Day 93 In The Gulf: Four Transocean Employees Fail To Appear Before Coast Guard Inquiry

Four Transocean workers have refused to appear before the Coast Guard-Interior Department inquiry into the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drill rig, forcing the panel to cancel a Wednesday hearing into the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

All four worked on the doomed rig’s blowout preventer, the massive fail-safe device that has failed to cut off the undersea gusher at the heart of the disaster. They “declined to voluntarily appear” before the joint Coast Guard-Interior Department board investigating the sinking, the panel said in a statement canceling the hearing.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Elizabeth Bordelon said the men are from the Houston, Texas, area, as are many of the BP and Transocean employees slated to testify in upcoming hearings, and cited problems with travel arrangements for their cancellation. The rest of the week’s proceedings are expected to go on as planned, and the men’s testimony has been rescheduled for August in Houston, where the board plans its next round of hearings, she said.

“We don’t anticipate any problems for the rest of the week or the future set of hearings,” said Bordelon, a spokeswoman for the investigative board.

Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon, which sank two days after an April 20 explosion off Louisiana that left 11 crew members dead. It leased the platform to BP, the owner of the ruptured well, and BP, Transocean and cementing contractor Halliburton all have blamed each other for the disaster.

The investigative panel is charged with finding the cause of the disaster “to the fullest extent possible” and could refer any findings of misconduct to federal prosecutors. The panel has a January 2011 deadline for completing its report, Bordelon said.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/07/21/gulf.oil.investigation/index.html?iref=allsearch

GM, “head over heals in debt” to U.S. Government, to buy AmeriCredit for $3.5 billion.

McAuley’s World Comments:

GM has yet to pay off its debt to the U.S. Government. G.M. is still owned by the U.S. Taxpayer through the debt owed to the Government. The U.S. Government still owns 61% of G.M.. G.M. owes the U.S. Taxpayer billions of dollars…  

See: General Motors Busted For Loan Repayment Scam. Repayment made with “other” Bailout Funds

 G.M. has not finalized its plan to present an IPO or initial public offering to sell public stock and reimburse the American Taxpayer.

There is little interest in the investment community to purchase GM shares and to enter into a business or investment relationship with the UAW as a silent partner and GM’s recent bankruptcy history… just ask the previous G.M. bond holders and the private owners of thousands of closed G.M. dealerships …

AmeriCredit specializes in “substandard auto loans” and “substandard auto leases”, the same types of loans made by GMAC, GM’s former lending unit…  GMAC is in bankruptcy and was one reason for the original GM/GMAC bailouts…. the purchase and control of AmeriCredit by GM will simply help to “re-inflate” the “substandard”  auto loan/lease “bubble”.

G.M. is paying a 24% premium to purchase this company and re-enter the “substandard auto loan/lease” business … pay a 24% premium with money loaned by the U.S. Government … G.M. continues to work with GMAC under the “rebranded” name Ally Financial or Ally Bank … Can’t Ally Bank write bad auto loans/leases quick enough to generate the numbers G.M. and the Obama Administration want?

What is next, a return of the “pull ahead” lease or “pull ahead” financing? A practice that resulted in the automaker making $30,000 loans to purchasers of $20,000 vehicles.

Who will be on the hook after the re-inflated substandard auto loan/lease” bubble” collapses.

Didn’t Congress just pass a “Financial Reform Act” … and promise that we, the American people, would never see this type of activity again?

If a Democrat’s lips are moving – they are telling us another lie …

I don’t object to this business plan because of its structure … I object to the plan because G.M. is not a privately owned company”. Stop giving public money to companies that can’t find “private investment” to support its business plans.

GM’s proposed plan is politically motivated … The November elections are just months away … G.M. and the Obama Administration are desperate to generate “good numbers” … making substandard auto loans/leases that are doomed to fail are of little consequence to these “players” … look to the “mortgage loan modification program” for an example …. 100’s of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars wasted on a “political” program designed to “create” false numbers. Sadly, 90% of those to receive “mortgage modifications” have seen their loans fall into “foreclosure” …  

GM agrees to buy AmeriCredit for $3.5 billion in cash

LONDON (MarketWatch) — General Motors Co. on Thursday announced a deal to buy car-financing giant AmeriCredit Corp. for $3.5 billion, in an effort to fill the pothole left in 2006 when the automaker gave up controlling interest in GMAC.

Terms of the agreement call for AmeriCredit stockholders to receive $24.50 in cash for each of their shares.

The hefty premium sent AmeriCredit /quotes/comstock/13*!acf/quotes/nls/acf (ACF 24.01, +4.31, +21.88%) shares up more than 22% in opening trades in New York.

The transaction, which has already been approved by the boards at both companies, is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter.

“This acquisition supports our efforts to design, build and sell the world’s best vehicles by expanding the financing options we can offer to consumers who want to buy GM vehicles,” Chairman and CEO Ed Whitacre said.

GM said the move, in conjunction with a program the two companies launched nearly a year ago, will help reach more subprime customers as the Detroit giant progress toward a massive public offering. Launching its IPO will allow the U.S. government to cut its GM stake down from the 61% it currently holds.

Ft. Worth, Tex.-based AmeriCredit also plans to get back into the leasing business, which will open the door for more leasing options for GM customers.

“We’ve set up a very competitive solution for our financing needs, which will be resilient through credit and business cycles,” said Chris Liddell, GM’s chief financial officer.

Ally Financial, formerly GMAC, will continue to support GM, Liddell added.

AmeriCredit’s management team will remain intact following completion of the transaction, GM said.

“We’ll continue to offer our loan products to the more than 11,000 dealers across the country we serve today,” noted Daniel Berce, president and CEO of AmeriCredit.

David Silver, an analyst at WStreet.com, praised the deal and said it increases the future value of GM stock. But he still urged some caution.

“This could also indicate that the company is worried about the next few months in terms of sales as it is looking to generate additional cash flow to help stem that weakness,” he said.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gm-agrees-to-buy-americredit-for-35-billion-cash-2010-07-22?siteid=rss&rss=1

The Immigration Debate: Judge hears arguments on Arizona immigration law today

A federal judge will hear arguments Thursday from lawyers for the governor, the federal government and civil rights groups over whether Arizona’s new immigration law should take effect in a week.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton will consider a request by the U.S. Justice Department to block enforcement of

Cartel Killers leave 5 heads on disco floor

the law. She also will hear arguments in a challenge by civil rights groups over whether the law should be put on hold and whether that lawsuit should be thrown out of court.

The judge has said she wasn’t making any promises on whether she would make those rulings before the law takes effect on July 29.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2010/07/22/general-mobile-telecommunications-us-immigration-arizona-lawsuits_7787657.html?boxes=techchannelAP

Day 93 In The Gulf: BP Temporarily “Corks” Relief Tunnel

Vessels begin to leave Gulf drilling site

BP has temporarily corked a relief tunnel deep beneath the sea floor as tropical rainstorms move toward the Gulf of Mexico.
The tunnel will be used to blast mud and cement into BP’s leaky
well, hopefully sealing it off for good. But the threat of a tropical storm has prompted the oil giant to shut off the tunnel to keep it from being damaged.
BP vice president Kent Wells says the relief well was plugged Wednesday morning and drilling was halted.
Once the storm threat passes, they’ll remove the plug and resume
work.
Forecasters say a tropical weather system likely will move into
the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. It has a 50 percent chance of
becoming a tropical depression or storm within the next 48 hours.

http://www.katc.com/news/bp-has-temporarily-corked-a-relief-tunnel/

Day 93 In The Gulf: UK’s Guardian Newspaper Spikes Story:”Gulf Oil Crisis – Fact From Ficton”

The following post was placed in “related articles” in a number of newspapers, including many of the top 50 international papers of the world. The posts were researched and written as my response to a perceived “dropping of the ball” by the main stream media … I remember when the basics; who, what, when, where, why and how – preceded getting two independent sources to verify the information before the media “went to press”. Today, those criteria have clearly been abandoned … just about anyone can make any type of claim or statement and the press will repeat it on air or in print. As it turns out many news organizations are now “colluding with” interested parties and assisting the parties in “shaping” the news …   

The post was made  because many of the papers continue, to this day, to repeat “speculation” and “fictions” as fact …. example, “the gulf well is 36,000 feet deep”, when, in fact, the well is 18,000 feet deep.

Exactly how difficult can it be to get this type of fact correct?

Just yesterday major American news organizations posted headlines proclaiming that “Congressional Hearings” were cancelled because  “witneses” who were “BP employees” had not appear before the committee. In another instance CNN.com posted a headline that, and I’ll need to paraphrase, “BP Exec testifies to leak in a safety device”, above a video of the the “testimony”. Not one of the 4 employees who “failed to appear” worked for BP, they were all Transocean Employees. Transocean is the owner/operated of the drilling rig. The “BP Exec” on CNN’s “video” was, as announcer on the video clearly states, “an emplopyee of Transocean”. The gentleman was neither an “exec” nor was he an employee of BP. Later in the day testimony confirmed that the “witness” was not very well informed, the “safety device”, a BOP, had passed vigorus testing days after the alleged event that this “rig worker” reported on.

Did you know that of the 126 workers on the Deepwater Horizon Rig, only 7 were in the employ of BP.  

Since I started posting my “note”, only one paper, Guardian.uk, one of London’s largest papers, has blocked and deleted the posting…

What political reason could there be for the Guardian to do this? 

I beleive the post treats BP very fairly …. pointing out the fact that the Obama Administration has controilled all aspects of the “well repair” for months.

The Guardian’s readers who accessed the post appeared to have “liked” the article … not a single negative or derogatory comment was received on this blog.   

