As Oil Spews in Gulf, BP Chief at UK Yacht Race: Obama’s Itinerary During Gulf Crisis

As oil spews in Gulf, BP chief Tony Hayward attends yacht race at UK’s Isle of Wight

In what one environmentalist described as “yet another public relations disaster” for embattled energy giant BP, CEO Tony Hayward took time off Saturday to attend a glitzy yacht race around England’s Isle of Wight.

As social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook lit up with outrage, BP spokespeople rushed to defend Hayward, who has drawn withering criticism as the public face of BP’s halting efforts to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Spokeswoman Sheila Williams said Hayward took a break from overseeing BP efforts to stem the undersea gusher in Gulf of Mexico so he could watch his boat “Bob” participate in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. The 52-foot yacht is made by the Annapolis, Maryland-based boatbuilder Farr Yacht Design.

The annual one-day race is one of the world’s largest, attracting more than 1,700 boats and 16,000 sailors as world-renown yachtsmen compete with wealthy amateurs in the 50-nautical mile course around the island.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=10958973

TIMELINE: Obama golfs while Gulf burns

 April 22: The Deepwater Horizon drilling platform, which had been burning for two days, sinks into the gulf. President Obama, after speaking in New York about the significance of financial regulatory legislation, hosts an Earth Day celebration in the Rose Garden.

April 23: The U.S. Coastguard pronounces 11 Deepwater workers dead after traveling almost 2,000 miles throughout the gulf in search of their bodies. The president and First Lady Michelle Obama travel to North Carolina for a brief 3 day vacation, where they enjoy BBQ.

April 24: Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry announces that the Deepwater wellhead is spewing crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The president and first lady continue to enjoy their vacation in North Carolina.

April 26: A remote sub fails to stop the leak. Just four days after the explosion, the spill covers an area the size of Rhode Island. After hosting a ceremony for the New York Yankees, Obama travels to Andrews Air Force Base for a game of golf.

April 28: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) pegs the leak rate at 5,000 barrels a day — up from BP’s claim of 1,000 barrels a day. Obama leaves Iowa and spends the day in Illinois, where he speaks to the owner of a family farm. He then visits a biofuel plant.

April 29: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declares a state of emergency, as the spill “now covers a 600-square-mile area” and “is about 16 miles off the state’s coast.” Obama delivers remarks in Washington on the importance of cybersecurity. Later in the day, he attends a FEMA meeting about hurricane preparedness.

May 1: The U.S. military lends BP two C-130 aircraft to release potentially dangerous chemical dispersants over the oil spill. Obama tells jokes at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner, including one about killing the Jonas Brothers using CIA drones.

May 2: Obama makes a quick trip to Louisiana to ”get a firsthand view of the recovery efforts.”

May 3: Alabama Attorney General Troy King demands that BP stop asking fisherman to sign complicated agreements that would severely limit the amount BP would be forced to compensate them for the loss of their livelihood. Obama hosts dinner for the Business Council, “a group of current or former chief executive officers from a broad range of companies.”

May 8: BP’s containment dome, thought by many to be one of the environmentally safest solutions, fills with ice and fails to stop the leak. Obama plays golf at Arkansas’s Fort Belvoir.

 May 9: The first tar balls wash up on Dauphin Island off the coast of Alabama. Obama delivers the commencement address at Virginia’s Hampton University.

May 12: Under pressure from journalists and government agencies, British Petroleum releases a short video of the wellhead, located one mile beneath the gulf surface. Using independent analysts, NPR determines from the video that at 50,000 barrels a day, the leak rate is 10 times higher than NOAA’s estimate and 50 times higher than BP’s early claim. Obama spends the morning with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. After lunch, Obama retires to the Oval Office with his advisers.

May 17: While BP attempts to siphon oil into a special tube, scientists warn that the oil is headed for the Gulf Stream, which would carry it around the southern tip of Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean. Obama hosts the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team.

May 18: Tar balls wash up on the shores of Key West, Fla. Obama tours a factory in Ohio. Later in the day, he meets with Jewish members of the Democratic Caucuses.

May 21: ABC News reports that in the course of one month, enough oil has spilled to “fill enough gallon milk jugs to stretch more than 11,300 miles. That’s more than the distance from New York to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and back.” Obama signs a presidential memorandum “outlining the next steps in his vision for cleaner, more efficient vehicles.”

May 22: Wildlife officials in Louisiana tell the Associated Press that they are considering setting the state’s fragile marshes on fire in an effort to staunch the contaminating effects of the oil. White House officials announce that they are beginning a multi-year renovation project for the north side of the White House. Obama delivers the commencement address at the Military Academy at West Point.

May 26: BP announced yet another plan for stopping the spill, a maneuver called “Top Kill” that involves pumping mud into the Deepwater wellhead in order to clog it. This same day, officials begin pulling fisherman off the gulf due to toxic oil fumes. Obama hosts the U.S. World Cup soccer team and the Duke men’s basketball team.

May 28: Obama makes only his second visit to a grief-stricken Louisiana before heading on vacation. While on vacation over the next 4 days, Obama played two more rounds of golf.

Between June 2 and June 12 Obama played two more rounds of golf. 

http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/28/what-obama-has-been-doing-while-the-gulf-coast-dies/

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/05/28/what-obama-has-been-doing-while-the-gulf-coast-dies/#ixzz0rL4MIthU

Day 61 In The Gulf: Complaint Media Drones On About BP CEO – “Who Is In Charge”?

McAuley’s Comments in Bold Blue:  

[I view this article as the “closing act” of the “political theatre” presented this last week in Congress, “political theatre” in the form of a “play” entitlted “Congressional Hearings On The Gulf Oil Spill”.

The “latest act” is this article from a compliant press intent on distracting the “common man” from the true crisis. An article created by Congress for Congress. A compliant AP published this article to help provide “cover” for the U.S. Congress and to help Congress hide its incompetence. Once again the American people have been subjected to the spectacle of a Congress badgering a witness with their “perfect hindsight”, because they failed to perform appropriate “oversight”. An article intended to deflect attention from the fact that Congress may have failed to enforce our existing laws one again.

Congress will do anything to hide their incompetence, to mask their dereliction of duty. Congress will seek to demean and degrade. They know no limits, they have no decency.

 This article serves no purpose other than to provide “talking points” for the Politicians.

Just another “scene” in Congress’s political theatre of the macabre; a “scene” where the Politicians assume the costumes of the “concerned legislator” and of “vigilant oversight”, characters rushing to complete their lines and their lies, before the final curtain falls.

This article serves one purpose; Congress people will falsely tell their electorate that they “took care of” Tony Heyward,  just as Congressman Stupak implied when he asked, “Do you plan on being BP’s CEO very much longer”. The charade will continue as the Congress people plead for your vote, imploring, “Heyward got what he deserved”, and we are, “not through with him yet”.

Let me make my point “perfectly clear”, my comments are not in defense of CEO Heyward. My condemnation is of the false impression this article creates and the “system” that intentionally creates the “impression”. The “system” that presents this “play” for the common man’s consumption, the system that politely applauds the actor’s performances and then asks condescendingly whether we, the “unwashed masses”, know that this “Act” has ended.

What a performance we were treated to. Waxman playing the  Jester, delivering his lines flawlessly as he accused the witness of “kicking the can down the road”. What cheek!  Such inpudence! Few would dare to be so brazen!

Then there was Stupak, reprising his role as Judas Iscariot in Obama’s production of  “The Passion Play”.  Few will forget Stupak’s betrayal of the unborn for his 30 pieces of silver. The media watched in awe and sat breatlessly as this actor dared questioned the witness’s integrity. Unbridled duplicity! What incongruity! Bravo, bravo, only in Washington! How the east and west coast media lavished their praise.

If transparency is what you seek …. remember you won’t find it at the “theatre”.]      

Questions about who’s in charge of BP oil response

NEW ORLEANS – Who’s in charge? Depends on whom you ask.

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told Britain’s Sky News television on Friday that CEO Tony Hayward is on his way out as the company’s point man on the Gulf oil spill crisis. He said Hayward “is now handing over the operations, the daily operations to (BP Managing Director) Bob Dudley.”

[Mr. Svanberg is the Chairman. Mr. Hayward is the CEO and reports to the Chairman. Mr. Dudley is a Managing Director, or a Vice President if you use American business titles, and Mr. Dudley reports to Mr. Heyward]   

Other company officials insisted, however, that Hayward was still the man and that the switch had already been announced and isn’t immediate.

