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A Whale  (Source: Columbus Dispatch)
No one is allowed within 65 feet of the Deepwater Horizon

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that there is a new rule for vessels in the Gulf: No ships or vessels are to come within 65 feet of booming operations in effect surrounding the Deepwater Horizon, which exploded on April 20 and sank two days later causing the worst oil spill in U.S. history

The 65 feet is a safety zone that has been put into effect under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, and restricts any ship from coming too close to oil spill response operations or booming operations. The Captains of the Port for New Orleans, La., Mobile, Ala. and Morgan City, La. established the safety zone rule.

Originally, the Coast Guard tried to set the safety zone at 300 feet, but it was set back to 65 feet. This safety zone protects the operation of response equipment, the installation and maintenance of oil containment boom, the environment by limiting access to and through deployed protective boom and members of the response effort. 

Those outside of the 65 feet are allowed to photograph the area, but are still encouraged to exercise caution, especially now that BP has employed the help of the world's largest skimming vessel, "A Whale," which is a transformed Taiwanese cargo ship that is 250 times more efficient than the several 550 fishing boats and vessels being used now to clean up the oil. A Whale will speed up the cleaning process; a process that will take a total of $3 billion to complete.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard's announcement, in order to get any closer than 65 feet, authorization is needed from the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. Anyone in violation of this rule could face $40,000 in fines and Class D felony charges.

While the effects of BP's oil spill is anything but laughable, it's kind of funny to think that BP could have predicted their demise back in the 1970's with a board game called "Offshore Oil Strike." The game was created by BP itself and consists of players managing an offshore drilling operation where rig explosions and clean-up costs can cause a player to lose. 

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RE: THE Disaster
By Daniel8uk on 7/6/2010 8:08:51 PM , Rating: 1
Even if all of the people in Britain tried to put pressure on BP it still wouldn't change the fact that their number one goal is to spend the least amount of money possible on 'cleaning' this oil spill.

The EPA (Is that correct?) told BP to stop using Corexit 9500, which allows the oil to break up and sink, which means they don't have to pay for that oil, just the thin sheen on the top, hence why it's only cost $3 Billion so far, secondly it's killing everything, it can eat through boat hulls, which are very thick and hard plastics, so it has no problem eating through fish and humans. Now the EPA said stop using it, BP said no and the government**, which could have intervened, after all it falls into their 200 mile boundary, didn't do a damn thing, they just let them carry on knowing full well that BP were doing more damage and reducing costs by sinking the oil.

Now, I mention that because the US government is the ONLY thing that can put the pressure on BP and quite frankly they are giving them a free ride, and I feel sorry for the Americans on that coast, and the Mexicans since it'll effect them as well. No press, no talking about the real scope of the problem, this is backed by YOUR government, nothing to do with the British, we did NOT grant them permission to drill an extremely unstable and dangerous well, we didn't decide to use a BOP which was capable of containing about 1/1000th of the oil and gas pressure.

None of this is the fault of the British, or indeed the Americans, but it is the fault of firstly BP, Haliburton and transocean and secondly the US government (During the Bush years, but Obama carried it on) for allowing such lax rules and guidelines, oh and the agency responsible for 'checking' over BP, which clearly didn't, because instead it was too busy taking gifts and money in exchange for safety check passes.

Really, The Americans, The Mexicans, the islands near the GOF and soon England, Ireland and parts of Europe will feel the effects of this spill, but we are powerless to stop it, simply because the government(s) will not put pressure on BP, and we all know how much the government(s) love listening to it's people.

** I understand that the whole area is under jurisdiction from the US coast guard, but if I understand correctly the US government & president has control over this agency and also with an executive order from Obama there could have been hundreds of skimmers, large and small, as well as multi-national clean up teams in the GOF with in a week, but since any ship which picks up oil is the rightful owner, this would of course, you guessed it, cut into BP's profits as it would be losing the oil, and they don't want that, I think that's why the US government didn't allow foreign ships in. Probably those pesky lobbyists in Washington.

---Sorry for the long post but I just feel like sharing some stuff I've been reading up on, and trust me, there are a lot of people in England who want that guys head, who knows, maybe an 'accident' will happen...

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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