The post the Guardian deleted folloows:

“Finished extensive research into what happened to the Deepwater Horizon and what has transpired since it sank on 04/22/2010.

No finger pointing. No demonization. A fresh look at things …

Well, there is one bit of finger pointing – the Obama Administration delayed the latest repair from May 2 until July 14, 2010 – a 71 day delay …

Gulf Oil Crisis – Facts from Fiction, Part 1 of 3

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/gulf-oil-crisis-facts-from-fiction-part-1-of-3/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/19/gulf-oil-crisis-%e2%80%93-facts-from-fiction-part-2-of-3/

https://mcauleysworld.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/gulf-oil-crisis-%e2%80%93-facts-from-fiction-part-3-of-3/

My posts are fully linked and sited.

They are also free ….”

The post was active for a few hours and hundreds of Guardian readers “linked” to the posts from each of several articles where the post was placed … then, without explanation … the post was deleted …  

 McAuleysWorld

21 Jul 2010, 9:03AM

This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/20/bp-oil-spill-cleanup-threatened-tropical-storms

You can read and decide for yourself …

What reason for this censorship?

Day 93 In The Gulf: BP suspends relief well work to avoid risk of storm interruption

Concerned that stormy weather might soon force an evacuation in the Gulf of Mexico, BP temporarily suspended work on a relief well considered to be the ultimate solution for plugging the blown-out Macondo well that until last week had been gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP Vice President Kent Wells said.

The suspension of the relief well also means that an attempt to perform a “static kill” of the well, should that procedure be approved, also has been delayed. [McAuley’s World Comment: The Obama Administration has been approving, and requiring that all procedures be approved, for 3 months]

“We’re having to watch the weather very, very carefully now and adjust our plans accordingly,” Wells said.

Weather concerns are focused around a cluster of thunderstorms just east of the Bahamas that as of Wednesday evening had a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression. Should that system develop, it could cause high winds and waves over the Deepwater Horizon spill site.

Day 93 In The Gulf: Brewing storm threatens to interrupt work on BP oil well fix

Tropical rainstorms moving toward the Gulf of Mexico (click for New Orleans Storm Update) Wednesday threatened to shut down undersea efforts to seal BP’s ruptured well, interrupting work just as engineers get close to plugging the leak with mud and cement.

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said a weather system brewing in the Caribbean could force crews to abandon their watch over the experimental cap that’s been bottling oil a mile below the surface of the water for nearly a week.

Scientists have been scrutinizing underwater cameras and data for days, trying to determine if the cap is displacing pressure and causing leaks underground. If storms keep them from seeing the cap and getting those readings — for up to four days, Allen said — BP could reopen the well to avoid missing signs it is buckling.

“This is necessarily going to be a judgment call,” said Allen, the federal government’s point man on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill who will make the ultimate decision.

Forecasters say the storm system likely will move into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, although it appears to be weakening. Right now, it has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm within the next 48 hours.

Even if the storm doesn’t hit the area directly, it could affect containment and cleanup. Hurricane Alex didn’t get closer than 500 miles from the spill in late June, yet offshore skimming in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida was essentially curtailed for nearly a week.

In Florida, crews were removing protective boom intended to buffer the state’s inland waterways in the Panhandle from oil. High winds and storm surge could carry the boom into sensitive wetlands, damaging those areas.

Allen said BP and government scientists were meeting to discuss whether the cap could be monitored from the shore.

It could take several days to evacuate ships from the well site 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, where the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig exploded April 20, killing 11 and touching off one of America’s worst environmental crises.

Allen said an evacuation could delay operations as much as two weeks before work would resume to kill the well at the bottom.

Shell Oil, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, already has begun evacuating personnel not essential to producing and drilling on their operations in the Gulf.

BP crews are in the final stages of readying a relief tunnel before boring into the side of the ruptured well to dump heavy mud and cement, sealing it for good. BP also may pump mud and cement from the top, to make efforts at the bottom easier. That procedure, called a surface kill, would occur before the well is ultimately plugged from below.

Before talk of nasty weather, BP was inching closer to completion and had hoped for a permanent plug by early August.

The temporary cork in the well has helped cleanup efforts, and Allen said skimming vessels are starting to have trouble finding oil to collect. BP has about 1,600 boats operating daily in waters off Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, 600 fewer than last week, said Matt Kissinger, director of BP’s “vessels of opportunity” program in the region.

Some boat captains, many earning more through the cleanup than they typically do from fishing, are worried it’s a sign BP is leaving the Gulf too early.

Shrimper Minh V. Le of Bayou La Batre had both of his boats out skimming for oil initially, but one has been deactivated.

“A lot of us have put a lot of sweat into the program,” he said. “You’ve got a 100-degree heat index, and there’s a lot of wear and tear on our boats. If something breaks down it can cost $30,000. What they’re paying isn’t a drop in the bucket.”

http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/07/brewing_storm_threatens_to_int.html

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