known for some while that scientists have been pushed to sign non-disclosure agreements if they are involved in the BP spill "Natural Resource Damage Assessment." But there are now numerous credible reports of independent academic scientists not involved in the NRDA being told to leave public gulf waters and lands by agents of the Fish & Wildlife Service and Dept. of Homeland Security. Scientists' samples and notes are being confiscated, even when the notes do not pertain to the secret areas.
Federal agents told research scientists that they could not do independent research in public areas without approval of the "Unified Command." It was the "Unified Command" that compiled the work of federal scientists, interpreted it, and published the Obama administration's preferred conclusions without data or documentation in the now-discredited August 4 report that said 3/4 of the oil was gone. A NOAA representative yesterday refused to give a Congressional committee the data on which the Obama White House's conclusions were based.
The story was laid out in a segment produced by Annette Heist on the August 20, 2010, edition of Science Friday, with a panel including Linda Hooper-Bui of Louisiana State University A&M, Christopher D'Elia of LSU, and Cary Nelson of the American Assn. of University Professors. Audio should be available here by 6 pm ET Aug.20.
"White House claims that the worst of the BP oil spill was over were undermined [Thursday] when a senior government scientist said three-quarters of the oil was still in the Gulf environment and a research study detected a 22-mile plume of oil in the ocean depths.
Bill Lehr, a senior scientist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) departed from an official report from two weeks ago which suggested the majority of the oil had been captured or broken down.
'I would say most of that is still in the environment,' Lehr, the lead author of the report, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee."