Oil spill resources: Local reporting


We’re pulling together resources for covering and following the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Here’s some coverage from local papers in the Gulf region–there’s some fantastic local reporting going on. A sampling:

(Monroe) News-Star

The Obama administration’s point man on the oil spill rejected the notion of removing BP and taking over the crisis Monday, saying the government has neither the company’s expertise nor its deep-sea equipment. To push BP out of the way would raise a question, to replace them with what?” Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen, who is heading the federal response to the spill, said at a White House briefing.

The White House is facing increasing questions about why the government can’t assert more control over the handling of the catastrophe, which unfolded after a BP offshore drilling rig blew up April 20.

Houma  Courier:

Two weeks after Terrebonne received $1 million from BP for oil-spill expenses, the Lafourche Parish Council will approve accepting a similar payment from the energy giant at tonight’s council meeting.

Terrebonne and Lafourche are among five coastal parish governments poised to get $1 million as initial installments, but more would be received if the parishes’ emergency-response work exceeds that amount, parish officials said.

The April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig leased by BP left an uncapped well spewing thousands of gallons oil daily into the Gulf of Mexico, and oil has washed ashore on Fourchon Beach and elsewhere in southern Lafourche and Terrebonne.

The money, according to Lafourche Parish spokesman Brennan Matherne, is a “pre-imbursement” that will be used for labor and work. BP has given the parish “full discretion to determine the use of the payment,” according to the contract.

(Biloxi) Sun-Herald

Gov. Haley Barbour said he doesn’t think the Deepwater Horizon oil spill should mark the end of offshore drilling in the United States.

“A bunch of liberal elite were hoping this would be the Three Mile Island of offshore drilling,” he told the Mississippi Manufacturers Association at the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino on Friday.

Houma Courier:

“If it gets in our marshes, it’s going to kill them,” said Shawn Kissel, a petroleum inspector who lives on Jefferson Davis Street in Houma. “Then currents and tides will wash (plant roots) out to sea. And then it’s game over.”

Venice Gondolier Sun:

Cicanese first called BP’s Houston office to tell the company its plan to lower a 100-ton containment dome over the well wasn’t going to work. He warned the methane gas would crystallize due to the cold temperatures at those depths. Three days later, BP found out he was right.

Northwest Florida Daily News:

This year’s [hurricane] season rolls out June 1 in the shadow of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Okaloosa County Public Safety Director Dino Villani said booms would fail in the event of a violent storm surge, and oil could be washed far inland.

“We’re going to be totally unprotected and at the mercy of whatever we get,” Villani said.