Gulf Oil Crisis Day 67: Tropical Storm May Interupt Gulf Oil Recovery – Force Evacuation of Oil Recovery Ships

Officials kept a wary eye on an area of low-pressure in the Caribbean that threatened to turn into the first tropical depression of the Atlantic season.

BP would need about five days to move all of its equipment out of harm’s way if a storm threatens, Salvin said. So far, the company hasn’t started that process.

Lt. Cmdr. Dave Roberts, a Navy hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, said an Air Force reconnaissance plane was on its way to investigate the system Friday and would likely know later in the day whether it will develop further.

The equipment to be secured would include ships working to process oil being sucked to the surface from a containment device and the rigs drilling the two relief wells. The way the system is set up now, oil would flow unabated into the Gulf if BP had to abandon its containment effort because of a storm.

The first well, started May 2, reached a depth of 16,275 feet on Wednesday before workers paused for the first test known as a ranging run. Although the first relief well is only 200 feet laterally from the original well, the crew still has to drill around 3,000 feet deeper before it can intercept the original well, according to Salvin.

“We have to hit a target essentially nine inches in diameter,” he said.

The second relief well, started on May 16, has reached a depth of 10,500 feet.

Worst-case government estimates say about 2.5 million gallons are leaking from the well, though no one really knows for sure.

August seems a long way off to many dealing with the fallout that includes oil washing up on beaches and creeping into delicate wetlands.

Along Pensacola Beach in Florida, part of which was closed Thursday, lifeguard Collin Cobia wore a red handkerchief over his nose and mouth to block the oil smell. “It’s enough to knock you down,” he said.

Others weren’t happy about the situation but declined to second-guess the BP engineers.

“I have no clue at all about the correct way to stop it,” said Rocky Ditcharo, a seafood dock owner in Louisiana’s Plaquemines Parish. “‘Powerless’ — that’s a good word for it.”

Obama’s New Head of Immigration & Customs Enforcement Supported Sanctuary Cities

White House Picks Critic of Local Immigration Enforcement for Key Role at ICE

By Stephen Clark                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Published June 25, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                        

The Obama administration has tapped an outspoken critic of immigration enforcement on the local level to oversee and promote partnerships between federal and local officials on the issue.

Harold Hurtt, a former police chief in Houston and Phoenix, has been hired as the director for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of State and Local Coordination. Starting July 6, Hurtt will supervise outreach and communication between ICE, local law enforcement agencies, tribal leaders and representatives from non-governmental organizations.

“Chief Hurtt is a respected member of the law enforcement community and understands the concerns of local law enforcement leaders,” said John Morton, the Homeland Security assistant secretary for ICE. “His experience and skills will be an invaluable asset to the ICEs outreach and coordination efforts.”

But as a police chief, Hurtt was a supporter of “sanctuary city” policies, by which illegal immigrants who don’t commit crimes can live without fear of exposure or detainment because police don’t check for immigration papers.

He also, during his tenure as Houston police chief, criticized ICE’s key program that draws on local law enforcement’s support.

“There’s no way you can head up an office if you don’t believe in what the office is supposed to do,” Curtis Collier of U.S. Border Watch, told the Houston Chronicle. “Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s primary mission is to protect the American people. If this guy believes any of these programs should not be enforced, he’s certainly going to be a very weak advocate for them.”

Kelly Nantel, a spokeswoman for ICE, told that Hurtt has always been a proponent of the jail model of the 287(g) program, which gives local police authority to initiate deportation proceedings against illegal immigrants linked to serious crimes — but as a police chief, he didn’t favor more proactive local enforcement because he didn’t believe it was the best utilization of his resources.

“I think the critics are only talking about half of what he said,” she said. “He’s always been a strong proponent of every law enforcement agency making those decision on their own.”

Critics say his pro-immigration policies enabled illegal immigrants to kill two police officers and seriously injure another in Phoenix before he left in 2005 and to kill an officer in Houston before he retired in 2009.

The widow of one of the officers, Rodney Johnson, who was fatally shot by an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record, is suing Hurtt for enacting policies that she says led to his death.

But Nantel dismissed such allegations.

“The responsibility of those homicides lies on the shoulder of the individuals who committed the crimes,” Nantel said.

Hurtt’s position at ICE reportedly pays $180,000 a year.

McAuleys World Comments: Another step along the road of the President’s unconstitutional attempt to implement a “de facto” open borders & amnesty program that he cannot pass through Congress.

No one who publicly acknowledges he intentionally ignored the laws of the land as a Police Chief should be appointed to a postion involving national law enforcement responsibilities, never mind being the Chief Enforcement Officer of the law he ignored in the first place.

It is this type of extra constitutional behavior on the part of the Executive Branch and its Agencies that must be stopped if this Country is to remain a Constitutional Republic.

The appointment of Chief Hurtt by the President highlights the reason why Supreme Court Nominee Alena Kagan must not be confirmed!

Day 67 Gulf Oil Crisis: Admiral Allen Announces New Plan For Well Repair – A Plan Originally Proposed On

Today, Friday June 25, 2010, Admiral Thad Allen announced a new plan to repair the damaged Gulf well. A plan that was posted here on


The plan announced by the Admiral will involve an attempt to remove the last section of damaged “riser” or pipe and the flange to which it is attached. The plan does not involve replacing the flange and damaged pipe with a “shutoff valve”, instead a valve that allows the continued production of oil will be installed.

The current plan was suggested, in detail, by this writer in a post on June 21, 2010.


Admiral Allen’s interview can be viewed/located on the Fox Site: . Click on videos tab on Fox site, in the “videos folder” click on Hot Topics – Click on Gulf Oil Crisis and click on “Admiral Allen on setbacks to gulf oil cleanup”.

The video URL is: , however, I’ve had intermittant problems with the link.

UPDATE: While FOX appears to have taken the video down – the video can be viewed on COMCAST here:

The discussion of the repair begins at the 2:52 mark of the interview.

The Admiral discusses the “repair” and “removal” of the damaged pipe at the end of the interview, when he responds to a question from Brian Kilmeade, “can you give us any additional information about the repair”, the Admiral discloses that BP has three different valve designs under consideration and that the damaged pipe will be removed and a new valve will be “bolted down” – to a new flange – on top of the wellhead.

Update: 07/10/2010

The process begun Saturday (07/10/2010) has two major phases: removing equipment currently on top of the leak and installing new gear designed to fully contain the flow of oil.

BP began trying Saturday afternoon to remove the bolted top flange that only partially completed the seal with the old cap. Video images showed robotic arms working to unscrew its bolts. BP spokeperson said that could last into Monday depending on whether the flange can be pulled off from above, as BP hopes. If not, a specially designed tool will be used to pry apart the top and bottom flanges.

Once the top flange is removed, BP has to bind together two sections of drill pipe that are in the gushing well head. Then a 12-foot-long piece of equipment called a flange transition spool will be lowered and bolted over it.

View the video here:

Read my update here:  

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