[These “actions” are not “mutually exclusive”, and contrary to what is being implied, do not signify that Heyward has been demoted. Tomorrow Heyward could be fired and BP could file for bankruptcy, however, for today – this action does not “imply” what is being reported]

“Until the acute part of this crisis is over, until the leak is capped, Tony Hayward is still very much in charge in the response of this crisis,” BP spokesman Robert Wine said.

Wine said Hayward “will at some point hand over the management of the aftermath,” and that Dudley is putting together  a team that will “make sure that the long-term impacts are met with as well as the legal, political repercussions from this crisis.” Other company spokespeople also said Hayward was still in charge.

[Dudley, as a Managing Director, will continue to report to Heyward, just as he did before It appears that Heyward is transitioning back to his “regular job”, the job of running the entire BP empire as the Company’s CEO, not just overseeing the American Spill effort. As the United States is dependent on BP’s continued success to have the costs of this disaster paid, I wish Mr. Heyward and BP every success in the future.]http://cbs4denver.com/business/BP.Gulf.response.2.1761026.html

Update:

As Oil Spews in Gulf, BP Chief at UK Yacht Race

 As oil spews in Gulf, BP chief Tony Hayward attends yacht race at UK’s Isle of Wight

In what one environmentalist described as “yet another public relations disaster” for embattled energy giant BP, CEO Tony Hayward took time off Saturday to attend a glitzy yacht race around England’s Isle of Wight.

As social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook lit up with outrage, BP spokespeople rushed to defend Hayward, who has drawn withering criticism as the public face of BP’s halting efforts to stop the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

Spokeswoman Sheila Williams said Hayward took a break from overseeing BP efforts to stem the undersea gusher in Gulf of Mexico so he could watch his boat “Bob” participate in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. The 52-foot yacht is made by the Annapolis, Maryland-based boatbuilder Farr Yacht Design.

The annual one-day race is one of the world’s largest, attracting more than 1,700 boats and 16,000 sailors as world-renown yachtsmen compete with wealthy amateurs in the 50-nautical mile course around the island.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=10958973 

Day 61 In The Gulf – Smoke & Mirrors From A Compliant Media – ‘Gross Negligence’: BP Used Cheaper, Riskier Oil Wells

BP Used Cheaper, Riskier Oil Wells

Taken from the FOX NEWS article:  [McAuley’s World Comments Bolded Blue – Another compliant article from the Media  – An article intended to focus our attention on BP and shift the focus away from the Feds, Congress, BP’s contractors and the failed clean-up effort in the Gulf.] 

BP Used Cheaper, Riskier Oil Wells

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., which owns a quarter of BP PLC’s blown-out oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, late Friday blasted BP “reckless decisions and actions” that led to the well’s explosion.

The mounting evidence clearly demonstrates that this tragedy was preventable and the direct result of BP’s reckless decisions and actions,” said Hackett in the statement. We recognize that ultimately we have obligations under federal law related to the oil spill, but will look to BP to continue to pay all legitimate claims as they have repeatedly stated that they will do.”

[“We recognize that ultimately we have obligations under federal law related to the oil spill”.  That Andarko, as a contractor, has obligations? Obligations related to negligent actions at the well site? Why doesn’t this headline state, “Andarko admits negligence in Gulf Oil spill” and then tell us how they were negligent? By the way, exactly what “evidence” is Andarko referring to? Exactly what “reckless decisions and actions”? Is the use of an “approved” well design reckless? Has anyone else “recklessly” decided to use this well design? ]

The only other major well design, which is more expensive, includes more safeguards against a natural-gas blowout of the kind that destroyed the Deepwater Horizon.

[First, I’m not certain that anyone has confirmed  what caused the explosion – just a small matter before we start assigning blame. Second, are they saying there are only 2 major designs and this is one of the two designs? Simply because there are alternate designs does not mean this design was not “approved”, “tested” and ‘certified”.  “More expensive” is not always “better”. What this story does not point out is that some of BP’s “purchases” were made from companies other than Andarko. That Andarko is in some ways a competitor of BP and also a co-defendant in this disaster. Let me make an additional comparison – The US Air Force is now purchasing F22 aircraft not F16 aircraft. The F22s are smaller, cheaper and require less maintenance. Does that make the F22 an inferior aircraft? Did Congress make a “reckless decision” to purchase F22s to replace the F16s? Was Congress guilty of “gross negligence” for making the switch? If you ask the company that manufactured the F16 you would get a resounding “Yes” for an answer. If you ask F16 pilots they would say “Yes” also, but just ask an F22 pilot and you’ll get a different answer]

A Wall Street Journal analysis of records provided by the U.S. Minerals Management Service shows that BP used the less costly design—called “long string”—on 35 percent of its deepwater wells since July 2003, the earliest date the well-design data were available. Anadarko used it on 42 percent of its deepwater Gulf wells, though it says it doesn’t do so in wells of the type drilled by BP.

