null_sequence

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The Beginning of the End Game: What Oilspill?

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Late last evening, Tuesday August 3 2010, BP announced that the static kill procedure had tamed the blown-out MC-252 well at last. All that remains is a “permanent kill” to be performed by the 1st relief well in a few days.

This morning Carol Browner, the White House energy adviser, released a carefully weasel-worded statement seeding the meme that 75% of the 4.9 million barrels of leaked oil has been “cleaned up”.

On Monday the EPA released a carefully-phrased & spun report of its own, basically declaring that angst over unprecedented widespread use of 2+ million gallons of dispersants is all just silly clutching of pearls by silly fretters.

Those three announcements represent the core of a strategy to finally remove the BP Gulf Disaster from the headlines and newscasts. There is still the matter of money; the hyped-up $20B escrow fund is apparently not even partially in place, and the claims process is under fire.
But those are page 3 stories with only the occasional possibility of a frontpage/AC360/Maddow/Olbermann flare-up. Response management of any catastrophic social or ecosystem consequences of the months-long oil gusher is now being moved to the custodial care wing of the PR department.

It’s been suggested that unlike Exxon Valdez in 1989 or Ixtoc in 1979, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster is taking place in the Internet Age and that we will be privy to an emergent historical record more comprehensive than ever before. Perhaps.
But few things are more toxic to culpable corporations and government apparatchiks than transparency, so expect a continuing deluge of Gulf Disaster happy-marketing and general disinformatsia.

The Internet, more specifically the public-feedback channel of the blogosphere, will simply be ignored until it too can be tamed, perhaps via a net-neutrality legislative “top-kill”. We are after all living in a post-documentary age, where a politician or other public figure can proclaim absolute positions live on TV, and a short time later successfully declaim any such policy. Confirmable veracity is for the little people and whistleblowers such as the group of EPA scientists now brandishing research and complaining that their professional scientific concerns about of dispersant toxicity were ignored by the EPA heads and the BP/USCG/US “unified command”.

Now begins the next wave of barkers, apologists, deniers and the low-balling revisionaries. For a while they will magically pop up on the cable news channels, NPR, the local paper, everywhere. They will intone the authoritative verdict that everything is fine, that at long last It Is Over.
And pay no never-mind to silly grant-seeking people using elite & pointy-headed terms such as bio-accumulation, oxygen depletion and ecosytem disruption. It was just a little oil, and the fish love it: they swim through it and have babies.

Welcome to the new Gulf normal.

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*Of course George H.W. Bush was talking about caribou and oil pipelines

Written by nullsequence

August 4, 2010 at 7:41 pm

Posted in news, travesty

Tagged with , , ,