 [Let me see, the premise is that the “well design is grossly negligent” – then how did the design get approved or certified for use and why has Andarko used it on 42% of its wells – 7% more frequently than BP has used the “design”. Is it because most people only read the headline of an article. I’m surprised the stats are right there, for all to read, in the body of the article].

Both companies used the design much more often, on average, than other major Gulf drillers. Out of 218 deepwater wells in the Gulf drilled since July 2003, 26 percent used the long-string design. It derives its name from its use of a single, long “string” of pipe from the sea floor to the bottom of the well.

 [First, let us note that 218 “deepwater wells” have been drilled in the gulf without a prior incident. It would seem to me that the “well design” is not the answer, that the answer lies with “construction” or “installation”, that “design” is a lesser probability. As the “stats” in the article reflect – every drilling company in the world uses this method – some more often than others – You  ask every drilling company in the world, and they all used this method, if the wells based on this design are inherently “safe” or inherently “grossly negligent”, when properly assembled and you’ll get a uniform response – in fact you can ask every Government in the world why they have approved the use of this design and they will tell you the same thing – the “design” is sound. One last “fact”.  It is true that a “long string well” has a single, long piece of uniform pipe streching from the ocean floor to the “oil reservoir” below, however, contrary to what you might envision when you read the article, the “”single long string” of pipe does not stand alone. I’ve been researching this catastrophe. The “single long string” of pipe is actually encased in other “pipes” and “casings”. “Long string wells” were originally designed for use in “hazardous waste disposal” and were adapted to “deep sea oil drilling” because of their excellent reputation in preventing “hazardous material” leaks, because the well design was “secure” and “environmentally friendly”. http://www.kdheks.gov/uic/class_1.htm]

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/18/bp-relied-cheaper-wells/

FOX’S WEEKEND EDITORS SHOULD BE ASHAMED

UPDATE: Oil spill: BP to sue partner in Gulf oil well

BP is preparing to sue its main partner in the leaking Gulf of Mexico oil field for its share of clean-up costs after the company, Anadarko, said BP’s behaviour revealed “gross negligence” and that the ­accident was preventable.

In a fundamental split between the two companies with lead responsibility for the well, a senor BP source told The Sunday Telegraph that Anadarko was “shirking its responsibilities”, not accepting its liabilities and that legal action in the US was now likely to follow.

Anadarko, which has a 25pc stake in the well, signalled this weekend that it will refuse to pay up.

BP has already sent the company one demand for payment but, the BP source said, had yet to receive any costs for the multi-billion ­dollar clean-up operation.

Jim Hackett, Anadarko’s chief executive, launched a damning attack on BP, the majority owner and operating partner, alleging there were signs of “gross negligence or wilful misconduct”.

“The mounting evidence clearly demonstrates that this tragedy was preventable and the direct result of BP’s reckless decisions and actions,” said Mr Hackett. “BP’s behaviour and action is likely represent gross negligence or wilful misconduct.”

Mitsui, the 10pc owner of the well, has made no decision on whether to admit liability for its share of costs, but is likely to join Anadarko in its refusal to contribute. BP could then also take legal action against that company as well.

The deepening row over costs followed a call from US Congressman Edward Markey, saying Anadarko and Mitsui should be held accountable and set aside money to pay a share of claims tied to the spill. “They cannot escape responsibility,” he said.

“Other parties besides BP may be responsible for costs and liabilities arising from the oil spill, and we expect those parties to live up to their obligations.”

Analysts are also getting restive about the uncertainty surrounding Anadarko and Mitsui because their involvement in paying claims would have a huge impact on BP’s financial position.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/7840455/Oil-spill-BP-to-sue-partner-in-Gulf-oil-well.html

[Will Congress’ political theatre of this last week, a “show trial” called a “Congressional Hearing” conducted prior to the completion of any investigation, negatively affect the collection of damages from the responsible parties? Will Congress’ “rush to judgment” shelter at fault parties and prevent a full recovery of American damages? Will Congress’ rush to play the political CYA game, add insult to injury in the Gulf Coast?]

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